Sunday, June 28, 2015
Friday, June 26, 2015
same-sex marriage; it is something else to portray everyone who does not share the majority’s “better informed understanding” as bigoted.”
celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”
Friday, December 19, 2014
Friday, October 25, 2013
In a Huffington Post piece and at a White House briefing on the topic in September, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius claimed that Obamacare will address these problems, specifically in the areas of discrimination, lower premiums, and pre-existing conditions like HIV/AIDS, cancer, and mental health.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
In your September 7, 2012 column, Judge goes too far in sex change ruling which I read at:
you described the judge's decision to mandate that the government provide GRS to imprisoned felon Kosilek as "enraging."
I have to disagree - I think of it as an encouraging sign of the change in the societal perception of trans people that has been taking place in the past decade or so.
What enrages me is the fact that medical insurance, medicare, medicaid, etc. don't all cover trans medical needs in the same way that they treat diabetes, atherosclerosis or any other medical issue. GRS is far from experimental - it is the standard method of treatment for transsexual people.
You describe inadequate treatment as being "more moderate" - it's not "more moderate," it's cruel and unusual. or should be unusual.
It is not that Kosilek should be denied treatment, it's that everyone else who needs it should have it available - whether they are privately insured or on a government medical program.
Societal understanding has been improving over the years. In the 1960's the best medical experts considered trans people to be delusional members of their initiallya ssigned sex, for whom any treatment would be merely "palliative."
Today we know that trans people have brains that develop physiologically along the gendered lines associated with the sex not associated with their genital duct development. Scientists have found at least two kinds of genetic predisposition for embryological development along these lines, where the developing body "zigs" along one path for the developigng brain, and "zags" along the other path for the development of the reproductive system.
At one time, people thought the earth was flat and the sun traveled around the earth. Galileo was condemned by the Inquisition for advancing the Copernican theory - but we now know the earth is round and the earth orbits the sun.
In 1818, a New York court ignored the testimony of the leading natural scientist of the day, in favor of the testimony of sea captains and clergymembers, to hold that whales are fish. But whales are still mammals - and the state legislature recognized that shortly thereafter.
I'd recommend you read a little of Umberto Eco's works on semiotics. What our society is experiencing in connection with the understanding of the trans phenomena is much like the way society has experienced changes in the understanding of other things.
Your column represents the resistance of ignorance - perhaps out of ignorance, but I'd think you, as a journalist, should be educable, or I wouldn;t have bothered with this message to you.
I'd suggest you do some research on your own. Perhaps you might read my occasional blog. (And I think I am going to take this message and post it there . . . at www.trans-cendence.blogspot.com )
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
|Professor Randolph McLaughlin gives me a "teaching moment."|
The evening's principal speaker was Randolph McLaughlin, Esq., who is a civil rights lawyer, a professor at Pace Law School, and who is currently a member of the legal team representing the Chamberlain family's interests in connection with the shooting death of retired corrections officer and Marine veteran, 68 year old Kenneth Chamberlain, killed by a White Plains police officer in his own home for no reason except for the fact that he was an African American male who did not shuffle and say "yassuh" when the police came to his door, ostensibly to help him because his life alert pendant had triggered an alarm.
Professor McLaughlin's speech was inspiring and outstanding. He even cited one of my favorite quotes about the law, from the play A Man for All Seasons.
His speech was marred by a different reference, one I realized was rooted in an innocent ignorance.
In a portion of his speech, he compared the police refusal to allow Mr. Chamberlain's niece, who had arrived in the hallway, an opportunity to speak to him to try to get him calmed down, to the situation police offered to the character played by Al Pacino in the movie Dog Day Afternoon, when he was allowed to speak to his pre-op transsexual girlfriend (in the real-life bank robbery the movie was loosely based on, this character's inspiration was Elizabeth Eden). . .
. . . except Professor McLaughlin referred to the person on the other end of the phone, as the bank robber's boyfriend.
I realized that the factual inaccuracy was secondary to the point that was being made, but I did find it disturbing enough that I had to broach it to Professor McLaughlin afterward. And I did.
It was an opportunity for education, and I took it.
I explained the inaccuracy in the reference to him - and I pointed out the fact that the purpose of the bank robbery in both the film and in the real life situation, was to obtain the funds for Elizabeth's surgery (or surgery for the character based on Elizabeth).
When I finished explaining, Professor McLaughlin asked me to repeat the phrase "pre-operative transsexual woman." I realize that he was trying to commit the phrase to memory - and I am sure that the next time he gives a speech on the subject, and makes that reference, that he will be more respectful of the identity of the character based on Elizabeth's life.
My suspicion that the gaffe was based on an innocent ignorance that led to the initial reference was conformed by the respectfulness and attentiveness that Professor McLaughlin gave me when I spoke to him after his speech.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
"We cannot pick and choose the books of the Bible, we cannot tear out pages, or cross out lines. Orthodoxy is to accept the whole of the Sacred Text, and to consider its claims with reference to the whole of Scripture and in keeping with its trajectory."
"In the pastoral field, these homosexuals must certainly be treated with understanding and sustained in the hope of overcoming their personal difficulties and their inability to fit into society. Their culpability will be judged with prudence. But no pastoral method can be employed which would give moral justification to these acts on the grounds that they would be consonant with the condition of such people. For according to the objective moral order, homosexual relations are acts which lack an essential and indispensable finality. In Sacred Scripture they are condemned as a serious depravity and even presented as the sad consequence of rejecting God.[ Rom 1:24-27 ] This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and can in no case be approved of."
"For a Catholic, of course this is done in union with the Magisterium and Sacred Tradition."
"Many supporters of homosexual behavior adopt this heresy by saying, 'Jesus never said a word about or against Homosexuality.'"
"True, but he also never said a word about a lot of things: drinking to excess, beating one’s wife, he never forbade ethnic humor, or said people should wear clothes, He never declared how big and how much money should be spent on the military etc, whether Government should provide welfare etc. Since Jesus did not say out of his own mouth we cannot beat our wives then it must be okay to beat them? Of course not. An argument from silence is very poor and unhelpful."
“Thus orthodoxy, which holds to the whole and does not pick and choose Scripture, must in every way accept and announce that these are sinful acts, sinful enough to exclude one from the Kingdom if they are not repented of (e.g. 1 Cor 6:9)”
I grant that it is a Catholic perspective, and thus doesn't speak to those of different traditions - but if only, when it comes to LGBT people and the theologies that relate to is, Monsignor Pope, and the Pope, could just consider opening up their minds to a better-grounded theological approach to those of us who are not intolerant and wicked Men of Sodom like them. Our natures, even acting on them, come from the same God who created them - and God does not create junk. Neither their natures, nor ours, are intrinsically wrong - cis, het, trans and gay, we are all loved (even though Isaiah 56 makes trans people really special, as we get a special place in God's House, but don;t ask the Pope about that, he thinks that we're more dangerous than the destruction of the rain forest.)