Dead in the Water

Dead in the Water

That’s my heart, smashed into the stainless steel of reality and bleeding down the drain.

I thought WordPress.com was that place, I had heard quite a few podcasters describing how they had such a positive experience on WordPress.  Unfortunately it wasn’t until a month in, of frustration I finally realized my mistake.  Those podcasters were using WordPress.ORG.

I realized this error in the process of correcting an earlier mistake.  The blog domain was originally http://www.transatheistpod.com but I realized I would receive much more favorable search results in google, Bing, and iTunes if I switched to http://www.trans-atheist.com.

With WordPress.com, your feed is tied to your domain.  The only way to change your feed, is to change your domain, and vice versa, if you change your domain you have also changed your feed.  Your podcast title is generally generated by your feed. However I had already submitted my feed to all necessary podcast directories (iTunes, xBox Music, PocketCast, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio, blackberry).  So now I have a public feed, that I don’t want, no way to easily change that feed because of the limitations of WordPress.com, and to make matters worse…..iTunes doesn’t like either WordPress.com feed.  I’ve reached out for help to a number of other podcasters, and they’ve all said the same thing;  “Maddy, you’re dead in the water at wordpress.com”.

I have no one to blame but myself for this error, but regardless it has caused me to be quite depressed, kicking myself for wasting so much time and energy into a futile endeavor incapable of achieving my original goal of podcasting.

I should clarify, I’m not trying to become famous, I don’t expect a huge subscriber base.  I’m not looking to make money.  I just want a place of my own, to share my journey, my struggles, my successes, and my point of view.  I tend to rant & pontificate when it comes to basic human rights, hucksters swindling people, and people who tell me to believe them just because they said so.  I’ve found blogging and podcasting tend to be much better places to get on a soapbox then talking with friends, family, or coworkers.

What’s a girl to do?

I’m considering moving to WordPress.org, in fact I’ve already signed up for a domain name there, http://www.trans-atheist.net and next month I’ll be moving http://www.trans-atheist.com over there as well.

The podcast feed will be moving over there, as WordPress.org allows me to use the PowerPress plugin, which will enable me to tweak my feed and also have an iTunes friendly feed.  For now however, I’m not sure when my podcasting feed will be working again.  I’m not sure how long it will take to move these blog posts here at wordpress.com over to wordpress.org.

I’m going to leave http://www.transatheistpod.com up here for a while, because I love the small community I have already met.  All of you who I have talked to are wonderful. A couple of you have had a very positive impact on my mental well-being simply by having blogs I can read and relate to.  Reading the struggles & triumphs of another trans*person and her wife, seeing some of the same issues I face, knowing I’m not alone.

Hopefully as I rebuild you’ll find me there.  It’s nice to know you’re not alone in adversity.

Be beautiful, be safe.

-Maddy

Work Can Be Dark & Scary

The Last Warm Day (LazyLens 20130916 090923 HD)[1]

I work as a laboratorian for a major Minnesota healthcare company in both the hospital and clinical settings.  I don’t want to mention their name here, but I will say they have a wonderful and proven track record when it comes to recognizing the rights of Trans* people.  I also have the benefit of generally working with professional and open minded people, most of us in the lab are generally college educated, with an associates degree at minimum.

I have come out to a few nurses, and my laboratory colleagues in the hospital setting, however I have remained in the closet in the clinical setting.  Up until recently, there have really only been 2 issues I’ve considered in regards to fully coming out and transitioning.

1.  When I’m working in the clinical setting, it is a float.  I don’t have a home clinic, I simply float from clinic to clinic, and there are 60+ clinics in this particular system.  While I do enjoy the people I work with, I don’t have the same connection with them as I have forged with my colleagues over 14 years in the hospital setting.

2. I have frequent patient interaction, as phlebotomy is part of the clinical setting requirements.  I find myself worrying about how patients would react to having a trans*person performing a sometimes painful procedure.

At a recent clinic visit however, I encountered something I hadn’t experienced yet at work.  Transphobia from coworkers.  A small clinic, in a very affluent part of the Twin Cities, and a clinic site I had been floating to for a couple weeks.  I thought I knew these coworkers, I thought they would open and understanding.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

It was an innocent conversation on a slow work day,  The girls had made a comment regarding what kind of purses they had, and I let it slip I had gotten a great deal on my pink Coach wallet when my wife had picked up her Coach purse.  I tried to play it off as I was kidding, but I wasn’t convincing.  For the rest of the work day I was harassed.

I know this is a step along the journey of transitioning.  I know that I’m taking these punches so that future generations won’t have to.  However it still hurts, and that’s why I’m posting here, because I know that you’ll understand.

And that’s where I’m ending this post.  I just wanted to vent.  I just needed to tell someone who would understand.  Will process this, and eventually grow because of it.  I just wish the processing and growing were easier.

-Maddy

Call for help: please speak out about this joint harassment of a young trans girl by TERFs and the religious right, in unholy alliance

Attacking another human being for your own religious or ideological reasons is sick and twisted. This is a wonderful example of how the Pacific Justice Institute displays their love of Christ.

feministsfightingtransphobia

Please see this post by Cristan Williams at transadvocate.com about the horrible situation involving the coordinated attacks by the so-called Pacific Justice Institute and a certain particularly loathsome and shameless anti-trans “feminist” activist — the latest example of their unholy alliance — upon a young trans girl in Colorado whom they’ve accused of “harassment” in a girls’ room — which, as it turns out, consists entirely of her having the temerity to exist in a bathroom while trans, and  while using the bathroom which she should use and is entitled to use.   At least this one TERF is so single-minded about doing whatever she can to attack trans people, that she’s willing to ally herself (and host the words of) an institution that also devotes itself to homophobia and fighting against (among other things) same sex marriage, gay and lesbian adoption and parenting, etc.

Some media outlets have retracted the…

View original post 455 more words

JZ Knight, My Hometown Cult Leader

JZ_Knight

I grew up in Yelm, Washington, home to the Ramtha School of Enlightenment (RSE) led by cult leader JZ Knight.  To be honest, as a young child growing up in the 80’s around Yelm, I didn’t know too much about the RSE.  I don’t recall discussing anything religious or spiritual with my parents, and can recall only going to church a handful of times, and those were only the “traditional” Christian churches.  Despite not knowing anything about what the RSE was, everyone in school knew where the RSE was.  It was the enormous house hidden behind the white stone wall, with only the top most levels of the house visible as the school bus drove us by.  All the stories about the RSE were about how rich JZ Knight was; truth be told, none of us really knew who she was, or what she did to get so rich.

I moved from Yelm to Minnesota when I was a teenager, and almost everything about the RSE dropped from my life.  From time to time I would bring her up as something from my hometown, something that no one around me knew about.  By this time I had also learned JZ was a channeller someone who claims to host a non-corporeal entity so the otherwise silent and invisible entity can communicate with the physical world (us).  To put it another way, she pretends a spirit is speaking using her mouth, and to make you really believe, she talks funny.

Time went on, and as I grew up to an adult I always thought of her as something in my past, a curiosity but nothing more.  Then came Facebook, I had liked a Yelm page which posted an editorial from the Yelm newspaper , and there she was, JZ Knight.

The Ramatha School of Enlightenment was suing a Virginia Coverdale over the release of a controversial video in which she insults gays, Catholics, Mexicans, and many other groups.  As a member of the Trans* community, these bigoted remarks naturally caught my attention.  I would post a link, but JZ has had the vast majority pulled down from the internet.  (The videos are still out there, and if you know how to search, you can find them, and if you are internet savvy, I suggest you take a look as they are quite entertaining.)

Apparently when you join the RSE, you are required to sign a confidentiality agreement where, and I’m paraphrasing here, you agree to not release, discuss, or disseminate materials from the RSE without the consent of the RSE.  This is not the normal behavior for a religion;  however, the RSE does not claim to be a religion, although they do claim religious privilege when it comes to what they believe.

Though Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment is a for-profit school that does not hold itself out as a church or organized religion, the foundation of its teachings are spiritual and center around beliefs in the teachings of Ramtha, a 30,000-year-old warrior spirit channeled by Knight.”  RSE

So they want to be treated as a religion when it comes to their beliefs, but want to be JZ Knight Incorporated, a for profit business when it comes to everything else.  This is a problem because JZ Knight Inc sells a product to its students.  They make a claim of being able to educate and elucidate, and charge you for the special opportunity to learn this secret knowledge.  In an injunction discussed below, the RSE describes itself as “engaged in the business of retail sales, seminars, and publishing.”  I am not personally aware of any church or religious organization which would describe itself in that manner.  Yet, if you realize you’ve been swindled, that the secret knowledge you’ve been promised is a lie, you are not allowed to sue for your money back, because the school then turns around and claims the religious protections guaranteed by the first amendment of the US Constitution.  As mentioned above, the court ruled in favor the RSE, claiming the non-disclosure agreement was binding, and covered the videos and materials Ms. Coverdale had disseminated online.

Virginia Coverdale, like most former students of the RSE, has suggested that an investigation into the relationship between Thurston County officials and the RSE should be undertaken.  It was in fact, because of this belief of uncovered corruption, that the videos of JZ Knight making bigoted statements was originally released.  Under the Public Records Act of Washington State, Ms. Coverdale has now submitted a “request for documents containing correspondence between [Thurston County] and any employee of JZK Inc., Ramtha School of Enlightenment.”

Immediately the RSE sought an injunction against this release claiming it “will clearly not be in the public interest, and will substantially and irreparably damage” the school as well as harming “it’s right to due process of law, its right of free speech, and participation in the political process…”

As I have stated in previous postings, and on the podcast, I am a big fan scientific skepticism, the same rules of evidence apply to Ms. Coverdale’s claim of potential political misdoings, as any other claim.  First, who holds the burden of proof?  This lies on the those making the claim of possible misdoings by Thurston County officials.  Second, if true, would the claim be consistent with our current understanding of reality?  Yes, corruption of government officials by giving them favors or cash does is consistent with our current understanding of how the world works.  This does not mean the claim is true, it simply means the threshold of evidence is lower than if the claim was an extraordinary one, such as the government officials are actually grey aliens.

So as a scientific skeptic, my opinion is that Ms. Coverdale needs evidence, but if she produces said evidence I’ll believer her…..such as the evidence she has requested from Thurston County.  The evidence the Ramtha School of Enlightenment is seeking to keep from becoming public.  An important point needs to be made however.  The filing of an injunction by the RSE, is not evidence that Ms. Coverdale’s suspicion of political misdoings is correct.  There are many alternate hypothesis that are just as reasonable and plausible such as; the RSE has a culture of secrecy they are loath to part with, the RSE is incompetent, the RSE is mean, or the RSE believes everything in their injunction.  All of these are potentially just as true as Ms. Coverdale’s assertion, what we need is evidence, and as stated above, the request of Ms. Coverdale may give that evidence.

I’m going to end this already long blog post here.  I’ll keep you updated on this case, because as with JZ being my hometown cult leader, its resolution is important to me.  I will also go into the teachings of the RSE, and probably channeling in general in further posts.  People like JZ Knight raise my ire, she cheats people out of their money, she cheats people out of their dreams, she destroys families, and she’s not alone.

-Maddy

 

Um, Excuse me, is that your wallet?

WP_20131018_21_45_34_Pro20131018214841

I have cute shiny pink coach wallet that I picked up on Labor Day (see above).  I love my new wallet, I love it so much that I take it everywhere, and then frequently leave it in the car.

That’s right, I frequently leave it in my car, taking out the card(s) or cash I’ll need.

Perhaps you think less of me.  Or, perhaps you find yourself in similar situations.  You’re not passable, perhaps you even aren’t even trying to pass on a given day, and the last think you want to deal with are the stares, the stress, and the intolerance of those around you.

Typically I do this at a bowling alley, a bar, or somewhere else where I am fearful of intolerance.  There are of course days where I don’t care, where I can put up with looks, or where I understand that my perception isn’t always the same as reality.  It’s that last part I think is the most important.

I had teenagers, so the every day drama of mistakenly believing the world revolves around you and is constantly worried about what you’re doing and what you’re wearing isn’t new to me.  I understand in the vast majority of cases, people take one look at me, pigeon-hole me into the “freak” or “one of those” categories, and move on with their own lives.  There are also those more progressive minded thinkers who see me and are grateful I am on the front lines of tearing down gender divides, knocking down gender barriers, and making the public more aware of the gender diversity in our culture, and the world at large.

Which group do I live for?  Which group should I live for?

The answer, as you no doubt already know, is neither.  I shouldn’t live for either group because both groups are simply pigeon-holing me into a stereotype that I’m not.  I should live for me, I should grab my wallet, and take it into the blowing alley.  I should be always be myself, unless my safety is at stake.

Of course, the reality is, I will probably leave my wallet in the car this Tuesday when I bowl.

Instead of letting this bring me down, I’ll instead view it as a goal, a small attainable goal, that will one day lead to being able to not be worried about how the world sees me.  A wallet with more than cash and cards, a wallet with an identification that I choose to make, not an identification the world has chosen for me.

“Excuse me, is that your wallet?”

“Yes, yes that is.”

-Maddy

Florence High School (Updated)

Strawman Cartoon

The blogosphere of the Christian Right has been actively discussing a case of transgender harassment at the Florence High School in Colorado.  You can read all about it here, here, and here.  Or you can read about it from the original source piece at the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN).  In fact, every single piece of reporting I found on this story, was simply a parroting of the original piece from the CBN.  The CBN’s source story itself is not exactly brimming with journalism, as there are no details given, with the lone exception that a letter was sent from the Pacific Justice Institue “warning against squelching privacy rights”.

So what’s going on here, how can a have a rational discussion on how to best solve the problems facing the teenage girls of Florence High School who are being harassed by this transgendered individual?

Perhaps there is another way to approach this problem.  Begging the question is an informal logical fallacy in which the original assertion that becomes the foundation of the argument is itself is not established as factual or accurate.

In the case of this story, the original underlying assertion is a transgender person was harassing other students in a restroom.  There are no facts given to state the exact nature of abuse or harassment.  There is no indication if this was the transgendered students first offense, or if there is a history of disruptive behavior from this student.  There is no timeframe given for the original assertion.  Did this harassment occur last week, last month, last year?  What was the prior relationship of the alleged harasser to the students claiming harassment?

Many of the details would of course not be able to be released as all parties involved are most likely minors.  However, with basic facts missing, there is no way one can construct a rational opinion based upon facts on the best solution to a problem I’m not even sure actually exists.

Here is where we encounter another logical fallacy, that of the straw man, an argument which distorts a viewpoint into something easier to argue against.

If you take the CBN story at face value, if everything reported in this story is factual and accurate, then it is obvious who is at fault.  It is easy to understand and come to agreement that having transgendered students in the bathrooms of the cis-gendered students is only asking for harassment, trouble, and is unfair to the cis-gendered students who feel violated.  The implication of this story is that all male to female transgender students are secretly trying to get into the girls bathroom where they can wreak havoc on the purity of the naïve and innocent cis-gendered girls.

It doesn’t take much critical thinking to realize reality is rarely as simple as a straw man argument.  Why would the CBN and the PJI make such an argument?

The PJI is currently in the middle of a legal action to overturn California School Bathroom Bill AB 1266 which allows transgender students to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender they identify as.  Having a villain to use as an example to voting parents who are on the fence is not out of the realm of possibility, although I must stress, there is purely conjecture on my part.

Whether the events which transpired at Florence High School were in the manner described by the CBN, or if the events that transpired were more innocuous, or perhaps completely fictitious, a discussion needs to take place.  We need to decide how we are going to handle the integration of non-binary gender into society at large, including our public school spaces.  It’s not going to be an easy discussion to have, too many heels are already dug in deep, and there is a lot of misunderstanding, fear, and downright bigotry to contend with due in no small part to the religious fundamentalists.

However as the Florence High School Student Handbook tells its students:

You have to set goals that are almost out of reach. If you set a goal that is attainable without much work or thought, you are stuck with something below your true talent and potential.

Perhaps we can set a goal of acceptance, and work to make every person understand and feel accepted, regardless of their gender identity.

-Maddy

[UPDATED 10-20-2013]

So it turns out that entire story was fabricated, and as I had guessed (see above story) it was a way to create a strawman argument to build support for their opposition to legislation in California.  For a complete breakdown of this story, and interviews from the family of this poor girl follow this link.

Shifting Gears

Shifting Gears

When I began this blog a few months ago, the intention was to have a website for the TransAtheist Podcast.  We now have our first episode recorded, and on the web.  We’re in the iTunes library, the Xbox Store, Pocket Casts for Android, will shortly be available for Stitcher.  What I discovered, though, in the interim between the first blog posting and the posting of the first podcast episode, is that I still love to write.

What I love about writing, is that even more than speaking into a microphone, I can distance myself from the audience in such a way that enables me to think clearly and form thoughts.  I can make a nuanced argument, without fear of you interrupting me.  I can take my time to really think about what I want to say, and then after I say it, unlike in real life, I can use the backspace button – because I realized it just came out wrong.  I love writing, regardless of how well you the reader love my writing.

This is exactly how I feel about my gender and sexuality.

I love to dress as the woman most days I feel I am.  When free from stares and mirrors, I begin to feel transformed, I feel “normal”, happy, and forget which gender my body thinks I am.  Alternately there are days when I am grateful I don’t have to deal with a sweaty bra, or when at a baseball game I’m grateful my bathroom line moves more quickly.  I don’t always mind the male parts of my psyche or anatomy.  I want to delve deeper into this gender dichotomy, and plan on discussing it further in either a future podcast or blog posting, or more likely, both.

What I am starting to discover on this personal journey of self discovery, is the labels I’ve used to identify myself for a lifetime, should remain just those, labels, and they should be easily peeled off.  Instead of being labeled, perhaps I would rather be post-it noted.  This is who I am right now, but in a few minutes, hours, or days, I will be different again, and require a new label.

I don’t want to be all things to all people, I just want to be all of me.

Thanks for reading, listening, or both.  I’m setting a goal for myself to put out two blog posts a week.  One more of a personal diary of my road to discovering who I am as a person in relation to gender and sexuality.  I also want to continue tossing my two cents in when it comes to discrimination and pseudoscience, especially when it comes to transgender discrimination issues and pseudoscientific healthcare claims.

However, as a girl who has a problem with deadlines, I’m not promising anything, except that I will continue to write as long as I find it enjoyable.

-Maddy

Still A Country for Old Men (and Women)

bush wedding

Generally when we in the LGBT community discuss the older generation, it is a somewhat dark subject.  While there are very few people in the world I wish death upon ( ok maybe this guy ) there is a general consensus in our community that the only way for us to gain a complete victory on our civil rights, is to have the older generation die off.  But is this really the case?

While there is an obvious demographic split with younger people far more likely to be supportive of LGBT civil rights as seen this graph from 2009, this is not the only factor to consider.  It is my firm belief, that young people in the 1960’s and 1970’s were more likely than their parents to be accepting of interracial marriage and civil rights in general.  However, one only has to look around today to see that racism is unfortunately still present, and still an evil that permeates our society.  We ostracize those who make their hate public, make laws in an attempt to prevent that hate from influencing employment and house, and still the hate persists.

In a similar manner we should expect to be fighting against the hate, intolerance, and secret bigotry against the LGBT community for decades.  This doesn’t mean we need to take it laying down, but rather we need to fight back, we need to not forget our allies, we need to make sure we are not being discriminatory even as we are being discriminated against.

The picture above is George H. W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, and was a Republican president from 1989-1993.  He is 89 years old, he and his wife Barbara Bush just served as official witnesses to a same sex couple’s wedding.  I’m not going to get bogged down into the politics during his presidency, or what his positions were 20 years ago, I wasn’t a fan of his then, and looking back with 20/20 hindsight, I am still not a fan of decisions he made during his presidency.  What’s important here is my opinion that we have people of a much older generation, supporting LGBT civil rights, and they shouldn’t be written off as our enemies.

Why is it we in the LGBT community, who understand what prejudice feels like first hand, are so quick to prejudge others based solely upon their age?  We need to understand and fight our own prejudices, even as we work to fight against the prejudices of others.  Let us not forget our allies.  Let us not forget how many of the older generation are veterans in the war for civil liberties, how many fought for racial equality, women’s rights, and who will fight for LGBT equality.

Let us not marginalize our allies simply because they have grown old, let us instead remember it was an 83 year old woman named Edith Windsor who brought the case to strike down the Defense Of Marriage Act in the US.

Edith Windsor

Edith Windsor

Chemtrails, an example of Pseudo-Science

JetContrails

To begin, I want to take a moment to define, and explain, what pseudoscience is.  Pseudoscience is an adjective, used to describe a thought process which borrows from the scientific lexicon and claims to be based on scientific principles, in order to put forward an idea or ideology deserving of more merit than it would otherwise receive.  Advocates and practitioners of pseudoscience are not necessarily malicious or intending to do wrong or cause harm.  Many times advocates and practitioners of pseudoscience are scientifically illiterate true believers in the idea, concept, or product they are putting forward.  Believing strongly in something however, does not make it correct or incorrect, that is what the scientific method is for.

Let me be clear, just because a conclusion is based on the scientific method, or arrived at using sound scientific principles and methodologies, does not make it necessarily correct.  It may simply be the best explanation we can provide based upon the current evidence at hand.  Science is self correcting, and the best science never stops searching for better explanations to explain our surroundings, the universe, and how it all fits together.

The scientific method is simply a process by which we test claims and ideas, and then make testable predictions based upon those claims and ideas.  If the testing, experimentation, or observations prove the test or claim incorrect, it is either rejected or modified to account for the new data.  The claim or idea is then published or made known, and other people, with knowledge related to the claim or idea, do their best to prove the claim or idea incorrect.  This is accomplished by looking for holes in logic, and independent testing, experimentation, or observations.  It is sometimes mean, it is often hard, and many times even the best claims and ideas are found to be either completely wrong or in need of refining.

Pseudoscience does not follow the above process.  Claims or ideas are put forward as fact, and then evidence is sifted, cherry picking out testing, observations, or experimentation which supports the claim or idea, and discarding that which refutes.

I would like to use chemtrails as an example.

The above image is a jet, flying through air which is sufficiently cool enough to allow condensation trails ( Contrail ) to form.  The science behind how the exhaust from a jet engine, or the decrease in pressure caused by the wing tips, forms contrails is established science that has met all of the above tests.  It is reproducible, independently verifiable, and conforms with other established theories of physics and chemistry.  With this knowledge we can accurately predict when a particular aircraft flying through a particular part of the atmosphere, will or will not form a contrail.

Chemtrails by comparison are based upon an idea that a government, group of governments, or another unknown body is for various reasons dispersing chemicals into the atmosphere using civilian and / or military aircraft.  There are a variety of chemicals claimed to be dispersed, and there is no consensus among chemtrail believers regarding the chemicals dispersed, the chemical dispersal mechanism, or timing of dispersal.  Some believe all contrails are actually chemtrails, while others believe there are subtle but clear differences between the two.

If you have time watch this youtube clip sent to me by someone on Facebook.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijlY6qgnv-s

Kirsten Meghan certainly sounds like a sane rational person, and she tells an emotionally compelling story that seems on face value airtight.  What’s more, she worked in the Air Force, her career is apparently spotless, she received medals and ribbons, and she’s mother.

Unfortunately her time in the Air Force as an industrial hygienist, does not make her an expert on the formation jet engine condensation.  It does not make her an expert on how to perform environmental studies of background pollution.  It does not make her an expert on fluctuations of background pollution, and how they relate to weather, dust formation in natural versus artificial clouds, and what role the hypothesized chemtrails would have on an industrialized countries chemical signature without chemtrails when compared to an industrialized country plagued by chemtrails.

Ms. Meghan asks us, the scientific skeptical community, to have a cognitive dissonance, to hold two opposite views in our head regarding her expertise.  On the one hand, she asks us to regard her as an expert on this topic because of her working knowledge of science as it applies to this topic of chemtrails.  On the other hand she displays a lack of experience on eliminating variables, control experiments, publishing in peer reviewed journals ( such as The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene ).  This last but important part of the scientific method allows others in her field to review her data, her collection methodology, her testing methodology, and her conclusions.

As it stands, from this presentation, we don’t know how she collected her samples, what volumes were collected, over what period of time, and if she collected samples from areas presumed to be either less effected or even free of chemtrail pollution for control purposes.

Ms. Meghan discusses various people she encountered who were suffering from various ailments, yet she does not discuss whether or not medical doctors were enlisted to treat these symptoms.  She does not give any examples of testing that was performed to ensure the symptoms were brought on by the causative agent(s) she claims.

Ms. Meghan does not offer a reason for the chemical dispersal at either facility, does not elaborate on what possible weapon system or specific geoengineering project was taking place.

This is not science, this is pseudoscience, but let me again clarify, she may in fact be right.  Everything she claims, everything claimed by the chemtrails conspiracy people may be correct.  However, it is not science, it is a guess based upon circumstantial evidence with a conclusion only reached by ignoring evidence to the contrary, and accepting evidence that supported the original preconceived guess.

To be a truly freethinker as Kirsten Meghan claims to be, she should first understand what constitutes good evidence.  Then like the scientific skeptical community, she can believe anything and everything presented to her, assuming of course there is sufficient evidence to believe it.

-Maddy

H. Adam Ackley

RNS-H-Adam-Ackley

“I did not get a sense directly from the individuals with whom I was speaking that they had a theological problem with transgender identity. I did get the message that it has to do with their concern that other people, such as donors, parents and churches connected to the university will have problems not understanding transgender identity.”

H. Adam Ackley was not fired from his teaching position due to poor performance, student complaints, or misbehavior.  According to statements, he was not even let go for violating Azusa Pacific University’s, the private Christian college, theological position on transgender.

No, H. Adam Ackley was let go because he might make some potential donors feel icky.  My words, not his, not the college’s.

The current evangelical church in America, and across the world are finding themselves facing a real theological divide, one that is more generational than biblical.  The Christian bible is pretty clear on its stance towards homosexuality with passages in both the old and new testaments proclaiming death or damnation for homosexuals and effeminate men.  However, this same holy book, supposedly written by an all knowing and all seeing god, didn’t appear to anticipate a world where we accept some people are not born the gender their genitals would have us believe.

Gender is not binary, human sexuality is more complicated, and for a group like the Christians who continually try and impress upon how “fearfully and wonderfully” made we are, they seem reluctant to embrace the wonderfulness of diversity.

There are many Christians who are willing to reinterpret their holy book, to forget the nauseating passages regarding bigotry, in the same way they forget or reinterpret the passages pertaining to genocide, infanticide, rape, and slavery.  While I think they are fooling themselves, and I believe as a whole the world would be better off without religion, the LGBT movement should remember these liberal religious folks are our allies.

Its sad to see anyone lose their job over bigotry, perhaps the Christians on the left should begin to stand up to their brethren on the right.  Perhaps the Christians who have chosen to define their faith in a manner that encompasses love and compassion for all their fellow humans regardless of gender or sexual orientation, should make their voices heard.  Make colleges like Azusa Pacific University fear losing your donation, support, and future education dollars, not just those from the bigoted right.

-Maddy