Sunday, June 14, 2015

FYOB: Deut 22:5

The following content is not appropriate for all audiences. Continue reading at your own risk. The material does not contain swearing, violence, or sexually explicit content.

If you have no idea what FYOT could possibly mean and/or are even slightly offended by my mention of a Bible verse (from my spiritual standpoint, I wouldn't be surprised for someone getting upset at me just mentioning their holy scripture, let alone dedicating a post to a small snippet of it), please read this first.

I was raised on the KJV, so although several newer versions with "improved readability" have been released in the meantime, I'll be using it as my primary English translation. (It also happens to be a Public Domain document, which allows me to quote it a bit more freely than newer versions.)

The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.

This is the primary source of attacks made on transexuals, transvestites, cross-dressers, and anyone who feels the passing desire to challenge social norms. 

The first two parts (up to the colon) seem (emphasis on the word seem) pretty clear and straightforward, so I'll leave them to the side for a bit. The first thing I want to look at is the word "abomination." According to Merriam-Webster, it's "something the causes disgust or hatred." In other words, if you do whatever preceeds, God will be disgusted with you. Other translations I've looked at use very similar words,all meaning very much the same thing, "abhorent," "disgusting," etc.

Mind you, it doesn't say that your God will disown you, excommunicate you, bar you from practicing the religion. S/He just won't want to look at you or be pleased at the sight of you. That's a far cry from loads of other caveats found in Deuteronomy; I'll take filthiness over death or rape any day.

Okay, back to the first two parts. Each of them is essentially a mirror of the other, I'm sure we can at least agree that "woman shall not" and "neither shall a man" are basically the same thing, just talking to different demographics, and the same goes for "pertaineth unto a man" and "put on a woman's garment." If you can reach just that far, you're ready for the next step; if not, you're going to fall behind.

Here's where I'm going to break something:

What makes a person a man, and what makes a person a woman?

The question isn't as "out there" as it seems. The mind of a transexual (as I've been told and explained to by several I know firsthand) feels contrary to its biology. A Male-to-Female transexual is born with male genitalia but sees the world through the perspective of a female, and vice versa for Female-to-Male.

I know last century that it was a cultural standard for someone born with male genitalia to be a man and a person born with female genitalia to be a woman, but that's slowly changing as the cultural standards slowly slip away from homogenous heterosexuality. If you are what you feel, then a MtF transexual is only an "abomination" when wearing masculine clothing.

You might think I'm making something of an extreme leap, but I don't think it is. Let it sink into your brain for a week and comment next Sunday. And don't worry, I promise I'll give you something less controversial next week. I wouldn't want to burn anybody's brains out from thinking too hard.

Further reading
A purported Hebrew translation of Deuteronomy 22:5; is it accurate? on