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Mar 06 2012

People who know what god likes

I have a squillion things to do before I leave again tomorrow (like preparing my talk, for instance…), including offering some more detail on the conference, but I can’t ignore a new bit of point-missing and god-frotting from Be Scofield.

It’s about how Natalie Reed says god doesn’t love transgender people and Be responds (by saying yes they do too so, of course).

Natalie Reed, an atheist who is transgender has a new article called “God Does Not Love Trans People” over at Free Thought Blogs.

I have to interrupt for just a second. I do wish people would learn to use that comma properly. I keep seeing this mistake, and it’s very irritating. If you interrupt yourself to explain something, you then have to un-interrupt yourself before you continue. If you have an opening comma to introduce your explanation of who Natalie Reed is, you have to have a closing comma at the end of your explanation. You have to. It’s not optional. If you omit it, the rest of the sentence becomes a dog’s breakfast. There should be a comma after “who is transgender.”

Natalie Reed, an atheist who is transgender has a new article called “God Does Not Love Trans People” over at Free Thought Blogs. It’s a very long post and raises numerous issues, many of which I simply can’t address for the sake of brevity.

Oh darn, I have to interrupt again. It’s a very long post? What does he think his post is, short? For the sake of what brevity? And as for “simply can’t address” – who asked him in the first place? Basic rule of blogging: be careful not to sound as if you think you’re official in some way, or answering some urgent need.

I do beg your pardon; I’ll try not to interrupt again.

However, I do want to spend some time on her main assertion: transgender people should not believe in God or participate in religion because these are both harmful and dangerous  and they enable the transphobic oppressive religious institutions. She states, “I honestly believe that religious faith is inherently dangerous and harmful.” For anyone who seeks to redefine God or say that God loves transgender people you are guilty of strengthening and bolstering a harmful and dangerous institution.

There, I made it to the end of the part I wanted to disagree with.

What does he mean about seeking to redefine God? On what basis does he or anyone say that God loves transgender people? How does Be Scofield (or anyone) know that “God” loves transgender people or that “God” hates them? How does anyone know anything about what “God” thinks of transgender people or any other people?

The short answer is that he doesn’t, and neither does anyone.

Given that, what is the point of “redefining” god? What is the point of paying any attention to god at all? Given that no one knows anything about it at all – why argue about its loves or hatreds?

To give more glamor and heft to their views, that’s why. But nasty people who want to persecute transgender people (and/or infidels, women, apostates, scientists, liberals, foreigners, you name it) also use god to give more glamor and heft to their views. It’s a bad idea. It’s risky, at best. Don’t do it.

14 comments

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  1. 1
    Rey Fox

    You can’t redefine God, because redefining implies that God’s been defined to begin with.

  2. 2
    Randomfactor

    Robert Heinlein observed that “theology” is the only “-ology” utterly unable to define its subject.

  3. 3
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Please forgive me but I cannot resist.

    I know what god like
    I know what god want
    I know what god like
    I’ve got what god like

  4. 4
    ttch

    I know what’s on god’s mind…

    (viz. janine, ref. “The Waitresses”)

  5. 5
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Janine, that’s exactly where my brain went too.

  6. 6
    Desert Son, OM

    janine at #3:

    Please forgive me but I cannot resist.

    And now I have the horn section from “Christmas Wrapping” on earworm-repeat in my head.

    (Not a bad thing, so thanks!)

    Still learning,

    Robert

  7. 7
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    I don’t like churches
    That so upsets him
    Darwin and Dawkins
    Fun to frustrate him
    He gets so angry
    Like pouty children
    Denied their candy
    I laugh right at him

  8. 8
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    What have I done?

  9. 9
    Pierce R. Butler

    For anyone who seeks to redefine God or say that God loves transgender people you are guilty …

    The Comma Police have multiple warrants out for this Scofield character, and the Syntax Squad deems him a person of interest…

  10. 10
    Steersman

    What does he mean about seeking to redefine God? On what basis does he or anyone say that God loves transgender people?

    I think that – “For anyone who seeks to redefine God or say that God loves transgender people you are guilty of strengthening and bolstering a harmful and dangerous institution.” – is his paraphrase of Reed’s position with which you – and I and many, if not most, here – would agree with. His counter argument, with which I at least have some sympathy, is this:

    As I’ve mentioned before it is very important not to dismiss religion outright because it has played a role in resisting slavery, racism and oppression. It has continued to be used in resisting homophobia, transphobia, racism and sexism and provides many useful functions in society.

    Although I would qualify it, as seems necessary, by asserting that it is some people who have played that role and not religion itself. But I would disagree with this from him:

    Being liberated from a belief in God is generally the last thing that most people need liberating from.

    Really can’t see that believing in the literal existence of “people, places or things” for which there is absolutely no evidence is a particularly rational premise or principle to be entertaining, much less inviting in to take up residence in one’s psyche.

  11. 11
    lordshipmayhem

    As I understand this, Be thinks she knows exactly what is on God’s mind. He has apparently been talking to his invisible friend.

    Be, I just have to warn you: in a four-year-old, an invisible friend is cute. In an adult, it’s considered a form of mental illness.

    Just to be on the safe side, Be, you may want to get your lithium levels checked. Just a suggestion.

  12. 12
    Rieux

    It’s a very long post? What does he think his post is, short? For the sake of what brevity?

    I took it as a dare.

  13. 13
    Hamilton Jacobi

    I was thinking more along the lines of Yahweh (as depicted by Michelangelo) singing I Want Candy to the Blessed Virgin.

    Zeus gets all the good press, but he ain’t got nuthin on that horny old goat Yahweh.

  14. 14
    crowepps

    it is very important not to dismiss religion outright because it has played a role in resisting slavery, racism and oppression.

    What a dumb statement. Anyone who has read history knows that religion also has played a role in justifying and defending slavery, racism and oppression.

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