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Modern transgender identity issues

peterfarrington

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I am interested in thinking through my response to the modern and mostly anti-Christian and anti-Traditional issue of transgenderism. Not even so much thinking of those who have surgery but those who wish to identify themselves as that which they are not.

My view is probably that much of the energetic lobbying activity is anti-Christian and anti-human, especially when we see stories of lesbians bringing up a young boy and insisting that he wants to be a girl.

But my thoughts about those who come under various pressures to think that they are that which they are not is that they are also the subject of our love and care. But that such confusions are a form of mental and spiritual illness. When someone presents with anorexia and is convinced that they are fat when in fact they are wasting away, we do not usually want to facilitate their illness by agreeing that they are fat.

I am interested in serious thoughts from an Orthodox, not a modernist, perspective.
 

mike

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Father Peter said:
I am interested in thinking through my response to the modern and mostly anti-Christian and anti-Traditional issue of transgenderism. Not even so much thinking of those who have surgery but those who wish to identify themselves as that which they are not.

My view is probably that much of the energetic lobbying activity is anti-Christian and anti-human, especially when we see stories of lesbians bringing up a young boy and insisting that he wants to be a girl.

But my thoughts about those who come under various pressures to think that they are that which they are not is that they are also the subject of our love and care. But that such confusions are a form of mental and spiritual illness. When someone presents with anorexia and is convinced that they are fat when in fact they are wasting away, we do not usually want to facilitate their illness by agreeing that they are fat.

I am interested in serious thoughts from an Orthodox, not a modernist, perspective.
Is Oriental transgenderivm different from the regular transgenderism?
 

TheTrisagion

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Father, I admire your desire to thoughtfully formulate the proper response. So many, including myself, content ourselves with pat answers and jibes. I would be most interested in hearing your thoughts as you develop them.
 

vamrat

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^Agreed.  I usually don't think much into my arguments in this, or just outright avoid them, as it seems a pretty clear answer to me, from a Christian perspective.  And as Father rightly points out, it seems a delusional issue, people wishing to be that which they simply are not.
 

minasoliman

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I think this issue should go hand in hand with many other issues that have been popping up lately.  The feminization of the Trinitarian formula, female priesthood and ecclesiological issues, and because of the relaxing of gender roles, even marital issues like homosexuality and "open relationships" (polygamy, polyandry).  I think, personally, all of these seem to be interconnected in some way.  There is also the issue of "rights" and what that means and the theological understanding of "rights" (i.e. does it really exist, are we truly "entitled" or are rights a result of secular individualization and man's supposed delusion of self-sufficiency).

These are some of the issues that pop up in my head that I think should make this a multi-chapter series.  I think it is not coincidence that the same Church that used to have a strong sacramental and ecclesiological theology had female priesthood, and subsequently homosexuality based on the same vague way one interprets Church tradition and scriptures.
 

peterfarrington

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Minasoliman, yes, I agree. Indeed I'd like to organise a traditional, conservative Orthodox seminar on these issues. My thinking is around developing a spiritual and theological response rather than simply moral one. What is the Good News we have for people caught up in these modern ways of thinking? How do we present an Orthodox anthropology that is positive and truly transformative?

One aspect I note is that all of this new philosophy is predicated on the self. How do I feel, what are my rights, am I happy etc. While it seems to me that one of the most important aspects of the Gospel is that we hear what God thinks of us, what God has made us for, and what God is doing to renew our humanity and unite it to himself.
 

peterfarrington

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This seems to be an interesting and serious article on the issue...

http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/06/15145/

I'd be interested in people's thoughts, from a conservative and traditionally Orthodox perspective.
 
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