The New Christians

The New Christians


With Whom Should the Intersexed Have Sex? Even More on the Complexity of Gender

posted by Tony Jones

Seriously, this stuff is a mind-bender for me.  It changes everything, really.  Why?  Because it’s the exceptions into which the norms need to fit to make them “norms.”  The doctrine of imago dei, the hallmark of which is so often misconstrued as rationality must take into account the human being with Down Syndrome.  Is that human being, lacking the reasoning facilities of other human beings, also created in the image of God?  Of course.

And, so, when dictating with whom a person can and not have sex, we simply must deal with the gender ambiguity that afflicts many of our fellow human beings.

Zoe Brain writes,

I’m Intersexed. It’s not particularly rare. 1 in 60 people have
minor Intersex conditions, though it would take a laboratory test to
determine that.

About 1 in 1000 have an Intersex condition that’s obvious.

I have one of the rarest and most spectacular ones.

In the country of my birth, I would only be allowed to marry another
woman – because homosexual marriage is strongly forbidden, and there
I’m legally male. Even though my passport says “female” based on my
anatomy – and despite my chromosomes, which are usually (though not
always) found only in men.

In the country where I live, I could only marry a man, because there
I’m legally female, and homosexual marriage is strongly forbidden. It
took many thousands of dollars worth of MRIs, gene tests, Ultrasounds
of my pelvis etc to determine that I was more female than male, but
that diagnosis is definitive.

I REALLY wish Fundamentalist Christians would MAKE UP THEIR MIND as
to who it is I’m supposed to have sex with. They all say it’s obvious,
but they differ as to what the answer is.

Me, I try to follow Isaiah 56:4-5. 1 Corinthians 13 too. It can be
difficult maintaining a charitable attitude when no matter what I do,
or fail to do, I’m supposed to be condemned to perdition for it.


And R. Hampton writes,

In 1999, the Texas 4th Court of Appeals in San Antonio said
chromosomes — not sex-change operations or outward gender
characteristics — determine a person’s gender. That ruling allowed
Jessica and Robin Wicks to be married the following year because one
was born a man (and later had a sex change operation). The rest comes
from an article published by the Cox News Service in September 2000:

Rep. Arlene Wohlgemuth, R-Burleson, the president of the Texas
Conservative Coalition, said … “We don’t object to a marriage license
being issued since we do favor a marriage between a man and woman and
this fits the legal definition of gender. They are legally a man and a
woman. What they do once they are married is up to them.”

But other issues complicate things, said Jack Sampson, a
University of Texas law professor. Not everyone is born with a set of
chromosomes, XX or XY, that clearly defines their gender.
Hermaphrodites and other cases of confused genetics could pose problems.

Klinefelter syndrome: three sex chromosomes 47(XXY)
Turner syndrome: one sex chromsome 45(X)

Because we only have two legally recognized sexes, how do we “assign” gender to those with said afflictions?

We know that gays can legally marry someone of the opposite sex, but who is the opposite sex for someone with said afflctions?

Who indeed?



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dustin germain

posted August 24, 2009 at 5:08 pm


the reality is that because we live in a fallen world, people are not all going to be born either 100% male with 100% parts, or 100% female with female parts. just like a child may be born with some physical and mental disabilities, so may a man or woman be born with various genetic and chromosomal irregularities. i don’t mean to suggest that those two groups of people are comparable, but simply that because we live in a fallen world, not everyone is going to fit into neat little categories. that having been said, i don’t believe that sexual identity and gender is primary determined by what sex organs you have. it can’t be like that, because as you have pointed out- some people may look and feel and identify as female, and yet they have male sex organs. that does not make them male, and same with a female with the same distinctives.
but that’s not the issue. there is a difference between two people marrying who are phenotipically male and yet genetically one is female and identifies as a woman, and then two people who are phenotypically and genetically male, and who identify themselves as masculine. the former is a legitimate opposite-sex marriage, though from the outside it does not appear that way, and the other is an illegitimate same-sex marriage, because the opposite sex is not represented.
i think it’s a good question you raised, but the answer is still the same- the intersexed [however that may look and however they may identify] have sex with the opposite sex.



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Ken

posted August 24, 2009 at 5:30 pm


I think that this person has a couple of basic options.
1. Consider themselves a biblical Eunoch and devote there service to the kingdom.
2. Identify their sex to the best of their ability, using both medical and pastoral guidance, and then be that gender. Function under the biblical rolls and functions of that sex, and stick to that.
So if we are to answer the question, who is the opposite sex, the answer is not going to be a clear universal answer for all people. It must be seen on a case by case basis. I don’t believe that Conservative evangelicals are condemning these people in any sense, we are saying, work hard to figure out what you are most like, and function under that biblical gender roll. I don’t think that a biblical pastor ( yes there are unbiblical ones, a lot of them in fact) is going to condemn you based on your genetic code or physical abnormality. My Goal as an interning pastor is to bring people closer to the Word of God in all area’s of their life. I understand that we all have issues, some are sexual, some emotional, whatever… the issue is the Word of God is Clear, and we must strive to submit to it. We can not just toss it out as if it is silent on this or any issue. We have concepts to work from, lets use them, eh?



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Marian

posted August 24, 2009 at 6:21 pm


Is the classic limerick off limits here?
A gay man who lived in Khartoum
Took a lesbian up to his room;
They argued all night
As to who had the right
To do what, and with which, and to whom.
Delete it if you think that’s appropriate.



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panthera

posted August 24, 2009 at 7:02 pm


Marian,
That was wonderful.
One of the few comments I’ve read here the last weeks that makes sense.
dustin germain my marriage is legitimate. What you and your hateful version of Christianity thinks is totally irrelevant.
For what it’s worth, my opinion is very simply put:
You should love the person who loves you. Build a committed, monogamous, loving, faithful and true marriage. Who cares what your chromosomal status or your sexuality is, marriage is strictly between two people and not determined by hateful conservative Christians.
Regardless of how often they rape, torture, beat and kill us.



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Ken

posted August 24, 2009 at 9:01 pm


Panthera~
I don’t know what your story is, or frankly anything about who you are, and I’m not trying put on a pretense of judgment towards you, however, I think that for the Christian, the word of God must be our Authority for Truth. There are so many experiences, philosophies, sects, cults, and religious persons that I believe that to submit to any of them outside of scripture is folly.In Short, We must have an Arbiter of truth that is external from us.
That said I am a conservative Christian. I have never Raped, Tortured, Beat or Killed anyone and being as I don’t even know who you are I clearly don’t hate you. That said, I am, because of my belief in Sola Scriptura, against any and all forms of marriage that are not given to be valid covenantally by the Word of God (see Gen. 1-2, Matthew 19). I am forced by my love for scripture and the God of Scripture to say that out side of God instituting a covenant, persons in committed, monogamous,loving, lifelong relationships are still fornicating, an act described as sin by both the New and Old Testaments.
Is it possible for you to see that perhaps persons who take the view that I have just outlined are not hate-mongers, but rather are people who lovingly desire for you to not come under condemnation from God Almighty?



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panthera

posted August 24, 2009 at 11:22 pm


Of course it is possible for me, Ken.
I find it sad that you needs must imprison God by limiting Him to your interpretation of the Bible. And that is what you do.
Calling my marriage fornication is absurd. Do you really think I would abandon my husband just to satisfy your mumbo-jumbo?
Not going to happen.
There is little charity amongst you fundamentalist Christians, little indeed if you can call a faithful partnership of 25 years a sin.
Oh, and, yes, I am a Christian. You can be a Christian and gay. Even a Christian and gay and married.



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Ken

posted August 25, 2009 at 1:07 am


panthera –
I would like to systematically address your response.
1. I think that it is completely irrational and unreasonable to say that I am imprisoning God. If the text explains God, then holding to that isn’t an imprisonment, but rather a representation. This type of language serves more to Poison the Well, rather then to make a rational argument.
2. I am not calling your marriage fornication, I am saying that I do not believe that you can support from scripture same-sex marriage, being covenantally begun by God. I would also note that Dee Bradshaw a pastor in the MCC in his debate with Dr. James White said that he could not do so.
3. Do I really think you would abandon your husband just to satisfy my “mumbo-jumbo?” No, I don’t. I don’t think in fact if Jesus came down and told you that he did not approve of your actions that you would abandon your ‘husband.’ I hope that you understand that I mean that in the kindest was possible.
4. To say that there is little charity amongst fundamentalists may or may not be true, however, I am not a fundamentalist, which is frankly a derogatory term, that has no place in civil discussion. Notice that no where in what I have said did I Directly say that what you are doing is a sin. That is your conclusion from the logical case I am forwarding, but I did not use the word Sin.
5. I think that we must submit to 1 John as to what a Christian, I don’t Judge you.



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DPDanforth

posted August 25, 2009 at 2:34 am


Marian, I think your comment is spot on!!!



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DPDanforth

posted August 25, 2009 at 2:38 am


Well Marian, your comment WAS spot on, it seems to have disappeared…?



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John G

posted August 25, 2009 at 6:43 am


Tony Jones said; Is that human being [with Down Syndrome], lacking the reasoning facilities of other human beings, also created in the image of God? Of course.
JG: Dear Tony,
Humans with Down Syndrome do not lack the reasoning facilities of other human beings. Your error in assuming that they do voids your analogy.
Since we cannot be sure that you even understand the topics which you raise questions of, may you please explain what you mean by the term Intersex?
What is Intersexed and how do you (can we) know it is true?



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Panthera

posted August 25, 2009 at 8:24 am


John G.,
Children suffering from an extra twenty-first chromosome may range in intelligence from borderline normal to severely retarded.
What, pray, is the single, overriding characteristic of someone whose IQ is under 70? Hint: Check the DSM IV. Or consider the politically correct alternative to ‘retardation’.
Tony might have chosen a better example, your response was just plain nit-picking.
Ken, you wrote, I answered. I won’t get into the hysterical fundamentalist/conservative/literalistic/bible-as-God’s-only-message discussion with you.
Calling a fundamentalist a fundamentalist is no more an insult than it was after church Sunday when a local farmer came up to me and said his b i t c h was in heat and did I think my dawg might spend the week with his family, ’cause he knows what to do with his nose.
That man would die for his pretty little dog, they’re that close. But he still calls her by what she is.
Tony, I see little hope of any mercy from these people for anyone whom they consider ‘other’.



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Mykell

posted August 25, 2009 at 11:16 am


I think peoples’ decisions about who can marry whom, what defines “male” and “female”, the delusion that there is only “male” and “female” etc. are colored entirely by transphobia. There is a different problem when it comes to discrimination against intersex people – so many people think intersex doesn’t exist, or think it is rare and therefore ignore the effect of their actions on intersex folks. We need to both raise awareness of the fact of intersex, and fight the sexism, homophobia, and transphobia that inadvertantly affects intersex people.



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Bad Hair Days

posted August 25, 2009 at 11:32 am


The Bible has an answer to it:
Matthew 19:12
12For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage[a]because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”
Footnotes:
1. Matthew 19:12 Or have made themselves eunuchs
The born Eunuchs are intersex people, the “made themselves eunuchs” where transsexual people (like today with the hirja in india it was a primitive way to deal with transsexuality at a time when the word was unheard of)
So it pretty much leaves the decession to the individual.



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Carla

posted August 25, 2009 at 12:10 pm


Sexuality is about far more than where the parts go. If someone is a celibate homosexual, he or she is still a homosexual. Is that person still living a sinful lifestyle or is the homosexual sex the sin? If the act of sex with someone of the same gender is what makes homosexuality a sin, then the real issue isn’t a person’s sexual identity but what they do with it. So perhaps those who use biblical evidence against homosexuality can explain how those passages relate to sexual identity and not sexual practice.
If Zoe Brain choses to live as an Eunuch, does it matter to which gender Zoe is attracted? (I might be wrong about this, but my understanding is that those who choose celibacy often wrestle with attraction to other people and the temptation to act on that attraction which is why celibacy is seen as a sacrifice and an act of spiritual formation. I mean, if the attraction/temptation is gone, it’s really not much of a statement is it?) Is it only in the practice of homosexual sex (whatever that would be for Zoe) that Zoe would fall into sin?



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Nate

posted August 25, 2009 at 1:46 pm


Tony, raising important questions concerning the complexity of gender inevitably leads me (right or wrong) to question whether the issue of gender identification/human sexuality is really as straightforward as we have made it historically.
When it comes to issues of Christians engaging in homosexual practice (even when monogamous) and/or ordaining homosexual clergy, someone is always quick to make the observation that if we were to condone such lifestyles it would clearly be a betrayal of historic orthodox Christianity. While that may very well be true, I cannot help but think of the ways in which both Church and society have confined human identity and expression to socially acceptable norms that were (and are) often determined by those with power and privilege?
Now, before getting off on a tangent… perhaps, like sexuality, gender identification is more of a social construct than we like to think (did I say that?). I realize this is a “slippery slope”. But like I said, when raising questions concerning the complexity of gender (which are most often avoided or suppressed), I cannot help but to think about how so much of who we are (including our gender/sexual identity?) is influenced, or dare I say determined, by our social environments and their assumed norms.
If this is true, for me the questions become, 1) By what standard do we make authoritative judgments on gender/sexual identity? and 2) Who exactly is granted the authority to make such judgments/determinations?
I continue to process and think through this a great deal and am always open to considering alternative views. I admit having a significant amount of confusion when it comes to these conversations. Give me grace



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Ken

posted August 25, 2009 at 4:32 pm


Panthera ~
The clear issue is that I am not a Fundamentalist. As a matter of fact based on the definition of the term, by Richard Dowkins, You are more of a fundamentalist then I am. “Richard Dawkins has used the term to characterize religious advocates as clinging to a stubborn, entrenched position that defies reasoned argument or contradictory evidence.”
The clear fact is that you, in our brief encounter, have done exactly this. Thus we must conclude that You are the Fundamentalist not I.



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panthera

posted August 25, 2009 at 6:51 pm


Ken,
And Richard Dawkin’s opinion is relevant because…?
I simply don’t care how you self-identify. I have no interest in the mumbo-jumbo you practice in your version of Christianity in your church.
All I care about is that you cease attacking my status as a human and stop blocking my civil rights, including the right to have my marriage legally recognized in the US.
That is the difference between us – I am more than happy to leave you and your hatefilled ilk be. You recognize neither my status as Christian nor human, demanding I bend to your perverted, hatefilled will.
Ain’t gonna happen.
I will die before I surrender to you and your nasty fellow travelers.



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Simultaneous Saint-Sinner

posted August 25, 2009 at 8:42 pm


9.5 theses…
1. The Bible is not a technical owner’s manual.
2. Technical owner’s manuals are precise, cut and dry, not to mention boring.
3. The Bible is the manger which holds Christ.
4. The manger must have appeared ragged from a human point of view, yet it contained the ultimate treasure, Christ.
5. The Bible is an action packed drama with many twists and turns, pointing us towards God meeting us in Christ at our worst as we nail him to the cross. Grace. Grace. Grace.
6. Followers of Christ (saints) take up the cross. That means that we will eventually meet others at their worst. And we are called to offer grace.
7. Tragically, followers of Christ (sinners) often dish out the worst to others. Reading the conversation that goes on here, I sometimes wonder, “Where’s the grace?” (remember that old Wendy’s commercial, “Where’s the beef?”)
8. We are in a situation where some read a “welcoming and affirming” biblical message while others read a “love the sinner, hate the sin” message. Each side turns the Other into the Enemy, describing the Other in the worst possible light.
9. Christ calls us to a new contest. Instead of convincing the Other that s/he is wrong, and I am right, leaving both teams bloodied. The contest is to see who can out-love the Other, embodying Christ (John 13:35)
9.5 Right now, in the new contest, as I score this blog, the score is tied, with both teams in the negative points zone. Humility precedes love. Give up the superior position (= what I say is equated with God) and take the inferior position (= death to my needing to be more right than you). Perhaps then I can see the Other as Jesus sees them.



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R. Jay Pearson

posted August 25, 2009 at 9:18 pm


Where there is extraordinary grace, that is where the outcast, the distressed, the lost, and the oppressed ought go. Where there is condemnation, flee.



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Rob Moser

posted August 25, 2009 at 10:34 pm


Just because there are abnormalities causing individuals to have sexual disorders or uncertainty of gender, does not for me confuse the scripture that repeatedly speaks against homosexual behavior. Compassion and grace should be given in rare situations where gender does not seem clear and where it is not a normal case of sexual or medically obvious gender identity. I do not however believe that this negates what God has revealed through scripture that a cultural commonplace view of homosexuality is wrong. The outliers and exceptions do not change how God has spoken. We are smart enough and have been given enough grace to know that these cases are red herrings and are dealt to confuse the masses on this very sensitive and push button topic. I sympathize with the plight of the confused and abnormalities in our genetic makeup and believe it is a product of our sinful world and it is not as God meant it to be just as I am not; however, God has rescued us from this state, even in the midst of our brokenness, and has restored us fully. If we lose the sight of brokenness however, we lose the Gospel.



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Ken

posted August 25, 2009 at 11:10 pm


Panthera ~
Can you please show me, and everyone else reading this where exactly I have said you are “not-Human” in any interaction here.
I find it funny that you refuse to do anything but cry victim, as if I have dehumanized you, degraded you, or treated you at all poorly. When in fact I have done none of these things. I understand that you have no doubt been mistreated previously, which I openly condemn. I am simply trying to have a rational discussion with you about in issue.



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Zoe Brain

posted August 26, 2009 at 12:06 am


One for the 4th Circuit of Appeals in Texas:
A 46,XY mother who developed as a normal woman underwent spontaneous puberty, reached menarche, menstruated regularly, experienced two unassisted pregnancies, and gave birth to a 46,XY daughter with complete gonadal dysgenesis.
– J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 January; 93(1): 182–189.
So much for 46xy=male, 46xx=female. The Ignorance, it burns….
I notice that none of the commenters here have answered the simple question that was posed.
I thank those who have expressed sympathy. I do ask them to reserve that sympathy though for those born blind, or quadriplegic, or those who have lost loved ones, or those more deserving in any of a million ways. I was born as I was, and although life has never been easy, it has been exceedingly interesting. Just as there are mixed blessings, this one is a mixed curse, and I genuinely can’t say that I feel hard done by. And I’m a sinner, as are we all, no martyr.
We neither deserve nor want sympathy, especially when it involves – as it does all too often (though not here) – crocodile tears, and “oh it’s a product of Man’s Fall (as it may well be), or derailing the subject into the usual ritualistic mouthing of condemnation of homosexuality.
I would like an answer to the question, that’s all. Not sympathy, just a straight answer. Preferably with some scriptural, logical, rational, medical, biological, scientific or even just a plain theological basis. I think that if I am to be condemned for sinful actions, I at least deserve that.
But for the many who know what they know, who don’t read Isaiah 56, nor Matthew 19:12, or who pass laws that persecute me, or vote against laws that give me human rights equal to theirs, I will try my hardest to remember what someone who had things far worse than I do said. “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Meanwhile, no matter whether you believe I am male, female, both, neither, whether gay or lesbian or straight (I’ve been condemned as all three at various times), I will try to work harder at being a decent human being. I have a long way to go there.



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Artboy

posted August 26, 2009 at 10:52 am


//ZOE: I REALLY wish Fundamentalist Christians would MAKE UP THEIR MIND as to who it is I’m supposed to have sex with. They all say it’s obvious, but they differ as to what the answer is.
…..I notice that none of the commenters here have answered the simple question that was posed.//
The question has been answered, though I’m not sure why you’re looking to “ignorant fundamentalists” for an answer.to your question. Unless you’re simply trying to make a point.
It seems to me that cases of developmental abnormalities must be decided on a case by case basis. How can anyone answer the question if the answer you’re looking for is. “All intersex people should have sex with “X”?
In order to apply Biblical principles regarding sex/marriage to your life, you need to be either male or female. If you are neither/both, and choose to undergo corrective surgery/therapy so that you become either male or female as far as is humanly possible, I can’t imagine that God, or any other reasonable person would condemn you for that. In that case, you marry and have sex with the opposite gender. If you do not undergo corrective surgery/therapy, it seems to me that you remain an exception to the Biblical rule, in which case the earlier comments regarding celibacy would apply.
Am I oversimplifying here?



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Mak

posted August 26, 2009 at 2:09 pm


Artboy wrote: “If you do not undergo corrective surgery/therapy, it seems to me that you remain an exception to the Biblical rule, in which case the earlier comments regarding celibacy would apply.”
What about those that can’t afford corrective surgery, or therapy? Must they lose out on one of the most fundamental of human of activities, merely because they can’t afford medical care? What would Christ say to that? And, if there IS medical care available, who has the right to demand anyone medically alter their body merely to conform to what is arguably not natural?
Our world is far more diverse than anyone could imagine back in the time that the bible was constructed, and yet, we cling to this idea that somehow we are more virtuous if we ignore that fact.



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Jim

posted August 26, 2009 at 3:11 pm


I don’t know, Mak, I don’t think Jesus was any less human for staying celibate. And I don’t think Artboy’s laying down any sort of inflexible guideline, he says they need to be evaluated on a case by case basis. Like Ken says earlier, either stay celibate, or identify you gender to the best of your ability and run with it as far as possible.
This seems like sort of an odd discussion. Progressives seem to be saying “Gender is complicated! Who are transexuals supposed to have sex with?” To which conservatives reply, “Well, it’s complicated, we’d probably need to decide on a case by case basis.” To which progressives reply, “It’s not that simple, its complicated! Stop being hateful and make up your mind.” The whole thing seems rather puzzling to me.



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Mak

posted August 26, 2009 at 3:34 pm


I’m still confused about this “evaluation on a case by case basis” thing. What does that mean? Who is going to do the evaluating? I’m reminded of the biblical phrase “judge not, lest ye be judged”
Since its all so puzzling, wouldn’t it be best if we all left gender, sex and love up to each person to decide who and what they are, and who they love? Isn’t that what Jesus teaches?



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Jim

posted August 26, 2009 at 4:53 pm


Ken says that the individual decides using “using both medical and pastoral guidance.” That seems sensible to me.
This discussion has an odd ring to me. Why does Tony think this “changes everything, really.” What does it change? I think he means the discussion “dictating with whom a person can and not have sex.”
Your comment, Mak, summarizes the unspoken implication that seems to be lingering, “wouldn’t it be best if we all left gender, sex and love up to each person to decide who and what they are, and who they love?”
These exceptions Tony refers to are used as a reason to abolish norms. The reasoning seems similar to the reasoning for his rejection of natural law: “There are ambiguities and difficulties, therefore natural or transcendent norms must not exist, or at least may not be knowable.”
I don’t think this reasoning is good, though. It doesn’t seem to me that the existence of transgendered or intersex persons does anything to the categories of male and female. I don’t see how it could, any more than, say, the existence of brain-dead, vegetative people does anything to the categories of “alive” and “dead.”
(I hope I don’t have to say this, but just to be excruciatingly clear, I am not comparing transgendered persons to brain-dead persons in any respect except that they represent ambiguities in otherwise fairly apparent categories)
Does the brain-dead state change anything about the categories of alive and dead? Certainly it can create difficult moral situations, and sometimes emotionally painful. But I’m not sure it “changes everything, really.” We just do the best we can. As far as it is in our capacity, we decide whether the person is alive or dead, and act accordingly, as uprightly as we are able.
Obviously, the issues in gender situations are different, but isn’t the general approach and reasoning the same no matter what sort of ambiguity we approach.



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Ken

posted August 26, 2009 at 5:15 pm


Jim ~
“It doesn’t seem to me that the existence of transgendered or intersex persons does anything to the categories of male and female. I don’t see how it could, any more than, say, the existence of brain-dead, vegetative people does anything to the categories of ‘alive’ and ‘dead.'”
What an AMAZING Statement! So good.



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Andrew

posted August 26, 2009 at 8:04 pm


Tony
What did you hope to achieve in posting this quandry?
For those whose gender isn’t crystal clear, they’d have been raised with one gender or another, and they’re just as called to live according to that gender as others are.
In what way are you going to twist the replies you get in order to justify your heretical view that somehow the clear biblical bans on homosexual sex can be ignored? These genetic outliers should not be used as some justification for the 99.9% of the population for whom there is perfect clarity as to what their gender is, and who they should marry



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Mak

posted August 26, 2009 at 10:41 pm


Andrew wrote: “These genetic outliers should not be used as some justification for the 99.9% of the population for whom there is perfect clarity as to what their gender is, and who they should marry”
If the clear biblical bans on homosexual sex are to be considered moral absolutes, then why are there no absolutes in nature? Are genetic outliers as you call them(they are actually very real people BTW, with the same birthright to a relationship to God as you)to be ignored, merely because there isn’t a significant number of them?
Andrew, what you are doing is dismissing anyone’s experience outside of your own limited definition of normal, and postulating that their existence is irrelevant to God’s word. I think God would strenuously disagree.



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Andrew

posted August 27, 2009 at 12:38 am


Mark
Is the excuse you want to get that you can do whatever you want “because I want to”? Who is the final arbiter of your morality if it is completely subjective? Who is to say that worshipping other gods is wrong just because the bible said so in an absolute manner?
Come on. Get real. The people who suffer this ambiguity are in real need of compassion and love. They shouldn’t be the pawns in the emergent church’s steady drift away from taking the bible seriously. My comment about them being statistical outliers is correct. It does not depersonalise them or decrease their humanity.
What excuse do you give for the 99.9% of the population to whom this discussion doesn’t apply but who are just as sinful? That they sleep with whoever they want to? That God’s law doesn’t apply to them? Is each person to be their own god in choosing what they will or will not obey?
What I am doing is using the bible as the ultimate guide to how we are to live our lives. My own limited view from my fallen and sinful perspective isn’t worth the electrons lighting up your monitor. God’s view, however, deserves more serious consideration than you seem to give it in dismissing moral absolutes.



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Ken

posted August 27, 2009 at 2:10 pm


Mak~
There are absolutes in nature, we call them laws. Definitionally speaking according to the biblical text, there are two genders, male and female (Gen 1-2). Being intersexed is still a variant of Male and Female, however, due to sin we have things that fall outside of the ‘typical’ experience. That said, I think that God’s Word does give general principals to all people. I think that there is good evidence to say that intersexed persons would be considered those “who are, “born as eunuchs” by first century standards, keeping in mind there was no surgical possibilities for correction.



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Artboy

posted August 28, 2009 at 3:06 am


//MAK: What about those that can’t afford corrective surgery, or therapy? …who has the right to demand anyone medically alter their body merely to conform to what is arguably not natural?…Our world is far more diverse than anyone could imagine back in the time that the bible was constructed, and yet, we cling to this idea that somehow we are more virtuous if we ignore that fact.//
‘Fair questions Mak.
Keep in mind the context of this discussion is those within the body of Christ who have differing views on these issues. I’m not demanding or ignoring anything. I’m attempting to apply Biblical principles to contemporary questions. Tony says the intersex thing changes everything, and I don’t see that it does. Zoe asked the fundamentalists to make up their mind as to who (s)he should have sex with, so I submitted an opinion.
As for those outside of the church, they don’t claim to be born-again followers of Jesus, so they are “free” to have sex with whomever or whatever they want.



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Artboy

posted August 28, 2009 at 3:08 am


//MAK: What about those that can’t afford corrective surgery, or therapy? …who has the right to demand anyone medically alter their body merely to conform to what is arguably not natural?…Our world is far more diverse than anyone could imagine back in the time that the bible was constructed, and yet, we cling to this idea that somehow we are more virtuous if we ignore that fact.//
‘Fair questions Mak.
Keep in mind the context of this discussion is those within the body of Christ who have differing views on these issues. I’m not demanding or ignoring anything. I’m attempting to apply Biblical principles to contemporary questions. Tony says the intersex thing changes everything, and I don’t see that it does. Zoe asked the fundamentalists to make up their mind as to who (s)he should have sex with, so I submitted an opinion.
As for those outside of the church, they don’t claim to be born-again followers of Jesus, so they are “free” to have sex with whomever or whatever they want.



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dustin germain

posted August 28, 2009 at 4:36 am


panthera got schooled…



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Panthera

posted August 28, 2009 at 8:43 am


dustin germain,
Normally, I ignore such comments. In your case, I am happy to make an exception.
Some blogs on beliefnet censure comments heavily and ban posters who disagree too successfully with the blog owner.
Others leave it up to the posters to not drive a thread completely off the rails. The New Christians, for one.
Because Tony let’s us all have our say, it is up to each of us to withdraw when we see that the thread has tipped over from the topic under discussion to pointless semantics and ad hominem attacks.
Your use of the term ‘got schooled’ is fascinating. I withdrew to permit the conservative Christians the freedom to concentrate on making their case for how filled with God’s love they are and how I just misunderstand how greatly they care.
You certainly did. Brilliantly, I might add.



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Nathan

posted August 28, 2009 at 10:07 am


We don’t define normative rules based on the occasional physical aberration. Someone might be born with a mental illness that legitimately makes them incapable of telling right from wrong, that does not mean the moral imperative of upholding right from wrong no longer applies.



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Your Name

posted August 28, 2009 at 1:27 pm


To the intersexed individual wanting answers…
Just my opinion: I wouldn’t seek them here. It sounds like most of the people here haven’t walked in your shoes (or don’t know that they have since many parents and doctors choose the gender for intersexed babies at birth). There are Christians and churses who will love you and accept you as you are and who will also recognize your relationship as good as anyone else’s. Posting here will most likely cause you to feel more hurt and confused. Seek out people who will support you in a way that makes you feel positive :-). Don’t feel obligated to change others’ minds for whatever reason (although it might help to ask why it is so important to you). If you want my opinion, intersexed people should be with whoever makes them happy as should everyone else! Just be happy, love, and be kind and helpful to all creatures. Life is short. Good wishes to you.



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Zoe Brain

posted August 28, 2009 at 5:40 pm


“Posting here will most likely cause you to feel more hurt and confused.”
“Good wishes to you.”
I’m not confused – but others are. Hurt? No, I’ve not seen hatred here. I see people genuinely questing to do the right thing. I see goodwill to all men. Some of the replies have had unfortunate phraseology, and been less than diplomatic, but those are trifles, and when one genuinely faces real persecution, you learn not to sweat the small stuff. Especially when no malice is intended. It’s not as if I’m perfect myself, and never unwittingly hurt others.
Thanks for your good wishes. Intersexed people are just people, human beings, doing the best we can under our circumstances, just like everyone else.



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churchmouse

posted September 5, 2009 at 9:16 pm


“Because Tony let’s us all have our say, it is up to each of us to withdraw when we see that the thread has tipped over from the topic under discussion to pointless semantics and ad hominem attacks.”
And those that withdraw when things dont go their way, are running because they can not provide scriptural truth for their position.



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Panthera

posted September 10, 2009 at 9:26 am


Tony,
I withdrew from this discussion on Aug. 28 in the hope that a truly civil, focused and productive conversation on the topics you have raised would ensue.
Now that these threads have pretty much died out, I hope my comment here won’t be seen as unfair.
First, thank you for your efforts in posing the questions you do and providing this forum for discussion. This is a good thing.
Certainly, there is no hope for agreement between those who genuinely feel that homosexuality must be fought on every level and those who genuinely feel that homosexual Christians are blessed by God.
At the same time, I think there is a large group of Christians who truly desire a discussion on how we, as Christians, can resolve the thorny problems which confront us. Some approach the matter from my married perspective, others are fundamentally opposed to gay marriage. We have, however, Paul’s many (very many) letters addressing problems which, in their time, we seen as equally make or break issues. This conflict is not new in the Christian body and I am certain, once gay marriage is recognized in the US, there will soon arise another issue which simply may not be ignored.
Troubling, very troubling, is the flat statement by so many that gays can’t be Christians. Even if we don’t all agree on Paul’s interpretation’s of God’s will for us, clearly this is the core problem confronting us. If we can’t resolve this, nothing else may be.
Thanks for listening. Having seen that my presence or absence is irrelevant to the tone of discussions here, I’ll be chiming in again in the future.



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Jay

posted September 12, 2009 at 12:15 pm


What a depressing thing it is to read so many of these comments that are so utterly devoid of compassion and common sense. Of course, it is absurd that an intersexed (or even homosexual) person would look to ignorant people for answers to such a question. The real problem with these nitwits is that their version of God is so small that they think He obsesses about what they regard as sexual sin. In the name of this small-minded God, they have committed countless real sins, from burning gay people at the stake to hanging them to imprisoning them to shunning them, etc. We should not forget that it was not until 2003 that the US Supreme Court finally declared laws against homosexual acts unconstitutional. There were still 13 states in which gay people could have been imprisoned simply for expressing their sexuality in their own homes. So much for Christian charity.



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Truthiness

posted September 28, 2009 at 4:01 pm


Truth is, the many gender benders who post here wouldn’t change their stance even if God showed up in their homes and said to their faces they needed to choose heterosexual partners. That being the case, can any homosexual discussion at this blog be of any real meaning or have any significant impact? Of course not.
What would make this dialogue really interesting is if people held the view that whatever God decrees ought to be, they will decide to obey. Now THAT would make for a powerful discussion!



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Panthera

posted September 29, 2009 at 7:36 am


Truthiness,
Truth is, God never once said there was anything inherently good or bad about one’s sexuality, gay or straight.
God has, however, spoken at great length about His feelings about those Christians who mistreat those who are weaker than they are.
And Jesus had a word or two on the subject of which two rules were absolute.
He, of course, was only a long-haired, sandal-wearing Jewish Rabi, so I guess his word is of no merit relative to your own personal hate-filled interpretation of the Bible.
The more hateful comments I read from the christianists around here, the more I wonder if their exclusive focus on hating us is based on the simple fact that of the many things they consider to be sinful, this is the only one of which they, themselves are, by nature, not culpable.
Don’t see anywhere near the energy directed at feeding the poor, helping the distressed or spreading the Good News…
Hmm, beam and mote, anyone?



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Truthiness

posted September 29, 2009 at 8:59 am


“God never once said there was anything inherently good or bad about one’s sexuality, gay or straight.”
That’s irrelevant. The fact is, even if He/She did, you’d not obey. You’d just do whatever you feel your urges tell you is right. So, what’s the point of discussion?
The dialogue would be interesting only if you/me/others would actually do what God commanded no matter what our urges told us. I’ve never met a sexual libertine who would give up his/her sexual quests for some god. So, all discussion about such is pointless.



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Panthera

posted September 29, 2009 at 1:17 pm


Ah, truthiness, let’s get real here.
Your argument is so absurd, there is no point in even attempting discussion with you.
God’s will is not irrelevant. Through Jesus, He gave us two very clear commands:
34Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
Matthew 24:36-40
36″Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[b] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[c] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Where on earth do you get off saying I wouldn’t follow God’s will anyway? And just exactly how does my quarter-century monogamous, committed, faithful, true and loving partnership with one man justify calling me a sexual libertine?



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Truthiness

posted September 29, 2009 at 5:27 pm


“God’s will is not irrelevant”
It is. I’ve never met a gay person that would obey a god that told him or her to obey something that he/she didn’t want to. So, yes, God’s will is totally irrelevant. You simply wouldn’t change no matter what–and that’s a fact. You are your own god, and you decide what you will do with yourself. You don’t export that decision making to anyone else under any circumstances, especially in matters of sexuality.
So the discussion is pointless. The only way the discussion becomes meaningful is if the people who claim to have a god will do what that god says, *even when it goes against their impulses.*



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Guglielmo

posted October 13, 2009 at 6:47 am


Truthiness,
Truth is that most gay-hating “Christians” wouldn’t change their stance even if God himself appeared personally to them and told them that he intended a minority of humanity to be gay and to form gay relationships, and commanded everyone to treat gays equally.



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Wurst is not better

posted May 2, 2012 at 10:45 pm


I’m XXY, of maybe XYY, ( anyway had gender asignment surgery as an infant to become a ‘male’) It really doesn’t matter who we’re supposed to have relations with, the truth is that prejudice against ME is so strong that it’s as if the villagers are storming the keep with pitchforks and torches. I’m the monster, denied a family , a home, a career, education anyhting that might even impkie that I am actually a human being. Maybe it’s easier for the ‘girls’, I would not know.



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David

posted May 26, 2012 at 2:43 am


Find true compassion. Ditch the Bible. It’s full of hatred, murder, revenge, and judgment. Just like all other books written two thousand years ago; a nice fantasy and myth, sure, a legal reference for our lives? Hardly a good one.



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Kat

posted April 27, 2013 at 9:29 am


You know what’s really weird about all this? Let’s say we consider “intersex” to mean a third sex, “heterosexual” to mean the opposite/different sex, and “homosexual” to mean the same sex.
Only sex with an intersex person would be homosexual! Sex with anyone else male or female would be heterosexual!



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Cynthia

posted May 21, 2013 at 3:11 am


I am born male with mild Androgen Insensitivity. Perhaps, more accurately highly androgen resistant.

“Mild” is an understatement because androgen resistance and excess female hormones have feminized me since childhood.

But more tragically, my androgen insensitivity also caused me severe osteoporosis. Therefore, a doctor or two have recommended that I invert my hormonal system and receive estrogen therapy. I mean, they do look surprised I haven’t broken any bones yet. If I don’t accept hormone therapy I would probably die earlier than other otherwise healthy people – or at least become debilitated.

The issue is I have normal male chromosomes. I have tried to live as a male. I have tried to love women with disastrous results. I can’t stop thinking that I really want a man as my soul-mate. I have been thinking about men and boys that way since childhood.

I am attracted to women but the tragedy is I had to convince myself and pretend that she is a male in order to be intimate with her. It’s depressing because that delusion collapses so frequently. Because I actually prefer men. But the worse tragedy is I’ve never “done it” with a man, which is wrong, right? I actually believe I am a “Conservative” – had I not been afflicted with this condition I would have been the worst homophobe. But G-d saw to it that I understood what it means to be gay.

So, what am I?

In the state of TX, they will never legally consider me a woman, even though my medical condition requires me to be a woman. In the state of TX, a majority of them believe that some sort of messiah died for our sins. But that majority also believes that I have to die for my “sin” of being born abnormal. They would believe that I have to live my life as a man and suffer its medical consequences, as a penance and recompense for my “sin” of being born abnormal.

You know, regardless of what y’all say, I will be proceeding with my hormonal inversion, go thro the required surgeries and live completely as a woman.



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Cynthia

posted May 21, 2013 at 4:46 am


I need to clarify that not only does my body produce in excess a particular female hormone (but not enough estrogen), it produces above normal levels of testosterone (compared to normal males). Despite the levels of testosterone, it apparently is ineffective in me, as I am not balding nor do I have sufficient facial/body hair, and I sound like woman.

That is to say testosterone therapy would be completely useless. Trying to explain why my condition requires my conversion to a completely female endocrine system. And to present to y’all the devastating effects of what human definition of religion has on people like me. Because your religion affects your legislature and judiciary to be unkind to people like me. Humans who arrogantly profess to know the unknowable G-d – and therefore have the dignified papal-ish authority to make unreasonable inquisition upon my life and well-being.

May I further add that, to many devout Christians, if I choose to “accept” their messiah, that even the blood of their messiah is insufficient coverage for my “sins”, because I am born with a high deductible, which I have to pay out of my pocket and that Romans 5:8 would not be sufficient for me.



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Doctor John Dee

posted June 12, 2013 at 8:18 pm


For the intersex people, shouldn’t they be the ones to choose who they have intercourse with as they had no choice or control over being in such as state? As for those who’s gender is obvious, they should marry the opposite gender. Homosexuality is a human concept. Even if some claim it is ‘genetic’, this is simply a placebo generated by their own subconscious as a scapegoat to justify their actions. You don’t see animals trying to mate with the same sex, do we? (For those who try to further justify by saying ‘dogs try to ‘hump’ other same sex dogs or people, that’s just from increased hormones in the animal, similar to human puberty and the human equal to ‘wanking’.)



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Ryan

posted October 30, 2013 at 11:38 am


“You don’t see animals trying to mate with the same sex, do we?”

Doctor John Dee:
Yes, we do in fact. Homosexual partnerships/sexual acts/pair-bonding, etc., have been observed throughout the animal kingdom. Research has documented this in over 1,500 species. Don’t believe me? Then please take the time to do your own research.
So no, homosexuality is not a “human concept”. It is very real and very normal. Many belief systems have created people who are afraid of this fact, since it does not align particularly well within their set of “rules”.



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Domingo Molyneux

posted July 17, 2014 at 8:09 pm


Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I’m very glad to see such great info being shared freely out there.



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posted August 3, 2014 at 12:11 am


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stefanieannemarie

posted October 7, 2014 at 8:19 am


Good comments but sadily misdirected information totally misconstrued why you ask ? If you want the truth ask an thou shall recieve. Why?I am intersex an I am not a DSD thx you very much! Stefanie Anne Marie.



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