Friday, June 06, 2008

Sexuality and Religion: Talking About the "T"

This month the Martin Marty Center published an editorial by Melissa Conroy on the issue of religious response to transgender persons. Describing a recent report on NPR about transgender children, Conroy explores the conflicts that arise from rigid religious narratives about creation, sex, and gender. In closing she prophetically writes:
"As I listened to the NPR program, I was powerfully affected, not just as a sympathetic human, but also as a religion scholar. I wondered if these children would ever know that it is not that their bodies or minds are 'wrong,' but that the narratives of our culture are too limited for their bodies, their minds, and indeed, even their fantasies."
Far too often own inability to imagine beyond the narrow confines of a static tradition blinds us to the possibilities and power of the Divine working in and through the diversity of Creation. By refusing to look beyond what has always been to what is and could be, we not only cut ourselves off from each other, but also we cut ourselves off from God.

Re-imagining religious narratives is an essential part of being faithful, for it is only in and through exploration, challenge and questioning that we come to know the Divine.

* Thanks to Dave over at 7Villages for referring me to this article!

1 comment:

Kari said...

I had the opportunity to speak with a Jewish Torah scholar recently who told me about the incredible gender diversity Talmudic rabbis have read into the creation story- for example, the line "male and female he created them" has been read, in Hebrew, to mean that the original humans were created both male _and_ female in one body. Certainly a different picture than conservative religious scholars paint today!