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Subject: Transgender issues & christianity rss

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I have a question for Christians, something I've always wondered about. How does somebody who is transgender reconcile their lifestyle with Christianity? If a transgender person is with a man, is that considered being homosexual, and thus clearly "living in sin"? Or is it only ok if they are with a female? I suppose the 3rd option is that they are forced to have surgical procedures to make them acceptable in Gods eyes. Do you think God would force somebody to have surgery in order to reach a point where they could get into heaven? Being transgender is not a choice, and I wonder why God would inflict it upon people, if it clearly makes them unacceptable to a Christian lifestyle?

Or perhaps there is an easy explanation for this in the bible that I'm unaware of? If so, please enlighten me.
 
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One thing I wanted to add:

I knew a small child who was born with some male and female parts. "She" was male biologically otherwise. However, surgically she could only become female. So later on in life she would most likely be a lesbian, of no fault of her own. But doesn't this challenge the christian belief that being homosexual is cultural and not biological? Is she doomed to hell because of how she was born?
 
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Josh
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I really do apologize for pimping out this article for the third time today, but it's a real thinker and touches on some of your concerns.
 
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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Zaphod wrote:
One thing I wanted to add:

I knew a small child who was born with some male and female parts. "She" was male biologically otherwise. However, surgically she could only become female. So later on in life she would most likely be a lesbian, of no fault of her own. But doesn't this challenge the christian belief that being homosexual is cultural and not biological? Is she doomed to hell because of how she was born?


That is not THE Christian belief. It as A Christian belief. Not all Christians agree on this point. I believe that it certainly CAN be cultural (like "experimenting" in college), but in most cases it is biological.
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ejmowrer wrote:
Zaphod wrote:
One thing I wanted to add:

I knew a small child who was born with some male and female parts. "She" was male biologically otherwise. However, surgically she could only become female. So later on in life she would most likely be a lesbian, of no fault of her own. But doesn't this challenge the christian belief that being homosexual is cultural and not biological? Is she doomed to hell because of how she was born?


That is not THE Christian belief. It as A Christian belief. Not all Christians agree on this point. I believe that it certainly CAN be cultural (like "experimenting" in college), but in most cases it is biological.


Ok, that is fair. But it does seem that Christians predominately believe that lifelong homosexuals "choose" to be that way. Thats just in my experience though, so that of course doesn't speak for everybody. You admit that in most cases it is biological, yet according to the bible they are going to hell (unless of course they rebuke homosexuality, and ask for forgiveness). Isn't that a little unfair? Same goes for transgender people. It seems that some genetic problems are dooming them to eternal hellfire.
 
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Natalie Ryan
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Oh, well. Why not.

I'm a post-op M2F transsexual. And a preacher's kid. Even though I was born genetically intersexed (XXY) my folks both think I am doomed to hell. But I have no problem reconciling being christian and being transgendered. One is a belief, and the other a state of being.

For those looking for biblical condemnation, Deuteronomy 22 has prohibitions against crossdressing. But OTOH it also has prohibitions against wearing wool blend clothing, planting two crops in one field, and not having a parapet around the roof of your house. No one seems to get upset over those laws cool
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eclectic92 wrote:


For those looking for biblical condemnation, Deuteronomy 22 has prohibitions against crossdressing. But OTOH it also has prohibitions against wearing wool blend clothing, planting two crops in one field, and not having a parapet around the roof of your house. No one seems to get upset over those laws cool


Don't let Moshe see you post that.

Funny thing about Jewish Law- when you find out the reasons for the restrictions, you find out that they make sense and aren't 'irrational'. Not to mention the thousand years of Jewish scholars looking at how to adapt modern life to Jewish law.
(Personally, I love the Kosher Cell phones- designed not to work on the Sabbath UNLESS there is a real emergency.)

You might find that there is more value and beauty in tradition than you might otherwise think.

Darilian
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Chris Tannhauser
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Zaphod wrote:
How does somebody who is transgender reconcile their lifestyle with Christianity?

Being a swinger is a lifestyle. So is being a Christian. Sexual orientation, not so much. And for those who believe it is, I'd love to hear the story about how you 'chose' to be heterosexual. I know I didn't pick it--it was thrust upon me.
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HiveGod wrote:
Zaphod wrote:
How does somebody who is transgender reconcile their lifestyle with Christianity?

Being a swinger is a lifestyle. So is being a Christian. Sexual orientation, not so much. And for those who believe it is, I'd love to hear the story about how you 'chose' to be heterosexual. I know I didn't pick it--it was thrust upon me.


WAIT!

My Women's Studies and Queer Studies instructors taught that Gender/Preference was a cultural construct of Patriarchy.

BUT- the Gay Rights movement is arguing that its Biological?

Mongo Confused. soblue

Darilian
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Jeff Brown
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ejmowrer wrote:
Zaphod wrote:
One thing I wanted to add:

I knew a small child who was born with some male and female parts. "She" was male biologically otherwise. However, surgically she could only become female. So later on in life she would most likely be a lesbian, of no fault of her own. But doesn't this challenge the christian belief that being homosexual is cultural and not biological? Is she doomed to hell because of how she was born?


That is not THE Christian belief. It as A Christian belief. Not all Christians agree on this point. I believe that it certainly CAN be cultural (like "experimenting" in college), but in most cases it is biological.


It's actually really not known what the cause is right now. It's possible that the pendulum has swung a little too far the other way as it may not be entirely biological. According to various twin studies Identical twins have anywhere from a 38% to 52% of sharing their sexual preference if one of them is a homosexual. If it was entirely genetic than it would be 100%. Nobody knows at this point what makes up the other percentage.
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Chad Ellis
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eclectic92 wrote:
For those looking for biblical condemnation, Deuteronomy 22 has prohibitions against crossdressing. But OTOH it also has prohibitions against wearing wool blend clothing, planting two crops in one field, and not having a parapet around the roof of your house. No one seems to get upset over those laws cool


Oh, how I hate those organic farmers. Thanks for reminding me to round up the posse to go protest their next harvest.
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jeff brown wrote:
It's actually really not known what the cause is right now. It's possible that the pendulum has swung a little too far the other way as it may not be entirely biological. According to various twin studies Identical twins have anywhere from a 38% to 52% of sharing their sexual preference if one of them is a homosexual. If it was entirely genetic than it would be 100%. Nobody knows at this point what makes up the other percentage.


QFT. I think the best evidence points toward hormones in the womb, but I'm at best an amateur scientist so what I think and a cup of coffee will get you a caffeine buzz, or whatever that expression is.
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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jeff brown wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
Zaphod wrote:
One thing I wanted to add:

I knew a small child who was born with some male and female parts. "She" was male biologically otherwise. However, surgically she could only become female. So later on in life she would most likely be a lesbian, of no fault of her own. But doesn't this challenge the christian belief that being homosexual is cultural and not biological? Is she doomed to hell because of how she was born?


That is not THE Christian belief. It as A Christian belief. Not all Christians agree on this point. I believe that it certainly CAN be cultural (like "experimenting" in college), but in most cases it is biological.


It's actually really not known what the cause is right now. It's possible that the pendulum has swung a little too far the other way as it may not be entirely biological. According to various twin studies Identical twins have anywhere from a 38% to 52% of sharing their sexual preference if one of them is a homosexual. If it was entirely genetic than it would be 100%. Nobody knows at this point what makes up the other percentage.


By "biological" I don't necessarily only mean genetically inherited. I just wanted to point out that there are many Christians that do not think gays are merely confused by their culture into feeling attracted to the same sex (or simply choosing to be gay for some other reason).
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Chris Tannhauser
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Darilian wrote:
HiveGod wrote:
Zaphod wrote:
How does somebody who is transgender reconcile their lifestyle with Christianity?

Being a swinger is a lifestyle. So is being a Christian. Sexual orientation, not so much. And for those who believe it is, I'd love to hear the story about how you 'chose' to be heterosexual. I know I didn't pick it--it was thrust upon me.


WAIT!

My Women's Studies and Queer Studies instructors taught that Gender/Preference was a cultural construct of Patriarchy.

BUT- the Gay Rights movement is arguing that its Biological?

Mongo Confused. soblue

Darilian


All my evidence is anecdotal--and we all know how reliable THAT is. Anyway, this is how I understand it based on what my gay, lesbian, bi and transgendered friends tell me. (Yes, I know every color in the rainbow, for what it's worth.)

I'm hetero, and I know I didn't 'choose' to be attracted to women as a 'lifestyle.' Perhaps a genetic predisposition later influenced by experience and cultural pressures? None of my LGBT friends report 'making a choice' (other than perhaps trying desperately to go against their feelings in order to fit in). And if it is a choice, I don't know why anyone would pick it for the amount of pain they've shared with me--social shunning, rejection by family members, physical violence, etc.

My beef is primarily with the term 'lifestyle,' used to connote choice, deviance, and willful rejection of societal norms in order to demonize. For those who insist on using the term I'm all ears for the story of when they 'chose to go straight.'
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Drew1365 wrote:
Zaphod wrote:
It seems that some genetic problems are dooming them to eternal hellfire.


Huh?

I repeat, huh?

No one gets "doomed to hell" because of a genetic problem.





See my 2nd post, and Natalie Ryans post for a description of what we're talking about. There are many christians who believe that homosexuals are going to hell. Yet there are many homosexuals who have NO CHOICE based on their surgical options as a result of being transgender.
 
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Bela's dead and Vampira won't talk
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eclectic92 wrote:

For those looking for biblical condemnation, Deuteronomy 22 has prohibitions against crossdressing. But OTOH it also has prohibitions against wearing wool blend clothing, planting two crops in one field, and not having a parapet around the roof of your house. No one seems to get upset over those laws cool


Indeed.

And since we're all in agreement on that point, there should be no reason for suspicion tomorrow when old Mr. "Look-At-My-Awesome-Roof-Parapet" down the street finally gets what's coming to him and his precious roof parapet.

If. I meant if.
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Darilian wrote:
WAIT!

My Women's Studies and Queer Studies instructors taught that Gender/Preference was a cultural construct of Patriarchy.

BUT- the Gay Rights movement is arguing that its Biological?

Mongo Confused. soblue

Humanities lecturers have a habit of interpreting everything via 60s and 70s postmodernism. This should not be confused with the real world.

Sexuality is biological, playing with barbie dolls is cultural.
 
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Bela's dead and Vampira won't talk
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sbszine wrote:
Darilian wrote:
WAIT!

My Women's Studies and Queer Studies instructors taught that Gender/Preference was a cultural construct of Patriarchy.

BUT- the Gay Rights movement is arguing that its Biological?

Mongo Confused. soblue

Humanities lecturers have a habit of interpreting everything via 60s and 70s postmodernism. This should not be confused with the real world.


The letter can always be lost, gentlemen.

(Deconscrucz0rz3d FTW.)
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Drew1365 wrote:
Zaphod wrote:
Drew1365 wrote:
Zaphod wrote:
It seems that some genetic problems are dooming them to eternal hellfire.


Huh?

I repeat, huh?

No one gets "doomed to hell" because of a genetic problem.





See my 2nd post, and Natalie Ryans post for a description of what we're talking about. There are many christians who believe that homosexuals are going to hell.


What reasons do they give?


Lev. 18:22, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination."

Lev. 20:13, "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them"

1 Cor. 6:9-10, "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

Rom. 1:26-28, "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper."
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Darilian wrote:
WAIT!

My Women's Studies and Queer Studies instructors taught that Gender/Preference was a cultural construct of Patriarchy.

BUT- the Gay Rights movement is arguing that its Biological?

Mongo Confused. soblue

Darilian


To clarify: gender identity and expression and sexual orientation are entirely different and only linked in that one's gender identity is how one might define one's sexual orientation.

Gender identity means the gender that one internally believes/feels one is. Most people born biologically male never question or feel contrary to being a boy/man. Most people born biologically female never question or feel contrary to being a girl/woman. Those of us who are transgender are born feeling at odds with our physical sex because our gender identity tells us otherwise. There is some research that indicates this is biological; possibly genetic, possibly hormones to which the fetus is exposed in the womb. Science still hasn't given a clear reason but really I feel it's irrelevant. People are born with their gender identity. It may take one longer to discover or come to terms with it, especially under pressure from the culture in which one is immersed.

Gender expression is the way we outwardly display ourselves to the world around us. Most people born biologically male might not have any interest in wearing what their culture might consider feminine clothing or affecting a feminine appearance. Most people born biologically female might not have any interest in wearing what their culture might consider masculine clothing or affecting a masculine appearance, except there was that whole womens' rights movements all those years ago here in the United States where women demanded the freedom to wear pants and not freeze their butts off in the cold weather. This is most assuredly a social construct. Our cultures define what we consider feminine, masculine, mixed, or androgynous. Examine some of the indigenous tribes in Africa and some of their adornments. I think you will find that what some of those indigenous tribes consider very masculine and warrior-like we would find very feminine and dainty here in the United States and abroad in Europe.

Sexual orientation is a way of defining one's attraction to others. This doesn't necessarily mean a way of defining with whom one has sex. One isn't born by default heterosexual and then decides to have sex with someone same-sex/same-gender and become homosexual, bisexual, or pansexual. Sexual orientation is a function of attraction, not action. When one factors in gender identity, one might see for example that someone who identifies as a woman, although male-bodied, and is attracted to women might consider herself a lesbian. Perhaps she is also attracted to men. She might consider herself bisexual. Perhaps she is also attracted to other transgender people or does not find gender affects her attraction to a person or she rejects the concept of gender as a dichotomy. She might consider herself pansexual.

To someone who is born with a physical sex that doesn't feel that need to question it and feels comfortable with a gender identity and expression that match the cultural "norms" for that particular physical sex, it is a very foreign, abstract and difficult concept to understand. Much like any weighty personal struggle that one has and another has never experienced, it isn't something easily understood by the one without the experience. The same applies to sexual orientation.

For the record, I am a transwoman in the process of transitioning. I saw (maybe in this thread or elsewhere) someone make the comment that transgender discussion is an adult topic and I respectfully disagree. My nieces and nephews have all been told (well, at least those old enough to comprehend language and respond) about my transition and they have all adjusted so much quicker and readily to me as Auntie Jamie instead of Uncle Jamie. It's all a matter of how the topic is approached and explained.
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Darilian wrote:
My Women's Studies and Queer Studies instructors taught that Gender/Preference was a cultural construct of Patriarchy.


Mine did too. They were wrong. Go figure.
 
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Not precisely on topic, but I saw a good and very interesting Iranian documentary, Be Like Others, on the subject of religion and sexuality at our local film festival several months ago. In short, it discusses the situation in Iran, where Khomeni years ago passed a fatwa authorizing sex change operations for "diagnosed transexuals" but where homosexuality is still punishable by death.

As one might predict, this leads to a number of issues...

There's an article on the topic (including, peripherally, the film), here on the BBC.
 
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
Darilian wrote:
My Women's Studies and Queer Studies instructors taught that Gender/Preference was a cultural construct of Patriarchy.


Mine did too. They were wrong. Go figure.


*LOL*
Funny how these things reverberate...

My point (remember, this thread started in the heat of the gay marriage fracas) was that sometimes it seems that people argue that these things are 'biological' or 'cultural' when its CONVENIENT- and in defiance of how messy and complicated the entire issue is.

Gay marriage as a 'right' is a lot more convincing if homosexuality is biological.
Gender/Preference can lose a lot of stigma if its seen as a function of the mind overcoming biology.

I'm aware of Jamies point (good luck btw Jamie!) that sexual preference and gender are seperate issues. What I disagree with is the sense that we 'KNOW" that these are such simple either/or issues. Sexual preference and gender awareness are functions of BOTH biology and greater 'cultural' issues. To what extent, and in what ratios, we're not sure at all- and it could vary from person to person.

But to make assertions that 'Playing with Barbies is cultural, being Gay is Biological' is to argue WAY ahead of the science as we know it. Its a mix of both- and to argue that its all one, or the other- especially when it makes your case on political issues easier- smacks of using 'science' to win political points, rather than arguing FROM the science.

Darilian

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Darilian wrote:
Gay marriage as a 'right' is a lot more convincing if homosexuality is biological.


Why? I guess that might help some people see it as analogous to race. To me it never mattered, and the point that it is not chosen seems far more relevant than its ultimate origins.

Quote:
Gender/Preference can lose a lot of stigma if its seen as a function of the mind overcoming biology.


Why? If anything, I'd suspect the reverse. If someone has a biological basis for "feeling female" even though s/he looks male, I think a lot more people could understand that. When I talk to people about the fact that not everyone is XX or XY, I see attitudes change a lot faster.

Quote:
But to make assertions that 'Playing with Barbies is cultural, being Gay is Biological' is to argue WAY ahead of the science as we know it.


Now THAT is something I can definitely agree with. I have argued (and do argue) that in the vast majority of cases, sexual orientation is not chosen; it does not follow that it is purely biological, let alone genetic.
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Zaphod wrote:
...I suppose the 3rd option is that they are forced to have surgical procedures to make them acceptable in Gods eyes. Do you think God would force somebody to have surgery in order to reach a point where they could get into heaven? Being transgender is not a choice, and I wonder why God would inflict it upon people, if it clearly makes them unacceptable to a Christian lifestyle?

Or perhaps there is an easy explanation for this in the bible that I'm unaware of? If so, please enlighten me.

Jesse,

Look up transgender (in a dictionary) and get back to us.
 
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