By Dr. Jim Ferguson

Absurdity has become the new reality. Of all the things that need attention in our country and the world, the major media, anarchists who masquerade as activists and liberal-progressives like Obama and Hillary have found a new battleground in our nation’s restrooms. I saw a cartoon recently which quoted President John Kennedy in 1961 who wanted to “put men on the moon …” Now, Hillary and Obama want to “…put men in womens’ restrooms.”

Like capitalism and freedom, tolerance has been a characteristic of modern western civilization. All of these are under attack by socialism, religious fanaticism and intolerance of thought, also known as political correctness and illiberalism. College campuses now have “safe zones” where students can take refuge if they encounter or hear something contrary to their world view which makes them uncomfortable or feel “threatened.”

Loretta Lynch was chosen by Obama and confirmed as head of the Department of Justice. Regarding the restroom controversy in North Carolina, Lynch and Obama threatened the state with loss of Federal school funding if self-described “transgender” students were denied access to public restrooms of their choice. In my home anyone is free to use our restrooms. There’s never been a problem, as long as I remember to put down the toilet seat. Ms. Lynch is little more than a political operative. Also, she is apparently disconnected from reality when she opined, “No student should feel uncomfortable in middle school.” It’s been my observation and experience that everyone is “uncomfortable” about almost everything during those difficult middle school years. Now liberal-progressives want to add restroom confusion to the mix.

I’ve heard speculation that transgender identification issues are a form of body dysmorphism where people see aspects of their body as not right. Such a nuanced aspect of psychiatry is far beyond this internist’s pay grade.

I have encountered patients who perceived that ants were crawling over their skin. The condition is called formication which can be a sign of psychosis. (Please note my use of an “m” instead of  “n” which casts an entirely different connotation.) My patient was in the hospital with pneumonia and complained of ants crawling on her skin. Despite repeated inspections of her skin and bedsheets, I couldn’t find any evidence of ants, rash or bite marks. I asked the psychiatry service to see her, believing her illness had made her delirious. The psychiatrist’s snarky consultation note recommended an exterminator because when he interviewed her he found the poor woman literally covered in ants!

You may recall a recent essay where I “came out of the closet.” Using absurdity, I confessed that “inside” I felt like a small black woman. Of course this is ridiculous; look at my picture! But you must understand that objective reality is being replaced by what someone feels about themselves.

It would be fanciful to imagine myself again in middle school demanding to use the restroom of my choice or the girl’s locker room shower. This might be a pubescent boy’s fantasy, but it is still absurd. Democrat-progressives like Hillary Clinton and Loretta Lynch might argue my right to have access to public restrooms or the shower of my choice, but what about disenfranchising the vast majority (>99.9%) of the population who are not “transgender” and may feel threatened and uncomfortable in a “co-ed” setting.

There is not a facet of American culture and politic that is free of liberal-progressive philosophy and Obama’s “transformative” revolution. Even my church is under assault. Every four years representatives of the United Methodist Church gather to analyze and redefine what it means to be Methodist. This is codified in what we call the Book of Discipline, and is analogous to the Constitution. Methodism is a major Protestant denomination which was founded by John Wesley in the 18th century, and has been integral to American culture since that time. Interestingly, both George Bush and Hillary Clinton claim membership in this worldwide Christian denomination.

As I pen this essay, Methodists, like so many Americans, are wrestling with the divisive issues of same-sex marriage, ordination of openly gay ministers and the entire LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) spectrum in culture and within the church. We Methodists are a tolerant bunch, and many identify with the challenge, “What would Jesus do?” John Wesley established our denomination on what would later be called the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. This philosophy uses the wisdom of scripture, tradition, experience and reason to guide the faithful. Too often men prefer to legislate rather than be led by conscience.

A friend of mine recently challenged me with the notion that tolerance and intolerance are not arbiters of right or wrong. She described seeing a tee shirt whose front read, “Intolerance is a beautiful thought…” because the back of the shirt continued, “Martin Luther King was intolerant of racism and Dietrich Bonhoeffer was intolerant of Nazism.” And I don’t think Jesus was very tolerant of the moneychangers in the Temple or hypocritical Pharisees. Should we be tolerant of something that is wrong?

We Methodists await the decisions of the Methodist Quadrennial in Portland, Oregon. Methodism may bend to political correctness, change the Book of Discipline and rescind the wisdom of millennia. My Church may embrace the minority LGBT philosophy, as did the Episcopal and Presbyterian denominations which ended in schism. I pray reason and inclusion will trump emotion, and Methodism will avoid the mistakes of other mainline denominations.

Whatever happens I know I will follow my individual conscience. After all, the ancient philosopher Epictetus said the only things that really belong to a man are his thoughts and his conscience.