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I'm sure you have noticed.  Whenever there is news about or from the transgender community, the television news media may invite a transgender person to comment.  Or they may not.  But if they do, then they feel obligated to invite one of our opposition, as if our existence is a matter of debate.

Now that California law protects transgender students, conservatives are pouncing on the opportunity to proudly display their anti-trans positions, and the mainstream media is unfortunately entertaining it.

--Zack Ford, ThinkProgress

The print media often allows the hatred to be spread without comment from any transgender sources.  A case in point occurred on August 15 in the Washington Post's On Faith section.  Russell D. Moore, president of the Ethics (ironic, no?) and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, ventured an opinion:  Conservative Christianity and the transgender question.

You can see the hammer looming.  What transgender question?  Whether or not we exist?  Fuck yeah, we exist!

As a conservative evangelical Christian, I believe the so-called transgender question will require a church with a strong theological grounding, and a winsome pastoral footing.

Here’s why.

Ultimately, the transgender question is about more than just sex.  It’s about what it means to be human.

Oh, oh.  I can see it now.  Someone is considering whether or not we need to be evicted from humanity.  I just knew this was where he was going to go.
This is, it seems to me, the question at the heart of the transgender controversy.  Are we created, as both the Hebrew Scriptures and Jesus put it, “male and female,” from the beginning or are these categories arbitrary and self-willed?  Do our bodies, and our sexes, represent something of who we were designed to be, and thus impose limits on our ability to recreate ourselves?
Be the sex you were declared at birth…or get the hell out of the human race?  Are those our choices?  And, pray tell, how does one do the latter?
When gender identity is severed from biological sex, where does one’s self-designation end, and who will be harmed in the process?

As conservative Christians, we do not see transgendered persons as ”freaks” to be despised or ridiculed.  We acknowledge that there are some persons who feel alienated from their identities as men or as women.  Of course that would be the case in a fallen universe in which all of us are alienated, in some way, from how God created us to be.

But we don’t believe this alienation can be solved by pretending as though we have Pharaoh-like dominion over our maleness or femaleness.  These categories we believe (along with every civilization before us) are about more than just self-construction, and they can’t be eradicated by a change of clothes or chemical tinkering or a surgeon’s knife, much less by an arbitrary announcement in the high school gym.

So don't believe him when he says he doesn't see us as "freaks," pretending to be who we are.

Here it comes:

A rejection of the goodness of those creational realities then is a revolt against God’s lordship, and against the picture of the gospel that God had embedded in the creation.
Get it?  Transgender people are, by our very existence, not only anti-God, but actually at war with God.  The Great Transgender Uprising!

Moore continues by explaining how we can find our way back to the embrace of humanity…and God.

Some of us embrace a different interpretation.  

Let's look at the text of Genesis 1:27:

So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
God created both men and women in his own image?  Explain to me then what God's gender-identity is.

The Rabbi Elliot Rose Kukla offers the following prayer.

ברוך את יי אלוהינו מלך העולם אשר יצרה את האדם בחכמה‬‬

Blessed are You, Eternal One our God, Ruler of the universe, who has formed the human being with wisdom.

You created in the human body openings upon openings and cavities upon cavities.  It is clear and well known that if just one of these unique valves within the complexity of each body was blocked or ruptured, it would be impossible to survive.  May the day come when it is also obvious and evident that if just one unique body within the complexity of Your world is blocked or ruptured, if just one of us is not allowed to make our distinctive beauty manifest in the world, then it is impossible for all of Your creation to thrive and rise each day joyfully before You.

Blessed are You, Source of all life and form, who implanted within us the ability to shape and reshape ourselves – molding, changing, transitioning and adorning our bodies – so that the fullness of our many genders, the abundance of our desires and the diversity of our souls can be revealed.

Blessed are You, Eternal One, who has made me Your partner in daily completing the task of my own formation.

--Asher Tatzar (The One who forms)

Ah.  So apparently Mr. Moore's belief is not Truth with a capital T, but merely an opinion.

On August 16 the Human Rights Campaign denounced Russell Moore's screed.

The op-ed, which stems from California AB 1266, legislation ensuring transgender students in California’s schools are treated fairly, says being transgender is “a revolt against God’s lordship, and against the picture of the gospel that God had embedded in the creation.”  This assertion is based on neither Scripture nor science.

--HRC

It is as it always has been.  Choose who you wish to hate, and then make motions at defending that choice without really doing so.  Mr. Moore is using his religion as a cudgel.
Scripture compels us to understand one another and to grow.  Mr. Moore’s words seek only to silence and [spread] further ignorance and discrimination against transgender people.  Transgender people are part of every faith community, from the clergy to the congregation.  Mr. Moore does not speak for me, as a person of devout faith, nor does he speak for so many LGBT people and our allies.

--Dr. Sharon Groves, director of the HRC Religion and Faith Program

He speaks to the false idol of Hatred, however much he denies it.
Mr. Moore speaks neither for all people of faith nor does he speak for health experts.  His words further ignorance and discrimination and add a burden to those already struggling with transgender bias.

--Jeff Krehely, vice president of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation

And we transpeople carry enough burden already, thank you very much.

Originally posted to LGBT Rights are Human Rights on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 04:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by TransAction, Voices on the Square, and LGBT Kos Community.

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