Thursday, March 9, 2017

Trends: Conservative Christians seek oddities to compare to transgender people

Straw Man - Straw Men
Apparently some Christian conservatives have stopped trying to formulate rational arguments regarding opposition to transgender folks. It was always a futile enterprise because opposition to accommodating trans folks is as irrational as opposing the production of left-handed kitchen gadgets. Little shame seems to attach to those who are practitioners of intellectual dishonesty.
  • Earlier this month I wrote about Mark Narankevicius, Jr. His idiotic polemic in The Federalist is titled: “Transgender People Need As Much Help As The ‘Human Ken Doll’ Does.” He goes on to explain how Rodrigo Alves has had more than 50 surgeries in order to look like a Ken doll. 
  • Today's great “gotcha” comes from Christian News Network. It is titled: “California Man on Quest to Transition Into ‘Genderless’ Alien Says He Might Adopt Children Someday.” 
  • And who can forget the headline from Charisma (and other outlets) last December titled: “The Father of 7 Who Believes He's a 6-Year-Old Girl?”
A Straw Man is a logical fallacy created by the dishonest proposition of an argument that is easy to defeat while claiming that it defeats the argument that was actually made. Transgender accommodations are fertile ground for straw men. In response to advocating for the use of gender consistent facilities we get variations of: “I am surprised that you favor making young girls vulnerable to sexual predators” which is the more classic form of a straw man. In the above examples the arguer is essentially saying: “So you think it is perfectly normal for someone to have more than 50 surgeries in order to look like a Ken Doll?”

Ordinarily a straw man will not win an argument because it is dishonest. It might make the person posing the straw man feel clever. It might make supporters cheer but it doesn't convince anyone to change their mind about an issue. At the other end, it is very difficult to get religious conservatives to change their minds about anything.

Religious conservatives are not interested in what anyone else (other than a pastor) has to say. They are hostages to their book and they argue obligatorily only to defend the faith. Their thought process includes a supernatural intervener and is thus inherently illogical and they seem to be immune to facts that they don't like. About the best that we can hope for is to limit the influence that they have on others. The set that subscribes to the belief that Franklin Graham (or whomever) actually talks to his god is hopeless. So are the folks who believe that Cindy Jacobs is a prophetess rather than a profitess.

As for the two surgery addicts referenced at the beginning of this piece, they suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder. The operative word is disorder. Transgender people have gender dysphoria which has one similar word. It is not a disorder.

The adult man who wants to be a two-year-old girl also has a mental disorder simply by virtue of the fact that he wants to be a toddler. The fact that he wants to be an opposite sex toddler is merely incidental. 

Transgender people are actually quite normal. They can achieve anything that they set their perfectly rational mind to. They are only limited by the ignorance and intolerance of others. Any instability that trans people suffer from is attributable to the Minority Stress Model.

Conservative Christians excuse their behavior by calling it love. They glow over their supposed compassion. Comparing trans people to people with serious mental disorders while ignoring the science is not some form of love. That is hate which isn't compassionate under any circumstances. Furthermore, a dishonest argument is a lie. Positing a lie is unethical. Trans people challenge the religious beliefs about gender. We have frustrated people attacking others because the attacker is incapable of coming to terms with the fact that reality does not conform to scripture. Those attacks don't seem very Christian to me.

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