Social Question

ETpro's avatar

If God meant marriage to mean one man and one woman, what about this? [See details.].

Asked by ETpro (34584points) May 27th, 2012

Steve Crecelius was a prominent Denver photographer married with 6 children. He had always had feelings of being feminine, wanting to do girls’ things and wear female clothing. Somehow, he sublimated these desires for 40 years. It was only when he developed a kidney stone that a hospital ultrasound revealed that Steve is really Stevie, an intersex human with the organs of both sexes.

If God is so adamant about marriage always being between one man and one woman, how could He, being omnipotent, let something like this happen? Do you think that the couple was right to handle this revelation as they did, or should they be punished? One of every 2,000 births is an intersex child.

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35 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

The humans that claim to know their god’s intentions don’t know what the f*ck they’re talking about?

Supacase's avatar

I’m confused. If she was born with organs of both sexes how did they medically determine her to be a female? Especially since she surely went to doctors at other times in her life who clearly considered her a male. Not to mention she fathered children.

I’m not saying she should be considered a male. Just wondering how the medical community decided she is female (as stated in the article). Seems to me there should be a recognized third option instead of the current either/or.

I know that went a little off topic. As for God, it is also said he doesn’t make “mistakes” so I don’t have any idea how people reconcile the opposing “truths” unless perhaps God has a different idea of man and woman than we do. Truthfully, I don’t thing God enters into it at all – it’s about human interpretation.

Judi's avatar

@Blackberry ‘s response made me think of this song

Bent's avatar

First off, you’re assuming that god exists at all.

Secondly, I belive that biological sex can be as much of a fluid spectrum as sexual orientation or gender identity. Not everyone is fixed at one end of the scale or the other.

I’ll let you into a little secret. There were several things genetically wrong with me when I was born, one of them was that my genitalia were ambiguous – the doctors couldn’t actually tell if I was a girl or a boy. They tried to encourage my mother to put me through surgery and raise me as a girl. She thought about it and asked, “Is it reversible if she later decides that she’s a boy?” They said no. She told them to leave me alone and I’m glad she did – her instinct turned out to be right. I was extremely lucky; most if not all intersexed babies born in the 60s were operated on and raised as girls, sometimes even without parental consent.

bewailknot's avatar

I was talking to an Associate Pastor of local church once about this same subject. The church was upset about the whole marriage equality thing. The AP had never heard of a person being intersex (or by any other name that used to be used) and preferred to believe it couldn’t be so.

wallabies's avatar

God schmod.

jerv's avatar

@Supacase Recognizing a third option is actually at the heart of the debate over human sexuality. As @bewailknot points out, many who claim that marriage is “one man, one woman” would refuse to accept that any options other than man and woman exist, unless those options are demons, sinners, or otherwise not entitled to be treated with the dignity that one would show a fellow human. I mean, most of them are too narrow-minded to accept that the Theory of Evolution does not preclude Creationism.

Do not assume that we are dealing with rational people here.

cazzie's avatar

@jerv wrote, ‘Do not assume that we are dealing with rational people here.’ Spot on.

Human ignorance knows no bounds. Intentional ignorance should not be respected.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@wallabies Really? Childish much?

Well, perhaps it’s one of those things, like “accidents happen”?? I dunno. =0) I don’t believe the whole “one man, one woman” thing anyway.

bea2345's avatar

A few days ago I read about a local pastor who declaimed, “Love the sinner and hate the sin” Pastor, may you live long to minister to your flock, but you are not being very logical (and not even Christian : Fluthers, google the quote, the results may surprise you). When you love somebody the love is supposed to be unconditional. Not, I love you, except for one thing… ; but I love you, warts and all. There are times when my daughter makes me so mad I cannot speak, but that is part of what she is. —-Our relations have greatly improved since I had this insight.—

zenvelo's avatar

@ETpro The premise of your questions is faulty. No one can speak for God’s opinion on marriage, they can only speak on what they think is God’s opinion.

For all we know, God’s plan was for Steve/Stevie and his/her family deal with this all in a happy healthy manner that shows that God’s primary commandment of love overcomes life’s challenges.

And then God can turn to those opposed to marriage equality and say “what about them apples? Start loving one another.”

bkcunningham's avatar

Your question, “Do you think that the couple was right to handle this revelation as they did, or should they be punished?” is very confusing to me. Should they be punished? Who do you think should punish them and what are you suggesting they be punished for, @ETpro?

tups's avatar

Who knows what God meant? Who knows if God exists? Who knows anything?
This whole thing is based on the Bible. Paulus mentions somewhere in the bible that it’s wrong for a man to be with another man. But Paulus was just a man, not some God. His words might be taken out of a context, anyway. That’s not what’s important here. The Bible is a book, Paulus is a man. God we can’t define. So how can we know what God wants?

Off the record. If there is a God, I believe he wants love regardless of gender.

josie's avatar

God has nothing to say about it. Marriage is a word established by convention to have a specific relationship to a concept. I have no problem what so ever with gay people having a socially and legally accepted union. I do not, however, appreciate “word thievery”. The whole idea of word/concept theft, as I see it, began with the Socialist axiom “Property is theft” (La propriété, c’est le vol!- Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, French anarchist) . Gay folks should be offended that they are being made political pawns by the likes of Proudhon’s progeny. I have nothing against gays, I have plenty against the likes of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon.

incendiary_dan's avatar

I think some people have problems recognizing a tongue firmly pressed in a cheek.

ETpro's avatar

@Blackberry Thanks. I completely agree—especially since their God supposedly told them in Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

@Supacase In some instances, intersex babies present easily recognized aspects of both genders that delivery room personnel or parents easily recognize. In others they do not. The condition can range from a someone who is basically male having an ovary to someone who, like this individual, has a external genitalia of one sort but internal plumbing for the other sex as well. This individual did have Y chromosomes and was thus able to produce sperm capable of producing a male child. But the female hormones had made the person always feel like they weren’t quite right as a male.

@Judi Thanks for a great song.

@Bent I’m actually an agnostic. I am an agnostic. I asked how God could condone intersex babies to challenge the religious types who seem intent on forcing their own interpretations of theology upon everyone else via the power of government.

@bewailknot Sad that even when presented with facts, so many will turn away lest their cherished beliefs be shaken. But the AP in question sounds far more enlightened than Pastor Worley, whom I asked about here several days ago.

@wallabies Indeed. Spoken in true Ted Kennedy form. Only Teddy would have probably said “God scrod.” thinking about a local Massachusetts seafood delicacy.

@jerv The link I shared with @bewailknot provides ample example of the fact we can’t assume we’re dealing with rational people.

@cazzie Willful ignorance is the worst kind. I can easily forgive those who are not bright or who are ill informed. Those who intentionally remain ill informed do not deserve forgiveness. They have committed the sin that is unto death.

@WillWorkForChocolate Thanks.

I think @wallabies was joking and the joke probably goes back before your time. In 1990 during a heated senate debate on a Civil Rights act, Republicans were trying to derail the bill claiming it would lead to “Quotas.” To show how silly it was to put concerns such as quotas above concerns for equality, Kennedy rose and said, “Quotas, schmotas!” adding that the “false cry of quotas” is a “disreputable tactic.” See the bottom paragraph here.

@bea2345 I follow what you are saying, but the whole touchy-feely side of Christianity isn’t actually very biblical. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob called for stoning to death all who did a very amazingly long list of things. Virtually all of us have transgressed more than one of the death sentence sins.

And while the Christian Church of today finds it an inconvenient truth and prefers Constantinanity (the Gospel according to Emperor Constantine, who revamped early Jewish Christian cult paractices so he could use them to persecute the Jews and to cement his control of the known ancient world) Jesus did say in Matt 5:18, “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” I asked about that fact here.

@zenvelo The premise of the question is regarding the Abrahamic God, and he did not say that everything is all love. He is purported to have said in Leviticus 20:13 “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” Read Romans 1:18–29. Lesbians are to be stoned to death too. Mind you, I find the Great Unicorn creation theory superior to the God of Abraham one, since less has been falsified about that creation story. But I do know what the book says.

@bkcunningham I do not think they should be punished. Clearly, Pastor Worley and folks like Fred Phelps

@tups If there is a God, s/he doesn’t seem to intervene to enforce any particular will. I’ve never heard of effect not following cause.

@josie That word has changed in meaning again and again over time. Nobody has the authority to freeze it now. Language is a living thing, always evolving. Here is the first sentence of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in its original Middle English, circa 1,400;
“Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote”
It’s hard to tell what that even means now, and if you read past line one it gets rather impossible to decipher. In fact the link provides a modern English translation side by side for just that reason. Words change. Meanings and spellings evolve.

And to compare marriage equality with pure socialism is abhorrent.

@incendiary_dan Roger that.

OpryLeigh's avatar

To me this is love at it’s finest. “She’s the same person she was as a he on the inside.” I love that this is what is important to Debbie.

ETpro's avatar

@Leanne1986 How true. What’s outside is corruptible. With the passage of time, it won’t look so pretty any more. Relationship is about the inner beauty, that’s incorruptible.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@ETpro Sadly, I don’t think that everyone feels the same. Whilst physical attraction is important, it’s not what love should be based on.

Nullo's avatar

A novel spin on the old Problem of Evil. Kudos, but no cigar.
The gentleman-bits work, and the lady bits were unknown to absolutely everyone, which requires that there not be any immediately obvious evidence. I read that as “man with spare uterus, rather than “woman with both sets.” I don’t see why they’re trying to cast him as female in the story, either.
You might find this interesting.

cazzie's avatar

Just in case anyone out there doesn’t know, we all start out as a type of female by default until the genes kick in and start the transformation.

How inconvenient of science to come in and find these things and, further, be able to explain them to have biological origins and not caused by Satan or his minions. /read sarcasm.

Supacase's avatar

I understand what intersex is. She has both sets of “plumbing” and feels like a female. I get that. It is wonderful that she finally understands the feelings she has been fighting all these years and now feels she is fianally able to express them freely.

What I’m still confused about is how they determined she is medically female, as stated in the article – especially if she has a Y chromosome.

Bent's avatar

@Supacase “I understand what intersex is. She has both sets of “plumbing” ”

Actually that’s not what intersex is. being intersexed is having genitalia that are ambiguous, not correct for either male or female, but somewhere inbetween. Most of the parts normally do one of two roles depending on the gender of the person. What is a penis in a man is a clitoris in a woman. What is testicles on a man is ovaries in a woman. What is the scrotum on a man is the labia on a woman. So it’s therefore impossible to have both sets. Intersex is when the division between these functions is not clear-cut. For example, a penis that is very small and has the urethral opening at the base instead of the tip. Or a scrotum that is too far forward, sitting either side of the penis instead of behind it. Or gonads that produce both male and female hormones.

A true hermaphrodite, with fully functioning genitalia of both sexes, can exist only in porn and fantasy fiction.

Nullo's avatar

@cazzie “A type of female” is not a female. Ladies get off the bus sooner than gentlemen, but they’re still taking the bus.

cazzie's avatar

@Nullo when the sex genes aren’t activated, the resulting child appears to be a completely healthy female. It is not until puberty that problems are detected. She will not be fertile, but, most likely identify female.

ETpro's avatar

@Nullo You don’t get to determine how this individual felt about what gender they should be, they do. I find the link interesting in its falsifiable assertions but not much else. And according to their list of possibilities, the intersex individual under discussion couldn’t exist.

@cazzie Excellent point.

@Supacase I for one would not agree with that determination. Psychologically female, yes. My guess is that estrogne won out in early development. But medically female? No.

@Bent Actually, that’s pretty misleading. The person we’re discussing here was most definitely intersexed, but did not show ambiguous external genitalia. And there definitely is such a thing as true hermaphrodism in humans. It happens when both an X and a Y sperm manage to penetrate an egg cell simultaneously. The result is a human with external attributes of both genders and the capability of impregnating themselves.

@Nullo Nice job of glossing over the point to maintain a world view that doesn’t agree with certain inconvenient truths.

@cazzie Thank you.

Supacase's avatar

@Bent Sorry, that was a very generalized and flimsy definition. I’m just frustrated that the responses I am getting are not addressing my actual question.

All I want to know is how/why it was decided she is medically/physically female if she has a Y chromosome and can produce viable sperm.

cazzie's avatar

@Supacase I don’t think the ‘medical community’ decided. I think she decided. Sexual identification is much more than what chromosomes you happen to be carrying. It is about personal identification. For Steve/Stevie, she probably felt a huge amount of relief knowing that there was a real, physical reason for the feelings she had been having all her life and was not freed to identify herself in a way that felt more honest.

cazzie's avatar

*now freed

mattbrowne's avatar

God and Allah seem to be in disagreement as well.

ETpro's avatar

@mattbrowne They would be, since Yahweh is both of them and Yahweh never could come to agreement with Himself.

mattbrowne's avatar

@ETpro – And I forgot the Mormons in the 19th century, although there are rumors about secret second wives in Utah even today…

ETpro's avatar

@mattbrowne Yes, the US law against marrying multiple partners simultaneously was really a religious discrimination move pushed by Christians, who considered Mormonism a dangerous cult that might cut into their revenue stream.

mattbrowne's avatar

@ETpro – I would support polygamy laws if the right applied to both men and women and if existing spouses provide written consent obtained without coercion before a second wedding occurs. This isn’t the case in sharia countries and I think it wasn’t the case in 19th century Utah.

ETpro's avatar

@mattbrowne I believe you are correct on all points.

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