Editor's Note: This is part of a TransAdvocate series on religion. This series seeks to explore how various religions conceptualize trans and how trans people conceptualize religion. Eunuch Ebed-Melek successfully argues against the rest of King Zedekiah’s court and leads a team of 30 men to rescue the prophet Jeremiah from a well. (Jeremiah 38) By Daniel Gonzales Ben Johnson of LifeSiteNews is in a tizzy over Pat Robertson’s declaration that transgender people altering… Read more.
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November 5, 2009 · Marti Abernathey
I have to admit that ignorant Christians get on my nerves, especially when it comes to discussing transgender people and genital "mutilation". This was brought to mind yesterday from a tweet I received: reSemblance: The surgical mutilation of ur God given body in an attempt 2B something you're not, is indeed a disgusting pretense. This isn't even remotely biblical. Jesus said in Matthew: "For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men;… Read more.
Pat Robertson spouting off about Barack Obama's announcement of a "Presidential Memorandum on Federal Benefits and Non-Discrimination" asked "someone's proud to be transgendered? His historical record seems a bit off, since the fall of Rome happened when it WAS A CHRISTIAN NATION. So to answer you Pat, yes we are proud. Many of us are unashamedly transgender. If you would read your Bible, you'd know that: Isaiah 56: 4 For this is what the LORD says: "To the eunuchs who… Read more.
January 30, 2009 · Marti Abernathey
Today we discussed Christian intolerance, transgender children, transsexual marriage, and sexual amputees! Read more.
January 28, 2009 · Marti Abernathey
Today we discussed the lies forwarded by Christian Conservatives, gender marker changes in Massachusetts, the ALCU suing Illinois for not changing documentation of people who had SRS outside of the United States, and GLAAD's misstep of nominating the show "The New Adventures of the Old Christine." Read more.
Recently Christianity Today posted a story titled Walking a Fine Line:Pastors wrestle with transgender issues. According to the story, the pastor of the church where the former Spring Arbor University professor Julie Nenecek attended, said: "They were welcome to worship with us and listen to the Bible as it was proclaimed in preaching," Cumings told Christianity Today. "Since we felt his course of conduct was contrary to our understanding of the Scriptures, we would not allow him to serve ." and said: 'We tried very hard to walk a fine line between biblical authenticity—faithfulness to our understanding of the Bible—and compassionate concern,' Cumings says. 'We have no desire to attack him and we certainly do not see ourselves as his judge. But a transgender lifestyle is outside the boundaries of how God intends his children to live.' Read more.
(As I'd mentioned, it's time to move on from the previous discussion. I admit, I probably wouldn't have reacted as badly if the debate hadn't touched on something that was freshly raw for me personally, but as it is still a raw nerve, we'll leave the HBS thing be. I thought I'd go with something far less controversial. Politics is being overdone right now, what with all the stuff on the primaries, so I thought I'd take on Religion. -- Mercedes) Modern churches do an excellent job of creating an equation between the questioning of fallible teachers, preachers, copyists and translators, and the questioning of God Himself. You can do one without necessarily doing another. But "all scripture is given by inspiration of God..." (2 Timothy 3:16) is usually used to rebuff any inquiries about the many interpretations of those scriptures. Assuming that all scripture was given by inspiration of God, it should also be kept in mind that all scripture was also interpreted and worded by a myriad of authors, then recopied by hand for thousands of generations, passing through different translators and copyists, each with differing biases. All New Testament scripture was additionally collected at the Council of Nicaea, where it was decided which books (and which specific versions of them) to keep and which ones to ignore or destroy. This was done under the guidance of an appointee (Eusebius Pamphilus) of the first actual Pope (although they later retroscribed themselves back to the apostle Peter), the Emperor Constantine I, who wished to forge a new religion that was a synthesis of Mithraism, fledgling Christianity, and Constantine's own worship of the sun god, Sol. He also intended to set himself up to be portrayed as the returned Christ (although it did not quite end up working out that way), which was understood at that time to mean an earthly King-level saviour. And in addition to the hands that scripture passed through being imperfect, so too are those of the preachers who deliver it on Sunday. Religious leaders have repeatedly abused and misused scripture for their own ends, right into modern times -- sometimes innocently but other times specifically for the acquisition of money, political power and fiercely loyal masses. 150 years ago, the church used scripture to justify slavery, alleging among other things that Black people had no souls. 100 years ago, scripture was used to resist emancipation, re-establishing womens' role as a subservient one and portraying them as not worthy or intelligent enough to be able to vote. Even today, scripture is twisted to assert the subordinance of women. Can we question the church's teaching while relying on our heart to sort the truth from the centuries of spin-mongering that has tainted it? I'd think we'd have to. Read more.
“So I get on my knees and pray … we won’t get fooled again!” — the Who Fresh on the heels of Southern Comfort Conference (SCC), many of the transgender community reveled in what seemed a penultimate victory: HRC – yes, the Human Rights Campaign – was actually appearing to take the transgender community as equals. (Obviously the ultimate victory would be equal rights for us all, jobs and all.) All of the years of HRC’s historic missteps seemed to magically disappear. We’re now a welcome, if amnesiac community for the Equal Sign people. During the speeches there was much congratulation and self-congratulation, and plenty of high spirits about the impending bills in Congress awaiting votes: Hate Crimes (already passed inclusively in the House) currently awaiting Senate approval, and the all-important Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) approaching the House vote. All seemed right with the world in Trans America’s focus point that weekend at SCC in Atlanta. All seemed eerily right to some of us long-timers with memories intact as well. Eerily too right. After the speech, everyone clapped, ate, enjoyed the rest of SCC and went home. Most of us waited with baited anticipation. Myself, I couldn’t get over how this reminded me of 2002. At the SCC in 2002, HRC came down and made the big presentation again, and ushered in the coming out of a brand new national activist on the scene, Mara Keisling formerly of then-disbanded WGTE – the group name under which a study in concert with HRC was conducted. She was planning to open shop with an org of her own. No more WGTE, now NATE or NOTE was the names she was hashing over at the time (later settling on NCTE). HRC was not going to deal with the existing trans orgs -- NTAC nor IFGE, while GenderPAC left the trans fold to focus on "gender." So Mara’s sudden emergence fit them to a T, literally, and was welcomed in the HRC fold. However, it wasn’t just HRC’s king or queen-making within the trans community that was the draw of this presentation. This was more about the study findings, ballyhooed as changing the minds of HRC about trans inclusion in legislation. Word went out, there at that conference, that HRC was behind transgender inclusion and would begin such a push immediately. The question from the skeptical among us was posed as to what would happen if this ran up the HRC flagpole, and they instead decided “Nah!” and let Mara twist in the wind. Mara responded that they wouldn’t dare try, “and if they did, rip them a new asshole for publicly trashing her political credibility.” I’ll never forget the look on David Smith’s face at her answer … curious. Read more.
That ever popular bastion of Jesus freedom, WorldNetDaily, is hiding a Transgender Partriot! In their "Letter of the Week" they showcase the anonymous patriot. She starts out by saying "First, before I begin, I just want to let you know that I support WND and the work you do primarily as it relates to the illegal-alien invasion and the North American Union. My feedback below doesn't change that." Then goes on to say: I feel badly that the "T" is… Read more.
The vitriol over at Traditional Values Coalition is heating up. As Bil over at Bilerico has reported : "The Traditional Values Coalition has a series of offensive cartoons they've been circulating since ENDA became a possibility. While the group isn't known for their Christ-like love of truth, this latest flier steps outside of their usual circle of lies and deceit to directly attack two people who, as far as I know, aren't doing anything to their organization." You can find… Read more.
I am an atheist/agnostic so I'm not sure why Jesus has been on my mind lately, but he has. So many Christian bloggers have written about the sin of being transgender. God, help us here in America. We have made a total mess of Your plan for us. We have forgotten that without You we are nothing and we have nothing. We have made a mockery of your creation by allowing people to change it completely. We have kept our… Read more.
Meredith Brooks once sang: " I’m a bitch, I’m a lover I’m a child, I’m a mother I’m a sinner, I’m a saint I do not feel ashamed I’m your hell, I’m your dream I’m nothing in between You know, you wouldn’t want it any other way" But I guess there are some gay men who aren't channeling Meredith. From the Washington Blade's "Bitch Session" "It’s transgender people that need the gay and lesbian movement to succeed not the other way around. They are a minority within a minority who couldn’t get very far without us yet they always arrogantly fail to recognize that! Learn some humility instead of being so damn uppity. To the transgender activist who had the gall to say that gays and lesbians can’t move forward without them: The fact is transgender activists have opposed gay rights legislation in the past simply because they weren’t included! Despite their being as bad as Christian conservatives or selfish brats, we often managed to succeed without them! They should thank us for forgiving them for this and allowing them to retard our progress by including them now!" Read more.
In KQED's recent interview of J Michael Bailey and Alice Dreger, Bailey said: "Again I reject the assertion that it's all transgendered people are offended by my book. Many transgendered people are actually very happy that people are finally talking about this phenomenon called autogynophelia, which they feel captures their motivation." I actually think that Bailey is wrong and that a majority of transgender people see Bailey's work as a direct attack on their lives. If you do too, I'd ask that you please sign a petition I made at: http://www.petitiononline.com/trans4us/ Please spread the word about this petition to as many people you can think of. Alice Dreger's dredging up of this old controversy has inflamed the right wing blogosphere with such wonderful posts as: Read more.
Typically, when reading about radical feminists on various blogs, it's an "us verses them" type of debate. I've been thinking a lot about that, as witnessed by my last post, Michfest Music Melodrama I've been thinking a lot about the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival lately. So much anger and divisiveness occurs between radical feminist and transgender bloggers, it really turns my stomach. Very few posts on either side attempt to understand each other. so much so, it ends up being… Read more.
The following video is from " Rapture Ready: The Unauthorized Christians United for Israel Tour" [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/mjMRgT5o-Ig" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /] At the end of the video, I caught a glimpse of this: This kind of display dispels the notion by some in the civil rights community that GLBT people aren't being dehumanized. Read more.
As the Hate Crimes amendment to the Defense Funding Authorization is being debated in the Senate, it’s funny hearing some of the arguments coming from those opposed to allowing the additional protections to sexual orientation and gender identity. Many of the callers advocating for killing the Hate Crimes amendment have taken liberty of saying it infringes on free speech. Nothing in the Hate Crimes bill (S. 1105), nor the amendment to the defense-spending bill with the exact same wording, makes… Read more.
In reading the recently published "Interview: Transgenderism Emerging on the Heels of Homosexuality in Media" at the Christian Post, I sat amazed with my mouth agape at the following statement. "When you look at Scripture for example, when Paul talks in 1 Corinthians 6:9 about the following group of people will not inherit the Kingdom of God. One of those groups of people he calls the “soft men.” Now the meaning of that essentially, in its historical context, is men… Read more.
You've probably heard of the ex-gay movement. You may have even heard of the ex-ex-gay movement. Odds are slim that you know anyone that is ex-transgender. But have you ever known anyone that is ex-ex-transgender? You have if you've read this blog. In 1997 I confessed to my wife that I'd cross-dressed most of my life. After her initial shock wore off, she began to accept and integrate this part of me into our marriage. This was an activity that… Read more.
That should be the title of Peter LaBarbera's Americans for Truth (AFT) website. His latest post attacks sports reporter Christine Penner. "I challenge 'Mike/Christine' to do a column describing, in detail, 'sex-reassignment surgery' – whereby a penis is turned into a makeshift 'vagina' — assuming he is one day going to go that route. ('Transitioning' people are required to live one year as the opposite sex before undergoing the horrifying operation.) Then we’ll see just how 'natural' all of this… Read more.
I recently was asked to review the movie "American Beauties" by Groove Films. The description that came with the email gives you a slight clue that something is amiss here. "American Beauties (2005) is an award-winning documentary on Asian transgender immigrants. We enter the secretive, often misunderstood world of immigrant male to female transgenders. In a series of illuminating interviews, Amanda, Imani, Kimberly and Kosal I've revealing insights on the issues closest to their hearts: discrimination, prostitution, and sex reassignment… Read more.
A southern, right-wing, anti-abortion, Dominionist bigot recently wrote this post denouncing Joanne Nemecek for supporting her spouse in transition. I'm not sure she'll actually let it out of moderation (sooooo typical of right wingnut blogs), so I wanted to post my response here. "I would be amused (how you support a war that has killed thousands, yet you're pro-life?...pfftt... too funny), if this wasn't all so pathetic. First of all, I love your use of idols (a representation or symbol… Read more.