Sunday, May 29, 2016

Transgender Theology


This is interesting logic, but I’m not convinced that logic, faith, and religion go hand in hand. However, I think she is 100 percent correct when she says, “They shout about God not making mistakes, as if God only works in binaries and anything falling outside of black and white cannot be from him. But we don’t have a black and white God; creation is so full of color and variation that it’s incomprehensible how we Christians struggle to pare him down to the limited palette of our individual expectations.” God created a rainbow of people with a rainbow of personalities and sexualities. There are definitely a few things in the Bible that are black and white, such as in Matthew 22:36-40 (NRSV):

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Jesus is pretty clear with these words and it’s something many Christians forget. On other things he is less clear, but what “Christians” who worry about bathroom access forget is what Paul said in Galatians 3:28 “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (emphasis added)


Jesus: The First Transgender Man

The current flap in conservative Christian circles about bathroom access is a bit baffling. They shout about God not making mistakes, as if God only works in binaries and anything falling outside of black and white cannot be from him. But we don’t have a black and white God; creation is so full of color and variation that it’s incomprehensible how we Christians struggle to pare him down to the limited palette of our individual expectations.

The worst offenders are the Christian’s who claim to take the Bible literally. Of course they don’t actually do that; they impose their own filters on stories and phrases to fit their particular ideology. If they really did as they claim to do, they would quickly see that Jesus must be, by their own exegetical rules, the first transgender male.

Let’s take a look at what the Bible and Christianity tell us.

The teaching of the church from ancient days through today is that Jesus received his fleshly self from Mary. The church also teaches that Jesus is the new Adam, born of the new Eve.

Now Eve is a fascinating creature for many reasons. The Bible tells us she is the first example of human cloning, which I touched on in this post. But the fun doesn’t stop there. If we take the Genesis account in it’s literal meaning, as conservative Christians demand that we do, she is also the first case of a transgender woman. God reached into Adam, pulled out a bit of rib bone, and grew Eve from that XY DNA into Adam’s companion. She was created genetically male, and yet trans-formed into woman.

Then along comes Jesus and the whole pattern is both repeated and reversed. The first couple’s refusal to cooperate is turned around by Mary’s yes, and the second act of cloning occurs. The Holy Spirit comes upon the second Eve, and the child takes flesh from her and is born. Born of her flesh. Born with XX chromosome pairing. Born genetically female, and yet trans-formed into man.

States that do not support trans persons’ right to choose the restroom that fits their identity demand that bathroom usage be based on a person’s “biological sex.” One can imagine a future in which state licences require not only a vision test, but also a genetic test so that bouncers proofing at bathroom doors have something tangible to review. And that means that if Jesus and Eve were walking around today, perhaps shopping at the mall for a Father’s Day gift, they’d have to swap restrooms. Now Jesus could surely manage to finesse his way around a woman’s room, but poor Eve…

A quick look at the dictionary for the prefix “trans” tells us that it means “across,” “beyond,” “through,” and “changing thoroughly,” all of which are great terms for the person of Christ. He cuts across all boundaries. He is beyond our understanding. He is through all and in all. He changes us thoroughly into new creations.

In his person, and in his salvific actions, Jesus is truly the first and forever trans man.

The man above is bodybuilder and model Ben Melzer went down in history as the first transgender man to appear on the cover of a European men’s fitness magazine.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Moment of Zen: Québécois



From what I've seen, there are some hot looking men in Montreal. Thank God for those French genes.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Solo Vacation



I was trying to think if I'd ever gone on vacation by myself before. Only one time comes to mind, but it wasn't a vacation but a research trip. About ten years ago, I went to Italy for a month. I was all alone and knew no one in Italy. I'd never been anywhere by myself. Like now, I lived alone at the time, but I'd never gone off to a strange place all on my own. It was simultaneously terrifying and exhilarating. But again, that was not a pleasure trip, it was a research trip.

My trip to Montreal this weekend will be the first time I am going on vacation by myself for pleasure. This time it's more exhilarating than terrifying. I plan to have a great time exploring the city. On this trip I get to do exactly what I want to do and I don't have to worry about anyone else.

I needed to get away this weekend. I needed a mental health break. Six months ago this Sunday, a dear friend of mine who was like a brother died in a car accident.  He was a very beautiful soul. One of the kindest and most loving people I've ever known. Instead of mourning him, I can spend this weekend celebrating his life. He would be so excited that I am going to Montreal and will be able to explore the Gay Village. He was always my biggest cheerleader when it came to exploring my sexuality more. 

It's not just the Gay Village, it is so much more that I want to see. The museums and cathedral and so many other things in Old Montreal. I have the history on one side of me and I have the gay experience on the other. It's a vacation that I have tailored for me, and if I'm lucky, I'll meet a few friends along the way. I already have plans to meet one friend of mine in Montreal for drinks, so unlike my time in Italy, I will know someone this time.

So I hope you will wish me luck and that I have a great and safe time. As soon as work is over, I have to run back by my apartment quickly then I'm hitting the road and driving to Montreal. If all goes well, I should make it to Montreal by about 7:30 tonight. Once I get checked in I plan to head down to the hotel restaurant and have their Moules à la Provençale et Frite Maison (Provençale style mussels and hand crafted French fries). It's a dish I've wanted to try for a long time. I love mussels and good French fries.

PS The picture above was taken while I was in Venice, Italy. Isn't he gorgeous? I stood and watched him for the longest time.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

It's a Small (Ancient) World After All...





An article with a similar title was sent to me by a reader and friend of this blog and it made me laugh so I thought I’d share it with you for some light reading.According to art historian Ellen Oredsson, the reason virtually every ancient statue you’ll ever see has a rather small penis is because of cultural perceptions and biases of the time. Apparently, big penises were associated with specific negative characteristics: foolishness, lust and ugliness. By contrast the ideal man was meant to be rational, intellectual and authoritative and a small penis allowed a man to remain coolly logical.Who can say if this is true or not but the brief and colorful article (they use a bit more direct language) can be read in its entirety here.

Here is a story from history to back up Oredsson’s theory. While Marc Antony was away with Cleopatra in Egypt, Octavian and his enemies in Rome began to slander him.  One of the forms of slander was that Marc Antony was well hung. While that would not be slander in today’s world, it was slander in the ancient world. In the ancient world this meant that he was lead by his penis. Because it was so large he could not control his sexual appetite and thus had Cleopatra, who was known to have affairs with men to gain power, i.e. Julius Caesar. In Aristophanes The Clouds, he describes the perfect man:

If you follow my recommendations,
and keep them ever in mind,
you will always have a rippling chest, radiant skin,
broad shoulders, a wee tongue,
a grand rump and a petite dick.
But if you adopt current practices,
you’ll start by having
a puny chest, pasty skin,
narrow shoulders, a grand tongue,

a wee rump and a lengthy edict.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Montreal


I've decided to go to Montreal this weekend.  I've book a hotel just blocks away from both Old Montreal and The Gay Village.  I am super excited. Now, who has advice for visiting Montreal? I know a few sights I want to see like the basilica and the Museum of Fine Arts. My hotel also has access to the Underground City. I know I want to go to some of the clubs in The Village, so which ones are the best? Any advice will be welcomed. Do I need to get Canadian dollars there or will they take American as well? I know I need to get at least some cash. Also, my French is really terrible. I can basically order food. Is this going to be a problem? I spent three weeks in France once and my limited French was okay. Do most people in Montreal also speak English.  I know these are some dumb questions, but I would love to know as much as I possibly can before I go.

PS Before anyone says it, I have an Enhanced Driver's License so I don't have to have a passport.

PSS Please give as much advice as possible.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Dreams of the Dreamer


The Dreams of the Dreamer
By Georgia Douglas Johnson

The dreams of the dreamer
   Are life-drops that pass
The break in the heart
   To the soul’s hour-glass.

The songs of the singer
   Are tones that repeat
The cry of the heart
   ‘Till it ceases to beat.

Georgia Douglas Johnson was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on September 10, 1880. Her collections of poetry include The Heart of a Woman (Cornhill Company, 1918) and Share My World (Halfway House, 1962). She died in 1966.


Monday, May 23, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend


I'm hoping to find an inexpensive get away this weekend. I need something to keep my mind occupied. This weekend will be six months since my friend died. Sunday even falls on the 29th like it did six months ago when he died. I do not want to sit at home and brood. I know that there are several of you from New England and the surrounding area, so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Please help me find something to do and something to keep my mind occupied this weekend.
If you'd like to help fund my weekend getaway, you can click either the donate button or the GoFundMe button in the upper right hand corner. Your donation would be greatly appreciated. I desperately need a mental health weekend.