Monday, September 28, 2015
In response to my posting of this link on Facebook
with the comment
“Her penis”? Seriously?
I received the following response:
Yes, her. Here is an area that is not political, but personal. Not all transgender folk who have transitioned have chosen surgical procedures. We should all inform ourselves on how to show respect, support, and acceptance of all people - and not condemn or judge.
I tried twice to respond to the response, but due to either my incompetence or Facebook’s electronic censor, the comments didn’t come through. So, since life happened this weekend and the post I wanted to post didn’t happen, I’ll make do with responding here.
We have no common ground on which to discuss this issue if we can’t agree on what words mean. If a human being born with a penis is not male, what is male, and what is that person?
Where I come from, if it looks like a duck and it sounds like a duck and it walks like a duck and it swims like a duck and it eats what ducks eat, it’s a duck. It may think it’s a swan or the planet Neptune or a quadratic equation, but it’s a duck.
In the same way, if it’s (I’m using the only gender-nonspecific pronoun available to me) born with a penis, it’s male. The penis may be really, really small, or the urinary meatus may be downstream of the vestigial vagina rather than at the penis head, but the person is male. If the person has enough female characteristics, it may be a hermaphrodite, but if it has a recognizable penis, it’s male. He may wish he were a woman, he may wish people treated him the way they typically treat women, but he’s a male. For him to be unable to fulfill the role of a male is a problem that cannot be solved by calling it normalcy. Yes, it is normal to have problems, but it is also normal to try to solve the problems, not to try to make them go away by calling the situation normal.
If you want to get me to change my mind, you can begin by showing me how cerebral palsy is normal. Good luck.
A male is someone born with a penis and whose idea of sex necessitates that the other person have a vagina and identify as a female. This is true for well over 90% of all the born-with-a-penis people who have ever lived. Some – perhaps many – males have no access to females, so they will make do with other males, with animals, with robots, or simply with their hands. But what the Bible considers a healthy male is looking for a woman. He needs to control his natural tendencies to objectify and exploit and a thousand other things men do to mistreat women, but his goal is sexual union with a woman.
Absent that and you’re dealing with an abnormality. As we are all sinners, God commands us to treat all people with respect. Part of that respect involves calling normal normal, calling abnormal abnormal, and calling sin sin. Jesus died to free us not only from the judicial consequences of sin but also from its hold over us, whether a sharp temper or self-righteousness or misguided sexuality. Calling any of these normalcy does no one any favors.
To the degree that Shadi Petosky – and more importantly, the person who wrote the article – were inclined to mind his own business, I would simply shrug and walk away. If Christian compassion (which in this instance does not include hassling him about his sexuality until the core issue of rebellion against God is dealt with) were called into play, I would treat him like any other human being that needs Jesus, which is to say like any other human being.
However, I would guess that Shadi votes, and he probably votes to help himself to my money. It’s bad enough to have otherwise decent people do it, but to have people like Shadi and the writer of the article, who can’t tell a man with serious psychological problems from a woman, vote money out of my pocket to fund politicians who substitute a police state for a society of people who mind their own business is, shall we say, an unwelcome opportunity to exercise Christian forbearance.
Maybe my comment should have been, “Shadi Petosky and Essel Pratt and the TSA goons all vote. Are you sure democracy is such a good idea?” Too soon old, too late smart.
Live your life, Shadi. I don’t care what gender you call yourself. I resent those who discovered the penis under your dress more than I resent you, I resent the politicians who keep us in a constant state of war more than I resent the TSA, and I consider the terminology in the article much more harmful overall than your predilections.
Just don’t ask me to subsidize your lifestyle, and we’ll get along fine. Fat chance of that, right?