(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.

Many of us in the LGBT community are painfully aware of the religious fundamentalists who have such a wonderful time coming up with lies and fear tactics to throw out to the uneducated masses. They know full well that a great deal of those Americans will believe anything they are told, if you follow it up with “Praise the Lord.” Of course, their true God is the Almighty Dollar, which they get in abundance from those people who don’t know any better.

We hear a lot about the Islamic fundamentalists and how they are such a threat to America. In many ways, they are ranked amateurs compared to the Christian fundamentalists here in the US. Oh yes, we hear of gays being executed in the country that has no gays, Iran. I’m sure that every time that happens, Beverly LaHaye, ChairMAN of the Concerned “June Cleavers” for America, salivates, hoping we get a Republican President who will support that as well. I’m sure she would like it if President Eddie Haskell “gave us the business.” (The “June Cleaver” comment is not to put down the beloved character in “Leave it to Beaver,” but to emphasize the time period their mindset is in.)

Not to make light of it, but the Christian fundamentalists are a dangerous group of people, even if there weren’t any gay people for them to hate. Mike Huckabee’s comments on wanting to change the Constitution to reflects God’s laws instead of the Founding Fathers’ wonderful ideas is a prime example of the danger this group of Americans can be.

But, I didn’t title this article “Christian Fundamentalists.” There are plenty of others who can talk intelligently on that subject. My article is on a growing number of transsexual women who use their post-operative status as a symbol of their superiority over any other gender-different people. I can guarantee that as soon as this article sees the light of day, they will rise up out of their holes and swoop down on me like the creatures in the movie, “Pitch Black,” with Vin Diesel. I’m not afraid of the dark.

Like some others in the discussion, I do feel a need to say a few final words on the Old Guard (HBS) versus deconstructionist battle in the transgender community, and then move on. I am undecided about any further participation in anything trans, beyond this post.

It’s clear that resolution is impossible; the majority remains entrenched — and judging by the volume of responses that I’ve seen, it is in fact the HBS / Old Guard are that majority, at least among transsexuals. But to me, the question was always whether people can set aside the hostilities enough to work for the betterment of all the community, or remain wrapped up in those differences. This has been met with total indifference. I no longer believe that the community even wants to work together.

The olive branch I’ve extended on my own behalf was very real, despite having been recently burned by Old Guard / HBS sentiment myself… but that offer of putting aside differences has gone completely unacknowledged, in favour of further divisive scorn.

I wish to be clear on something: I have taken the time to educate myself about many of the sub-communities in the transgender spectrum (by getting to know people in those sub-communities, rather than distancing myself from them), and strongly believe that there is much overlap in communal needs and also in the genesis of what drives us — although more needs to be learned, on a scientific level as well as on the social plane. I use “transgender” in the modern, all-encompassing sense of the term, rather than any now-irrelevant historic one.

And as a transsexual myself (although I know that there are those who will always believe that I cannot possibly be anything other than a male-bodied fetishist, in spite of all evidence to the contrary), I support the rights of transsexuals, and do not see how they’ve been turned over to some other agenda (there seems to be some duplicity on this point from the Old Guard, in which it’s asserted that the community has been taken over by non-transsexual people and that TS issues are being left by the wayside, but then it’s later claimed that non-TS people are pretending to speak for them…. you can’t have it both ways). But as I see it, the transgender community continues to advocate for transsexuals, and will continue to do so whether HBS-brand transsexuals wish any association or not. There is strength in numbers — and like it or not, a unified community is better positioned to accomplish lasting change than those who wish to carve the community up and advocate rights for only a small privileged, arrogant slice of it.

Not to mention that the most disenfranchised of the community still need us, and I’m not keen on anything that suggests that people should be left behind.