Monday, January 9, 2017

More trans hate from Denny Burk

Denny Burk
Denny Burk has now authored a piece for The Federalist titled: “Jimmy Kimmel Accidentally Gives A Reality-Based Lesson On Transgenderism.” The subtitle of this polemic reads: “In a recent short, Jimmy Kimmel argues that truth is an objective fact that exists independently from the whims of human opinion.” Burk recently came to my attention with a transphobic piece at Witherspoon Institute's blog. I'll leave Mr. Kimmel out of this. He is referenced by Burk for reasons other than intellectual discovery.

Burk, who is a theologian, is on the faculty of Boyce College, a small Christian college that does not participate in Title IV federal student aid. Burk is the author of a book titled Transforming Homosexuality: What the Bible Says about Sexual Orientation and Change. Published in 2015 it promotes the pray-away-the-gay approach. He is probably working on a companion, a Christian transgender guide.

If Burk possesses any training in medical or social science it does not appear on his curricula vitae. He thinks that he is profound:

Expressive individualism holds that each person ought to be able to define his or her own identity, even if that identity is at odds with some objective reality. Furthermore, the expression of that identity becomes the path to happiness and flourishing. Anyone who questions or opposes that identity—no matter what it is—is a tyrannical obstacle to that person’s health and happiness.
Burk gives the impression that people make a conscious choice of gender (gender is what he is referring to. Moreover he begs the question, suggesting that a transgender person's sexuality is at odds with objective reality. He is wrong on both counts.

The objective reality for 0.3% to 0.6% of the population is having gender that is inconsistent with their chromosomes. That is a medical fact for people with gender dysphoria. I don't know about being a “tyrannical obstacle” (Burk is not that important). However, he has no business (indeed no right) to question someone's gender. Opposing someone's gender, as he states, is downright moronic. By virtue of inflated egos, these people are wed to the notion that they have some sort of veto power over the lives of other people. His approval has not been solicited and it sure as hell is not required.

Hopefully the parent of a trans child will seek guidance from real experts. The oh-so-clever Burk restates himself. In doing so he claims that being transgender is expressive individualism:
Transgenderism is premised on the notion that every person ought to be able to define his or her own individual gender identity, even if that psychological identity is at odds with their biological sex. Furthermore, the expression of that gender identity is the path to happiness and flourishing. Anyone who opposes that gender identity—no matter what it is—is a tyrannical obstacle to that person’s health and happiness.
That is equally incorrect. The reality is that transgenderism is the expression of gender affirmation for people with gender dysphoria. That affirmation is the only intervention known to medical science. Burk has no answers except to make victims of Christians who question, or object to, someone's gender — as if there exists some legitimate reason to do so. My advice is to mind your business lest we rightfully question Burk's sexuality including his sexual orientation and gender identity with the understanding that each is a continuum in contrast to a simplistic binary indication.

Burk is accustomed to dealing with students at a conservative little pay-as-you-go Christian college. It is not exactly a fount of intellectual curiosity and unlikely to produce any Nobel laureates. Were Burk routinely challenged by real-world thinkers he might moderate some of his views. Alas, in his little world Burk is what passes for an intellectual:
… the truth of our maleness and femaleness cannot be nullified by contrary human opinion. Attempts to change the signage through sex-change surgery don’t change the truth. Maleness and femaleness are an objective reality indicated by our biological sex. To assert otherwise is to make truth subject to the whims of human opinion. And that is just as farcical as Jimmy Kimmel suggests it is.
Burk is after Bronze-Age biblical conformity. His god only created heterosexuals and they are all cisgender. Anything other than that is a misguided personal choice. The “logic” suggests that those foolish personal elections can be altered with the intervention of a theologian — someone with an in depth understanding of those ancient chronicles. Those texts, according to Burk et al, are inerrant in spite of the fact that they were penned before there were antibiotics, pain killers, anesthesia, psychiatrists, x-rays, sanitation, indoor plumbing, sterilization, blood tests, microscopes, forceps, clamps, stethoscopes, hospitals, injections, vaccinations, stimulants, sedatives, pathologists and so on almost endlessly. Life expectancy at the time Christ was born was about 35 years and the source of illness was believed to be demons.

Apparently demons still cause some conditions. Just ask Denny Burk and he will explain it all for you.

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