Friday, 8 May 2009

Today's Battles

Another compendium.

Over at Andrew Bolt's Blog at the Herald-Sun:
Garry of Ingle Farm Wed 06 May 09 (12:28pm)

Great comment by Kathleen, that it was not she who needed to change. And as far as the judge prescribing love, I don’t know that judges can prescribe love! Nor can anyone else. It can be freely given, and it is a terrible shame that this young girl does not seem to have anyone in her life providing that. Unless she has a chromosome transplant, however, she will stay a girl.

Zoe Brain Wed 06 May 09 (01:36pm)

There’s a bit of a problem with the “XY is male, XX is female” theory.

Apart from the mosaics who are 46xx or 46xy, depending upon which parts of their body you look at, and the 47xxy people with Kleinfelter syndrome. Some of whom have given birth, others of whom have fathered children.

There’s cases like this one.
A seven-year-old girl with a Y chromosome is providing new clues about a possible “master switch” of maleness.

The girl has the normal chromosome count – 46 – and should be male. Other children who have the male sex chromosome but do not appear to be boys have been found to have gene mutations that temper the Y chromosome’s effects. However this child doesn’t have ambiguous gonads, shrivelled testes or other developmental defects. She instead has a normal vagina, cervix and set of ovaries.
Also there’s the women with CAI or Swyer syndrome and 46xy chromosomes, or men with CAH or De La Chapelle syndrome and 46xx chromosomes.

Then there’s those with 5ARD or 17BHDD syndromes who were born looking like Alex, but unlike him, get a “natural sex change” to male later. They have 46xy chromosomes though, so there you’re safe.

The trouble is, about 1 in 3 of those with 5ARD are girls, and want to stay girls rather than have this horrible, grotesque masculinisation happen to them. For them, treatment to stop this bizarre natural change is a medical emergency.

It’s not that simple, I’m afraid.

Phil Maguire. Wed 06 May 09 (05:29pm)
Apart from the mosaics who are 46xx or 46xy, depending upon which parts of their body you look at, and the 47xxy people with Kleinfelter syndrome. Some of whom have given birth, others of whom have fathered children.
Zoe Brain, no man with 47 XXY has ever conceived and borne a child.

There have been women with an XY karyotype who have done so but they were women with normal female bodies which functioned naturally as per what I said in my prior post.

What this essentially means is that chromosomes are not determinants of sex as was formerly thought but rather indicators. The women we’re discussing lacked an SRY gene, necessary for the development of testes.

One interesting thing is that SRY can be knocked out by a gene known as DAX1 which, by the way, is also necessary for the formation of testes. The strange thing is that a duplication or double dose of DAX1 results in sex reversal resulting in an XY female.

Zoe Brain Thu 07 May 09 (01:31am
Zoe Brain, no man with 47 XXY has ever conceived and borne a child.
No 47xxy man has, but a 47xxy woman has.

An SRY-negative 47,XXY mother and daughter. Roetger et al. Cytogenet Cell Genet. 2000;91(1-4):204-7
We now describe an SRY-deleted 47,XXY female who has one son and two daughters, and one of her daughters has the same 47,XXY karyotype.
The fertility of the XXY mother can be attributed to the presence of the additional X chromosome that is missing in XY gonadal dysgenesis females. To our knowledge, this is the first human XXY female described who is fertile.
This is extremely rare - but with this whole business, we’re into the realms of extreme rarity, and not every case gets detected or documented.

The UK Public Records Office has a medically-advised policy that all cases of 47xxy and 5ARD intersex are male, based on incomplete, obsolete or faulty absolute prununciamentos such as yours.

You’re right… mostly. Nearly always. But if you happen to be one of the 1-in-several-million exceptions where the normal rules don’t apply (such as 47xxy AND SrY deletion), it can be most frustrating being told that not only do you not exist, but you cannot exist, because they’ve been told that by experts not familiar with such oddities.
'Nuff said.

On to the Newburyport News :
Look to the Scriptures for truth

To the editor:

Having been singled out in Julia Kirst's recent letter, April 21, regarding the proposed "Bathroom bill," I hope I am permitted to respond. For, although I can and do understand the real struggles of those who are born anatomically ambiguous, this is not the issue. The issue is the perversion of "transgenderism" where anatomical men want to be seen as women and anatomical women want to be seen as men. The two are not the same. I am intolerant toward this perversion and I hope I never achieve the level of tolerance toward it that she says someone with the title pastor should have.

I am intolerant for two reasons. The first is "transgenderism," as defined, cannot be determined to be right or wrong by any science except the deposed queen of sciences biblical theology. The fact that scientific studies determine that a certain percentage of the population sees itself as "transgendered" cannot answer the question, "Is transgenderism, as defined, right or wrong?" To answer this question you need an infallible source of moral truth that mankind has been given in the Holy Bible.
To adapt a statement found in the Bible to this current issue, "Have I become an enemy of those who want their perversions approved because I have spoken the truth?" Those who are intolerant of the truth of the Bible incorrectly think I have. But speaking the truth in love to a culture engaged in, and approving of, sexual rebellion against God will never be easy.

Ron Johnson, Pastor

Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Amesbury
My reply :
Dear Pastor Johnson,

Anyone talking about such issues has to know a little about the facts. That there are people born with Intersex conditions, bodies neither wholly male nor wholly female.

They're mentioned several times in the Bible, as I'm sure you're aware, but I'll quote some of the scriptures later for others not as versed as you, if you don't mind.

Some Intersex conditions can only be detected by X-rays, Ultrasounds, or even gene tests.

Now using modern technology, autopsies of cadavers, and recent fMRI imaging - "Brain Scans" - we now know that Transsexuality is a form of Intersex. Most of the body looks like one sex, but parts are of the other sex. In particular, parts of the brain, the parts involved with instincts, and feelings, and reflexes, and the inate sense of gender are of the opposite sex to the rest.

This is being discussed at the American Psychiatric Association annual meeting, in seminar s10.

S10. The Neurobiological Evidence for Transgenderism

1. Brain Gender Identity Sidney W. Ecker, M.D.
2. Transsexuality as an Intersex Condition Milton Diamond, Ph.D.

Transsexual people have a congenital medical condition, and are Intersexed. So, let us now look at Scripture for guidance in how to deal with such conditions. Where are they referenced? How are they to be treated? What should a Christian do if he or she is born Intersexed?

I hope you don't mind me using the KJV, I'm a bit of a traditionalist.

Matthew 19:12:
"For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: ..."

It was known even then that Intersex conditions exist. Nomadic and Herding cultures can't help but be aware that some animals in their herds are Intersexed, and that some babies are born with similar conditions.

So how should such a person who is Intersexed behave? Are they pariahs to be shunned and denied Baptism?

Acts 8:38
And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

The "Old Law" was that anyone "injured in the stones" was not permitted in the Temple. But we know that Intersexed people, and those who have been genitally injured, can still be baptised and accepted into the congregation.

Finally, how should someone who is Intersexed - as I am - behave? I used to look mostly male at birth, but that changed to look mostly female (rare even for Intersex conditions - 99% of such natural sex changes go the other way, from female to male - and most Intersexed people don't change at all).

Isaiah 56:4-5
For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;
Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.

As the recompense for my limited fertility, for the misunderstanding by well-meaning God-Fearing people who call me Pervert and Freak, Sinner and Pariah, and even Rebel against God's Law just because of my rare medical condition, for the beatings I've taken, the stonings and the burns, the knife wounds and the hatred I've endured on this Earth, I've been promised a special place in Heaven. All I have to do is what is pleasing to Him. To keep his covenant. To keep the Sabbath.

Please, Pastor Johnson, read this scripture again. And then read John 9:1-3.

God Bless,
The trouble with so many people who "know what the Bible says" is that they never actually read it!

Oh, and John 9:1-3?
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

Maybe the good pastor will get the hint. Maybe pigs will fly. But you have to try.


Thomas Waters said...

I appreciate Zoe's response. So much of our understanding of Gender is based on anatomy. I personally have no clue how to separate my understanding of my own gender identity from my awareness of my anatomical body, but I have spoken to enough transgendered people over time to accept that their sense of gender identity is not aligned with their body. so, I'm left believing that sometimes gender issues are expressed in anatomical anomalies that are easy to see with the eye, and sometimes the anomalies are not easy to see, but real none-the-less.
I don't personally need it all to align to the Bible. As much as the Bible is a tremendously important source of spiritual strength, it isn't the "end all" when it comes to Science. Fir instance, the bible was used as the proof that Galileo was wrong, remember? Or as the theologian, Kristor Stendahl expressed when proof of water in the form of fossilized crystals was found on Mars, "God is a lot bigger than any of us imagined." In my view, the pastor minimalizes God, and the value of Faith by requiring all of God's creation to fit into a book of inspired writings that humans, over time, decided what would be included and what would not.

Anonymous said...


I agree for the most part with your rebuke of the original post, as a Christian mind you... You may remember me as you left some interesting comments on my blog ( - regarding legislation of hate crimes. In any event the fact is this world and everything in it is broken. Sometimes even pastors forget that. I forget it all the time, and then, from time to time, I look in the mirror and go "oh..."

At any rate, your blog has some cool stuff - I too am a software engineer in the fields of Neural networks, Data Mining, and heuristic algorithms. Currently working on Spring based projects for a telecommunications firm.

David T. McKee

IBM Lenovo Laptop Parts said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zoe Brain said...

Hi David

Hope you enjoy the blog. Male or female, I'm a Geek, always have been, that at least has remained constant.

One part of the archives you may be interested in is the post Blessings, Contrasts and Christianity.

I always have to be careful about criticism - whether it's gentle chiding or something more robust. I'm all too aware of my own human failings. I'm also aware of the bit about the removing masses of vegetable matter obscuring one's own visual sensors before worrying too much about the dust in anyone else's.

Hope you have a good look at the archives, and make liberal use of the search facilities and categories. Most of all, I hope you find the blog edifying, amusing, and above all, interesting. It's good to have you here.