It won’t be much a surprise to anybody I guess that Deke and I neitehr one of us will be talking about “real” blindness today. Though it is an important issue to be sure.
I wanted to talk about the way we sometimes fail to see the positives in life.
Its really easy I know. Sometimes those positives are buried under a whole heaping mess of crap. And it’s at those times that people who aren’t chrisitian (or spiritual in general) look at faith based folks and say that we’re trying to hard to find God’s grace and justify bad things and write off suffering as Gods will.
Suffering isn’t God’s will, not really. I don’t know exactly what happened to separate God and people aside from the story of the Garden of Eden and I have plenty of reasons to doubt that story happened like its told to us. But somehow somewhere for some reason we DID break with God (I don’t believe he broke with us) and created a spiritual rift between heaven and earth.
Suffering on this planet is typically the work of people. We hurt people directly or we refuse to help them.
But there are times when suffering is a way to reveal God’s glory or when it provides a chance for us to show God’s love through our own actions to help.
Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. (Gospel of John chapter 9, verses 1-3, New International Version)
God didn’t punish that blind man. Jesus says that right out. But did God make him blind? Just so Jesus could heal him? Probably not. Jesus didn’t say that God did it to make a poin. He said that it “happened” for reason. God works in little ways throughout the world and in our lives. People wonder why miracles don’t happen or why God doesn’t seem to intervene but he does. But he does so in small ways.
We aren’t chess pieces for him to move. But we are each of us a catalyst or an ingredient in something bigger. A pinch here a pinch there, an addition here or deletion there…God doesn’t MAKE us do stuff. But he does try to make sure people are around where they are needed. He will not force us to do the right thing, but he gives us opportunities to do his work on Earth for the betterment of all.
If we could just open our eyes.
So, what do you suppose the reason for being born transgendered is?
Now, if I hadn’t been to your blog a few days ago and determined after a quick perusal that either you are transgendered or you are close to someone who is, that question might have seemed mighty random. 😉
The thing is, your question pre-supposes a couple things:
First, it rests on the notion that there is necessarily a reason. I don’t think Miz Pink’s point was to say that all things in our lives and all aspects of our personalities and bodies have a specific purpose. Sometimes, shit happens and sometimes, stuff just is what it is.
I mean, I could be flip and say the reason for being transgendered is to help provide income for professionals who are skilled in working with transgendered folks. Or, if I were Rush Limbaugh or Jerry Falwell or something, I could say that being transgenered is for the purpose of giving an evangelist the opportunity to show the transgendered person the “error of their ways” and to then give that person the opportunity to tell others what a mistake he or she made. If I were a Unitarian-Universalist, I might say that the purpose is to be a potential supportive force for others who are transgender-oriented.
I could probably mine my brain for any number of other reasons. But the fact is, there isn’t always a reason for every single thing.
The second pre-supposition is that being transgendered is something you are born into. That may be the case or it may not. Personally, I still lean toward the environmental influence rather than genetic reasons. I haven’t seen any convincing research yet that homosexuality or transgenderism are something one is born with. The fact that one’s earliest memories involve thoughts of being the opposite gender and/or desiring the same gender don’t mean you were born with it.
I mean, in Kindergarten I was fascinated with a little blonde girl’s shiny black vinyl boots. Does this mean I was born with a predlicition for shiny black boots as part of my sexual fantasies? Sure, I think they have a kink appeal, and obviously some stirring as a very young boy was already there, but in my genes? I don’t think so.
It might be that transgenderism is something that one is born to. Or it may be that in some cases it is and some cases it isn’t. But I think it’s a dangerous path sometimes to say that we are born a certain way and that we didn’t make an actual choice, consciously or subconsciously, to be a certain way.
I don’t know that any of that was illuminating or helpful, but you opened up kind of a broad area with that single sentence. 😉
Usually around here I’m the one who’s more liberal on most things and the resident leftist but I have to admit (and I’m not trying to stir the pot) that I don’t get gender reassignment/transgender stuff at all. So I guess I’m going to be more conservative than the Deacon on this one. I understand same-sex leanings with relationships but I just don’t feel you can say you were born into the wrong body. That just doesnt make any sense to me.
I see it the same way I do anyone who does any other kind of extreme cosmetic sugery in the sense that the person isn’t happy with who they are. So THAT I get. I think it’s a bad choice and that people should learn to be at peace with the bodies they have but I get that someone might WANT to be the other gender becuase they identify more with that gender as they grow. But I DON’T buy that someone is born the wrong gender. I just don’t. I don’t demonize the choice but I say its a decision not a mistake of birth.
You know, some things are just a mystery(for now). The truth of the matter, so is someones idea on G-d. Nobody knows. What we try to do is find something that brings purpose and meaning to our lives. It seems Deacon and his better half have found something that works for them. They apply Biblical ideas as they read them and find meaning in that. The thing is, that is not “truth” for everyone. Heres the truth of the matter, at least one that is tangible for us all. Whatever created us, created us with all kinds of potentials. Some are of Good, some are not. We live in a world of Duality that affects our entire existence, that much is fact, our spiritual ideas are just hyperbole.
I hope you aren’t saying Miz Pink is my better half. Mrs. Blue might get mad. 😉
I think ya nailed it, Deke: “Sometimes, shit happens and sometimes, stuff just is what it is.”
Having been transgendered all my life, I can tell you that it ain’t a choice. Y’all can believe that or not, it doesn’t matter and it doesn’t change a thing. With no way to live it, to experience it, you have no way of knowing, and you are spared the special agony reserved for those who cannot reconcile their bodies with their souls.
There is also no indication that transgenderism is genetic. It shows up randomly, with no traceable heritage in any particular family. There is some indication it may be caused by hormonal irregularities or pollutants, either in the womb or thereafter (see Deborah Rudacille, “The Riddle of Gender”). There is also some indication that it is a result of physical characteristics in the brain (http://www.symposion.com/ijt/ijtc0106.htm).
I’ve encountered more than one Christian who has ignored the study cited above and the visible evidence of sexual diversity shown by intersexed people, Klinefelder’s Syndrome, and AIS (androgen insensitivity syndrome) to label me (us) as insane and/or depraved. It’s easy to hold up the model described in the Bible and judge accordingly, and it’s convenient. (I’m not accusing either of you of doing so – that’s for you to decide.)
It happens. It is what it is. The cause doesn’t really matter. What matters is, as Jan Morris puts it, “the liberty of us all to live as we wish to live, to love however we want to love, and to know ourselves, however peculiar, disconcerting or unclassifiable, at one with the gods and angels.”
Anyway, I’m not sure what point I want to make. I just asked because it I was curious to see your response. Okay, and because I have baggage around Christianity.
Whether my choice to transition and live as a woman is a good one or not is a moot point. The simple fact is, if I hadn’t done it, I’d be dead.
To be honest, I don’t have much experience around the “T” part of the LGBT populations, though I’ve have had more than my fair share of co-workers, acquaintances, friends and relatives in the “LGB” part.
But regardless, I don’t view a transgendered individual as being especially depraved or insane…certainly no more so than a lot of so-called “normal” people. I mean, we all have some depravity in ourselves, it’s just a matter of how much and what kind…but to actually call someone “depraved” they’d have to be doing some foul things that harm folks in my opinion. And “insane”…shit, I’m not qualified to diagnose that, and I’ve know plenty of people who get along fine in life who are batshit crazy IMHO, and you don’t seem all that batshit crazy to me.
Whether being transgendered is wrong in God’s eyes or not, I can’t say. The Bible does decry homosexuality (not that homosexuality and transgender are the same or even by definition connected…but it’s the closest parallel I can come up with biblically), but even there, I don’t condemn a person because in my eyes, homosexuality is NOT a sin that falls into some special category. Fornication is a sin, too, and I’ve committed it in my past (and enjoyed doing so…over and over). So, I can’t point my finger at a homosexual and call his or her sin “depraved” and write off my own as being “better.” Sin is sin is sin. And if one doesn’t believe in God…or at least the Judeo-Christian one, sin doesn’t even probably exist in that person’s perceptions.
For your part and your experience, I’m glad that becoming transgendered gave you some kind of peace and allowed you to continue life and not fall into a deadly snare of despair, suicide, or anything like that. So, perhaps in your case, if there is a “reason” for you to be transgendered, perhaps it is so that you can continue to live and to function and to bring some good into the world…and hell, perhaps even find a path that leads you to Christ one day.
Becasue, as we’ve already agreed, sometimes, shit happens for a reason, and sometimes, shit just is what it is.
This topic is quite hot in the net at the moment. What do you pay the most attention to while choosing what to write about?
Far as I know, this isn’t a hot topic at all, which makes me wonder if this is one of those automated spam comments. But, I’ll err on the side of optimism and answer in case this is a real person.
I don’t pay attention to anything specifically, unless you count the fact that I try to make sure I cover religious and spiritual topics (either in the news or of personal importance to me) relatively often, I try to make sure I keep up with regular updates of my novel here on the blog, and I try to find excuses to swear and be at least a little raunchy from time to time. Oh, and various current events and political happenings sometimes catch my eye.
In between all of that, I find something to write about most days.