Tuesday, October 6, 2015


One of the benefits of living in this area is the ability to pay dues at one YMCA but being able to use any of them in Kitsap and Pierce Counties. There are currently a total of twelve facilities including camps, family Ys, etc. By and large, most folks have their favorite and that is the one they use. We have enjoyed using the "Y" but are now rethinking our membership.

Recently, "to demonstrate our commitment to our transgender community", the YMCAs of Kitsap and Pierce Counties created a policy allowing people to use whatever locker room (shower, changing, etc.) they identified with in their minds. They want us to be assured that they are taking steps to keep any sex offenders from abusing this.

Really? Consider the following: 1. The policy was created in April and only made public very recently; 2. There is no way to keep all sex offenders from abusing it, only known convicted sex offenders; 3. When a church member inquired about it just yesterday, the person at the front desk said she did not know anything about it.

A person observing this might come to the conclusion that the acronym, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association), has secretly added the letter "P" to the middle of it and changed the formal name to the Young Men's Politically Correct Association. The "M" has apparently become just a nod to the old days when the physical body and chromosomes identified a person's gender rather than the person's current feelings.

Folks were encouraged by the "Y" to send their responses, etc. so I sent the following to the person I believe is the President and CEO of the YMCAs for the two counties:

Dear Bob Ecklund,

Please, know that you are being prayed for during these sensitive times of establishing, refining, enforcing, etc. new policies that are affected by sexual identification/orientation at the YMCA. Navigating the various laws and varying moral standards from different groups at times seems to be a "no win" situation since you can not possibly please everyone.

As a local Pastor, I understand the desire to have those who come be a reflection of the community. In the past year or two, we have seen something I did not anticipate: Lesbian, gays, and unmarried couples with children have been coming to our church. Some come into the worship service and some tend to hover outside the auditorium. In some cases, life circumstances have brought them to the church rather than a thirst for God's truth. Whatever brings them, we recognize our responsibility to love them and teach them God's truth without compromise.

It is my prayer that you will lead the YMCA to continue to be a place open to all people but without being governed or manipulated by any standards other than those God has given us in His word, the Bible.

In His love,
Jim Gantenbein

Jim Gantenbein, Pastor
Kitsap Lake Baptist Church
5802 Wilmont St
Bremerton WA 98312
(360) 373-7728