Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"There Is Always Someone More Oppressed Than You"

Perhaps this would serve as a good follow-up to the last post, in which a married man who struggles with homosexuality talked about the mistreatment he has received at the hands of other Christians. Those of us who deal with the issue of homosexuality in the church are often times too quick to point to how badly we're treated. It's definitely a problem, partly centered in reality but partly centered in pride, and one I'm all too guilty of. As Andrew Marin recently pointed out, though, there is always someone more oppressed than you. Read this story more than once as well, and leave your comments here.


donsands said...

Extraordinary. I never heard of this before.

I would encourage anyone with this dilemma to seek Christ, and find a good church with good teachers full of love and truth.

No matter if she has this physical problems, she is a human created in the image of God.

One thing always makes me squint though.

" I am trying to live as best as I can!”"

When someone says this, i think to myself, have they really received the Gospel of grace, or are they stuck in a "churchianity", and not true Christianity.

Remember that great hym of John Newton: 'Amazing grace how sweet the sound,
That saved a nice guy like me, ....

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and 'trying my best' will lead me home."

The Gospel saves us completely. And the sanctification, though may cause us blood sweat and tears, is His grace, and His love, and the Cross always before us.

Thanks for a great story to read and ponder Jay.

To pray for Christians with such a peculiar problem is what i shall do.
I imagine it is rare though.

Jay said...

You've never heard of hermaphrodites? They are more properly referred to as "intersexuals." This particular woman has the external genitalia of a woman, but the internal genitalia of a man. She has no womb or ovaries, but has internal testicles which produce three times the amount of testosterone than exists in normal women.

Many intersexuals are raised as a particular gender (usually whichever one corresponds to their external genitalia). Sometimes they have ambiguous genitalia which a doctor assigns as male or female shortly after birth. Many intersexuals undergo gender reassignment surgery later in life to conform to the gender they feel most comfortable with.

This is why I don't like when Christians say with absolutism that homosexuality and transsexualism are not biological in nature. If intersexuals exist naturally, then perhaps those of us who don't fit into the perfect heterosexual or gender norms can also point to biology as a reason for our struggles. This is not to say that our biology determines our behavior, but being open to that answer does cause a lot of sympathy and humility about these issues.

donsands said...

"Many intersexuals undergo gender reassignment surgery later in life to conform to the gender they feel most comfortable with."

Can they then have children, or conceive, when they have such surgery?

Jesus spoke of eunuchs Matt. 19:12. I wonder if these folk fit his description? It's a deep Holy Scripture passage, and would be good for us to study our Lord's words here, I think.

And thanks Jay for your comment. I did go to the link that spoke about this disorder.

Jay said...

No, they can't have children. The surgery is merely aesthetic. In poorer countries where intersex individuals don't have access to such surgery, they are often treated as a "third sex" (this is true for certain cultures within India and Thailand). It's mostly in Western countries where there is profound pressure to be either totally male or totally female.

I've raised this question before, but I've always wanted to see some solid Christian theologians talk about intersexuals. It's a rare condition, and a complicated one, but it does raise many questions about our views of gender and sexuality.

If a child is born with such a condition, should the parents decide whether to raise the child as male or female? And what if later in life, the person decides that they felt their parents made a mistake, and want to change genders (as often happens in such cases)? If the parents want to let the child grow up until he/she decides which gender to be, how do we--as humans and as Christians--socially integrate a person who is neither 100% male or 100% female? Should we adopt the social class of a "third sex" like Eastern nations?

donsands said...

"For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth," Matt. 19:12

Does our Lord speak here of "a congenital defect"?

From birth someone may be unable to procreate. And so the Lord tells us so.

He then says, "The one who is able to accept it, let him accept it."

Some deep truth here from our Lord for sure.

Directly after these words, children were brought to Jesus, and He laid His hands upon them and blessed them. "For to such belongs the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 19:13

Jesus loved those children and infants, and still does love infants.

If a child is born as an intersex child, then we are to love her, and care for her, and with great love and understanding lead her to Christ, and perhaps explain that in this cursed world crazy things do happen in human creation. For instance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiSuyuOOBR8

But even these misfortunes can bring good things into this dark and sinful world, and especially can bring glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Should we call Caster Semenya something different from a woman? I think that's a tough question Jay; and a good one that i shall be sharing with other Christians.