Next blog post: Niebuhrs’ Moral Man and Immoral Society https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/587
Thanks, My Friend. This is helpful to me, as I want to deal with the facts of human existence as Nature gives them, and how we deal with the ambiguities, even conflicts, of nature.
Acknowledging that such mixed sex persons exist, I understand that you believe that if the hermaphroditic condition could be determined in time to legally abort the fetus, it would be a sin to do so. So, accepting that the infant should be born, do you think it is sinful for parents or doctors to then make choices, as they in fact do, to eliminate some of those characteistics, such as a penis or a vagina, or breasts, so that the child can be identified and accepted as one of the sexes and not as both together in the same body? We know of cases where the parent or physician opted to eliminate one of the sexual characteristics (usually they opt to preserve the penis) to find as the child developed that it felt psychologically like the sex that was discarded. How would your religious views judge the decision to give the child the markers of only one sex so as to protect the child from exclusion and derision?
If the argument against homosexuality is that humans are commanded to marry and to multiply, then what does the hermaphrodite, providing that it chose to keep both sexual sets of organs, select as the means for multiplication? Would it be a sin for he/she to marry a woman, because he/she had a woman’s sex organs to go along with his/hers male organs, or would it be sin to marry a man because he/she had male sex organs to go along with his/her female organs. I consider this to be a legitimate question, as oppposed to the question put to Jesus about who would be the wife in heaven. Contrary to that test, these are real questions faced by parents of hermaphrodites.
Do you think it is sinful for the hermaphrodite, when he/she is old enough to make a decision, to eliminate the sexual characteristics that conflict with the sex that he/she identifies with psychologically, so he/she can be one or the other as is normal, and not both together?
What do you think of the man who married a woman who could not conceive (he was on Oprah a while back) so he chose to be inseminated to bear a child, (I assume he did this in a medical procedure rather than an adulterous act), and after the delivery he planned to continue to function as a man and a husband.
If you think that the hermaphrodite should alter nothing, but should celebrate his/hers natural gift for both sexes, what would such a permissible celebration look like?
Again, these are not just some mind games to play with a religious litmus test. Julian finds himself in a similar circumstance, and, according to what I understand your position to be, the discerning Christian must find his transgender decision to be sinful.
I appreciate your sincere reply to what I consider to be hard and real questions that Christians face.
19 Concluding Response to Georgiahttps://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/374
Yes, I acknowledge that people are born with all kinds of difficult defects and physical tendencies. I’m no expert in societal level efforts to protect vulnerable people, so I don’t have a suggestion for how we as a society protect a young hermaphrodite or how best to help them. I do not that personally they need to be loved, cared for, defended. I do know that a parent would be wrong to abort because they don’t want the inconvenience of loving and raising them. I do know that I need to treat them with love, respect and compassion.
Next blog post: 18 My Response to My Friend https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/372
I appreciate your thoughtful reply. I have had replies from two different
poles, as you might expect of this family.
Let me understand your position. Are you saying that Julian’s
trans-sexual identity and physical alteration of the “conflicting
parts” is sinful by Biblical teachings, but we are not to allow that
judgment to separate him from our Christian community, only from
leadership in the community?
What I have come to believe is that, first, I know of no Biblical prohibition
against the hermaphrodite – they just are. No can argue about the
reality of those mixed sexual components in one body. No one today, with
genetic information not available in Bible times, can argue that Julian’s
mixed genetic coding (XXY), evidenced by more subtle conflicting physical
features, is a reality. The physical manifestations of that are more
subtle than those in the mosaic hermaphrodite. We know that there are
some influences of prenatal hormonal activity associated with homosexuality,
but there is disagreement on whether it is an influence, as a weakness like a
predisposition for alcoholism, which can be controlled, or whether it is a more
fundamental reality to the existence and orientation of that individual which
might be manipulated, but not controlled – it is who they are and to be whole
they must be who they find themselves to be. My position is
> that we are not in a position to judge such issues for another
person, but only for ourselves.
I know that Tchaikovsky wrote to his brother about the pressure of society to
deny his homosexuality, which he described as forced to act against his
nature. I know he married to attempt to conform to expectations with
disastrous results, and his death was the result of his attempt to kill himself
by immersing himself in a Russian rive during the winter. It is
inconceivable to me that such drastic actions were the result of a choice to be
I hear from some the argument of love the sinner but hate the sin. Even
that, to me, seems judgmental in that it puts us in a superior position to
decide for another what should be their true orientation and whether they
are sinning or not.
I would be interested in any response you have. Thanks for responding.
Next blog post: 8 Joanne’s Reply https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/330
I have long thought that Mom was more the preacher than Dad. I certainly take a lot of Mom’s character in that respect, and I note a lot of similarity in style as well as sentiment in your letters, mine and hers. I think also we have inherited from both of our parents a spirit of sincerity and compassion. And I appreciate your letter and your willingness to share it. I will share (hopefully briefly) my difficulty with the “standard” church arguments against homosexuality and other orientation issues.
As to sexual orientation, the focus in the church has long been on homosexuality: choice or imposition. As I look at the broader issue, I wonder about the hermaphrodite which is neither addressed, to my knowledge, by the Bible or the stated church positions on homosexuality. Regarding it, a long standing medical practice has been to select a sex for that infant early so the child will not grow up confused and subject to ridicule, often later to find that the wrong choice was apparently made for that child, and that the process destroyed the sensations that are part of being human: akin to making the child a eunuch. No one can argue that such individuals exist and they did not choose the dilemma. The trans-sexual I know at church has XXY chromosomes: genetically that person has the wiring for both male and female. For my friend, the male mentality predominated but also the female genitalia. His condition and XXXY are called Klinefelter’s syndrome. How would we handle that situation if that was our assigned inheritance? Are we really in a position to judge his choice in a matter that does not affect us? Turner’s syndrome is a condition in which an individual has one X and no Y chromosome, thus they are neither an XY male or a XX female. In addition, the gonads degenerate before birth. In most respects the person will be anatomically female, which is the initial course of all human development, however without hormone treatment there will be no secondary sexual characteristics. Would the introduction of hormone treatment be a trans-sexual act and sinful insofar as it changes the state? I wonder what the religious arguments would do to contribute to the lives and spirituality of these people.
What if these people, as my friend, profess the Christian faith but they don’t fit the normal pattern on the inside, on the outside or in their feelings or behavior. Are we to assume that despite their professed sincerity they are ignorant and nonetheless persist in their sin? Given those genetic and physical ambiguities, which can be objectively determined, and about which no one can reasonably argue, I wonder how clear really is the distinction assumed by the religious arguments. I wonder, how much are we really in the position to judge any of these persons? My position is that healthy judgment is for the purpose of making choices for one’s own life, as we are not in a position to make those choices for another.
Finally, I believe that when Jesus says, in Matthew 25:31-46 that those who were kind to the suffering [with no regard to any faith at all] shall enter into the Kingdom but those who do not, [with no exception for “right belief”] shall go to eternal punishment, he mentioned examples of those who suffered and did not provide an exclusive list. I believe he would have included the hermaphrodite, the XXY and XXXY, the sexually confused and the oppressed homosexual in that group deserving of our loving help. Whereas one can cite Paul and other Biblical sources for the proposition that homosexuality is a sin, does anyone want to judge them, exclude them or just plain ignore them on that basis at the risk of eternal punishment? It seems to me both kinder and safer just to accept them and love them as they are.
Next blog post: 6 Joanne’s Reply https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/321
Genesis 1:27, 31a
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. . . .
Psalm 8 – How excellent is thy name
1 O Jehovah, our Lord, How excellent is thy name in all the earth, Who hast set thy glory upon the heavens!
2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou established strength, Because of thine adversaries, That thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, The moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5 For thou hast made him but little lower than God, And crownest him with glory and honor.
6 Thou makest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet:
7 All sheep and oxen, Yea, and the beasts of the field,
8 The birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, Whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
9 O Jehovah, our Lord, How excellent is thy name in all the earth!
See, also 1 Corinthians 12 – We are one body.
Genetic mixes of male and female
Hermaphrodite — — XX/XY
Klinefelter’s syndrome — A condition in which a genetic male actually has one or more extra X chromosomes (XXY, XXXY). The individual appears anatomically male but would not be male according to XY=boy formula. Neither could such a person impregnate a female, being sterile.
Turner’s syndrome — Condition in which an individual has one X and no Y chromosome, thus they are neither an XY male nor an XX female. In addition, the gonads degenerate before birth. In most respects the person will be anatomically female, however without hormone treatment there will be no secondary sexual characteristics.
What does the Genesis 1:27 statement that man is “created in God’s image” mean to you?
What does it mean in Psalm 8:5 that man was made “but little lower than God”?
If a child is born a hermaphrodite or gender-ambiguous, but the one gender can be enhanced to the minimization or elimination of the other, should it be? Who should make that decision? When?
Whose responsibility is it to determine whether corrective measures should be taken for an infant suffering the results of such mixed or ambiguous genetic defects? When?
What about the hermaphrodite who is not physically altered and who chooses to express and celebrate both sexual functions of his/her body?
What about the person who is scarred in his or her sexual identity by circumstances, such as infant sexual abuse?
If that person cannot, or will not, receive help to correct the scars of abuse, should we accept and love that person as he or she is?
What impact can prenatal care, including mother’s habits, alcohol or drugs, emotions, or hormones, have upon the development of a fetus? Later in life?
Is that scarred child/ adult still made in the image of God? What does that mean?
To the degree that a child’s sexual orientation is determined by prenatal, even post-natal, conditions, how should we treat that person as a child/ as an adult?
If the cause of a person’s homosexuality cannot be explained naturally, should we determine the difference to be unnatural and sinful?
Next blog post: Catholic Judgment on Homosexuality https://wordp
One of the difficulties of all people is distinguishing “what is” from “what is not.” Our expectations of others are often determined by our assumptions about them or their situation. Sexuality and issues of gender are so personal to each of us that our judgments of others in such matters are often more reflective of our own sense of security or insecurity about who we are and confusion about what is our business and what is not.
In 2009, the gold medal won by Caster Semenya in the women’s 800 meter race in Berlin was challenged on the basis of what others claimed was her “intersex conditions:” that she was not a woman, and therefore had an unfair advantage in obtaining her gold medal. See http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/blog/fourth_place_medal/post/Semenya-withdraws-from-race-amidst-gender-questi?urn=oly-188930
For an engaging discussion of the common view that gender is easily identified, see http://www.spectacle.org/1209/swazo.html . Dr. Swazo wryly notes the circumstantial nature of the inquiry: “The medical subjectivation of Semenya itself unavoidably and irrevocably introduces her to a prospect of sustained gender dysphoria, when otherwise Semenya would be quite “herself” as before the ruckus elicited from Berlin.” In that commentary, he addresses whether intersex conditions, from a competitive posture, makes that competition with other “normal” women unfair. He notes the unfair treatment of Caster Semenya and concludes, “There is no injustice done when nature itself makes Semenya a woman manly, though nurture makes her a woman pure and simple.”
As an introduction to a study of what the Bible and other Christian “authorities” have said about sexual orientation and gender, I ask, “What do we really know about another’s gender, sexual orientation or what is “normal” in their unknown special circumstances?
If we are going to make judgments that are fair and appropriate, I suggest that we assure at least two conditions: (1) fair knowledge of the conditions and circumstance of the act or thing that is being judged, and (2) the right to judge that circumstance (i.e. it is a matter that directly effects us or that we have a social duty or right to judge).
Perhaps to illustrate this, let me suggest, as I had previously in a post in my initial blog, Heal Our Church:
A person who is blessed by God to be a hermaphrodite (both male and female physical characteristics), or has a genetic makeup of an extra X chromosome as in XXY or XXXY, or is XY male but is androgen insensitive and therefore has the default physical appearance of a female, doesn’t fit our common assignments of what is gender or what is the normal relationship between male and female. (Now within the last observation lies an interesting question for me: if the XY male who is androgen insensitive and therefore has a female body falls in love with a woman who has XX genetics, are they homosexuals or heterosexuals?) If it is confusing for you, imagine what it is like for the GLBT individual. Who are we to judge another person for the way they relate sexually with others just because it is different for them than for us and we can’t pinpoint a physical explanation of the difference. We would do well to recognize that we are the only one who can determine what God’s gift of gender and sexuality is for us.
What are your reactions to the story of Caster?
What can we expect of its impact on Caster?
Imagine you were Caster’s parents at her birth.
Whose business is it to determine her sex? Parents at birth? Child when an adult?
Former IAAF medical commission chairman Arne Ljungqvist cautioned that a person’s gender is not always easy to define.”
“’There is no simple, single lab test that can tell if you are a man or a woman. It is not black and white,’” Ljungqvist told The Associated Press.
What about her later photoshoot to demonstrate that she is in fact a beautiful woman? If she is genetically a male despite all physical appearances, what does that make her in this photo shoot?
The IAAF will make its determination for purposes of international sports competition. How fair would it be for society to use that decision as a basis for its social determination?
Let us Open our Hearts, Minds and Doors to our community, and be enriched by its diverse experience of the divine.
A Study of GLBT Issues, Religious and Scientific, Religious Pro and Con
TABLE OF CONTENTS
This Marvelous Creation https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/28
Catholic Judgment on Homosexuality https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/33
A Fundamentalist Protestants Condemnation of Homosexual Christians https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/37
Dr. Dobson’s Position on Homosexuality https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/39
Hate the Sin, but Love the Sinner Position https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/41
A Gay Man’s Scriptural Defense of Homosexuality https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/46
The Wesleyan Quadrilateral https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/52
Scripture Accounts of How God Has Been Heard to Speak https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/55
Detestable or Abominable Things https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/59
Thou Shalt Not Kill, but… https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/65
Offenses Punishable by Death https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/68
Scriptures on GLBT Subjects https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/70
Love and Mercy https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/79
Spiritual Gifts and Love https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/81
Gays – – – No Easy Answers; a Christian Response https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/84
Publications concerning Hate Crimes Relating to Sexual Orientation https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/88
Psychiatric Association: Homosexuality Is Not a Pathology https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/92
Is There a Gay Gene? What If…? https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/95
Two Evangelicals on Gay Marriage https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/99
Beyond Homosexuality: What Is Transsexual https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/101
United Methodist Groups and Positions on Homosexuality https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/103
Cry, “Justice!” https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/124
“It’s a Matter of Choice” https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/141
“Clergy Call for Justice and the Quality” by Bishop Minerva C, Carconia https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/151
Rev. Amy Delong: God Bless You! https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/154
“Spiritual Violence” https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/187
We Understand and Mean the Lyrics That We Sing? https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/173
Fight for Justice https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/202
“Fundamental” Problems https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/204
Memorial to the Norwegian Victims of Judgment, Hate, and Fear https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/211
Rev. Gilbert H Caldwell Speaks for Inclusiveness https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/225
Bishop Hagya Courageously Speaks Out https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/231
Love of God and Neighbor Letter https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/238
What about Maladapted or Stressed Children of the GLBT Couple? https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/243
Bob and Betty Dorrs Story https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/302
12 Discussion Strings concerning the Bible and GLBT Issues https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/304
2 New Year’s Greeting of 2009 https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/309
3 Stuart’s Reply https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/315
4 Georges Reply https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/317
5 My Response to Georges Reply https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/319
6 Joanne’s Reply https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/321
7 My Response to Joanne’s Reply https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/324
8 Joanne’s Reply https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/330
9 William Wheeler’s Reply to Me https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/340
10 a My Scriptural Response to William Wheeler https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/342
10 b My Second Response to William Wheeler: the Impact of “the Fall” on Our Different Views https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/345
11 William Wheeler Scriptural Reply to Me https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/348
12 My Response to William Wheeler https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/351
13 William Wheeler’s Response to Me https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/362
14 My Response to William Wheeler https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/364
15 Brief, Punctuated Exchange between Rob and William Wheeler https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/366
16 My Response to William Weeler https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/368
17 William Wheeler’s Reply to Me https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/370
18 My Response to William Wheeler https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/372
19 Concluding Response to Georgia https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/374
Discussion of GLBT Issues
1 On Gay Marriage: Love and Do Not Judge https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/488
2 On Compassion and Forgiveness https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/493
3 Compassion, Accountability, and Forgiveness https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/498
4 On Adam Hamilton: Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/500
5 On Frank Turk https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/502
6 On Implications of a Dualistic World https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/505
7 The Gospel Message That I Hear https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/507
His Spirit Is Crying out and Yearning https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/580
Niebuhrs’ Moral Man and Immoral Society https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/587
Foreword to Stories of Sacred Worth https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/596
Coming out and Signs of Hope in Our Lives https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/600
Anonymous 1’s Story https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/603
Liz Bady:: Advocate for Reconciliation https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/614
Rev. Don Marsh: Haven’t We Come a Long Way?! https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/617
Kathy England: A Mother’s Story https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/620
Nan and Peggy’s Story https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/623
Next blog post: This Marvelous Creation https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/28