Erick Erickson has an article with the sensational headline, “State of Iowa Says Churches Must Let Men Use the Women’s Bathroom” (retweeted by the lachrymose Glenn Beck). ZOMG! The big bad government is sending legions of men in dresses to diddle your children in your very churches! And they’re not Catholic priests, even! Be afraid!
The government FAQ linked to says,
DOES THIS LAW APPLY TO CHURCHES?
Sometimes. Iowa law provides that these protections do not apply to religious institutions with respect to any religion-based qualifications when such qualifications are related to a bona fide religious purpose. Where qualifications are not related to a bona fide religious purpose, churches are still subject to the law’s provisions. (e.g. a child care facility operated at a church or a church service open to the public).
This, of course, raises the question of what consitutes a “bona fide religious purpose”. Erickson spends some time talking about cases about who is and isn’t a minister, then admitting that no church has actually been, you know, oppressed, before reminding you to stay scared of creeping liberalism and impending tyranny.
But I still want an answer to the question: what’s a bona fide religious purpose for a bathroom, even in a church? Is peeing a sacrament? I know that the Bible includes the phrase “he that pisseth against the wall”, but it just seems to mean “man and boy”. There’s 2 Kings 18:27 (note to Donald Trump: that’s pronounced “second Kings”, not “two kings”):
But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?
But not only doesn’t this sound like an exhortation for good Christians to emulate, they’re not even using a bathroom.
Obviously, maybe some church has a religious ritual for peeing, one that’s not found in the Bible. But in that case, I want to see the church in question explain itself.