Sunday, October 28, 2007

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Lost and confused

Gender switch roils United Methodist Church

When did it become controversial to affirm that self-mutilating surgery was wrong? Doesn't this seem like a no brainer? Cutting off functional breasts, sewing on a fake penis, and injecting foreign hormones is clearly seriouly disordered.

Finally, those who argue the "God doesn't make mistakes" and "Don't mess with creation" lines readily make use of medical procedures to change their bodies, Phoenix said.

"Think of all the vaccinations, medications and pharmaceuticals we take," he said. "We completely alter our bodies."

No, true medicine seeks to heal our bodies of faults and preserve our health. It does not seek to destroy the natural functioning of a healthy person. At least, it shouldn't. Birth control and sterilization were previously viewed by Christians as "unnatural" because they frusterate or destroy the ability a healthy person has to conceive a new human being. At the 1930 Lambeth Conference, the Church of England formally permitted the use of unnatural methods of birth control. This was the first time in history that an organized church body broke with the traditional Christian morality regarding contraception.

Now, few churches stand with the Catholic Church in affirming the immorality of contraception. But one can see where it leads. When the connection between sex and procreation is discarded it becomes difficult to appeal to the human body or "human nature" in support of other sexual norms. If we can ignore the natural meaning of the sexual union between a man and a woman, then what stops us from simply ignoring the meaning of maleness and femaleness itself? Isn't it just our body? Isn't it just accidental? Maybe God did make a mistake with some people and ensoul them it the wrong shape...

It reminds me of a blurb I read in the local paper this past week. A local public school will prohibit students from allowing undergarments to show during the school day. No more bra straps on the shoulder or sagging belt lines. Don't worry, though. The administrators aren't doing anything rash. The new commonsense policy won't go into effect until next year.

This is news? Shouldn't a principal be able to say, "You, put on a decent shirt or you have detention"? This is why I'm glad my school has uniforms. We fight with the students over tucking in their shirts, or whether the type of leather on their shoes is dark enough. We pick our fights here so that we don't have to wring our hands about whether thongs can show above the waistline.

It's too bad that so many Christians didn't put up a fuss earlier about exactly what is "natural". Now they have to debate whether that flap of skin sewn between her legs makes her a man.

EDIT: The blurb to which I referred referenced a district spokeswoman who said there has not been problems with boys wearing saggy pants and girls having bra straps showing, but "we are staying up with current issues and to make sure everything is covered." Ok. Then why did this make the news?