Why You’re Completely Unable To Judge Caitlyn Jenner (Or Anyone Else)

Why You’re Completely Unable To Judge Caitlyn Jenner (Or Anyone Else) June 2, 2015

556cd6644ae56e586e4588d8_caitlyn-jenner-bruce-jenner-july-2015-vfYesterday the internet exploded as Caitlyn Jenner was introduced to the world. While so much of what I saw online was a kind and loving reception for her, much of it was not. From the Christian community, there didn’t seem to be any shortage of condemnation, calls for her to repent, and a tendency to push back on any Christian who spoke of her without being judgmental.

Unfortunately, religious judgmentalism is the exact opposite of how we are called to respond to someone like Caitlyn– we are called to love, and love is not simultaneously possible while we are judging someone. Like patting your stomach while rubbing your head, loving while judging can’t be done well– and if attempted, it looks awkward.

In Christianity we often have an addiction to the sin of religious judgmentalism. However, I think if we were honest with ourselves, when we attempt to judge someone we often do a pretty horrible job at it.

Our complete inability to judge someone properly stems from the fact that we never have all the information we would need to make a righteous judgement– God is the only one in the entire universe with access to the complete set of facts needed to judge correctly. This reality that we are lacking a complete set of facts needed to make a judgement about someone is precisely why our default posture is to be a posture of love instead of judgement. One doesn’t need all the facts to love, but one does need all the facts in order to judge righteously. 

Jesus once told the Pharisees that they needed to “stop judging based on a person’s appearance” but instead to “judge righteously” (John 7:24). The irony of Jesus’s statement here is that such a judgement is impossible without the full knowledge of God. (It is also ironic that Christians are judging Caitlyn on the basis of her new appearance and new name.) This is precisely why Jesus warned people that whatever standard they judge others by is exactly what will ultimately be used against them– the way we judge is not the way God judges, and he warns that it will backfire on us in the end. Instead of judgement, Jesus invites us to be known by how loving we are to everyone we cross paths with– including our enemies.

But, want to attempt to judge Caitlyn righteously anyway? Go for it– but here are all the things you’ll need to have complete knowledge of in order to make a righteous judgement:

First, you’d need to know with the full knowledge of God that Caitlyn is sinning by being transgender.

Since the Bible doesn’t cover the issue of being transgender– and even Pat Robertson agrees that it is not a sin issue, you’d have to make other arguments that are less than cut and dried. And no, you can’t quote a verse about divorce and act like it’s talking about being transgender– it’s not. Gender identity is an issue that does not have any 1:1 mentions in scripture.

Additionally (if you could prove the first point, which you can’t), you’d need to know with absolute certainty that Caitlyn simply chose to be transgender of her own free will, as an act of rebellion against God. 

Essentially, if being transgender is a sin, and you were to judge an individual’s culpability in that sin, you would need to have full knowledge of why they are transgender, and would need to be able to prove that they simply chose it. If there were even the slightest mitigating factors that influenced the issue of why, one would not be able to righteously pronounce her culpable.

If being transgender were a biological anomaly, a medical condition, a product of external environmental forces not under the control of the individual, or a host of other scenarios, you would not be able to judge a transgender individual guilty of sinning, as this would demonstrate being transgender chose them, instead of them choosing it. You would also need to know what ability the individual had to resist sinning– was it a complete ability to resist? Partial ability? No ability? Which was it?

Essentially, you would need to be able to answer the question, “Why is Caitlyn transgender?” and would need to be able to answer, with the perfect knowledge of God, that she is simply transgender because she’s choosing to rebel against God.

But you know what? You don’t have all of that information– only God does.

Only God knows why Caitlyn is transgender, and therefore, only God can judge (a) if she’s sinning or not, and (b) if she has any level of culpability in it.

In the end, it’s not your job to figure it out– and you never will. Not just for Caitlyn, but for anyone who is transgender.

You’ll never know the full story, and you have to know it in order to judge properly.

Often, we don’t even know the full story about our own lives and why we are the way we are, let alone someone else’s life.

Only God knows– and therefore, only God can judge.

It’s not your job to try to judge Caitlyn Jenner– and if you do, you’ll end up being guilty yourself of judging with less than a perfect judgement, because you don’t know all the information you need to know in order to “judge righteously.”

Therefore, as far as the Christian is concerned, our only job is to love Caitlyn Jenner– we can leave any potential judgements up for God.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Carolyn Brown

    I only wish more people felt this way, Pastor. Judging without all the facts is insanity at best, cruel sadism at worst. I try very hard not to judge anybody, even murderers, because I simply don’t know enough. To paraphrase Christ, love, don’t judge.

  • Guy Norred

    YES!

    And almost buried down in there is that beautiful little pearl “Often, we don’t even know the full story about our own lives and why we are the way we are, let alone someone else’s life.”

  • otrotierra

    Thank you Benjamin. Jesus and the Greatest Commandment sure are unpopular!

  • Nixon is Lord

    Who cares? Is that too judgmental? Or “I have better things to do with my time than listen to someone invisible/inaudible-no church for me, thanks!”

  • jc250

    Judgement? NO! Discernment? YES!

  • louismoreaugottschalk

    allrightythen I hear ya! By any & all means get on w yer life! BTW how did you come to be posting on a progressive christian’s blog? Is there anything I can do for you? I’d like you to consider me a friend.

  • Kyle

    The problem with this article is that it falls upon its own premises. No one can judge (which apparently means casting any kind of outspoken opinion concerning any sin) unless one has perfect, exhaustive knowledge of the situation in which and the person by whom the sin was committed. But the problem with that is that the author himself is judging those who fall under the sin of what he calls “religious judgmentalism” without having perfect, exhaustive knowledge of the situation in which and the person by whom the sin of “religious judgmentalism” was committed.

    So apparently you can’t condemn someone for sinning, that is, unless that sin is judging. Then condemn and correct them to your heart’s desire.

    There’s a lot more that can be said about this article (the bad exegesis in light of all of scripture, the horrific understanding of the human will in light of what scripture says, etc.), but the internal contradiction is enough to discredit what this author says based upon his hypocrisy to the principles which he puts forward.

  • otrotierra

    Or, rather than trying to disparage Benjamin and his thoughtful commentary, you could follow Jesus and the Greatest Commandment. You can start today!

  • scott stone

    Someone please help me out here. My first reaction to reading this post, like so many others n the PC channel is this: Are you people all insane or is it just me!?
    Don’t judge? Really? The Jenner’s and Kardashians have been persona non grata for years throughout the religious community, for good reason, until Bruce decides to be Caitlyn. What hypocrisy!

  • I’m eagerly looking forward to the catalog of defenses of judging the sins of people we don’t know for issues not addressed in Scripture that the comment section will become.

    Gentlemen, start your engines!

  • Chad

    I so resonate with the heart of this article – we are not able to make determining judgments over each other, only God can do this. But I’d like to point out our obligation in making judgments regarding behavior and ethics.

    In order to determine between what is good and what is evil, we always are left with the task of making a judgment. Based on our intelligence, based on the revealed character and will of God through Jesus and the scriptures, based on what we can know to be true – we must make a judgment.

    It is in fact our duty to judge behavior (which is what Benjamin is doing here – saying that judging one another is wrong – is itself judging behavior.)

    I don’t believe this is what Jesus taught against. In fact throughout the scriptures we are told that unless we make good judgments regarding behavior we will quickly become fools. A quick read through the book of Proverbs will show us there is a road to life and a road to death, a way to wisdom and a way of folly. It takes good judgment to do walk the way of life. No judgment, or poor judgment, and we are at risk of becoming fools.

    What Jesus taught against was attempting to make a determination only God can make – ie. the condition of the heart and someone else’s standing before Him. This is what the Pharisees were doing and this is what Jesus condemned.

    Did Paul not make many judgments of the church of Corinth regarding their behavior? And is this not the task of the elders/shepherds/overseers of the church? To guard, instruct, direct, teach, counsel – all of which takes making judgments of good and evil.

    I don’t know the condition of Caitlyn Jenner’s heart. I don’t know her standing before God. None of us are in a position to make a judgment over her as a person. Christ condemns this.

    But we are tasked with making judgments regarding good and evil, the road to life and the road to death. We do not love each other well when we turn a blind eye to the choices of one another and say, “It’s okay, do what you want, I won’t judge you.” This is passive, unloving, and not the way the church is instructed to function in the New Testament.

    I sense a movement toward this unloving and passive attitude within the church and I hope we can move toward the center, where we both accept each other and also lovingly keep watch over one another.

    Peace and grace

  • Andy

    I’m sorry, but “it’s turtles all the way down” is a poor critique. Your using it as a springboard has resulted in your falling on your face.

  • Harlequinn Bell

    With respect, the teachings of Christ advocate for looking at OUR OWN actions or behaviors and determining if they do harm or offer benefit. Christ also advocated for judgement in terms of violations of the law and bad acts against society, but that is still never supposed to be a judgement against a person. Someone can kill half a dozen people, and be locked up for it, but we STILL don’t get to judge them. What if that person had a severe mental illness that disabled their sense of right and wrong? We can’t know that.

    Judgment is never an act of love. It is, however, contrary to your statement, one of the penultimate acts of passivity. Judging another is easy, as it is at the end of the day a function of the ego – in judging another, we elevate ourselves above them. Loving someone unconditionally takes real work requiring the absence of ego.

    And yes, I agree that we can lovingly keep watch over each other, and defend those who cannot come to their own defense. But we cannot measure another by standards that we choose to (or not to) adopt for ourselves.

  • Harlequinn Bell

    Does persona non grata in the religious community equate to persona-non-grata to the god or gods that the religious community worships? According to the Christian Bible, God and Jesus love the repentant and unrepentant alike…

  • Harlequinn Bell

    Doesn’t the Christian Bible say something about “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”? I think that was trying to say that all humans commit sin and are therefore are in no position to judge others, which is kind of exactly what this article was saying…

  • Osceola Seminole

    Well Ben, since no one has the facts about the sinful human condition, what then is the purpose of preaching the Gospel? There is no need, since in the end God will judge, correct? I suppose when Peter told his readers, “Because it is written, be ye holy, for I am holy (1 Peter 1:16), Peter was judging then too right? But then again, according to Ben, all sins are subjective, since human beings are too stupid, and clueless to know what sin is, or how it fleshes itself out…

  • Never said we don’t judge behavior or ethics- I’m saying we don’t have enough information about why a person does X and therefore, cannot judge their level of culpability in it.

    Example: it’s wrong to be addicted to illegal, destructive drugs. But can I judge an individual addict’s culpability in their addiction? Nope. I have no idea all the factors that went into someone getting trapped in addiction.

    There’s a big difference between discerning right behavior and judging a person’s level of guilt in wrong behavior.

  • Kyle

    It’s not if, like the majority of western culture for the
    past 2500 years, you actually think that a person’s life (ethos) can undercut
    their credibility in argumentation.

    Fine, hypocrisy to his own principles aside, His entire
    argument seems to be based upon a single text (John 7:24) as well as a ton of
    principles never explicitly stated in Scripture (which seems to be the litmus
    test of credibility for ethical issues, i.e. “1:1” mentions from
    scripture) or even implicitly drawn from Scripture. For instance, I think one
    would be hard pressed to find a text that either explicitly or implicitly
    states that unless you are omniscient, you cannot call sin a sin or that to say
    that one may or may not be culpable because of sin.

    If such is the case, the Paul is completely out of line in
    Gal. 5 for saying that the practitioners of the particular sins listed in
    verses 20 and 21 “shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Paul isn’t
    omniscient to the circumstances, motivations, etc. of such people. How then can
    he make such an absolute statement?

    Further, Jesus’ teaching concerning the production of fruit
    being the means by which one “judges” the quality of the tree is
    absolutely superfluous if this article is true. Jesus is wasting his sweet time
    with such a teaching in Luke 6 because, according to the author of this
    article, you don’t know the circumstances in which the bad fruit was produced.
    Therefore, you can’t know a tree by its fruit because you don’t know everything
    about the tree.

    Or, to go to the one text of Scripture that he quotes in the
    entire article, Jesus did indeed did tell the Pharisees to stop judging by
    appearances but to, instead, judge correctly in John 7:24, but the judgment
    about which He was rebuking them was their judgment of Him. i.e. concerning His
    person and work. When Jesus spoke those words, they were in reference to the
    Pharisees denying His message concerning Himself and the miraculous works He
    performed to confirm His message, not about the “judgment” of a
    person who may have committed a sin. Ripping the passage out of context does
    nothing but distort the original message. Our author has turned it into a wax
    nose that can be shaped into whatever he wants it to be.

    Any man who uses Scripture in such a way should be
    questioned; offering people a Christ that emerges through twisted texts without
    contextual considerations is offering people a Christ who agrees with them
    because they have a Christ they have crafted themselves to serve their own
    purposes. By this practice, I can make Christ agree with any philosophy I
    choose. Our author has simply chosen his philosophy and sought a Jesus that
    agrees with him from a text that has nothing to do with what Jesus was teaching
    on that day in Jerusalem.

  • DontTreadOnAnyone

    Is she hurting anyone? No. So why do you even care? Honestly, why?

  • otrotierra

    Or, rather than trying to disparage Benjamin and police other people’s sins, you could instead follow Jesus and the Greatest Commandment.

  • Chad

    The kind of judgment I’m talking about isn’t the kind you’re talking about. I’m talking about being able to determine good and evil, right and wrong.

  • Lark62

    Yep. It says “be ye holy”. It never says “be ye making sure those other people who arent you are holy.”

  • Chad

    Yes that’s true you didn’t make that statement, and I agree with what you wrote. Only God can judge the heart. What I resist (and this isn’t what you’re communicating) is the leaning towards the idea that we are to be laissez-faire about each other’s choices. “Love, not judgment” in our culture today can be a free hall-pass to “do what is right in our own eyes.” If I can’t judge you and you can’t judge me then we’re all good, right? But God gave Israel “Judges” for a reason. He has given us a community of the Church for a reason. We need accountability to walk in His ways. We need each other! That’s all I’m trying to say. Thanks for doing what you’re doing.

  • Moe

    Who really cares about Bruce/Caitlyn besides its family.

  • Irene McGuinness

    This entire ‘coming out’ is Caitlyn/Bruce’s choice. God loves everyone. But the photo?? PULEEZE!! It’s so photo shopped!! It’s absurd to even imagine it to be accurate. There is not a 65 year old body out there ON THE PLANET that even resembles this faked up photo. Gosh, even the head and neck don’t match. …I know this article written is not about that. But this whole story is so visually ‘faked’.

  • Laureen A. Kinnaman

    The only thing that bothers me about ALL of this is all the money and resources that have gone into the hoopla, and how it would be so much better spent on education or first-responder services. I don’t care if Caitlyn wants to be a purple rhinocerous–let’s put resources where they are needed for our children’s future.

  • bvgardner

    sniff, sniff. talis foetor

  • You do, apparently.

  • Discernment too ethically requires you to do your best to research and learn the facts before making any conclusion, especially one with the power to hurt others; and to always be open to new information that might change your stance.

  • Steve

    The
    Bible is clear. This is sin. Deuteronomy 22:5 “A woman shall not wear
    anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s
    garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord.” I am so
    tired of hearing the you shall not judge argument to justify all kinds
    of wickedness.

  • JCisIAM

    From 1 Corinthians 2:

    9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

    10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all
    things, yes, the deep things of God.

    11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

    12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.

    13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

    14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually
    discerned.

    15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly
    judged by no one.

    16 For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we
    have the mind of Christ.

  • JCisIAM

    15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly
    judged by no one.

  • I was born a male and I am quite happy with that. If I was born a female, then yes! I would be transgender, because there is absolutely no universe that exists in which I could ever be female. If someone has to be a female and yet born as a male — then there has gotta be a reason for it, a reason that I can’t begin to fathom. Therefore, I am in no position to judge Caitlyn at all. If doing so is a prerequisite of being Christian — then I can’t be Christian.

  • Anakin, that is actually a very good definition of the requirements of discernment. Thanks for sharing that thought!

  • That is exactly why I am so glad that I cannot judge here. I am quite inadequate in that area…

  • Steve

    God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (‭Genesis‬ ‭1‬:‭27‬ NASB)

  • Thanks for that. It reminds me that broad-brushing sins is sometimes not helpful at all. For example, stealing is bad. But, what if someone was stealing food, or water — a necessity of life? What if someone broke in to a pharmacy to get a drug for a child that the family could not afford?

  • Cindy Woodman

    I wonder, do you wear mixed fabrics? Eat pork or shellfish, or things of a cloven hoof? Do you put out the female members if your family when (if) they have a monthly flow? Go ahead, justify yourself, in your wickedness.

  • op3mom

    to simplify….we are all called to judge whether actions are good or evil, but we can never judge another person’s intentions.

  • Melody

    What’s your point, Steve?

  • Melody

    Preach it, Cindy! Conservatives are the biggest hypocrites when it comes to interpreting the Bible. They accuse liberals of cherry-picking, when they do it 10 times more!

  • Andy

    TOO LONG; DIDN’T READ

  • Andy

    Well, aren’t we cynical?

  • Andy

    Caitlyn isn’t a man, so this isn’t really an issue — and that’s if you think Deuteronomy is relevant to us today, which it probably isn’t.

  • Andy

    Yes, he did create intersex people male and female.

  • Carrie Cranford

    Fashion is cultural, not spiritual. Get yourself a teacher who reads Hebrew and talk that verse over once more.

  • Carrie Cranford

    There are videos of the shoot available. She’s not shopped more than any other cover model.

  • utplagal

    “its?”

  • “For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.” (Matthew 19:21 NASB)

  • Yep, and that’s why I came out and transitioned to male – so that, as a man, I’d no longer be obliged by society to put on women’s garments and thus allegedly be an abomination to the Lord.

  • Lark62

    Yet hermaphrodites exist. So it would appear that there are some gaps in the knowledge of the iron age goat herders. They also didn’t know the sun is the center of the solar system, the earth moves, germs exist, bats aren’t birds, the exodus never happened, slavery is evil, selling your daughter to a rapist is immoral, and a nice ham and swiss on rye is delicious.

    So what are you going to do? You can continue to use your bible as a club. Or you can join the 21st century and determine for yourself what “love each other” and “do not judge” might mean.

  • Lark62

    I didn’t see you protesting stores that sell Levis to women.

  • Lark62

    Caitlyn is a christian. I imagine she and her god can sort things out without outsiders interfering.

  • A distinction without a difference.

  • Nimblewill

    Are you then able to judge people who judge Jenner?

    I cannot judge a person for committing an act that I have never been tempted to commit.

  • Johnny Number 5

    There are a lot of less-than-completely-perfect allocations of resources out in the world, including your use of time reading blogs. It seems a bit too convenient to only make that argument when there are resources being spent on something you ideologically disagree with.

  • peterhamm

    One more detail (didn’t read all the comments)… Why would I have the justification to judge someone I don’t personally know? The answer is I don’t.

  • jc250

    No one who understand the meaning of those two words will think as you do. You may not judge people who use marijuana for recreation, but your discernment says it’s not wise to do so.

  • otrotierra

    No Steve, the writer of Genesis did not address transgender people. Quoting a scripture passage illustrates only your ability to quote a scripture passage, nothing more.

  • otrotierra

    No Steve, Jesus is not calling you to hide behind a passage in Deuteronomy in order to disparage your neighbors. Accept Jesus as your point of origin, and you will reach profoundly different conclusions.

  • Damn. That means that my wife can’t wear my dressing-gown because it’s blue….

    Also I will need to be careful if I need to borrow a pair of her walking socks, because they’re hers.

    Deuteronomy is a bloody awful book, and I say that as a Christian and one who loves the Word of God passionately. In the Age of Grace, and except in that parts of them point forwards to Christ, how can we possibly – possibly! – think we should apply Leviticus and Deuteronomy to our society?

  • Classic :)

  • Fidget Zaftig

    Bless you for Speaking from a place of love and logic… two places that seem lost too often in the Christian Realm.

    <3

  • otrotierra

    Evidently the Greatest Commandment asks too much from Evangelicals. It’s simply too hard for them.

  • gimpi1

    This is pretty darn basic to me. The whole idea of being someone who is transgender, gay or whatever as somehow wrong just for existing I can’t get my head around.

    Really, it seems to be more about the need to categorize people, and getting upset with people stepping outside of familiar categories.
    Women as leaders – outside of assigned category – wrong.
    Men who are nurturing – outside of assigned category – wrong.
    Transgender people – moving from assigned category – wrong.
    Gay people – not fitting in assigned category – wrong.

    This is foolish. We’re human beings, not filing projects. We are multi-faceted. Our characteristics exist on a continuum. We’re not binary, all male or all female. Why has this become so important in conservative Christianity?

    If Christianity is important to people, if they really want to spread their Good News, this shouldn’t be the hill they choose to die on.

  • gimpi1

    This seems like a catch-phrase. Can you explain what you mean by it in this circumstance?

  • gimpi1

    I didn’t read this as condemning those engaging in judgmental behavior, rather pointing out the harm being done. Caitlyn Jenner is doing no harm. Those condemning her for actions that cause no harm are doing harm, to both her and others like her. I, personally, am OK with calling out behavior that hurts people, just on the basis of that hurt.

    That’s why I don’t like the whole concept of “sin.” Many things considered sinful cause no harm. Some things that cause harm aren’t considered sinful. To me, that’s just wonky. If no harm is caused, why should we get into another person’s business? That, too, is wonky to me.

    (I just discovered that I like saying wonky. Wonky, wonky, wonky!)

  • Charles R. Womack

    Thank you for some your insights. However, as a Parent, Grandfather and Pastor I have a responsibility to fashion a moral perspective that addresses the “amoral” realities of our culture. Dietrich Bonhoffer offers a definition of what is natural and unnatural. “The concept of the natural must, therefore, be recovered on the basis of the gospel. We speak of the natural, as distinct from the creaturely, in order to take into account the the fact of Fall; and we speak the speak of the natural rather than of the the sinful so that we may include in it the creaturely. The natural is that which, after the Fall is directed towards the coming of Christ. The unnatural is that which after the Fall, closes its doors against the coming of Christ.” (Ethics, 143) A person has a right to move towards Christ or a way from Him. It is their choice. If I call it ‘unnatural’, I do so in the desire to point a person toward Christ. If is my prayer our conversation will be centered in the knowledge and presence of the living Savior.

  • Cardunculus

    It goes to show how even the experiences of non-trans males differ, I guess.

    I was born a male, and I do not have any particular problem with that, but I I do not feel any particular attachment to this fact either. It’s just one thing about me, like my height or my hair colour or so on; and while I don’t hate it by any means, I don’t feel that it is fundamental to my identity in the same sense in which, for instance, my relationships with the members of my family are.

    If I had been born a woman instead, or if by some strange phenomenon I magically turned into one… well, social expectations would be different (and, I guess, vastly more annoying) than what I’m used to, and in the second case I would of course be very interested in understanding what happened, but I honestly don’t think that I would feel any personal distress over the matter. But on the other hand, I don’t even feel any particular yearning for that, apart perhaps from a mild curiosity about what it’d feel like.

    I don’t have much sympathy with mind/body dualism as a philosophical position; but to be honest, it feels far more natural for me to think of myself as a mind in a body than as a body with a mind (even though the latter is probably a more accurate description, strictly speaking).

    On a personal level, it is difficult for me to understand why one would ever choose to undergo painful surgery and societal stigma for the sake of a different appearance and a different set of pronouns; but on the other hand… well, no one goes through all that for fun’s sake.

    If gender reassignment can make someone feel that much better about themselves… well, I don’t really understand it, but I don’t really have to understand it. Their life, their feelings, their choices – the least I can do is treat them with the same common courtesy that everyone deserves.

  • I think the problem with the logic presented is that, following its path, one could argue that we couldn’t judge anything on any matter because, not having the knowledge that God does, we would be disqualified. Eastern Orthodox theology points in a different direction by positing that we can never judge the final state of any person, that alone is in God’s hands and based on knowledge only God possesses. We can, however, and should engage in the processes of determining what kind of behaviors in a person, including ourselves, advance the good, and even what the good itself is. The engagement in the process should be done in the understanding that we do not possess infinite wisdom but realizing that doesn’t mean we possess no wisdom or no capability to make decisions about the good, only that we have to be aware of our limitations as we do this.

  • gimpi1

    I get the sense that you think Jenner’s transition is wrong. Am I right about that? If so, why? Who is harmed? If there is no harm, why is this a matter that needs to be judged?

    (Full disclosure, I don’t consider myself a Christian, so what Paul may or may not have said to some people a long time ago is not how I decide how to interact with the world.)

    Also, the authorship of many of Paul’s letters is in serious question. Propaganda and arguments from authority are not new inventions.

  • otrotierra

    And yet Jesus had nothing to say about transgender people, nor did Dietrich Bonhoeffer–that’s why you’re not able to quote them addressing gender reassignment subjectivities. So you’re really just speaking for yourself, Charles.

  • gimpi1

    That’s what I keep coming back to. Why worry about this. She’s happier, and no one is harmed in the slightest. Why is this a problem?

    Personally, I have enough to worry about, without adding this to my plate.

  • umbrian

    Bruce Jenner says he has always liked to cross dress as a woman. No sin. His ex wives and family have always known this. No sin. Kardashian reality show, which he produces has been going down in ratings. No sin. Bruce Jenner decided to out himself as a cross dresser. No sin. Bruce Jenner will have his own reality show as a cross dresser, and he will also produce that show. No sin. Making lots of money for himself and his family. No sin. Deceiving the public and the media. Still no sin? Laughing all the way to the bank. No sin.

  • JCisIAM

    Thanks for asking. There is a familiar quote from scripture that both believer and non-believers use often, “Judge not lest you be judged.” However, this reference in 1 Corinthians states we who are spiritual are to judge all things. First, these are two different Greek words. The former is to act as a judge in the legal sense and to pronounce judgement; the other lends more to an evaluation.

    A book could be written but to suffice a post…Judge not was written to the Jews who, though in the Gospels, were still under OT Law. Jesus had not yet died, the New Covenant had not yet come, and they were not yet born again. That was Jesus’ audience. The latter was written to a church — to born again believers who were supposed to be led by the Holy Spirit in their “judgments” and evaluations. Paul even says in :15 that the spiritual — the one led by the Holy Spirit — was to make judgments about ALL things. Later Paul says that they were to judge those in the church.

    My point is that while it is true that were do not pronounce a judgment and condemn those who are outside the church (though we are able to state that those who do not believe are condemned already because they have not believed [John 3]) we are to, as children of God filled with His Spirit, make judgments or evaluations about ALL things.

  • TwoCents

    I understand the author’s point. It’s valid, but not particularly helpful (as its tone seems accusatory and likely to encourage ideologues on two poles of a complex issue to entrench themselves deeper in narrow, over-simplified positions). That doesn’t seem to be the author’s intent. But it’s not hard to predict the reaction … and many comments bear this out.

    Yes, it’s easy to take potshots at self-righteous Christians. There are plenty of them. But they’re only straw men in the argument contained in this article. The deeper issue is sin and the brokenness that touches every aspect of humanity, including sexuality and gender identity. I’d like to see more pundits take a more nuanced approach (and dare I suggest “a more Biblical perspective” without sounding self-righteous?). This article’s title sounds pretty much like self-righteous judgment to me. But I’ll give the author the benefit of the doubt and assume it was designed as provocative “click bait.” I am disappointed however that this commentary skirts the real issue and instead lobs missiles at an easy target.

    A better approach would be to recognize that Bruce/Caitlyn carries the full dignity of humanity as one who was created by God and is loved by God. Our response too should be one of love. Yet Bruce/Caitlyn is as broken and sin-stained as the rest of us. Self-righteous judgment of his conduct and character IS wrong. Each of us should be grateful that our deep struggles with brokenness, inner-conflict and inclinations that seem outside-the-norm aren’t broadcast for the world to see. What people like this author seem to fail to recognize is that Bruce/Caitlyn built an identity around his brokenness (i.e. inner/outer gender conflict), made it an idol and embarked on a transgender journey as a self-salvation project. THAT’S the sin, as defined in the Bible.

    Of course, I don’t fully know Bruce/Caitlyn’s heart. But I’ve seen him state many times that he thinks his gender transition will make him a better person … specifically that he hopes “Caitlyn will be a better person than Bruce.”

    I’m assuming Bruce didn’t choose this struggle. Who would? It sounds awful and Christians should find this more heartbreaking than fodder for self-righteous finger-wagging. I’m sure many do. But they aren’t such easy targets for Christian commentators and others who want to be seen as progressive or fear being perceived as Pharisees.

    CHOICE is not the issue. We all have a whole host of unhealthy, unproductive and unrighteous urges, inclinations and tendencies that we’ve experienced from our earliest awareness. They weren’t my choice. But to treat them as inherent to my personhood and essential to my identity is wrong. I need to yield my brokenness daily to the finished work of Christ and find my identity in who HE says I am. I also experience, in this life, a great measure of victory through HIS power and look forward to the promise of full victory in eternity.

    In short, self-righteous judgment of a person is wrong. Biblical discernment of the issue of brokenness (which extends to sexuality and gender) is good and necessary. We can respect Bruce/Caitlyn, have compassion for his struggle and know that he’s still more loved and provided for by God than he (or we) can imagine. Yet we can avoid celebrating his coming out … which sadly appears to be a self-salvation project based on a flawed identity built on a single aspect of his brokenness rather than Christ’s provision on the cross. Of course, this position doesn’t make for easy sound bites or provocative media posts by his supporters or detractors. You see, the truth is more complex than a false dichotomy that we must either judge or not judge.

  • Charles R. Womack

    God’s spirit is moving in these times and speaking to the realities we are facing. The issue of transgender is not new or lost on the reality of God’s work and presence now. Bonhoeffer is providing a much deeper perspective that is Christ-centered for our moral discussions. While I am speaking for myself, I realize the responsibility of my positions and how I proclaim Christ to a secular world view. Jesus may not have spoken a direct message to transgender issues, but it doesn’t change the fact that God/Jesus God Incarnate made the Heavens and the Earth. As Creator, God has much to say about who I am and who we are as His creatures.

  • gimpi1

    I looked at it, and I think you’re wrong. I’m a graphic designer, and I’ve used Photoshop since it was in beta-test. I use it every day on a professional basis. I can usually spot some of the tell-tale signs of merger, and I don’t see any here. What are you basing your idea on, other than how good she looks? Also, even if it was a photoshop special, why would that bother you?

  • Good Christian theology, especially in the Eastern Orthodox context, is not necessarily a collection of proof texts or, in the absence thereof, deciding that I can fill in the blanks with my own thoughts. In the Eastern context the theology of the Church exists within the community of the Church and its Tradition which includes not only the received texts but also the ethos of the community through time. For example, Jesus says nothing about cars but we can certainly say that running someone over is a bad thing because, absent a proof text we have texts and larger contexts, including the wisdom passed down to us through the history of our Faith, which speak about the value of life and the prohibitions against doing damage to others that we can use to address the specifics of this particular case. In the same basic vein we can say that Jesus, who to observant Christians is not just a good teacher but God, one of the Trinity, was part of the process of creation which included God making them male and female and that this was, in God’s eyes “good”. So, even in the absence of a specific proof text about the specific issue of transgenderism we can say that gender is from God and that it, like the creation, is “good”. The larger point is that the lack of specific text is not necessarily the same as the Faith not addressing an issue.

  • Cardunculus

    Putting aside the question of whether that verse is even applicable to Christians… the point of transexuality, as I understand it, is that some people feel for all their lives as “a man trapped in a woman’s body” or vice versa, and that causes them significant distress. And according to some studies, the brains of at least some transsexuals match more closely those of their ‘elected’ gender than those of their birth ones.

    On which grounds, religious or not, are you dismissing the possibility that transsexuals (or at least some of them) are absolutely correct when they claim that their body is “of the wrong gender”? After all, physical defects are far from unknown, and it is not generally considered sinful to remedy to them…

  • gimpi1

    Well, in general those “laws” aren’t regarded by most Christians to still apply. Except when they do. How do you tell? How do you know which laws are still viable and which (like most dietary laws apparently) and which have been scrapped? Is there a memo?

    I can’t find one. I I hate it when I lose important documents, don’t you?

  • Cardunculus

    All right, let us accept this line of reasoning: gender, in itself, is good and willed from God.

    Thus, for instance, a hypothetical plan to geld all of humankind and reproduce solely through artificial means would go against God’s original design and should be rejected.

    However, the fact remains that some people apparently feel, very strongly, that they “are of the wrong gender” and that this causes them significant distress. Furthermore, there seem some physical brain differences related to transsexuality.

    On which grounds should we dismiss the possibility that – for instance – transsexuals are correct when they claim that their body is “of the wrong gender” for their brains? And if that is the case, would not giving them the means to remedy (insofar as we can) to that be – in essence – repairing to a birth defect, and thus a good action?

  • cvryder2000

    I find it kind of ironic that apparently the Shi’a imams of Iran have decided that the government should pay for gender reassignment surgery, since, in their view, *nature* (not, you will note, Allah) made a mistake when the person was born into the “wrong” body. Another way of looking at it…. Of course they are anything *but* tolerant of homosexual persons, but that is another story entirely. In any case, Caitlyn Jenner is a child of God, as are we all, and we are called to love God’s children, ALL of them. I wish her the best, and I hope that her story may in some way help another person out there who is struggling with the feeling of being born into the wrong body. You know, we all have our stories, but if someone else’s story doesn’t speak to you, you *could* just move on and say nothing, and leave it there for the people it is meant for…….

  • gimpi1

    I’m not sure how you get from Jenner’s “Caitlyn will be a better person than Bruce.” to your, “Bruce/Caitlyn built an identity around his brokenness (i.e. inner/outer gender conflict), made it an idol and embarked on a transgender journey as a self-salvation project. THAT’S the sin, as defined in the Bible.”

    Is any change that we feel will make us better a “self-salvation project?” If not, how is transitioning different?

  • I agree that gender dysphoria is real, rare, but real. From an Eastern Orthodox perspective I would say that this difficulty with gender identity would be, like many of the sins, struggles, and challenges we face, part of the brokenness that came into humanity as the result of the human choice to break relationship with God. (FYI Eastern Orthodox understandings don’t have a sense of original sin but do understand that a kind of broknness which we call mortality resulted from human beings detaching themselves from God). So in that sense some person’s discomfort with their physical body or gender is very real, just like the discomfort we all feel from many things. From a purely secular point of view a good argument could be made that, outside of any larger values or context, the use of our capacity to physically alter human features could be used as a potential remedy for people who are dealing with gender dysphoria. The idea that this is a ‘cure” of some sort is still under debate even in the medical world but we can address that later. From my Eastern Orthodox Christian point of view a different question emerges. Given that gender dysphoria exists and is an expression of a larger brokenness that all humanity shares in one way or another, is the physical alteration of a person, an alteration the person who undergoes it knows is artificial, the correct, best, and most lasting kind of healing that is needed or would attacking not just the symptoms, like gender dysphoria, but the cause, a primal brokenness from God and each other, the better alternative? Now one might say, we chemically alter people living with various mental illnesses so why not do that in the case of gender dysphoria? I think the answer, again, from my Orthodox perspective, is that gender is not a disease, certainly not like schizophrenia or depression. Gender is built into the DNA of who we are and being male of female is not evidence of any kind of pathology. I’m not suggesting that working through the deep struggles that are part of gender dysphoria, or any kind of dysphoria or sexual issue will be easy, our God never promised easy holiness, but, from Eastern Orthodox viewpoint, part of the path, the narrow, way is struggle and that struggle is often the tool that draws us closer to the true source of our being. That being said I don’t hate Mr. Jenner for his choice. I wish him no ill. I believe he has the civil right to choose what kind of medical treatment he wants for his issues. I simply posit that there may be a better way.

  • Another point I would make is that there are, again this rare, cases where a person is born with the physical characteristics of both genders. I would consider this to be a, for lack of a better term, a birth defect that needs to be addressed and may require medical treatment.

  • TwoCents

    By self-salvation, I was referring to something deeper than that which makes us feel better or earns favor from whomever we derive our primary significance (should be God, could be a parent, boss, spouse, friend).

    I was referring particularly to the things we do to fix something deep in the core of our soul that is beyond human repair or things we grab hold of to fill a space that only God can fill. As a basic example, we can derive pleasure from food and recognize it as a gift from God. But we can also overeat to numb an ache in our soul. In that case, overeating is the FRUIT of a self-salvation project, but the ROOT is deeper … which is the attempt to satisfy a soul hunger through a physical source.

    It only makes sense to be inclined to do things that make us feel better. If we have the proper perspective (and these things are not sin), it’s logical and proper to pursue them. But if we give these things a weight and significance they were never meant to contain (e.g. if ONLY I got that promotion at work, if ONLY that person would marry me, if ONLY I had more money), they take on a role that only God can fill … and they become attempts to earn our own salvation.

  • Eric Boersma

    We all have a whole host of unhealthy, unproductive and unrighteous urges, inclinations and tendencies that we’ve experienced from our earliest awareness.

    Is one of yours spending significant amounts of time writing long-winded posts on internet blogs wherein you dismiss and disrespect the complicated external reflection of someone else’s life, surrounding things you don’t, cannot, and never will understand?

  • Eric Boersma

    Being a transgender person is not equivalent to cross-dressing, and before you talk more about this topic, you’d do well to educate yourself on the differences.

  • Eric Boersma

    Hey, one thing that I think is worth pointing out is that most people who experience gender dysphoria tend to prefer the term “person who is transgender”, as opposed to “transsexual”. Specifically, this is because the word gender has come to represent someone’s internal compass toward whether they are a man or a woman (or if they don’t feel like they’re accurately categorized by either group), whereas sex refers to someone’s external genitals. Using those terms, “transsexual” would be someone who has transitioned sex, whereas “transgender” refers to sex not matching gender.

  • Eric Boersma

    We can, however, and should engage in the processes of determining what kind of behaviors in a person, including ourselves, advance the good, and even what the good itself is.

    And in what way does someone experiencing gender dysphoria transitioning to a life in which they live as a person who externally matches who they are inside fail to advance the good?

  • gimpi1

    Thank you for the follow-up. Obviously, I don’t agree, but I understand where you’re coming from.

  • Guy Norred

    Perhaps some of this is misplaced, but might not some of this hoopla make that future to a more tolerant one in which those children can more freely live their lives in the most authentic way?

  • TwoCents

    Funny! Apparent so. But I did intend to direct my strongest criticism at the author’s perspective not Jenner’s journey. I cannot fathom what Jenner went through, nor can I judge it. The “unrighteous urges” sentence was more to make the point that just because something feels natural and not like a choice doesn’t make it right or beneficial to pursue.

  • Chad

    As a Christian I’ll probably determine right and wrong differently than you, as I (try to) adhere to the Biblical scriptures as a revelation of God’s will and nature. There are things that don’t seem to hurt anyone, but yet God instructs us to abstain from. Jesus instructed us not to lust after someone else’s spouse sexually in our hearts and minds. Who is this hurting? Yet God, as Creator, deems this as not in the best interests of human flourishing.

  • I’ll suggest an alternative question. Why do some people with gender dysphoria seek to alter their bodies? After all if the “real” person is the one inside why not simply say, for example “I’m a woman” and what difference should my body make if the real me is whatever I construct in my mind? Why should a person dealing with gender dysphoria even be distressed by the fact that their body doesn’t match their perception since its not the “real” person they are inside? It is illogical to say that gender is merely a social construction and simultaneously support the idea that it is good to alter your physical appearance to match your perceived gender thereby nullifying the original premise that gender is merely a social construct. Creating a false or self contradicting reality could be argued to be harmful for the person who is vulnerable due to their struggle with gender dysphoria. As to the physical alteration process itself the key is the phrase “externally matches”. When a person undergoes “gender reassignment” they do not ever become the gender they desire. Surgery will alter the appearance but it does, medically, nothing to change a, for example male to a female. Medically, genetically they remain their birth gender and only the appearance is changed. So “Caitlyn” Jenner will remain, in fact, a surgically altered male. That is, again, not hate but simple medical fact. Should Caitlyn decide not to take the continually necessary doses of hormones and medications to suppress his maleness his body will take its natural course and those male features not permanently altered by surgery will return. That is again, not hate but simple medical fact. The altered genitalia he may have will never function completely in the same manner as a birth female’s will. not hate, but medical fact. So a person comes to us with deep emotional and psychological issues related to gender and our preferred treatment is to affirm those struggles by, instead of helping a person work through those issues on a life long basis, creating a fiction, a set of manufactured alterations that will never accomplish, in fact, what they claim namely transitioning a person into a different gender, and procedures the person receiving them knows, more than any other, are artificial creations of scalpels and pills? Remember your birth gender is not a disease nor a pathology and treating it as such is a kind of harm because it is rooted in a falsehood. I’ve worked as a health care chaplain and my work has included persons with mental illnesses and gender dysphorias. It’s no more healing to a person living with schizophrenia to say “You’re right, If you believe the the CIA really is trying to kill you then I do too and I’ll help you build a barricade inside your house to protect you” than it is to say “If you think you’re a woman I’ll find someone to operate on perfectly healthy and normal parts of your body to affirm your thoughts.” Gender dysphoria is real, and challenging, but untruths, even those sincerely held, can do more harm than good.

  • Rustam Abbasov

    Wow! This guy calls himself a “scholar in the areas of theology and missiology “.
    His argument is SO weak! Transgender doesn’t mentioned in Bible, sure, how about child pornography? can we agree it is wrong? or wait, will it be “judging”? And of course this is not rebellion against God, God just made mistake and put him in a wrong body. It is WRONG and it is REBELLION the question is did he came up with idea by himself or was fooled in to it.
    I am not trying to say that this troubled man is evil or we should be aggressive against such a people, what I see is man fooled and made fun of by devil and we need to feel sorry for such a people and direct them to God.

  • Of course, you’re here with us (smile). Part of it, I think is that these questions don’t work themselves out well in sound bites. The other part I submit for your consideration is that disagreeing is not always the same as dismissing and disrespecting.

  • You are correct, the vast majority of people who cross dress are not also dealing with gender dysphoria.

  • gimpi1

    You’re right, we’re simply going to look at this differently, and that’s fine. That’s what makes horses race.

    In your example, for example, I don’t see any harm in married people admiring others. My husband occasionally looks at pretty women in an admiring fashion. That’s fine. I know he loves me, and I see no harm in occasional “lustful” glances or fantasies. In fact, I think it’s harmful to make people feel guilty about such a normal, harmless thing. That belief that a casual, “she’s hot” glance is the same thing as an affair is what does the damage, to my mind.

    Different strokes. Wouldn’t it be boring if we were all the same?

  • Before people start to “flame” please note that I used the example above to show, in broad, not specific terms, the idea that therapy can affirm the person in their challenges but is not obligated to affirm those challenges as the normal reality of life. Please note, as well, that dealing with persons with dysphorias requires great tenderness, truth for sure, but served with large doses of caring.

  • Chad

    Ha! Yes it would be boring if we were all the same.

    Fully agree the glance of appreciation at the human form isn’t wrong – in fact I think gives appreciation to the One who created them! (again my Christian perspective.)

    The difference being what we all know to be the inclination toward much more than a glance – that prolonged, imagining what it would be like to …. , kind of look. That’s what I’m talking about – that’s what Jesus equated to adultery. Christ addressed heart issues where the religious leaders of the day simply addressed issues of our outward activity. Maybe you don’t see harm in that, and I can see where you are coming from. I’d suggest marriage is much better when fantasies and “lustful” looks/thoughts are saved for the one you committed to loving, not someone else.

    Anyways, again, differing viewpoints perhaps!

  • Cardunculus

    Fair enough, I did not know that. Thanks!

  • gimpi1

    Differing viewpoints are great. I don’t know wether or not marriage is better if”lustful” thoughts/looks are confined to your marriage partner – to be honest, I very much doubt that anyone not stranded on a deserted island with their partner has pulled it off so we may not have a viable sample for comparison.

    And that’s where I come from. It’s hard enough to try to be a good person, to be generous, to be fair, to be loving, to be kind, to be forgiving (my personal bug-a-boo) without layering on guilt over stray thoughts that cause no harm. Another Patheos blogger, Libby-Anne, talks about how she almost caused real damage to her marriage, constantly watching her husband, feeling insecure and jealous about casual, appreciative looks at other women.

    If you consider this as a sin-issue, I think might have been the feelings of jealousy, insecurity, and (in a world where women and few legal protections) fear of abandonment that Jesus might have been thinking about.

    In the ancient world, husbands pretty-much owned wives. With power comes responsibility. A man who can legally beat or abandon his wife or take another wife if he wants has a great obligation to not frighten or upset his largely helpless wife. In our more enlightened and equal world, well, overt stares or drooling are still rude, but casual appreciation just doesn’t have the same overtones of dominance and threat that it did in the ancient world.

    At least, that’s one idea I’ve had about it.

  • Cardunculus

    First of all: this might seem a minor point, but I really think that basic politeness requires that one should refer to Ms. Jenner by her choice of name and pronoun. This is not about conceding or not conceding a point about whether her “intrinsic nature” is male or female (frankly, I think that the notion of “intrinsic nature” is at the very least problematic, but I digress), it is about using a person the courtesy to be addressed in whatever way they find most comfortable (yeah, that can be abused; but frankly, I think that for the most part it is self-regulating. If someone insisted to be addressed as “God-Emperor Snufflepufflepurr, King of Were-Penguins and Lord of Mars and the Outer Asteroid Belt”, I would probably do just that – I bet that they would get tired of it fairly quickly).

    Back to the main issue…

    Gender is not a disease, sure; and neither is having two arms, of course. But when someone’s hand causes them serious pain, we do not generally consider it sinful to remove it and fit them with a prosthesis.

    As far as I know, there is no religious debate whatsoever surrounding amputations, and no one ever claimed that the “narrow way” of trying to keep a damaged art and cure it is somehow more moral than the choice of removing it: when debating whether to amputate or not, the only question worth considering is which choice gives the patient the best quality of life.
    I think that this should be the sole criterion surrounding gender reassignment surgery too. If psychological counselling and so on can help someone with gender dysphoria more effectively than gender reassignment, that’s great – I’m certainly no fan of unnecessary surgery! But if surgery is more effective… well, why should changing a person’s genitals to preserve their well-being be an offense against of the God-given concept of gender*, when outright removing a person’s hand to preserve their well-being is not generally considered an offense against the God-given concept of hands?

    *As an aside, I am less than convinced that God cares as much about our physical status quo and would be as much offended by attempts to improve it as this turn of phrase suggests, but that’s perhaps beside the point.

  • Surgeons will do almost anything to avoid amputating a hand and such amputations are usually only done when there is a grave physical illness or injury that requires it. It would generally be considered medical malpractice for a physician to remove a perfectly healthy hand simply because a person thought it would make them feel better (although there is a mental illness “body dysphoria” where people will actually request this). That being said the institution that pioneered gender reassignment treatment and surgery in the United States, Johns Hopkins, no longer does these procedures, not for any moral or malpractice reason, but simply because their own investigations revealed there is no significant long term benefit to the practice of removing or altering healthy body parts to relieve psychological distress or promote long term well being. From a historic Christian perspective it should be noted that the human body is considered not simply some kind of “shell” in which the ‘real” person resides for a time and can shape it as they wish but rather a gift of God, the place where the Holy Spirit resides in life, and the very body that God will transform in the resurrection. So the early Church, and Orthodox Christianity, has always seen attempts to modify it through things like tattoos, personally chosen alterings, or even cremation to be problematic.

  • People reading this also need to know that I don’t believe gender dysphoria is a sin or that those who are dealing with it are sinners because of it. I’m definitely not saying that God’s judgment is on anyone with gender dysphoria or that such persons are not, or cannot be “saved”. As an aside, I understand this to be the case for people dealing with same sex attraction as well. One of the images that is frequently used of the Church in Eastern Orthodox theology is that of a hospital, a place where people struggling with all of life’s challenges, and we all do, can find healing. In Orthodoxy healing starts with the truth which for us is the realization of our brokenness and the willingness to engage the struggle to be in union with God. There is where believe healing of the most important kind is. Yes, we value medical care and even have doctors who are Saints, but deepest healing starts when we realize that “Our souls are restless until they find their rest in Thee”. Mr. Jenner can do as he wishes. I bear him no animus and certainly hope to see him some day in the presence of God. If I were to meet him I would only tell him this “God loves you and as you draw closer to Him you will find a kind of rest that no doctor, as skilled as they can be, will ever give.”

  • Chad

    You’re right, layering on guilt isn’t helpful. No one can perfectly attain all the things you mentioned in order to be a good person. Or from a Christian perspective, no one can fully fulfill God’s law to love Him completely, and neighbor as ourselves.

    So as a follower of Jesus I trust He has done this perfectly on my behalf. Grace, not my performance or good works, saves. (sorry, not trying to preach at you – this is just where the conversation seems to be going.)

    So if I am less than perfect at avoiding lust, pride, greed, jealousy, etc. I know I do not have to bear the weight of guilt. However, I am also inclined to become all I can become as a human being – which includes growing in these areas, as a response to the grace of God.

    As for spousal jealousy and insecurity, maybe that’s because the norm has become “men are just going to look at pornography and lust after other women – that’s the way it is, we better learn to live with it.” I think that’s a norm that women have been conditioned to settle for, rather than what should be. Marriages are built on trust. Trust is erroded when I wonder who my spouse is fantasizing about. The issue isn’t on my insecurity – it’s on whether mutual trust has been built and maintained.

    I agree the connotations are different today than they were in the first century, in the Western World. (Much of the world still functions under these premises). But for us in developed nations where women’s equality has grown, I’d still say that women, and men, would still benefit from the trust that comes knowing your spouse isn’t wishing you looked or acted like someone else.

    Enjoying our conversation.

  • gimpi1

    FYI, women look, too. Perhaps for some not as much, but they (I) look. It’s not a problem unless my husband and I decide to make it one. Since neither of us is insecure enough to feel rejected because one of us admires another person, it’s truly a non-issue. To me, trust would be more violated if he was dishonest, feeling the need to sneak his glances in, or he seemed worried about his interest. That might mean it was more than a superficial, “That’s nice” glance.

    As it stands, I’m glad that we have enough trust in each other that an admiring glance at the beach or in the mall passes pretty-much unnoticed.

    You’re right, good talk.

  • Chad

    Awesome. All about appreciating the goodness of the human form!
    Take care

  • Tim

    I wouldn’t presume to judge Jenner or anyone else. I also don’t want anyone judging me for not reacting to this or any other event as they want me to. I either don’t exhibit the correct level of celebration or condemnation and all of a sudden I’m judged for not getting it right.
    Oh well.

  • coolbobby

    How about one guilty condemned sinner telling another guilty condemned sinner about God providing forgiveness and justification through His Son. Prerequisite to that we have to realize God’s condemnation for our sin. But we all justify ourselves in our own unique way. In Bruce’s case if he denies his own rebellion against God, all he has to do is look in the mirror.

  • otrotierra

    Sorry John, but Charles isn’t debating Eastern Orthodox theological traditions and neither am I. Why? In part because it isn’t necessary. I’m afraid you’re having a conversation with yourself.

  • JohnnyCuredents

    One word: bull.

  • otrotierra

    Yes Charles, I understand that you like to read Bonhoeffer. I also appreciate Bonhoeffer. But your feelings about Bonhoeffer do not constitute a counter-narrative to Benjamin Corey’s powerful commentary.

  • bill wald

    Every person on earth is a sinner. Some don’t get caught.

  • asmondius

    I find it amazing that quite a large group of individuals elsewhere on Patheos refuse to believe in the existence of God without some type of definitive evidence, yet so many are positive that a man can become a woman simply through changing pronouns.
    .
    ‘Caitlyn’ is simply Bruce in drag, shorn up old man-boobs and all.
    .
    PS: If you would like to see what talented makeup artists and photographers can achieve with simulated sex transformation, I suggest you watch the movie ‘White Chicks’. It makes Bruce’s magazine cover debut look lame by comparison.

  • asmondius

    More like a buck-fifty!

  • asmondius

    It all began when his daughter told him he needed a bra…..

  • asmondius

    He’s a biological male wearing women’s garments.

  • asmondius

    How many people of which sex did God use to begin humanity?

  • asmondius

    Love can only be based upon truth – not feel-good sentimentalism.

  • asmondius

    Do you vote?

  • asmondius

    Frere all the convicted murderers and rapists, then?

  • Barry Hunefeld

    problem is, there’s no proof of ” your savior” or that There ever was a Jesus.

  • asmondius

    A true hermaphrodite, in terms of biology, is an organism which can contribute genetic material toward procreation as either sex.
    .
    There are no human hermaphrodites, simply a multitude of people who misunderstand or misuse the word. Humans are not earthworms, etc..

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    coolbobby And exactly what is “our sin?”

  • asmondius

    Congenitally infertile men, eunuchs or men injured in combat, Catholic priests (for example).

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    And which way is the road to God – north, south, east or west?

  • asmondius

    Hmmm – God made a basic design and then creates exceptions?
    .
    I think He is more rational than that.

  • asmondius

    Is a female simply a presence of mind? An attitude? A desire?

  • asmondius

    ‘Internal compass’ – very scientific!

  • asmondius

    SInce when are socks distinctive to one sex?

  • asmondius

    All boys transition to men.

  • asmondius

    Please explain how the chromosome modification took place,.

  • Vladika Lazar Puhalo

    Why would anyone want to judge someone who had the courage to have a gender harmonisation surgery and become a “whole” person instead of having a body that is the direct opposite of their actual gender, the gender of the brain?

  • asmondius

    Moral guidelines are the same as dietary or dress code laws?

  • asmondius

    Children living their lives in the ‘most authentic way’ means not being confused by people like Bruce Jenner.

  • asmondius

    Closely examined Bruce’s semi-disrobed body with a fine-tooth comb, eh?

  • asmondius

    Watching videos of Bruce?

  • PEEKAY

    BRAVO !!!!! WELL SAID

  • PEEKAY

    DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE YOU COMMENT . YOU OBVIOUSLY TRIED TO MAKE A COMPLICATED SITUATION SIMPLE AND IT IS NOT THAT SIMPLE …NICE TRY THOUGH

  • asmondius

    Yes, thanks so much for the ‘complex’ response.
    .
    If you can prove Bruce is either Not a biological male or Not wearing a woman’s garment, please feel free to do so,

  • Good question. Since I am neither female, nor do I identify as one, I cannot answer this inquiry. The best answer I could give would only be a guess and not an educated one at that. It would be only a shot in the dark. Why not ask this question to a transgender person? They have that experience and can answer your question far better than I can.

  • PEEKAY

    I DON’T CARE IF HE HAD ON A PAPER BAG . HE IS TRANSGENDER NOT TRANSVESTITE. LIKE I SAID AND SO DID ERIC ABOVE DO YOUR RESEARCH IT IS NOT THAT SIMPLE

  • asmondius

    What makes a ‘transgender person’ an expert on this topic?

  • asmondius

    Same difference, unless you can describe a physical test which identifies ‘transgender’. Sorry, your say-so is not being taught at medical school.

  • otrotierra

    The sentimentalism you seek is nowhere in Benjamin’s commentary.

  • asmondius

    How does lopping off perfectly normal body parts and ingesting synthesized chemicals make one ‘whole’?

  • That is kind of the way I figure it. If a gender reassignment does take place, there has to be a strong reason for it. I have visited the other side aka Charisma News, and most Conservatives — which is at least 95% of the commentators there — feel that reassignment is nothing more than a fantasy, a desire of the flesh. Some have even went as far as to suggest it is demonic. To me, all of that is such nonsense.

    If a gender reassignment was to happen to me personally — well, I’d sure feel sorry for that guy holding the surgical knife because I will defend my masculinity to the death if necessary. I might come out of that encounter with a castration, but I guarantee — IT WILL BE WITH A HEFTY PRICE! Perhaps even a few lifeless bodies here and there. So, you see, I cannot ever think that gender reassignment is taken without consideration of some serious consequences. Anyone agreeing to the physical transition must have thought about this long and hard, considered every alternative and have decided that this is the only way. Anytime someone considers this, I have to believe it is far more serious than a fantasy.

  • PEEKAY

    AND THE MEDICAL FIELD IS STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT FIBROMYALGIA AND A LOT OF DOCTORS THINK IT IS ALL IN THE MIND BUT IF YOU NEED THE LAST WORD KNOCK YOURSELF OUT………….LOL

  • David M Pelly

    Yes, Benjamin Corey falls short in his knowledge.

    All of our problems are due to unGodly sexual practices, unGodly breeding practices, unGodly lifestyle practices.

    We fail in life relative to the degree we don’t learn and abide by God’s rules for sexual practices, breeding practices and lifestyle practices (or simply put rules for successful living).

    We succeed in life relative to the degree we learn and abide by God’s rules for sexual practices, breeding practices and lifestyle practices (or simply put, rules for successful living).

    Everything has rules for success. Whether they are written in any holy book or not.

    The truth is not determined by authority, books, beliefs, opinions or by who wins an argument.

    The truth is the truth.

    These rules are as certain as the law of gravity and the laws of physics.

    All holy books can at best approximate the truth. Even though they may be inspired, they were still written by a human being . They fall short of any
    perfection. And some may be more inspired and perfect than others.

    The only criteria that can be used to determine whether something is right or wrong, is how well does it work, how many problems does it solve, and if it does solve any problems, how well does it solve them and for how long does it solve them, and what are the long term results?

    There is a cause for everything, even though we do not know it or cannot find it.

    And it is not the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law.

    This world operates on the law of cause and effect. Nothing happens without a cause, whether we are aware of the cause or not.

    That includes the law of garbage in- garbage out.

    Now, in regards to Jennings, I would like the opportunity to investigate the sexual practices of his parents.

    That is where the answers to Jennings problems lie.

    Garbage in-garbage out.

    LGBTs are the product of unGodly (perverted) sexual practices, unGodly (perverted) breeding practices, and unGodly (hedonistic, humanistic, individualistic) lifestyle practices.

    That includes a lack of common sense. Everyone is expected to have and use common sense. Failure to use common sense, can be cause for legal action and have the perpetrator institutionalized to protect public safety.

    It is only common sense that male and female go together, not male and male or female and female.

    All men must come on to God, theirs is the agony of waiting. Walter Russel.

    Leviticus 18:

    Unlawful Sexual Relations

    18 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘I am the Lord your God.

    3 You
    must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must
    not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not
    follow their practices.

    4 You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the Lord your God.

    5 Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them. I am the Lord.

    6 “‘No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the Lord.

    7 “‘Do not dishonor your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; do not have relations with her.

    8 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your father’s wife; that would dishonor your father.

    9 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere.

    10 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter; that would dishonor you.

    11 “‘Do not have sexual relations with the daughter of your father’s wife, born to your father; she is your sister.

    12 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your father’s sister; she is your father’s close relative.

    13 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your mother’s sister, because she is your mother’s close relative.

    14 “‘Do not dishonor your father’s brother by approaching his wife to have sexual relations; she is your aunt.

    15 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son’s wife; do not have relations with her.

    16 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your brother’s wife; that would dishonor your brother.

    17 “‘Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter.
    Do not have sexual relations with either her son’s daughter or her
    daughter’s daughter; they are her close relatives. That is wickedness.

    18 “‘Do not take your wife’s sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living.

    19 “‘Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period.

    20 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor’s wife and defile yourself with her.

    21 “‘Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molek, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.

    22 “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.

    23 “‘Do
    not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A
    woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations
    with it; that is a perversion.

    24 “‘Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled.

    25 Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.

    26 But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the foreigners residing among you must not do any of these detestable things,

    27 for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled.

    28 And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.

    29 “‘Everyone who does any of these detestable things—such persons must be cut off from their people.

    30 Keep my requirements
    and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced
    before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the Lord your God.’”

    It is not the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law.

    It is only common sense, that perverted sexual practices, perverted breeding practices, and perverted lifestyle practices will produce perverts and fuckups.

    It is only common sense, that LGBT activities will eventually destroy civilization.

    That is what is meant by Leviticus 18 28, only it is metaphorical.

    28 And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.

    Another thing that will destroy civilization is feminism and liberated women.

    A society is only as sane, as strong, as stable as it’s homes and families. And in order to be sane, strong and stable there has to be a full time Godly mother in the home. That is called guarding the home front. When the home front is abandoned is when all hell breaks loose. And that is the only thing that will destroy civilization. We are all only as good as we have been bred and bought up. If the homefront is looked after properly, there would never be a need for a war front. Society would never degenerate.

  • Lark62

    You are correct that I used the wrong term. The correct term is intersex.

    My point still stands, however. Intersex people exist, which, along with germs would be news to the authors of the bible.

  • Lark62

    What a sad world you live in.

  • mythmorph

    And the truth is that I have absolutely NO idea what you mean by “unG-dly ‘breeding’ practices.” “Breeding practices?” Elucidate. As far as I’m concerned, G-d is universal, and dons whatever garment will make Her/Him palatable to anyone or any group who seeks to access Her/Him. But no doubt you find that “unG-dly.” And no doubt, I fault you for being dangerously judgmental.

  • mythmorph

    “Rebellion against G-d!?” Who are you to make that pronouncement? How about this: perhaps G-d told Jenner that he would find spiritual fulfillment by doffing the unhappy gender he found himself in (e.g., male), and achieve peace and harmony with G-d’s Universe as a woman? Who are you to know what transpired between G-d and Jenner? Rebellion-schmellion. You are not casting the mote from your own eye; judge not lest ye be judged, dude.

  • Andrea

    Thank you. I never quite know how to re-act to these situations but Ive been around awhile and I recall transplanting organs causing quite a raucous. I feel compassion for these individuals. How do we who don’t experience this say its not happening, There are children born as hermaphrodites – are they God’s mistakes? Are people with twisted bodies or rare diseases mistakes? Just bc it involves sex does not put it into a special category. God knows and they have trials to deal with that we will never know. Bruce says he is a Christian.
    My only problem with this particular case is the notoriety its receiving and its use as a political and financial football. Another Kardashian headline?? But that is not my job to judge either. God bless, andrea

  • David M Pelly

    Lark: Is there anything I said that is not true?

    The truth is not determined by opinions, beliefs, fools, idiots, the politically correct, or by who wins an argument.

    Political correctness is a form of lying, a form of insanity.

    The truth is determined by honest men, intelligent men, probituous men, righteous men, men with good common sense and useful intelligence.

  • Vladika Lazar Puhalo

    To Azmodius: I reply that, first of all, you may be too coarse and crude to understand, but when a person is born transgendered, which can happen for various reasons, a trisomy being one of them, the brain and body are quite literally 2 opposite genders. In the case of Klienfelter syndrome, the person can actually be 80% one gender and 20% the other. Since one does think and have consciousness of self with the genitals (perhaps you think only with your genitals but normal people think and have conscious of self in the brain), having a brain and a body that are different genders is a state of un-wholeness. Bringing the body into harmony with the gender of the brain creates wholeness. A Transgendered person with male genitalia and a female brain would be performing a lesbian act to have sexual intercourse with a female. By the same token, a TG person with female genitalia and a male brain would be having a homosexual intercourse if they has sex with a man. You may be to coarse and crude to “get it,” or it may just be innocent ignorance. That, however, is no excuse to have such a total lack of compassion and admit that there are some things that you just do not know. Gender/sexuality are not determined by a cookie cutter. There are a hosts of things that create gender variations in the womb. Generally, since every human being begins life as female (female is the default gender) and it is complex for an xy chrom foetus to actually become male, there are many short circuits that can occur.

  • mythmorph

    I had the same question. Are we not each tasked with “improving” our Self, in our unique and deeply personal search for Wholeness? In seeking communion with the Whole (e.g., the Divine), is it even possible to remain the same person whom we were when we began our quest for insight, knowledge, and union with the Sacred, as that person we evolve into as we progress towards that elusive end? I should hope that every human looks towards self- (I don’t particularly resonate with the word “salvation”) expansion and self-awareness — without pausing to render arrogant judgment upon others who are on their own individual path. That is exactly what I find repellent about fundamentalist thought patterns.

  • conservative5

    A reference to this article is the only reason I am back on this sight. After reading this piece, I am reminded of the reason I quit this site. The people praising this article need a firmer grasp of the Catholic Faith.

  • Sigh. Intersexed individuals exist, and they’re neither male nor female. It’s one of those painfully inconvenient things we call facts.

  • mythmorph

    Just want to remind you Christian gender-comes-firmly-fixed-from-G-d types that for the first several centuries of its existence as an institution (an institution based, it is obvious, upon the contemporary understanding of the gist of Christ’s message), the Christian Church’s liturgy happily provided equal marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples; equal in the sense that the process and words and blessings were as they were for heterosexual couples, with the exception of the alteration of personal pronouns. Now, while we are not exactly discussing “gay marriage” here, the message given in this early Church acceptance of “deviance” from G-d’s gender choice for any individual, clearly is one of tolerance, love, and non-judgment. How far the Church has strayed. And if you want to check those facts for yourself, they have been noted by a number of today’s scholars, and repressed by a larger number of today’s obdurate church fathers. Nevertheless, as one earlier poster stated (in a quite different context), “truth is truth.”

  • B_Cody

    Absolutely the most intellectually dishonest article I have read in the last year! This is the most foolish reasoning I have read about Bruce Jenner. Please stop pretending he can stop being male!

  • B_Cody

    I will pray for you, Lark.

  • asmondius

    That’s absolute rubbish. Every single human being is genetically male or female. What ‘intersex’ refers to are people who have congenital ambiguous genitalia or genetic defects. This represents a new type of human no more than someone born with a cleft palate or missing digits.

  • asmondius

    ‘Intersex’ primarily refers to birth defects of the genitals. There is no such thing as a human being who is both male and female.

  • asmondius

    Then it would be foolish for you to claim this as a fact – correct?

  • asmondius

    You seem to have mis-read my comment. Sorry if it wasn’t clear.

  • I included my spiritual context people. at least the Christians posting here, would understand the background from which I was presenting information. Your response seems to indicate that at least one person was paying some attention. Many blessings!

  • Charlie Sutton

    I understand that you have a degree from Gordon-Conwell, as do I. I am ashamed to admit that, however, because I hate for GCTS to be associated with such shoddy thinking. And if you oppose judging so strongly, it is something you ought not to do yourself.

  • Maura Hart

    thank you.

  • Maura Hart

    when jesus said “judge not” what does that mean to you? did jesus appoint you judge?

  • Ideally yes, but sometimes transphobia keeps some boys from coming out.

  • Maura Hart

    no, you know what, a mere thank you is not enough. caitlyn jenner is over 60, she is living on her own, her children are grown and what ever change she is going through she is paying for with her own money. she has been hounded by the press for several years trying to expose her while she has been living her own life. all these pseudo christians judging her. what do they say about josh duggar ? what about the duggar parents? so many people outraged about gays and judging gays and transsexuals but they could give a rats ass about a 5 year old girl raped by a 15 year old sibling as he read her stories. shame shame shame. but again i thank you for your cogent compassionate article.

  • Thank you for reminding me that the Church is under the Torah. I keep forgetting how important it is to keep Israel’s law to be right with God.

  • Maura Hart

    catholics!!! bah! i was in a catholic orphanage and believe the nuns did not miss an opportunity to beat the children and the catholic church has made a concerted effort to protect child predator- make that child rapist priests. catholics. bah! if there is a god he must either be weeping or laughing nonstop.

  • Bill Scudder

    Christians are not to judge non Christians because they are already judged but we are to judge Christians that are living in sin and try to help them

  • We don’t believe – and I don’t know a single transgender person who does – that “a man can become a woman simply through changing pronouns”. Of course he can’t.

    We just don’t believe that a woman is a man just because she was born with a typical male body and called Bruce.

  • > I need to yield my brokenness daily to the finished work of Christ and find my identity in who HE says I am.

    What makes you think that Caitlin didn’t do the same, and had her womanhood affirmed by Christ? Were you there?

  • The verse refers to men wearing women’s garments. Not ‘biological males’ wearing women’s garments.

  • asmondius

    A man is not a biological male? Have you asked your parents about this?

  • Gender roles and expression (boys like blue and masculine things, girls like pink and feminine things) are social constructs. Gender identity (the sense of oneself as a man or woman) is currently known to be innate and immutable.

    > Why do some people with gender dysphoria seek to alter their bodies?

    A sense of physical dissonance that likely has a physiological origin, supported in particular by recent research that showed the brains of trans men to more closely match those of cis men rather than cis women in areas including that which governs body perception.

    This sometimes expresses in the phantom limb effect on gendered parts of the body, whereby for instance trans men experience phantom erections (I did), and the mismatch between mental map and physical reality causes psychological distress that manifests in the desire for surgery:

    http://articles.sfgate.com/2008-04-13/opinion/17146210_1_body-image-limb-phantom

    The prevailing scientific theory with the most evidence behind it is that transgenderism is caused by the sex hormones a foetus is exposed to during the crucial stages of brain and sexual development. There’s evidence that, among other things, this ‘primes’ the brain for a particular hormonal environment that’s either rich in testosterone or estrogen, and results in the sense of wrongness characteristic of dysphoria when it doesn’t receive that correct mix upon puberty.

    I experienced a sort of brain fog when I hit puberty, which distressed me until I got used to it; and then I started T and suddenly that went away, and I realised I suddenly could think clearly for the first time in almost ten years. It was like some ever-present chaos in my brain just stopped, and there was peace and quiet. I’ve heard similar things from other trans people who went on HRT.

    Meanwhile, a whole host of other mysterious health problems I’d had went away, and my mental health also drastically improved to the point where I’m now a sane, happy, functioning, extremely productive human with a job and social life, and not a quavering wreck who fell ill multiple times a month and couldn’t talk to anyone without getting a panic attack. Even if this is a lie, I’m happier than I ever thought it would be possible to be. I love life, I love God, I no longer hate everyone and want to kill them, and I see no good reason to go back to that state of despair and hate and borderline atheism and dysfunctional misery. In all likelihood, choosing that would end shortly after with suicide.

    Gender dysphoria does not go away except with transition. There are people who struggle against it for years using all kinds of methods – including electroshock therapy – but who then either kill themselves or end up transitioning in their 60s and 70s. I could detransition to living as female and spend the rest of my life panicking and miserable and locked up in a mental institution for my own safety; or I could continue to live my current life with joy and integrity, contributing to society, supporting my family, and continuing to do my best to love God and my neighbour in the abundant life that Jesus promised.

    I choose life.

    Here is some more science: aebrain.blogspot.sg/p/transsexual-and-intersex-gender-identity.html

  • asmondius

    You just contradicted yourself – thanks for saving me the trouble, how very polite of you.

  • asmondius

    Transphobia? Is that a queasiness about Transylvania?

  • That’s intersex, and about 10% of transgender people are significantly so; for starters, a good number of trans women have Klinefelter’s Syndrome, where they have XXY chromosomes. Many other trans people have various other intersex conditions to milder degrees (e.g. trans women with female skeletal structures, trans men who can naturally grow beards, and a variety of chromosomal configurations including a trans woman who discovered she was genetically female (infertile) but had developed male genitalia while in the womb – people still condemned her as being ‘really a man’ and condemned her desire for surgery as mutilation). It’s easily arguable that being trans is itself an intersex condition manifested in the brain. The brain is, too, a physical characteristic, after all; so why do you consider one a birth defect and the other a sin to be struggled against? Where and how do you draw the line?

    Also, many intersex people do not consider their condition to be a birth defect, and do not wish any surgery or medical treatment – which is unfortunately still forced upon them sometimes. Would you consider that a sin?

  • Well, people have different strengths of gender identity; some aren’t particularly bothered either way, while others are. It’s also the case among trans people – some desperately need to transition, at whatever cost, while others know they’re trans but are content not doing anything about it because it doesn’t seem worth the trouble.

    There are rare intersex conditions where a person’s body naturally changes sex upon puberty or some other trigger in adulthood. Apparently about a third of people who experience this completely freak out and seek immediate medical intervention, another third are elated and embrace it, and the remaining third just go ‘oh, okay’ and continue on with their lives.

  • How are you defining ‘biological male’?

  • No, that would be Transylvaniaphobia. Do try to keep up.

  • But how do you define someone as ‘living in sin’?

  • Well, when read in its proper context it means don’t make hypocritical judgments. It does NOT mean never make a judgment. The passage is rather clear, if people would bother to read it.

  • Maura Hart

    clear to me as well in your arrogance do not assume i cannot comprehend. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

  • ATexasGirl10

    I will not judge the Jenner man, but I do have an opinion as we all do. Everyday we make choices about many things. No matter what he does he will never be a woman and I do not believe God makes mistakes, and that is a fact, not a judgment.

  • ATexasGirl10

    Anyone that does not follow the teachings of Jesus that is in the Bible.

  • David Pulson

    God made creation, and that creation does tons of producing on its own, following God’s set laws etc. There are plenty of things that happen through this process that i think we would have to agree are far from perfect. Tons of birth defects, diseases, etc etc. even children born with both sex organs. I am not trying to be a prick. I am just sharing what I learn existed, and had to come to terms with. I dont think we are “exactly as God wants us” or “not a mistake”. the world isnt perfect. if your willing, you can find tons of ways people are “made” at birth that sound quite horrid. and many of them dont even make it very long, and die because of their “made” state if we follow your line of reasoning.

  • Toni Lynette GoughDavis

    If asking a genuine question, 1st, please give absolute definition of God–many people serve “their” God–as it pertains to comment or question.

  • Rustam Abbasov

    Dummest thing I read whole day. God told Bruse that He made mistakes by creating him with wrong gender and told human to fix His mistake?…

  • Toni Lynette GoughDavis

    How sad you’ve possibly suffered from such behaviors within the Church. Although these actions aren’t fathomable to me; that you’ve become a borderline AGNOSTIC/ ATHEIST, as a result, is difficult to understand

  • Toni Lynette GoughDavis

    Comparing behaviors of Jenner and Duggar is not helpful in any manner, as I see it–both are troublesome to many.

  • Okay, and how is Caitlyn Jenner doing anything that goes against what Jesus said?

  • LM

    God did create us, with our parents as conduits, who brought with them their particular DNA and genetics which go into making us who we are. There is absolutely no explanation that we in our mortal state can understand about why there are so many variables in how people develop and become. I think Bruce Jenner’s situation is a sad one, but that is my personal opinion born of my own emotions, because I cannot by any measure, even imagine what it must take to go to such lengths to shed the characteristics of the male person he was born as. He does not appear to be unhappy; however, I have wondered if the intense publicity he has sought is a due to the societal approval and validation that he needs.

  • liberalinlove

    It isn’t that we are a mistake or not, but that God loves us in whatever form we take.

  • Rustam Abbasov

    Jeremiah 29:13

    ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

  • R.
  • Michele Cox

    Thank you for writing this, though I’m deeply sorry that I read the comments. It is profoundly moving to me to find people who are determined to focus on living out the love of Christ — oddly, perhaps, it’s particularly moving when I’m fairly sure that our theological perspectives are in most ways in disagreement. But either of us can be wrong about our theology — how we live is what makes the most difference.

    Again, thank you.

  • mythmorph

    You have seen the ancient mosaic portrait of the two men joined in matrimony by the early Church, those same two men slightly later having been declared saints by said Church?

  • Ejody

    End Times, and stories like this from a supposed Christian only validate it.

  • immortalwombat10 .

    He doesnt though. “and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant,”

    abhorrence is pretty solidly not love.

  • immortalwombat10 .

    “judge rightly” -jesus “be perfect therefore as your father in heaven is perfect” -jesus

    He doesnt mince words, why do you feel obligated to?

  • Lark62

    Wrong. Some people are born with both male and female genetalia. They will be shocked to learn that they don’t exist because their existence would upset the preconceived notions of an Assmondius.

  • Lark62

    Not true? Pretty much from start to finish.

    If there is a creator of the universe, I’m quite sure it doesn’t give a damn about what people do with their genitalia. To say that “All of our problems are due to unGodly sexual practices, unGodly breeding practices, unGodly lifestyle practices.” is so idiotic, so arrogant and so patently false it is beyond words.

  • Lark62

    Thanks. I’ll chat with my dining room chair about you.

  • :) Well if the rulebook says ‘nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment’, it belongs to my wife, therefore it’s a woman’s. Not in the sense of specific construction or intention, but in the sense of my wife is a woman; it’s a woman’s in the sense of possessive. The rule quoted by our friend Steve, above, says ‘woman’s garment’. So there we are ;)

  • Lark62

    Living proof that your omnipotent god is in fact totally impotent starts many people on the road to atheism.

  • Lark62

    Yes. It is quite helpful.

    Likewise, comparing the words of self righteous christians as they defend a child rapist who did great harm and condemn Caitlyn who has harmed no one is informative. Evangelical / fundamentslist christians demonstrate their total absence of morality daily. You care nothing for real people if they are harmed by a dude spouting jeebus talk. Yet you condemn relationships between consenting adults and decisions you don’t understand whenever those things don’t fit your puritanical ethos.

    Harming other people is immoral. Failing to protect children from perp is immoral. Being born in the wrong body or being attracted to the “wrong” gender is not immoral.

  • Charlie Sutton

    I have no idea as to the author’s eternal fate, and my life, while imperfect, is not one of blazing hypocrisy. I am perfectly content to be judged by the standards I used in saying that the article was poorly reasoned.
    He has made a claim, and attempted to back it up. He failed, in my estimation, to do so. He has an opinion, and I have an opinion about his opinion.
    And you have an opinion about me, which you wrote, and it is, from your brief remark, an unflattering one,

  • Brandon Roberts

    honestly i just think she looks good

  • Pierce Baugh

    I really appreciate this article! You always write the most refreshing articles that removes Christianity from the clutches of the perverted, Americanized, judgmental version that is has been marred with. Your articles remind me how beautiful Christianity is, thank you!

  • Father Thyme

    You’re not well.

    I do not speak this way to hurt you, but rather to wake you.

  • Father Thyme

    You’ve sold all you have and given the proceeds to the poor….right?

  • Father Thyme

    Lark will think for you.

  • Father Thyme

    Resurrection is “unnatural” too; so much for your “living Savior.”

  • Father Thyme

    Thanks for proving the Bible a tangle of contradictions.

  • Father Thyme

    Eating at Red Lobster is sin too.

  • Father Thyme

    You’re really not well.

    I do not speak this way to hurt you, but rather to wake you.

    P.S. Funny how a jackass like you doesn’t appreciate his own crap.

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much Benjamin for discussing what “righteous judgement” means theologically in the context of John 7. I have been waiting to read your take on it.

    I suppose there are two sides to this complicated issue. The one side claims there is absolutely nothing in scripture that forbids Jenner´s decision. The other side claims that although the scripture is silent on this specific issue, the overall plan of God and the context of scripture seems to indicate that Jenner´s decision is a sinful one.

    I have to be honest … right now I´m not certain where I stand. I´m not certain what the third way might be. For this reason, I understand the importance of not judging when things are not as clear as we would like them to be. I also understand your argument about culpability. Thanks again Benjamin.

  • Father Thyme

    You need some Early Times.

  • Father Thyme

    Oh, you gave reasons for smearing people as sick, huh? Mighty Christian of ya.

    P.S. If “jackass” is “profanity,” then your holy book is full of profanity. Talk about a bad smell. evilbible.com

  • Matthew

    Society would never degenerate??

    We still live in a fallen world … don´t we? Even our very best attempts
    to produce utopia have — to some extent — failed us. That doesn´t mean we won´t make progress as human beings, but it does mean society will never be perfect and to some extent will continue degenerating even if everyone perfectly followed the biblical law of morality and ethics like you are suggesting.

    Just my take …

  • Father Thyme

    I’m speaking the truth about your abhorrent behavior of belittling people as “sick,” because I wuv gnu.

    You’re the type of Christian who would burn people at the stake because you love them, amirite? Oh yeah, we know all about Christian “love,” as expressed throughout history.

    P.S. You’re a perfect example of your schizophrenic dear leader. See Chapter 3: The Hateful Jesus, in Hector Avolos’ The Bad Jesus: The Ethics of New Testament Ethics. (2015, Sheffield Phoenix Press Ltd.)
    sheffieldphoenix.com/showbook.asp?bkid=294

  • Father Thyme

    You’re as sick as Jesus was. Remember, it says right in the Bible (Mark 3:21) that Jesus was mentally ill, if we’re to believe the eye-witnesses closest to him. And you’re probably just as sick as he is. Ever take a good college BIO course on the origins of religion?

    “Religion is organized schizophrenia.” ~Dr. Robert Sapolsky

    Dr. Robert Sapolsky The Biological Origins of Religion (Bio 150/250, Spring 2002)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WwAQqWUkpI

  • Father Thyme

    You disbelieve well-researched science from Stanford University? No wonder you think Caitlyn is “sick.”

    P.S. If you’re so concerned about real names, use Caitlyn’s chosen name. Or just keep proving yourself the hypocritical jackass that you are.

  • TheTruthHurts

    Bruce Jenner was made male. That’s not an anomaly, unless you think men are a mistake. Something in his mind makes him so convinced he should be a woman that he elected to mutilate his body. THAT’S the anomaly. He’s not “bad,” he’s nuts, and, mark my words, he will continue to be in need of psychological intervention, because he’s still not a woman.

    Society is dead wrong for indulging him. I don’t love a mentally ill person by letting them cut themselves; I love them by reminding them they aren’t well and taking away the scissors.

  • Father Thyme

    Can’t use real names, huh? You are such a hypocrite. But that’s just like Jesus. Jesus was insane, hateful, misogynist, violent, suicidal, not all that bright, and has a poor reputation among informed people.

    Avolos, H. (2015) The Bad Jesus: The Ethics of New Testament Ethics. Sheffield Phoenix Press Ltd.
    sheffieldphoenix.com/showbook.asp?bkid=294

    See Chapter 2. The Unloving Jesus: What’s New Is Old
    Chapter 3. The Hateful Jesus
    Chapter 4. The Violent Jesus
    Chapter 5. The Suicidal Jesus: The Violent Atonement
    Chapter 6. The Imperialist Jesus: We’re All God’s Slaves
    Chapter 7. The Anti-Jewish Jesus: Socio-Rhetorical Criticism as Apologetics
    8. The Uneconomic Jesus as Enemy of the Poor
    9. The Misogynistic Jesus: Christian Feminism as Male Ancestor Worship
    10. The Anti-Disabled Jesus: Less than Fully Human
    11. The Magically Anti-Medical Jesus
    12. The Eco-Hostile Jesus
    13. The Anti-Biblical Jesus: Missed Interpretations

  • Norascats

    I find it uncomfortable that a 65 year old man becomes a 40 year old woman. In 5 years she’ll still be 70.

  • asmondius

    Some garments are obviously not specific to sex.

  • Abraham Bird

    this is so much hogwash and deception.. even satan used scripture to try to tempt Jesus to comply. In this case this guy wants us to never say a word whenever we see sin and he uses half truths to try to persuade us to do so. I could go point for point with this article but for 1.) that evidently would be unloving and 2.) this guy has made up his mind it seems and it would be foolish to argue with him.

  • asmondius

    Some people are born with an extra foot or hand – does that make them some new version of a human being? Birth defects are regrettable but still abnormal.
    .
    No one is born with a full version of male and female sex organs.

  • otrotierra

    No Mike, Caitlyn Jenner does not have anorexia. That’s why we can’t take your comment seriously.

  • otrotierra

    No Ejody, Jesus said nothing about transgender people and “end times” because Jesus never talked about transgender people. You just made that up.

  • otrotierra

    No, Jesus isn’t calling you to hide behind a passage of Leviticus to denigrate your neighbors. The writer of Leviticus didn’t address the topic of transgender people. Acknowleging this truth will be a good first step for you.

  • gimpi1

    Not sure where you’re going with this…

    Humanity evolved from earlier primates, which evolved from other life-forms. Evolution and common ancestry are among the most robust scientific principles out there. They tell us that in our past, we descended from organisms that reproduce asexually, that switch genders, that fight to mate, that keep harems. However, origins have little bearing on us today.

    Today, we do require a fertile male and female person to reproduce. However, reproduction is not our be-all-end-all. Human beings are not an endangered species. I, for instance, chose not to have kids for many reasons, some genetic. My husband has a daughter from his first marriage, and did not want more kids. Is our marriage any less valid because of my tubal-ligation?

    When you obsess over sex, gender-identity and reproduction, you seem narrow, petty and cruel. Is that the face of your faith that you want to show to the world?

  • gimpi1

    No, I looked for archival gaussian blurs, used to hide merger-layers. I checked the file for layering, previous lab-color history and other special effects. You know, Photoshop techniques.

    What brought on this snark?

  • JCisIAM

    Different Greek words, Father Thyme. Not a tangle of contradictions.

  • Father Thyme

    Yes, I’d call it a tangle of contradiction–especially between writers who called themselves Paul and writers who purported to know the words of the Jesus character:

    Jesus: Call no man your father. [MT 23.9]
    Paul: You have only one spiritual father. For I became your father… [1CO 4.15]

    Jesus: Rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. [MK 10.42]
    Paul: So even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us [1CO 10.8]

    Jesus: You have received without payment, so give without payment. [MT 10.8]
    Paul: Those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel. [1CO 9.14]

    Jesus: Follow me. [MT 9.9, MK 2.14, LK 9.59, JN 1.43]
    Paul: Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me [1CO 4.16]

    Jesus: He is not the God of the dead [LK 20.38]
    Paul: Lord of the dead [RO 14.9]

    Jesus: My kingdom is not of this world… [JN 18:36]
    Paul: the authorities are God’s servants [RO 13.1-6]

  • J’Lissabeth Faughn

    Thanks for the article. I am a transwoman, and I am a Christian and Jesus loves me. No matter what people say, no matter how much people disagree, it doesn’t matter how you interpret the bible – the bottom line is you can not take Jesus from me. Jesus loves me and you can not change that. You can never change the truth that Jesus loves me. Today. Who I am. Right now. A transwoman. Jesus loves me.

  • This is an exercise in futility. Judgement is a similar beast to forgiveness. If you need to evaluate the trespass in order to know if you should forgive or not then you don’t understand forgiveness. If you think you can exercise judgement in one instance and not in another then you don’t understand what Jesus meant when he told you not to judge.

    Corey’s fundamental mistake was to bring in all the reasons why judgement would be inapplicable. Now everyone who would normally declare sin as sin is rating it from judgement poor to judgement rich. The truth is that everyone can and does judge. But just as forgiveness is more about the righteous than the sinner, so is judgement.

  • Gary Roth

    More silliness from Christians who, apparently, have nothing better to do than throw stones. Perhaps they ought to get a real life – like the one Jesus proclaims.

  • Gary Roth

    Maybe you should try the point by point. Enlighten us.

  • Gary Roth

    Maybe you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

  • Elizabeth Slough-Mills

    How about this, then? Worry about your own sins, and allow others the same dignity. I bet you’re one of those who scream the loudest when someone points a judgmental finger in your direction. You, and people like you, are the reasons that Christianity is becoming as reviled as radical Islam. In fact, I actually prefer radical Muslims over radical Christians. At least Muslims have the courage to show their hate openly instead of hiding behind the lie (and isn’t lying a sin?) that they’re “worried about your soul.”

  • Elizabeth Slough-Mills

    Did you even read the article? It is NOT FOR YOU TO JUDGE what goes on in Caitlyn’s mind, heart, or soul.

  • Elizabeth Slough-Mills

    Thank you so very much. Your beautiful article is eloquent and perfectly rational. Sadly, that is also why it breaks my heart. I read the comments and they are filled with the same bigotry against which your words caution. Logic and reason simply do not compute with the very audience you most need to reach. Radical and/or fundamentalist Christians are immune to reason–as many of the judgmental, hateful comments below demonstrate.

  • Ron Noname

    As a human being who is free from the judgmentalism of religion and its attendant varying brands of gods, I wonder about only one real world aspect about Ms Jenner.
    I would like to know whether the process of transgendering has affected her body’s athleticism and, if so, how?
    I’m a gym guy and a former athlete.
    My athleticism has been altered by aging~~unfortunately.lol
    Seriously, THAT is the only thing I wonder about.
    The rest is none of my business and, you know who refuses to so much as attempt to understand that.

  • Ron Noname

    “at odds with objective reality”

    Sounds like your typical religiomatic/fundie to me.

  • Steven McCaw

    Here’s the thing: I don’t judge Caitlyn Jenner, but I can’t really applaud her either. I don’t *like* Caitlyn Jenner or what she stands for, no matter how supportive I may be of the community that currently rallies under her banner.

    What I *do* have a problem with is all the attention she’s been getting. Here’s the thing: Caitlyn Jenner made a choice to undergo gender reassignment surgery. I neither applaud nor deride that decision. Upon completing the surgery, Caitlyn Jenner goes back to her $100 million, her mansion, her reality TV show (plus a new one), a photo shoot with Vanity Fair, and (minus a few haters who have virtually no impact on Jenner in any way) universal applause.

    That is not bravery. You are not a hero for enjoying freedom.

    Take a random cross section of a million other trans people. *All of them* have faced more adversity than Jenner. Jenner doesn’t need to fear being estranged by her family (Bruce already left *three* sets of wives and children of his own accord). Jenner doesn’t need to fear poverty (with $100M, doing some back of the envelope calculations she’s in the upper .0001%: that’s the upper 10% of the upper 1% of the upper 1%). Jenner has no fear of losing her job (first off ‘what job?’, yes she owns part of an airplane parts seller, but that never stopped Bruce from second off: she’s getting a reality TV show out of the whole ordeal).

    I don’t like Jenner as a trans advocate either, and I feel that this is the big crux of my problem. Jenner has all of the advantages of the highest echelons of society and is a Republican. I fear the exact same rhetoric, the exact same ‘advice’ will pour from Jenner’s lips to trans youths as would for poor people: it’s not hard, I did it. You just have to work harder. You have to pull yourself up by the bootstraps. Just be yourself, if it’s hard then it’s because you’re not trying hard enough. The “just be yourself” message is fine and all, but it completely ignores the realities faced by literally everyone else in the same situation. I do not except that Caitlyn Jenner will be able to empathize with the struggles faced by the average trans person any more than she will be able to empathize with the average American worker.

    On top of that, if Bruce’s history can be any indication: he’s had trouble with lifelong commitments. He’s thrice divorced with six children. One of his marriages lasted for over 20 years. He was an actor, a professional race car driver, an Olympic Athlete, a parent (if you want to talk about ‘lifelong, life changing decisions’), and a figurehead for an Aviation parts company. If you want to forgive him for being a lousy parent: I could do that, if he had only done it once and not six times. Transitioning is not, as the masses seem to suggest, a magic problem fixer. While gender corrective surgery can be a boon to many, it is not, in and of itself, a solution. The suicide rate among those who have undergone the aforementioned surgery is, according to a 2011 Swedish study, much higher than average. Jenner, for the record *hasn’t* had that surgery. If, much like his three marriages, his athletic career, and his racing career, Jenner *were* to change her mind, she could (owing to her incredible wealth and privilege) transition back. Truly: as a new masthead for the trans movement, Caitlyn Jenner could not be further removed from it.

    You want bravery? Talk to *any* other openly trans person in the entire world. That person is braver than Caitlyn Jenner. I do not judge Caitlyn Jenner (or anyone else) for being trans. I live my life according to the words of Jesus to the best of my ability and realize that I, like anyone else in the world, am a blob of protoplasm doing my best. In my heart and trying to ‘Judge Righteously’, completely apart from whether she is a sinner or not: I do not think Caitlyn Jenner is a good example for the trans community, or anybody else. Even the Son of God didn’t start dispensing advice until he’d live as a human for 35 years. Jenner is less ‘Jesus’ and more ‘Emperor Constantine’.

    (Note: Bruce Jenner stated in an interview that he wanted to be called ‘he’ until the surgeries were complete. I use ‘he’ when referring to Bruce Jenner and anything that he did *as* Bruce Jenner. I use “she” when I am referring to Caitlyn Jenner and anything she has done as Caitlyn Jenner. I may be breaking a pronoun rule. I apologize if I’m getting it wrong. I mean no disrespect).

  • Ron Noname

    Your petulant statement oozes with judgmentalism and control.
    I don’t have to explain my thinking and/or reasons for it to you or anyone else like you.

  • Very nicely done Benjamin, I recently wrote a post titled “If Gays are Going to Hell, are Gluttons too?” over at Patheos Spirituality and received much the same reaction.
    (See: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wakeupcall/2015/05/if-gays-are-going-to-hell-are-gluttons-going-too) The bottom line of that piece, as well as (I believe) this one: “It is God’s job to judge, it is our job to Love.” Thanks. ~Tom

  • Ron Noname

    I’m so glad that I am not overcome with jealousy based hate and resentment as you are.

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • ATexasGirl10

    You are out of context and don’t know what you are saying.

  • JCisIAM

    Father Thyme – I did read through some of your other comments to other people. I conclude that you really don’t want answers, you want arguments and to prove the Bible wrong and God not real. That will never happen. Even historically. But to suffice for your reply above:

    When interpreting the Bible context is of utmost importance. For example someone who has kids, when they are 2 may say, “Jimmy, I don’t want you to eat cookies without asking. Ask before you eat a cookie.” However, when Jimmy is 25 his mom will no longer have these same expectations. Jimmy is free to eat cookies at will. And though his mom said that she didn’t want him to eat cookies unless he asked, the time for that statement has passed.

    My point? God has different covenants; the most prominent are the New and Old Covenants. The Old Covenant was in place until Jesus breathed on His disciples after the resurrection. When Jesus was on the earth as a man, He was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Most of His discussions were to jar them out of their Old Covenant (Testament) mindset so that they would receive the New Covenant. For example Jesus said, “You have heard it said…But I say…” God has different requirements, freedoms, etc. for people under different covenants. This is not all that hard to accept since the same things happen within our own government system. At 17 you cannot vote; at 18 you can. At 18 you cannot drink alcohol; at 21 you can.

    I will reply to one of you scripture reference above. Not because I can’t reply to all of them, but I don’t believe you really want answers. You want to disprove God and His Bible so that you do not have to live for Him Once you accept that He is real, you become accountable to Him and mus then change. I don’t believe you want accountability.

    Romans 14 in context:
    “7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.
    8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
    9 For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
    10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
    11 For it is written: “As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.”
    12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.

    In context Paul is saying that Jesus died and rose and therefore He would also bring back from the dead those who are His. In the resurrection of the just those who are Christ’s will also rise. He is still their Lord [God] even though they have died, because He is their God [Lord] even if they are dead. Dead believers’ spirits go straight to the Lord; their bodies rise and reunite with a new body at the resurrection.

    The whole context is written to those who want to judge (there’s that word again) their Christian brothers over keeping Old Covenant Laws and days and feasts. Paul, by the Holy Spirit, is saying that if you want to keep Old Covenant holidays, fine just do it for the Lord not because you have to. Some New Covenant believers back then–we actually see this all over the New Testament–still had a hard time letting go of the Old Covenant Laws. This still happens today with many Christians, even some denominations.

    The truth is that Jesus set us free to live by two laws, “Love God and love people.” He said that ALL the Law [Torah] and the prophets are fulfilled in these two commands. Jesus is way less “religious” than many make Him, He is actually pretty easy to get along with.

    Hope this helps. Berta

  • Steven McCaw

    Jealousy? Please. Hate? Where?

    Please: if you have anything to add to the discussion, feel free. Otherwise… don’t.

  • AHighcrest

    What do you think Caitlyn Jenner stands for? To be fair I should say I do not think she stands for anything — she just is. Others have said her coming out means this and that but I respectfully disagree.

  • Steven McCaw

    To me, she stands for “If you have enough money and privilege, you can get people to congratulate you for anything.”

    If she ‘just is’, why has her transition been so widely publicized? Granted, I don’t watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians (speaking of ‘we are so rich we are famous just because’), before this… I hadn’t even *heard* of Bruce Jenner. Before the transition, Bruce Jenner was one of the hordes of nameless and unspeakably wealthy people I’d never heard of.

    If Caitlyn Jenner ‘just is’, why does it get *so much* attention?

  • Andy

    Chromosomes are not a perfect correlation with gender identity. Not everyone is XX or XY. Nor is genitalia; some people are born with ambiguous or both. Gender identity (notice, I didn’t say “sex”) is determined by whatever a person decides it is. If you feel like you’re a gender that doesn’t completely match with the sex you were assigned at birth, or both, or neither, or a third gender, then that’s who you are.

    Your inability to either acknowledge or comprehend the difference between gender and sex, or your defiance thereof, does not constitute a valid objection.

  • Steven McCaw

    Let me quote you directly:
    “I’m so glad that I am not overcome with jealousy based hate and resentment as you are.”

    That is a DIRECT QUOTE that you said ON THIS VERY PAGE about a half hour ago.

    That’s not being judgmental? Do you have any idea what “judgmental’ means?

    Does it strike you as ironic that in the exact statement where you say that you are not judgmental, you are passing judgment on all religion?

    Also: to answer your question: Caitlyn Jenner got plastic surgery. That’s it. No changes to muscle mass, no changes to genitalia either. If anything is going to stop her from being an athlete it’s that she hasn’t been one (assuming you count auto racing as athletics) since 1986.

  • Father Thyme

    Keep proving the accuracy of this humorous dictionary entry:

    CHRISTIAN, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor.
    Ambrose Bierce (Devil’s Dictionary, 1911)
    xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper2/Bierce/bierce.html

  • Andy

    You could not be more wrong. You could try, but you would not be successful. Go away.

  • Father Thyme

    Parroting dogma isn’t helping you.

  • JCisIAM

    Rejecting Jesus isn’t helping you.

    I wasn’t a believer when I received Him. But, I told Him that “if You are real then I receive You.” Well, that day changed the rest of my life. It takes the Holy Spirit to believe in Jesus. If you receive Him He will come to live inside you. Then you will know that He is Who He said He was. Blessings…

  • Father Thyme

    Actually, rejecting the Jesus character is helping me; he’s an extremely poor moral guide.

    Avolos, H. (2015) The Bad Jesus: The Ethics of New Testament Ethics. Sheffield Phoenix Press Ltd.
    sheffieldphoenix.com/showbook.asp?bkid=294

  • Tim Wilson

    As a Christian, I don’t agree with this perspective at all. Christians should have compassion on Caitlyn and not judge, but it has nothing to do with the fact that we do not have all the information. Matthew 7:1-6 deals with judgment of others, and it talks about the hypocrisy of a sinner judging another sinner, not a limited perspective.

    Matthew 7:1-5 (http://biblehub.com/esv/matthew/7.htm)

    ““Judge not, that you be not judged. 2For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

    I think this is much better perspective: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/how-should-we-respond-to-caitlyn-jenner.

  • Father Thyme

    <<he is a man wishing to be a woman>>

    So what? Are you a man wishing to be a bride? Hmmm? How’s that consummation gonna go?(!)

    The Bible is Weirder than You Think: According to Scripture Jesus Was Bisexual since Both Men and Women Are the “Bride of Christ”
    May 7, 2015 | Frank Schaeffer
    patheos.com/blogs/frankschaeffer/2015/05/the-bible-is-weirder-than-you-think-according-to-scripture-jesus-was-bisexual-since-both-men-and-women-are-the-bride-of-christ/

  • B_Cody

    LOL!

  • Katherine

    You’re so full of judgement and hate it’s ridiculous. Are you trans? Is that why you somehow know on a factual basis how I and other trans individuals feel about Jenner? As a Christian you shouldn’t argue for anyone else, so don’t. Get your own life together, and let us in the trans community talk and think for ourselves. Thank you, but we don’t want your help.

  • Doug

    Great post, but to me sin is missing the mark much like a archer misses the bull eye, still hits the target. God calls us to completeness, to become whole, Jesus showed us “the way.” There is nothing that keep you from God for all eternity!

    How could it be! Read the New Testament, with the “new eyes” Jesus talks about.

    I have read many of the remarks listed below and always find it odd how Christians love to quote the law when it suits their needs but they will turn a “blind eye” to hundreds of laws in the old testament that they find out dated, or more importantly don’t suit they needs at the time.

    If we cant see that Jesus transformed the Law into LOVE, thus completing it – I guess you get what we have seen in this world since the beginning of time.

    How do any of you “know” Jenner is not doing God’s purpose for ‘Her?” You have no clue what the divine mystery is suppose to look like. I know what not suppose to look like- look outside your door!

    We don’t trust God enough to let things work out in her time and in her way.

    I know one thing if you think you are “RIGHT” and most other are wrong , you need to look at yourself.

    God, at the very least, waste nothing, and works everything to good!

    Richard Rohr said something like, why do people always want to talk about the ten commandments, and not about the Beatitudes?

    Because most of us believe, were taught, that we have a God that’s out for blood, and that we are not good enough for her! Its because we made God human, how sad.
    How could that be?

    God is much , much more than that!

    Love, true agape love, transcends law – It cant be anything else!

  • Yeesh… some topics have quite a way of drawing the trolls out from under their bridges, don’t they?

  • otrotierra

    Indeed, Jesus and the Greatest Commandment are too challenging and downright offensive to evangelical fundamentalists.

  • Reasonable Logic

    The reason the Bible doesn’t address the issue of transgender is because as far as we can tell there is no such thing.

  • kiljoy616

    To me, she stands for “If you have enough money and privilege, you can get people to congratulate you for anything.”

    That is how human society work, sorry but that is not going to change no matter what. Not having money does suck but that how the world roles or did I miss something in the translation of living for 50 plus years. Money is everything including in most cases how long you live and how happy you can make your self. The rest of it is just bull people feed each other to make them feel good. Power and money aka. resources is what its all about the rest is just fluff in the end.

  • kiljoy616

    All he stated is he does not have the burden of religious eidetic and believes to burden him. Since you do you are burden with the need to pass judgment.

  • Kelly Stinar F

    I disagree. I don’t think the comment was filled with hate. It is reality. This is an extremely wealthy man who has been married three times and now has the luxury of reassigning his gender while making millions. That is a fact. Most of the transgender people I worked with in the mental health system were very, very ill…….. some psychotic. So, what came first, the chicken or the egg? What caused what? I have no idea, and don’t claim to know, but I know it’s no easy life, although it certainly is easier now than it was, say, 10 years ago. What I do know is that he/she is set for life and can afford to have all the support he/she needs. It’s not reality. It’s a reality show. His/her personal journey is not, but his/her choice to go public and benefit financially is. It isn’t going to help anyone in the real world who struggles with this, I don’t think.

  • Kelly Stinar F

    Exactly. What jealousy (lol!) and what hate? I’m not hearing it.

  • Reasonable Logic

    We do have a duty to follow the evidence though. Do you have any evidence that Jenner is a woman? Any evidence to suggest he isn’t just deceived, as so commonly happens?

  • Father Thyme

    > What I *do* have a problem with is all the attention

    Jealous much?

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    What I don’t understand, ultimately, is “What’s It To Ya?”! I mean, why do you even worry yourself over what this person does or not do – especially if they haven’t harmed anyone, and now feel free and happy. I mean… why on earth do you worry about ‘what it all means’? Just get on with your own life. Or as James Brown so eloquently put it “Shape up your bag, Don’t worry ’bout mine! Mine thing’s to-geth-er, And I’m doin’ fine! Good luck to you, Mister Loud and Wrong, You keep on singin’… that same old funny song!” (Talkin’ Loud and Sayin’ Nothing).

  • Father Thyme

    You don’t follow the Bible, or at least the parts you don’t want to follow.

  • Kelly Stinar F

    No, it doesn’t sound like a typical “fundie” comment to me. Objectively, Jenner WAS born and IS a biological male. His chromosomes won’t lie. That is all Mike is saying, I think (forgive me Mike for interpreting your post and tell me if I am wrong)…….. Jenner perceives himself as a female, gender-wise. Which is not what we have been seeing for the last howevermany years. It is sad to me that whatever qualities of being female he/she identified with could not be manifested without such a dramatic, public ruckus, and without the whole “transitioning” process. Is this really about physicality? Or is it more about qualities of being a woman that are not acceptable for men to have? I have a lot of questions. But I also have very little time to sit and reflect on Bruce/Caitlyn or the topic in general, because my own life calls!

  • Reasonable Logic

    It’s important to know how to behave when our feelings lie to us. It happens throughout life. Learning to master your feelings, rather than be mastered by them, is a vital skill.

    This whole story says “do what you feel, even if your feelings are obviously wrong.” That’s horrible advice. Jenner should feel ashamed of his behavior, not praised for it. He certainly mastered his feelings when he won the Olympic gold. I’m sure he felt like quitting, like giving up. But he didn’t. He mastered his feelings and defeated them.

    He was right then. Now he is wrong, and being praised for being wrong. That’s a dangerous message.

  • Kelly Stinar F

    I don’t think Mike even mentioned being Christian, or Buddhist for that matter………… weird responses here!

  • Father Thyme

    False analogy. Caitlyn Jenner is not in harm of death like an anorexic. Try again.

  • Father Thyme

    You dishonestly made an analogy with a life-threatening illness. Try a more honest analogy.

  • AHighcrest

    Yes of course money and privilege allow those who have both to do just about anything they wish but I don’t believe Caitlyn stands for this any more than any other wealthy celebrity who indulges herself, for any reason.

    “If she ‘just is’, why has her transition been so widely publicized?” Because the infotainment-driven media doesn’t think like me. Don’t suppose for a moment that I am trying to pass off my opinions as fact. It wouldn’t have mattered a whit to me whether the media made a fuss over Miss Jenner’s coming out or not, she just is. I don’t consider her brave, a hero or special because of what she’s done, it has all been done before — many times.

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    America is a ‘celebrity’ addict. There will always be people who have notoriety (good and bad) who lead the way. Lots of women were feminists before Gloria Steinem and Betty F., etc., lots of gays were fighting before Harvey Milk, etc., many black leaders before Obama, but leaders (for whatever cause, for whatever reason) will emerge. I look at Caitlyn as a symbol – regardless of her motivations and previous life experiences (many politicians and others have done a lot of really jive things, but somehow keep people admiring them)… Caitlyn symbolizes a new awareness of what some people experience when born into the ‘wrong’ body. It is their body, it is not my problem or place to judge, and I call on compassion and tolerance and generally think the world is a better place – too much war, hatred, violence, abuse all ready. Let’s move along, shall we?

  • Father Thyme

    Funny watching Christians try to deny being Christians. Want to go for 4x and break Peter’s record?

    P.S. If either you or Mike is not a Christian, as I assume from the tone and viewpoint of your comments, I’ll apologize at once for assuming so. Let me know.

  • msfwdc

    The Bible does not address a multitude of things. If we restricted our lives to only what the Bible addresses, we’d be living without electricity or indoor plumbing, dying of disease at an average age under 40, and riding on donkeys.

    If you use the brain God gave you and read the science (medicine and psychiatry) obtained by using the brain God gave us, you will learn that there IS such a thing as being Transgender. It is not a choice. Therefore, it occurs naturally,

    “Transitioning” is a necessary means of coping with a body whose gender does not match the gender of the brain housed within it. The body can be modified. The brain cannot. Ignoring the disparity is immensely damaging. So that is not an option. Therefore, the only sane choice is to deal with the body’s appearance.

    If you believe in an omnipotent, omniscient, and infallible God,,being Transgender is part of God’s plan, not a mistake, and not a sin.

    Overcoming the ignorance that humansociety has taught may not be easy but it can be done if one has an open mind and the will to understand what God created.

  • msfwdc

    Science (medicine and psychiatry) has determined that being Transgender is not a choice. (Transitioning is a necessary action required to being born into a body with a gender that does not match the gender of the mind.). Therefore, being Transgender occurs naturally. If you believe in an omnipotent, omniscient, and infallible God, being Transgender is part of God’s plan, not a mistake, and not a sin. Overcoming the ignorance that human society has taught may not be easy but it can be done if one has an open mind and the will to understand what God created.

  • liberalinlove

    I still think Frankie Schaeffer has a root of bitterness that while growing defiles many!

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    It causes harm’cuz Jesus will harm people and their kids and grandkids (or maybe not?),duh.

    Sorry feel’n snarky :-/>

  • liberalinlove

    Perhaps you misunderstand the word Love! God is love! For God so loved the World that While we were yet sinners and separated from Him, Christ died for US to redeem and reclaim all things back to the Father.

    You are talking about people who abhor God’s laws! Not sure I get your connection.

    The covenant laws made with a nation for God’s protection were to create safety for the nation to flourish and thrive and the geneologies to remain evident. From health standards, to earth care, to protection from religions that practiced unsafe sex etc, God said if you do these things, then I will cause your nation to flourish, multiply, prosper.

    We separate ourselves from God when we choose to reject His love, not the other way around. God never stops loving and seeking all of us to enter into that relationship.

  • Father Thyme

    You can’t get around Jesus’ man-boy love scheme, with Christian men wanting to be his bride, by smearing Schaeffer with the “bitterness” trope.

    Google images of Zeus+Ganymede. Then google images of Jesus+Beloved+Disciple.

    You’ll see in both sets of images an older bearded man with a young beardless man leaning into his bosom, sometimes kissing, in both the Zeus/Ganymede and the Jesus/John artwork. The concept is the same.

    Christians have zero room to judge people on sexual oddities, and I haven’t mentioned but one. There is also the no nuts eunuch thing, the no marriage in heaven thing, the gouging out your eyeballs thing…

    The Bible gets really weird sexually.

  • Reasonable Logic

    Any reason you didn’t define transgender? Please do so and then contrast that with being confused about reality. He says he’s a woman, but he’s not. What evidence do you have that suggests he’s not either lying or very confused?

    Based on sexual reproduction and organs, Jenner is a man. That is my evidence for my statement. What you gave appears to be an unsupported opinion, which is fine for what it is. But I was looking for evidence. Do you have any?

  • Reasonable Logic

    Carpenter was wrong about reality and Jenner was wrong about reality. Seems like a good comparison to me.
    Your assertion that you’re only wrong if it kills you is not well reasoned.
    I think 2+2=5. It won’t kill me to believe that. Am I still wrong?

  • Father Thyme

    Carpenter put her life in danger, and died; Jenner hasn’t. Doesn’t seem like a good analogy to me.

    But hey, you’re wrong about reality too, sometimes. Does that necessarily invite sexual busybodies like you to go sticking your nose into business that isn’t yours?

    >I think 2+2=5.

    That’s about your speed; sex/gender is not a math equation one can calculate. More bad analogies. Keep ’em coming, I want to collect all twelve!

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    The problem you have is “even if your feelings are horribly wrong”. Says who? You? Sorry bud, you are uptight. And not alright. bye.

  • Reasonable Logic

    So you think he’s wrong about reality but you prefer not to point it out? I guess that’s fine. As long as you don’t get sucked into the idea that our emotions/feelings never lie. That’s dangerous.

  • Doug

    RL,
    Deceived by who?
    I don’t have a duty to hurt or judge anyone, at the very least that’s up to God.
    Why would I care if Jenner is a woman or not. It’s her struggle and her lesson(adventure) to live. Again, how do we know it’s not God’s plan? Let God out of the box! She is much to “big” to contain.

  • Reasonable Logic

    Your reasoning is very solid. Nicely done. Probably why “stop judging” and “you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about” were the best rebuttals you got.

  • Father Thyme

    No, I’m not saying he’s “wrong” about “reality.” His behavior may be deviant, but then, so is yours, Mr. Civilized/Domesticated Man. You’re sitting on your fat rear typing on a computer, yet your body evolved as a paleolithic band animal for hunting and gathering. And your deviant sedentarism is harming your health, drastically.

    Talk to me about you deviance. I’ve got to help you! I love you, and if you don’t accept my help, you’ll be damned to Heck, the realm of Phil, the Prince Of Insufficient Light!

  • James or Not

    Why doesn’t the bible address viruses or giant tube worms on the ocean floor, or diabetes, or…? Cause “we” can tell there are no such things?

  • otrotierra

    No, Caitlyn Jenner isn’t asking for your opinion nor your permission.

    More importantly, why is Jesus missing in your comments?

  • Reasonable Logic

    “Deceived by who?”
    Deceived by his own mind. Again, any evidence to suggest he isn’t just deceived? It sounds like your answer is no.

  • Reasonable Logic

    Jesus. There, now He isn’t missing in my comments. Does that make them persuasive to you?

  • otrotierra

    Nope, just you in your comments. You and your self-serving, exclusionary opinion about the bible. Jesus and the Greatest Commandment are indeed absent in your logic, which is plain to see.

  • Reasonable Logic

    The 2nd greatest says to love others. Lying to people isn’t loving. It’s selfish and sinful.

  • Reasonable Logic

    I didn’t say the Bible addressed every topic. What is your point?

  • B_Cody

    Don’t bother, Reasonable Logic. Some people resort to name calling. Leave their playground.

  • James or Not

    That is my point.

  • liberalinlove

    Doesn’t have a thing to do with Frankie Schaeffer’s bitterness or his general lack of winsomeness!

  • B_Cody

    Are you judging Mike? Looks like Benjamin Corey’s judgmental finger-wagging is contagious.

  • James or Not

    That is the point – the writers of the bible didn’t address fundamental and vital things because they knew nothing about them, or as in the case of the planets and stars and diseases and mental deficiencies, completely misunderstood them. So what is your point about transgender people?

  • Father Thyme

    Read historian Diana Agorio’s aSEX RITES: The Origins of Christianity (The Ritual Use of Sex, Drugs, and Human Sacrifice) if you want to know more about the sexually deviant origins of Christianity; it was actually very sexually abusive. The Catholic priestcraft is famous for having perpetuated that sanctified abuse, as Diana underscores.

    ancientmeme.blogspot.com/

  • asmondius

    For example….? Please tell me of a human being who is/was neither male or female genetically.

  • gimpi1

    They pretty obviously cause harm, all the law should be interested in.

  • Katherine

    I’m sorry Kelly, by equating your work experience you’ve almost designated trans persons as mental patients. I hope that wasn’t your intent. And if it was your intent, I’m saddened that your work left you so poorly informed.

    Something you probably don’t know is that nearly every trans person wished and prayed not be trans. We really wanted to be like every other man or woman, but we’re not, and can’t. We are instead left with just two options 1. Transition, and 2. Live in misery for life.

    But enough of that. Your comment was mainly about tearing down Caitlyn, and who the trans community should support, hold as role a model, or have as a spokesperson. Why not stop telling everyone else what to do and let us speak, or decide who can speak with our authority. Unless you, your husband, son, or daughter is trans you have no pertinent knowledge about our lives. Yes, you worked with a few troubled trans individuals, but that gives you absolutely no credibility in discussing Caitlyn’s worthiness as a member of our little trans subset of society. Again, let us determine if Caitlyn is capable, strong willed, and honest in her desire to help her trans community. We can easily determine a persons ability, and correct a person who’s deliberately crossed us. We don’t want or need your input.

    I truly hope everyone who’s commented negatively about this article, and Caitlyn in particular, has a chance to learn more about trans issues. We really are just like everyone else in the world. We only want to be treated as people, with equality, and with the same rights as the rest of you.

    God’s Peace

  • Kelly Stinar F

    …”gender of the mind.” What does this mean, exactly? Doesn’t gender identity develop as a result of parental, social, and societal influences? I was a student of the DSM IVR, and stepped out of the psych realm for a while………. I am assuming there is no more “gender identity disorder.” How can science even know this? It seems unknowable.

  • Gary Roth

    O.k., Mike, I’ll take the bait this time. I’m a psychologist and pastor, with 37 years experience as both. What you call “objective reality” is not so “objective” to many people, who experience a difference between what is between their legs and their interior world. Just because you are born with a certain set of equipment doesn’t automatically make you male or female in orientation. Some folks are actually born with undeveloped or underdeveloped genitalia of both sexes, in which case either they or their parents decide how they will be raised. In Jenner’s case, who she was was in conflict with “objective reality,” as she experienced it – that she was female in orientation. In her case, she resolved the conflict through the process of having her body reflect that reality. As Christians, we do that as well, and regard that as an important part of our Christian walk. When Jesus proclaimed the Kingdom of God, it was not something that would appear as an “objective reality” to those on the outside of faith – in fact, as he noted, it seemed like nonsense to those outside of faith. He called us to live in the “already and not-yet” kingdom – a reality that existed only in the hearts of those who believed, but not visible to those outside of faith; and he called us to conform to that reality. Thus, the writer of Hebrews says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Jenner conformed her outward appearance to the inner reality. The rest of us need to get a life.

  • gimpi1

    So, was the Black Plague a good idea? How about Polio? We fix medical issues all the time. I don’t see this as any different.

  • Kelly Stinar F

    No need for the name calling, sarcasm, and general nastiness. It only makes me skip over what you are saying to continue reading other people’s comments. Once I hear the nastiness, I stop reading.

  • msfwdc

    The meaning of “Transgender” has been made clear by multiple professional bodies.

    The key to understanding begins with learning the difference between “sex” (“what is between the legs”) and “gender (“what is between the ears).

    The American Psychological Association’s resource “Answers to Your Questions About Transgender People, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression” can be found at
    http://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/transgender.aspx

    It answers many questions including the following.

    What does transgender mean?
    “Transgender is an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth. Gender identity refers to a person’s internal sense of being male, female or something else; gender expression refers to the way a person communicates gender identity to others through behavior, clothing, hairstyles, voice or body characteristics. “Trans” is sometimes used as shorthand for “transgender.” While transgender is generally a good term to use, not everyone whose appearance or behavior is gender-nonconforming will identify as a transgender person. The ways that transgender people are talked about in popular culture, academia and science are constantly changing, particularly as individuals’ awareness, knowledge and openness about transgender people and their experiences grow.”

    What is the difference between sex and gender?
    “Sex is assigned at birth, refers to one’s biological status as either male or female, and is associated primarily with physical attributes such as chromosomes, hormone prevalence, and external and internal anatomy. Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for boys and men or girls and women. These influence the ways that people act, interact, and feel about themselves. While aspects of biological sex are similar across different cultures, aspects of gender may differ.

    “Various conditions that lead to atypical development of physical sex characteristics are collectively referred to as intersex conditions. For information about people with intersex conditions (also known as disorders of sex development), see APA’s brochure Answers to Your Questions About Individuals With Intersex Conditions (PDF, 1MB).”

    You may also access this comprehensive list of professional groups with their official positions about what being Transgender means, how Transgender people should be treated, and how enlightened people in society should act toward them. Each included link takes you to information about the needs of and services for Transgender people in the context of the area addressed by the given profession.
    http://www.lambdalegal.org/sites/default/files/publications/downloads/fs_professional-org-statements-supporting-trans-health_4.pdf

    With all due respect, I cannot do your homework for you. I have spent years educating myself. I invite you to begin doing the same.

  • gimpi1

    Most of what you said is not true. Anyone with even a casual knowledge of history could see that.

    And the truth is determined by facts, not what any men think.

  • Father Thyme

    You’re conveniently thin-skinned, while never being able to stay on any modicum of the topic discussed. Is this the way you weave and dodge around everything?

    “How conveeeenient.” –Church Lady

  • Father Thyme

    > the absence of any logical argument

    Yours, amirite?

  • gimpi1

    Society will never be perfect because we’re not perfect, but we’re making things better, and we’ve been doing that for some time. Chattel slavery (rightly called the cancer of the ancient world) has been outlawed in most of the world. Much of the world is working to eliminate laws permitting overt discrimination. Our scientific knowledge has given us the most effective medicine the world has ever seen, radically increasing our health and life-spans. We have increased our food production, greatly reducing the suffering and death due to famine. The world is violent, yet overall violence has is on a downward trend for some time (with a few notable exceptions.)

    In short, more of us live longer, healthier, more free and more secure lives than we ever have in the past. Why does everyone seem to think things are going down the tubes?

  • gimpi1

    Even if they’re not Catholic?

  • msfwdc

    The meaning of “Transgender” has been made clear by multiple professional bodies.

    The key to understanding begins with learning the difference between “sex” (“what is between the legs”) and “gender (“what is between the ears).

    The American Psychological Association’s resource “Answers to Your Questions About Transgender People, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression” can be found at http://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/transgender.aspx

    It answers many questions including the following.

    What does transgender mean?

    “Transgender is an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth. Gender identity refers to a person’s internal sense of being male, female or something else; gender expression refers to the way a person communicates gender identity to others through behavior, clothing, hairstyles, voice or body characteristics. “Trans” is sometimes used as shorthand for “transgender.” While transgender is generally a good term to use, not everyone whose appearance or behavior is gender-nonconforming will identify as a transgender person. The ways that transgender people are talked about in popular culture, academia and science are constantly changing, particularly as individuals’ awareness, knowledge and openness about transgender people and their experiences grow.”

    What is the difference between sex and gender?

    “Sex is assigned at birth, refers to one’s biological status as either male or female, and is associated primarily with physical attributes such as chromosomes, hormone prevalence, and external and
    internal anatomy. Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for boys and men or girls and women. These influence the ways that people act, interact, and feel about themselves. While aspects of biological sex are similar across different cultures, aspects of gender may differ.

    “Various conditions that lead to atypical development of physical sex characteristics are collectively referred to as intersex conditions. For information about people with intersex conditions (also known as disorders of sex development), see APA’s brochure Answers to
    Your Questions About Individuals With Intersex Conditions (PDF, 1MB).”

    You also may use the link below to access a comprehensive list of official positions taken by professional groups. Each group addresses what being Transgender means, how Transgender people should be treated, and how enlightened people in society should act toward them. Each included link takes you to information about the needs of and services for Transgender people in the context of the area addressed by the given profession.
    http://www.lambdalegal.org/sites/default/files/publications/downloads/fs_professional-org-statements-supporting-trans-health_4.pdf

    With all due respect, you must do your own homework on this subject. It takes time and effort to understand. I have spent years educating myself. I invite you to begin doing the same. Best regards.

  • gretchenj173

    God has created us, humans, to have four facets: heart (emotions), soul, mind and body and each can have sickness. We would go to the ‘body’ or physical doctor when physically ill, so then we’d go to (or ought unless shamed by others or society) the ‘heart’ or ‘mind’ doctor (counseling) when struggling with conditions relating to emotions, abuse, etc., and we’d go to the ‘spiritual’ doctor (God primarily, or a good spiritual leader) when struggling with our souls.
    If we ignore any facet of ourselves we are likely unhealthy in that area, such as when bitterness is rooted deep within one’s heart. No one is able to know anyone’s heart, only God can know their emotions, history, experiences, genetic background, history of abuse, family tree. As the saying goes, ‘you cannot walk in another’s moccasins.’
    In my work in the mental health field as a Christian counselor for over 25 years, I have taken the time to investigate why people become so damaged, and I have heard many stories as well. I am reminded that Christ did not make presumptions but sat, listened to the wounded people tell their stories (the well), encouraged them, took much time with them with much compassion.
    God gives us so much to learn about the heart in The Bible but most profound is His rebuke:
    “The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Sam 16; also 1 Chron 28
    That ‘Christians’ are labeling someone struggling with heart and mind issues as a sinner is a disservice to the cause of Christ. They ought to take that finger pointing at that person and put it with the three pointing right back at themselves, and stop making presumptions with so little data.

  • Father Thyme

    Carpenter had a life-threatening illness called anorexia, yet no christian would condemn her of a sexual sin. Jenner has no life-threatening illness, yet Christians are slavering to condemn anybody not just like them with sexual “sins.”

    Your analogy just isn’t valid. Keep banging away at it though, because none of what you say is intellectually valid.

  • gimpi1

    Well, the reason I think you’re wrong is that you are assuming that something that causes no harm must be judged and (presumably) acted against. Ms. Jenner is causing no harm at all. Therefore, you don’t have to like her actions, but you have no right to intervene in them.

    I also get irritated when people talk about the “truth” as though they have a corner on the market. Truth is determined by facts. I see no facts that indicate it’s loving to assume a person who is trans is somehow lesser or wrong for transitioning.

    (And Gimpi is my nickname.)

  • gimpi1

    Anorexia is a seriously disabling condition that can be fatal. A person who is transsexual undergoing transition is not. Why do you compare them?

  • Reasonable Logic

    I’m uptight? Does that make me wrong about everything? Or just this? Are all uptight people wrong? If I wasn’t uptight would I always be right? Or only sometimes?

    This is what happens when irrelevant information is introduced to a topic. My “uptightness” is irrelevant.

  • gimpi1

    OK, you think Ms. Jenner has a distorted view of reality. Fine.

    I think Glen Beck has a distorted view of of reality. That has nothing to do with his rights as a person. He is free to draw his diagrams, host his shows and think what he wants.

    Why isn’t Ms. Jenner free to live her life as she sees fit without your interference, just as Mr. Beck is free to live his life free of mine?

  • Rustam Abbasov

    Actually, on purpose or not you comperising to infectious diseases is pretty good. Except in transgender case you not fixings problem, but making symptoms more visible and what am seeing from a lot of comments here also Contagious.

  • Charlie Sutton

    It is an honest comparison: both conditions are perceptions which vary from objective reality.

  • gimpi1

    Since Ms. Jenner appears to be happier, I don’t really care one way or another.

    Consider Mr. Ken Ham. He runs a museum and group of websites/businesses based on a manifest falsehood, that the earth is only around 6,000 years old, and that humans are not descended from common ancestors with other life-forms. He’s wrong. He’s spectacularly wrong. However, he’s free to run his businesses and believe things that are factually wrong.

    I assume you support his right to do this. How are Jenner’s actions different?

  • Reasonable Logic

    Gender is the same as sex.
    Source: Me.
    Sex/Gender is your assigned biological role in the reproductive cycle of the race. This is not changeable. Our feelings on the subject are not measurable or relevant. This is science and our opinions don’t matter.

    However, properly responding to reality (emotions) is an important skill. Those who say they aren’t the gender that they actually are aren’t responding to reality in a healthy way. They will be healthier if they learn to master their emotions rather than be mastered by them.

  • gimpi1

    Well, my point was different.

    My point is that much of the world is dangerous, and if God created the Plague or Smallpox, I could well regard that as a mistake. (Rather than naturally opportunistic life-forms taking advantage of available opportunities.)

    Also, if you regard a person who is transexual as having some sort of defect, well, we fix those all the time. Club-foot, cleft-palate, all sorts of birth-defects can be surgically repaired. How is a trans-gender person transitioning different?

  • Reasonable Logic

    My point is that there are two genders – male and female. That’s what science says. Transgender doesn’t exist.

  • gimpi1

    Well, I’m sure many people over in the Atheist section of Patheos might tell Ben he has a false view of reality. So might quite a few in the Evangelical section. Views of reality can be mutable.

    The thing is, Ms. Carpenter’s view was dangerous. Ms. Jenner’s view is not. Therefore, Ms. Carpenter’s view warranted intervention. Mr. Jenner’s view does not.

    No harm, no foul.

  • gimpi1

    Well, I suppose. Are you just chatting about it, or (as some people who have made similar arguments) do you want to prevent such actions in law?

    Do you want to prevent people who are trans from living their lives as they see fit? If so, that’s a problem. You don’t have that right, any more than I can shut down Mr. Beck’s radio show.

    If you just want to gossip, fine. Gossip away.

  • Father Thyme

    Define your vague “objective reality.” Once you do, I bet I can find a way that you are more “deviant” from traditional human norms of “self-perception.” So go on.

  • gimpi1

    Her body is hers. You don’t get to decide what constitutes harm. People make choices all the time that affect their families in adverse ways, everything from work-a-holic careers to family feuds that are no one’s business but their own and their families.

    This really seems to be a ‘mind your own business” situation to me.

  • Gary Roth

    Just this one more time, Mike – apparently you just want to argue. There is a big difference, which psychologists will be happy to note to you, between sexual identity and anorexia. And I wasn’t saying that Jenner’s identity was “the kingdom of God.” I was comparing his realization of his sexuality with something Christians could identify with, if they were open to it. You aren’t.

  • Rustam Abbasov

    I never suggested that transexual people have physical defect. It is mental/spiritual disorder. If person will believe he/she is a snake and will lay across the sidewalk and when people will try to move that person, that person will start biting them… What is going to happen? Are we going to take them to zoo ?or try to come up with a plan how to fix their body? No he/she will end up in mental institution in no time. And some how we are able to “judge” or diagnose that this person has some sort of mental problems and his/her body doesn’t need alteration, what person need is mental help. Weirdly enough when man believes he is a woman we can’t fallow same logic…

  • Reasonable Logic

    That’s a different issue. I strongly support Mr. Jenner’s right to be wrong, as I do everyone’s. I believe you are wrong about evolution and could show you using science if you like, but I strongly support your right to teach evolution and try to persuade others that it is true.

    The problem with both Bruce Jenner (in this case) and evolutionists is that faith and emotion can sometimes replace science and reason and lead them to false conclusions. If you are operating outside of your design you (and sometimes others) will be the worse for it. But that’s a different topic than the right to be wrong.

  • Magnus Gungir

    Jenner is mentally ill. Participating in the support of his self-mutilation is functional hate. He is no more a sinner than anyone else, but his mental illness certainly is the product of sin, that is the physical impact of falleness on the natural world.

    Mr. Corey’s diatribe is simply specious moral preening before an audience that embraces deconstructed morality.

  • gimpi1

    We don’t follow the same “logic” because it’s not the same. A person who believed they were a snake couldn’t have much of a life. A person who is trans can. They may choose to transition, and it’s their choice.

    Their choice. Not yours. We don’t confine people to institutions because someone disapproves of their life.

    You don’t approve. Fine. I’m sure if I dug into your life, I would find things I don’t approve of. If you aren’t causing harm to those around you, I have no right to compel you to change. If you dug into my life you would most likely find things you don’t approve of. I’m not harming those around me, so you have no right to compel me to change.

    Ms. Jenner is doing something that she believes will make her life better. It causes no overt harm to those around her. Therefore, it’s none of our business.

  • Magnus Gungir

    This is simply false.

    Lots of mental illness occurs naturally- anorexia, depression, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia; that doesn’t mean we embrace the delusions of the ill and encourage them to mutilate and disfigure themselves.

    One of the consequences of the fall- sin- is the fallenness of the biology of the human condition. Just because something occurs “naturally” doesn’t mean it is right or good- death being the ultimate example of that.

  • msfwdc

    If you refuse to read and learn from science, we have no basis for discussion.

    Unless you are a medical doctor, psychiatrist, or psychologist, your “opinions” that differ with those established by consensus of professionals are nothing better than superstition and old wives tales.

    They are based on neither “reason” nor “logic”.

    Feel free to practice your personal voodoo on yourself but please refrain from forcing it on others.

  • gimpi1

    Well, my scientific information is largely by osmoses. I’m married to a geologist, and you pick up things… Never tour Yellowstone with a geologist if you want to sleep soundly… but I digress.

    The vast, vast, vast majority of scientists agree that the earth is 4.5 billion years old, that the solar-system condensed out of interstellar gasses from earlier systems and that life on earth descended from common ancestors. The vast, vast, vast majority of scientists would argue that they are using science and reason, and they can present evidence in the form of actual advancements and discoveries. The vast majority of medical practitioners would say Ms. Jenner took corrective action to give her a better life.

    I’m going with the majority on this one.

  • gimpi1

    And, as I read his post, he’s telling people not to gossip, but to mind their own business. I’m agreeing with him on that.

  • msfwdc

    The professionals of medicine and psychiatry disagree with you.

    Here are two resources if you should decide to consider them.

    > The American Psychological Association’s resource “Answers to Your Questions About Transgender People, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression” can be found at:
    http://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/transgender.aspx

    > “Professional Organization Statements Supporting Transgender People in Health Care” representing 10 major medical and mental health groups can be found at:
    http://www.lambdalegal.org/sites/default/files/publications/downloads/fs_professional-org-statements-supporting-trans-health_4.pdf

  • Magnus Gungir

    I am one of those professionals. IT IS FALSE.

  • gimpi1

    Actually, current psychological thinking is that gender is much more fluid than simple genetics imply.

    I’ve known a couple of people who are trans, one of whom transitioned. He was much happier as a man than he was as a woman. He married, had a career and a fairly full life. I’m sure that experience showed me that transitioning can have value.

    May I ask, why do you care about Ms. Jenner’s transition? Why does it bother you?

    If it’s “objective reality” I’m sure I could find examples where you believe things that are most likely “objectively” wrong. Most people have those. Why is this your business? What do you want to have happen? Would you outlaw transitioning? Harass people who transition? What’s your end-game?

  • Andy

    You seem to be under the impression that resources that inform us of genetic aberrations, like chromosome abnormalities and ambiguous genitalia, keep a list of people with those anomalies, like a white pages directory. I’m sorry, but I don’t think there is such a list. Maybe you can start one; peoplewithgeneticabnormalities.com is available.

  • gimpi1

    Sigh… well, if you think hurting people is the same as helping people, you’re right.

    Ben’s opinion is that no one has the right to sit in judgement of Ms. Jenner, since they have no way of knowing all the facts. That’s true. We can’t climb into another person’s head. Judging and condemning people hurts them. Many people who are trans have been deeply wounded by such things. He’s saying don’t hurt them.

    You appear to be saying that, in the name of “love” and “reality” that you should hurt people, because you believe that hurting them is for their own good.

    This is going nowhere. I want people to be free to make their own choices. If they’re going to be hurt, I want it to be by those choices, not because I imposed restrictions or harassed them because of my beliefs. You don’t share those beliefs. And we are never going to see eye-to-eye.

  • gimpi1

    Well, here’s the thing. You don’t get to decide it’s mutilation, since you don’t rule the country. Ms. Jenner is happy with the outcome of her transition. She’s the only one that needs to be.

  • Father Thyme

    > mentally ill

    People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Or, as Jesus put it, Mote, Beam. Here’s your beam, bro.

    “Religion is organized schizophrenia.” ~Dr. Robert Sapolsky, Stanford University

    Dr. Robert Sapolsky The Biological Origins of Religion (Bio 150/250, Spring 2002)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WwAQqWUkpI

  • Reasonable Logic

    “If you refuse to read and learn from science, we have no basis for discussion.”

    Science? The only one who has provided any science at all is me. Cut and paste of some quote from some unnamed person isn’t science. It wan’t even presented as science, but as opinion.

  • msfwdc

    The vast majority of your peers disagree with you.

    There are fringe doctors and mental health professionals who support “reparative therapy” aka “cure the gay”. Are you one of them too?

  • Reasonable Logic

    Why are you so caught up in the opinions of man? You seem to be easily impressed by titles and education levels. Even if all them agreed on something, it is evidence of nothing. Once most people thought the earth was 6,000 years old. Now most people think it’s millions of years old. Therefore…nothing. Opinions mean nothing. Evidence is everything.

  • Johnny

    The APA is a corrupt progressive appendage. Corrupting a professional body then shouting at people who don’t belong to your cult about how they’re a “professional authority” doesn’t make them a professional authority in the minds of your opponents. I have no more reason to accept the APA’s theology than that of the Heaven’s Gate cult, for more or less the same reasons. The scientific establishment is corrupt and prone to fraud and gross incompetence even in less controversial fields. Pseudo-science like psychology stands no chance. If you want objective individuals who don’t adhere to your religion to even pay attention to your mad ramblings try making some actual arguments instead of appealing to the high priests of your religion. They’re no more authoritative to me and other informed, educated people than the Pope.

  • msfwdc

    Define “evidence”.

    Science is based on research and facts . . . empirical evidence!

    Religion is based on faith, a belief in that which cannot be seen or proven.

    The belief that the earth was 6,000 years old was based on faith (a religious opinion) and the belief that the Bible was the “divinely inspired word of God” and was literally true.

    The fact that the earth is millions of years old is based on research and empirical evidence.

    Who’s obsessed with “opinions”? Certainly, not I.

  • Father Thyme

    > the APA’s theology

    Really? They actually don’t offer that.

    > Pseudo-science like psychology

    Tom Cruise, is that you ranting?

  • Father Thyme

    This post elicits great fear in a certain sort of person.

    H.L. Mencken — ‘Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.’

  • msfwdc

    The APA does not pretend to deal in “theology”. Psychiatry is not a religion. Get a grip.

    Do you plan to let your minister operate on you when you need your appendix removed?

    What do you see and “real” science that is not “corrupt”?

  • Rustam Abbasov

    And how can you judge that snake person couldn’t have much of a life? Why can we judge and decided that his life is not going to be happy and complete ? I’m not calling myself a perfect person with a perfect life, however if person doesn’t do a physical harm to somebody else doesn’t mean that they don’t do harm at all. Being a public figure he can affect other people’s life more than he physically could. Genocide in Rwanda got less coverage than his transition. There is a lot of unhappy ,depressed, troubled people out there, lost teens whit no good role models or parent figures in their life and when they see that this person changed his body and what suggested by media got “happy” “complete” person, people might think this is it, that is a solution. If a president tweets about it as a an act of heroism and remains of US solders are trowen away in landfill in VA, than we have a problem…

  • Father Thyme

    Jesus never talked about transgendered people. He did talk, multiple times, about the sin of being rich.

    I’d bet dollars to doughnuts Jesus would consider you rich.

    > We do have a duty to follow the evidence though.

    OK, here we go….right? LOL

  • msfwdc

    Where is your science? All I’ve seen from you is . . . “If it has a penis, it’s a man . . . If it has a vagina, it’s a woman.”

    If I told you, “If a woman has red hair, she’s a witch.” would I be sharing science? By your criteria, I would be.

  • Johnny

    Of course the APA does not “pretend” to deal in theology, but it deals in theology anyway. Progressivism is as much a religion as Christianity or Buddhism and the APA peddles progressive theology.

    No, I don’t plan to let my minister operate on me. I plan to let a real doctor (IE: not a psychologist) operate on me. I don’t, on the other hand plan to let a psychologist treat any mental issues I may have because unlike doctors their track record is abysmal.

    “What do you see and “real” science that is not “corrupt”?”

    There is no science that is not corrupt, that is the way of man. There is science that is functional enough to be useful though. Psychology isn’t one of them.

  • Father Thyme

    Stipulating that your accusation of Jenner being “deceived” is valid, what does a guy like you have against delusions?

    Individuals experiencing religious delusions are preoccupied with religious subjects…

    Religious delusion – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_delusion

    You. Must. Accept. My. Help. With. Your. Problem!!! LOL

    Or, would you prefer I mind my own business?

  • Reasonable Logic

    I understand your position. For me, I can choose to believe what I am certain of, or what others say they are certain of. Once I’m certain, I’m comfortable being in the minority if that’s how it ends up.

  • gimpi1

    Well, someone trying to slither will most likely not be happy and fulfilled. But, if they feel they are, more power to them.

    The press covers what it thinks will bring ratings. Judging from the number of comments on this blog, they were right to give this coverage.

    If Ms. Jenner’s transition gives hope to people who are trans, I see that as a good thing. If she says she’s happier, I’m willing to take her at her word. And yes, if someone sees her as happier, that’s fine. It may, indeed be a solution for them.

    We change our bodies all the time. I’m menopausal. I may take some drugs to ease that process. That’s a change. Many people have cosmetic surgery. We diet, work out or take supplements. Those are all changes.

  • gimpi1

    That’s fine. A follow-up question, however:
    If you don’t generally look at things like the scientific consensus, how do you self-correct? How can you figure out if you’re wrong?

  • Father Thyme

    > Transgender doesn’t exist.

    Wrong. Go to scholar.google.com and search “transgender. 89,500 results of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats.

    Odd that something that doesn’t exist rates so much study.

  • msfwdc

    Please define “progressivism”.

    You wrongly conflate “progressivism” with “religion”. The absurdity of that notion is proven by the fact that “progressives” follow all religions as well as agnosticism and atheism. You attempted a nice sweeping dismissal but it just does not hold water.

    If “science” is “the way of man”, why did God give man a brain? If God did not intend the human brain to be used to better understand and improve the human condition, why did God give it the capacity to do so?

    PS Doctors and surgeons agree that being Transgender is real and legitimate. So, you better make sure the surgeon who does your appendectomy isn’t one of the “devil’s doctors”.

  • Father Thyme

    If you bolded and underlined your caps-locked gainsaying, it would mean more to me, in a professional way. Check your APA style manual (or you can borrow mine) on shouting for effect, ok?

    *chuckle*

  • Father Thyme

    > consequences of the fall- sin

    Sorry, the “genesis” fable with the talking snake never happened. Geneticists have completely debunked it.

    The facts first. Sheehan et al., building on earlier work by Li and Durbin (references in margin), calculated that the minimum population size associated with the worldwide expansion of humans out of Africa roughly 100,000 years ago was 2,250 individuals, while the population that remained in Africa was no smaller than about 10,000 individuals. For population geneticists, this is the “effective population size,” invariably smaller than the census size, so these are minimum estimates, and ones derived from conservative assumptions. The population sizes are estimated by back-calculating (based on reasonable estimates of mutation rates and other genetic parameters) how small an ancestral population could be and still give rise to the observed level and structure of genetic variation in our species.

    Note: 2,500 is larger than two.

    This means, of course, that Adam and Eve couldn’t have been the literal ancestors of all humanity. Normally, such a scientific trashing of scripture could be absorbed, at least by liberal theologians. They’d just reinterpret Adam and Eve as metaphors. But that causes big trouble on two counts.

    Jerry Coyne (2013) Scientists Try to Reconcile Adam and Eve Story, Whiff. Again. New Republic. newrepublic.com/article/115759/adam-eve-theologians-try-reconcile-science-and-fail

  • Father Thyme

    > the opinions of man

    I bet you think the opinion of your imaginary friend is better, amirite?

  • Father Thyme

    > it deals in theology anyway

    Cite?

  • Rustam Abbasov

    You are right, Media sells what people are willing to buy. And it is sad reality, but when so called christian scholar is trying to sell same thing and trying to base it on Bible than I will have to disagree. If person denies Bible and God and believes that this act is ok he/she or you are definitely entitled to your opinion, but don’t try to justify it by Bible.

  • gimpi1

    People disagree on what the Bible means, and have for at least 1,500 years. Since there’s no way to prove any of this, there will continue to be discussion and dispute. I’m pretty sure Ben had reasons for his views on Ms. Jenner, and feels that they are Christian. You feel differently. Neither of you can prove your position. However, his is kinder.

    I’m an outsider here, but I prefer kind.

  • Reasonable Logic

    Evidence is that which can observed, tested, predicted and repeated.

    A young earth and old earth are both based on evidence. Evolution though requires an old earth in order for their faith in it to work however. The idea that humans evolved from non-humans is terribly stupid and makes them feel dumb because we all observe that humans come from other humans. Kinda like how we observe that people don’t change their gender.

    So they say, “Well maybe it happened a long time ago and happens so slowly that you don’t notice.” Yeah, maybe. But SCIENCE doesn’t work that way. It happens so quickly that you do notice. That’s sort of the point. If you can’t observe test or repeat it, it’s just blind faith, not science.

    We’ve all observed creation, so it’s a good bet that creation happened in the past as well. But the ascent of man? We haven’t observed that. It’s fine to believe it, but it’s pure blind faith. I believe what I can see. Including men remaining men their whole life.

  • Johnny

    Progressives don’t follow all religions. They corrupt them to service progressivism. A man cannot be both progressive and Christian. A man can CLAIM to be progressive and Christian but they will inevitably just be progressives who pretend Jesus taught progressivism (conveniently enough nobody actually noticed this for the better part of 2000 years).

    “If “science” is “the way of man”, why did God give man a brain?”

    If circles are are round why is snow white? I can’t even parse this nonsense into something legible. Anyway, I didn’t say science is the way of man (though it is, it’s not like rabbits practice it), but rather corruption is the way of man. It is a counter to your attempt to replace evidence and logic with appeals to authority.

    If God did not intend the human brain to be used to better understand and improve the human condition, why did God give it the capacity to do so?”

    If God intended the human brain to be used to better understand and improve the human condition then why do you use yours to slavishly adhere to the doctrines of corrupt human authorities like the APA?

    “PS Doctors and surgeons agree that being Transgender is real and legitimate. So, you better make sure the surgeon who does your appendectomy isn’t one of the “devil’s doctors”.”

    Of course it’s real. It’s a real mental disorder, which they have no clue how to treat because they don’t do science. So they just butcher the patient. The surgeon has every reason to go along with it because he gets paid for it, and he’s not qualified to diagnose mental disorders or prescribe treatment anyway.

  • Reasonable Logic

    “Odd that something that doesn’t exist rates so much study.”

    LOL. I talk about it, therefore it must be.
    C’mon, man. You just messing with me now?

  • Johnny

    yeah bro there is no connection between men/penises and women/vaginas. It’s just like witches and red hair. Have you ever touched a breast?

  • Magnus Gungir

    Now you’re talking apples and oranges.

    The head of John Hopkins Psychiatry, for example, is not “fringe.”

  • Magnus Gungir

    Assuming you’re an anti-theist, hows that imaginary epistemology working out for you?

    Troll on.

  • Rustam Abbasov

    And it is normal.
    In most of the cases people tend to pick pretty lie vs not so nice truth…
    We live in time of tolerance and political correctness. Ironically Christians who disagree with normality of this act and have different view about it are attacked and not tolerated

  • Magnus Gungir

    By your logic, then, middle-earth exists.

  • Rustam Abbasov

    I respect your view because you are outsider, but when so called insider and teacher has same view as outsider and teaches others I see him as a traitor

  • Reasonable Logic

    Good question. I’m assuming you mean it straight up and aren’t just mocking me, so I’ll try to answer it straight as well.

    A: The evidence I have seen and how it logically holds up. I listen to different perspectives, but I really look for them to back up their statements with strong logic or observable evidence that I can duplicate.

    Most people have an agenda. They want to get paid or they want to be respected. Both of those desires are stronger than wanting to be right in most cases, so I always keep that in mind when they present their case. If they don’t present strong evidence, I usually assume they are wrong but afraid of losing money or respect if they abandon the position. (Or on these boards they’re just screwing around having fun.)

    I have to trust my mind. It’s all I have ultimately. If it doesn’t make sense to me, I don’t accept it.

  • msfwdc

    Treating Transgender people DOES NOT require surgery (no “butchering”). Surgery depends completely on the desire and decision of the individual.

    “Presenting” (dressing and behaving) as the gender with which the individual identifies is the key need and mental health strategy.

    Getting the general public to accept and respect the individual presenting as he/she identifies is the key support need.

    Your faith (belief in that which cannot be seen or proven) has given you a very dark and pessimistic view of the world, those around you, and life in general. You are disdainful and dismissive of those who do not share your narrow beliefs.

    I once was trapped in that narrow space but no longer subscribe to it. I respect your right to your views but reject any effort to impose them on me or others.

    I do not think we can have a discussion based on two world views that are so vastly different.

    Be well.

  • Magnus Gungir

    Even if that were true, it’s totally not relevant. Many Christians- including early church Fathers- believed that Genesis is an allegorical poem, not historically literal- it does however communicate a deeper truth about human nature being subject to death, disease and the general undoing of the Imago Dei- hence, “sin”.

    Harboring assumptions that all believers are fundamentalist snake handlers (which I consider to be on the cult side of apostasy) only makes you sound like a tool.

  • msfwdc

    What does the head of John Hopkins Psychiatry have to do with the price of bananas?

  • Reasonable Logic

    He never said being rich is a sin. Again, this would be a great spot for some evidence. Again, none offered.

  • msfwdc

    Now you’re just being an ignorant, arrogant jerk.

    Bye Felicia. (Look it up.)

  • Magnus Gungir

    That’s about the lamest troll I’ve ever been subject too.

  • Magnus Gungir

    A respected American psychiatrist, former head of one of the largest and most respected medical organizations in the country who halted gender reassignment because it has has shown no positive, and in many cases, deleterious, effects on the psyche of patients.

    “Dr. McHugh, the author of six books and at least 125 peer-reviewed medical articles, made his remarks in a recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal, where he explained that transgender surgery is not the solution for people who suffer a “disorder of ‘assumption’” – the notion that their maleness or femaleness is different than what nature assigned to them biologically.

    He also reported on a new study showing that the suicide rate among transgendered people who had reassignment surgery is 20 times higher than the suicide rate among non-transgender people. Dr. McHugh further noted studies from Vanderbilt University and London’s Portman Clinic of children who had expressed transgender feelings but for whom, over time, 70%-80% ‘spontaneously lost those feelings.'”

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/paul-mchugh-transgender-surgery-isnt-the-solution-1402615120

  • Johnny

    “Treating Transgender people DOES NOT require surgery (no “butchering”). Surgery depends completely on the desire and decision of the individual.”

    Of course not. In fact butchering is the opposite of treating them. I’m glad we’re in agreement.

    “”Presenting” (dressing and behaving) as the gender with which the individual identifies is the key need and mental health strategy.”

    A man pretending to be a woman is not a mental health strategy.

    “Getting the general public to accept and respect the individual presenting as he/she identifies is the key support need.”

    Getting the general public to accept and respect a lie borne of mental illness will destroy all respect for objectivity and eventually take down society with it.

    “Your faith (belief in that which cannot be seen or proven) has given you a very dark and pessimistic view of the world, those around you, and life in general. You are disdainful and dismissive of those who do not share your narrow beliefs.”

    I do not believe in anything that cannot be seen or proven. All my beliefs, including my Christianity, are the product of analyzing the limited data available to me as a mortal. In fact my “dark” worldview is highly atypical of Christians. The reason why you have to lump me in with your caricature of what religious people are like is because I completely understand your mentality and can effectively strike at its weakest points. Your mind senses this and, to shield your religious belief, forces you to obfuscate and eventually retreat.

    I don’t respect your right to your views, nor do I respect anybody who cries like a little girl about how they won’t “let” me impose my views on them or others. My views will be imposed on you sooner or later, if not by me, than by reality, for the simple reason that my views are in concordance with the will of God from whom all things proceed while your views are in contrary to objective reality.

  • Reasonable Logic

    Well thought out perspective, sir. (Or ma’am. Although I guess both are the same now?)

  • msfwdc

    The respect I showed you was a waste of time. You have revealed your true self. Behind your faux christianist posturing is a complete lack of genuine christian love or decency. In truth, you are an arrogant, self-important human who blasphemes God by taking God’s name in vain and presuming to speak for God. You too will be held accountable and I’m glad I’m not in your shoes.

  • Rustam Abbasov

    And it is normal, people tend to pick pretty lie vs not so pretty truth. I respect your opinion because you’re outsider. But when so called insider and teacher is trying to sell unbiblical view as biblical and has nothing to prove his point then I call him a traitor.
    We live in time of tolerance and political correctness, but ironically when Christians who disagree with normality of this act are voicing their opinion they are getting attacked and not tolerated in

  • Father Thyme

    Your shouting is about the lamest behavior from an alleged “professional” I’ve ever been subjected to. Care to act the part? If not, get called on it.

  • Father Thyme

    If you want to deny the Bible, that’s fine! I don’t like the most of it much myself.

  • Father Thyme

    Your premise is now “totally not relevant?” Cool! So quit talking about it as if “sin” was literal, ok?

  • Father Thyme

    As a legend, it does. Good work!

  • Father Thyme

    Are we to assume you’re working from a magic-thinking epistemology? Thanks for the heads up, “Mr. Professional.” LOL

  • Father Thyme

    Lead a horse to water, can’t make it drink.

  • Father Thyme

    > Lying to people isn’t loving. It’s selfish and sinful.

    Then stop already.

  • Toni Lynette GoughDavis

    Isn’t that, hypocritically speaking, a nasty, rude, hate-perhaps-incited, intolerant & JUGMENTAL comment.
    Do u ascribe to the Christian version of the THOU SHALT NOT JUDGE school of thought, as you progressively & statically form your WORLD VIEW?
    I can’t remember which Puritan it was that ADDED that ammendment to the original 10?
    Dastardly Puritans……the persecuted became the persecutors. Too bad theyre not still around for a DOSE OF THEIR OWN JUDGMENTAL MEDICINE! Seems from several posts on this discussion, there’d be a ready posse? Water or Fire or Stone?

  • Father Thyme

    Just because a procedure isn’t effective doesn’t mean transgenderism is a “sin.” You can’t keep bouncing between evidence-based science and magical thinking, ok?

  • James or Not

    No RL, you are wrong all over on that one too. Ever heard of a hermaphrodite? Both male and female, both ovaries and testes. They exist just like transgenders exist.

    You know what doesn’t exist, RL, God. Science says God doesn’t exist. Don’t need him, doesn’t bring anything useful to the table, doesn’t explain or predict anything, isn’t a universal concept nor intrinsic to the universe, RL. Morality doesn’t require God. But you know what DOES require God, RL? The unremitting confusion of religion and the concept that God is all-loving and all – seeing and all -good but for Alzheimer’s, and childhood leukemia, RL. And guinea worm and my dog’s heart worms and the absolute amorality of the universe.

    But one more very important thing that does not require God, RL. Good Indian food, RL doesn’t require God, good Indian food only requires Indians.

  • Father Thyme

    Is “Reasonable Logic” Frank?

  • James or Not

    Oops. Big oops and thanks.

  • David Pulson

    sure. but, im pointing out that just because they are “male,” doesnt mean that there can not be other parts of the brain that do NOT match common “male” brain. I am not saying it is right. but I am NOT denying that the possiblity that people are fragmented. I mean, we have cystic fibrosis, huntingtons disease, blah blah blah, im not gonna make a crazy list here. but i dont get why some people evaluate a person’s feelings with the assumption that they are 100% whole in their physical makeup in their brain, body, etc. why WOULDNT it be possible for a person to have parts of the brain that are more like the other sex? I mean, people can be born with both sex organs….

  • Danny

    “Harboring assumptions that all believers are fundamentalist snake handlers (which I consider to be on the cult side of apostasy) only makes you sound like a tool.”

    Father T did not make that claim or indicate harboring that assumption. You should work on your reading comprehension skills. As it is, you are the tool.

  • Danny

    Another idiot who can’t form a logical opinion, so he resorts to name calling. The definition of an internet troll is not, “people that make me mad!”.

  • Magnus Gungir

    His assumption is found in his attacking of straw men irrelevant to the conversation. Perhaps it is you with superficial comprehension skills.

  • Magnus Gungir

    Yes, watch out for those name calling “idiots.” You’re clearly a genius there bud.

    Father T may veil his trolling with quotes from academes of his narrow preference to embue his vapid world view with some sort of superiority, but it’s still totally off topic ad hominem intended to suppress. Troll.

  • Magnus Gungir
  • Magnus Gungir

    Jesus didn’t allow the woman at the well to persist in the delusion that her promiscuity would bring her happiness. Only he would.

    Allowing Jenner to persist in his delusion- and mutilate his natural body- is not love, it’s functional hate.

  • Father Thyme

    Projecting, are you? Tell us more about your inner self, Magnum.

  • otrotierra

    The hate you seek is nowhere in Benjamin’s commentary. You’ll have to invest your hate-seeking energies elsewhere.

  • 1. God loves us.
    2. We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and
    with all our strength and with all our mind.
    3. We are to love our neighbour as ourself.

  • Charlie Sutton

    In the case of anorexia, the scientifically demonstrated weight range for a healthy person versus the weight of the anorexic, plus all the metabolic differences between what has been demonstrated as normal and healthy and what is abnormal and lessens quality and quantity of life.
    In the case of sexual dysphoria (which used to be listed in the DSM as sexual identity disorder), the reality that the person has the DNA of one sex, fully functioning organs of that sex, and that any pathologist, were the pathologist to receive the person’s skeleton as part of a crime discovery, would identify the skeleton as belonging to a male or a female by its structure, regardless of what the person had presented themselves as. A person may have a mental/emotional desire to be the sex opposite their biological sex, but that does not mean that they are indeed a member of the opposite sex, any more than my deep desire to fly means I should have wings grafted onto my body.

    If you deny the reality of objective reality, or if you say that mental or emotional states ought to and do trump the objective, there really isn’t much I could say, except “Good luck with that.” You may not like the objective, but without it, you will die – and if you try to deny what it says, you will encounter many problems.

  • Rather eager to prove my point, eh?

  • Father Thyme

    Scientific books change as new information is received, because science is willing to admit to error and incomplete knowledge, and correct itself. That’s objective reality. You should try it sometime.

    The History of Sex in the DSM
    livescience.com/28380-history-of-sex-dsm.html

  • TheTruthHurts

    That’s almost exactly what I’m saying. Bruce Jenner’s brain and/or brain chemicals are caught up in a major identity crisis, so changing his appearance or tweaking hormones will not fix the problem.

  • Father Thyme

    Oh boy, an anti-evolution creationist; it figures. Your hare-brained creationists claims are thoroughly debunked here:

    Index to Creationist Claims
    talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

  • Father Thyme

    > So you think he’s wrong about reality

    No. You can’t win arguments by the tactic of putting words in peoples’ mouths. Try something honest for once.

  • Charlie Sutton

    My psych prof (at a state university) was attending the APA meetings in the late 60’s and early 70’s, and told us about the heavy political pressure being brought to bear to change the diagnosis. “New information” ain’t necessarily so.

  • Father Thyme

    If you want to discard science because of possible political corruption, do you mind if I apply your method to your religion? Game on; let’s discover which is more corrupt.

  • Danny

    Don’t you think you should look up them big words for you let fly with em “BUD”.

  • Father Thyme

    Sorry, “Jesus” never met her.

    “There are very few scholars who believe the story of Jesus saving the adulterous woman to be authentic – for many reasons. First and foremost, it doesn’t exist in the oldest, most authentic manuscripts. That’s right – it is simply not found in the earliest copies of the Gospel of John. Second, the style of writing and language is quite noticeably different from the rest of the Gospel of John. Third, it is somewhat sloppily inserted right in the middle of the story of the Feast of the Tabernacles that begins with John 7:1 before being abruptly cut off by the Pericope Adulterae, eventually to resume again with John 8:12 through 9:7.

    But, let’s get back to the first point: it doesn’t exist anywhere in the oldest manuscripts! It does appear in the Codex Benzae from the 5th century

    No Damsel, No Distress
    awkwardmomentsbible.com/nodamselnodistress/

  • Eugene Weir

    I agree with you totally. but that is still no reason this kind of mutilation. Sexuality and the related emotions are complex. I myself have thought at times I should be a woman. I just count it as my mind playing tricks on me.

  • msfwdc

    Competent professionals work to help each Transgender individual find the means of dealing that works best for him or her.

    The surgical option is not mandatory and is not meant for all people.

    As we learn more about how humans are constructed and operate, we are finding out that gender, sexual orientation, and masculinity/femininity all exist on a broad spectrum.

    Most of us fall into the “some of each” range and few are at the “all” extreme at either end.

    We need to quit being lazy or rigid in our thinking and learn to accept ourselves and others “just the way we are”.

  • Eugene Weir

    There is no cure for the “gay” but there is treatment for those who are caught in the endless destructive cycle of searching for the “right ” sex partner.

  • msfwdc

    Sexual obsession or sex addiction are problems suffered by people of all sexual orientations. They are unhealthy and can be treated if the individual will commit to making the effort.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    She doesn’t look mutilated to me.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    I never realized that being a person was a disfigurement.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    You do not serve your patients but feel they should suffer for your own delusions of grandeur/horror.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    Well, damn, that includes every non-celibate Christian ever.

  • Magnus Gungir

    Did I say that? Nope. I said it’s a mental disorder- like bulemia. We don’t encourage bulemics to “be who they want to be”… At least not yet.

  • Magnus Gungir

    Just like transgende ism- your catching on!

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    Not a single thing about her transition is “obviously wrong”. What is obviously wrong is an entire theology based on shame.

  • Magnus Gungir

    No, I believe encouraging suffering people to engage a false assumption about reality that frequently results in even greater emotional instability and a greater risk of suicide is morally and ethically wrong.

  • Matthew

    You´ll notice I used the phrase “to some extent” gimpi1. Yes … things do indeed progress, but humanity still is a far cry from earthly utopia. In some respects humanity is still living in the middle ages.

  • Magnus Gungir

    Well apparently while you can cut and paste about the Bible, that is where your knowledge of the Bible ends. The “Samaritan woman at the well” and “the woman caught in adultery” are different stories and different women. And besides, the woman caught in adultery exists in the form of early church father’s letters as early as the 1st and 2nd century quoting John’s Gospel- just like the entire rest of the canonized NT.

  • Magnus Gungir

    You and Father T are all about the Pee Wee Herman rhetorical device.

  • dontkickthebrit

    Being transgender is a mental illness (for those who choose to view it that way) for which there is no purely mental treatment (e.g. therapy, medication, etc). For Caitlyn, changing her body is her treatment. Just because her male biology occurred “naturally” doesn’t mean it was right or good. Not that her body is any of our business, but if I were born with male genitalia, I’d have it removed, too. What woman wants that?

  • Firstly that the question of transgender as a pseudo Christian myth must be understood, that in effect and in accordance with the theology of Christianity the basis of judgment is as the third sex, or the First gender. That Caitlyn is Androgyne is, it appears, irrefutable, that she was never a he is a conclusion based on trinary gender actuality. We are born and we die one of three genders and the fluidic nature of their being. That we are all at the conception of our life Androgyne and then transform gender from Androgyne to female and some to male or that we remain Androgyne is a matter determined. Perhaps it would be correct to say that God created Man in his own image from Man begat woman and from woman is born man….

    It must be added that the bible in terms of Genesis and Mathew does deal with the question, God is Andogyne. All Caitlyn has performed is a makeover. I am still of the view that outside of the binary societal restrictions and oppression of our gender Caitlyn would have described herself in the third gender and not female. But I am proud of her because in this world to be whom you truly believe you are and, in the words of Camus, reclaim one’s liberty, being the right not to lie, we are as the First gender whether masculine or feminine, reviled, hated and demonized. Even if we are forced to chose to be M or F and not the A that we are and the true reflection of self and of the Lord. That is not by the way coincidental.

    And whether the view of Christianity, or theology, is a Sufi or a representational one and analytical based on an understanding of metaphysics and thereto an interpretative philosophical one, or one of faith, the logic which I have placed forth in sketch is one that I believe is irrefutable when analysed from a three dimensional point of subjectivity. Of course holding to a binary concept of gender and a two dimensional plane of understanding then we are all off to hell, airport tax prepaid and we are flying coach on Air Qaeda….

  • Richard Worden Wilson

    Benjamin,
    There is more than one way to merely judge by outward appearance, superficially as it were; and more than one way to judge others while not being aware that one is condemning them for judging. Deep discernment in the Spirit probably shouldn’t be expected in blog posts, but I’m sadly disappointed in yours this time.

  • Dino V

    What kind of doobie are you smoking?

  • musiqueguy1

    For the sake of argument if Jenner is mentally ill, what is the diagnosis and how would you treat it?

  • Sorry, just intellect. Could lend you some, but no doubt you are happy as is. To explain, the world is made up of three dimensions, is round, is not part of an expanding universe, is eternal and infinite and we no longer live in the realm of feudal warlords.

    Whether the creation of existence is a natural organic process or that of a supra-natural force as deified in the image of a God, is irrelevant, it is certain that the bible does as do all writings from the Rosicrucian to Islam believe in creation, that Man (generic usage) is organic and the form and being is the reflection of the Creator, God. So God is man and woman, ie. he is both (he in the generic sense) male and female and thereto is a third entity. The embodiment of the two, ie. Androgyne.

    In nature as in our gender, the binary analytic of gender is fallacious, the strict question of male and female is nonsensical and as is shown by current medical analytics, ie. having balls does not make you a man, It does not make you a woman either. What it does do in certain instances is be attached to a member of a third gender, Androgyne. Some 1% of the population.

    Since the earliest oral traditions, the earliest writings the existence of three genders has been known. Even at law (Dutch-German) till 1200 (13c) recognition was given to a third gender in Europe, Islam still hosts such concepts in Shia and to a lesser extent in the Sunni sects. Hindu and Buddhism, Taoist, Shinto, Rosicrucian, Vedic….. even Christianity and especially in Judaism a third gender is recognised.

    Caitlyn’s transition is not so. There is an evolution of self, but no transition between genders. She is Androgyne, was and is. There is no such thing as a transgender. Such analytic is based upon the flat view of the world, that only M&F exist.

    In the real three dimensional world we are of a trinary of gender.

    Sorry, but God is a ladyboy and I am proudly one of her crew.

  • Father Thyme

    Ah, I got mixed up on which tale there.

    >just like the entire rest of the canonized NT.

    Figured you for a bible-banging fundie. Sorry, but half the canonized NT is a proven fraud.

    “There were a lot of people in the ancient world who thought that lying could serve a greater good,” says Ehrman, an expert on ancient biblical manuscripts.

    Half of New Testament forged, Bible scholar says
    religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/13/half-of-new-testament-forged-bible-scholar-says/

  • Father Thyme

    Uh no. The scientific journals are studying transgenderism, not as a legend as you falsely purport, but as real psychology. Do you use trickery like this often in your practice? Not much of a professional playing games like that.

  • Father Thyme

    You did say that; you’ve already provided evidence of your magical supernatural thinking in your god-talk about “sin.”

    >I said it’s a mental disorder

    Of course you did. Magical thinkers like yourself often can’t even get the science right, because you think your magical thinking realm transcends reality.

  • Father Thyme

    If one glosses over lots of Breaking Bad Jesus, and privilege only passages that share modern progressive values, you could reach that conclusion.

  • Father Thyme

    Projecting PeeWee Herman now, Magnum? Tell me more about your inner self. I’m listening.

  • Father Thyme

    The anti-science Bible is often wrong. The Bible addresses the reality of atomic elements, and blatantly denies atomic theory.

    The whole theory of physics was reduced by Epicurus to Twelve Elementary Principles and a syllabus bearing this title was published for the use of his disciples. This list of Principles, it may be interposed, was the most lucid and orderly ever drawn up in ancient times, and with one exception would have been received with respect down to the date of an event so recent as the fission of the atom. By way of illustration the first seven are here listed with some adaptation to modern terminology:

    1. Matter is uncreatable.
    2. Matter is indestructible.
    3. The universe consists of atoms and space.
    4. All existing things are either atoms or compounds of atoms.
    5. The atoms are infinite in multitude.
    6. Space is infinite in extent.
    7. The atoms are always in action.

    As was bound to happen, this whole system became known to the enemies of Epicurus by that particular Principle which was most offensive and provocative of ridicule, the third. This was offensive because it implied that the soul of man itself was composed of atoms, just as the body itself, and therefore subject to dissolution, just as the body. It was especially open to ridicule because the atoms were such insignificant things upon which to base a whole system of knowledge. In Galatians 4:9 Paul sneered at them as “the weak and beggarly elements.”

    Norman Dewitt (1954) St. Paul and Epicurus. University of Minnesota Press. http://www.epicurus.info/etexts/stpaulandepicurus.html

    We do know there is such a thing as atomic elements; the anti-science Bible is flat wrong.

  • Father Thyme

    >Source: Me.

    You’re a magical-thinking creationist; that isn’t much of a source.

  • Father Thyme

    You’ve admitted to being a creationist; for a magical-thinker like you to play-act as somebody with “reasonable logic” is just a comedy.

  • gimpi1

    OK, two points:

    Firstly, you have no way of definitely stating that you have the “not-so-nice truth” and those who disagree have fallen for the “pretty lie.” Your “pretty lie?” There’s very little people like better than sitting in judgement and creating in-groups and out-groups. It takes real courage to put aside that common human trait and see all people as just as valuable and worthy as you are. Since you have no way of being sure of your beliefs, any more than Ben does, I think it would be wiser to err on the side of kindness. You don’t. Fine. But don’t pretend that you have “Truth™” on your side and everyone else is kidding themselves. You could just have a naive bias in favor of tradition and a desire to create a clique of like-minded people.

    Secondly, you aren’t being attacked. You are being disagreed with. There’s a difference. It’s perfectly fine for people to discuss things. You are not discriminated against. (And, no, following the same laws as everyone else is not discrimination, unless those laws are specifically targeted at you, to make your life more difficult.) You have the same freedom of speech and belief that Ben has. Everyone is tolerating you just fine. They just aren’t accepting your word as the last word.

  • otrotierra

    Or, rather than trying to scold Benjamin for writing a proposal that is inconvenient to you, you could follow Jesus and the Greatest Commandment.

  • gimpi1

    Fine, and he may view you as a bigot. (I don’t know that, it’s just a guess) You don’t have to like each other. But you both have the same freedom of speech. Why is this discussion a problem for you? He put forward his view. You put forward yours. People can check them both out, and see what has merit and doesn’t

    When all’s said and done, it looks to me as though you want the right to say people who are trans can’t legally undergo transition. Do you? If so, what gives you that right? (Hint: you can’t use “God disapproves” in law.) If not, what do you want?

  • otrotierra

    No Jim, Jesus is not calling you to engage in childish name-calling when you are urged to enact the Greatest Commandment.

  • otrotierra

    The lies you seek are nowhere in Benjamin’s post.

  • otrotierra

    Indeed, the fundamentalist trolls are in the middle of their most recent temper tantrum. Evidently the Greatest Commandment is too offensive for them.

  • gimpi1

    My question was quite earnest. I try not to waste anyone’s time in mocking. I don’t have a real agenda. I don’t really view myself as having beliefs. I think that I accept those things that have been proven to my satisfaction by the preponderance of the evidence. I’m sure I have unconscious biases. Everyone does.

    OK, just for fun, let me give you one of my husband’s argument for an old earth. If you’re interested, read on:

    The plates of the earth are in motion. The North American plate and Eurasian plate are moving away from each other at about 2″ a year. We know this, and can measure it from space. We know that the North American and Eurasian plates were once joined. We know this because we can see geologic formations such as mountain ranges that begin on one continent and end on the other. We know that the rate of speed is constant, because the subduction zone (where the Pacific Plate is being subducted under the North American’s plate) drives the Ring of Fire volcanic activity, and the geologic record does not show the massive up-ticks in activity that a higher rate of speed would generate. We know the with of the Atlantic Ocean. Therefore, we can figure out how long ago the supercontinent broke up. It’s about 200 million years ago.

    How do you see this argument shaping up? Is it logical? Rational? Why or why not?

  • gimpi1

    Well, yes, but things aren’t (mostly) degenerating. They’re changing, but when we put aside our animosity and general goofiness, we generally change things for the better, not the worse.

    Our best bet for getting out of the middle-ages is to value education-real education, kindness and each other. When we do that, we do pretty well. That’s how we wiped out Smallpox in the wild. That’s how we brought Polio to it’s knees. (Something of particular interest to me, as the daughter of a polio-survivor)

    When we give in to fear of the other and (sorry, there’s no other word for this) superstition, we don’t do so well. I see Ben’s version of Christianity – more concerned with helping people and less worried about judging “sin” and condemning us outsiders – as more conducive of good outcomes than the more judgmental, isolationist version.

  • MM

    You have no basis to say that he is mentally ill. What you refer to as self-mutilation is done everyday all over the planet. People get plastic surgery and alter their looks very frequently. People get body piercings and tattoos. Surgery to alter yourself is certainly not mental illness. Also I do not see it as a sin.

  • MM

    Everyone picks their version of Jesus. I like the one where you love your neighbor.

  • Matthew

    Thanks gimpi1.

    I suppose where we would differ in opinion is that I do believe we live in a fallen and broken world that needs redemption. Where we would agree (I think) is that there is indeed progress and humans can do great things when properly educated and show general goodness toward one another. That said (and here´s where we would once again differ in opinions I think), I still hold that with all the progress, with all the improvement, with all the great things humans acheive and continue to acheive, none of that has anything to do with the heart, the very center, of our condition and problem. As a result, with all the human progress made we still fall very short of the glory of God.

    Ben´s version of Christianity (as you call it) is certainly one side of the coin, but the other side is equally as important. It´s the polarization that often gets us all into trouble.

    P.S. I don´t believe we should legislate morality onto the outsider unless of course it´s obviously and blantantly unlawful and evil. Much of Christian morals and ethics is a family affair so to speak.

  • MM

    Using surgery to alter yourself is a personal choice. Actors do it all the time and no one complains or calls it self-mutilation.

  • Gary Roth

    First of all, my experience as a pastor and psychologist have not “lifted my opinion” of me, but they have given me a great deal of experience in the matter – just as an engineer would feel qualified to talk about the load-bearing capacity of a structure, for instance. I’m not talking down to you – just trying to inform you that there are things you haven’t considered, and should. And what appears to you as “objective” is not as cut-and-dried as you would have it be. With that, I’ll sign off. From your posts, it seems that you want to be argumentative.

  • gimpi1

    Thanks for the reply. I think we generally agree on the sort of outcomes we’d like to see. A world with less disease, less suffering, less loss, what’s not to like? I see us making (mostly) progress in those directions, but no doubt my viewpoint is colored by living in a prosperous, (mostly) first-world nation.

    I don’t feel qualified to judge the “center of our condition,” so I can’t really speak to that.

    I agree with you that polarization is a big part of the problem. When people can’t give each other the right to their own beliefs, when we want to give our own dogma force of law, we will always screw it up. When we confine the law to attempting to prevent us from harming each other, and let people live their lives as they see fit as much as reasonably possible, I think we do better. I think you feel pretty much the same.

  • BT

    My dad once told me, “The older you get, the less you will know.”

    He was right.

    I’m a lot more comfortable today than I would have been 30 years ago admitting that I just don’t know what it is to be Caitlyn and what her sin, if any, may be. I’m not God and I don’t know the facts. I’m content to let that be the end of it.

  • Rustam Abbasov

    I don’t feel attacked in our conversation with you, I was talking in general terms.
    And it would’t make sense to use Bible as an argument to try to make my point to you, since you are not believer. And I am not trying to convince you that what Bruce done was wrong, because I believe it was wrong based on my faith and Bible. Since Bible and Christian faith is not what you basing your believes, it is just another opinion. And it is normal. But when someone who claims to be a teacher, christian teacher is trying to say that based on Bible we can’t have opinion about it or call things their names, than I have to disagree.
    If we make a parallel to our court system: God is judge, Bible is a law. If I witnessed a person obviously stealing. Cops will be arresting him, then there is going to be trial with its components and finally judge will sentence person according to law. I don’t know motives of the person, maybe he does it all the time, or maybe it is his first time or he was desperate to feed his kids or just didn’t know better. I don’t know what his punishment will be, but I can call him a “thief”. Am I taking role of the judge? (some people do) am I deciding his punishment? no. But based on my knowledge of the law and evidence in hand I can say he is a thief. What is author is trying to do is to say I don’t have that right because I am not judge. In conversation with not believer I cant say based on a law he is a “thief” because they don’t accept the God’s law, so my point is just an opinion…

  • gimpi1

    Well, Ben is a Christian, and he disagrees with your interpretation. So do many Christians. Their interpretation of the Bible is different than yours. And that’s fine. Perhaps most things are like this; people need different things from belief-systems and are drawn to the elements that fill that need.

    Stealing is a poor analogy. Stealing causes non-consensual harm to another. A person who is trans transitioning does not do that. A person believing that the Bible does not call for condemning the person transitioning does not do that.

    That said, you’re perfectly entitled to your opinion on both people who are trans and God’s law. So am I. So is Ben. My only issue is when someone wants to make their views of God’s law the law of the land. That’s fricking dangerous.

    I’ll close this conversation off with one question, if I may:
    What’s your end-game? Do you want to make transitioning illegal? Do you want to make it legal to harass people who are trans? Do you want to curb freedom of speech so Ben can’t offer his view on Scripture? If all of these ideas are off the mark, what do you want to see happen here?

    (I assume you don’t want anything that I cited above. I just don’t understand where you’re going with your objections.)

    Good talk.

  • asmondius

    Beating a hasty retreat, I see.

  • asmondius

    Then the statement made must obviously be illogical.

  • Charlie Sutton

    I am not discarding science; what I am saying is that science, like anything done by humans (all human institutions and organizations, including churches) are influenced by a variety of things. One of those things is political pressure. I believe that the DSM was changed more because of political pressure (you cannot tell me that with GLAAD, HRC, and a number of other advocacy groups that are willing to vilify those who disagree with their position, there is no pressure) than because of new scientific studies.
    When it can be shown that males who are same-sex attracted produce no sperm and that females who are same-sex attracted do not ovulate, then I will believe that homosexuality is a naturally occurring biological condition. Until then, I will stick with my hypothesis that it is a complex psycho-sexual condition resulting from a great number of factors, including events and conditions in childhood.
    And until the medical community can change a person’s genes so that one who was XX is now XY, and one who was XY is now XX, and that each now has fully functioning sexual organs, and a changed skeletal structure, I will stick with my conviction that transgenderism is mental condition on the part of those who identify as the sex opposite their biological sex, having its origin from past experiences and conditions.

  • Father Thyme

    The problem, especially for people like Caitlyn, is this:

    Those who continue to believe and validate a religion, in whose holy book is a wellspring of hatred is available to those who privilege other passages, are enabling abuse.

    Who needs a holy book, filled with so much negativity and immorality, to tell them to love their neighbor? The ethic of reciprocity, known to Christians as the “Golden Rule,” is not unique to the Bible. In fact, is is observable in nature and in other species.

  • Father Thyme

    First, you call him “mentally ill, then you later, below, blame it on “sin” from “the Fall,” equivocating mental illness with fables about a Satanic talking snake.

    You’re not much better than a witch doctor.

  • Rustam Abbasov

    i still will stand for my example of stealing, yes transitioning doesn’t causes non-consensual harm to another, but it is not ok according to Bible, so therefore ageist God’s law just like stealing even though in general terms not taking Bible in the account it is “harmless” to others. Let people do what they want and enjoy and let them be “happy”. Seems fare… But it is only on surface. I can have my believes and views and voice them, LGBT people can have theirs, everyone is happy and happy coexist. But as soon as it is adapted as a third gender and gay marriage is legalized on federal level, all the sudden I lost my freedom of speech and can’t voice my opinion. Because now it is discrimination. Pastors in churches can’t preach that it is their believe based on Bible that it is wrong and when gay couple will come to church to get married in traditional church, pastor can’t refuse because it is discrimination, he will suffer legaly from his believes. And by fighting for freedom of speech and equality we will kill freedom of speech and will prosecute everyone with different view.

  • Father Thyme

    You were trying to disparage science by the possibility of it being corrupted. Now you’ve backtracked to the assertion that anything can be corrupted. Yeah, we already knew that.

    > I believe that the DSM was changed more because of political pressure

    If you want to provide more evidence than your hearsay, I’ll be more than happy to take a look at your citations.

    Unless you’re just HARKin’, i.e., doing some fancy post hoc hypothesizing.

    Kerr NL (1998) HARKing: hypothesizing after the results are known. Pers Soc Psychol Rev. 2(3):196-217.

  • gimpi1

    You are quite free to voice your views.

    If you think organized racism became illegal when the Civil Rights act was passed, I encourage you to Google Christian Identity or White Supremacy or Aryan Nation. There are still organized, racist groups. They still speak their mind. They just can’t engage in overt discrimination without facing civil or (in rare cases) criminal penalties.

    You are confusing freedom with domination. You will always be free to speak your peace. You won’t be free to demand that others live according to your beliefs, rather than their own. You never should have had that privilege.

    Pastors can and always will be free to speak their minds. They can’t engage in actual partisan politics and keep their tax-deduction, but that’s all. Again, you’re confusing the right to preach as they see fit with the right to have people obey them or take them seriously as authority-figures. They have every right to speak. They have no right to obedience or (more than standard polite) respect.

    Pastors can and do refuse to marry people for many reasons. The law does not affect this. One example; when I got married, my husband’s mother wanted to have her minister marry us. The minister said she couldn’t, since my husband had divorced his first wife civilly, but had not gotten an Episcopalian divorce. No harm, no foul. We found a non-religious celebrant. The only time a church has gotten into trouble vis-a-vi weddings is when they lease their facilities out as a for-profit venture. For-profit ventures fall under civil non-discrimination laws. Stick to marrying your parishioners for cost, and there’s no issue.

    No one is being prosecuted for their beliefs. They are simply not having their beliefs deferred to the way they have in the past. I believe it’s a deference that never should have been enshrined in law. On that, I’m sure we disagree.

  • Steven McCaw

    Fair enough.

    Certainly: insofar as trans people may get a ‘boost’ from Jenner’s coming out, I can’t say that the event itself is something I’d consider ‘bad’. Regardless of how I feel about the messenger of the change (I think I’ve made that quite clear), I *am* in favor of more acceptance for transgendered people.

    I just wish that we heaped all of the ‘courage’ talk on somebody who actually did something courageous (again: pick any other trans person in the world). I’m also worried that thanks to Miss Jenner’s privilege and history, she might go through the ‘die a hero our live long enough to become the villain’ cycle at record speed. I’d rather we give more attention to trans activists.

    But: maybe it *is* time for the trans community to have a Constantine figure. Maybe some segment of people seeing Jenner’s transition will say: ‘Look, if she’s doing it, I guess we can’t be dicks to anybody else who does’. If even a small handful of people do that, it will be a step in the right direction, yeah?

  • Steven McCaw

    You see, and I’ll try to type this slowly:

    I dislike the attention because I feel that Jenner is a very poor figurehead for trans people. She exists completely outside of the trans community and shares none of the issues that transgendered people face.

    To me, Jealousy would be “I wish they were paying all of this attention to *me*”, not “I wish they were paying all of this attention to, for example, a trans activist or the trans community at large.”

  • Steven McCaw

    I am? Why? You do realize that the entire point of the above article is to say that our ‘religious eidetic and believes’ forbids us from passing judgment on anyone… right? Did either of you even read the article?

  • RonnyTX

    BT,I’m 60 years old now and I know what your Dad meant and I agree with him. :-) And I’m also much more comfortable today,saying I don’t know and or I’m not sure,to a lot of things. :-)

  • Rustam Abbasov

    it is very different, in your case because you were not discriminated how law describes discrimination. It wasn’t based on gender, race and so on. If trans for example will become official gender than it will not be the same. It would be like denying black person to get married in white church because he/she is black. It will be considered discrimination and there will be consequences for those who disagree. And in another words some freedoms will be taken away from christians, so by giving more freedom to one group of people we will take away freedom from another…

  • Andy

    I don’t think you know what that phrase means. Either that, or you have somehow interpreted my unwillingness to indulge your ridiculous demands as an indication of surrender, in which case you are mistaken.

    I am not interested in spending time on a far-fetched errand just to satisfy a skeptical troll who, if confronted with substantial evidence, would likely ignore or handwave it. I am simply providing you with widely-accepted scientific facts. If you choose to ignore science and live in your own deluded bubble of a world, well, have fun with that.

    Or, if you want to continue this charade, you could provide me with evidence from scientists who say that there are no chromosomal anomalies, and that everyone is either decidedly male or female, with no in-between or ambiguity. If you provide me with such evidence, I will peruse it. Until then, good day.

  • gimpi1

    No, that’s mistaken. Again, google “Church of Jesus Christ, Christian” or “Church of the World Creator.” (I think that second name is right.) These are outright racist churches that don’t admit members or perform services for anyone who isn’t white. That’s legal – as long as they don’t charge money for their services. Once you charge money, you’re in business and you have to follow the rules for business.

    You don’t lose any freedom. You lose dominance. I appreciate that when you’ve been dominant for a long time, losing dominance feels like a loss of freedom, but it’s not.

  • Andy

    I don’t see how saying the bible is unnecessary because the golden rule is written and demonstrated elsewhere has anything to do with Caitlyn.

  • Andy

    What I am saying is more valid BECAUSE I AM TYPING IN SCREAMING CASE.

  • Father Thyme

    I don’t see how the Bible is necessary. It offers nothing new in the area of ethics and morals.

    And if you can’t see how the Bible is harmful, then read some of the comments of Bible-bangers here.

  • Andy

    to*

  • Andy

    I wasn’t addressing your claim about the bible being unnecessary. I am not interested in debating that. I was asking why you said that it was “The problem, especially for people like Caitlyn”.

  • Father Thyme

    People who hate sexual difference primarily use which book?

    I don’t see haters banging on secular books. There is no secular argument against LGBT people. The haters base their bigotry on a single book: The Bible.

    And people who mistakenly point to the Bible as a moral guide, even though it objectively offers nothing new in the realm of ethics/morals, validate the Bible as a moral source and enable the bigotry.

  • Andy

    Sorry, the way you phrased it, I thought you were saying something slightly different. I understand what you meant now. Thanks for clarifying.

  • Father Thyme

    Gotcha. Thanks for asking, and prompting me to make my point more clear.

    It’s time to abandon a book that has very little value, and is the source of great bigotry.

    But, of course, the reason it won’t be abandoned is because people want their supernatural magic show, i.e., a false hope for an afterlife, as explained by Terror Management Theory (TMT.) http://www.tmt.missouri.edu

    So, for the sake of assuaging mortality salience, Caitlyn will continue to suffer from the Christian bigotry team: Fundamentalist harpies and their Progressive enablers who validate an overall horrible book.

  • Andy

    “Current psychological thinking” is easy to ignore if you’ve been living “that’s the way we’ve always done it” all your life.

  • Andy

    I bet you think people who don’t tolerate bigotry can’t be tolerant people, either.

  • Kelly Stinar F

    I actually did NOT tear down Caitlyn/Bruce. And if you followed the thread and saw where I jumped in, you would see that. I don’t see him as a role model, because he is not in the real world. The trans with whom I worked did not have the luxuries he does and were not rewarded for their process/es. I have recently followed some of the peer reviews on this topic, including the New England Journal of Medicine, etc., and the jury is by NO means out that people actually become healthier and benefit from transitioning. From what I have read, the numbers don’t support it, and neither does the anecdotal evidence. Also, the people I have known personally and professionally were miserable, before and after. There is a higher than normal suicide rate for patients who have gone through the lengthy, invasive process of reassigning their sex, whatever that means. Bruce is pretty darned lucky he can afford to garner support, financially and otherwise. All this being said, I can’t truly know or judge someone else’s journey on this rough road, and other than having a lot of questions and some skepticism, I really don’t think about it much. In other words, I mind my own business, except when conversations like this come up and I am able to ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ and process as I read. I don’t envy anyone struggling with this issue, that is for sure.

  • Reasonable Logic

    Thanks for your nice reply. I think that theory is both rational and plausible. I don’t subscribe to it because other evidence gives me an even more likely possibility, but at least that argument has merit.

    I think the worldwide flood, as described in the Bible, is a more likely possibility. Admittedly it is a one-off, meaning things were outside the “norm” for a while. But I believe the continents were violently ripped apart to start it and the plates began to move very quickly.

    It is more likely that the massive collision of the plates was necessary in order to force the land to rise nearly four miles into the air in places. That’s a massive of energy needed and the higher speed collision are a more likely catalyst than the glacial speed of the tectonic plates we see today. (Also, the jagged peaks of many current mountain ranges show very little erosion pointing to a younger age. 200 million years should have rounded the peaks more.)

    Consider a crumpled hood after a car crash. There’s a significant difference when the cars are moving 5 mph compared to 50 mph. It seems at one time the plates had to have been moving faster than their current speeds.

    It’s likely the continents moved more during that few months/few years time period than all the years since.

    So both the theory you posited and this one are at least plausible. But I think the evidence points to this one more strongly.

    If you want to try an answer, I have a question for you, too. Where did life come from? Based on our observations, life always and only comes from life. I believe what I see so I believe life always has come from life. But some strongly believe otherwise. Of course none of us saw the first life, if there was one, so which assumption has the most evidence? Life only comes from life, OR life sometimes comes from non-life? Honestly, I don’t think abiogenesis is even plausible.

  • Reasonable Logic

    If you tell a man he’s a woman, you’re lying to him.

  • Reasonable Logic

    LOL. That would be a weird theology, true. Not as weird as a theology based just on feelings, but still pretty weird.

  • Reasonable Logic

    You’re a strange cat.

  • gimpi1

    Your last question first; I don’t think we have enough information to answer any questions on abiogenesis yet. To quote one of my favorite musicians, Chris Smithers, “The wisest answer’s one we learned a long time ago, I don’t know.”

    To address your flood theory, this is (again) coming from my husband. He, a couple of friends and I discussed this a few years ago:

    This doesn’t work. First of all, a world-wide flood would have been a slate-wiper. Flash floods are among the most damaging events recorded in the geologic record. It would have literally wiped much of the earlier evidence away. That didn’t happen. We have a geologic record that shows many events far older than the Flood, events that should have been scoured off the face of the earth. For instance, there’s around 9′ of ash in Indiana from the last major eruption of the Yellowstone resurgent caldera, around 356,000,000 years ago. The resulting fused rhyolite is pretty weak, and would never have stood up to a flood of any magnitude. Yet, there it is.

    If plate-tectonics were speeded up as an aspect of the Flood, again, that would make for more volcanic activity. Subduction drives volcanic and tectonic activity. We would see huge upticks in such activity with such increased speed, and lesser activity with slowing. That is not what the geologic record shows. The record is pretty constant. In fact, it was that very consistency that first led to the development of modern geology.

    (I know just enough about geology to be danerous. It’s what comes of driving arould with a geologist who’s idea of a really great vacation is to throw a blanket in the back-seat, drive up in the mountians and look at rocks:-)

  • Father Thyme

    Yeah, referencing a text printed by a highly regarded state university is so strange.

  • Andy

    That’s wrong, and I don’t see how that’s a response to what I said. Or are you already pulling out a straw man?

  • Reasonable Logic

    I think you are falling into an intellectual trap here a little bit. On abiogenesis you say you don’t know. But on age of the earth you say you do. The truth is we have literally billions of examples of observed biogenesis, and none of abiogenesis. If that evidence isn’t enough to say “I know for sure,” what could be? There are few things that are more certain to me than biogenesis, and I suspect it must be that way for you, too.

    Conversely, you say that an accumulation of ash in Indiana is 356,000,000 years old. Not 355 million or 360 million, but 356 million. You can’t possible have more evidence for that than you do for biogenesis. Yet you don’t say “I don’t know” to that one. Do you see an incongruence here?

    To me, I see that position as certain of the unknowable, while agnostic to the certain. Do you see it otherwise?

  • jmskeptic

    Thank you both, as a 68 year old Quaker all I can add is: I realize I don’t know a lot of things, and I have learned that a lot of things are none of my business. Best wishes to Caitlyn and I will Hold Her in the Light next meeting day.

  • Father Thyme

    John Stuart Mill’s Harm Principle is a good moral principle.

    John Stuart Mill articulated this principle in On Liberty, where he argued that, “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”

    Harm principle – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    wikipedia.org/wiki/Harm_principle

  • gimpi1

    Well, yes, I do.

    Our search into the beginnings of life are really just starting out. We’re just learning the questions to start to ask. Personally, I find Black Smokers and extremeophiles fascinating. Life can exist in many places we would have never considered hospitable in the past. That tells me we have a long way to go in learning about how life began. However, that’s no reason to just throw up your hands and say “I can’t figure it out, so God did it.” Defaulting to a position is not displaying scientific rigor, in my view. I’m fine with letting this science develop.

    However, the last Yellowstone eruption left many, easily dated scars. Like the scars of the Siberian Traps flood basalts, they are unmistakeable. Also, the many types of isotope dating work quite well. Also, understand, I didn’t mean that dating to be exact, as in, “it happened 365,072,175 years ago, on August 14 at 10 a.m.” sort of dating. Any geologic event has some wiggle-room in dating, I was just giving the most common dating average. Deep-time is not a concept that the human mind works well with.

    (Another interesting geologic tidbit, the Yellowstone Hot Spot is moving – or more accurately, the continent is moving over the mantle plume. A long line of eruptions, leading right off the continent, mark the Snake River basin.)

    This is more likely an “agree to disagree” point. And that’s fine. That’s what makes horses race.

  • RonnyTX

    Just woke up from a nap and appreciating your post more. :-) Why? Because of where you say,that you aren’t God. You see,I think that’s one of the main sins,or the main sin,in a lot of churches. That is,some people in those who act as if they were God and God over everyone else and in everyone else’s life. But then of course,they aren’t,as are none of us;but then we really hurt some people,when we act as if we were. Yes,I think that is a huge sin,in so many churches.

  • RonnyTX

    Amen JM and thank you too. :-) And like you,I know I don’t know and or understand a lot of things. And I love where you put,a lot of things are none of your business. My,if more people could just know and learn that! Learn to mind their own business! (ha) :-)

    So much I’ve seen in life and so many times I wished somethings were changed and that,right now! :-) Which is why God has had to work on me a good bit,to teach me patience! :-) LoL

  • Rustam Abbasov

    Losing dominance doesn’t really apply to me, my family ran from Soviet Union because of religious prosecution, being Christian was not legal, Christians were denied education, were fined, arrested, trowen in prisons and killed. You can google that. So I really didn’t have luxury of dominance. In another hand this country was founded on strong Christian believes and right now the actual foundation of this country is under attack. Changes don’t happen overnight. 50 years ago if public figure went through this kind of transformation, reaction of the public would be way different. And with this rate I will not be surprised if 10 years from now my opinion will be considered not as opinion, but as discrimination. So it seems like little insignificant steps but they we heading towards Christians loosing their rights. Been there.
    Going back to original article and my original comment , I have no problem with you having your opinion and appreciate intelligent, polite discussion, but my outrage was with author only because he is a Bible “scholar” and he is going agents basics of Bible and his argument of “not mentioned” in Bible is weak.

  • RonnyTX

    Thank you Jean,for bringing this up. :-) I am a male and happy to be one;but I don’t think that makes me better than anyone,who is female. I also happen to be gay and for myself,I thank God,that God chose that way for me. But as for thinking and I have thought on this and talked about it a good bit over my years online and that is simply,that I came to recognize that in thinking,I think more like a female. Or at least more like my family ones,that I grew up around. To me, their conversations at say family get to gathers,were always more interesting to me. Those were,as compared to what the males mostly talked about. The females more talked about people and relationships and such like. And to me,that was much more interesting than say talking about cars and sports,etc. Nice to have a name,to connect to that. :-)

  • RonnyTX

    One very interesting thing to me,in God creating Adam and then Eve,is simply that God took a part out of Adam,in God’s making of Eve. Now in many Bible translations,the word used for that part is rib;but then,I’ve read that the real Hebrew word some translate as rib,really meant uterus. If that’s so,then God create Adam with a uterus and took that out of Adam,when God formed and make Eve. But,whichever way it was and went,God made both Adam and Eve,in the likeness of God.

  • RonnyTX

    Yes;but then none of do. At least certainly not perfectly. Which is why it makes it so great,when we come to know,that we have the love,mercy and grace of God/Jesus Christ,on our side and that for every last one of us! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Thyme to Andy:
    People who hate sexual difference primarily use which book?

    I don’t see haters banging on secular books. There is no secular argument against LGBT people. The haters base their bigotry on a single book: The Bible.

    And people who mistakenly point to the Bible as a moral guide, even though it objectively offers nothing new in the realm of ethics/morals, validate the Bible as a moral source and enable the bigotry.

    Ronny to Thyme:
    No,the haters base their wrong ways of thinking about LGBT people,on a misinterpretation of a particular book. And the misinterpretation is passed on,from generation to generation. But in time,God will also correct that,just as in time,God will have corrected all things. And then,every last person will be in a right relationship with God the Father and that by way of Jesus Christ and the cross. :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Thomas,are you saying that all of your own illnesses are caused by your sins?

  • RonnyTX

    Thank you Gretchen. :-) And my,isn’t it great,that God looks on/at our heart! :-) And with me,when I first came out as gay,the first time I did that,it was at a local county mental health,clinic. I had been in church from an infant;but I dared not go to anyone from there,to talk about such and yet,I had to talk to someone and tell someone. So,I went to a counsaler,at that local clinic. And to this day,I so thank God,that such was available to me,at that time! :-) And I thank God,that God gave me the courage then,to just go and talk to someone there. :-)

  • RonnyTX

    You’re right MS,things like transgender are a part of God’s plan and not a mistake. :-) It’s not God who makes mistakes,;but just us human beings,who be no means understand everything. But the trouble comes in,when anyone thinks they understand more,than they actually do. (ha) Well,I can grin at some of that;but then way too much of such,is actually way hurtful,to some people! :-(

  • RonnyTX

    Eugene,transgender people don’t see/view such as mutilation. But as best I understand it,such surgery is simply to make their outer body,conform to their inner gender. And yes,I can understand why some of this would bother you. Hey,I’m a male myself,so I don’t like to even think about getting rid of some of my parts,which I really do like! :-( LoL

  • RonnyTX

    MS,what you say makes good sense. And I see in all of nature,the truth that God loves variety. :-) Yet too many people think,if everyone isn’t just like them,then something is wrong with that person! (ha)

  • RonnyTX

    Hey now! :-( LoL Well,I want that;but that doesn’t mean you have to want the same! :-) LoL

  • Andy

    I didn’t ask a question.

  • Reasonable Logic

    I want to leave you with a challenge that I often set to myself. I believe “I don’t know” is generally a cop-out. Even when true, it’s a weak statement. It’s best replaced with “I have no information on that.” Or alternatively, it’s even better to say, “I could be wrong, but based on the evidence I’ve seen, X is most likely true.”

    You see, “I don’t know” is often used by people who actually do know, but don’t like where the evidence is taking them. I think that’s what you are doing with this question of biogenesis. Evidence of this is your statement, “(there’s) no reason to just throw up your hands and say “I can’t figure it out, so God did it.” While it’s true, it’s a line atheists like to use that doesn’t mean anything. Watch.

    “(There’s) no reason to just throw up your hands and say “I can’t figure it out, so God didn’t do it.”

    That statement is also true, but should have the opposite meaning. It doesn’t though. If you can negate a statement, and the meaning doesn’t change, the statement had no meaning.

    Your other contention is that, “We’re just learning the questions to start to ask.” That also doesn’t mean anything. I can use your logic to defend a young earth. Or life on other planets. Or the danger of vaccines. Or anything else. “We can’t say for sure that (vaccines don’t cause cancer.) After all, we’re just starting to learn/discovering new evidence every day/figuring out the questions to ask” yada yada yada.

    If the same line can defend literally anything, then it means nothing.

    You say that you don’t know if life always comes from life. But that’s not true. You just don’t like where the truth takes you so you offer evasive defenses.

    The challenge is this:

    “Based on the evidence I have seen so far, life always comes from prior existing life.” That is the statement you should make because that is the truth. If you are unwilling to start your answer with “based on the evidence I have seen so far…,” and then present said evidence if necessary, you are dodging the truth you have seen. Something to consider.

  • otrotierra

    No, Jesus isn’t calling you to police other people’s gender identities. And guess what, nobody else is asking you to do so either.

    Now you can stop your identity policing and start following Jesus instead.

  • Reasonable Logic

    Actually I am called to discern the truth, as he did. Most of his statements were regarding truth. But let’s cut to the chase…you couldn’t care less what Jesus wants.

  • Father Thyme

    A misinterpretation? No. The Bible is a contradictory mess, and progressives privilege the passages they like, and the haters privilege the passages they like (which are actually more; the Bible is proven more violent than that moronic text know as the Koran.) Yeah.

    “Much to my surprise, the Islamic scriptures in the Quran were actually far less bloody and less violent than those in the Bible,” [Philip] Jenkins says.

    Is The Bible More Violent Than The Quran?
    npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124494788

    Which perhaps is one reason why Hector Avalos, professor of Religious Studies at Iowa State University, “criticizes his colleagues for applying a variety of flawed and specious techniques aimed at maintaining the illusion that the Bible is still relevant in today’s world” and for “being more concerned about its self-preservation than about giving an honest account,” in his text The End of Bible Studies. prometheusbooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=52

  • RonnyTX

    Thyme,there is no one bible today;but what we have are many translations of the bible. And more than a few of those have things added to them,that were not in the origional Hebrew or Greek. For instance,in the origional languages, there was no Jesus Christ created hell of eternal torment. Did you know that?

  • RonnyTX

    Thyme,the hope of an afterlife,is not a false hope. Instead,it’s a sure thing for you,me and everyone! :-) So,see you there! :-)

  • Father Thyme

    Afterlife is a false hope, whether you look at science…

    Michael Martin & Keith Augustine (2015) The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

    …or whether you look at the one book in the Bible worth reading…

    Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten.

    Ecclesiastes 3:19 “Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals.”

  • Father Thyme

    “Hell” (actually Hades, Tartarus, Gehenna, Moloch (Tophet), etc.) and “eternal torment” are all through the Bible. And you worship Moloch and his bad-breathed Lord who kindles the fires. The Bible is a sick, sadistic book.

    For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it. Isaiah 30:33

  • Danny

    It takes one to know one!

  • Erwin

    ◄ 2 Corinthians 5:17 ►
    Parallel Verses
    New International Version

    “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
    The old has gone, the new is here!”

    ◄ Zechariah 4:6 ►
    Parallel Verses
    New International Version

    “So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel:
    ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.”

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    Many trans people seem to have been thinking over suicide long before they stopped trying to be the personality many people attach to one’s genitals. The uproar they get greater laser-focused on them after transitioning, especially from moralist professionals such as yourself, would or would not skew the results toward possible suicidal ideation increase? Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the possibility of a researcher messing up her own study by say announcing on a public forum probably being read by people in transition that they are a professional who believes transition will make them think more about suicide.

  • Matthew

    I´m not qualified either gimpi1. I´m simply believing God´s revelation and Jesus´ reason for living, dying, and rising.

    In terms of “live and let live”, I think the scriptural revelation is relatively clear that believers should reserve their “speaking of sin” to within the family. There should be limits placed on legislating morality on the outsider unless it´s clearly evil, harmful, and unlawful. This does bring up a philosophical question though … how does a society determine what is evil, harmful, and unlawful? What is the source document, so to speak, where such legislation is drawn from?

    Nevertheless … I like what you said in another post somewhere about Christians who want to die on the hill of social issues. It´s often distracting to the core principles of the Gospel I think. You made a very good point.

  • RonnyTX

    Amen! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    And everyone in this whole wide world is my/our neighbor! :-)
    And the one to put it mildly,that isn’t easy,is the neighbor who is my enemy; but again,with God,all things are possible. :-)

  • Erwin
  • TheTruthHurts

    Oh man! One ingenious Bible scholar found a secret that’s been hidden from some of the greatest minds in the entire world, who have studied the Bible rigorously from an academic perspective every day, and have been discussing, reviewing, and publishing their scholarship for years…no…centuries! Oh, and he proved the secret, too! How could they have been so stupid?

    Surely someone with so great a mind could easily defend his views on television, and not get skewered by someone who, say, only has a bachelor in theater, like Stephen Colbert? Right? I guess I’d better stop reading those forged Bible books now.

    I hate to feed a troll, but I couldn’t resist.

  • Father Thyme

    That’s Mighty Christian of ya.

  • Charlie Sutton

    That all human institutions are subject to a variety of pressures does not mean that each and every one of them is corrupted. It means you have to look at them with care.
    I have been studying the subject of human sexuality for several decades – not as a scholar but as an observer of our culture. I have read widely, and I wish I could cite the half-dozen or so accounts of the pressure on the APA to change its position on sexual deviations. I do know that those who have opposed the homosexualists juggernaut have often found themselves to be the recipients of threats, actual violence, vandalism, and the like. The story of the Presbyterian pastor in the San Francisco area who let an organist in a same-sex relationship go (an action upheld by the courts) was harassed for years after the event. He is but one case of many.
    I may well have these things saved in my bookmarks, but I do not have the time to put their links in. If you want to disparage me because I do not have the time, fine.
    When the smoke clears five or six years from now, Jenner will still be a troubled man. His altered appearance will not have done what he wants.

  • Father Thyme

    > not as a scholar but as an observer of our culture a religiously-prejudiced, magical-thinking, bigot

    fify

    > the homosexualists juggernaut

    LOL, super-scary stuff. How ’bout that Christian juggernaut, mr. culture observer? See Chapter 7, entitled “The Ruler of the Whole World: The Invention of the Totalitarian State by the First Christian Emperor of Rome” in Jonathan Kirsch’s God Against The Gods: The History of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism. (Viking hardcover, 2004)

    >Jenner will still be a troubled man. His altered appearance will not have done what he wants.

    So what? I’m a troubled man, because my ministrations upon the electronic speed controller on my 18″ scroll saw have not yet done what I want, and it still runs full speed and thereby breaks the finer blades. Disconnecting the speed controller and directly wiring the motor, so I can insert a router rheostat, has also proven futile.

    Can you just quit being a busybody in peoples’ lives, simply because they might be frustrated and you think you have a better way? Oh right…

    CHRISTIAN, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor.
    Ambrose Bierce (Devil’s Dictionary, 1911)
    xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper2/Bierce/bierce.html

  • Noah

    I hope for consistency’s sake you never pursue places where swimsuits are involved…

  • Noah

    Not sure if you saw John Shore’s post, but I find it somewhat interesting that the Bell folk (?) feel ok judging Jenner, whereas you don’t since we don’t know what God views it as.

    Odd that a camp that is far from Fundie is able to have such rigid knowledge of judging.

  • William Williams

    I am so glad I an not shackled to the bible and other ‘holy’ books of mythology. Who would be the greater human, a person the does not believe in a god and does good for the sake of his fellow human or a person that believes in a god and does good to be rewarded in the imaginary after-life? Cleary the latter is empty of true goodness.

  • Eugene Weir

    His mind is mutilated, This will not end well for Bruce

  • Jesus Kevin Morales Hernandez

    To be called a Christian, one has to embrace the full character of Jesus. I’m afraid this progressive view does not do so, since they’re only picking and choosing the bits and pieces from the Bible they like. That’s what it is. If we’re not going to embrace the full truth of the Bible, then that is not being a sincere Christian. It’s only taking what fits your view and twisting it, not realizing that in doing so, you degrade the character of God.

  • asmondius

    It doesn’t – be successful with your new-found wisdom.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    I didn’t realize Christians still held that opinion of women.

  • otrotierra

    No, Jesus isn’t calling you to hide behind childish insults when you are asked to practice the Greatest Commandment.

    Instead of insults, you can spread the Greatest Commandment. You can even start today, right now.

  • otrotierra

    No, Jesus never taught that transgender people are degrading the character of God. That’s your view, your thoughts, and your opinion.

  • Noah

    My general point is that if you’re consistent you would have a hard time going to beaches, etc. where people are scantily clad. Including sports, weddings, etc.

    Having photos of such for sale is certainly very different than wearing such while purchasing things with photos.

    I certainly agree that more flesh viewing isn’t good. Progress in some areas (racial, male/female, not abusing people for being different, etc.) and not as much in others. Some things can be considered universal progress, whereas others would be different opinions.

  • asmondius

    Using your logic, a physician may only seek to cure those conditions she has personally experienced herself.

  • RonnyTX

    Amen. For everything is going to be allright and that for all of us. For God/Jesus Christ,will make it so! :-)

  • jimoppenheimer

    I do judge Bruce/Caitlyn. I cannot help myself.
    I cannot even begin to imagine the hell of living my whole life in a body that I feel with every fiber of my being is the wrong gender. I cannot imagine living every day with this elephant-in-the-room secret, knowing the massive hatred and condemnation that would come down on me for just feeling those feelings if the secret ever became known.
    So I cannot help but judge him/her — as a person of enormous courage, and mental stability. To bear that burden all of that time and to be able to do so, without lashing out or harming others, is pretty darned awesome.
    I fear her struggle is far from over, but I for one wish her peace. I wish peace for all who struggle with issues of gender.

  • Ron McPherson

    “To be called a Christian, one has to embrace the full character of Jesus.”

    By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (‭John‬ ‭13‬:‭35‬ ESV)

  • Katherine Koski

    I’ve been working out of town for several days and just now saw your response to my latest post. I’m no longer caught up in the week of excitement generated by Caitlyn’s open journey, and with my more calm composure I’ll keep this shorter.

    Thank you for caring about us who struggle through transition. It’s terribly difficult to explain our lives to anyone who has never personally dealt with the every day reality of transsexualism. We all get very defensive when challenged, and with that said I’ll stop my end of this encounter. I don’t expect you to understand, and I’m sorry I didn’t empathize with your limited personal experience. Admittedly you do want trans individuals to live happy and healthy lives, yet I want to give you a chance to learn more. Knowledge is like water, and we can quench our thirst, or let that knowledge stagnate. And although I’m offering you the information at the bottom of this response, it is just an offer.

    Lynn Conway is well known for her patents and pioneering work in electrical engineering and electrical circuit design. But she’s equally known for her informative papers about gender and how gender effects individuals. I truly hope you take advantage of this reading, but I must admit It’s a very long and tedious piece.

    Peace,
    Katherine

    http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/TS-II.html

  • Carstonio

    Judgment shouldn’t even enter into the equation, since morality is about how one’s actions affect others, and by that standard there’s nothing inherently immoral about transgenderism. It might be justified to talk about judgment if Jenner had committed an offense that harmed others and we were judging what punishment she should face.

  • TheTruthHurts

    Isn’t it, though?

  • Dino V

    Or universe is expanding and the best empirical evidence indicates that space/time is not eternal, rather, that it began to exist. The philosophical position that there is no such thing as gender is more problematic as compared to the philosophical position that there are two distinct genders, that can 98% of the time be known via perception and knowledge from biological sciences. If you want to pretend that the physical material composition of the male and female bodies are in no way distinct from one another, you are fighting an uphill battle in this regard as this has already been established scientifically – these differences are appreciable and empirical such that males and females can be categorized as such 98% of the time . If 1% of the population is androgynous then so what, the other 99% are not. You want our society to just ignore all of these physical and biological distinctions between men and women that influence behavior no doubt, and just say “Oh, I feel like a woman today, so I am, because everybody is androgynous”. There is no “third gender” in Christianity — Its right there in the Book of Genesis you should read it sometime – also Jesus affirmed the male — female distinction in the NT. Sounds like you have some rather silly philosophic “just so” positions that you are trying to pass off as the common sense view of reality; its not — hence why I asked you WHAT ARE YOU SMOKING

  • Father Thyme

    > embrace the full character of Jesus

    You obviously are doing exactly that, including embracing the ethically bad characteristics of Jesus.

    Avolos, H. (2015) The Bad Jesus: The Ethics of New Testament Ethics. Sheffield Phoenix Press Ltd.
    sheffieldphoenix.com/showbook.asp?bkid=294

  • Father Thyme

    Are we to assume you’ve never seen a painting of the crucifixion, with an adult in underwear for public viewing?

    Crucifixion in the arts – Wikipedia
    wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion_in_the_arts

  • Father Thyme

    John Ashcroft, is that you?

    AMERICA’S puritanical attorney-general, John Ashcroft, has had the half-naked statue of the Spirit of Justice covered because he was annoyed at being photographed in front of the exposed right breast.

    Curtains for nude statue of justice
    telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1383108/Curtains-for-nude-statue-of-justice.html

  • Father Thyme

    You’re just fine with God torching and blistering human flesh forever and ever in brimstone and fire.

    But we can’t look upon healthy beautiful human skin. Because religion.

  • Father Thyme

    So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. Ecclesiastes 3:12

    But if you don’t want to be happy in this life, like Epicurus and the author of Ecclesiastes taught, then you must be like Jesus.

    Ecclesiastes’ Epicurean Ceterum censeo that nought is good for man but eating, and drinking, and pleasure (8:15, 2:24, 5:18, cf. 3:12) is condemned by Jesus (Luke 12:20) in a section which contains several allusions to the Book of Ecclesiastes (cf. Luke 12:18, and Eccl. 2:4; Luke 12:20b and Eccl 2:18b, and above all, Luke 12:27 = Matt. 6:29 (Solomon in all his glory.)[…]

    Paul Haupt (1905) The Book of Ecclesiastes: A New Metrical Translation (with an introduction and explanatory notes). Baltimore: John Hopkins Press. p.6. archive.org/stream/bookofecclesiast00balt

  • Father Thyme

    98% of the time.

    Note: 98% is not 100%

    You want our society to just ignore 2%.

  • RonnyTX

    Thyme,please read the following article and see that what you say here,is far from right. For the truth is,there is no Jesus Christ created hell of eternal torment,in the Bible at all. Not as it was written in the Hebrew and Greek.

    http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/jesusteachingonhell.html

  • Father Thyme

    Benjamin, it ought to give you pause that your Christian “brothers” just don’t swallow the progressive whitewash of a morally horrible book.

    > You are not following Jesus.

    Of course not; I don’t follow bad people.

    Avolos, H. (2015) The Bad Jesus: The Ethics of New Testament Ethics. Sheffield Phoenix Press Ltd.
    sheffieldphoenix.com/showbook.asp?bkid=294

    > He describes Jesus as ” insane,

    Never read your Bible, Mike?

    When his friends heard it, they went out to seize him: for they said, “He is insane.” Mark 3:21 biblehub.com/mark/3-21.htm

    > hateful

    Again, do you never read your Bible?

    Luke 14:26 If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple.

    John 12:25 anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life

  • Father Thyme

    Ashamed, for not believing in imaginary friends? Are you kidding?

    >If you want to speak to me further

    An arrogant coward you are.

  • Father Thyme

    I already know that Christianity borrowed hell from pagans.

    You need to realize, Christianity borrowed the whole concept of it’s salvation scam from pagans.

  • Again, intellect, and glad to see you have attempted to develope, perhaps, evolve. At least a spine is evidential.

    I will break the reply into two parts…

    1. Physics….

    I think one will find that the view of most bodies of
    scientific authority have debased the argument on the ‘singularity’ event that was insultingly at first instance referred to as the Big Bang. It is indeed perhaps as comic as the American sitcom by the same theorem name. (Excellent btw).

    The theory of the scientist Georges Lamaitre and his ‘Primeaval Atom’ gained the view of the majority of the scientific community of the west through the societal and pseudo religious pressure and campaigns on research
    grant preferentialism. A matter given the support in mass reaction through the misleading psychobabble through the publication of the pulp novel of Hawkins, (I was
    Ruskin when it was the Communist College) of Oxford University.

    Synoptic:

    Light Element Abundances predict contradictory densities. Plasma theory correctly
    predicts light element abundances

    Plasma theory predicts from basic physics the large scale structure of the
    universe

    Large-scale Voids are too old

    Surface brightness is constant

    Too many Hypothetical Entities. For Dark Matter and Energy, Inflation, there is
    no room at the inn for dark matter, there is no Conservation of Energy

    Alignment of CBR with the Local Supercluster ie. Its not in the position the BB
    out to be

    Plasma theory of the CBR predict absorption of radio waves, which is observed

    The work of the most wonderful of intellect, a principled,
    thoroughgoing, attentive and charming and drop dead gorgeous man, Nobel Laureat Hannes Alfvens with who we were in correspondence with until his most hard taken death and his work on the static plasma universe model (for which he was unanimously honored by the
    committee) as well as a plethora of the most authoritative work on physics (plasma physics) cosmology et al.
    pointed to certain fatal and therefore fundamental inconsistencies in the theorem as developed of the singularity.

    Subsequent work by the most remarkable visionary Eric J. Lerner who also followed in the radical traditions of Alfvens is the most widely proposed physicist to speak out on the subject of the so many.

    The scientific communities of Russia, India and of course of China are generally in opposition to the work of Lamaitre and his singularity and many of the communittee of the US are recovering from the absence of truth wrought by evangelicals and the assault on budgets in favour of presidential votes in the 1980’s.

    That in part cost us our economy and our leadership and in the fall of capital we now have the feudal resurgency, after 14 centuries, we have the spectre of the worst barbarian culture being a viable alternative to
    our decadent system of corporate greed and ineffectual averageness.

    Alfven’s plasma universe is a form of ethereal analytics, based on Einsteinian electromagneticism as its motor of
    development that defies the second law of thermodynamics only if one considers the universe as expanding. Thus Einstein and his work is in contradiction to TBBT.

    In adopting an eternal universe and a model of thermodynamics of the Nobel laureate Ilya
    Prigogine we find a provable analytic.

    I would recommend the work of the American Physicist Eric Chaisson.

    Note Einstein I believe never even pointed to the question
    of such an episode as Lamaitre suggests.

    Edward Wright, who unfortunately seems not to have read much of the work of Alfvens and Lerner is the main authoritative critique of the Plasma Cosmos. And very disappointing to say, he is not very authoritative.

    The work in the East is exemplified by our own Shandong University.

    I am particularly vocal against Wright et al. and of the
    creationist theoretics advocated especially by the fundamentalist wings who do a great disservice by not understanding the simple concept of the eternal model
    of fluidic plasmatic as being a determining
    question for the existence of God.

    By suggesting a singularity event could create the physical aspect of the universe in the form the single ‘Primeaval Atom’ is to take the power of the creator away from the creator. It automates the work of the
    craftsman, it alienates the producer and reduces his labour to that of a commodity.

    It is also a defence that refutes God by suggesting that
    motion is 2 dimensional, that it is contained and it is finite, that matter is not in general motion but a singular motion, that in effect the world is fixed along one path and that it is it. It is a determinist argument that again is
    fraught with difficulties as even as adults we remember what we knew as children that there are a million potential outcomes and nothing is fixed, that
    all comes into being and then ceases to exist, to be reborn!

    Wright and the fundamentalists throw Jesus (pbuh) out with the cosmic soup and debar him from a returnee visa.

    All to say that you cannot be better than you are and must accept the misery present as that is it. Well it does get better and it changes and we were gifted existence so that we could witness the manifold wonders of
    creation; even if it is a material based process of change – especially because of such.

    The events of the multilarity and of the creation of man are processes that have always taken and do take place in an eternal process of matter in motion. That such
    motion is not of a singular singularity, but with the evidence of galaxies centered on a black hole (spiral) that that process of rebirth is a constant one.

    We ourselves have always existed and we will exist forever. That is the majesty of creation. It is an eternal process. An unending series of big whimpers, one almighty, the only one and the only one that is possible. For if the creation of a ‘Primordial Atom’ can be achieved by a God, is it not logical to say that perhaps God has this bit of the verse as his hood to play with our likes and the other gods have all their areas and all is overseen by
    senior Gods….

    Metaphysical argument of the creation of the creator full
    force. As if a natural element was so powerful to have created the work of God, then surely God is no longer required in the picture. He gets ousted by new
    tech, privatized by a machine… To say that the singularity, whether the ‘Primeval Atom’ was created by god himself or not is a capable material force in of
    itself to eschew our universe, then it is in all likelihood a possibility that the creator did not create such or that the creator theirself was a product of the singularity.
    After all it created all that is the universe, all that is a consequence so why not it creating god.

    The First Church of the Nuke… our new Prophet is White
    Westinghouse who returns to Profit.

    Now the eternal model does not in any way invalidate the analytics of Genesis which in itself are Sufi in nature and thereto of great interest. Ie that they represent a transliterated digest of example that requires interpretative
    guidance.

    That the world of ourselves in our universe has its place
    specifically for us as the highest form of evolution of the species of cognoscente.

    That yes we evolved from the primeval slime, that we swam the seas, that we lay eggs (until quite recently) that we swang the trees (some it seems have not evolved the Jinn Shiyatin of the Daesh) and knuckle dragged
    et al. Is not that a part of our necessary development, just as we require the neutrality for life that is Androgyne whether in the womb before we develop to
    female and then some to male, that we should have all of the natural development as an internal part of our being so that we may never ever be lost to the empathic understanding and reason required to ‘see’ our God?

    The idea of an eternal universe, all encompassing with no beginning and no end and of a finite amount of matter as measurable given its infinite nature is in my view a more thoroughgoing argument for the existence of God.

    God has always been as has the universe, there are no bounds and there are no limitations, no beginning and no end. No before and no after, just perpetuity. He didn’t just set fire to a party firework, pulled a popper
    at new year’s but committed majesty in majesty.

    Everything of course does come into being and it does change that is the chaotic fractal and material basis of matter that is perpetually in motion. But to suggest that a singularity created all matter 7.8 billion years
    ago when the size of the spaces as well as the location et al of matter all suggest as the most recent findings reveal that the universe is in the minimum, as far as we can quantify, 70 billion years in age as far as the observable
    element is concerned.

    There are so many aspects

    Observable Doppler. Nothing. Background radiation (noise). All quiet on that score, the universe is darkly quiet – but not of dark matter…..
    The abundance of elements shows that there is not a single way in all analytics to prove the magic trick of the Primordial Atom.

    I would conclude by saying our belief is not a faith, it is
    not a dogmatic deterministic conjecture either (atheism) it is a thorough going analytic based upon the material science.

    How old is a tree, you can chop craftsmanship and count the rings – that shows the abstract measure of motional development in its current existence but not of the development of all molecular combined that existed as
    something else prior…. If one is able to investigate, the tree has been in existence for eternity, even before the earth cooled… Its components just weren’t a tree back then…

    Whilst we have dominion, dominion does not mean to waste, to hoard , to speculate and to destroy and
    to cause our end and allow a new cycle to commence (fractal) without us in existence – Dominion carries with it responsibility and in no where is it intended that man should have dominion over other men nor
    over woman and certainly not over me. All men including woman and ladyboys are of free own volition as we too have dominion. If we all have dominion then no one man has such.

    So capital move over and stop destroying yourself to the
    point that we have your cousins the inbred child destroyer beauty hating family of Feudalism making a comeback after 14 centuries…. That is another future of
    black darkness and the Aryan fascism rears its sword to behead progress and civilization and eschew the antithesis of the dream of the prophet Jesus (pbuh)
    of a heaven being formed – finally – with its existence coming into being on our earth. Of Earth and Water Made.

    How can we not view the wonder that is nature as something that we see as a small fragment – an immeasurably small fragment in the eternal
    existence of reality that has always been in its variant forms and will always be, and be the work of the true nature of a supreme creator, whom theyself was
    never created but has always and will always exist.

    Mwahhh, love fm. Jean

  • RonnyTX

    Kevin,to be a Christian,I would put it that one simply needs to be born of God. And I would add to that,that what God has done for one and some in that area;before all is said and done,God will do the same for everyone. :-)

    As for progressive Christianity,I’ve posted in a number of groups by that name and I’m sure I don’t agree with somethings in that;but then I grew up in and under fundamentalist type Christianity and I’m just as sure that I don’t now agree with some teachings under that. Do I know it all now? :-) Not by a long shot! (ha) LoL Is God though teaching me yet? On no,not at all. But then,that is true for all of us. Which is why I don’t get all bent out of shape,if someone else doesn’t see everything as I do.

  • RonnyTX

    True,we are to love one another. We are to love one another,all non Christians besides that and we are to love even our enemies and our worst ones at that. Can we do that in and of ourselves? Nope. But with God/Jesus Christ,all things are possible! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    William,a Christian,a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ,is not to do good to be rewarded in a later life. We are to do good,simply because doing that and doing it by all people,is the right thing to do.

  • 2. Biology (I have several poms and a couple of vids and a new program coming out on this, will send you)

    “The philosophical position that there is no
    such thing as gender is more problematic as compared to the philosophical position that there are two distinct genders, that can 98% of the time be known via
    perception and knowledge from biological sciences.”

    Ok, I am suggesting that there are in effect 3
    genders, it is not a new theory at all, in fact , it is fact; Legislated as such in India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, Thailand, Kampuchea, Laos, almost in Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, First nations of the Amerikas, Most of South Amerika…..

    The European Union and United Nations concurs.

    In culture there are over 200 different regions on every continent that adhere to the principle.

    Understanding by perception is not science, it is non empirical and subjective assessment.

    “If you want to pretend that the physical material composition of the male and female bodies are in no way distinct from one another, you are fighting an uphill battle in this regard as this has already been established scientifically – these differences are appreciable and
    empirical such that males and females can be categorized as such 98% of the time .”

    So that makes it in 160 million cases, according
    to you, that the male – female dichotomy is indeterminable or difficult et al.

    That’s what – 60% of the population of the USA
    as an equivalent.

    That is a hell of a lot of people…. Androgyne
    people, First gendered people.

    Please read my text, I in no area suggest that
    there is no difference between the genders, in fact I specify that there are differences.

    There is physically and in terms of physiology
    rather great differences.

    Psychologically there is a marked difference with our two base points higher in intellect – I am 151-174 IQ.

    We are recruited specifically in certain nations
    for Intelligence – Israel, the US has adopted new protocols with further examination pending. I am writing a
    supporting HR analytic. We are needed more than ever in the war with the feudal remnants under the Deobandi and Salafi Wahhabi sects.

    What I do state is that ‘having balls does not
    make you a man’.

    In terms of latest law authority, which was a
    case I oversaw in Hong Kong and is now a part of a move for acceptance in China and now a standard of the WHO and accepted in the case of Ms. Eliana and the Director
    of HK Immigration and successfully fought for and won by the UNHCR, your observable basis of gender assessment is not of any scientific weight.

    That puts us in place with Europe.

    If China supports the position shift for recognition of the third gender that takes us all in all to over the 50% of the
    world population nations legislating to recognize we Androgyne as a several gender.

    Hormonal differentiation and chromosome
    differentiation is the basis of determination of one of 3 genders.

    Not gonadal. That has been ruled and regarded as
    unscientific.

    You may not be aware of the existence of many
    that are determined as Inter-sexed. Hermaphroditic. I certainly believe that you intimate towards such which is actually quite a fundamental point you have made
    and I certainly value that.

    As in the case of Ms. Eliana.

    As with myself, hormonal female, chromosomal
    female, gonadal, male. I have 6 children btw. My eldest is 16, my youngest and next youngest 4 and 6 years… I hope you and your partner have my luck, hard
    work always makes for good luck and children are the most wondrous state of being. For the record, tho, even tho men are rather emotional, testosterone brain addled sweet dumb creatures, who dont enjoy multiple orgasms and really dont know how to enjoy the best in life, seem to prefer other men as they dont seem to like me dressed feminine, or they like it too much, but I prefer to be in a relationship with them. Its a hormonal thing…

    I am aware of this case as I sit as Krisinitorii
    on the Court of Common Consents, am a Jurist and for the record still a reservist in the PAF under the command as Supremo of the Presidential Guardians
    Militia, Mindanao. Formerly under the command of Senador Col. Gingo Honasan whom carries the same rank as myself. SGF-F. MG. GIB

    Oh btw I am 53 years of age. I am private sector
    Intel, with Unit 86 of the IBC. Too long in the tooth really for COIN/CFS.

    “If 1% of the population is androgynous then so
    what, the other 99% are not.”

    I cant fault your math

    “ You want our society to just ignore all of
    these physical and biological distinctions between men and women that influence behavior no doubt, and just say “Oh, I feel like a woman today, so I am, because everybody is androgynous”.

    No, quite the opposite, recognize the differences and allow the fundamental base of all human rights, recognition. You see the problem is that without recognition we do not exist. We are afforded no rights nor protection.

    “There is no “third gender” in Christianity — Its right there in the Book of Genesis you should read it sometime – also Jesus affirmed the male — female distinction in the NT. “

    I will. Seems as though the copies I have read
    must have been forgeries, they seem to be far more complex. Mind you no pictures in mine with no free crayons, which is a shame.

    There is certainly the First Gender. Adam – Now and
    I was rather heartened to read from Ronny Tx. about the interpretation that the part of Adam that was removed to create woman was Adam’s uterus. (the bit that
    houses baby)

    “Sounds like you have some rather silly philosophic “just so” positions that you are trying to pass off as the common sense view of reality; its not — hence why I asked you WHAT ARE
    YOU SMOKING”

    No, the view that I place forward is the accepted
    one in the majority of the scientific community.

    A large part of the Church

    Judaeism, Islam, Taoism, Jainism, Rosicrucian, Buddhist,
    (I forgot Nepal recently legalized us). That makes for a majority of the religions….

    In terms of the Armed forces, we are specifically recognized

    Australia
    New Zealand
    France
    Germany

    …..

    48 armed forces in actuality with 52 to go….

    …….

    You seem to have missed my point entirely about Caitlyn…

    There is no such thing as Transgender. We are of a several gender and yes we are fluidic, we are possessed of both the spirits as it were (no not drinking ones). It varies and it is measurable in decades and not in days….

    I am of a set of persons that are 1 in 3 likely to be
    Androgyne.

    An identical twin….

    So I repeat again, as a senior jurist and military officer,
    company director and basically retired and soon to be a grand per son and daughter……. Fancy to borrow some intellect, I would offer you a smoke as it
    seems you intimate that you would like some, I smoke Lucky Stripe Reds…. Sorry no ultra thin menthol, also I am not actually effeminate, feminine yes, I am
    akin Ms. Eliana, recognized as neither M nor F…. but A. pretty rough around the edges but pretty.

    I was born this way and I have grown up my way. I am proud of the way I am and just wish that people would get the facts straight, then perhaps less of us would feel the need to be a man or a woman but be whom we
    truly are – Androgyne…. Save a lot of balls from the choppers…

    Its called Dysphoria, my love. Society is rather confused
    and upset with me about my body, I explain just cos a guy gets a woody harleson for me that don’t make him queer, quite the opposite, it makes him very much a
    heterosexual.

    You see we are legal in Asian countries where being gay is banned…. Three genders….

    Transgender is a myth, Androgyne, give us our dignity and the respect we deserve. Recognize our Gender Rights.

    A Poem For You

    In a two dimensional world I am a transgender and I am notone of you.

    In the real three dimensional world, I am of a trinary of
    genders and I am both of you.

    Drop the snide and that would have been a good intellectual warm up for me. But still, my brother, I would love to engage in detail to assist in my studies.

    Ashien Devlesa mai bra. (May you be with God my brother)

    Jean

  • Widge Widge

    All Chistians pick and choose from the Bible.

  • asmondius

    That’s OK – I’m here to help.

  • Widge Widge

    Good point

  • Widge Widge

    Hell is not like that. It is everlasting destruction i.e. cease to exist in the afterlife but I can understand why you do not like this.

  • Widge Widge

    God is love.

  • Father Thyme

    > cease to exist in the afterlife

    If you’ve ceased to exist, why would you want water to cool your tongue? (Luke 16:24) Christianity borrowed much of its concept of the afterlife from pagan sources, and the underworlds of Zeus’ brother Hades and Tartarus were places of conscious torment.

    Reality is, all animals (including the species of the great apes known as “humans”) cease to exist after this life, and there is no afterlife, but I understand—scientifically via 400+ empirical studies*—why you do not like this.

    * http://www.tmt.missouri.edu

  • Charlie Sutton

    The mask is off, I see. While I am quite happy to engage in discussion of facts and ideas, I am not in the least interested in engaging in ad hominem discussions, which generate much heat but no light whatsoever.

  • Father Thyme

    Why would you purport that well-documented history is somehow “ad hominem?” Because you’re not the least interested in engage with reality.

  • Noah

    Perhaps you ‘should’ have explained if you go to areas where there are people showing flesh, or watch events as such. Muchless participate.

  • Noah

    What’s the difference between being photographed for a cover and wearing it in public?

  • dontkickthebrit

    Fair enough. :) Not to say I wouldn’t want to give it a test spin, but it would lead to awkward questions eventually. I like being a cis woman.

  • Charlie Sutton

    Your very last comment to me had nothing to do with history, documented or otherwise; it tone was supercilious; quoting Ambrose Bierce tells me that it is worthless to discuss anything further with you.

  • Father Thyme

    If you don’t think Jonathan Kirsch’s text has to do with history, it is worthless to discuss anything further with you.

  • Charlie Sutton

    I suppose I could buy the book and add it to the list of things I want to read, and get back to you in two or three years…
    I have no doubt that his book is about history. I do not know if he is the author I have seen several of my friends referring to who wrote with the assumption that Constantine’s conversion was a political and not a spiritual one, or that Constantine invented Christianity somehow by gathering up a variety of teachings and making a reasonably coherent whole of them and establishing the Church of Rome. It could be that Kirsch is the author of that book, or of another. I do not know.

    The “ad hominem” charge was not directed at Hirsch, but at you.

  • Father Thyme

    When Christians quit behaving as described by Ambrose Bierce obseved, especially in matters of Thy Neighbors’ Sex Life, let me know. Until then, I’ll steer you this way:

    Christianity Needs a Sexual Reboot
    May 12, 2015 | Mark Sandlin
    patheos.com/blogs/thegodarticle/2015/05/christianity-needs-a-sexual-reboot/

    Or just boot your Christianity. I did, and it has been nothing but a positive experience.

  • Mark

    There’s a huge percentage of the “Hell is real” camp that doesn’t share your belief that people either go to Heaven or are destroyed. They seem to enjoy lording their salvation over everyone who doesn’t have the same take on scriptures and who, because of that, most certainly will be tormented eternally (by our all-loving God).

  • Mark

    I thought it WAS a swimsuit, and a pretty tasteful one at that. I see more skin on most women at the beach or the local pool. And I don’t know where you shop, but I have seen people show up in grocery stores and malls in less clothing than Caitlyn is wearing on that magazine cover.

    I guess you made a big deal of Michael Jordan posing in underwear in his Hanes commercials. At least Caitlyn is wearing her hair long, like Paul said all good Christian women should do.

    I looked again, and it still looks like a swimsuit to me. Would that my grandaughter would show up at the pool so conservatively.

  • Mark

    Also, if it’s not prurient, then what on earth is your point? I don’t see anything sad about that. God created us naked and unashamed. How many fig leaves do you think Adam had Eve so together for their “clothing”? (Which, by the way, God never told them to do)

  • Noah

    Yes, so if wearing so little in public is of concern, do you try and avoid places where people are wearing as much, or less clothing?

  • Noah

    Like beaches? Weddings, etc. are hard to avoid.

    Looking for consistency, there’s more than enough folks who complain about things they see as bad for society but participate in. Can’t avoid doing so all together, obviously.

  • Caleb Cunningham

    I have noticed that you are quick to write criticisms of your Christian brothers and sisters, fundamentalists, the “anti-gays,” the Duggard’s, etc., but you are very quick to defend other sinners (progressives, LGBT’s, etc). In fact, the mercy you seem so quick to issue to the prodigal, you withhold from the older brother. I hope you will go back and reconsider this parable–Luke 15:11-32. The Father’s gentle mercy was extended to both the Prodigal son and the oldest son, while encouraging both to repent. I wish you would do the same in your articles.

  • RonnyTX

    Widge,some Christians don’t believe in everlasting destruction-not in a burning hell or everlasting destruction. I used to,because I was raised up in a local church and taught to believe in an eternal hell of torment. I believed that way until just over 5 years ago. Then I ran upon some fellow Christians who are what’s called Christian universalist in belief. That is,that God has chosen to save everyone and that by way of Jesus Christ and the cross.

    Thinking of Sodom here and its destruction. I was taught all those people and those in the cities about it,were in hell. And I can see how some might believe God had eternally destroyed them. But that was before I knew about the scripture that tells us,that God is going to restore and bless Sodom,just as God is going to restore and bless Jerusalem. Hadn’t read all of the Old Testament when I learned of that, still haven’t and need to! But I was so shocked to go and read in the Bible, where God was going to restore Sodom,etc. Certainly something I never heard in Sunday School or during the preaching hour! (ha) A good article on the restoration of Sodom,at the following link.

    http://www.tentmaker.org/books/SpiritOfTheWord/021Sodom.htm

  • RonnyTX

    Mark,way to many Christians and or those going by the name Christian,have their noses up in the air,as they look down on so many other people! And I used to be one of those types,till God knocked me upside the head and taught me better. :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Thyme,there is an afterlife for all of us and it will be good for all of us. How do I know that? Because God is love and God is own our side. So,see you in the next life! :-)

    Now as far as what you call Christianity,I sort of hate to let others take over that word;bit the way I see it,so much of what has gone by that name down through the ages,that is more religion,than some people being born of God and being believers in and followers of Jesus Christ. And as I would put it today,I’m not a believer in and follower of Christianity;but a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ. And that.completely because of the love,mercy and grace of God/Jesus Christ. :-) Which is why I say and hold to,when all is said and done,every last one of us,will have received the same blessing from God! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Thyme,salvation/being born of God is no scam. But of course,I don’t expect you to know about that or understand such,till you also have been born of God. And that great day is coming for you. So,see you on the other side. :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Thyme,you’re right that the religion known as Christianity,got its teaching on hell from pagans. That’s where such came from and not from the bible,as it was written in the Hebrew and Greek. And I didn’t find this out,until around 5 years ago;but since I did,that is why I no longer believe in a Jesus Christ created hell of eternal torment.

  • RonnyTX

    That’s right and as I see it now,when we die,we all go to the grave. Then we are at rest and after that,the resurrection. And there are still things I would like to do and get done in this life;but after going through so much and reaching 60 years old,that resting time in the grave,seems pretty sweet to me! :-) But then,when I go there,is not up to me. That’s in God’s hands,in God’s timing. So even though it’s getting pretty hot here in Texas,I guess I better get back over to my house soon and do some more weedeating,yard cleanup and house repair! :-( LoL

  • Father Thyme

    There is no afterlife.

    St. Paul made Christianity’s afterlife premise falsifiable, by basing his theory on the notion that matter is not made of atomic elements.

    It was the logic of the cross against the logic of the atom, an early phase of the long strife between science and religion.
    […]
    The whole theory of physics was reduced by Epicurus to Twelve Elementary Principles and a syllabus bearing this title was published for the use of his disciples. This list of Principles, it may be interposed, was the most lucid and orderly ever drawn up in ancient times, and with one exception would have been received with respect down to the date of an event so recent as the fission of the atom. By way of illustration the first seven are here listed with some adaptation to modern terminology:

    1. Matter is uncreatable.
    2. Matter is indestructible.
    3. The universe consists of atoms and space.
    4. All existing things are either atoms or compounds of atoms.
    5. The atoms are infinite in multitude.
    6. Space is infinite in extent.
    7. The atoms are always in action.

    As was bound to happen, this whole system became known to the enemies of Epicurus by that particular Principle which was most offensive and provocative of ridicule, the third. This was offensive because it implied that the soul of man itself was composed of atoms, just as the body itself, and therefore subject to dissolution, just as the body. It was especially open to ridicule because the atoms were such insignificant things upon which to base a whole system of knowledge. In Galatians 4:9 Paul sneered at them as “the weak and beggarly elements.”

    Norman Dewitt (1954) St. Paul and Epicurus. University of Minnesota Press. http://www.epicurus.info/etexts/stpaulandepicurus.html

    Since c.1803 or so, with John Dalton’s atomic elements theory proving St. Paul’s “logic of the cross” wrong—and Epicurus’ “logic of the atom” correct—we can know for certain that Christianity’s afterlife narrative is false.

    The only way to assert Paul’s “logic of the cross” is to deny, as St. Paul himself did, that humans are made of atoms.

    Since St. Paul made his theory falsifiable, and it is proven false by much evidence-based science, I therefore do claim to be sufficiently certain of my conclusion that there is no afterlife, at least of the Christian variety.

  • Father Thyme

    > not from the bible

    It is in the Bible, as is the whole pagan fear-insurance “redemption” scam.

  • Father Thyme

    I was born right the first time.

    EPICUREANISM: We have been born once and cannot be born a second time; for all eternity we shall no longer exist. (Vatican Sayings #14 epicurus.info/etexts/VS.html )

    CHRISTIANITY: For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. (1 Peter 1:23)

  • You’re seriously going to judge someone’s spiritual state based upon this? Dangerous grounds, especially since biblical teaching on modesty is referring to having nice things (“do not wear costly apparel”). The irony is if I saw the size of your house, the kind of car you drive, or the type of jewelry your wife wears, I’m betting I’d find something immodest according to biblical teachings.

    So you might want to go slower on who you judge to have “succumbed to the spirit of the age.”

  • Unfortunately your view of Jesus is derived from a simplistic and literal translation of the texts. You believe that progressives pick and choose because you have not been given the latitude that allows such interpretations.

    To apply a simple progressive rule: if you believe you have a complete picture of Jesus then you are necessarily wrong. Progressives are much more pragmatic and respectful of the Godhead. They do not presume to understand God. They only accept God’s incomplete revelation.

    Your attack on progressives is ill conceived and arrogant. You are the more deceived because you think you understand that which is beyond your comprehension.

  • Mark

    You are incorrect, sir. Not that I accept you as the guardian of Christianity, but I don’t see how not being bothered by women in bikinis strikes me from the list. I think we ought to be more offended by the hunger and poverty in our own “Chrisitian” nation than by how much clothing people are wearing. Just my opinion. I’m not claiming to be passing on divine revelations.

  • Mark

    “Such photos and poses have become so commonplace in our culture that they’re no longer considered prurient.” So, the picture is NOT prurient, but then it IS prurient. See, prurience is in the eye of the beholder. What if YOU were the only one who found this photo to be prurient? What would that say about the state of your mind? How much skin coverage is enough? Do the women need burkas? People no longer dress like 5th century BC Jews. I think some African tribal women still go around bare breasted, and in their culture it isn’t considered prurient. Where in Genesis does it say how many fig leaves were enough? “The lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife…” but it doesn’t say how much coverage the divine uniform provided.

    Clothing is not natural, and was not needed while we still had a sufficient covering of hair all over our bodies, like other animals. I’m not a nudist, and nobody would look lustfully on my body, but I’m just sayin’.

  • Mark

    I’m with you. I could go on and on about this Hell thing, but what it comes down to for me is I just can’t see a God being all loving, wooing us with prevenient grace, as John Wesley puts it, with the Jesus part of the Trinity showing us love even for our enemies, and then sending 90% (+/-) of humanity to an eternal torture for being born into the wrong religion, or culture, or not praying the right prayer. It’s impossible for me to see that “God wins” when at the end, it’s something like God – 30 mliiion Satan – 15 billion (give or take). In any other system that would be an abject failure. And especially for a God who supposedly knows how people are going to behave before God ever creates them in the first place. That’s a God who doesn’t care about the other 15 billion, not one who loves them.

  • dude needs help…he is…well…as Scripture tells us… this wickedness stems from the heart of bruce…

  • otrotierra

    No David, scripture doesn’t tell you anything about transgender subjectivities. That’s your opinion, your idea, your thought. Were’s all that wickedness you seek?

  • Noah

    Fair enough on the beach. By weddings I mean dresses that show almost as much skin as the photo.

    I’m saying that if the public is ok with skin in public, they’re likely to be ok with skin elsewhere.

  • Noah

    What’s applauding it? The article just states only God has the information available to judge righteously.

  • Noah

    Maybe, but I wouldn’t call it applauding it…

  • Erwin

    Re “Scripture

  • Ron McPherson

    Funny how people interpret differently. I never got the impression Ben was advocating transgenderism, but was merely saying we have not the authority to judge as God does. Also, I don’t see Ben advocating for a particular ‘side’ other than to not judge (that’s why I’m struggling to understand why you think he is guilty of judging by virtue of the fact that he says we shouldn’t judge).

    Peace

  • Some on the left certainly didn’t think I took a side, and I was publicly criticized for it. It seems many on the right have the position of “if you’re not with us, you must be with them” and interpret things in light of that black and white/here are the lines in the sand type narrative.

  • Ron McPherson

    Yep, I read a piece yesterday that scolded you a bit for not being stronger on it. Seems you just can’t please anyone Ben ; )

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    The thing I love about the Caitlyn Jenner transgender story is how completely and utterly it isn’t my business. I cannot begin to express how completely and utterly liberating that is. There is a glory to it that I can’t describe. If I am commanded anything in regards to Caitlyn, it is to “Love your neighbor as yourself,” which is something I certainly haven’t mastered yet, and as such is something I should continue to work on. There is no need to even consider going after the possible mote in someone else’s eye or casting the potential first stone, so I won’t. Caitlyn is living her own life, and I shall do the best to live mine.

  • Stevie D

    That last word should be HER

  • Stevie D

    I notice that you sidestep Ben’s Biblical point about “selling all your worldly goods and giving the money to the poor”

  • Stevie D

    Using someone’s name correctly seems only polite, Caitlyn is the name that Ms Jenner uses…what right do you have to continuously insist on using another name?

    Would it be appropriate or polite for me to continuously refer to you as Mary?

  • Stevie D

    Using Caitlyn’s name is not a judgement. It is polite acceptance of the boundaries of her right to be called by a name she espouses, rather than one which you wish to use for her.

    In your second paragraph, I see that you are trying to avoid judging…you fail.

  • Stevie D

    I’d be interested to know your advanced medical training which enables you to diagnose mental illness without consultation with a patient/client. You must be in great demand.

  • Stevie D

    Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with
    moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does
    not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. Luke 12:33

  • Ron McPherson

    “If you honestly don’t think Ben was taking a side, then I honestly don’t know how to help you further.”

    There’s a lot more than just me to help. Ben was taken to task publicly by others over this very article for not taking a stand in support of Jenner’s actions because they viewed the article as middle ground. The fact that either ‘side” feel as if Ben is on the other ‘side’ is a pretty good indication to me that Ben is practicing what he preaches about not judging.

  • Noah

    Well, once you change your name, it’s changed. Legally. Nothing to argue about there. (I’ll admit it feels really weird)

    I may lean towards the fact that it is wrong based upon God’s obvious idea of creation. Oh, but hey, people are born with male and female bits….so I have no idea what’s going on. I certainly am not going to tell them they’re in a constant state of sin because they’re not exactly a man, or a woman.

    A comment below points out….how does what Jenner is doing concern you? (obviously nothing on a first person basis, but I imagine the argument would be something to do with society)

  • gimpi1

    Sorry to get back to you so late; I had the system-crash of all system crashes and am only getting back up and limping now.

    When I used the word “dominance” I didn’t mean you personally. I meant that Christianity in general in the U.S. has has a position of privilege. Christian beliefs sometimes shaped secular laws. Christian holiday were legal holidays, stores were required to close on Sunday, “blue-laws” were in effect. Because Christian beliefs were written into law, other faiths were often discriminated against, either deliberately or by de-facto acts. That’s changing now. To many Christians, that feels like discrimination. It’s not, it’s the end of privilege.

    I’m sorry for your experiences in the old Soviet Union. To me, that’s exactly why you don’t base laws on beliefs, political or religious. You base laws on preventing harm. You prevent people from harming each other. Everything else you leave up to the individual’s conscious. If anyone’s rights are compromised, no one’s rights are safe. By arguing for the rights of Ms. Jenner, I feel I’m also arguing for your rights, the rights of Ben, and everyone else. Since Ms. Jenner’s actions caused no harm, she should be left to go her own way. So should you, so should everyone.

    I believe that the only way to be sure that we don’t descend into the kind of persecution you fear is to be sure that law can only be based on real, measurable harm, and if we as individuals mostly treat each other with the same kind of kindness and respect that we’d want to get. I feel Ben encourages that, and that’s why I enjoy his blog.

  • gimpi1

    Sorry to get back to you so late, I had the system-crash of all system-crashes and I’m just getting up and limping…

    One thing I have mentioned in the past is that I don’t think it’s wise for Christians to get too caught up in the whole culture-war mess, if they really want to reach out to the rest of us.

    I saw a thing that looked (to me) similar in the American South in the 1960’s. Then it was racial segregation. Some Christian denominations – the Southern Baptists in particular – hung their hat on the morality and Biblical mandate for segregation. I’m sure they were sincere in their beliefs, but there’s no way around the fact that they were racially bigoted. It drove a lot of people away from Christianity. Sadly, it also attracted a lot of people who wanted some sort of excuse to continue to be bigoted. In general, it gave Christianity a black-eye here in the states. It’s one of the reasons young people are pulling back from religion in general, in my view.

    Obsessing over consensual sexual matters has a similar feel to many. Churches should absolutely preach about what they consider sin. However, they should not expect to have those beliefs enshrined in law. A group that is trying to get its “Good News” out might want to be a bit careful about how it presents itself to those of us on the outside. It’s sort of a marketing consideration. It may seem crass, but marketing works.

  • gimpi1

    Sorry for getting back to you so late. I had the system-crash of all system-crashes and I’m just getting back up and limping…

    We’re not going to agree on this. I really do feel that we’re discovering the start of what questions to ask, and I do feel that when you’re at that point, “I don’t know,” isn’t a cop-out, but the best answer. I don’t feel the need to assume knowledge that I don’t yet have. I don’t trust arguments from authority without substantiating facts.

    The evidence I’ve seen so far is insufficient for the origins of life. The evidence I have seen so far for the accuracy of the geologic record is sufficient for me to accept the current model of a 4.5-billion-and-change old earth, with both gradual and cataclysmic events shaping its surface. Of course, that view can change with new evidence.

    For me, evidence is the thing. Not speculation. Not a need to taylor my world-view to a belief-system. Evidence. The evidence I have shapes my views.

    I’m better-informed about geology (by osmosis) than other physical sciences, but my experience with scientists makes me (mostly) regard their work as reliable. The process of peer-review and experimentation works pretty well. Our recent record in treating and eliminating sources of disease, understanding the basic physics of energy-source and engineering our technology is darn good. Science is why.

    Good talk.

  • gimpi1

    “If Ben wasn’t advocating transgenderism, why did the name “Caitlyn” appear a dozen times in his post and the name “Bruce” not at all?”

    Um, because the name Caitlyn is the name Jenner chooses to be addressed with, and it’s rude to use another name when someone has made their preference known? For example, my given name is Victoria, (I hate the nickname Vicki with a passion) and I did not take my husband’s name when I married. When I introduce myself as Ms. Victoria MyLastName, most people use that. However, some people insist in calling Mrs. Vicki HisLastName, I guess to show that they think they have some power over me. It’s rude. When you insist on using Bruce, when you know Jenner prefers Caitlyn you are being equally rude.

  • gimpi1

    Well, among those who refuse to use my name, and insist on addressing me by my husband’s name, they raise the same argument. They say that my “real” name is the married name I never adopted, and the fact that I did not change my name is irrelevant. They are demanding the power to define me, to insist that my legal name isn’t my “real” name, since they believe all married women must for some reason use their husband’s name. They, like you, are insisting on defining my reality.

    Many names have no gender. Would you have trouble calling Jenner Lee or Chris? I have known women named Stevie, Donnie and Terry. Names are simple social constructs, not related to gender except in the way we interpret them. In refusing to use the name Jenner chooses, it appears to me that you are trying to take power over Jenner and offer a subtle insult, just the way those people who refuse to acknowledge that some married women don’t take their husband’s name.

  • otrotierra

    Thanks Ron!

  • Diana

    Caitlyn Jenner is not a female Bruce Jenner a was born male. Genesis1:26a-27. Read it and then maybe you will see where the sin lies. Yes we are to love Bruce Jenner but the distrubing fact is that even people who say that they are christian, graduated from seminary and all that stuff have fallen for the cunning lie of Satan. God created Bruce Jenner as a male. Bruce was born with male gentials and he fathered 5 or 6 children. The sin is that he has rebelled against God by rejecting how God saw fit in his creation to bring Bruce Jenner into the world as a MAN and Bruce Jenner has decided with the help of Doctors of Medicine to change his image (what we see on the outside) to that of a WOMAN (everythig is false, except maybe his hair) and now the world even those who claim to be christian thinks he is a woman!!!
    Read Romans 1:18-32 and find out what God has to say about this.
    Pat Robinson…may God have mercy on all of us for enjoying the ride of this thing called transgender. Don’t you people realize that the soul of these people will spend eternity without the presence of God? Or do you no longer believe in eternity? What has happened to the real Children of God, the ones that even the earth cries out for? God help us all.

  • Diana

    yes Otrotierra, scripture tells us a lot about sexuality. Genesis 1:26-27 tells us that God Himself made man in his own image and the word man includes both male and female. Trandsgender is a choice that man made and got help from medical doctors. You must understand the context of the word of God. The Bible has answers for EVERY issue that is known to man and covers the things that has not happened yet. I pray that your eyes be opened spiritually so that you may understand Gods words. Oh yes, read Romans 1:18-32.
    2 Timothy 2:15 KJV says “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Don’t have time to do a bible study with you, but read it for yourself.

  • Since the Bible doesn’t cover the issue of being transgender

    Not as we know it, no. But the topic of the “Eunochos” mentioned by Jesus is “controversial”, because it involves pointing out that we don’t have a perfect understanding of the bible, and therefor we might be wrong.

    But since I don’t mind being controversial, I’d like to point out that countless biblical scholars have argued that the “Eunochos” who were born, made such by other people, or became such for God, includes trans people.

  • Stacey (the kids’ Aunt Tasty)

    No, no. It only shows how much respect one will afford another. If I tell you my name is Caitlyn, and you call me Bruce, you simply do not care who I am. Which is actually fine, because then I’ll know you’re not anyone I can trust, which, sadly, leaves out any possibility I can meet Jesus through you.

  • Rustam Abbasov

    It is an utopia and and will never work. Measurable harm is very hard to define, since emotional abuse is still an abuse and you can’t separate people’s believes. One my say there is nothing wrong with abortion and insurance it is personal choice of the person because it is their own body, other will see it as a murder of another human being. So believes are not separable to hurm/no hurm situations. Going back to my point, if we talking about world in general and everyone is free to believe and do what they want as long as they physically don’t hurt each other Ben’s point would be ok. But my point is that he wants to tight it to Bible and Bible does not give you options to take any road and we all will end up at same distinction. It is not tolerant or politically correct. You ether follow it or you don’t. It’s like I would say according to law I can drive on red light as long as I will not make an accident or hit anyone. I could be very cautious and skillful driver and maybe I will not harm anyone, but I will not be truthful saying that law allows it. It doesn’t!

  • otrotierra

    No Diana, none of the passages you quote address transgender subjectivities. That’s just you inserting your opinion, your ideas, and your imagination.

    No thanks, I’ll stick with Jesus.

  • Stacey (the kids’ Aunt Tasty)

    It’s not my nose! It’s a false one!

  • Noah

    Yes, I know you’re not trying to reach Jenner. Btw, if he legally changed his name I’d say it’s prudent to acknowledge that. Saying he or she is separate from that.

    You chose this issue as the one to address Ben with. There’s some obvious interest in Jenner if you came on here.

    What advice, exactly, would cause people to ignore Christ?

  • Noah

    Well, it isn’t exactly a personal theology piece. He’s saying we don’t if God sees trans as a sin.

    Can you mention one piece of advice?

    I don’t quite see how it’s out of context. The verse certainly isn’t meant just to the crowd regarding his healing on the Sabbath. It certainly is about not judging on just what we see…..and is the thrust of his argument, God sees all, we don’t, and can’t judge righteously.

    I get where you are coming from, but like with many beliefs you can push them, but still disagree and leave it at that.

  • Noah

    Has god made human beings who seem to be both male and female? Obviously not the intention of creation, but it exists.

    Also, I’m asking you what advise Ben is giving. Not for advise.

    When did he say it was good? He’s saying he doesn’t know. Unless I missed something.

    Again, judging righteously. We can’t know for certain what God thinks of this.

    Ben obviously doesn’t think the photo itself it too inappropriate to show. I could be persuaded to think that. It looks like a swimsuit or athleticwear to me. Which is what got me going in the first place. (wondering if you were consistent on exposed skin)

    He/she thing, seems like a valid point. Although refusing to call Jenner Caitlyn is, I think, judgmental. You’d essentially be thumbing your nose at the legal system, and what they’re name actually is. Calling Jenner he and not she could be seen as an extension of that.

  • Ron McPherson

    “Don’t you people realize that the soul of these people will spend eternity without the presence of God?”

    John 7:24 – Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.

    James 4:11 – There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

    Luke 6:37 – Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;

    Peace

  • Ron McPherson

    I’m curious if you would be this passionate had Ben wrote an article about withholding judgment against previously divorced remarried couples, or women wearing makeup and jewelry, or those who have not sold all their possessions to follow Christ, or perpetual over-eaters falling prey to the sin of gluttony…if you would be equally as passionate about such things, then fair enough. But if not, then you may want to self reflect on why not.

    Peace

  • Ron McPherson

    “I’m curious about why you think I should accept your judgment that all
    these things are deserving of similar response and equal passion?”

    On what basis would they not be since the Bible speaks of these things? Otherwise, our judgment of others’ actions becomes arbitrary, biased, prejudicial, and purely subjective, giving rise to the legitimate charge of hypocrisy (e.g. casting the first stone, the speck and log thing, etc.). This is the very reason we’re cautioned against judging the ‘sins’ and motives of others.

  • Ron McPherson

    Mike,

    You’re over-thinking my points. The issue here is that
    focusing on the supposed faults of others is an exercise in futility that does
    not further God’s Kingdom, especially casting judgment on the motives of those
    we don’t even know. I’m not advocating that we condemn those who have remarried
    after divorce, or over-eat, etc. The point is that all of us are guilty before
    God. It’s easy to judge the ‘sins’ of those we may find culturally unacceptable
    (e.g. transgender, or gay, etc.), but yet casually dismiss the ones that do not
    offend us (e.g. overeating, divorce, etc.). Invariably, this type of thinking
    leads to categorizing sin, causing followers of Christ to be legitimately accused
    of hypocrisy. When asked which is the greatest commandment, Jesus said that we
    are to love God and our neighbor. There was a huge list he could have picked
    from but He condensed it down to this one thing. Jesus followers (including
    myself) need to get this one down first. If we become more passionate about the
    sins of others (especially those that Jesus may not have expressly mentioned) over
    loving our neighbor (e.g. feeding the poor, rescuing the needy, loving the
    outcasts), then we’re reduced to resembling the Pharisees rather than the Son
    of God. We are called to be Jesus’ ambassadors, not His righteous police force.

    Peace brother

  • Ron McPherson

    “The Pharisees were selective about which commandments were worth obeying. You are following in their steps when you reference commands like “feeding the poor, rescuing the needy, loving the outcasts” but then want to go silent when it comes to Jesus’ commandments for sexual purity.”

    This is the first time I’ve ever encountered the charge of Pharisaism for advocating love over judgment, precisely the very opposite action of what the Pharisees actually represented.

    “And what sort of gospel do you have where Jesus can command a person to feed the poor but cannot have dominion over the person’s sex life? You might be calling Him a Savior, but He’s not much of a Lord.”

    You’re still missing it.

  • Ron McPherson

    What’s amazing to me is how you assume to know so much about so many who you have never met. For whatever reason you can’t discern the difference between the absence of judgmentalism vs a low view of sin. Strange as it may seem to you, not everyone who challenges your responses has a ‘superficial understanding of scripture, is ignorant of Christ’s precepts, or espouses sexual promiscuity., or dismisses the desire for holy living. The point here is that neither you not I can pretend to know what’s in the heart of others, the efficacy of their walk with Christ, or the sincerity of their Christian faith.

  • Ron McPherson

    Whatever, have it your way friend.

    Peace

  • Ron McPherson

    “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. (‭Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭37-42‬ ESV)

  • There’s a really interesting book I’m reading that helps with OT laws and NT principles being used as Rules, and how to apply the ancient Hebrew Scriptures….much of it talks about the tension between Law and Grace even in the OT. Well worth a read. Here it is on Amazon UK: http://tinyurl.com/phyeaut , here is a review of it along with an excellent summary: http://tinyurl.com/o4qn98w and here is the Amazon USA link: http://tinyurl.com/ovol9f2

    I recommend reading the summary at the least: http://tinyurl.com/o4qn98w

    And no, I am not the author! :)

  • Brilliantly put!

  • “The Bible has answers for EVERY issue that is known to man”

    Please can you give me a Scripture that tells me when it is legal to violate controlled airspace without first filing a flight plan?

    Please excuse my use of hyperbole here. But the Bible does not, indeed cannot, address every issue known to man. You may of course extrapolate and infer from the existing Scriptures, but if you do that then you are going outside the canon that you naturally hold so dear….

  • Here we go, another Christian Gatekeeper. I’m so grateful that my name is written in the Book of Life; isn’t it great that people like this can’t remove it no matter what they do.

  • Then I apologise. I did indeed misunderstand. Usually, statements like that on these forums are more of a challenge than a straight question! Interesting on your saying ‘everyone is going to Heaven’; I am tending to lean that way more myself at the moment. Still working on the theology of that one; no doubt I will be doing for some time yet. I have done a blog post on a similar subject: http://tinyurl.com/q8n8mxn

  • I’m still working on that, about the Sermon on the Mount, in the light of the hermeneutical methods I’m reading about in that book. I really do recommend you read the summary if you haven’t already done so; it really is good.

  • Thanks for that, Mike; I have bookmarked it and will download the chapters. I see someone has copied and pasted into Word; I will do that and then convert it to Kindle format. Looking forward to reading it :)

  • Noah

    Why shouldn’t that be the answer? Granted, people who don’t want to be a part of it shouldn’t, but it doesn’t seem like much of an issue to me.

    I don’t think this is really directed against people who disagree, but are calling down with condemnation, as he mentions. I wouldn’t disagree that it can come across as disrespectful towards those with other opinions.

    He can’t fully embrace her, the article is much about that.

    I have a hard time believing the name wouldn’t legally change with how easy it is. Considering everything Jenner has done.

    I feel as if this drew attention from you because of the issue, and not so much the photo….if it was about something you agreed on and had the photo it probably wouldn’t be as big a deal?

    Do you know anyone with gender identity issues? It seems to me that those who go through with this, or want to, may feel better.

  • Jim Kilson

    While I may sympathize with the aim of this article, because Christians do indeed struggle with truly understanding what Scripture says about the whole “judgement” issue, its primary argument fails on the basis of its very own premise.

    Corey states that no one can pass judgment upon another person unless they have perfect, exhaustive knowledge of the situation; i.e. what the sin is, under what circumstances it was committed, and who committed it.

    The failure of the premise arises from the fact that the author himself is doing the very thing he’s attempting to condemn by judging those who he identifies as being guilty of committing the sin of “religious judgmentalism” without exhaustive knowledge of the situation; i.e. what the sin is , under what circumstances it was committed, and who committed it.

    So from his argument the only logical conclusion that can be drawn is that we’re not supposed judge someone for sinning, unless their sin is religious judgmentalism, then apparently we’re free to cast as many stones as we see fit.

  • wit brown

    No ! Eunuchs are NOT trans people. Eunuchs remains in the Gender that they born with and are so for Special Purpose, usually for service to the Kingdom of God or to Man made Kingdoms , like the Eunuch of Ethiopia.

    There is NO record of any one in the KJV doing a Sex change, because they “felt” they were in the wrong Body.
    Eunuchs and Trans people are NOT the same. At least as far as the Bible is concern.

  • This may or may not surprise you, but the ancient word “Eunochos” is not the same thing and does not carry the same context or subtext as the modern English word “Eunuch”.

  • A lot of what we think of as “Christian” goes outside of canon.

    For example, the classic “god helps those who help themselves” is not actually from the bible.

  • ‘Blood is thicker than water’…. :)

  • wit brown

    Oh! OK…then can you enlighten as to the difference.

  • Noah

    Yikes. I need to look for more info, thanks.

  • Long story short, “Eunochos” referred to men who would or could not get married and have children. That would include our definition of eunuch, but also gay men and trans women. And such things were hardly unheard of in Greece and Rome in biblical times, either. A gay man would be trusted just as much as a eunuch to guard a harem, because he wouldn’t impregnate the master’s wives. There was a tradition of transwomen priestesses as well, accepted and respected amongst society (also occasionally eunuchs in the modern sense of the term as well).

    These people collectively were “Eunochos”, IE, men who were made not-men according to their culture (meaning, they did not produce offspring) for various reasons.

  • Ron McPherson

    Mike,

    I know we’ve had our differences, but I’m interested in reading this. Thanks for sharing the link.

  • wit brown

    Nice try, but since the act of Homosexuality is an abomination, they couldn’t be Eunuch seprated for Kingdom Purpose.
    Your explanation is design to support Gays and Lesbians as Christians, and that cannot fly.
    The Bible speak of Eunuchs but were for Purpose of Service to a King [ GOD’S kingdom on earth] or Queen.

    ” A gay man would be trusted just as much as a eunuch to guard a harem, because he wouldn’t impregnate the master’s wives.” ~~ Eunuch were not physically capable of that. But a gay man could very well do just that, a gay man would still have the tools to penetrate and impregnate the masters’s wives …same as today with SOME gays; some do penetrate and impregnate women.

    Your explanation is made up stuff. Nice try though.

  • Nice try, but since the act of Homosexuality is an abomination

    Barring modern mistranslations, the term “the act of homosexuality” is not actually in the bible. The closest you can get is “a man shouldn’t ‘sleep with another man in his wife’s bed, it’s ritually impure”. But then, by that definition, I’m an abomination for a few days every month, and you’re not even allowed to sit on chairs I’ve sat on during my period :P

  • wit brown

    Melissia when quoting scriptures it is best to cite Book chapter verse and Version.
    These days confusion and deception is King and Queen. …..
    I will quote for you from the KJV, unless you have problem with it ? I do have a Problem with the NIV and the queen james version they aren’t standards that I use.

    Leviticus 18:22 – “Thou shalt not *lie* with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.”
    Leviticus 20:13 – “If a man also lie with mankind, as he *lieth* with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination:……”
    Romans 1:26-28 -” For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:….”

    And there are others, But NONE of them would use the word SLEEP. Sleep around is modern day cultural saying to mean having Sex.
    *Lie* meant having sex, Sleep meant , just that; an absent from a state of consciousness.

    [ Gen.39:7 And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, *Lie* with me.] Note the Word “Lie” it is NOT Sleep with me. Trust me, she wanted to have sex , the same sex as is today. That word I think remains the same understanding.[ I hope i’m right]

    [ Gen.19:32, “Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will *lie* with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.”] That was sex the girls were talking about so they can get pregnant to bring babies for their father. Sleep is NOT used.

    Are you getting what I am saying.

    So for you to say that if you Sleep in the same bed as some one having her period = to having sex, is simply not Biblically correct.
    However, the Bible does consider having sex with a woman when she is seeing her period as Impure and wrong, the word use is “touch”….it does not mean you can’t hold her hands and come to her aid. Note the context and words used.

    It does not consider her an abomination. Just impure and or unclean….and that is true even today. She is passing waste, purifying herself.

    Back then, they did not have the necessities to be discreet about passing her Blood. But we do today, but the same Impurity remains. Would you encourage some one to touch or dispose of your own sanitary Bloody Napkin? or do you not dispose of it yourself? Would you encourage someone to sit in the Bloody chair that your blood have just made a mess of? or would you not clean it yourself?

    Context is very important.
    A man having sex with a man is an abomination, so too are Lesbians. Are you one?

  • Melissia when quoting scriptures

    The message of the scriptures is not solely contained within the bible– that idea of biblical inerrancy is a recent invention, not an ancient tradition. The truth of God is found within love, compassion, and acceptance for our fellow human beings. That we might be forgiven for how we hurt our fellow human beings; that we might make amends and lessen their pain. That our fellow human beings, too, may be forgiven for how they hurt us, and make amends for our pain. For God is love, radical, all-encompassing love, that we mortals cannot but hope to emulate and understand.

    Regardless, if you want to quote versions of the bible based off of that politically motivated translation of a translation known as the King James Version (which was created specifically in order to further the power of King James, not to be accurate)– I’m not interested. I do not worship the bible.

  • wit brown

    ” I do not worship the bible.” ~~ Ok …I understand. I guess you worship you know not What. But that’s your choice.

    Nevertheless, you introduced a Biblical Doctrine that needed to be corrected.

    “Sleep” with and “Lie” with are Not the same.

    It is an abomination for a man to penetrate another man’s butt with his penis. Even Nature teaches that it is not natural, safe nor good.

    “The truth of God is found within love, compassion, and acceptance for our fellow human beings.” ~~ I am a little weary of people mentioning the word Love. I am convince many People do not know what it is.

    However, The truth of the God of the KJV and other similar [ except the NIV and the queen james] bible say Whom He Love He Corrects….and that too is Love. If He does not Correct you, you are None of His.

  • Ok …I understand.

    No, I do not think that you do.

    Let me make it more clear: As we talk, it becomes more and more apparent that you worship the bible, but you do not worship God. And while you worship the bible, you do not respect it or seek to learn from it.

    It is frustrating to watch, and I have lost interest in trying to talk to you.

  • Ron McPherson

    “The God of the KJV and other similar (except the NIV).”

    What are the other similar? Would be interested to know which English translations are of God and which are not. Also which Russian, Chinese, and Spanish translations are of God and which are not.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Which Orthodoxies? Do they include 3 Maqabyan? Bel and the Dragon?

  • Jeff Preuss

    What if the chair is super-comfy and I want to watch my stories?

  • Jeff Preuss

    It is always…funny (in that way that elicits not laughs, but rather sighs) when someone is faced with the statement “I do not consider the Bible inerrant because I worship God not the Bible” and that is immediately interpreted as “I guess you worship you know not What. But that’s your choice.”

    If you don’t find the Bible inerrant, and only the APPROVED Bible inerrant (whichever Bible the current commenter favors), then clearly you don’t follow God.

    Oy.

  • Ron McPherson

    I’m dreading telling my wife that her NIV isn’t legit. I use NASB so hoping mine is ok.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Well, if you’re not reading the one with Bel and the Dragon, you’re clearly not a Christian, and don’t know the Lord, Ron. ;)

  • wit brown

    OK…Now do I understand? after making it More clear…

  • wit brown

    I do believe that we are flooded with a variety of different versions that have translated words to conform to the current culture, rather than translating to maintain integrity as close as possible to the original text.
    Words have change their meaning over time and when we apply the new meaning we loose what the original authors meant.
    These different versions add to the confusion in our theology and understanding of the Creator.

    The exception was NIV and queen james, not just NIV.
    I do believe that the NIV have omitted words and verses, which begs the question, were you doing a due diligence in translation, or were you also translating and changing the meaning and therefore you have made a decision to add and take away from the original, base on your[ the editors] reasoning.

    I strongly disagree that any version should make such a decision, such is the NIV. It lacks credibility for that reason….IMO

    A simple google comparison between NIV and KJV will show numerous discrepancies and contradictions.
    While the KJV may not be “perfect” It is more consistent in it’s presentation and does not have the corruption of conformity to culture as does the NIV and the queen james. IMO

    And if we break down standards , where would it end? We have in effect made the Faith subjected to man’s intellect and culture.
    It is therefore No Longer God’s words….but man’s.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “It is more consistent in it’s presentation and does not have the corruption of conformity to culture”
    KJV? Really? Okay, so it only had the corruption of King James himself influencing the translators to rewrite things to reinforce the “divine right” of kings to be the head of the Church, but that’s inerrant and what the scribes of the Scriptures meant, right?

  • wit brown

    Where in the Bible, KJV or even NIV it says,”.. kings to be the head of the Church, …” can you show me the verse.
    I believe You are influenced by the English Monarchical System. That System is NOT in the KJV and is NOT a prescribe system of Church Government ….I have Never read that. Can you show me?

  • Jeff Preuss

    You believe I am influenced by the “English Monarchical System”? Sorry, that’s not making a whole lot of sense.

    Plain fact is even your revered King James Version of the Bible is not a perfectly pure reflection of the original Scriptures, no matter how strongly held your belief that it is inerrant. It simply isn’t.

    And your simple Google search can show you just that.

  • Jeff Preuss

    The way I term it is this: I do not completely understand transgenderism, being that I am not transgender myself. However, I do not need to understand transgenderism nor the particulars of what parts may or may not have been altered to understand that I will treat Jenner with the exact same respect and love I can offer as a Christian to anyone else.

    And, as with any other person I may meet, it is far more crucial for me to try to understand Jenner as an individual, and show compassion and kindness, no matter how much I may not relate to her personal journey.

  • Clearly you’ve never met an evolutionary psychology buff.

  • Being transgender is a mental illness (for those who choose to view it
    that way) for which there is no purely mental treatment (e.g. therapy,
    medication, etc).

    I’m not sure what you meant by that parenthetical note, but I’m obliged to note that neither part of this is accurate. Transgender identity was declassified and is no longer considered a mental illness by the psychiatric community, and treatment of gender dysphoria (which is not the same thing) can include purely mental therapy (especially if the patient does not want to or cannot transition for whatever reason). Teaching body acceptance in particular is gaining ground as a viable means of treating dysphoria.

  • You may well have a degree, but that does not make your voice the only one. James Dobson is also an accredited psychologist; would we say that his advice that beating children until their wills are broken (his words) is exceptionally meaningful in light of his credentials?

  • Point in fact, I have seen breasts and vaginas paired with an XY chromosome. Their ovaries actually produce immature sperm.

    There is no means of defining sex which covers every possible configuration of chromosome, internal, and external biology — and the fact that transgender brains tend to resemble the gender they identify as, rather than the sex assigned to them at birth, adds a possible fourth factor explained only by acceptance of transgender identities as meaningful distinction.

  • Ron McPherson

    This is all so confusing : )

  • wit brown

    I did not say that the KJV is inerrant. I believe that the Word of God is Inerrant, there is a difference. KJV is just a translation of the Inerrant Word of God. I believe it is more accurate than NIV.
    However, versions like the NIV is a contradiction within itself. And does conflict with the KJV and with the Inerrancy Principle of the Word of God. God does not make mistakes….

    You said, quote, ” ….”divine right” of Kings to be the Head of the Church….” ~~~ I am challenging you to show where in the KJV or NIV such an assertion is supported. Which Verse?
    However, the KJV itself does speak against the English / British Monarchy for it is Headed by a Woman.The KJV does up hold a Patriarchal View of God…
    The Nonsense is what you are implying, that King James is the Head of the Church when NO Verse exist that say that.
    King James say that Christ is the Head of the Church. You have a Problem with that as well?

  • Ron McPherson

    “King James says that Christ is head of the church”

    So does NIV

  • wit brown

    So what?

  • wit brown

    She may throw you out the bedroom if you tell her so.
    Reason enough to dread doing that.

  • Ultimately, biblical inerrancy is saying that the authority you’re relying on to read it is inerrant– often the reader themselves. And yet, those authorities are all human. Flawed, imperfect, sinful little human beings in this unfathomably huge universe of wonders.

    Which certainly doesn’t strike me as even remotely inerrant at all. Even if one is to accept for even a moment that the bible is the only source of God’s truth*, it is still viewed through the lens of human eyes.

    Amusingly, the bible agrees with this– if someone knows love for their fellow creatures, and acts upon that love, then they are already with God. It doesn’t matter what faith they have– or have not. One could have the greatest faith in the world, strong enough to move mountains, but without love, they have nothing.

    * This is a ridiculous assertion; for most of Christian history most people couldn’t read it in the first place (near-universal literacy is an invention of the last few hundred years), and yet did not revere priests as infallible (the “dirty priest/monk” trope was quite alive and well throughout the middle ages, for example). It is quite recent that this idea came in to play, not some ancient way of the early Christian communes. Their practices are alien to our modern society.

  • Gail CJ

    Wit Brown I think your reply is very well said .. I believe if we love one another we will always be in a place to correct or rebuke each other in love and through the Word of God. All I can say is I do not understand why a male that has sexual relations with another male and a woman vise versa, believes that stealing is a sin or a mental disorder by nature and yet fail to relate to the same issue when it comes to homosexuality. May the Lord forgive me if I have hurt anyone with my words, I do not hate anyone but I love the truth of the word of God and pray that the Lord can always lead me to walk in the path of His truth.

  • And the 1769 version actually begins, not with the words, ‘In the beginning…’ but ‘To the Most High and Mighty Prince…’ in its preface. The whole book was dedicated to James….. however I still consider it to be the Word of God, mainly….. But there’s the rub. I say, ‘I consider…’, Wit says, ‘I do believe that we are flooded with different versions…’ and someone else says something else.

    I still fail to see, even as a Bible-believing Christian myself, how anyone can still claim that they – and they alone – have the Truth. Especially when Truth is actually a Person: Jesus Christ. God is so much bigger than our petty little boundaries and definitions, and we insult His grace by being so parochial and narrow-minded. And I include myself in that ‘we’. But I know full well that I do not have the full story, and the things of God are in places so unfathomable that anyone would be mad to claim that they ‘know’ all the Truth. Sure, the Truth will set you free, but He sets us free by degrees and not all in one go. I now believe different things, after 35 years as a Christian, than I did when I first believed. Does this mean I was wrong all those years ago? In part, yes. But in other things, no. That’s what learning is all about. No doubt in ten years’ time, I will not agree with, or believe in, some of the things that I now think are completely true and complete in my understanding. That’s what’s called maturity, and it’s one of the things we are encouraged to proceed towards as Christians. Maturing is, by its nature, change. Faith and belief are a journey, and you never really arrive at the end of that journey – not in this lifetime, anyway.

  • wit brown

    ” I do not hate anyone but I love the truth of the word of God and pray that the Lord can always lead me to walk in the path of His truth.” ~~~GailCJ; Excellent; this has just touch my heart. This is what it is for me as well. Love and pursue Truth. For God is not ONLY Love , He is the Way, the Truth and Life.
    People will get offended, because they want to conceal their sin and or compromise and the Truth of God’s Word will expose them. The word of God is Sharp and Powerful dividing and cutting away Truth from Lies even to the very Marrow of our bones and is a discerner of the Heart and the Intent of one’s Heart.
    Rather than confess, humble oneself , pray and turn from wrong to right, many in Christendom are offended at the Truth of God’s words…..sad , but true.
    May He Help me to see my own Sins in the Mirror of His Words and help me to Sanctify myself so I can Live right.
    Blessings!

  • Jeff Preuss

    Thanks for sharing that 1769 info. I also follow the King James version, mostly, because I like the language being a bit more poetic. I find it fitting since much of the Bible is allegory. However, I simply don’t find an appreciation for the meat (meaning) of the whole thing without studying context and other translations.

    Comparative reading of the texts, as on biblehub, seems to reveal a greater meaning to the overall story of redemption.

  • Well actually my fave version is the 1978 NIV. But I do cross-reference it with the KJV from time to time. The newer (1994??) edition of the NIV I’m not so keen on, mainly because some of the wording I’ve memorised has been ‘lost’. For example, they refer to the ‘Saints’ (in the 1978) as ‘God’s People’ (in the 1994??). Granted, it doesn’t lose the sense of it; I just prefer the wording I grew up with!

  • wit brown

    I was just responding to GailCJ about the same think : that Jesus is NOT only Love but that He is also the “Truth” the way and Life. Then I saw your reply in the tool bar on my Laptop.

    In Many ways I agree with what you said. However, Truth is NOT Subjected to our Understanding, or Lack therefore, or is it relative to self or culture. Why ? Because as you said it is a Person.”Jesus Christ” he stood against the cultural tide and He [truth] instructs us to Never Conform to This Kosmos….Truth will last and Cannot Die, However, Truth is Knowable , it will require “self denial” a taking up of our own Crosses, and a pursuing or following after Him, Truth = Jesus His ways and His Life. Philippians 3:9-16 Oh that I may Know Him…. it requires diligent effort.

    quote,”….so unfathomable that anyone would be mad to claim that they ‘know’ all the Truth.” I sincerely hope you are NOT referencing me [ wit] for I have Never said that I know ALL truth nor imply that.

    Blessings!

  • Mm, don’t worry; it was just a generalised statement! :) I was meaning how all religions, and many religious people, often/in fact usually claim to have a monopoly on the Truth.

  • dontkickthebrit

    A good friend of mine is transgender and chooses to view it as a mental illness (regardless of whatever the current DSM says), since for him, the dysphoria and being trans are one and the same. He considers surgery and hormones his treatment. Perhaps not all trans individuals view it this way, in which case I apologize for speaking for them, but I do not agree that anyone can will away their gender through therapy. You can learn to live with it, as Caitlyn did for a while, and maybe therapy can help you do that. But that’s treating symptoms, not the cause. The danger in suggesting therapy for trans individuals is that bigots like to assume their gender identify can be cured, when in fact the identity was never the problem. The mismatch of body and mind is the problem, and is what causes suffering. But you raise valid points and I thank you for your response. Again, I can’t speak for the community, only from my own limited experience being close to someone who struggles with dysphoria.

  • I do not agree that anyone can will away their gender through therapy.

    It’s a good thing I wasn’t suggesting that, then! Indeed, conversion/repairative therapy is a harmful, inefficacious practice rightly condemned by every major psychiatric organization in the United States.
    What I’m referring to is teaching a trans person that what they see and how they perceive themselves do not intrinsically contradict. The best thing I’ve seen to illustrate this idea comes out of the webcomic Assigned Male, written by a trans author who often posts PSAs like this (hopefully Disqus won’t post this as an image…) which assert that the biological aspects of our bodies are not contrary to our internalized gender. Flesh is just flesh and only has what meaning we assign to it.

    Sometimes women are born with penises. Sometimes men get pregnant. Nature is complicated and a lot of our understanding relies on assumptions which often lack accuracy on the greater scale. Learning to understand this does not make a person stop being trans, but it can ease the burden of being trans by allowing them to realize that the mismatch of body and self-perception does not make their feelings wrong, only proves that sex and gender are more complicated than the parts they have.

    Now, I have to reiterate that this is not necessarily a therapy practice that solves all the problems by itself. It probably won’t make a person who wants to transition stop wanting to do so, but it can reduce the symptoms of dysphoria, and relieving suffering is the goal.

    When one of my friends came out to me, she was suffering so much dysphoria that she couldn’t stand to be seen or touched, and had locked herself in her room. The problem was that she couldn’t transition in any way, since she lived with conservative parents and she was terrified of them sending her to conversion therapy (local laws allow them to supersede her medical autonomy). Body acceptance has been integral to getting her functional again until such time as she can fully claim medical autonomy, get out of the house, come out to her parents (if she wishes) and officially begin transition (again, if she wishes). So while it’s not a one-size-fits-all miracle treatment, I’ve seen it make a big difference in someone’s life.

  • Pam

    Beautifully stated.

  • Two references that may assist.

    http://www.nature.com/news/sex-redefined-1.16943
    (This includes the 2D Gender Spectrum modelling from the point of view of ‘science’)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzuxiVn2_Mk
    (This is on 3D Gender modelling from the point of view of Androgyne, Science and of Faith)

    To which must be added the development of XX or XY ‘Superior’ of elemental hermaphroditic. That two even functioning sets of genitalia are produced. XX or XY remains the base and unfortunately many women are subject to FSC (Female Sexual Castration).Men doctors really have a problem with which gender to cut off or cut out, they go with the out. Instead, that is, of leaving be and allowing us to decide. It is barbarism, as with mastectomies for Gynocomastia (Secondary female sexual development of breasts) of Androgyne at puberty.It is natural and yet these scalpel wielding mutilators of the Androgyne get away with these crimes daily… Iran is most revolting on this, EU and USA not far behind….

    It does not necessarily mean for eg. that XX with SRY male development is a maleness at all. you remain female.

    This is the base within the Hebrew bible and of Islam of the Covenant that we are to be rewarded for our specialization and for not as women bearing children because of a maleness and for XY for not being able to father.

    FYI Eunuchs do not refer to castrated men (as in Islam) but to a wide variant of Androgyne….

    The parallels are most accurate and we are not maligned but given respect.

    In all reality, most so called transgender come in the realm of the so called DSD (Developmental Sexual Disorder) , which is an erroneous term just as Gender Dysphoria is erroneous in totum. It may be different to be as we are, but a disorder. That these so called scientists malign the word of God is one matter, that they recognize the existence of a third gender and then demean us as the ‘junk gender of society’. is typical.It is a Gender Dysphoria in society that is the base of Androgyne seeking SRS (Sex Reassignment Surgery). Not our own GD… Conditions do largely affect and determine our consciousness.

    The APA (American Psychiatric Association) is guilty of this crime of covering themselves for error. DSM 4 was ‘trannies are nuts’ – (GID) Gender Identity Disorder. DSM 5 is GD .. ‘still nuts and still trannies but we have gotten over it after the conference in Bangkok where half the men slept with ladyboys and we know we are scientifically wrong’… I joke here. But the psychobabble practitioners who need big pharma to feed them are so dishonest..

    The APA had to take a vote to remove homosexuality as an illness…. Now scientists to get around the embarrassment and potential loss of grants and authority seem to want to ease us into the changes instead of being honest and saying they are wrong.

    There are a core as the modelling I developed illustrates, that are capable of classification a priori as Androgyne. There are three genders.

    Finally on the nonsense of non identity or 57 Heinz varieties of sex, in science – we are able to classify and a priori we should. We that are Gender Dysphoric (by society’s bigotry) or DSD (Developmentally Superior Diversity) should have no issue with being Andro Gynous or Uranian, Angels. That some do not is no argument for those that wish to elect should not have the right. We do not fit the standard paradigm and yet it does not stop the scientists from assigning us wrongly. By saying we do not have consensus is irrelevant. .We do not have consensus on the binary. But certainly a trinary model is far more accurate and would be the base for our re-legitimization, the regaining of dignity and would stop alot of the genital mutilation of ‘transgenderism’. The T word is a fallacy, it is wrong and is a part of the gender terrorism that gets us beaten up and dead and keeps us as a demeaned irrelevancy only fit for prostitution and trafficking. Many murders of our sisters comes from thee mistaken belief that we are boys and then the guy who fancied us and maybes had sex then gets all messed up and hormones kick in and another dead or brutalized Angel.

    As before gender determination we are neutral or Androgynous we are all in a state of reflection of the Lord who is gender neutral…

    Then the binary gender comes into being and some of us remain neutral despite the M/F developmental. This is paralleled analogous in Genesis. gender in the binary sense only comes into existence on the creation of woman, Adam prior being conjoined, neutral et al.

    Is not it wonderful that as scientific texts 3.000 years and less old, the bibles and our other sacred texts get the three genders right, that we are gifted a place in heaven in the Hebrew bible, ie. we are equal in the eyes of the Lord and the modern scientists are in error and scrambling for a way out of their own mess. That the bibles remain relevant and in so many ways superior is something i love and chuckle about.

    .

  • wmkellettjj2

    Caitlyn De-jenner-ate. This think some people held this piece of moral refuse up to their children as a role model.

  • lefthandwmn

    Thank you, Mr. Corey. Thank you for challenging us to see how radical and complete God’s grace and the life of Jesus must be when we declare to follow him.

  • Emma Fargo

    If you’re going to judge, I believe you just threw the first stone. God has taught us to love one another unconditionally as he does for us. And where in the bible does it say to exclude the LGBT community within our love? No where… You can’t just pick and choose from the bible to what you believe! I don’t have time to do a bible study with you, but read it for yourself.

  • Emma Fargo

    I thought this was going to be rude, but this ended up being amazing