Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Times They Are A-Chanin’ (Part 2)

There were two news topics that caught my attention today and the both warrant their own posts. The first was about the White House recognizing the Transgender Day of Remembrance and the second is something I don’t normally write about is the Catholic Church. I was raised Catholic and I dropped out of the church not because I don’t believe in God but because I don’t believe in organized religion. Every church proclaims that they are the “True Religion” but I believe it is more important in how you live your life and treat others than it is to be a member of any congregation.

There were two articles that about the Catholic Church that caught my attention and there are…
Day of remembrance honors transgender persons killed for their spiritual journeys
The National Catholic Reporter
By James Whitehead & Evelyn Whitehead
Nov. 19, 2012

On Tuesday, a day of remembrance will be held for transgender persons throughout the world who have been killed in the last year. In Chicago, Denver, Tucson, Ariz., New Orleans and many other U.S. cities, candlelight vigils are planned, during which a litany of names of those who have died violent deaths will be sounded. (See the celebration's website for a further listing of cities and schedules of ceremonies.)

It is fitting that Catholics join in this celebration. November is the month in which we honor All Saints and All Souls, remembering those who have gone before us. Another claim on the Catholic community is the church's commitment to social justice. The violence against transgender persons -- including bullying of children, the adult experiences of discrimination at work, physical intimidation and even murder -- cries out for protest from a faith community that would witness to peace and justice. But there are obstacles as well. On many sexual and gender issues, official church statements do not always contribute to social healing.

The words of Genesis, "male and female God made them," have often been interpreted as the foundation of theories of sexual dimorphism: Human nature was constructed in two and only two genders. Religious authorities reinforce this gender dichotomy as both theological doctrine and moral mandate.

Yet human experience records a dazzling diversity in God's creation, registered in humanity as well. When we find ourselves confused or even bewildered by the questions surrounding gender diversity, it is useful to recall that bewilderment sometimes serves virtuous purposes. As one historian of religion writes, bewilderment may "correct the inclination to unwarranted certainty." Our bewilderment, at first so unsettling, may serve as a portal to humility and open us to God's extravagance so generously on display throughout the world. St. Paul spoke of this diversity in bodily terms: "Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it" (1 Corinthians 12:27). He counsels us that those most vulnerable members are to be cared for with the greatest respect; he reminds us that if one member suffers, all members suffer. And, in a conviction that has special relevance for transgender Christians, "No members can say to another, we do not need you."

We are more aware today that gender and anatomy are not the same. The first formation of gender takes place before we are born, under the influence of prenatal hormones that influence the fetal brain. While we are afloat in our mother's womb, our tiny bodies and brains are awash in these hormones. Powerful chemicals prompt the gradual development of male or female genitalia, as well as inscribing a sense of gender identity in the brain. Most often, the baby's anatomy will match the brain's sense of gender identity. But not always. Most transsexuals as early as childhood experience a powerful and enduring dissonance between the gender their bodies display and their interior sense of themselves as woman or man. For many, the search for gender integrity will entail a long and painful struggle. Spiritual health depends on a sorting out of this disconnect and moving toward a harmony in their experience of gender identity.
I find this amazing that there is the beginning of an open discussion on transgenderism.

The next article is about the soldiers of the Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus…
Catholics To K of C: Stay Out Of Politics
New Haven Independent
by Thomas MacMillan
Nov 20, 2012

Two weeks ago after voters in three states sent out a clear message of support for gay marriage, more than 5,000 Catholics sent a message to the Knights of Columbus: Stop hurting the church by trying to stop same-sex unions.

That message was delivered in the form of a petition organized by Catholics United Education Fund, a not-for-profit Catholic group working for social justice. Traugott Lawlor (at right in photo), one of the more than 5,000 people who signed the petition, hand delivered it to a Knights of Columbus staffer at 3:20 p.m. outside of Knights of Columbus world headquarters in downtown New Haven at the corner of Church Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

“As Catholics, we ask that you stop using charitable donations to oppose civil same-sex marriage,” the petition reads. “This money would be better spent serving the needs of the poor.

“More and more Americans, especially younger generations of Catholics, are turning away from religion because of its mistreatment of the LGBT community. We believe your actions are outside the tradition of the Knights of Columbus and are hurting the Church.”

The petition is addressed to Supreme Knight Carl Anderson.
Now if only the Pope reads the winds of change and not wait 359 years to change like they did with acknowledging that fact the Earth revolves around the sun.

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