I wanted to post about Gender and the Pulpit, an inspiring article in Newsweek about transgender people of faith (and the first-ever National Transgender Religious Summit held at the Pacific School of Religion). An excerpt from the story:
The transgender issue is so new that most religious denominations have not yet made policy statements about it. In 2003, the Roman Catholic Church announced that transsexuals suffer from “mental pathologies” and should be barred from religious orders and the Catholic priesthood. Often using Biblical language to make their point, conservative Christian groups have treated transsexuals and other people with ambiguous gender as having psychological defects that can be cured with psychotherapy. Swenson, not surprisingly, objects to this characterization. “To pick out small pieces of Scripture and use them in a hateful way is damaging to me and to the Scripture,” she explains. “God says to love one another; should anything else matter?”
Instead of focusing on that, however, I need to express my ongoing frustration with religion as expressed by many others. Have you heard of the movie Hounddog? I had not. Not until this story broke. Is it about child pornography? Fanning is 12 years old.
Ted Baehr, chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission and publisher of the Web site movieguide.org, claims "Hounddog" breaks federal child-pornography law. He said the law covers material that "appears" to show minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
"Even if they're not actually performing the explicit act, we are dealing with a legal issue here," he said.
Baehr said Fanning is being exploited in the film, and that it should be considered an outrage.
Or, is it about a genuine issue in our society, one that many (many!) little girls suffer through and needs to see the light of day?
Kampmeier [the director] said it took her a decade to get the film made, largely because of the rape scene, but cutting it was a compromise she was unwilling to make.
"This issue is so silenced in our society. There are a lot of women who are alone with this story," she said.
I haven't seen the movie, of course, but based on this article and my own instinct, I opt for the latter. I don't believe that hiding the fact that many little girls are raped by the men in their lives is the way to stop it.
(As an aside, I watched the President and Sen. Webb's speeches last night. I thought Webb did a decent job; I thought the President, though "somber" as the commentators noted, glossed over the real problems and differences facing our country right now -- and I thought he hinted that we might be taking on Iran next, which scares me to death. How is he going to balance the budget without raising taxes and without cutting defense? Hmmm? Thank the voters we have a Democratic congress! Note that he did NOT mention "marriage" once last night - check this out.)