An Open Letter to the YMCA

My blog is a letter I sent this week to Bob Ecklund, President and CEO of the Pierce and Kitsap County YMCA. In addition, I sent the letter to each of the YMCA’s Board of Directors–ten of them.
It concerns the “Y’s” recent decision that members are free to access whatever bathroom/locker room facility based upon their expressed “gender identity.” In other words, regardless of anatomy, people can use whatever bathroom/locker room they feel like. The transgender movement has pushed for this and the “Y” has succumbed.

My letter is a call for them to reverse their ridiculous, dangerous, and God dishonoring policy.

January 6, 2016
Bob Ecklund, President and CEO, YMCA Pierce/Kitsap Counties and Board of Directors
4717 So. 19th St.
Tacoma WA, 98405

Dear Mr. Ecklund and Board of Directors,

I write as a member of nearly 20 years. Our family of five has spent countless hours at the “Y” exercising and volunteering. Each of us has fond memories of our time there; literally, my children grew up in your facilities. In addition, I am a longtime pastor in Tacoma who has appreciated the goals and values of the YMCA.

What prompts my letter is your recent reversal (again) of your policy to allow members to access the bathroom/locker room facilities based upon expressed “gender identity.” Your appalling lack of communication with constituent’s aside, your decision fails miserably three standards that should concern you: theological, anatomical, and dare I say, common sense.

The Bible’s first chapter is sufficient to address all three: “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27). There is male and there is female. Anatomy tells you who you are. Kindergarteners have the sense to know this. Yet culture’s sexual acronym keeps getting longer (LGBTQQIA is the most recent one I saw). And sadly, your acronym that has a “C” in it says you should know better yet you have gone along with the charade.

Dr. Paul McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital, calls transgenderism a “mental disorder” akin with other “assumption disorders.” Their disorder is their assumption their gender is different than physical reality. It is like the dangerously pick-thin teenage girl who looks in the mirror and thinks she’s overweight. The YMCA’s new gender policy is no different than agreeing with the anorexic and offering to help her lose more weight. Transgenderism doesn’t need accommodation and encouragement. Though claimed to be, tolerance isn’t the chief virtue; truth communicated with love is. Especially as an organization that wears the name Christian, you have miserably failed those who struggle with their sexuality.

If I may take it a step further, the YMCA is slandering God. Your stated mission is to put “Christian principles into practice.” One presumes that means honoring God’s truth as espoused in Scripture. Your new policy flies in the face of such. How many now conclude, “I guess God is fine with all these new changes and understandings of human sexuality.” Like it or not, people associate you with Christianity and representing God. You just lied about Him and His word. That’s slander.

To appease culture and its growing sentiment, you denied the very distinctive that sets you apart from other gyms and facilities. Like the mainline Protestant churches who denied the authority of Scripture 100 years ago and as a result continue to lose numbers and relevance; and like the Boy Scouts of America who reversed themselves a few years ago in a similar matter are beginning to lose numbers and relevance; the YMCA has put themselves on course for the same.

I plead with you to change direction. To mock God is to lose his favor. Stand again for the Christian principles that have served you well for years. Many of us are watching. So is God.

Don’t hide behind the Washington State Human Rights Commission. Stand for the truth and fight. God’s Word is your authority. It is not the Washington Administrative Code. And when you do, watch your brothers and sisters in Christ rally and respond with you. We’ll wipe the smudge of a Judas’ kiss from our cheeks smacked there when you betrayed your history, your name, and your most ardent supporters. We will be where families should be in times such as these; standing side by side with you.

Greatly concerned,

Rich Hamlin
YMCA member and Pastor, Evangelical Reformed Church
Tacoma, WA

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