Don’t thank the casserole, thank the cook.

Should a male PE teacher be required to supervise a middle-school girl in the locker room? Should he lose his job if he won’t?

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is 25 years old. Who’s trying to hollow it out?

And finally, on this Thanksgiving (in the US), who should you be thanking?

Mentioned links:

School Punishes Male Teacher For Refusing To Watch A Naked Girl In The Boys’ Locker Room

As religious freedom law turns 25, vast majority of Democrats oppose what Bill Clinton signed into law

H.R. 3222: Do No Harm Act

History of Thanksgiving

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Show transcript

Two and a half years ago, I interviewed Erick Erickson about his book “You Will Be Made To Care”, in which he documented how people of conscience – Christians in particular – would be required by the government, spurred on by left-wing social groups, to choose between conscience or compliance. One of the situations he highlighted was that of Kelvin Cochran, the Atlanta Fire Chief who was fired for writing a book about his Christian beliefs that deviated from the liberal orthodoxy on gender. Mr. Cochran’s story ended recently when he settled with the city for damages.

Will the same be said sometime in the future for Richard Mast? No, he’s not got the public profile of Kelvin Cochran, but he, too, is having to make a choice. Mr. Mast is a PE teacher at Chasco Middle School in Port Richey, Florida. The school had allowed a girl who said she was a transgendered boy to use the boy’s locker room to change. The first time that happened she caught the boys with their pants down, literally, causing a lot of embarrassment. Say what you want about middle school boys, they can indeed get embarrassed in this situation.

So what did the school do when they got a complaint from a law firm about this? They did what any public school that was concerned about the children under their protection would do; they issued a gag order. See, they hadn’t informed parents about the locker room policy change, and they wanted to keep teachers from talking about it. Then they asked Richard Mast to supervise this potentially undressed girl in the locker room. He refused to put himself in the position of possible seeing an undressed minor who, in spite of calling herself a boy, was a girl in every other respect. In a normal situation this would be a good thing, an honorable thing, especially in this age of public school teachers sexually molesting their students. But we’re way beyond normal situations in this country. In this case, the school decided he would be transferred to another school as discipline for “not doing your job in the locker room.”

Who can blame this guy? Well, enough people, apparently, to get him transferred, but think about it. How soon before this middle-schooler has a #MeToo moment, through no fault of the teacher? The social justice warriors have lost all reason, and this guy is paying the price. And what’s worse is that the school is conspiring to keep parent in the dark. Well, not anymore, I guess, but for an institution that keeps saying they want more parental involvement, they have a funny way of encouraging it. I guess if you enrage parents enough, they’ll get more involved. Not the way it should be done, though.

And this is Reason To Homeschool #17,856.

In 1993, Bill Clinton signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, sometimes referred to as RFRA, which gave more protection to a First Amendment right against bills that might interfere with it.

Now, 25 years later, 172 House Democrats are supporting bill H.R. 3222, which carves out exceptions to religious freedom (an actual constitutional right) where it interferes with the LGBTQLMNOP agenda, or a host of other issues that the Left holds dear. And it’s called, ironically, the “Do No Harm Act”.

And by “harm”, it means things like disagreement, and voicing a contrary opinion. If you say something that is in line with 2000 years of Christian thought on homosexuality, they call it “hate” and “violence”, which is therefore “harm”.

The Left has been very busy redefining words to fit their politics, so there’s no question that if this were to pass it would be used in such a way as to completely gut, not just RFRA, but the First Amendment itself.  Fortunately, with Republican control of the Senate and the White House, this has as much of a chance of passing as a snowball in California right now. Still, it does drop the mask a bit.

Since we’re coming up on Thanksgiving in America, I just wanted to spend some time here talking about giving thanks. The phrase we have been taught since childhood is, “Thank you”. Our parents would remind us when we forgot. “What do you say?” “Thank you”, we’d reply, somewhat embarrassed that we had to be reminded.

But you know what you never hear anyone say, whether prompted to or not? “Thank.” The word “Thank” is not a sentence. It makes absolutely no sense. Because when you thank, you thank someone. You thank a person who did something for you. You don’t stand up and thank the chair you were sitting on, though you might thank the person who made the chair for making such a good one. You wouldn’t thank your dinner for being delicious but you would thank the cook for preparing it so well. “Thank” must always be followed by who you are thanking, not what. Thank you. You must give thanks, and simply being thankful to no one in particular similarly misses the mark.

Now, chairs and a meal are tangible things, and we know who to thank for them. But what about the intangibles like our intellect, or things like the tree in our front yard? It’s not so obvious there. We ourselves may have fed our intellect, but we didn’t create it. We may have enjoyed the shade of the tree, but we don’t thank it. That makes about as much sense as getting angry with the tree for dropping those leaves we have to rake up. Simple being thankful for either is basically impotent. The verb “to thank” requires a direct object, and that must be someone who had the intention of benefiting you. Not a tree or a chair.

Or “The Universe”. I’ve seen and heard some people, who don’t believe that there is a God, thank The Universe for the good things they have. To them, it seems like thanking inanimate matter makes more sense than thanking the person who created that matter. Now, I can’t see him, and I take it on faith that he exists, but it makes more sense to thank the cook rather than to thank the green bean casserole, even if I can’t see the cook.

Now, this is no proof that God exists. I’m not suggesting that it is. What I am suggesting is that I think it’s worth asking to whom you are thankful for those intangibles or those trees. If they are here by chance, there’s no thanks to be given, and any expression of thanks, to no one in particular, is nonsense. Instead, the first Thanksgiving Day celebrated by the Pilgrims was a day to thank God for those intangibles and trees. It was Abraham Lincoln who formalized a practice that had been common in the country already, declaring, during the height of the Civil War, a day of thanksgiving to God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.”

And so as we celebrate Thanksgiving, or we find ourselves thankful anytime of the year, remember to thank those responsible for the blessing or the gift or the benefit you received. And if you come up short in deciding who to thank, it might be worth it to consider this.

Filed under: Free SpeechGovernmentHuman SexualityReligionTransgender