Here’s the headline from the UK’s Times online: “‘Pregnant man’ Thomas Beatie gives birth for second time.” The story caught my eye because I didn’t even know such a thing was possible. I’m no medical expert, but I am pretty sure I would have heard about it if some technology were invented that actually enabled a man to conceive and give birth. But that is actually not the case here. Here’s the key paragraph from the report:
“Mr Beatie, 35, was born a girl named Tracy Lagondino but had gender reassignment surgery and is now legally male, wears a beard, and is married to Nancy. Despite changing his gender, Mr Beatie had kept his female organs so he could fall pregnant one day.
“After his daughter’s birth last year Mr Beatie told ABC news that he wanted to expand his family, so he did not go back onto his male hormones in order to be able to fall pregnant again. Both babies were conceived via sperm donors.”
The “man” in this story is not actually a man at all. Beatie is biologically a woman who has gained legal recognition as a man. What has happened here is inevitable in a culture that says that gender is a social construct that an individual can deconstruct if he so chooses. In other words, the spirit of the age says that gender is something that you learn, not something that you are by virtue of God’s good creation. The Bible teaches, however, that gender is something that you are before you learn anything. For more on the topic of gender confusion in the culture, read my most recent editorial for JBMW here.
There was also a Fox News story about some parents in Nebraska that have let their son change schools so that he can start another school and go as a girl. He says he is a girl on the inside. The kid is 8 years old. Those are some goofed up parents.
I am not liberal, but I would like to take a devils advocate role real quick.
In believing Total Depravity, I believe that the pervasiveness of sin effects ALL areas, including human genes. Example: Down Syndrome is a chromosome problem. Some people are born with male and female reproductive organs.
So: in believing in the pervasiveness of sin, is it that far fetched to believe that a “female” is born with male reproductive parts? We see deformities in births and “gene make-up” all the time. Why is this the only thing off-limits?
Simple way to test for that: Does the child in question have a Y chromosome? If they do (assumeing they have only two, and it’s not a case of XXY. I’m just talking about a child with XY) then they are male. Of course, my comment was not in reference to any medically recognized genetic abnomalities such as someone being a hermaphodite.
We shouldn’t allow the exceptions like hermaphrodites to muddy the water. In many of these gender-confusion cases, it involves people who, just like homosexuals, have acquired a warped understanding of God’s intended design. We all have inclinations and predilections for unnatural or evil behavior (and for many, it has a chemical or biological factor)… but not all act on those desires.
do you think it possible that total depravity in this case could manifest itself by one’s mind believing it is the opposite gender of the body’s physical characteristics instead of the physical not matching up with what one believes their gender to be?
“In many of these gender-confusion cases, it involves people who, just like homosexuals, have acquired a warped understanding of Godâ€™s intended design.”
I agree with this, but I am asking about the few exceptions.
Of course I do… I am asking if that always has to be the case?
FYI, I am not taking a stance, I am merely asking questions.
I also heard a man say one time that he was a lesbian trapped in a man’s body. Figure that one out. He was dead serious, too.
IOW, he wanted to become a “woman” and he wanted to be with other women…as a woman?!?!?
Matt, they aint born that way. They become that way thru many factors. There are many things that go into the making of a homosexual, or a transgender person that makes them want to be the way they are. Most of them were abused. Some of them had dominant, overbearing mothers. Some of them were influenced by the society they live in. But, of course, the main reason they become so perverted is the sinful, depraved heart of man. We’re all sinners with depraved hearts, and our sins just ooze out of us in different ways.
You’re one of those liberals, aren’t you, Matt? 🙂
Yeah, I’m not sure about the exceptions. The physical creation IS fallen and groaning in its imperfection, and I’m sure that includes gender abnormalities. Like Joe said, there are scientific and medical ways to determine if someone isn’t the same gender internally as they appear to be externally.
“I also heard a man say one time that he was a lesbian trapped in a manâ€™s body. Figure that one out. He was dead serious, too.”
David, are you sure he wasn’t just making the ol’ joke that a bunch of my buddies in college always made?
We need to make sure and keep the transgender and homosexual issues separate. They are not the same, although there is some overlap.
Darius and David,
What I am struggling with is if creation IS fallen and their are birth abnormalities why can’t this be the case of ‘some’ transgender cases?
If chromosomes do get mixed up and have abnormalities why cant that be the case with some transgenders? They fully feel, act, and think like a female, but they have male reproductive parts… They desire to bear children, have a family, and are attracted to men, as a woman.
I think this transgender issue is more complicated than the homosexuality issue and I think many people write it off as if it is the exact same thing.
No, he was not joking. He was serious as he could be. He was seeking to have surgery to make him into a woman.
Matt, homosexuality and people wanting to become another gender are very similar. They are perverted sins of the same nature.
Do you clump transgender and homosexuality in the same category? (just curious)
On that note, the bigger issue than how individuals deal with chemical, biological, or sinful urgings is how the culture so readily accepts gender deconstruction. And I think that was the point of Denny’s post…
There will come a day in the not so distant future, that we will hear people saying that really they are a dog trapped in a human’s body. And, it will be acceptable for them to believe that…IOW they wont be considered crazy for thinkning that way.
I’ll bet’cha a Krisp Kreme doughnut that it happens!
There is enough ignorance theologically and medically in our society to be embarrassing. Having taught in the area of human Sexuality for decades, it is not as simple as is being indicated. First, many are forgetting about the largest sex organ, the brain. It doesn’t seem that unlikely that a person, in this fallen world, could be born with the “wrong” brain if we already know that people are born with the incorrect external and internal accessory organs. Second, since society practices “sex negation” it is not unlikely that a person born in the wrong body might think they are gay at first. My conversations with transgender people indicates that they eventually also become disillusioned with behavior in the gay community. Third, there are nuclear scientists, astrophysicists, chemists, amall business owners, bankers, etc. who are now living as the other gender in well adjusted, stable lives. Mainstream society is just not that aware of it. Hence, for the average person, there are no role models and it is a very confusing experience. Fourth, most transgenders have to go through a process of Psych testing, role playing, etc. to test the reality of their perspective since there are no brain tests at this point.
Well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg in this area, but it is unfortunate that so many who have stereotypes in this area which have no biblical foundation.
I am a long time believer [and seminary grad] having lived more than three score and ten, so I just didn’t get off the boat! Matt S is right on target.
Matt, they aint born that way. They become that way thru many factors. There are many things that go into the making of a homosexual, or a transgender person that makes them want to be the way they are. Most of them were abused.
David, on what evidence do you base this claim?
David, I believe what Matt is asking is do you not make any exceptions for those who are physically deformed at birth. In other words, do you still blame a hermaphrodite for being confused about his/her gender?
What if I say I am a unicorn on the inside? Or a a one legged Asian midget? Should everyone respect that feeling and help me medically achieve that ambition?
Thank you. That is what I am saying.
You missed the point of the whole conversation.
I am talking about biological deformities due to the fallenness of man. This has nothing to do with “I feel like I should of been born a unicorn, therefore, I am going to start living like one.”
Maybe some of you do not realize this, but there are christians out there that struggle deeply with this issue. This is not a matter of “I’m tired of being a woman, therefore, I am going to become a man.” Some of the comments on this thread prove the theory that a lot of evangelicals are very naive when it comes to the “transgender issue.”
Easy with the dismissal Matt.
May have not been directly responding to you (sorry to tell you) but does not mean my comment does not fit the argument of the post.
Sure the comment thread is worth reading, but I was simply commenting on the overall notion of people claiming to be a trapped in a body that is not their true gender.
Sorry for the misunderstanding.
In canse you missed Ken’s earlier comment, here it is again:
“There is enough ignorance theologically and medically in our society to be embarrassing. Having taught in the area of human Sexuality for decades, it is not as simple as is being indicated. First, many are forgetting about the largest sex organ, the brain. It doesnâ€™t seem that unlikely that a person, in this fallen world, could be born with the â€œwrongâ€ brain if we already know that people are born with the incorrect external and internal accessory organs. Second, since society practices â€œsex negationâ€ it is not unlikely that a person born in the wrong body might think they are gay at first. My conversations with transgender people indicates that they eventually also become disillusioned with behavior in the gay community. Third, there are nuclear scientists, astrophysicists, chemists, amall business owners, bankers, etc. who are now living as the other gender in well adjusted, stable lives. Mainstream society is just not that aware of it. Hence, for the average person, there are no role models and it is a very confusing experience. Fourth, most transgenders have to go through a process of Psych testing, role playing, etc. to test the reality of their perspective since there are no brain tests at this point.
Well, thatâ€™s just the tip of the iceberg in this area, but it is unfortunate that so many who have stereotypes in this area which have no biblical foundation.
I am a long time believer [and seminary grad] having lived more than three score and ten, so I just didnâ€™t get off the boat! Matt S is right on target.”
That last part is very good.. 🙂
I don’t understand why it seems so crucial to some Christians to prove there is no genetic basis for sexual dysfunction/ sin. We inherited our sin from Adam for goodness sake. We sin because we inherited it from our ancestors. In fact, if we don’t argue for this, then we’re forced to blame sin on something external to ourselves which is counter-biblical. I for one will not be surprised if scientists find a “gay gene” or a genetic cause for everything else the Bible calls sin. That discovery will not impugn God’s character nor let man off the hook.
“In other words, the spirit of the age says that gender is something that you learn, not something that you are by virtue of Godâ€™s good creation. The Bible teaches, however, that gender is something that you are before you learn anything.”
Where you have the word “learn” in the first sentence of what I copied and pasted, do you mean “decide”?
I bring this up because when I was a baby I didn’t know anything. Therefore eventually I learned what a man was and what a women was. And I knew what I was.
I agree that gender is something that you are not something you decide. (A man is a man. And a women is a women.)
This is not my email address.
Matt #21, hear, hear.
http://www.ransomfellowship.org/articledetail.asp?AID=506&B=Wesley%20Hill&TID=7 an example of just such a thing. Once you realize that it isn’t just a bucket of snakes called “them” but it is your brothers and sisters, and sometimes secretly your friends, who struggle deeply with feelings that have existed from early on, it can change your perspective a bit. It disappoints me to hear good people in my circle of friends make lighthearted comments about taking gays out back and shooting them, etc. (not accusing anyone in this thread of that)
Before I knew anyone who struggled with it, I assumed that Romans taught that the gay lifestyle was the last stop down a long road of reprobation. I modified this later to believe that most young people who believed they were gay were a result of abuse. I believe that the culture war stereotypes that evangelicals often have in mind when dealing with gays more closely resemble xenophobia than knowledge gained from personal relationships. I think it is more complicated than the stereotypes and easy answers imply. I think some people are predisposed to be overweight (which is not directly a sin), some to easily become alcoholic (which is a sin), some to be angry (which can easily become a sin). We are all born fallen, broken in some way. My brother has Down’s Syndrome (not a sin). I believe it just makes sense that some would be born predisposed to be gay (the gay lifestyle is sin). The question is, are you someone that person can confide in and be refreshed in the Lord with, or are you someone who lightly dismisses the deepest struggles of their heart with easy answers?
Well, I guess I kind went on a rant there.
BTW, you know what’s unfair? We have one kid, can’t seem to have more. This clown has surgery, takes hormones, lives as both man and woman, and has a kid at the drop of a hat. argh!
Anonymous didn’t learn “what a man was.” He learned how males behaved in our particular culture. Of course, most are comfortable with their role, just as most people aren’t born with variations from the usual.
Let me restate what God did and when. When He created male and female, it was BEFORE the Fall. Since then sin came into the picture. Therefore, all kinds of imperfection have entered the world. Anonymous and others keep ignoring the role of the brain in all of this. We know from MRI’s, etc. that people with certain challenges [i.e., imperfections] have brains that function markedly differently than others. All the returns aren’t in yet, but it certainly does suggest what the reality is. In addition, case histories reveal that transgender children very early on expressed preferences for female activities and clothing.
Ken, I don’t think anonymous was discussing the exceptions. Rather, he was rightly pointing out that many “transgendered” people are, like everyone else, sinners in need of a savior. In this case, as David said earlier, their sin “oozes” out of them in this specific, perverted way.
I know that Ken and I both agree with that. Some transgenders are merely allowing their sin work out in a way that makes them change their sex. What we are trying to “guard against” is evangelicals thinking this is the case with every transgender person and that it is never a biological problem due to the fall of man.
I understand that some people are born deformed. People being born deformed is clearly not the norm. The norm of transgender people is that they just feel that they are born in the wrong body. I do not believe this for one Yankee minute. People wanting to change their bodies is clearly a perversion. There’s really no other way to look at it and stay true to the Bible.
And, I really think that you should dig deep into the history of people who are transgendered and who are homosexual. I believe that you will definitely find sexual abuse in a lot of cases, and you will find a dominating, domineering mother in a lot of these cases as well. Of course, in our twisted, perverted society, we will see more and more people just wanting to do this….which is what we’re seeing already. It’s just becoming more acceptable and popular…so, others join in.
Also, of course, these perversions, and all sins, are just our sin natures oozing out of us in different ways. Some people’s sin oozes out thru fornication…others thru drunkeness….others thru lying…etc..
David: Most of them were abused. Some of them had dominant, overbearing mothers.
Me: David, on what evidence do you base this claim?
David: I believe that you will definitely find sexual abuse in a lot of cases, and you will find a dominating, domineering mother in a lot of these cases as well.
David, do you have a source of evidence for this claim or is it just a gut feeling?
Much,much reading and listening. That’s where I got my opinions. I majored in Sociology in college with a minor in Psychology. But, I have listened to these type of people talking on talk shows on radio and tv…I have read much on this subject…
So if I need a source, I can just say “hey, my friend David says so.” I’ve just never found that to very convincing 😉
Try it…it might carry more weight than you know?
Matthew, you might add that he’s a Tennessee Volunteer fan… on second thought, that would only hurt.
Now, now, now….
does it really matter what they were or were not born with. are we not all called to live pure lives? i don’t think expensive elective surgery to change the body of a person who may have been born with the wrong sex organs makes a whole lot of sense. why not change the brain. if the two are incompatible it seems that the easier solution makes the most sense. also, down syndrome (that i am aware of) does not cause excessive urges for any obvious sinful behavior.
Here’s the deal that liberal christians who say that homosexuality isn’t a sin don’t want to deal with. Sex between anyone other than a man and his own wife is sin. Period. Therefore, the urge/lust/desire to have sex with someone other than your own opposite sex spouse is sin. Paul says “Better to marry than to burn”. Therefore, homosexual feelings and behavior are always wrong without exception. Now, if someone (and this is an “if” that’s about 6 parsecs wide) was born predisposed to homosexuality (you will never convince me of this) then have to choose to never act on that and they have to choose to control their thought life in the same way I have to choose to control my thought life and not lust.
Bottom line–No matter how much those cats at Mercer, Wake Forest, and Duke want to pretend like homosexuality is an issue which men and women of good conscience can debate, Christians know that it is always sinful.
Douglas J. Bender
“BTW, you know whatâ€™s unfair? We have one kid, canâ€™t seem to have more. This clown has surgery, takes hormones, lives as both man and woman, and has a kid at the drop of a hat. argh!”
Did it ever occur to you that God is involved in the conception of children?