The Christian View on Transgenderism

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The Christian View on Transgenderism

Postby Bare_Truth » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:00 pm

I was reading over at The Biblical Naturist, http://thebiblicalnaturist.blogspot.com/, and there Matthew Neal (also listed as a moderator here) made a statement and a list as follows:
Matthew Neal wrote: I’m fully aware that I may incur the ire of many fellow naturists who have appreciated my other works on this blog, but I’m going to name the issues that I believe must be separated from the issue of naturism:

Sexual Immorality… in any of its forms:
-- Fornication (pre-marital sex)
-- Adultery
-- Homosexuality
Unbiblical Social Stands:
-- Same Sex Marriage
-- Transgenderism
-- Abortion rights
Any rejection of the authority of the Scriptures as God’s truth for His people

And I must say that I am right there with Matthew Neal but with some ambivalence/equivocation on one point. The point I think needs more examination is the topic of "transgenderism". I am not sure that I have yet seen it expounded to the point that I could classify it as sexual immorality.

If a child was born with one leg slightly shorter than the other and what was a 1/2 inch deficit, suddenly, when the growth spurt of puberty came along, developed into a 6 inch deficit, and the person were moderately tall, who could object to correcting this defect by:
-- Shortening the long leg
-- Or lengthening the short leg
-- Or maybe transplanting about 3 inches from the long to the short leg.
People are born with defects and customarily they are fixed or improved, when possible, and very few would attach any moral stigma to doing so.

Now before trying to extrapolate the foregoing example to something sexual. Please allow me to make a layman's definition of terms.

To Me:
A homosexual is:
-- someone who is male,
-- who wants to be male
-- and exclusively wants intimate and/or sexual relations with a male.
OR:
-- someone who is female,
-- who wants to be female
-- and exclusively wants intimate and/or sexual relations with a female

That needs to be contrasted with:
A transsexual is:
-- someone who has the genetics/genitals of one gender
-- who does not want to be that gender but rather the other gender
-- and after transitioning exclusively wants intimate and/or sexual relations with the gender that is their new opposite gender, (which happens to be the gender they formerly were).

The transsexual's argument is that they psychologically are one gender while they physiologically appear to be the other gender. What they believe does not match, is their psycological self with their physiological self, and they want it to match in much the same way the person with the mismatched legs wants their problem fixed; (albeit the proposed fix may be a bit more complex and unreliable and less than a perfect fix).

Now there is one more point that needs to be considered before trying to make the case one way or the other for the "potential transsexual". I refer here to the case of those born inter-sexed. In these cases we often know that there is a genetic or hormonal measurable anomaly.

Taking the two variant cases of Complete or Partial Androgen Insensitivity (CAIS and PAIS).
-- In the complete case a person with X and Y chromosomes, their cells simply cannot respond to the male hormone Androgen and their bodies and brains are formed almost completely on the female pattern except that they have no uterus, usually a shallow vagina, and their gonads are internal testes rather than ovaries.
-- More problematic is the case of those with the partial insensitivity. These individuals tend to have female pattern development but with a masculinized form of some parts, such as a very large clitoris that approaches the size of a penis.

Androgen insensitivity is not the only form of inter-sexuality. Historically almost all these individuals have been subjected to sexual reassignment surgery shortly after birth. Worse yet the reassignment is usually to female as the doctors rather crudely say that "it is easier to build a hole than a pole". and alas female reassignment, or any reassignment at all, may not have been the best choice.

The intersex cases are relevant because the transexuals are effectively arguing that they are also intersex but the the divide is along the psychological/physological axis which is in their view has a birth defect and they have strong argument in some children who have from the age of toddlers manifested a strong and persistent desire to be the opposite sex.

From my view point I see the transsexuals as being "arguably" closer to the intersexed than to the homosexuals, (leaving out the issue of the drag queens to not unnecessarily complicate this discussion). If a transsexual has actually fully transitioned I believe they are all the more closer to the intersexed.

Accordingly I tend to see the transsexuals as mostly the gender they have transitioned to, provided that they have had the (so called) "bottom surgery". They have tried to have fixed, what they perceive is a birth defect, to the best standards that medical science has to offer.

Now maybe my perception of this is wrong, and I am willing to be persuaded by rational reasonable argument. But perhaps you will forgive me if I reject the argument that, "God doesn't make mistakes" as rational proof that their situation is inherently a delusion. Such a curse as gender dysphoria would not have to be a mistake of God. God promised the Israelites that if they turned against his ways then:
Deut 28:18 Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body,........
And I think most here would allow that our society today has run amok far enough that we may have earned this curse for our society by not meriting God's protection from it.

WHAT I AM SEEKING HERE is an explanation why trying to cope with Gender Identity Disorder (what ever that really is) should be placed on a par with chosen actions contrary to God's clear commandments, statutes, and judgements.

I am finding that classifying a "completely transitioned transsexual" as comparable to a Homosexual is not a "slam dunk" and the comparison may be a closer fit with the intersexed (though the jury may still be out on that one).

So then, if anyone would care to offer enlightened proof or even respectfully submitted opinion. I would very much like to read what might be offered.
Proverbs 11:14, & 24:6 in the multitude of counsellors there is safety
&
15:22 in the multitude of counsellors they are established
(Do you suppose there is a reason that is in there 3 times)
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Re: The Christian View on Transgenderism

Postby Jim » Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:54 am

I'll start by saying I don't know the answers. I appreciate your well thought out presentation of the problem. Just as science has not answered why some are homosexual, it has not answered why some are transsexual.

The question I have is whether the transsexual situation is closer to the person born with different lengths of legs, or the person who believes he is a horse, not a human. In many cases sexual reassignment surgery has not been helpful to the person's sense of well-being, and some who have become Christians have repented and have transitioned back to their birth gender. I think the case is better for considering transgenderism as delusional, but I have not studied it enough to make a strong argument. In many disorders, psychotherapy is not very effective, so its probable lack of power (making a presumption here) to effect change does not rule out this conclusion.
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Re: The Christian View on Transgenderism

Postby Petros » Mon Oct 24, 2016 6:58 am

My internal jury is still sequestered while prosecution and defense thrash out - all too literally - exactly what the charges and countercharges may be.

The science does not help. Too much of what passes for science these days is concerned with one politic or another, and far too many believe the job of science is to reinforce the theory.

My inclination - based on quite insufficient evidence - is to say that certain deviations are deviations. But that reflects my builtin standpoints, and many including many assumed to be normal would say that my urge towrd nudity and my taste for grilled Spam and American cheese sandwiches are deviant.

All in all, I try not to pronounce too strongly on these questions, seeing too many sides.
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: The Christian View on Transgenderism

Postby JimShedd112 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:14 am

I certainly don't have any firm proof on this one either but the argument of a birth defect certainly seems well reasoned in terms of transgenderism. To say "God doesn't make mistakes" would mean the person born as a hermaphrodite, or perhaps transgender, would be damned (curse) for no fault of their own but as punishment for some sin by their forebears. What about other birth defects or psychological/mental development issues? Can anyone argue such defects, which punish the afflicted, are meant to punish one's forebears for their wrongs? If so, how is it fair?

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Re: The Christian View on Transgenderism

Postby Petros » Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:43 am

BUT:

from John 9: And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind
from [his] birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin,
this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: The Christian View on Transgenderism

Postby Bare_Truth » Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:42 am

JimShedd112 wrote:.......What about other birth defects or psychological/mental development issues? Can anyone argue such defects, which punish the afflicted, are meant to punish one's forebears for their wrongs? If so, how is it fair? ........
Jim, The fragment I quoted from your post pretty much lays out a question of long standing in theology. I believe it is safe to say that God tells us how to live and lets us choose. Inherent in letting us choose is that we may bring disaster on ourselves and others. An alcoholic pregnant mother may bring Foetal Alcohol Syndrome on her child and that disabled child is likely to be a burden to society in terms of crime or needing lifelong welfare support etc. It is an unavoidable consequence of God giving us free moral agency. In laying out his way of life to the Israelites Moses recorded the situation and after multiple chapters of reiterating God's instructions for structuring their society:
Speaking on behalf of God and summarizing God's deal with mankind, in Deuteronomy chapter 30, Moses wrote: 19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
It is not a curse that God sent but merely a consequence of having free moral agency and the right to choose. But in such a gift of freedom as liberty is, there is inherent risk to be avoided and the consequences of bad acts are not confined to the perpetrator of the bad acts or even just their family or their neighborhood. It requires a high level of responsible behavior in a free society to avoid the evil fallout.
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Re: The Christian View on Transgenderism

Postby Bare_Truth » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:07 am

As a brief addendum to my original post it occurred to me that there is another comparison appears to be a relevant difference between those who are homosexual and those who are transsexual:

-- In general terms, homosexuals assert that they are not "broken" and hence do not want or need to be "fixed", and therefore society needs to accept them as they are.

-- In general terms, transgenders assert that they are "broken" and that they do want or need to be "fixed", and therefore they are seeking to better fit into society as it is.

Note Please: That in saying "In general terms" I mean to imply something "broadly and not precisely applied". So please don't bother to attach any particular pejorative sense to words like "broken" and "fixed" etc. and feel free to rephrase this if you should see a better or different way to express the difference noted.
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Re: The Christian View on Transgenderism

Postby Bare_Truth » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:07 am

Jim wrote:......The question I have is whether the transsexual situation is closer to the person born with different lengths of legs, or the person who believes he is a horse, not a human. .......
A worthy comparison in one respect but in the "horse case" both the brain and body are radically different, whereas in "transgender case" the brain would only have to be subtly different, and only moderate body modification is needed to provide a credible simulacrum.

Jim wrote:........... In many cases sexual reassignment surgery has not been helpful to the person's sense of well-being, .........
Post transition remorse has been documented, however part of that may derive from inadequate precision in the transition, and it is strongly argued that in the case of gender-dysphoric children a more perfect transition is effected if it is done before puberty and hence puberty blocking drugs may be employed in order to gain time and perspective before proceeding. So on this issue, perhaps better information is needed.

Jim wrote:........and some who have become Christians have repented and have transitioned back to their birth gender.
Which in this case .means that if they had the "full surgical alteration" that they are effectivly "eunuchs", (allowing for an imprecise use of thet word "eunuch" in the case of a "F to M to F " double transition). The case of "Transition - Religious Conversion - Retransition" however begs the question of whether the second transition was because making the first transition was wrong or because their new religion "told them it was wrong". The point of this whole strip is to establish "what the Christian view is" as compared to "what the Christian view should be". Of course opinion will vary with denomination or group. The answer could be just about anywhere on the spectrum of:
-- It is a blessing / It is acceptable/ It depends / It is very ill advised / It is a curse and damnation! --

So the purpose of this strip is to gather the views of a multitude of counsellors to find the insights one needs to have on the issue. Of course if anyone can find a "thus sayeth the LORD" on this issue, that should settle it, but I am fairly certain there is not one in this case, though some may find some exegesis while others may pontificate their personal eisegesis as a mandate for others.

As I put forth in the original post, I find that the case of transgenderism/transsexualism appears a bit different from the other cases. I would like to see it examined. And, Jim, your comments in your post are cogent and on topic. I would like to see more discussion. And for those who are adamant that; "Choosing "Transgender Transition" is "beyond the pale", please do not be reticent, your answer may be the "right" one. Please make your case.
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Re: The Christian View on Transgenderism

Postby Maverick » Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:48 pm

Petros wrote:The science does not help. Too much of what passes for science these days is concerned with one politic or another, and far too many believe the job of science is to reinforce the theory.


Ain't that the truth!

I will refer to an expert, Dr. Paul R. McHugh, who has been deep into the issue since the 1970s: https://www.firstthings.com/article/2004/11/surgical-sex

Note that this article is dated November 2004.

Here is a more current report: http://www.dailywire.com/news/6300/former-johns-hopkins-chief-psychiatry-transgender-amanda-prestigiacomo#
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Re: The Christian View on Transgenderism

Postby jochanaan » Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:18 pm

One of my friends here in Denver is transgender. He was born female, but felt he should be male as early as 4 years old. He has had hormonal treatments but not the "final" operation, and appears masculine except for his voice, which has masculine inflections but the pitch of a woman. However, he has confessed to me that he was sexually assaulted at age four--with a screwdriver! When he was still manifesting as female, s/he was very much a "butch" lesbian. My sense is that he is a true transgender, and would be very unhappy if he were forced to manifest as a woman. -- He was the one who gave me a tallit (Jewish headscarf) with Messianic-blue tassels--a great gift! :D

I wonder if in many cases, what makes trans folk unhappy is not so much a biological sense of being "born into the wrong body" (although such cases certainly exist) as an unhappiness with the strict gender roles society often forces on us. I, for example, am male and heterosexual, and happy to be so, yet I too do not fit what many expect a man to be: I never was into "rough horseplay" and was happy (for a few years) to play with my sisters' dolls and clothes. If I had had different, more restrictive parents, I might well have felt uncomfortable being male given my tendencies, and even thought about becoming trans; even as I am, I enjoy my "feminine" attributes as much as my more masculine ones.

So it is good that we are trying to find a Biblical, compassionate way to deal with the trans phenomenon.
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Re: The Christian View on Transgenderism

Postby Bare_Truth » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:33 pm

Maverick
The articles you cited are quite interesting. I read both even though they have considerable overlap. It would be interesting to compare the assertions in that with data on the CAIS and PAIS cases. It is my understanding that the CAIS individuals (and they are all 100% XY genetically) never self identify as anything but Female. However the notion is that at no time in their life was androgen ever able to have any effect and given that it is reported that Both Men and Women have some androgen and some estrogen then when as in CAIS none of the body's cells can react to androgen the small amount of estrogen feminizes the body at all stages of foetal and childhood development. Without genetic testing these persons often grow up as women unaware that they are anything but female until they find that they are unable to concieve and seek medical help to determine why. The "Medical wisdom of the day" was to simply inform them that their body had failed to properly develop a uterus and not mention that they had a Y chromosome so as not to cause the patient undue distress. It has been asserted that CAIS persons often grow up as the epitome of female body form and feminine attributes of personality seeing as how there is none of the minor effect of androgen that occurs in normal women. So then CAIS would be a case where the Genetic Makeup of the individual is totally masked by the hormonal environment for most of the body and psychological development. Before modern medicine, they would simply have been regarded as women plagued by infertility and no menses and often an undersized vagina. That of course can be argued that they really are not part of the transgender social concept. I have read somewhere that some of the "intersexed" have felt offended by the LBGT folks including the intersexed as in LBGTQI as they feel no affinity to those other confused sexual orientations and the intersexed can trace their condition to explicit and irrefutable physical causes.

The conundrum comes into the transgender issue in the matter of numerous cases in which very young children assert that they are the opposite sex to what their genetilia actually is. That situation would imply that there is some inherent physical cause of the problem and the articles you cited fail to address that question but rather appear to deal with adult cases only.
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Re: The Christian View on Transgenderism

Postby New_Adventurer » Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:56 pm

Several years ago one of my coworkers decided to change from Ken to Karen. The boss called a department meeting and read a letter from the HR department, he introduced the letter with a lot of stammering and self consciousness. After hearing it my reaction was, So-What-Big-Deal. If Ken wants to become Karen, let him. When she reappeared two weeks later she had a slightly different appearance, but not much. After a year she had a noticeable female look, but not exaggerated. Still a coworker and still a very good engineer. Then I retired.

I always felt like I should have suggested that she should wear clothes more appropriate to her new gender. Softer and maybe something other than black. A new hair style, a pink pastel skirt, and white blouse would have done wonders for her.
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Re: The Christian View on Transgenderism

Postby nudie66 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:02 pm

All I have to say is, we can mutilate our bodies, but we can't change our DNA. A guy is a guy, no matter what he's done to himself.

XX = female. XY = male.
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Re: The Christian View on Transgenderism

Postby Petros » Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:20 pm

In re K[ar]en: I have never come close to having the experience. I can understand your reaction. There have been many many cases where I basically operate not so much on "your funeral" as on "each must follow his own path" and "what is that to thee?".

Then there are the other cases where I have REALLY wanted to suggest that a person - close or not - do this or avoid that. In a very few I have spoken.

I have as of today no idea at all how I would react if one of those I think of as my responsibility - almighty few of them really are - made a declaration of transitivity. I do know of a case where I howled at the moon because I could not have known and spoken in time - who knows if it would have changed anything if I had.

I once told Gail - after the fact, but in time to save my life - "It is important to be VERY sure before doing something irreversible." Whatever the pros and cons and individual outcomes, I think that applies.
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Re: The Christian View on Transgenderism

Postby Bare_Truth » Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:47 pm

nudie66 wrote:All I have to say is, we can mutilate our bodies, but we can't change our DNA. A guy is a guy, no matter what he's done to himself.

XX = female. XY = male.


To which I suggest you consider this photo.
Orchids01_CAIS-s.JPG
The description supplied with the image states: Women with AIS and related DSD conditions who want AIS to be represented by real, proud people instead of stigmatizing pictures where the face has been removed.

Each member of this group has done nothing to achieve this form other than grow up, yet every one of them is genetically XY It is a photo of a group that all have CAIS, Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome. And I would say that they make a very feminine lot if ever there was one.


You may read the details about them at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Androgen_insensitivity_syndrome

I think your gender determination formula needs at least a short addendum.
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