Welcome to the Sin Leader Board: Transgender

The other day, the President of Focus on the Family admitted that his ilk is losing the the battle against gay marriage.  Homosexuality is losing its appeal as a sin to bash.   Many of the sins that were important in my childhood, working on Sunday, alcohol and dancing are seldom considered sins today.

Albert Molher, Jr., President of the Southern Baptish Seminary, wrote a piece recently that, I believe,  signals transgendered people will be the next group fundamentalists will rise to demonize.  Sex change will make the Sin Leader Board.

Molher’s grievance against transgendered people goes like this.  “We are, in fact, what our genitals tell us we are.”  Because “…we are created by a holy God…” we have no business challenging the genitals He gave us.

I’ve know dozens of transgendered people.  We’ve enterained trans people in our home.  I don’t understand why it happens, but I can say for certain that genitals do not always determine gender.  There are people born with male plumbing who realize at some point their minds or brains are female.  And, visa versa.  It is so common the country of Thailand has entire medical units that specialize in surgery on trans people, many of whom are from the United States.

What this has to do with God or sin is lost on me.  But, they are numerically small in number, make for good photographic imagery and, thus, are perfect for demonizing.

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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38 Responses to Welcome to the Sin Leader Board: Transgender

  1. doubtful says:

    I am glad you never demonize anyone, Jon or this repeated harping on a particular segment of religious people for demonizing other groups of people would be very hypocritical.

  2. Doubtful’s point is well-taken. One could come away with the idea that you do to Christians what you assert they do to others.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Shane 4:27 That is essentially correct. There are differences One is that I am criticizing the status quo, the people who have the power to step on others and use it. They not only use it, but make money doing it. Another difference is that I don’t justify my criticizing with an invisible “higher power”. It’s just little ol’ me.

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        P. S. For the folks criticizing me for this post, Welcome to the Sin Leader Board: Transgender, I want to say all criticism is welcome and, perhaps, there is actually not enough of it. But, when you are done hammering me, it would be helpful to learn your views on the “sinfulness” of being a transgender–haven’t heard anyone comment on that so far. Thanks.

  3. Ike says:

    I will not sit by while christians advocate discrimination and try to impose their laws on me. The same hatred that is in Fred Phelps is in many other christians. They just don’t take it to the extreme he does. An example is the pastor that gave the prayer last week at the MN state legislature. He has implied that gays should be put to death as in the old testement. Part of the christian brainwashing is that christians are above critiscim. I used to be a christian, I earned my right to critisize.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Ike 11:39 Well done!

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      Ike; just a question, did that prayer in the MN legislature contain the implication you imply, or was what you imply he implied actually implied at a different time and place? It could be easily implied by your post that his prayer contained elements of putting Gays to death. Is this true?
      I am sure you have an interisting back story. It would be interesting to hear it.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        PS; Ike; My questions to you does not mean to imply that I agree in any way with Bradlee Dean, (the one who said the prayer at the MN legislature). Just to be clear.

      • entech says:

        Am I to imply that from the essential implication inherent in your implication that Ike may have mistaken a statement for an implication that you used to watch Get Smart or Monty Python.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          Nope, I just don’t think Ike heard the “prayer” . Rather, he heard the one who was doing the “praying”.
          In actuality, what he said was in the form of a prayer, but was a political statement. Monty Python would have done a better job of it, and Get Smart would have understood it for what it was.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            You may want to go to the Mpls. Trib website, and do a key word search using “Bradlee Dean,prayer,MN legislature to see the recorded “prayer”. I don’t see the content Ike implied. By the way where is Ike?

          • entech says:

            Not a local but I managed to work out the abbreviations. Interesting that a secular nation has prayers like that, especially ones that are so sectarian, when the constitution of your country and mine specifically states that no state support or favouritism (or words to that effect) should be given to any denomination. As for the implication (almost stated) that Obama is perhaps a Muslim – so what: if it is truly to be “under God” does no one realise that the god of Abraham is the same for all of you Christians and Muslims as well as the descendants of Abraham.

            His speech prayer did not specifically mention homosexuals and death, a radio program did.
            “Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America,” he said on his radio show, The Sons of Liberty. “It shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination.”

            I wonder if he knows his Bible, didn’t the part about the destruction of Sodom specifically condemn the men of the town for wanting to ‘know’ the angels who appeared as men. And yet.
            In January, when a woman named Sharon Lubinski became the first openly lesbian federal marshal, Dean claimed her appointment was illegal, saying: “Sodomy is against the law in the United States. Homosexuality is against the law in the United States.”

            Actually, I had never heard of Fred Phelps either, before today. Very insular in the antipodes, although we do have some of our own homegrowns (even exported one or two). The worry for me is that much of the world thinks this is main stream America. I have been there for work and play and have relatives married to locals and living there and I know it is not true. Just as in countries that are largely non-believers the average person is good hearted, sane and sensible.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            entech 5:59 I join Wanna B. Sure in his compliment of your observations. Especially, you are on the mark in noting that people in countries such as yours, and, a fair proportion of people in this country, think Christianity is all about the nutcases. That impression, it seems to me, is a product of the way our news media works and the nature of the participants.

            The news media give more coverage to the bizzare and less to the “normal”. The impression left with the bystanders is, then, that the bizzare has become the normal.

            This imbalance is multiplied by a disinterest, or, inability of the “normal” to exhert its will over the circumstances. The mainstream Chrisitians do not adequately condemn the fringe elements. Dealing with such an imbalance is an art, not a science. Not all can do it, and even the most talented fail at times. But, first there needs to be the will to take on the project. I don’t see that.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            entech; Pretty fair observations. I think there is a tendency for us all if it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind.
            Regarding the “prayer” thing in the legislature, It was my understanding that it has been more or less a moment of time to meditate on moderation, responsibility and cooperation, with no specificity to diety. My question is, who or how did they choose this extremist to say a few words? By looking at his prior positions, they should have known a controversey was afoot. Not very good judgement.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; in your last paragraph 2:21, you used “exhert”. Exert, or more probably exhort, I don’t know. Exhortion is the prefferable way to result in correction of error in the Christian community. As you are not of the Christian community, I question your awareness of the amount of exhortion that is being exercised toward the the “errorists”. Much is done privately, and directly, not to publically humiliate. The attempt to humiliate is counter productive. That being said, you of all people know that there are those who are not open or receptive to any discussion, or are willing to listen to anyone opposed to them. No matter what one does, either using TV, print, or other mass media, and assorted advertisement, some just can’t be reached, and reasoned with into moderation. I have been personally involved with some of this. Very seldom is it successful. Do you think anyone could have reasoned with David Koresh or Jim Jones? I doubt it. Sometimes the only other option is when/if the extremists venture into the area of breaking civil law can something be done legally. Unless of course you are suggesting vigalantism. I doubt if that works for you, and it sure doesn’t work for me. I think we have been here before, but you have forgotten in you haste to criticise.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Actually, I believe it should be exhortation. Certainly not extortion. And then we surely are aware of the concern for “abuse of authority”, especially where no authority exists.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 8:35 Exhert: To put forth into use, as power, exercise, as ability or influence put into vigorous action. That’s what I meant.

            One your other post, I know you have written before that you and others have made efforts to correct misguided dogma. I’m sure others have done the same. I noted eariler that this kind of work is an art, not a science, and often fails. We are talking of two different thing here, I believe. You wrote, “The attempt to humiliate is counter productive.” This, I’m sure you realize, is an opinion, not a fact. Social movements have used humiliation both successfully and unsuccessfully.

            The most skillful media and propaganda work has been done, and continues to be done, by the Christian right. The middle and left just wimps out. Just now, some good propaganda work is being done by Franklin Graham, the Graham I most dislike. He, obviously, has media people issuing press releases every week and is in the news frequently. No one in the middle or left is doing what he is doing. That’s what I’m saying.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Ah yes–”social movements”.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 12:44 “Ah yes, ‘social movements’”. That is correct, my friend. The right is approaching this entire “war” as a social movement. The center and left of Christianity is treating it as an intellectural disagreements that we can resolve in house in a dignified way. The right is eating their lunch. You can make light of “social movements” as being some kind of liberal construct, but you will not get anywhere without embracing the concept.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            So you think humiliation is a successfull way of winning one over to your understanding. Sometime in the near future observe a husband publically saying to his wife “you fat cow, why don’t you loose some weight. You are an embarrasment to the whole family.” I doubt she would be very receptive.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Better yet, take your neighbors out for dinner, and tell your neighbors wife that, or him, and observe the result. No social movement about it.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 1:23 Two points: (1.) You’ve admitted your approach with the misguided has not worked. (2.) Saul Alinsky, the “Dean” of modern social movements, noted that garbage in poor Chicago neighborhoods was not being picked up. Requests through the system did not work. He had poor people dump garabage on the Mayor’s lawn. The garabage was picked up in poor neigborhoods.

            The Christian right, at least some parts of it, has workshops on Alinsky. I would guess the middle and left do not.

            Sometimes social movements techniques are unsuccessful. What I’m saying is that the middle and left of the Church just does not care enough to fight back.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; your last two posts would be more revealing if used a German accent. Your social construct came out of Germany, and spread East. “change from without”. Not change from within. Interesting. Nothing is perfect, but your model has been tried. Meine freud.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; your assumptions are in error. I did not say we had no success in our efforts. Just not all the time. Case in point, you are still an Atheist.
            I have read Alenski. I have some of his books in my library.
            You use terms like “war, fight back, propaganda, social movements”. This is not winning one over from within. You sound more threatening than modeling. More past Eastern European.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 2:11 That’s interesting that you see it as a struggle from “within”. That would shape your thinking. I don’t think most of the incorrect dogma people see it that way. When they disagree with the mainline denominations, they don’t spend much time trying to resolve it from within, they quit and form a new one.

            There is, of course, always this uncertainty and tension about how to proceed. Some of the strongest criticism Martin Luther King received was from within from other black people who said he should not rock the boat. Just wait long enough and things will get better. The same thing happened within the gay movement, don’t speak up, things will only get worse. I think if a person sees wisdom residing in the “establishment”, the status quo, he will proceed in one way. If one does not see this wisdom there, then it’s another way. I sense you of the former, not the latter.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            I find Alinsky more manipulative than convincing. If he is your model, I understand you much better.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; one more consideration for your assumption of no success with with the “misguided”, many, if not most times, the results are not immediate. Sometimes those dialogs can “stew” for quite some time, even years before results are revealed, (if ever to the original presenter). I specifically remember one case where an individual quit talking to me and moved away. Nine years later he called me, and told me that he had thought about our conversation time and time again, and came to the conclusion that he was in strong error, and thanked me. We now stay in touch from time to time. I am thankfull for him.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Your understanding of the within and the without is entirely different from mine. Yours is a corporate model, mine is a spiritual. Two entirely different things. We are talking past each other.- – - again. Two different world views. – - same words, different context.
            By the way, your “social” framework has been partially in place in South America, and Middle America via the Jesuites in the Catholic Church. It’s called Liberation Theology. The church there realised that this movement distracted away from the central message of the Church, while making it primarily a social movement, involved with politics and political intrigue. Marxists were also involved. I haven’t seen Alinski mentioned, but I would be surprised if he wasn’t.

          • entech says:

            Wanna your 2:36. would be much more impressed if it were the other way round.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            This does not surprise me. Oh well.

  4. doubtful says:

    I just want to say that I think demonizing a group of people is despicable. It is wrong when people who call themselves Christian do it, and it is wrong when people who call themselves atheist do it. I think it is even more despicable to spread falsehoods in your efforts to demonize others.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      doubtful 7:07 I agree we should not spread falsehoods. That’s why I found Albert Mohler’s column so disturbing. It is false that for all people, their physical characteristics determine their gender identity.

  5. entech says:

    Shorter Oxford English Dictionary 1932 edition.
    Free-thinker. 1692. One who refuses to submit his reason to the control of authority in matters of religious belief; a designation claimed esp. by the deistic and other rejectors of Christianity in the early 18th century.

    Given this or similar more recent usage definitions: what do you expect from Jon, Songs of Praise?

    • doubtful says:

      You seem to be saying that “refusing to submit his reason to the control of authority in matters of religious belief” is the same as demonizing a particular set of beliefs. I know that it is not. It is possible to disagree with someone without mounting a hate campaign against them. It is also not true that all Christians fit the small minded mold that Jon tries hard to force them into.

      • entech says:

        No. That is simply one of many definitions, 1692 being the date of the earliest that I know of. All I say is that if you accept that or a similar definition of a free thinker, and that you accept Jon defining himself as the president of a group of free thinkers you would not expect apostolic posts.
        I was perhaps a bit parochial with “Songs of Praise” it is a local television program, played every Sunday morning, though not its purpose it serves to remind me that the current affairs programs are over!
        I find that Jon is unfailingly polite and only picks subjects that are on the extremes. Polite even in the face of ‘something unpleasant in the punchbowl’ and similar descriptions, this is rare and I find most of the respondents have something interesting to say.

  6. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

    It is apparent anything associated with sexuality carries a significant risk of eternal damnation.

    Get over it.

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