Created Male and Female: An Open Letter from Religious Leaders, December 15, 2017 | Anglican Church in North America

https://dg.imgix.net/male-and-female-he-created-them-in-the-image-of-god-p453ynou-en/landscape/male-and-female-he-created-them-in-the-image-of-god-p453ynou.jpg?ts=1499368398&ixlib=rails-2.1.4&w=700&h=394&dpr=2&ch=Width%2CDPR&auto=format%2Ccompress&fit=min

We come together to join our voices on a more fundamental precept of our shared existence, namely, that human beings are male or female and that the socio-cultural reality of gender cannot be separated from one’s sex as male or female.

Source: Created Male and Female: An Open Letter from Religious Leaders, December 15, 2017 | Anglican Church in North America

With all empathy, respect, and compassion toward those who may be struggling with one or another aspect of their gender or sexual identity, I must affirm my agreement with this statement; inter alia:

“We come together to join our voices on a more fundamental precept of our shared existence, namely, that human beings are male or female and that the socio-cultural reality of gender cannot be separated from one’s sex as male or female.

“We acknowledge and affirm that all human beings are created by God and thereby have an inherent dignity. We also believe that God created each person male or female; therefore, sexual difference is not an accident or a flaw—it is a gift from God that helps draw us closer to each other and to God. What God has created is good…

“A person’s discomfort with his or her sex, or the desire to be identified as the other sex, is a complicated reality that needs to be addressed with sensitivity and truth [however]…

“The movement today to enforce the false idea—that a man can be or become a woman or vice versa—is deeply troubling. It compels people to either go against reason—that is, to agree with something that is not true—or face ridicule, marginalization, and other forms of retaliation.”

While aware that there is a very small percentage – less that one-half of one percent, as I understand it – of person who are born to some degree (usually not in a way that is detectable by observation, apart from specialized tests) intersexed, the reality is that we are, as humans, biologically, genetically, either male or female.

If our self-awareness does not match that bio-genetic reality, that is indicative of an issue (gender dysphoria) that needs to be addressed – and not by hormone treatments or surgical alterations which can lead to other issues, and do not address the underlying condition. It is, as this letter points out, especially harmful when children are subjected to attempts to “reassign” their gender, at a time when confusion, uncertainty, and perhaps even a degree of exploration are natural and human, and deserve sensitive and compassionate attention – not attempted alteration.

The idea that one can “reassign” one’s sex, which is in fact encoded in one’s genetic makeup and cannot be altered, or that one can be “gender-fluid” and switch back and forth at will, is both factually incorrect and psychologically and spiritually disordered. It is, as some have termed it, “LARPing” (Live-Action Role-Playing), an attempt to deal with a deep-seated psycho-emotional issue which is neither healthy nor helpful over the long term.

The given-ness of our sexual identity – male or female – is one of those things with which, like gravity or the boiling point of water, we have to deal, whether we want to or not, whether we like it or not. If we do not, when we need to deal with that disjuncture, not mask it or pretend to alter it.

We live in an era in which the very concept of objective truth, indeed of objective reality, is under assault – an assault which is one part, one portion, one prong of the larger attack on Western civilization: cause people to question everything, sow doubt in every realm, spread confusion and distrust, even of biological reality.

It is interesting – to say the least – that some of the same people who insist that we should “accept the science” on global warming also insist that we ignore the much more self-evident and “settled” biological reality of human sexual identify! We cannot conclusively “prove” that human activity is causing global warming; but we can count chromosomes. Yet we are told to commit to the first, but ignore the second. Other than a socio-political agenda, this dichotomy makes no sense.

But whether part of a coordinated movement or simply a synchronicity of societal forces, the effect is the same: softening us up for an attempted complete remake of societal and cultural order. It is an attempt which, denying reality, cannot be ultimately successful; but it is one which can do significant damage – to both individuals and cultures – and so it must be resisted. With sensitivity and compassion when it comes to individuals, some of whom are clearly hurting! But resisted, nonetheless.

As this essay points out,

“Gender ideology harms individuals and societies by sowing confusion and self-doubt. The state itself has a compelling interest, therefore, in maintaining policies that uphold the scientific fact of human biology and supporting the social institutions and norms that surround it…

“We desire the health and happiness of all men, women, and children. Therefore, we call for policies that uphold the truth of a person’s sexual identity as male or female, and the privacy and safety of all. We hope for renewed appreciation of the beauty of sexual difference in our culture and for authentic support of those who experience conflict with their God-given sexual identity.”

Amen, to all of the above!


Note: The picture above was not from the linked article, it is one I selected to illustrate this post.

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DNA discovery reveals relatives of ancient Egyptians – CNN

Scientists analyzing mummy DNA find that the closest ancient relations were from the Near East and Europe.

Source: DNA discovery reveals relatives of ancient Egyptians – CNN

The “Black Egyptians” theorists are not gonna like this…

Ancient Egyptians and their modern counterparts share less in common than you might think. That is, at least genetically, a team of scientists have found.

Researchers from the University of Tuebingen and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, both in Germany, have decoded the genome of ancient Egyptians for the first time, with unexpected results.

Publishing its findings in Nature Communications, the study concluded that preserved remains found in Abusir-el Meleq, Middle Egypt, were closest genetic relatives of Neolithic and Bronze Age populations from the Near East, Anatolia and Eastern Mediterranean Europeans.

Modern Egyptians, by comparison, share much more DNA with sub-Saharan populations.

This is, of course, basically what ancient sources and traditional scholarship alike have been saying for centuries, indeed millennia. But the classical narrative has been challenged by people who, for contemporary social and political reasons, wanted to advance a counter-narrative which gave a higher profile to sub-Saharan Africans. Interesting to see that the latest science tends to confirm traditional understandings, not modern political correctness!

The Greeks really do have near-mythical origins, ancient DNA reveals | Science | AAAS

Ever since the days of Homer, Greeks have long idealized their Mycenaean “ancestors” in epic poems and classic tragedies that glorify the exploits of Odysseus, King Agamemnon, and other heroes who went in and out of favor with the Greek gods.

Although these Mycenaeans were fictitious, scholars have debated whether today’s Greeks descend from the actual Mycenaeans, who created a famous civilization that dominated mainland Greece and the Aegean Sea from about 1600 B.C.E. to 1200 B.C.E., or whether the ancient Mycenaeans simply vanished from the region.

Now, ancient DNA suggests that living Greeks are indeed the descendants of Mycenaeans, with only a small proportion of DNA from later migrations to Greece…

Source: The Greeks really do have near-mythical origins, ancient DNA reveals | Science | AAAS

The title of this piece is a touch misleading, in that it may seem to imply that the ancient Greeks really were descended from the gods, or at least their heroes were. But although the truth is somewhat more prosaic, it is no less interesting!

In addition to the usefulness to historians, archaeologists, mythologists, and students of literature of confirming that there was and is a Mycenaean – and indeed, Minoan – connection with modern Greeks, and a very significant one, this also is further evidence that ancient myths and legends, originally carried down through the oral traditions of a people and only later put to writing, may nonetheless have striking validity.

This is not news to many of us, of course; but it may be to others, who have bought into the popular misrepresentation of “myth” as a synonym for “fallacy.” Leaving aside the 19th centuries discoveries of such men as the highly controversial Heinrich Schliemann (Troy) and the brilliant but political Arthur Evans (Minoan Crete), it is remarkable how many biblical accounts have been either confirmed or at least rendered markedly more probable by archaeological discoveries.

Nowadays, it seems that genetics is following in those hallowed footsteps!