Christian College Asks Transgender Theology Professor to Leave School

Azusa Pacific University, a Christian school in California, is trying to push a transgendered theology professor out of the school… but they’ll have to find an awkward Jesus-based way to do it now that there’s some media attention on the matter.

Sarah Pulliam Bailey of Religion News Service tells the professor’s story:

Professor Heath Adam Ackley (via Facebook)

Heather Clements taught theology at the school for 15 years, but this past year, he has begun referring to himself as H. Adam Ackley.

Ackley, who is in his third year of a five-year contract, told RNS that he and APU have agreed to part ways as the university said it will continue to pay him through the academic year. But, he said, the university wants other professors to take over his classes. He also said that his insurance was denied when he sought hormone treatment and “top surgery” for his chest area.

Clements has opened up his Facebook page and created a YouTube channel in response to the media attention but wants everyone to know that the reason has nothing to do with getting attention:

“I do NOT desire to promote MYSELF, only the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

This is a messy situation for the school. No one would be surprised if Christian officials kicked out a professor for being in a gay or lesbian relationship — but for being transgender?

Which Bible verse condemns a gender transition?

Hell, which university rule condemns a gender transition?

To his knowledge, Ackley said there is nothing in the university’s policies about transgender people, just that “Humans were created as gendered beings.”

“People assumed that I’ve done something some sex act,” he said. “I’m not violating any sexual conduct and it’s embarrassing that it’s implied. I live a very chaste life.”

The school is free to do as it pleases, but let’s face it: no one would be surprised to see the Christian officials acting exactly how we all think they’ll act. The shocking thing would be if they accepted Ackley as he is without passing judgment on something they clearly know little about and helped him with his transition.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • chrisalgoo

    Why are there no comments on this? Gosh, the T population can’t catch a break.

    • Guest

      Frankly, I find myself boggled by the level of doublethink LGBTpeople in this kind of situation. I sympathize with his desire of acceptance, and to live the life he wants live, but at the same time, his imaginary friend really hates “his kind of people”, and his peers will demonize him.

  • GodlessPoutine

    It’s a shame really. They are throwing out the very people who could do much good to educate Christians and change their minds about things like this. It’s people like this that Christianity needs to help drag them kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

    • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw/ m6wg4bxw

      Yeah, people who believe they have learned ultimate, unchanging, capitalized truth, will consider a need for an inherently corrupt person to educate them and change their minds. That’s fucking hilarious!

      by “inherently corrupt person,” I was referring to the sinful nature of humans; not anyone in the LGBTNSFWBBQWKRP community.

      EDIT: added foot note

      • more compost

        “an inherently corrupt person”?

        Are you talking about yourself?

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          No, pretty sure Ze’s echoing the probable thoughts of the school admins.

          People who think they know what God wants don’t think they have anything to learn from people they think God declared ‘inherently corrupt’.

          • more compost

            So you are saying that Poe’s Law bit me again?

            If so, apologies to m6wg4bxw.

          • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw/ m6wg4bxw

            You got it.

        • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw/ m6wg4bxw

          No, I was referring to the sinful nature of humans.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Poe you rat bastard.

        • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw/ m6wg4bxw

          No, nothing Poetic about it. I was being sincere. The “rat bastard” part, I accept.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Oh no, I meant that your post was falling prey to Poe’s Law even though you were just using mild sarcasm to make a sincere point, and not actually pretending to be a fundy. Notice all the downvotes. Those are people who assumed you were insulting LGBT people.

            • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw/ m6wg4bxw

              Oops! If I had checked to see who up-voted that post prior to responding, I would have seen your name and known you understood.

  • Tainda

    As I’ve said before, it has nothing to do with what’s in their bible, it’s all about something that is different from them. They can justify their hate for anything from that idiotic book.

  • eric

    let’s face it: no one would be surprised to see the Christian officials acting exactly how we all think they’ll act.

    Someone (can’t remember who) said that the combination of religion and politics demeans religion and corrupts politics. This is an example; fundamentalist christianity has been in bed with political conservativism for so long, that they no longer recognize where their religion ends and political conservative ideas begin.

  • Iron Hat

    I don’t think they “believe” in transgender. To them, she is born female so she is just a gay woman pretending to be a man. They really, REALLY, can’t see it any other way. It’s like a mental block like the one that takes care of all the inconsistencies of there bible and church.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Someone should explain to them that “transgender” doesn’t even correlate strongly to “homosexual” (with regards to the person’s original genitalia) and watch their brains catch fire.

      • Jennifer

        They are unable to comprehend the difference between gender identity and sexuality, because their guide book doesn’t really speak of it.

    • ZeldasCrown

      Honestly, they really don’t get any aspect of not being heterosexual or not feeling like you’re the “right” gender outwardly that you feel on the inside (and this is a generic “you”, not you as in Iron Hat). I’ve frequently heard people confusing transgender and gay. “A gay man is just a man who wants to be a woman”, etc. Which doesn’t make sense at all to me, because if one considers of a male gay couple, does that mean they want to be lesbians? Or would they change genders and then break up (since they’d still be attracted to men)? Or would they then, being lesbians, both want to be men and change back? The logic confounds me. There just seems to be this total lack of understanding that gender identity and sexual orientation are two completely separate things.

      • VCP

        Sounds like Robert Heinlein writing (in the ’60′s!) in either ‘Time Enough for Love’ or ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ (maybe both), where, he explained, there were six genders. IIRC

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          *blinks* I need to read more Heinlein, methinks.

        • ShoeUnited

          Stranger in a Strange Land. Time Enough for Love doesn’t directly tackle gender roles. By that point he just shits all over them for fun because he already had money.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            True Libertarian.

    • The Other Weirdo

      They are atransgendeist?

    • Allen D

      Which is ironic since you’re misgendering him in a really disgusting way right now.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    Well, they did kick out several board members for breaking Leviticus 19:19 by wearing ties that were a silk/cotton blend. Oh, wait that didn’t happen.

    • zarathustra

      Oh, my ghod…. I had Lobster for lunch last Friday…. Steamed, not boiled… It’s a ‘Shell Fish’ and a scavenger…. according to Leviticus…………….. I’m Fucked!!!!

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Lev 19:38 “Thou shalt not be icky”

    • Xuuths

      Rich’s Revelations? (your ‘scripture’ made me laugh!)

    • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw/ m6wg4bxw

      God damn it. I’ll be doing the Ickey Shuffle for weeks because of this.

    • Kevin_Of_Bangor

      …..

    • Allen D

      Was that implying transgender and intersex people are disgusting, or..

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        It was a comment about people who quote scripture to condemn other people.

  • baal

    This looks like a facial violation of law. ‘Sex’ is a protected class for discrimination cases.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Pretty sure this is how they see it…

  • GabyYYZ

    I have this discussion with my gay friends who are religious…why the hell would you want to be part of an institution (church or other religious organization) that at best tolerates you as 2nd class citizens and at worst ostracizes and condemns you at the same level as pedophiles? (granted that some are part of very gay-friendly churches, but that means they’re basically ignoring the parts of the bible that look down on them)

    • islandbrewer

      “My religion makes me feel horrible about myself and I want to die. Therefore, I must be doing it wrong, and I have to dive deeper into my religion.”

      I know I’m oversimplifying and ignoring a lot of what’s going on, but I still find it unfathomable.

      • Jennifer

        islandbrewer, I will testify to the accuracy of your description at least in my own case, and some that I have knowledge of. It’s when you get to the “I want to die” point that how you react is critical. You can reason it out and conclude that religion is BS, or kill yourself. I was able to accomplish the first, but I have known too many who have thought the second as the only option.

  • Debbi

    Here is a story of one thing that happened to me being trans and brought up in an extremely harsh religious environment. Like Heath I self harmed, can you believe what it takes to do that? My self destructive behavior started around 7 or so.
    When I was 18 I had a dream. In the dream I had just completed long preparation to receive an 8th sacrament, the sacrament of Early Release. Wearing a simple white robe I was standing on the altar steps while the priest held a long blade pointing at my tummy. The catechism was he was not ending my life but officiating it, I was to impale myself while he passively held the instrument so I was admitting the wrongness of my life and offering it to God. The act was completed and I looked down at the scene from on high, my one and only ‘out of body’ experience it seemed so real.
    To this day I wish that dream was true.

  • A3Kr0n

    He worked “in the closet” for a Christian school for 15 years, and now he’s mad when he outs himself and they fire him.
    That makes sense….

    • MyScienceCanBeatUpYourGod

      They have no problem with women working for them, they have no problem with men working for them, but if you used to be one and are the other now, you’re fired.

      That makes sense…

  • Erin W

    While the Bible doesn’t explicitly talk about trans folks, the justification I got from a former friend when I came out was roughly: god created men and women, you are what you were born as because god doesn’t make mistakes, and the bit in Leviticus about how crossdressing is an abomination, QED.

    • Sami

      “God don’t make mistakes” has to be one of the stupidest platitudes out there. The entire reason humans invented medicine was to fix God’s mistakes. Unless they’re one of those nuts who prays instead of seeing a doctor for your illnesses than they’re hypocrite if they lecture anyone else about ‘defying god’.
      And I also agree with the people pointing out that their really isn’t anything in the bible to justify their bigotry. Not even like with homosexuality where they can twist a few verses to support them, for example the classic “This verse mentions gay sex happening at an orgy in honor of pagan gods, so CLEARLY that means God opposes any gay relationship”, but nothing. Zip. I think theirs a passage condemning crossdressing, but again they’re hypocrites if they use that to bash trans people while ignoring all those women wearing pants.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, TOWAN

        i wear long skirts to work. i don’t like sitting in my cubicle in most pants, they feel binding and i sit for 8hrs a day.

        when i had been there for like, a month or so, one of my coworkers asked me, shyly but genuinely curious. “i notice you always wear long, flowing skirts. are you like, a pentacostal or something like that?”

        i barely held in the laughter. i was gentle. “no, dear. i just prefer skirts.” snicker.

        • allein

          Heh, and I wear jeans all the time because my office is usually cold.

    • Bitter Lizard

      God doesn’t make mistakes.

      Boy, this must be a tough one for Christians to grasp. Do I accept homosexuals but hate transpeople because God doesn’t make mistakes, or hate homosexuals and accept transpeople because God sometimes does? Applying reason to faith interferes with the religious need to hate as many people for stupid reasons as possible. No wonder the founder of Protestantism wanted to pluck out its eye.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    It seems that the university administrators cannot be happy unless life is simple, easy to understand, neat and clean, without ambiguities, without curve balls, or changes in plans, or complicating surprises.

    In other words, they’re children.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Please don’t insult children like that.

    • onamission5

      I don’t know, Richard, my experience is that kids deal with complexity and unfamiliarity by far and away more gracefully than religious fundamentalists. They may balk a bit or question but given time and treatment like actual human beings, kids tend to be able to adapt readily. The same can hardly be said for theocrats.

      • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

        Both you and Rich Wilson have good points. Comparing them to children is neither fair nor accurate. But the administrators are certainly not behaving the way we would hope and expect adults to behave. I guess I’ll just have to describe their behaviors and leave the characterizing noun out of it.

      • Anna

        There’s a nice documentary about three little girls dealing with their aunt’s transition. No surprise, the youngest one is blissfully free of any gender hang-ups whatsoever.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKhA8whq46I

  • eric

    The real irony is he’s behaving exactly the way the conservative church wants gay people to behave – he’s being chaste.
    LGBT folk can’t catch a break with these people. They want to fire you for doing horizontal mambo with the ‘wrong’ person, so you stop doing the horizontal mambo altogether…and they want to fire you anyway.

  • SJH

    I don’t think there is strictly a Biblical argument against transgender persons. I think it is an argument based on reason that if a person is composed of both body and soul and a person is born as a woman then the soul is also that of a woman and therefor changing your physical gender does not change your metaphysical gender. Their personhood being both body and soul is still a woman. So if a person changes their sexual organs, that does not mean they actually change their gender since your gender is defined by more than your physical reality. Given this, I think that you can agree that, assuming we have a soul, it could potentially be unhealthy to make such a change.
    Of course, you could also make the argument that our souls are genderless similar to God himself. If that were true, and assuming that there is nothing psychologically or sociologically unhealthy going on, then I would see nothing wrong with being transgendered since our gender would be purely defined by the physical.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      I wonder how they would react to the notion that God makes people with ‘defects’ such as deaf or blind. And that there is nothing wrong with using technology to fix those ‘defects’. So if God can make someone deaf or blind, why can’t God make someone with the ‘wrong’ gendered body to match their soul?

      • SJH

        That does not seem analogous to me. It is one thing to say that a person is born with dysfunctional organs such as ears or eyes but it is another to say that the wrong organs are in place. It might be more analogous to say that a person was born with with ears where their eyes are supposed to be such as would be the case with sexual organs in a person that believes they are transgendered. Even that would not be the best analogy because we are talking about replacing a persons organs with something that is not in their nature, ie. a male receiving female sexual organs.
        Also, I don’t think that God necessarily gets the credit for genetics. Just because a person is born deaf does not necessarily mean that God made them that way. Perhaps I am wrong but I would think that a person is born the way they are for scientific reasons unless there is divine intervention or something. But, generally God allows nature to take its course.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          It seems like if God didn’t intervene, then God should be fine with humans intervening.

          The only way I can view this, trying to put on theist’s shoes, is that being transgender, like being homosexual, is totally a choice. Which obviously goes counter to the overwhelming evidence.

          • SJH

            God does allow us to intervene. He would prefer if we did so with compassion, temperance, humility, fortitude, justice, etc… The question would be is the action of changing one’s sexual organs a reflection of these virtues or not? If not then one’s sex should probably remain as is.

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              Then from everything I’ve heard from trans people, “compassion, temperance, humility, fortitude, justice-” would require me to accept another human being for who they are. If someone with an X and Y chromosome tells me they are to the very core of their being a “woman” and have always known this, then who am I to say I know better?

              My argument would be that this school did not act with compassion, temperance or justice.

              • SJH

                Who are they? Are they a man that is stuck in a woman’s body? If so, then yes accept them as who they are, a man stuck in a woman’s body. Love them for who they are not who you think they should be a woman in a woman’s body. Who is being intolerant. I love the person for who they are and will love them with compassion. I will be there for them as through their struggles and suffering. It seems that the less compassionate thing is to get them “fixed” and then not have to deal with it anymore.

                Perhaps they did not act in the proper manner. They should have not acted in a way that would alienate anyone. At the same time, tolerance does not equal acceptance. You can tolerate someone who is acting a certain way but you do not have to agree with the behavior. The school should have responded in a way that communicates love but also communicates what they view as truth.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  It seems that the less compassionate thing is to get them “fixed” and then not have to deal with it anymore.

                  But the “fix” isn’t for you. It’s not so you don’t have to deal with it anymore, it’s so that they get the body parts they should have had in the first place.

                  In fact, it seems like for most observers, the fix is the uncomfortable part. The trans person keeping the incorrect body parts is, for us observers “not dealing with it”.

                  Compassion, to me, is accepting them for who they are- which means accepting from them that they have the wrong body parts and wish the correct body parts.

                  Denying them the right to fix their body parts seems extremely non compassionate to me.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      So if a person changes their sexual organs, that does not mean they actually change their gender

      (and, from a post down)

      but it is another to say that the wrong organs are in place

      What isn’t commonly understood about the transgendered is that their neurology is different from a “typical” person with their genitalia. They have feelings more similar to those with the opposite set of sexual features. This isn’t a matter of sexual orientation*, mind you. Even children can feel “male” or “female”, and feel wrong in their body** if those feelings don’t match up with the physiology, without sexual awareness. A person will have masculine or feminine feelings (or both!), and they don’t always align with the genitals.

      Consider which is more important to your self-identity: your thoughts and feelings, or your genitals? If it’s the former, then in regards to your first quote above, a physical gender transition brings them closer to their correct gender. If it’s the former, then in regards to your second quote, the wrong organs are most definitely in place.

      *Orientation being different from identity. Many transgendered people are “straight”, relative to their physical birth circumstances. I have no idea if there are statistics on that, though.

      **Speaking as someone who was aware of the dissonance as a preschooler and is permanently harmed from having been forced to hide it.

      • SJH

        Please identify male vs. female feelings. I’ve never heard that before. Are you saying that there are particular feelings that are identified as male vs. female? If so who is it that defines these?

    • Anna

      This is interesting considering (IIRC) you’re a fundamentalist Catholic. The Catholic church comes down quite hard against transgender people, basically calling them mentally unstable and saying they’re not allowed to marry or join the clergy.

      http://www.religioustolerance.org/transsexu15.htm

      I’m curious if there’s any position on intersex people, though. What about people who aren’t genetically or chromosomally either male or female? Are they also not allowed to marry or become priests or nuns? What would the Catholic church think, for example, of a genderqueer person? They seem very fixated on biological sex as representative of a mysterious “essence,” so what of people who really don’t fit the gender binary?

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      You’re conflating sex and gender.

      Sex is determined by genitalia (and there are people who are intersex or have ambiguous genitals).

      Gender, particularly gender identity, is a function of the brain.

      • SJH

        Please explain this in regard to being a function of the brain. It is my opinion that our gender is determined by our mind, body and spirit. You seem to be claiming that the body is irrelevant. I assume you don’t believe in a spirit. That leaves the brain. Are you saying that the brain is the only determining factor? How do you determine the person’s gender? Do you base it on their opinion? What if they are wrong? Do we care if they are wrong? Can we develop some kind of test to determine a person’s true gender despite their physical attributes? That way we don’t have to rely on a persons personal experience. Or does it not matter? Do we let people arbitrarily pick what they want to be at any particular time (assuming they have the money to make such a change).

        • SJH

          Also, If sex and gender are completely separate things then why should it matter if I think like a man but have female body parts? Why not just think like a man but live with female parts? Why would you care what your body parts were if gender and sex were not intertwined?

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            Also, If sex and gender are completely separate things

            They aren’t necessarily born in concert. That is, people who know themselves to be women are sometimes born with male body parts. Sometimes people who know themselves to be men are born with female body parts.

            They would like to have the body parts that match their gender, just as I’m sure you have no desire to switch your body parts.

            • SJH

              What defines a gender. how do you “feel” like a man. I am a man and don’t know what that feels like. I just am. I admit that I behave in accordance with what is generally thought to be consistent with male behavior. Are you saying that there is a line to be drawn between men and women; if you do or feel these particular things or think these types of thoughts then you are male and if you do/feel/think the other way then you are a woman?
              Is it possible that there is simply a gradient of behavior/feeling/thoughts and we each are unique individuals belonging to a complex species? I would think that some men behave in a way generally thought to be feminine and some women behave in a way generally thought to be masculine but a woman is still a woman and a man is still a man. They are not lost in a body not of their own and need to be fixed. They are beautiful creations as they are, that is masculine females and feminine males.

              • Anna

                What defines a gender. how do you “feel” like a man. I am a man and don’t know what that feels like. I just am.

                That’s the thing. The reason you can’t understand is because you’re not transgender. There’s no conflict between your internal sense of self and your external appearance. You’re a man, and that makes sense to you. You don’t not feel like a man. Transgender people have the opposite feeling.

                I’m not transgender either, so I’m not sure anyone can fully understand gender dysphoria unless they’ve lived it. There’s no conflict between my body and the way other people perceive me. Even if I’m not sure what being a woman really “feels” like, I know I don’t have any kind of discord about it.

                • SJH

                  But if the world is purely material then shouldn’t we be able to understand it without actually living it. Can science answer that? It sounds like we are expected to take it on the word of a “transgendered” person that they are actually transgendered. What if they are wrong? Do we just have faith that they are? I am very skeptical. Perhaps it is because I have not experienced it as you say but the concept does not compute in my feeble mind. Please elaborate.

                  My intuition tells me that being female or male is not a feeling but a being. I either am or am not. Feelings have nothing to do with it. But that is an opinion and speculation at this point since you are correct and have not experienced it. That does not however resolve my skepticism. I am not going to agree, just to agree. I want to understand it before I make a conclusion.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  It sounds like we are expected to take it on the word of a “transgendered” person that they are actually transgendered. What if they are wrong? Do we just have faith that they are?

                  No. Without any evidence to the contrary, we trust that they’re telling the truth. Could they be wrong? Sure, anyone can be wrong. But there are enough people who are this way that I think it’s only reasonable to conclude that there are people born with body parts that don’t match their “soul’s identity”.

                  The alternative is that a significant number of people report having the wrong body parts, and are desperate to endure expensive surgery, life long hormone supplements, and the persecution of a public that can’t understand, and thinks they must be wrong.

                  I want to understand it before I make a conclusion.

                  Maybe faith is appropriate after all. I’m not sure it’s the kind of thing one can ‘understand’. I certainly don’t really understand what it’s like. I can’t. I was born the way I am. I just have to trust that as much as I know who I am, other people know who they are, and I try to not presuppose my self-knowledge onto them.

                • Anna

                  But there are enough people who are this way that I think it’s only reasonable to conclude that there are people born with body parts that don’t match their “soul’s identity”.

                  Plus, transgender people have been found in every culture around the world, going back to ancient times. There have always been people who identified as and wished to live as the other sex, which seems to me a reasonable indication that (just like homosexuality) gender variance naturally occurs within the population.

                  Western culture has a very strict gender binary. IMO, other cultures have dealt with transgender people in much better ways. Ironically, ancient Israel recognized six different genders!

                • SJH

                  Please read my response to Anna, above. I was kinda responding to both of you.

                • Anna

                  Sorry, what? What does materialism have to do with anything? Another person’s brain is their brain. It’s not my brain. I can’t think their thoughts or feel their feelings. How would I be able to understand how it feels to be that person unless I was able to live their experience?

                  It sounds like we are expected to take it on the word of a “transgendered” person that they are actually transgendered.

                  Yes, of course. It’s a self-determination. No one else knows what that person thinks or how that person feels. It’s like being gay. Of course, your religion doesn’t believe people are actually gay either, so perhaps that’s the wrong example to use.

                  What if they are wrong? Do we just have faith that they are? I am very skeptical.

                  How nice that you have the luxury of being skeptical. Frankly, it’s not your business in the first place. It’s not your body, not your brain, and not your life. Religious believers have a habit of not accepting others as they are. They want to change them. They want to push what they think their god wants on those people, and they like to try to use society and the law to help them do it.

                • SJH

                  This is interesting. It sounds like it may be analogous to a dispute between atheists and Christians regarding God’s existence. Christians say that they experience a “feeling” or something of the sort that cannot be proven externally and they tell atheists that they should trust them that this experience is not an imaginary one. Atheists respond saying that Christians should prove it and if they cannot then it is imaginary.

                  You are saying that the transgendered person is experiencing some particular “feeling” that cannot be proven externally and I should trust that they are experiencing it. I am am saying that there is no such “feeling” and that they are imagining it.

                  How do we reconcile these things?

                  In the end maybe it is none of our business. Or perhaps it is because we both care about people and want what is best for everyone. That is why you standing up for transgendered people is noble even if we disagree. It is why it is also noble for me to stand up for the transgendered person by helping them live as they truly are which are feminine males and masculine females. (I disagree with even using those labels but it is the best I can do for now) There is nothing wrong with being either one of those. To create a society where they feel like they have to conform to that society’s stereotype of male and female is not healthy for individuals nor the society itself.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  When a Christian tells me they know God exists because they feel him, I don’t think they’re lying. And I think they have every right to live that so long as it doesn’t negatively impact my life. And by ‘impact’ don’t mean just seeing it. I don’t expect my life to be devoid of religion. You can wear your cross, just don’t tell me to wear one, figuratively speaking.

                  Where the two issues diverge for me is that it’s not just Christians who know God exists because of something they feel deep inside. Muslims, Mormons (ignoring the is/isn’t Christian semantics) Hindus and Pagans have all told me the exact same thing not just as evidence for a supernatural, but as proof that their particular deity(ies) is/are the ‘correct’ one/ones.

                  If I were a believer, I would hope God does a better job of communicating to people who/what/how they should be, and that my intervention because I think I know God better than they do, is foolhardy.

              • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                I hesitate to try to answer, since I have body parts that match who I feel I am.

                You say you don’t know what it feels like, you just are a man. A trans person who is XX would say pretty much the same thing. “I just am a man”. It’s not about how they act, it’s about what they know deep down they are.

    • allein

      Why assume that because the body appears to be one gender, the soul must necessarily be the same? If I believed in the soul, I would think the more likely explanation in the case of transgendered people is that the soul is male and the body was mistakenly made female (or vice versa), and therein lies the difficulty for the person who feels they were born in the “wrong” body…it’s because they were. By seeking hormone therapy and/or surgery, they are looking to make their body match their soul. From a “soul” perspective, it seems like a much simpler answer.

      • SJH

        And that would be a legitimate argument though my guess would be that the gender of the soul would match the gender of the person. If there was a mix up then that obviously complicates things. That is why we are called to be compassionate because there is not a one size fits all rule. We can only do our best with what we have and try to create guidelines in order to provide order. When confronted with these guidelines, a person should ask themselves; am I serving others and enhancing the life of others by my decision or is it self-serving? Is my decision to serve myself elevating the world or would my suffering do more to elevate the world? If my suffering would do more to elevate the world then should I sacrifice my own desires in order to serve?

        On top of all that, how would we even begin to be able to answer these questions with any accuracy?

  • Lora Gorton

    Here is a video of Adam Ackley and what he believes. Not all of us
    Christians are airheads or hate people that are different then us like
    you do. Maybe if you would read the bible in it’s entirely and stop
    taking things out of context you would understand it a bit better.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Y_Hns6IYT4

    I believe that hate
    and making fun of others never does anyone any good. Only forgiveness.
    You can keep hating or making fun of Christians and Christ all you want
    but it will never change the world or you.

    • Anna

      Why are you attacking us? Your fellow Christians are the ones who fired Ackley. Hemant and the vast majority of the commenters are condemning the discriminatory actions of the college. If we hated Christians or people who are different, why would we take his side?

      • Bitter Lizard

        Theists will bitch and moan about being lumped with the “bad ones”, but as soon as atheists start criticizing any theists for anything it becomes pretty clear whose side they’re on.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X