When leftists use the phrase “safe space,” they mean a place where they won’t be forced to hear challenging ideas. When I use the phrase “safe space,” I mean a place in which parents need not worry that their children will be exposed to so-called “gender identity” theory or that their prepubescent daughter will be sleeping in the same cabin as an 18-year-old man who “identifies” as a girl. Once, Church-run camps were that kind of safe space, but one family’s experience shows that you can no longer assume that’s true.
One of my favorite sites is Not the Bee, a real-news page for America’s most brilliant satire site, The Babylon Bee. Usually, the site has short news stories, tweets, or videos highlighting wacky leftism and good-guy regular Americans. Yesterday, though, there was something different: A detailed post about the author’s shocked dismay to learn that the wholesome church-affiliated summer camp he and his wife thought would be great for their 8-year-old daughter’s sleep-away camp experience was, in fact, a haven for so-called “gender identity.”
The parents did all the usual web-based due diligence. They researched local camps and found one that seemed blessedly traditional in terms of both summer-time activities (archery, crafts, etc.) and a church affiliation. Once they had the camp’s name, further digging from local families revealed very positive reviews.
One concern, though, was that the home page didn’t offer links to any one safety policy. Instead, it just boasted about the amenities it offered. Eventually, though, thanks to the kind of digging parents may skip, the author’s wife found an old post linking to the camp’s “Statement of Inclusivity.” It turns out that the camp is “all in” when it comes to gender madness. “Youth,” it says, “is a time of exploration and identity formation.”
Moreover, according to the inclusivity statement, the Bible itself supports “gender identity”:
There are people in scripture who defy gender norms and are accepted--the eunuch who was baptized by Philip and is credited with starting the church in Ethiopia (Jesus also called for acceptance of eunuchs) and Deborah, the female judge and warrior.
If I understand this correctly, the camp is saying that someone unfortunate enough to have his testicles removed was “exploring” his “gender identity”? Really?
As for Deborah, the Bible never suggested that she was violating gender norms. Instead, she was a prophet. That is a specific category of people touched by God. I'm pretty sure the camp isn't claiming that its attendees will be a generation of prophets touched by God who exist beyond the careers generally assigned to specific sexes (an irrelevant point in today’s America).
The same statement says that, while parents determine the child’s gender for registration purposes, once at camp, that designation no longer matters. For example, they may “use the bathroom that corresponds with their expressed gender.” In addition, campers (who can be as old as 18) and counselors can be housed according to “the gender that correlates with their full time presentation and identity….” The kids and counselors who are engaged in gender fantasies get to make the choices.
The Not the Bee author closes with a stark warning:
Day camp or overnight, it doesn’t matter. Be very careful. Be very cautious. There are many wolves in sheep’s clothing lurking about.
EDIT: This article has been updated to include the name of the camp. It is Holston Camp in Banner Elk, NC. The inclusivity policy can be found here. The original intent of this article was not to call out a specific camp, but to bring general awareness to parents to be judicious when determining where they should consider sending their kids and what they are exposing them to. However, we received many requests from concerned parents, and we feel it’s our obligation to share this information. Our message remains the same. Be diligent. Be aware. Do not assume anything just because the word “Christian” is attached to it.