Sunday, March 19, 2017

Transgendersim: What Man Proposes, God Disposes

IF you have ever read Franz Kafka's story, Metamorphosis, you know that it, like the story of Christ, is a story of transformation. In Kafka's story, he transforms into a monstrous insect, but he could just as easily have become an atheist among Christians, a homosexual among homophobic Christian heterosexuals, or a transgendered person among people imprisoned within a binary gender paradigm. For in all of these situations, once transformed, each equally becomes a burden on their family as a result. Yet of all of these examples, perhaps the ones most under attack today, and often by those who out of pure fear do so in the name of their own subjective yet wholly false sense of morality, are people who were "made by God" to be neither male nor female, but transgendered.

Such a transformation must have been similar to how many Jews felt when Christ decided to change the way people thought about the religion they had been raised in. But rather than accept what Jesus had to say, his family in faith decided he should be executed for heresy, much like Catholic and Protestants alike would go on to execute countless others that they likewise declared to be "heretics," for daring to challenge their moral authority. 

In all of these situations, the religious leaders who derived their position and power from wielding "truth" according to what they said God says, had decided that it was the greatest sin of all to challenge their authority about that truth, for what they had to say was the "word of the Lord," and anyone who challenged it was obviously an agent of the devil. And today, anyone who challenges Christianity's or the Catholic Church's opposition to homosexuality or transgenderism, likewise runs the risk of being treated by such Christians in the same way the Sanhedrin treated Christ.

Like Galileo's willingness to challenge the geocentric universe that the Church had for so long defended as divinely true, however, challenging the Church about it's male dominated, "hetero-centric' view of gender and sexuality is the "truth" that the blood of Christ Himself demands, for what else was such a sacrifice than but for a demand for truth? So, like Martin Luther nailing his 95 thesis to the door of the chapel in Wittenberg with an echo heard round the world, so science has been hammering away at the antiquated views of sex and sexuality being promulgated by the Catholic Church and Christianity in general, for over two thousand years. 

And today, any investigation or claims of "truth" about sex, sexuality, or gender, demand, with the blood of every martyr going back to Christ, a full consideration of what so many countless Christians choose to deny; and often for no other reason than that they are terrified of the cross of humility they would have to bare if ever they were to consider what their "God" was actually trying to tell them.  For what their "God" is trying to tell them, and the whole world, starts not in their dead book of Genesis, but in the living book of life, in our genetics. 
Understanding the Bible and the story of Adam and Eve requires an understanding of genetics, since Adam (being defined as male) and Eve (being defined as female) would have to have different chromosomes, if the Christian perspective on sex and gender is to be accepted. Since Eve was created like the bride of Frankenstein from Adam's rib, God (as biologists have confirmed) built humanity from a pair of hermaphroditic parents.  But the God of the Catholic Church has left humanity more genetic breadcrumbs for discerning truth than hermaphrodites.
Most people have 23 pairs of chromosomes, for example, 22 of which are identical in both males and females, and are referred to as autosomes. The 23rd pair is the XY in boys, and the XX in girls. But just having an XY pair of chromosomes does not guarantee a person will be male, nor does just having a pair of XX chromosomes ensure a person will be female. Such a grossly oversimplified interpretation of reality is the kind of rejection of reality that C.S. Lewis accused non-believers of in his book, The Great Divorce. I suppose "he who smelt it, dealt it." 

Since the world is always far more complicated than the bed time story Christians rely on to understand it, we are forced to try and understand human gender and sex in ways more complicated than assuming people are simply robots who were built to be only ever one way or another. Again, such a grossly oversimplified interpretation of reality is only reflective of a profoundly delusional mind, not of a profoundly dynamic reality.

For example, there is a gene in the Y chromosome called SRY that is largely responsible for determining if a person ultimately becomes genetically male or female.  Without the SRY gene, even babies with the XY chromosomes can develop into girls." Indeed, in some rare cases, we find people who have two X's but also has an SRY gene who look male.  And there are cases where an XY person has an SRY that doesn't work or is missing, who looks female.
But even the SRY gene isn't enough.  There are lots of other genes needed to finish building a boy. As Jessica Profato of Stanford University pointed out:

This SRY gene starts a "gene cascade" that starts an avalanche of turning on the 80 or so different genes necessary for turning a baby with XY chromosomes into a full fledged boy. …If one of the genes is missing, the whole thing can come to a halt, and the person will “end up looking somewhere between a man and a woman.” and if the SRY gene is missing or doesn't work, then the avalanche won't start at all. The baby will develop as a girl.
One of the key jobs of SRY and its related genes is to get testosterone made so another gene - the AR gene - can do its job.  AR is responsible for making many of the parts of a boy that identify him as a boy. Sometimes, though, someone can get a copy of the AR gene that isn't working quite right.  Now the boy making process doesn't go all the way to the end.  This is called Androgen Insensitivity syndrome or AIS.
According to the National Library of Medicine at NIH
Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome is a condition that affects sexual development before birth and during puberty. People with this condition are genetically male, with one X chromosome and one Y chromosome in each cell. Because their bodies are unable to respond to certain male sex hormones (called androgens), they may have mostly female external sex characteristics or signs of both male and female sexual development. (
So people with AIS have an X and a Y chromosome. They just don't make it all the way to being a boy because AR can't do its job.  The avalanche is slowed down or stopped early.  And the earlier it is stopped, the less like a traditional boy the person will look.
There are two types of AIS, partial and complete.
 People who have complete AIS are genetically boys (XY), but they have the physical characteristics of a girl. People who have partial AIS are also genetically boys (XY), but they have some of the physical characteristics of a girl and some of a boy.

According to the historian, bioethicist, author, and former professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University in Chicargo, Alice Dreger, a  person can be born a girl, for all appearances and behaviors, until she becomes a teenager and does not have her period. Then, after doing some tests, they can discover that rather than having a uterus and ovaries, this person who has always defined them self to be a female, actually has testes and a Y chromosome. "You may think of them being male, but they really are not."

But this can also happen in the reverse, where a boy can be raised as a boy, only to discover later that he had been walking around with ovaries and a uterus. As Dreger went on to detail of one boy, "it wasn't until he was 19, when he had developed medical problems from menstruating internally, that (it) became clear" he was actually a "she."

But there's more.

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH)
Most of these conditions involve excessive or deficient production of sex steroids and can alter development of primary or secondary sex characteristics in some affected infants, children, or adults

Some people who have XX chromosomes develop what are called "ovotestis," which is when you have "ovarian tissue with testicular tissue wrapped around it," according to Dreger.  More specifically, an ovotestis is a gonad with both testicular and ovarian aspects.

Klinefelter Syndrome (KS) 
Also known as 47,XXY or XXY,  KS is the set of symptoms that result from two or more X chromosomes in males. "Often symptoms may be subtle and many people do not realize they are affected. Sometimes symptoms are more prominent and may include weaker muscles, greater height, poor coordination, less body hair, smaller genitals, breast growth, and less interest in sex. Often it is only at puberty that these symptoms are noticed."
Claiming to understand transgenderism while ignoring these scientific facts is like an atheist claiming to understand Christianity by completely ignoring the Christian Bible, both the Old and New Testament.

Add to this the fact that biologists today have concluded that, much like amoebas, human life began as hermaphrodites and only later evolved into “male” and “female” sexes, as well as the fact that even in the first 6 weeks after conception, we are all essentially female or gender neutral, until all of these processes play out in an infinite variety of possible configurations, and you have a treasure trove of physical evidence that many Christians and "believers" simply flat out deny. 

This, then, is like denying that light is both a particle and a wave, or that it is made up of photons, or that light is itself made up of an electromagnetic spectrum which is comprised of a variety of constituent parts, and all because such "blind" Christians cannot see it with their naked eye. No wonder the bible says, "they have eyes but cannot see."

Furthermore, if we are all “made in God’s image,” and there is only one God, then it would make sense that even God would be “transgender,” since to denote God as a “he” necessarily implies the existence of a "she," for that is precisely the purpose such terms were created in the first place. Indeed, if there is only “one God,” as Catholics claim, than to suggest God is ‘our father,” only implies the existence of a God mother. 
Hence, it would make more sense to say that both Adam and Jesus could have both been biologically transgender.  So who is the one failing to accept "reality" here - trans-phobic Christians like Fr. Mike and the Catholic Church, or the transgender community? 
Hermaphrodites and different genetic and chromosomal amalgams of males and females like the ones discussed above, only prove that even though Fr. Mike proposes, God disposes, for what Fr. Mike chooses to simply "believe" about the nature of gender, is itself simply a rejection of the reality of gender. And that is why it is so ironic that he accuses those who are transgender of being the ones who are unable to accept "reality." 

But given the number of times Christians have persecuted anyone who fails to conform to their own ideals of human perfection, as if their eternal salvation depended upon it no less, it should not be surprising that the latest "enemies" of the human "perfection" they worship like a golden calf, is anyone who forces them to think for themselves, and perhaps read a book other than their Bible. 

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