The Transgender Moment

Caution: Compassion Exposed!
After reading the following web article from Christianity Today…

The Transgender Moment
Evangelicals hope to respond with both moral authority and biblical compassion to gender identity disorder.
By John W. Kennedy

…I would like to take a Transgender Moment and reply with a few comments:
The words chosen for this article (compassion, gender identity disorder, mental malady, etc.) regarding trans~gender-ism are purposely segregationist both in their deceitful use and in their condescending tone. They certainly imply that there is a normal and moral barrier being breached by the trans-gendered (TG) individual. The implicit warning in this article is that THE CHURCH should be prepared for this ‘PROBLEM’. When Mr. Kennedy put the word Biblical in front of ‘compassion’ in his opening title, he knew what he was doing – fostering a position of “we are in a Biblically correct position to help you” and “you need our help” type of separatism in the hearts of all evangelical Christians who peruse Christianity Today (maybe while having their hair dyed an unnatural shade of blond. I say, why mess with creation?).

The words “moral authority” invoke a wrath of God type of dealing with the TG individual and needlessly, whether or not the word compassion is used, gathers up the storm clouds of anger and dissent over and around this person. Mr. Kennedy wants to draw a line in the sand (As I see it, this is fine because God has sand moving all of the time.) Who or what is this ‘moral authority’ he ascribes to? I assume the Bible ~ Sola Scriptura! Mr. Kennedy, in this rather weakly thought out article, is using the word Bible or Biblical as the wedge between them and the TG person.

The word “Biblical” often summons up a devious self ~righteousness into every one who reads this word. He wants the reader to believe that they are on good moral ground with him and others just like him who read his pulp magazine when he talks about the issue of trans-gender-ism. I would call the others like him “CT clones” (Christians Trans-morphed into Clones). But, I won’t get into name calling. At least not to the degree that Mr. Kennedy has, anyway. Mr. Kennedy, in his article, has used almost of all of the psychological terminology he could muster to leverage his ‘moral’ (?) authority and to posture the TG person as a person with a “Biblical’ sized disorder.

Trans-gender-ism is not a disorder, not in the sense that Mr. Kennedy wants to use it  ~ as a psychological and moral weakness. I understand that Mr. Kennedy wants the church to be scandalized by his article on trans-gender-ism. Where did the author of this article come up with the term “gender identity disorder” or GID? These words probably came from a psychology textbook, the DSM-IV manual, a Psychology Today article or perhaps via the internet. Now, apparently, these sources have become infallible (‘Sola Scripturian’) in their description of a TG person’s ‘disorder’ especially if theses sources serve to make an implication of sin and moral weakness, Mr. Kennedy. And, since when does a psychological profile of someone (an infallible profile in your estimation since it is the bedrock of your article) demand an inquest into its moral grounds? Is it in order that you may withhold your anticipated judgment with your parsimonious grace? Biblical moral authority is invoked but there are no grounds to do so.

Someone, at some point in time, wrote down a psychological profile of trans-genderism and saw it as an anomaly ~ a deviation (let the reader understand that I am using the word ‘deviation’ in the scientific sense and not the coined Biblical sense!) apart from other more prominent behaviors and understanding. Because some book gives trans-gender-ism a label called Gender Identity Disorder (GID) does not make trans-gender-ism a disorder and certainly does not make it into something sinful or something you need to ‘fix”. This label, GID, as I see it, only provides a handle to help people understand the issue ~ a person’s disconnect between their mind and their body. But now, this profiling is becoming ‘Biblically ordained’ by Mr. Kennedy’s article as a morally and a psychologically handicapped condition. Has anyone ever done a psychological profile on an Evangelical, fundamentalist Christian who wants to set boundaries on grace every chance they get? Wipe that smile off of your face!

As I see and as I understand gender confusion from the perspective of being a TG woman, the ultimate confusion does not lie prominently within the TG person but in the eyes of the person viewing them. This is the confusion Mr. Kennedy should prepare the church for. As I have seen in my fifty-one years in the Christian church and in my many years in “fix-it” counseling and healing prayer seminars, the fix or healing prescribed is only to make the person like “the rest of us” ~ their ‘prescriptions’ are made to only conform the TG person to what is generally understood and accepted.

Trans-gender-ism, by itself, has nothing to do with sin or sinfulness or psychological maladies as Mr. Kennedy would imply: I do not hate my father. I do not adore my mother. I do not envy women. I do not idolize women. I do not have a psychosis, a fixation, on women. I am not neurotic. I do not have an obsession of women nor do I have a phobia of maleness. I do not hate my body. I am not full of lust and I am not perverted nor am I in denial. I did not have birth trauma (See Frank Lake’s Clinical Theology). And, I do not have attachment issues or separation anxiety. I have understood, though, from the very beginning what gender I am. (Hmmm, this sounds like predestination!  Does DNA contain predestination?)  Beyond all this, it does take time for a trans-gendered person to understand why they are different and to come to terms with their gender.

In the article, Jerry Leach, director of Reality Resources, a ministry in Lexington, Kentucky says, “This is a psychological and emotional malady. It’s not like taking an appendix out.” Well, Mr. Leach, it’s more like having a C ~ section. C-sections are invasive and ‘unnatural’ procedures. Creation suggests the birth canal. Creation ‘pushes’ a woman into using the birth canal. Yet, there are times when this ‘un-creation like’ procedure is the only way to give birth to another human life or to save a human life. Now, would someone be diagnosed as having an emotional malady if he were to cut off his right hand because it made him sin? This is what Jesus taught. Or, would he be psychologically troubled if he became a eunuch for the Kingdom of God as the Apostle Paul writes about? This is Sola Scriptura fleshed out! Wake up!

(Yes, Mr. Kennedy, I will be taking estrogen the rest of my life. I will also be receiving communion every week for the rest of my life. I will also be confessing sin the rest of my life and I will be receiving absolution from sin the rest of my life. I will be reading my Bible the rest of my life. I will be praying the rest of my life. I will be worshipping God the rest of my life. I won’t be reading Christianity Today, though, the rest of my life.)

Why mess with God’s creation? Is it OK for a church building program to take over several acres of prime Creation and build a huge structure upon it? When a boy is circumcised or a young girl’s ears are pierced or a woman’s hair dyed or teeth whitened or air polluted or when cats and dogs are castrated or . . .? What is happening to creation? Are we meant to subdue creation for our own well-being and benefit? And from this, a TG person has the same unction to change into wholeness as does a repentant sinner who wants to become a saint.

The title of Mr. Kennedy’s article, The Transgender Moment, can be taken in two different ways, as he already knew. He is either asserting that trans-gender-ism, perhaps a fad in his eyes, perhaps not viable, will vanish just like all other fads (e.g., WWJD). In this case he is being dismissive and condescending. Or, he is asserting that the evangelical church will quickly stomp out its existence (or at least its access to ‘their’ church) with its ‘higher-ground-than-the-TG person’ rhetoric. In this case, he is promoting crucifixion. (It should be noted that Jesus had His “moment” on this earth, too.)

Here from the article  is Mr. Kennedy’s smug and schmoozing closing sound bite to the Evangelical church:
“The challenge before conservative evangelicals is persuading trans-gendered people, their families, and faith-based advocates that gender identity disorder is not beyond the reach of God’s grace, compassionate church-based care, and professional help.” (Are you saying that TG people should be accepted into ‘your’ church so that you can then put them within the crosshairs of your pseudo-psychology-‘professional’ preaching and your Biblical compassion (whatever that means)?

I am a Christian TG woman. I attend a Christian, sola-scriptura based church. I take communion every week. Because of these things and my belief in Scripture’s truth, I do not practice homosexuality nor do I promote it in any way shape or form. I fully accept a God-given (Sola Scriptura) binary gender distinction –male and female. I am female. I am not beyond God’s grace whatsoever or outside of its boundaries (even though you want to set its boundaries)! I do not accept cheap grace (as described by Dietrich Bonhoeffer). I live a quiet and peaceable life. I do not want to stand out. True Trans-gender-ism is not a Mardi-Gras parade. It is a person, a human being. And, I do not believe in adding any new Civil Rights laws unless, you incite uncivil behavior against me. I also believe that it would be malevolent journalism to insinuate that trans-gender-ism is equal with homosexuality, bi-sexuality, cross dressing or trans-sexuality. These activities are sexual adaptations (Biblical ‘deviations’) and life style choices, life choices which have become sexualized.

If someone were to ask me why I don’t go back and be what I was before my change (i.e, ‘normal’) my answer would be the same as that of the character Hazel Motes in his answer to Mrs. Flood at the end of the novel Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor. Mrs. Flood asked Mr. Motes why he doesn’t go back to preaching after he had blinded himself with lye.  Motes replied “I don’t have time.”

Like Mr. Motes I now stare in wonder at the mystery of the gospel. And though my flesh is ‘disfigured’  in the sight of the world, the ‘eyes’ of my spirit are now able to see.

I want you to see God’s grace in a new way and not through the myopic lenses of those who would hold court over me, those who view grace only as it accords with ‘normal’.

 Finally, I do not accept a binary compassion (a ‘them – us’ type of compassion) Mr. Kennedy. The journey to wholeness is difficult for everyone on that road. So, compassion all around.

****

 

Related Posts:

 A Naturalized Woman

What’s Biblical About It? Is there such a thing as Biblical Masculinity and Femininity?

*****
Chicago Tribune Article:
New Science on Gender, Hormones and the Brain
New evidence shows how hormones wire the minds of men and women to see the world differently
By Ronald Kotulak, science reporter

****

Apart from such well-known irreversible“ organizing” effects of sex hormones on the developing brain, the possibility of a direct action of genetic factors on sexual differentiation of the brain should not be ruled out .

 From the following limited research study:

MTF Female Neuron Numbers in Limbic

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