Gender Identity in Religion

Tao_Equus

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Many Christians and Islam especially have the ideology that any behaviour outside of standard monogamous heterosexuality is an abomination, evil or at best a mental illness. Yet study after study reveals that there are many gender variables and that they are usually linked to some observable genetic predisposition. Is it time for the law to step in and force religions to halt their ignorant discrimination? An employer is not allowed to discriminate, so why should a religion be allowed to?


tao
 
Is it time for the law to step in (and halt) the ideology that any behaviour outside of standard monogamous heterosexuality is an abomination

You mean, sir, that you want "the idea that any behaviour outsise of standard monogamous heterosexuality is an abomination" be outlawed?

Would you also have the same "authorities" ban all the sexually transmitted diseases that have, through centuries, afflicted humans because of "behaviour outside of standard monogamous heterosexual relationships"?

Respectfully,

Learner
 
Is it time for the law to step in and force religions to halt their ignorant discrimination? An employer is not allowed to discriminate, so why should a religion be allowed to?

That's an interesting slant.. There are some churches that seem to permit a wide variety of relationships outside monogamous relationships..Maybe more of them permit it today than previously.

But to compel other religious groups to change their institutions to say permit other than monogamous relationships is to me going a bit too far and may violate their rights to practise their religion.

- Art
 
Is it time for the law to step in and force religions to halt their ignorant discrimination? An employer is not allowed to discriminate, so why should a religion be allowed to?

That's an interesting slant.. There are some churches that seem to permit a wide variety of relationships outside monogamous relationships..Maybe more of them permit it today than previously.

But to compel other religious groups to change their institutions to say permit other than monogamous relationships is to me going a bit too far and may violate their rights to practise their religion.

- Art

And what about the rights of those with non standard gender variables that wish to practice those religions?

tao
 
And what about the rights of those with non standard gender variables that wish to practice those religions?

tao

They could always form their own factions. Besides, religion has never been void of mavericks. Finally, why not practice the religion your way?:) Why do people always have to kow-tow to an establishment? Do they have a monopoly on the practice of the religion? What is there to say that these people have more divine illumination than you? (Pardon me, but to hell with these people!) In a post-modern world, is there no room for individuality and spontaneity?

What makes these priests, presbyters and pastors so special? To hell with these people who think they know our religion better than we do. Let every individual be his own creed and denomination.
 
They could always form their own factions. Besides, religion has never been void of mavericks. Finally, why not practice the religion your way?:) Why do people always have to kow-tow to an establishment? Do they have a monopoly on the practice of the religion? What is there to say that these people have more divine illumination than you? (Pardon me, but to hell with these people!) In a post-modern world, is there no room for individuality and spontaneity?

What makes these priests, presbyters and pastors so special? To hell with these people who think they know our religion better than we do. Let every individual be his own creed and denomination.

Well, if you are a Baha'i and you are in a same-sex relationship you will not be allowed to attend Feast or vote within the faith. If you advocate for same-sex couples you could end up dis-enrolled. Creating factions within the faith is also forbidden, so you can't technically be a Baha'i and in a same-sex relationship.
 
They could always form their own factions. Besides, religion has never been void of mavericks. Finally, why not practice the religion your way?:) Why do people always have to kow-tow to an establishment? Do they have a monopoly on the practice of the religion? What is there to say that these people have more divine illumination than you? (Pardon me, but to hell with these people!) In a post-modern world, is there no room for individuality and spontaneity?

What makes these priests, presbyters and pastors so special? To hell with these people who think they know our religion better than we do. Let every individual be his own creed and denomination.


What Luna said and...

The sexuality of the people I am talking about is a genetic fact, like being born black. Would you advocate that because someone is black they should be forced to start their own religion and just accept the colour prejudice of the establishment?


tao

PS remember this is tao, this is a question of principle not of religious truth.
 
And what about the rights of those with non standard gender variables that wish to practice those religions?

tao

As far as I know it's quite possible for anyone to create a "church".. or join one that is let's say more open..to their practices. For me when you want to compel other religions to adopt practices that are contray or not allowed then you are telling others how to practise their religion.. and that could violate their rights of freedom and civil liberties.

- Art:)
 
As far as I know it's quite possible for anyone to create a "church".. or join one that is let's say more open..to their practices. For me when you want to compel other religions to adopt practices that are contray or not allowed then you are telling others how to practise their religion.. and that could violate their rights of freedom and civil liberties.

- Art:)

How is it "their" religion? Did they invent it before there were people with non standard gender expression? A belief in the doctrine of a church belongs to the individual not to that church and the church as an institution should receive no special privilege over any other type of institution when it comes to discrimination. If a university was to attempt such prejudice it would be sued. It is about time individuals started suing the churches for there is no justification, for unfounded prejudice is not a justification, to prevent or discriminate against a person for the genes they were born with. Do you also ban blacks or Eskimos or people with big noses?

tao
 
It is about time individuals started suing the churches for there is no justification, for unfounded prejudice is not a justification, to prevent or discriminate against a person for the genes they were born with. Do you also ban blacks or Eskimos or people with big noses?

So you would use courts to try to compel churches to change their institutions.. I think that's been done on occasion. What other means do you think should be used?

In Canada you may be aware that the Court decided it could not enforce same sex marraiges on churches:

"The Court also ruled that given freedom of religion in the Charter of Rights, and wording of provincial human rights codes, it was highly unlikely that religious institutions could be compelled to perform same-sex marriages, though because solemnization of marriage is a matter for provincial governments, the proposed Bill could not actually guarantee such a protection."

- Art
 
What Luna said and...

The sexuality of the people I am talking about is a genetic fact, like being born black. Would you advocate that because someone is black they should be forced to start their own religion and just accept the colour prejudice of the establishment?


tao

PS remember this is tao, this is a question of principle not of religious truth.
Sexuality is not necessarily a genetic fact. Identical twin studies show only a 40% correlation of alternative sexuality in both twins. This may be much higher than in unrelated people, indicating a possible influence of a genetic component, but the 60% non-correlation highlights how we are not bound by our genetics regarding sexuality.
 
As far as I know it's quite possible for anyone to create a "church".. or join one that is let's say more open..to their practices. For me when you want to compel other religions to adopt practices that are contray or not allowed then you are telling others how to practise their religion.. and that could violate their rights of freedom and civil liberties.

- Art:)

FWIW, I agree here with Art that religions should not be compelled to accept members or behaviors they disagree with. I was was just pointing out that in most religions, for all intents and purposes, you can't really be a 'religion of one' and have it still be the same thing as being part of the larger religion. Not just Baha'i, but Christian, Muslim, probably most others. It seems a pretty reasonable thing to say that if you don't accept the teachings and principles of religion, then why wish to be part of it?

I disagree with excluding people because of sexual orientation, but I also disagree with laws that force religions to marry homosexuals or ordain women against their beliefs. This is the kind of thing that caused the Catholic Church in England to stop their work in adoption, which is a tragic loss to the children and families of adopted kids.
 
What Luna said and...

The sexuality of the people I am talking about is a genetic fact, like being born black. Would you advocate that because someone is black they should be forced to start their own religion and just accept the colour prejudice of the establishment?
How is it "their" religion? Did they invent it before there were people with non standard gender expression? A belief in the doctrine of a church belongs to the individual not to that church and the church as an institution should receive no special privilege over any other type of institution when it comes to discrimination. If a university was to attempt such prejudice it would be sued. It is about time individuals started suing the churches for there is no justification, for unfounded prejudice is not a justification, to prevent or discriminate against a person for the genes they were born with. Do you also ban blacks or Eskimos or people with big noses?

Ok, I see that you want to talk about how it could be resolved within or involving the establishment.

My understanding is that the role of the State in democratic and Western societies is to ensure that every individual has the right to the basic requirements for living and functioning normally in (the whole of) society, such as shelter, a job, free speech, marriage and family life. These are all things that allow an individual to function normally in "the wider world" and are a part of that wider world. Being rejected by a religious community because you're homosexual doesn't prevent you from enjoying the "privileges of the wider world." "Homosexual marriage" is a part of the "wider world" but acceptance by a religious community isn't part of the "wider world." The jurisdiction of that religious community is fairly limited. Its authority doesn't dissipate out into the wider world.

There are atheists who don't have a religion, yet they are still able to enjoy these "wider world privileges."

The religious establishment may harbour bigotry, racism and prejudice. Everybody has the right to be a bigot, a racist and to prejudge others. It is just unlawful to project it out into the world, into the public sphere. Curse your grandmother in her own home and you probably won't be arrested. Do it out in the streets and it's more likely to happen.

What I was saying before (which is similar to what you just said above) is that a religious establishment is just a "coalition of men" who aspire to have the authority to decide what is right and wrong in their religion but that authority never really belongs to them. That can only aspire to it. They can only pretend that it belongs to them. They can only believe that they have it. But believing and asserting that it's true doesn't make it so.

A person who has been told he can't be accepted by the religion does not have to believe it. It was not a decision made by the religion itself, but a decision made by some who believed they could speak on behalf of the religion.

I was was just pointing out that in most religions, for all intents and purposes, you can't really be a 'religion of one' and have it still be the same thing as being part of the larger religion. Not just Baha'i, but Christian, Muslim, probably most others.

I thought Baha'i would have been a little more open because it combined Jewish, Christian and Islamic concepts.

But anyway . . . with regards to Christianity, I wouldn't agree with people who said you couldn't have a "religion of one," at least in the eyes of the world. This isn't to say community isn't important, as Christianity was quite community-oriented at the beginning, but I think there are individualistic and collectivistic aspects in Christianity and for a lot of its history, too much emphasis was put on collectivism, on the "group mentality." What I am talking about is people making rules on what it means to be "part of the group" as if to create a monopoly on membership, making rules that suit them but exclude other, somewhat innocent souls and I think that is wrong.

If I was to put a satirical twist on this "religion of one" thing, I would say that Jesus himself said that "my kingdom is not of this world, if it were, my disciples would fight to prevent my arrest." By making rules, creating an ideology and setting up an establishment to decide who is or isn't part of the group, people create a political system and set up "statecraft" to rival Jesus' spiritual kingdom which is divine and spiritual. They think they decide who has access to Jesus' kingdom, which isn't based on the structural and technical semantics all political systems in this world employ for their proper function and operation.

Continuing with the "satirical twist" on the "religion of one" thing in Christianity, Jesus also said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. Nobody comes to the Father except through me."

Ultimately, "the church" doesn't decide who has access to God. Jesus does. Nobody in the entire world of Christianity, no church, no denomination, no creed can decide where a person stands with God and Christianity. Only the individual, Jesus and God can decide.

A Christian individual should not be letting the Establishment decide his relationship with God, because the Establishment, which is no more than "a coalition of men" has no more divine illumination than the individual.

Jesus has set that person free from the Establishment. The Establishment doesn't have the authority to decide that person's fate. The church does not decide that. Jesus has set that person free from going to church. Jesus has saved that person from having to go to church. God can accept that person despite his/her lack of association with a local collective.

You may regard the separatist as someone who is self-centred, self-absorbed and narcissistic. But sometimes it isn't the separatist who is at fault. Sometimes it's because of the arrogant attitude of a group of people who think they're more entitled to the spiritual kingdom because of the way they interpret the Text. In this case, the separatist doesn't serve the blame. The blame rests on the shoulders of the collective that cannot see beyond it's own arrogance.

In Christianity at least, I believe, there is a way to "stay true" (so to speak) without having to conform to the tenets of any group ideology. Some of us are spiritual loners and orphans. For those of us who aren't associated with any local collectives (not saying that I am one), we are happy to be part of a Greater Collective, but are sorry that the local collectives reject, excommunicate and will not commune with us.
 
What Luna said and...
PS remember this is tao, this is a question of principle not of religious truth.

This matter has been dealt with before quite well by the pronouncements of Jesus of Nazzareth when he is attributed as saying, and I paraphrase, "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and into Gd that which is Gd's."

Politics and religion operate on different "planes" if you will. The "state" should not tamper in the realm of the spiritual world and a religion should not tamper with those of the "real word," IMHO. As a member of a spiritual "club" the members may leave at their whim or be censured or excised if they violate the "club's" rules. But the "club's" rules are not necessarily the rules of society and the club's sphere of influence does not expand past that of its membership, whereas the rules (laws) of the society are for all clubs within that society.

John Locke, in his "Letter of Toleration," had discussed this quite nicely, to my mind at least.
 
Not so long ago "good Christians" in white robes and pointy hats used to bring themselves to ecstasy by burning what they regarded as "inferior, sub human blacks". They could justify it with all the same arguments I see here. And the early black civil rights movement was not born from trying to get social and political equality, but by fighting for the right to worship god. They met the same oppositional arguments I see here.

SG, I have not seen the twin study so I cannot comment on it. But my inspiration for this thread was yet another study, this time on transgender genetics, published yesterday that shows genetic predisposition. There have been many, many studies now that I have looked at and they all show a definitive link in how genes express in the production of key hormones. Now if this was an isolated case I would be sceptical but I have seen dozens now. I cannot ignore them.

Through my life my tendency has been a 'distaste' for homosexuality. I love women and the thought of intimacy with a man is repugnant to me. Even here on other threads I have argued at length about what I see as the wrongs of so called 'positive discrimination'. I think many gays would even call me homophobic. But as time has passed and more studies have published I have been forced to accept that it is not merely a lifestyle choice, but a disposition that a person should not be forced to repress. It harms nobody. It can only offend ignorance and intollerance. And no institution of any kind should be permitted to discriminate against people for it.

It is as, forgive the pun, black and white as the race issue. Now there may be some who call themselves Christian here that do discriminate against blacks, ironic when Jesus could not have been white, but society has put the church in a position where it would be unthinkable to turn away a black who went to church. The same should and must happen for people with non-standard gender disposition. It is basic human rights and the church should not be rejecting them but the ignorants and bigots who are anything but Christian. The religious establishment has a duty to include all. It is not for men to judge surely, but for god.

Within a legal context it is within the remit of politics to insure equal rights for all regardless of race, colour or disposition. A church should not and cannot be allowed to uphold a policy of bigotry and prejudice. There cannot be allowed to be one rule for churches and another for everything else. It is that simple.

tao
 
SG, I have not seen the twin study so I cannot comment on it. But my inspiration for this thread was yet another study, this time on transgender genetics, published yesterday that shows genetic predisposition. There have been many, many studies now that I have looked at and they all show a definitive link in how genes express in the production of key hormones. Now if this was an isolated case I would be sceptical but I have seen dozens now. I cannot ignore them.

tao
Sure, there are many studies showing genetic influence on sexual preference. However, the identical twin studies positively show that we are not bound by our genetics in regards to sexuality--identical twins only show a 40% correlation for homosexuality, which shows genetic tendancies account for a maximum of 40% when it comes to an individual's sexuality. (Like I said, even though there might be pornography in the library, you are not obliged to read it.)

Google the studies up, Tao. They are quite interesting.
 
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