How far is too far? That is the question that Governor Pat McCrory and North Carolina lawmakers will have to answer in the coming weeks.
Back in March the conservative governor signed a bill into law requiring all citizens who identify as transgender to use public bathrooms that correspond with their anatomical gender – thus overturning a Charlotte law that had required businesses to allow transgendered people to use the restroom of their choice.
The state immediately was met with great hostility from the media, the entertainment industry, corporate America and the LGBT community. Several months later, the onslaught hasn’t stopped. That is to be expected, but the shrewdness with which dissenters have made their opinions known has become the ultimate test in morality vs. economics.
Proving once again that money is the greatest idol in our nation, conservatives have begun to grow weary of the effects the law has had on the state.
Almost immediately after passing the bill into law — a bold measure to say the least – rock star Bruce Springsteen cancelled his performance in the state, citing the law as reason enough to boycott his own fan base. But he wasn’t alone. Pop singer Nick Jonas jumped on board the same train. It wasn’t long before liberal New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive action prohibiting travel of state employees to North Carolina on official business, which ultimately caused the most recent bout of drama to break headlines: the cancellation of Albany’s game at Duke University, nestled right inside Durham.
Corporate powerhouses such as PayPal have expressed refusal to open facilities and do business in North Carolina due to the legislative measure, costing hundreds or thousands of jobs and millions of dollars. One after the other, dominoes keep falling in the fight for progressive power in the Republican-controlled state, and the pressure keeps mounting. As business after business and celebrity after celebrity keeps boycotting McCrory, the lines between morality and money are getting very, very blurry.
Donald Trump brought slight criticism to the law, citing its potential economic fallout. The question that McCrory will have to answer in coming months is one of virtue: Is money more important? Or is morality more important?
Certainly, money would be the easy way out and is the norm nowadays. When the question of legalizing marijuana comes about, potential profit is always heavily considered in the discussion. States institute government-controlled lotteries in an effort to rack up large swaths of funding – lest people drive across the border to a neighboring state. The list goes on and on. In a world run by currency, an ethics play is a powerfully divergent move against the grain, but could it be that McCrory’s law is indeed a step in the right direction?
Jesus Himself said, “No one can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24).
Governor McCrory took the same stance the apostles did in Acts 5:29, when they boldly proclaimed, “We must obey God rather than men!” It’s sad that the question of ethics always comes down to the question of money. Christians are very quick to sacrifice fundamental truths – even truths about our design and anatomy – in a cheap effort to appease the masses, only to find that the masses always want to take more. At some point the buck has to stop, and those left with a conscience have to take the fight right to an unrighteous society.
The same business big-wigs that demand a bow and conformance to their beliefs are the same businesses that would trade all of their thousands of employees for cheaper manufacturing rates, overseas, in a heartbeat. To bow down to the big guys in such a time as this would be to admit defeat and willfully give the keys of policy and ultimately power to corporate America, snuffing out the grassroots efforts and freedoms of private citizens and small businesses – who opposed the Charlotte policy — once and for all.
This is the time, now more than ever, for truth to prevail and for North Carolina to act as a state government should: as an independent state, conducting affairs as it legislates best on behalf of its private citizens and small-business owners from a place of conviction and truth.
Many professing Christians would tell you that blessing follows morality, but as we’ve seen and will continue to see, when the pressure’s on you, you never know what decision will be made. I, for one, hope McCrory stays the course. But one thing is for sure: America is watching, and the heat is on.