BP This Week

John and Maria Respond to Kristi Noem’s Veto Bill to Protect Women’s Sports


John Stonestreet

Maria Baer


JOHN STONESTREET: We have women fighting for equal ability to play sports, for the opportunities to be in front of them. And now men can just kind of turn around and take it. I mean, I think, who called it the new patriarchy? I mean, the transgender movement is kind of a new patriarchy.

JOHN STONESTREET: Our Friday breakpoint was called The Curious Case of Kristi Noem, because it just is something. If you ask the governor, and Tucker Carlson did and Glenn Beck did this past week, she’d say, “Well, look, I don’t want to invite a lawsuit. And the bill, as written, invites a lawsuit.”

Now the problem is, the bill was based on model legislation that was produced and evaluated and, like you said, had been passed in Idaho, in Mississippi. In fact, when it was passed in Idaho, 14 different attorneys general from 14 different states filed supported an amicus brief defending it.

So there was nothing, you know, all that remarkable in this particular bill that would justify not signing it. In fact, she was a part of that whole process. She actually tweeted a few weeks ago, “I’m very excited to sign this bill,” And then she sends it back for a style and form veto, which basically says you have to change it.

But her changes gutted it. Her changes, like, as you said, took out, protections for collegiate women. It also took out any sort of legal recourse for anyone who felt like they were disadvantaged because a biological male was included in their sport.

In other words, it gave even the high school girls, the elementary and middle school girls, no recourse. And as Kristen Wagoner, the general counsel for the alliance defending Freedom, told me this week, without recourse, there’s not really rights. If you can’t really appeal, if there’s no one you can actually go to, it doesn’t really mean anything.

And then she also asked that the bill be altered so that it allowed athletes to compete based on their birth certificate or in an affidavit. We know the birth certificate challenge in many states have already allowed people to change their birth certificates and say something that is not true. So this basically requires some paperwork in order to completely eliminate the protections that women have in these sports, it was bizarre. Her reasoning, that I’m really just defending this, was bizarre. The NCAA can’t sue her unless there’s already some sort of existing contract. She said that the NCAA would refuse to let athletes in South Dakota play in competitions. There are plenty of schools that don’t allow male athletes to compete as females on their sports teams, all the Christian colleges that are part of the NCAA. That’s why the NCAA can’t act on this right now. There’s too many schools that they represent that would not go forward.

This is the story of corporate pressure. Let me give you the backdrop here. You can divide culture up into various segments. Religious sector, the education sector, the home and family sector, the innovation or science sector. The business sector. When it comes to LGBT rights, education and the arts, those things have been kind of dominated by L G B T Q ideology for a long time.

The corporate sector, there was a day in 2014 when attempting to pass a religious freedom bill in Indiana, then Governor Mike Pence, faced an enormous amount of well orchestrated, incredible pressure. We then saw it in North Carolina with the bathroom bill. This is what we’re seeing in South Dakota.

The corporate pressure is enormous because when the business sector gets on board to a cause, it is powerful. Once you start leveraging dollars, when you start leveraging profit, you start leveraging long term employment prospects for citizens of a state, it becomes serious. That’s what’s happened, which is why we need pastors to stand up for bakers like Jack Phillips, who, by the way, was back in court because the business sector matters significantly.

By the way, business is a holy act before God, just like anything else. If every square inch belongs to God, then so does businesses. Every calling is sacred. So is the calling to be an entrepreneur or to be a business leader, and the church is largely put that into the category of secular as opposed to sacred, and we see what happens when that segment of our lives is weaponized for a cause.

It’s incredibly powerful. That’s, I think, the story that’s happening in South Dakota. And I’m really thankful, by the way, because governor Noem’s actions put an awful lot of pressure on Governor Hutchinson not to sign the bill in Arkansas. There was a lot of concern about that, and so good for him for doing it. If enough people do that, then Governor Noem won’t have to feel like she has to hedge, and nuance, and cave when that sort of pressure comes.

MARIA BAER:Yeah, and hopefully the Christian community in South Dakota can rally around her and bolster her to do the right thing.

JOHN STONESTREET: In this case, I don’t know if they well, look, I mean, hopefully they will, and they need to, and this was an interesting thing. Governor Noem, particularly because of her just radically different way of dealing with the pandemic. You know, that she had become a bit of a long term prospect. Here you have a female governor, very conservative, very business friendly, across the board. And that was one of the things that kind of elevated her to kind of, I don’t want to say front runner status because who knows what that is between now and 2024. But it’s a fascinating thing.

But, she got herself in a mess with this veto and the hedging and the verbal explanation, which just really can’t be defended by the facts on the ground. It was just really strange, and it just really felt like somebody backpedaling in a hurry. Look, I want to just say this, Maria, the pressure here was incredible. I’m not second guessing that at all. I think people underestimate just how orchestrated and precise the corporate pressure has become.

I remember talking to someone who worked in an administration in one state and where they faced this sort of pressure. They were telling me the precision, saying, “You know what? We’ve just blackballed you from getting any parts whatsoever for your roller coasters. And you know, there’s only seven companies in America that service roller coasters, and we just cut them all off from you.” If you let this bill go forward now, in some states, that wouldn’t be a big deal in this particular state. That was a big deal. In other words, it was just a precise attack. And my guess is that’s what’s happening here. The NCAA, basically is allowed to bully.

I mean, look, Idaho passed their bill. The NCAA issued a strongly worded statement. You can weather a strongly worded statement. That’s not a big deal.

MARIA BAER: The thing I find unpersuasive at some point. I understand the pressure. I mean, I understand intellectually that there’s pressure, and I don’t know that I haven’t felt it myself, I’m not the governor of a state. But at some point, if all you’re saying is that men can’t be women and there’s a threat of a lawsuit, I guess the lawsuit has to come. You’re not the weird one, right? You’re not. You have to stand up at some point in the room and say, “You guys changed your mind two minutes ago that men can be women. I’m not the weird one. If you feel you have to bring a lawsuit or you feel you have to demand that there won’t be any championships here or whatever it is I guess, do that.” That’s crazy. But I can’t say that men are women. I just can’t say it.

And I have to believe that at some point when we finally have a logical reckoning with this, not even necessarily a religious reckoning or a moral reckoning, which is also required. But we just have a logical reckoning with enough people being willing to say, “I literally don’t think men can be women, like, I thought about it enough and I just can’t get there. Men can’t be women.”

When we have enough people who are willing to say that, there are going to be states like Idaho and Arkansas where people are going to say, “I guess let’s go there. Let’s do our business there. They’re a little bit ahead of things now because they refused to say men can’t be women.” And even with her, you know, gutting the bill or attempting to, and take collegiate sports out of it or whatever. It’s sort of similar to this push for the fairness, fairness for all. Which is sort of this watered down version of the Equality Act, or they’re trying to carve out religious protections maybe for places that don’t want to cave to this transgender ideology, but we’ll let you do it. But we won’t do it, and we can’t be prosecuted for it, that kind of thing. I think it’s so much easier. We take all the pressure off of ourselves. If we’re just going to say I am unwilling to sign or support anything that starts from a place that says men can be women, right? They just can’t.

Let’s stop worrying about carving out religious protections or making a tweak here or tweak there. That is such a fundamental lie that nothing good can possibly come from anything that’s going to promote that. So let’s just start there and move forward with our lives because it’s going to be the case.

JOHN STONESTREET: By the way, you just made a case for why Christians need to elevate the business area, more than it has, right. Because the the idea of compromise legislation to the Equality Act, not only does it say something that’s fundamentally not true and not just not true, but like, really, really not true, as you just said, absurd. But it says basically, “We’ll protect our institutions but completely leave exposed Jack Phillips, Baronelle Stutsman, and all the business leaders you know that are out there.

MARIA BAER: And we’ll allow people to hear the suggestion, “You can hurt kids. You can give kids medication, you can give kids surgery and whatever and we will. As long as you don’t do it to our kids, we’ll be okay with it.” That’s evil, right? We can’t possibly do that.

JOHN STONESTREET: And as we’ve been talking, the last couple weeks on BreakPoint, we’ve done some commentary, I’ve done some commentaries with Dr Glenn Sunshine, a long time historian with the Colson Center. We started with Amy Carmichael, the history of the churches, Christians taking the Gospel into pagan cultures. And one of the immediate things they did was try to protect kids.

And so when we say, “You harm your kids, we won’t harm hours.” That is completely out of step with church history.

MARIA BAER: It’s horrifying. We do not want to be in that position because history will not reflect well on that. And kids, you know, dozens, hundreds, thousands of kids will be lost in the wake of that. You know, if we let them fall through the cracks, and we let our culture do this to them. And that’s, you know, I’m talking about the kids who will, you know, go through transition. But we can talk about to like female athletes. I mean, I think that one of the pushes is that the alliance defending freedom has made with these bills is just referring to Title IX. Like Title nine exists already.

I think it’s reasonable to get the argument like, “Why are you passing a bill that says men can’t compete in women’s sports that already exists in Title IX?” Well, apparently we have two. Apparently, we have to.

But what we can do and the reason we can have confidence in those legal challenges is that Title IX exists women because of physiological differences, which are completely obvious to everyone. Women, if they’re going to compete in sports in a fair way, have to have their own sports right, and it strikes me to this. Really, this is an issue of language like, would you rather that I just said, um, which is our women the ones that have XX or XY chromosomes? I can’t remember.

JOHN STONESTREET: Women have XX. Do you just want us to keep that in the podcast? I think we should keep that we have.

MARIA BAER: We should we should. I’m open to it. I’m not perfect. But listen, if we’re just going to do you need us to just create a league that says this is the XX League, Okay, If you have xx, you can compete in this league like would that solve it? And the answer is no. It wouldn’t solve it because this isn’t about logic or inclusion. That’s the other thing I want to tell Kristi Noem is like, “Ma’am, it will never be enough. No matter what you do, it will not be enough.”

I mean, even even thinking about our conversation earlier about mental illness we were supposed to a couple years ago call mass shootings, you know, mental illness and bring up this issue. Now it’s taboo to reference mental illness. You can never put like it will never be enough. You can pretend to carve out protections. You can pretend to say, you know I care about, You know, you can pretend to say we’ll just use the birth certificates or we’ll use whatever or If they have gone through transition already, then we’ll allow them. It’s just you’re not going to please them ever. So you might as well just stick with what’s actually true.

JOHN STONESTREET: You know, to your point, what’s fascinating in this whole story is, as Kristi Noem was trying to to get around any sort of challenge or any sort of pressure from the NCAA and other corporate entities. She mentioned the NCAA Bringing lawsuits, which they really have no standing to do. Um, because the NCAA policy does allow men to compete in women’s sports, but it doesn’t require it. There’s not a requirement that’s in NCAA policy. The only policy having to this is fascinating. The only policy having to do uh in this area is basically a policy that helps determine how much of a woman a man needs to be in order to compete as a woman.

MARIA BAER: So you do that. How do you know?

JOHN STONESTREET: So here it is. If you have to have a I think it’s I think the policy is something like you have to have a year of hormone treatment and then that counts. Now I’m with you, I can see your face. And no, it’s not enough.

MARIA BAER: A year of hormone treatment does not a woman make, John

JOHN STONESTREET: Does not a woman make no, that’s right. It’s not even close. But I think, by the way, there are actually people that believe that I actually had a Facebook comment or a couple months ago say Well, once they start taking hormones, their women as if hormones do anything more than, you know, help a woman grow facial hair and help them men, you know, have swelling in the chest. There’s just nothing there that, uh, that changes chromosomes or or internal organs, everything like that. But with that, even that idea that the NCAA felt like they had to step in and try to bring some resemblance of order to the conversation and and the Olympic, you know, the the U. S. Olympic Committee is in the same place where they have to. They feel this pressure to go along with this idea, but the policies that they have to put in proved that the whole thing is ridiculous, right? The policies that they put improve that there’s a difference between men and women. It’s like, uh, there’s a, we got all the way to the end, and I haven’t mentioned the TSH, but I’m going to mention them right now.

So the scan their scanner machine?

MARIA BAER: Yeah, buckle up. Here it comes

JOHN STONESTREET: The scanner machines that people go through. When someone enters that scanner machine, the agent has to mark whether it’s a male or a female. Why? Because that’s what triggers the anomaly. If, you know there are, if the curves aren’t in the right place, I don’t know how to say this politely, but if the curves aren’t in the right place, that’s how, for example, they caught two agents in Denver in which a male agent was groping male passengers and getting the female agent, to basically he had a kind of a hand signal that would say, Hey, you can you know, I want to I want to touch this guy. And so the female agent would actually put that the man coming into the scanner was a woman which would trigger the anomaly which would trigger the pat down. This was back in 2015 you can read about it. The guy got fired. To our knowledge, he wasn’t prosecuted for sexual assault.

Now I’m getting into my, my point is the body scanners at TSA know that there’s a difference between men and women. The NCAA policy, which is just basically trying to figure out ways to get around biological realities reveal that there are biological realities that have to be gotten around and you actually can’t.

So I’m with you, to go back that, that Governor Noem is I don’t wanna be on the wrong side of history on the wrong side of reality by hedging at all because you’re not gonna do enough to keep people from being angry with you. You’re not going to keep, you know, whatever pressure. Ask Jack Phillips, right. You’re not gonna You’re not gonna keep that legal pressure away.

This one’s clear. This one’s not hard. This one is. Women deserve to be protected. And isn’t that another inconsistency? Right.

So we’re dealing with this culture of sexual abuse and trying to to give women a voice to talk about their experiences of being mistreated by men. And then we, uh, celebrate with the song of the year. I think it actually won the grossest objectification of women that’s ever been put into a song. Then you turn around and we have women fighting for equal, uh, ability to play sports for the opportunities to be in front of them.

And now men can just kind of turn around and take. I mean, I think I think who called it the new patriarchy? I mean, the transgender movement is kind of a new patriarchy.



  • Facebook Icon in Gold
  • Twitter Icon in Gold
  • LinkedIn Icon in Gold

Have a Follow-up Question?


Related Content