Read my previous post on this topic here.
Providing closure to this sad story, from The Daily Mail, May 7...
Cher's offspring Chaz Bono is officially a man after he changed his name and gender in court yesterday.
Bono, who was born a girl named Chastity, is now legally recognised as a male, a year after undergoing a sex change.
The 41-year-old, whose father was the late singer and politician Sonny Bono, beamed with happiness as he left Santa Monica courthouse.
Kristina Wertz of the Transgender Law Center, who represented Bono is court, said: 'Chaz couldn't be happier
'This is an important step in his transition and will allow him to change a variety of his identity documents to show who he truly is.'
Bono started undergoing gender-reassignment surgery in March 2009 - soon after turning 40.
In an interview last year, he said undergoing the surgery was 'the best decision I've ever made'.
He said: 'I feel so much more comfortable than I've ever been.
'I've felt male as far back as I can remember. Life is short and life is precious. This is who I am. I need to finally be who I am.'
He explained that the entire transition from female to male will take about 4 to 5 years.
So far, his breasts have been removed and he has received hormone treatments to deepen his voice. And to his delight, he now has to shave his face.
Bono came out as a lesbian at age 18, when he was studying at New York University.
While Sonny - who died in a skiing accident in 1998 - was more accepting, Cher reacted badly.
Cher has admitted: 'I flipped out. I'd always had this idea that she would get married and have a family.'
Distraught by his mother's reaction, Chaz abandoned his studies to attempt a rock career.
Chaz's sexuality was announced to the world in an American newspaper in 1990.
Five years later he appeared on the front cover of gay magazine The Advocate, describing himself as 'out at last', and became a vocal advocate of gay and transgendered rights.
Chaz lives in Los Angeles with his girlfriend of 4 years, Jennifer Ella.
Here are clips from the 1st interview Chaz gave after "coming out" as a man last October, to Entertainment Tonight's Mary Hart:
Here's a clip of Chaz giving a short speech the Transgender Day of Remembrance L.A., on November 20, 2009:
[HT: proofreader Laura Loo and reader yor bro ken; 1st and 2nd photos via The Daily Mail]
How unspeakably tragic and sad.
A culture that has rejected God's wise design for His creation, rejecting the roles specific to one's gender, one's very nature.
Worse yet is a psychiatric community thoroughly corrupted by radical feminism that has turned from the hard work of helping people to overcome that which drives their anxiety and confusion, and assists people in celebrating their dysfunctionality as perfectly normal.
It says something about the psychiatric community when the one's supposedly most competent to guide the rest of us actually believe that mutilating the body, hormonal treatments and a change of clothes could actually produce a change in gender.
I remember as a young psychology major admiring how the psychological/psychiatric communities could aid the delusional patient and restore them to health. Now we behold the frightening reality of these communities entering into their patient's mental illnesses and playing pretend with them.
If that isn't the epitome of abandonment, I don't know what is.Posted by: Gerard Nadal at May 11, 2010 2:25 PM
With all of our fiscal/financial, employment, security woes in the USA why must we concern ourselves with the personal affairs/business from Hollywood?Posted by: Joe Weiss at May 11, 2010 2:31 PM
Bono came out as a lesbian at age 18, when
was studying at New York University.
I just have to wonder if the reporter for 'The Daily Mail' paused for even a moment at the self contradictory preposterousness of that sentence.
I wonder if Bono is also going to be the recipient of a 'prostate' transplant.
A prostate is standard equipment from the factory for every male, though some do surrender them at a later date if they become diseased.
Please respect Bono's privacy as previously requested, which I presume would include not reading promised book or viewing the documentary film about the surgical and chemical odd-ysey which Bono tells is coming in the near future.
[Pardon me but I am going to indulge in what some artificial flowers might condemn as blatant sexism but I just cannot resist pointing out the obvious.]
What 'man/male' would announce to the world that he his going to have his 'manhood' surgically removed and in the same breath ask that you respect his privacy?
My wife and daughters sometimes make contradictory and mutually exclusive statements, but I have learned not to point out the obvious for fear of hurting their feelings or being the object of their exapasperated 'you just don't get it' look.Posted by: yor bro ken at May 11, 2010 2:32 PM
I honestly have a hard time being accepting of such a decision.
However, it's obvious that nobody is asking me to be accepting of this person's decision.
"She" became a "he", and any pro-life person who uses the "It's because of God's doing" argument to push their pro-life agenda should feel the same way about this and frown upon it.
I don't think that people should play with genetics nearly as much as they do.
I feel abortion is murder.
I do not believe in God, yet I view both changing ones gender and aborting babies to be wrong.
I have no sympathy for "Chaz".
You are right, Jill, this is a sad story... sad because it's evidence of another person playing with nature and what was originally intended and planned by nature, be there a God or not.
I agree with Joe Weiss, and I'm not sure why this is a prolife issue.Posted by: phillymiss at May 11, 2010 2:59 PM
How great it would be for Chaz to be pro-life so he could reach out to the trans-gendered community!Posted by: Nate Sheets at May 11, 2010 2:59 PM
Unless Chaz was pregnant while undergoing a hysterectomy as part of the process, I don't think this is relevent to pro-life issues.Posted by: Marauder at May 11, 2010 3:23 PM
Marauder beat me to it. It's an interesting story, but as far as the pro-life movement goes I don't understand why it's important.Posted by: Kelsey at May 11, 2010 3:34 PM
Chaz has said that from early childhood, he felt that he was male. He was uncomfortable dressing as a girl and preferred to dress like his father.
Something Cher apparently found very disturbing.
Most transgender people will report thinking of themselves as the opposite sex as early as they can remember.
Puberty is especially traumatic as secondary sexual characteristics develop.
I'm convinced this condition arises in fetal development and is not something one chooses. Yet another facet of the human psyche we have yet to comprehend. In fact, it seems these are people in torment. Who would choose that?
I have found that this "transgender" situation exists in various cultures, some very tolerant, and is as old as the human race. A native American tribe, I believe in the Southwest, recognized this condition in some of its members and though amused by men who dressed and acted as women, were still tolerant of them.
I'm happy for Chaz in his new life and hope he has finally found happiness and peace, which it doesn't seem he ever had. Like Maraunder and phillymiss, I fail to see what this has to do with the PL cause and like Nate, I hope Chaz is PL and will reach out to the gay, lesbian, and transgender community with the PL message.Posted by: Mary at May 11, 2010 3:43 PM
Thanks for your thoughtful post, Mary. It made a lot of sense. WHY would anyone CHOOSE to live a life as difficult and tormented as that of a transegendered person?
But, yeah, I really don't see why this issue deserves repeated mention on a blog about abortion.Posted by: len at May 11, 2010 4:16 PM
*transgendered*Posted by: len at May 11, 2010 4:18 PM
all the special surgeries in the world can't change the DNA that says SHE is a WOMAN. Case CLOSED.Posted by: LizFromNebraska at May 11, 2010 4:49 PM
Our DNA may also say we have an unsightly feature that we want corrected with plastic surgery.
Our DNA may say we will suffer from a certain disease that medical intervention can correct.
A newborn's DNA will dictate the child has PKU, but modern knowledge, testing, and diet will prevent its devastating effects, which include severe retardation.
Of course Chaz is genetially a woman. I'm genetically totally gray haired. Thank heaven for my beautician. The woman is a magician with hair color.Posted by: Mary at May 11, 2010 4:56 PM
I wonder how Chaz would answer this question:
"What do you suppose your reaction will be if Jesus comes back at the end of time, we're all being resurrected, you look down, and you're Chastity again?"Posted by: Cranky Catholic at May 11, 2010 5:00 PM
Sad? Does he look sad to you? Chaz looks like this is the greatest day of his life.Posted by: Amanda at May 11, 2010 5:08 PM
I suppose I could ask an adult with diet controlled PKU, a DNA dictated genetic disorder that was diagnosed at birth thanks to modern medical technology and treated, the same question.
Will you look down and see a severely retarded adult?Posted by: Mary at May 11, 2010 5:22 PM
I know you don't believe this but it is entirely possible that God is Holy.
It is conceivable that same-sex attraction is a perversion of His design for men and women. What if He considers it a sin like coveting your neighbor's wife/husband?
What if even though He is a Loving and Merciful God, there is another side to His Nature that is Holy and Just?
What if our government had no laws and no form of punishment for evil doers, like rapists and pedophiles and abortionists? (Oops, forget that last one.) What if anarchy reigned? What would America be like?
Do we imagine God's Kingdom to be any different?
Suppose the world we live in was, by God's standards, wicked and sinful. What if, in His Eyes, homosexuality was a sin like lying, stealing, gossiping, lusting, hating, killing your own child in the womb...? (Do you realize that as a race, man kills around 25% of the precious innocent children we conceive/God sends us.)
What if God loved us so much He sent His Precious Son Jesus, the spotless Lamb of God, to take away the sin of the world, mine and yours?
What if anyone could just call on Him, homosexuals and self-righteous hypocrites alike, and be gloriously saved, reborn, washed, made new and adopted into His family?
What if He poured out His Grace and filled His followers with Love, Joy and Peace?
What if He was Pro-Choice and Pro-Life (not like Whoopi), in the sense that He gave each of us a free will; that we could turn from living for ourselves, receive His Abundant Life and acutally have Him live inside of us in the form of the Holy Spirit; and that we couldn't help but to live for Him, as a natural response of His Precious Gift of Life?
What if He gave you a measure of faith and you could choose to believe His Gospel or reject it?
What if...?Posted by: Ed at May 11, 2010 5:38 PM
Thank you for your kind words.Posted by: Mary at May 11, 2010 5:41 PM
What if it was possible to escape the homosexual lifestyle like so many have? (see Exodus International)Posted by: Ed at May 11, 2010 5:45 PM
What if the Jehova's Witnesses are right and only 144,000 people are gonna go to heaven and everybody else is screwed? What if...?Posted by: Marissa at May 11, 2010 5:45 PM
"Of course Chaz is genetially a woman. I'm genetically totally gray haired. Thank heaven for my beautician. The woman is a magician with hair color."
Hahahaha...I love this.Posted by: Adair at May 11, 2010 5:59 PM
Thanks Adair 5:59PM,
I'm glad you enjoyed. The truth hurts but as my grandmother always said, if you didn't laugh you'd cry.:)Posted by: Mary at May 11, 2010 6:02 PM
Speaking from personal experience... there is a blend of nurture and nature at work. However, being born with the inclination towards transgenerism doesn't make it correct to surgically alter your body. Being raised in an environment that reinforced the inclination doesn't make it correct to surgically alter your body. Even in the midst of monumental pressure, it is possible to stick with the body God gave you and be happy for it. It's a fight - a tremendous fight which gets very little support from the culture at large (hence the reason so few are able to fight or are willing to admit their fight... see annonymous), but the true peace of embracing the gender God gave you is so worth the fight. I truly hate to think of where I'd be. Chaz is right about one thing: life is too short and life is too precious... a culture of healing for gender-disorders would be so much more efficient than spending your middle years in the OR.Posted by: annonymous at May 11, 2010 6:12 PM
While I certainly respect your perspective, our society is not one that in any way encourages transgenderism. If anything, these are people who face overwhelming odds, ridicule, loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, to in effect be true to themselves. Often they are people who tried desperately to live with their assigned genders and were bordering on suicide.
How does it effect a woman's perception of herself to have facial hair? A large body structure? To be flat chested?
How can a man's self image be effected by small stature, feminine facial features, or lack of physical prowess?
Ladies on this blog, how would you feel about suddenly growing a male sex organ? Men, how would you feel about growing breast?
This may give us some perspective as to how a transgendered person feels about being "trapped" in the "wrong" body or views their secondary sexual characteristics.
Poor Chastity I do feel sorry for her. This is so sad. She can add on all the appendages she wants, take all the hormones she wants and lop off her breasts all she wants but her DNA and her genes will not change. Two lesbians do NOT a man and woman make, no matter how much they play the part of male and female.Posted by: Prolifer L at May 11, 2010 7:27 PM
This has everything to do with the pro-life movement: it's about policing gender. Remorseless post-abortive women are heinous foils to the selfless housewife--a woman's proprietary gender role. Men who let their girlfriends get abortions aren't considered "real" men. And men like Chaz need to prove mental disorder to comply with DSM standards in order to obtain a sex change.
But what if the biological "truth" to gender is merely a conceit that helps us organize our existence? What if the real trouble is in a society that holds to hard and fast gender norms which people just can't fulfill? Think about yourselves. Are you all "real" men or "real" women, through and through, in every sense? If not, then what are you?
Personally, all this talk about normative gender roles detracts from the pro-life argument. It all just comes back to control over female bodies, whether you believe so or not. Would you believe in the humanity of the fetus if men were able to bear children, if transgender individuals bore children?Posted by: Megan at May 11, 2010 8:12 PM
Would you believe in the humanity of the fetus if men were able to bear children, if transgender individuals bore children?
That's an easy question: YES! The humanity of the fetus has nothing to do with his or her location. Whether growing inside a man or a woman, a human fetus deserves the most basic human right of life. As I recall, when Jill featured the story of Thomas Beatie, absolutely no one suggested that his child was less human than any other.
Kelsey and Marauder,
To answer the question, "What does this have to do with the pro-life movement?", I believe that this case has everything to do with the movement.
At the heart of the movement is the disordered use of human sex and sexuality, and a concomitant distortion in the scientific and medical communities in the ethics of manipulation. Specifically, the extreme cases such as this throw wide the doors to seemingly 'lesser' cases.
Consider the issue of in vitro fertilization. Quite apart from how many embryo's are destroyed in the process, the root issue is the right use of human sex and sexuality. The process of juicing a woman's body with hormones to ready an egg harvest crosses into the territory dealing with mutilation. The same for oral contraceptive use which kills libido in many women, and sets many more up for breast cancer down the road.
When we are then faced with cases such as Chastity Bono, we are hurtled well beyond the level of mutilation in the aforementioned manipulations. Not only are we past the right use of sex and sexuality, we are into mutilating the body in outright rejection of one's very sex. All other issues follow as a consequence.
This is very much a life issue. Mutilated adult bodies are rendered sterile in these procedures. So we come back once again to an accountability to the author of life. Chastity may well be exonerated of any subjective culpability for sin in procuring this mutilation of her body.
The medical professionals who have chosen to mutilate her (at considerable financial cost to her and gain for themselves) have polluted themselves and their respective fields.
If such manipulation/mutilation after birth is permissible, how are we to answer those who would engage in therapeutic cloning? It's much more than merely a case of informed consent.Posted by: Gerard Nadal at May 11, 2010 9:24 PM
I respect your opinion, Gerard. Sex reassignment surgery definitely poses serious issues of medical ethics. But I generally try to leave sin and the author of life out of it.Posted by: Kelsey at May 11, 2010 10:08 PM
Shall the clay say to the potter, "Why did you make me thus?"
Master Sculptor what did you have in mind for my life when YOU first thought of me?
Would YOU be so kind as to let me have a peek at that 'blueprint' to which you are constantly referring?
How do I, crackpot that I am, fit into YOUR master plan?
What eternal purpose(s) does my life serve when I yield to the gentle but unyielding pressure of YOUR loving hands?
Being gray haired or left handed is not a genetic defect.
To equate the typical manifestations of the aging process or a prospensity to favor one hand over the other with having your physical body surgically altered to mimic the anatomy of the opposite sex is absurd.
It is a free country and as long as you are paying for your alterations and you can find a surgeon willing to do the job then knock yourself out.
But I for one will not indulge you in your fantasy that you have changed who you were before the surgery. That would be intellectually dishonest and would only serve to encourage you in your delusion.
A few years ago my bosses wife elected to have her breasts augmented.
Once the 'new' wore off she was still suffering from the same low self esteem that had compelled her to get pumped up in the first place.
She was already Julia Roberts look alike.
She would have been better served to invest the money in counseling which might have produced some healing restoration and peace in her life.Posted by: yor bro ken at May 11, 2010 10:16 PM
How unspeakably tragic and sad.
this says it all for me....Posted by: angel at May 11, 2010 10:29 PM
The only way you can know the Truth is to meet Him.
The Jehovah's Witnesses aren't any different than any other false religion - just a bunch of man made gobbledygook, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and I would even add any cold, dead, formerly Christian church.
This is what Jesus prayed for you Marissa before He went to the cross for you:
20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. 24 Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!
25 “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. 26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.” Jn 17:20–26 NLT
Marissa, you could have the God of the Universe living inside of you! God has such a wonderful plan for your life. All you have to do is repent from living for yourself and ask Jesus into your heart.
YOU CAN KNOW HIM!
Ask Him into your heart today!Posted by: Ed at May 11, 2010 10:54 PM
Wait wait, could it be possible that since the DSM-IV classifies gender disphoria as a disorder, and insurance companies will typically only cover surgery if patients demonstrate disability in line with the DSM-IV, that the medical community has IMPOSED an illness on transgender individuals?
It doesn't seem unreasonable that somebody would want to modify their body. We dye our hair, attempt to lose or gain weight, pursue athletic endeavors, etc. Our bodies have the incredible capacity to morph, to perform that which we thought was impossible. Gender reassignment surgery is only different because our entire society is constructed along gendered lines. If correct gender performance weren't so important to us, then acquiring a penis would be like growing one's hair out.
I know transgender folks. They don't bite. And most of them are pretty content with the decisions they've made. I'm not sure the Bible says anything explicit about transgenderism. Thou shalt not lie with F-M, M-F, genderqueer individual?Posted by: Megan at May 11, 2010 10:59 PM
You miss the point and you go to great lengths to do so and at the same time you substantiate my claim that the individuals who elect to have 'gender re-assignment surgery' are not physically ill, but emotionally disturbed.
dys·pho·ria- a state of feeling unwell or unhappy
1 : the condition of being disabled
2 : inability to pursue an occupation because of physical or mental impairment
Being male or female is NOT a disability even though there are some feministas and feminazi's who assert that males are inferior genetic mutations who are testosterone poisoned.
Posted by: yor bro ken
at May 11, 2010 11:19 PM
Okay, so we agree. Gender is not a disability. But some people are unhappy with their gender. Dysphoric, so to speak. But dysphoria doesn't have to occur within the context of mood disorder. The DSM-IV classifies transgenderism as a disorder--emotional, physical, what have you--because society just can't deal with gender dissatisfaction. I argue that individuals should be able to express discontent with their assigned sex, and gender, without being pathologized.
I'm sure you've been unhappy with your physical anatomy before. Too fat? Too thin? Member not large enough? These longings are deemed acceptable because they don't disrupt the gender order. How many men out there argue that Viagra is an aberration of God-intended sexual functioning?Posted by: Megan at May 11, 2010 11:29 PM
Posted by: Megan at May 11, 2010 10:59 PM
"It doesn't seem unreasonable [to you] that somebody would want to modify their body."
It is 'unreasonable' [though perfectly legal] for an individual to have perfectly healthy body parts removed.
I do realize some women who have family histories of breast or cervical cancer sometimes elect to have healthty breasts removed or healthy uteruses removed to reduce the possibility of contracting cancer.
But even these pre-emptive measures are motivated primarily by 'fear' and as such are not 'reasonable' but emotionally driven.
'gender re-assignment' is not done to prevent cancer or any other disease.
Gender dysphoria is NOT a disease.
It is a symptom of a severly wounded soul.Posted by: yor bro ken at May 11, 2010 11:40 PM
could it be possible that since the DSM-IV classifies gender disphoria as a disorder... Posted by: Megan at May 11, 2010 10:59 PM
It's more properly referred to as Gender Identity Disorder (302.85 DSM-IV-TR). DSM V will probably refer to it as Gender Incongruence, which I think is a better term.
and insurance companies will typically only cover surgery if patients demonstrate disability in line with the DSM-IV, that the medical community has IMPOSED an illness on transgender individuals?
Imposition of a diagnostic label, yes. Imposition of an illness, no.Posted by: Fed Up at May 12, 2010 1:06 AM
My point about the gray hair is that we all tinker with our biology in some way. Cosmetic surgery, makeup, dyeing hair, etc.
What we may view as a minor physical flaw or part of the aging process can be viewed by the person as very distressing. Its in the mind and perception, right?
I see transgenderism as a person who truly views themselves as trapped in the wrong body. Surgery almost always brings a sense of relief and gratitude. Exactly what do we know of the human mind and can we say for certain there isn't a real biological reason for this? How long was mental illness thought to result from being toilet trained too early? We now realize mental illness may well have a biological and genetic factor.
Ken, imagine waking up tomorrow with a set of Dolly Partons. Suddenly you are a man trapped in a woman's body. Your reaction I'm sure would be horror, revulsion, and the desire to have them surgically removed ASAP. That gives us a small idea of what a transgendered person lives with every day.
Do we understand this? Not really. Do we understand the hallucinations and reasoning of the schizophrenic mind? Not really. Can we comprehend the puzzle that is the mind, memory, and talent of the savant? No way.
Lots we just don't comprehend where the human mind is concerned.Posted by: Mary at May 12, 2010 6:47 AM
In fact there is a condition where men have excess breast tissue. Not surprisingly I've seen a few of them having it removed in surgery, especially teenage boys. I'm sure that as men you on the others on this blog can relate and would do the same things yourselves. You certainly would not want this genetic aberration.
I've seen women with excess body hair get hormonal treatments and laser removal. Would any of us women on this blog not do the same?
Would we want what we view as masculine characteriistics?
Does this make us sick? Are we any less "mutilating" ourselves to make our bodies fit our masculine or feminine psyches?
Masculinity and femininity are in the mind as well as on the body. Yes, I am definitely convinced that through some unknown aberration the two can be turned around and the person suffer terribly because of it.Posted by: Mary at May 12, 2010 7:19 AM
When we engage in ethical debate, we must employ the language of ethics, which is to say, the language of philosophy. Central to that is the distinguishing characteristics of Accidents and Essence.
Accidents describe some of what you have: Member not large enough, gray hair, too fat, too thin, etc. These are the physical attributes of a thing, but do not describe the nature of the thing itself. If discussing a chair, we could talk about its composition: metal, plastic, wood. We could talk about its color, shape, design, etc. In fact, there are thousands of different models of chair.
Essence describes the KIND of thing something is, namely a chair. Though there may be thousands of different kinds of chairs, they all share one feature in common: being a chair, the very idea of what it means to be a chair, as opposed to a stool, or bench, etc.
In this discussion, DSM IV describes the pathology of Gender Identity Disorder. It isn't merely a matter of being unhappy with the accidental attributes of maleness or femaleness, but of BEING male or female. That is a matter of essence. Proceeding to mutilate the body is nothing more than altering the accidental features, which does nothing more than enter into the delusion and play along with the patient.
It's harder work to explore with the patient in therapy the origins of these feelings, this profound dissatisfaction with oneself. In the case of Chastity Bono, the radical subculture of her parents' lives lacked many of the usual stable moorings for a young person. Sonny and Cher grew up with stable moorings and then made choices from there. Chastity was born into the turmoil and rebelliousness of her parents' lives, especially Cher's embrace of the narcissistic lifestyle of a performing arts community thoroughly imbued with homosexuality and lesbianism.
She was steeped in this approach to identity from birth. She then attended NYU, living in Greenwhich Village. A hotbed of homosexual subculture, where the lifestyle is all-pervasive and prevalent. Where it is celebrated and held out as normative.
She never stood a chance.Posted by: Gerard Nadal at May 12, 2010 8:06 AM
Does is not stand to reason that all of the hormones and surgery in the world cannot truly make Chastity a man?Posted by: carla at May 12, 2010 8:12 AM
Posted by: Gerard Nadal at May 11, 2010 9:24 PM
Posted by: Kelsey at May 11, 2010 10:08 PM
Gerard - I agree with your conclusion. At the very core of the life debate is whether life is 100% controllable by man. The issue is much broader than most understand it. Over the long term, mutilation of humanity is a profit-driven enterprise. Markets want to expand. The interests of one group will drive and promote any and all desires of another group. Detached from any solid foundation and left unchecked, cultural norms act as a market feedback loop, spiraling into a kind of madness.
Kelsey, I know you are secular, however the biblical story of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) works as an illustration of the efforts of mankind to push the envelope in every direction. That includes sexual alterations and life manipulations such as IVF and cloning. What drives each push is desire, and if we don't discern between right and wrong and willfully choose to do what is right, then desire will overwhelm us. The ramifications get pretty ugly. The Tower of Babel analogy is apt because the people were constructing the tower for themselves. It was self-focused vanity. They were 'confused' (babel) about why they were building the tower.
This morning I read about the AIDs epidemic in Uganda. ABC measures (Abstain, Be faithful, use Condoms) are not working. By adding in 'use Condoms', the door is opened to ignore the prior two measures. Desires are not mastered and so the epidemic grows.
Solid biblical lessons, combined with being true to the faith with the power of God are a very important check against that drive towards fulfilling self-desires. You may not agree, believe in or put your faith in God, but I think you would readily acknowledge that without His true followers you would have an incredibly different world - yes?
Hi Gerard 8:06am
I'm sorry Gerard, but you will never convince me that attending a certain college or living in a gay community makes one want to change sexes anymore than you'll convince me early toilet training causes schizophrenia.
Chaz said from earliest childhood he identified as a male, even emulating his father in dress, mannerisms, etc. Transgender people will often assume they are gay and get into the gay lifestyle, only to discover this is not the case.
People "mutilate" their bodies all the time to bring their bodies in line with their psyches, their concept of what is masculine or feminine.
Why does being small breasted not bother one woman but make another feel totally unfeminine to the point where she will have an enhancement?
Why does one man "build" his body while another could care less how thin he is?
If you had surgery to remove excess breast tissue would this be mutilation? Not to you, in fact I'd be willing to wager you'd see the surgery as a Godsend.
The woman who has excess breast tissue removed may view it as a Godsend, her husband may see it as a mutilation.
We may consider Chaz "mutilated". He does not any more than any of us would feel "mutilated" having some physical trait we abhor in ourselves surgically corrected.
"I see transgenderism as a person who truly views themselves as trapped in the wrong body. Surgery almost always brings a sense of relief and gratitude. Exactly what do we know of the human mind and can we say for certain there isn't a real biological reason for this? How long was mental illness thought to result from being toilet trained too early? We now realize mental illness may well have a biological and genetic factor."
Yep. It's been speculated that being transgendered might have to do with hormones fetuses are exposed to in the womb.
"I'm sorry Gerard, but you will never convince me that attending a certain college or living in a gay community makes one want to change sexes anymore than you'll convince me early toilet training causes schizophrenia."
Me neither. When it comes to sexual orientation or transgender stuff, I don't believe it results from how a person was raised. If you were raised around a lot of gay people, you might be more inclined to consider the possibility that maybe you're gay, but that's not going to alter who you're sexually attracted to.
I was raised in a very stable, well-off Catholic household by two married parents who have always had a healthy, loving relationship with each other. I wasn't abused as a child. I didn't grow up around openly gay people. With the exception of preschool, I spent my entire childhood attending Catholic schools. We've always gone to church every single week. No one in my family, immediate or extended, is a drug user or an alcoholic. Except for a few distant cousins, no one is divorced. As a child I barely watched TV, didn't have video games, wasn't allowed to watch movies that were too mature for me, and spent a lot of time reading and playing outside. I ended up being bisexual anyway. It had nothing to do with bad parenting or cultural factors.Posted by: Marauder at May 12, 2010 12:48 PM
I object to the mutilation of language and reason to accomodate dysfuntional people and perpetuate their delusion.
Bono is no less female and nor more male today than on the day Bono was conceived.
Bono's 'feelings' are not my concern when it comes to correctly describing a physical reality.
I object to sacrificing truth to satisfy another person's fantasy.
When the 'new' has worn off Bono will be the same wounded soul before the hormones and the knife did their work.Posted by: yor bro ken at May 12, 2010 12:52 PM
Similarly, I will never be convinced that growing up in a family that celebrates nonconformity, embracing a small army of friends and colleagues with same-sex attractions, the whole hippie culture, etc...doesn't have toxic effects on a child growing up. NYU was just more of the same.
Add to all of that celebration of being at war with ones nature, the counter-cultural revulsion at anything that approaches normative moral norms. The question then becomes how was Chastity formed? Was her identification with her father not sexual and only became sexualized when she entered puberty?
That's the work of psychotherapy. Breast enhancement, etc may well result from a body dysmorphic syndrome, but hardly represents a fundamental war with one's very nature.Posted by: Gerard Nadal at May 12, 2010 12:55 PM
I certainly realize that Chaz is genetically a female and always will be. I in no way believe he lives in a fantasy world or is delusional.
From what I have seen these are very tormented people ready to walk through the fires of hell to change their bodies to conform to their minds. How is this a fantasy? I would consider it a living nightmare.
My argument is that there is much about the human mind we simply do not comprehend. Masculine and feminine are culturally defined. In some warrior cultures men and women both fought ferociously and were considered equals on the battlefield. In other cultures this was unheard of.
There are women, like my daughter, who are "superfeminine" from birth. Then there are women who are not. Same with men and masculinity. Why is this? Who knows.
I gave you an example Ken that you might consider. If you were developing excess breast tissue would you not want it removed, and pronto?
Why would you? Other than making you look funny, it does not jive with your psyche. You are a man, think like a man, perceive yourself as such, and do not want female characteristics.
Now imagine if you could not have this condition surgically altered. Now you may have some concept of what a transgendered person is forced to endure.
I respect that. However I have seen too many great kids come from horrific families, too many terrible kids from great families, children squander opportunities, great teens turn into terrible adults and terrible teens turn into great adults, to put much credence in psychobabble. A hundred psychotherapists will have a hundred theories.
How was Chastity formed? Well what do we know of prenatal development and gender identification?
My youngest daughter was superfeminine. My oldest, while neither gay or transgender, could care less about makeup and other "feminine" concerns. I saw the difference from toddlerhood.
Do all the children of Hollywood eccentrics have gender change surgery or desire it?
Chaz may well have sought out various environments looking for answers.
I mention breast enhancement because I did in fact encounter women who felt truly unfeminine and unwomanly with small breasts. Some may consider their surgery frivulous and unnecessary, but for these women it went way beyond that. It was crucial to their sexual identities.
Again why is this necessary for some women and not others?
Sorry Gerard, but I stick to my conviction that gender identification is brain wiring and no amount of nurture changes it. Chaz can no more be a woman than you can. I can no more be a man than Chaz can be a woman.Posted by: Mary at May 12, 2010 1:48 PM
Masculine and feminine are culturally defined.
I gave you an example Ken that you might consider. If you were developing excess breast tissue would you not want it removed, and pronto?
Though there may be some truth to the notion that 'roles' for men and women are culturally defined, biology is not so subjective.
At my age 'man boobs' are the least of my conerns.
When I was younger I might have been insecure and self conscious enought to resort to a surgical solution, but today I am perfectly comfortable with my imperfect physique.
If I was going invest time money and energy in correcting my imperfections, I would concentrate on my character flaws.
My eyebrows are getting longer and my memory is getting shorter.
I have hair growing on my ears. If I had the money I would have lazer treatment to remove it permanently.
I am not even as good 'once' as I once was.
Is environment a factor in the development of our individual identities?
How else can you explain liberals. They are not born that way.
As for women vs men warriors. Pick one hundred of each at random and pick any sport and the man's team will prevail everytime unless they start fighting over the women.
Now if you want to narrow it down to intellectual contests then the outcome is surely more ambiguous.
I have known some men who in my estimation were 'effeminate'. They talked and moved in feminine ways, but they were no less male.
I have interacted with some women that made my testes draw back up into my abdomen, but they were no less female.
My wife has good friend who is a former lesbian and I receive her as a fellow member of the body of Christ. I would receive as a fellow member of the body of Christ if she were still a lesbian, though I would not condone or enable her in her sin. Though she is female, compared to my wife, she is not very feminine.
I realize my view of 'feminine/masculine' is subjective and somewhat relative to my understanding, but male and female are not.
I am perfectly comfortable with women functioning in non-traditional roles in society, including the military, but I object to relaxing justifiable physical requirements in the name of gender equity.
There is a reason we do not see any women competing in the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, professional tennis or beach volleyball. All the surgery and hormones in the world will not rectify that gender inequity.
I did read that for the first time a woman bowler won a PBA tournament.
You go girl.
How NOT to raise a child in Hollywood.
No matter how many testosterone shots, how many parts are taken off or put on, how many name changes........this person is still the child God gave her parents and will always be Cher's little girl Chastity.Posted by: Pam at May 12, 2010 3:00 PM
How unbelievably sad that Gerald Nadal correlates hanging out in predominately gay neighborhoods with Chaz's decision to have gender reassignment surgery. Typical nonsense which shows your true intellect. Those with closed minds truly miss out on life. I pity you....your mindset is disgusting.Posted by: Jake at May 12, 2010 5:49 PM
Have you ever read 1Co 15.33?
Have you ever heard of the term "peer pressure"?
Have you ever studied psychology or sociology?
You're entitiled to your opinion, but it doesn't sound like you are informed.
Environment doesn't matter? Peer groups don't matter?Posted by: Ed at May 12, 2010 6:54 PM
Mary and Gerard,
It is a fascinating discussion. I've found scores of testimonies of formerly gay people that have left the lifestyle, been set free and become heterosexual.
I'm still researching to determine if an effiminate man or masculine woman change.
I understand Mary's heart. She cannot bring herself to find fault with someone who, for example, is an effiminate male. The above link in my comment to Jake is the story of a former homosexual who was effiminate. I haven't been able to determine yet if the work of the Holy Spirit that delivered him from homosexuality also made him more masculine.
Stay tuned...Posted by: Ed at May 12, 2010 7:03 PM
effeminate (sp) too fastPosted by: Ed at May 12, 2010 7:04 PM
I'm referring to a condition called gynecomastia and if you google it you can see why you likely would have had it surgically corrected. This is a condition far more pronounced than "man-boobs" and can strike at a much younger age.
Now try to imagine being a young man unable to have this condition corrected because we should all live with the bodies God gave us. I can imagine how I'd feel having a hairy chest. You can bet I'd get hormones and laser.
I don't agree that biology cannot be a bit ambivalent. How about hermaphrodites? How about chromosome aberrations that may render a woman withoug a uterus or a man with underdeveloped genitalia? Or no reproductive organs at all. What about DNA that says one thing and reproductive organs that say another?
I'm afraid Ken that gender biology can be very ambivalent and cause a great deal of confusion to the poor soul at the receiving end of this ambivalence. Given these examples, transgenderism may simply be yet another of biology's unusual twists and turns.
I'm afraid I'm a little confused by what you mean here concerning effeminate men.
Effeminate men and masculine women are not necessarily gay, nor do all gay people fit the stereotype of effeminate men and masculine women.
The late gay actor Rock Hudson and the late gay supermodel Gia Carangi certainly did not fit such stereotypes.
Also, it seems the minister had gay tendencies as a preteen and its not surprising he would seek out the company of gay people as a result. It doesn't suggest these gay people "turned" him gay. Don't straight people influence young people as much as gays? Were there no straight people in his life?Posted by: Mary at May 12, 2010 8:45 PM
Your oversimplification of a complex series of predicates indicates that you're not up the discussion at hand. It indicates who the real ideological hack is, which is confirmed by your ad hominem attacks.
Put your big boy pants on and get well soon!Posted by: Gerard Nadal at May 12, 2010 9:50 PM
I didn't mean to imply there isn't a continuum. In other words, there are really effeminate men, some mildly so, some not really effeminate but not terribly masculine, and then there are your really macho types, right? Same for gals.
I have a book by a Christian psychologist by the name of Dr. Paul Meier who co-founded the New Life Clinics. Are you familiar with him?
His research produced compelling data that children with domineering, overprotective mothers and weak fathers is a prescription for identitiy crises leading to drug abuse and confusion regarding sexual identity.
Did you notice that it sounded like the minister almost chose to be effeminate? I'm sure your first thought meeting a guy with strong feminine mannerisms is that his hormones must be imbalanced, right? Too much estrogen, not enough testosterone?
Why don't we try to get the hormones into more normal ranges before we start radical surgery?
I believe there is a spiritual root cause to many diseases. Like the man obsessed with making a million dollars only to suffer with an ulcer or die of a heart attack because of the self-induced stress, high blood pressure...
What I'd like to ask this minister, if I can find him, is if after he/God made changes to his lifestyle, did he become more masculine? Does he believe he was capable of making different choices in his youth about being effeminate?Posted by: Ed at May 12, 2010 10:43 PM
There was an episode of the show "The Dog Whisperer" with Cesar Millan where these two guys needed help disciplining their little toy dog. These guys, one in particular, was probably the most effeminate guy I've ever seen. They dressed up this little dog in different outfits, like it was their little baby and doted over it like they were 13 year old girls babysitting.
What I'm curious to know is if there was a time in the childhood development of their personality where they decided they wanted to be effeminate. And then did that decision set in motion the biochemistry. Before we dismiss this notion outright, I believe it warrants investigation.Posted by: Ed at May 12, 2010 10:58 PM
Really Gerald, that's what you come back with. "put your big boy pants on??" Classic. That's a step above "move out of your parent's basement"...so I will give you props for that!!! Please point to the studies that show living near or around homosexual or sexually liberated individuals would influence a person enough to consider gender reassignment. Your a joke.Posted by: Jake at May 12, 2010 11:00 PM
Additionally, your spewing of misinformation about the homosexual community sets back gay rights immensely. I am proud to say that many of the people that I have met throughout my life have been gay. Guess what? I have not been brainwashed into thinking that I should sleep with men or contemplate gender reassignment surgery. Some of my fondest memories growing up and in college involve meeting and socializing with gay men and women. Guess what? They enriched my life and opened my eyes to a different, yet fulfilling world. It is the attitude of you Gerald, and Chris Arsenault, and many others who contribute to this blog that ruins society. You will never admit it, but you do more to bring down and ruin lives than you could ever imagine.Posted by: Jake at May 12, 2010 11:17 PM
Did you read the link I cited for you above?
See "Christian Child Rearing and Personality Development" by Dr. Paul Meier.
You might want to do a little research before you dismiss Dr. Nadal's comments.
You sound like you're quite the authority on the subject. What studies are you basing your point of view on?Posted by: Ed at May 12, 2010 11:18 PM
FYI, Dr. Meier wrote another book titled, "Don't Let Jerks Get the Best of You"
(No offense Jake.)Posted by: Ed at May 12, 2010 11:21 PM
Wow, you found an example of one individual who continually denies his true identity. Do you want me to post from blogs people who are proud to be gay and reject your philosophy that people can be "turned straight through god." You have to do better than that Ed. You and Gerald should tour the country preaching this nonsense. You will make millions!!!
No offense taken, being called a jerk by the likes of you makes me quite happy. Ed, here's the thing....and I hate to break this to you, but society is moving towards the acceptance of homosexuality. I mean, I don't know if you have noticed, but gay men and women can actually, gasp, marry in many states nowadays. I know, it's shocking!!! You may not know this, but there is an entire cable channel called logo that is geared towards homosexuals. I mean, my goodness, I can cite numerous characters on prime time TV that are gay. The best part is, you are losing, and it is wonderful to observe. I am sure that you think I am homosexual. The truth is, I am not. But the best part is, I could care less if you think I am. You see Ed, it is people like me, non-homosexuals, that are leading this fight. And we are winning!!!!
The judges, the lawyers, the doctors and everyone else who's involved in perpetuating the delusion that this lost soul has actually accomplished anything REAL here (other than mutilating her body and her mind) should be locked up for life.
Every one of them knows that this entire ordeal was nothing less than sanctioned insanity.Posted by: Guest at May 12, 2010 11:59 PM
I always hear of all these studies from the likes of Jake, but never any journal references. Oh, and Jake, it's Gerard, not Gerald.Posted by: Gerard Nadal at May 13, 2010 12:17 AM
I know it seemed like it, but I really didn't intend to infer you were a jerk. Dr Meier's book is about setting healthy boundaries and not allowing people that rub you the wrong way to get under your skin.
And I meant no offense.
It's challenging to contend and debate in a forum such as this and not cross the line and become rude. Even scripture admonishes us to issue a strong rebuke to those in error that they might get back on the right path.
I'm sure you believe you are doing a good work supporting the homosexual community in their lifestyle. While you may be well-intentioned, I can assure you that you're deceived.
Wish I had time tonight to explain but I've got to go to work tomorrow. Perhaps on another thread.
Just a word of caution: just because you have numbers or a big crowd, doesn't mean you will ultimately succeed.
Jesus said, "13 You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it." Mt 7:13–14 NLTPosted by: Ed at May 13, 2010 12:52 AM
Those with closed minds truly miss out on life. I pity you....your mindset is disgusting.
Posted by: Jake at May 12, 2010 5:49 PM
IIRC you agree that a human being can be eviscerated at the request of her mom.
Tell me how aborting your child is an expression of a fulfilled life, and how that's not disgusting.
You're not even willing to acknowledge the deleterious effects such decisions have on many, many women.Posted by: Chris Arsenault at May 13, 2010 6:48 AM
I just learned that my alma mater will pay for sex reassignment surgery for students. Another things that makes me go "ummmm . . ."Posted by: phillymiss at May 13, 2010 9:17 AM
"And we are winning!!!!"
Posted by: Jake at May 12, 2010 11:27 PM
Jake, Where have you been? I've missed you.
Winning is not what it is about.Posted by: Praxedes at May 14, 2010 10:44 PM
"Those with closed minds truly miss out on life. I pity you....your mindset is disgusting."
You 'pity' no one. You care only for yourself and show interest only with others who are as self-indulgent as you are; that's not 'pity' or 'empathy.'
That's called narcissism.Posted by: visitor at May 19, 2010 5:26 PM
"Those with closed minds truly miss out on life. I pity you....your mindset is disgusting."
You 'pity' no one. You only care for yourself and for others who are equally self-indulgent; that's not 'pity' or 'empathy.'
That's called narcissism.
"Those with closed minds truly miss out on life. I pity you....your mindset is disgusting."
You pity no one. You're composed of nothing more than self-gratification and care for no one but those who are equally self-indulgent.
That is not 'empathy' or 'open-mindedness' or even 'pity.' That is simply narcissism.