On May 20, Huffington Post’s Executive Editor Liz Heron tweeted a picture which unwittingly demonstrated what conservatives have long known and stated – progressives don’t actually practice what they preach. One of the media elite groups which regularly bashes anyone who disagrees with their agenda, the Huffington Post is run, as it turns out, by a board composed of all white women. The Marshall Report granted that there may have been “possibly one Asian and one Hispanic” in the mix. But, of the 14 board members in the photo, no African-American women and no men were there, which, as some have pointed out, may even be illegal. Of course, we have to grant that in their world, some of them may “self-identify” as an African-American man and perhaps a Yazidi or two, which in their eyes may round out the circle.
But to us in the real world, the obvious ethnic and gender makeup of their board is not surprising at all. We understand that the “values” they uphold and the rules they want to impose are intended to apply to other people, and not to them.
Two days earlier, HuffPost Religion demonstrated that, while they may have qualified unbiased researchers and writers on their staff, it is not readily apparent – although it very may be that they “self-identify” as such. 😉 To showcase their unfortunate deficit in this regard, they published an article by Suzanne DeWitt Hall, “Jesus: The First Transgender Man.” (Suzanne describes herself as “Freelance scribbler, cookbookophile, imagiplationist, and one of Rumplepimple’s moms”). Her basic argument is that if conservatives were consistent in their reading of Scripture, they too would come to understand that Eve was the first transgender woman and Jesus was the first transgender man. She begins by pointing out something we actually agree on. God is a God of variety, color and textures. It would be difficult to look at His creation and not recognize that is the case. But, the existence of the wide variety of color and textures does not lead us to where Hall intends us to go. She seems to be blissfully unaware that each of these categories demonstrate distinctions or differences. A colorful rock is not a butterfly. Red Rock Canyon is not a freshly ripened and picked Honeycrisp Apple. She distorts a fact that is undeniably true – that God is a God of variety – to promote an idea that is false. In order to accomplish this, she appeals to the old saw that Christians only read Scripture literally when it serves their purpose:
The worst offenders are the Christian’s who claim to take the Bible literally. Of course they don’t actually do that; they impose their own filters on stories and phrases to fit their particular ideology. If they really did as they claim to do, they would quickly see that Jesus must be, by their own exegetical rules, the first transgender male.
This is where she demonstrates either literary illiteracy or blatant dishonesty. Christians – Evangelicals and Fundamentalists at least – read Scripture in its historical/grammatical context. Like other literature, there are different genres of writing in Scripture. There is historical narrative, poetry, wisdom literature, etc. There is the cultural setting in which each one was written which must be considered – contextual deliberations, such as when the passage was written, to whom it was written, and why it was written. We need to answer those questions before we can gain the best understanding of what is being read. For example, in John 10:7, Jesus told his followers, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.” If we applied wooden literalism which Hall insists on to this statement, we would have to teach that Jesus is composed of wood, suspended in an opening by hinges attached to a frame. Such an interpretative methodology would be obviously ludicrous. Sometimes a literal interpretation is called for, and in other cases, it is not. This should not be so difficult to understand, but in true progressive fashion, Suzanne DeWitt Hall is not one to let truth get in the way of a good story.
Another consideration is the issue of how words change meaning with time and usage. The eight-minute video, “Why Does the Bible Mention Unicorns?” demonstrates how the derisive claims by some are answered by possessing literary and historical understanding.
After setting up a false dilemma and criteria she writes:
Now Eve is a fascinating creature for many reasons. The Bible tells us she is the first example of human cloning, which I touched on in this post. But the fun doesn’t stop there. If we take the Genesis account in it’s literal meaning, as conservative Christians demand that we do, she is also the first case of a transgender woman. God reached into Adam, pulled out a bit of rib bone, and grew Eve from that XY DNA into Adam’s companion. She was created genetically male, and yet trans-formed into woman.
She goes on to add things to the text of Scripture where are neither explicitly stated nor implicit in the text. There is nothing in the text which indicates that Eve was grown from Adam’s rib as a sort of clone, but rather that God created something new and different from a portion of something he had created earlier. Thus, the word “made” in the text of Genesis 2:22:
And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman.
He “made” her (a separate creation) with distinctly different DNA (which DeWitt acknowledges) as well as anatomical (and I would suggest emotional) differences. So, contrary to DeWitt’s story, Eve wasn’t “created genetically male.” She was created genetically female.
DeWitt then goes on to add the incarnation of Jesus to her false narrative:
Then along comes Jesus and the whole pattern is both repeated and reversed. The first couple’s refusal to cooperate is turned around by Mary’s yes, and the second act of cloning occurs. The Holy Spirit comes upon the second Eve, and the child takes flesh from her and is born. Born of her flesh. Born with XX chromosome pairing. Born genetically female, and yet trans-formed into man.
Of course, there is nothing in the text which supports the claim that Jesus was, “Born genetically female…” A fairly straightforward reading tells us in Matthew 1:18 that Mary “was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.” The text doesn’t say that the child was “from herself” or from exclusively her own DNA but rather, it is explicitly stated that the origin of the child was “from the Holy Spirit”. Similarly, Luke 1:35 tells us:
The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.
Biblically, we find that God provided what was necessary for the incarnation body of Jesus in the womb of Mary. The text doesn’t give us the mechanics of all that happened, but it would be a little matter for the God Who created everything from nothing by His word to bring into being a distinctly male body into which the Son incarnated.
Perhaps Ms. DeWitt should return to her cookbooks and the HuffPost should enlist someone familiar with literature and theology to carry their banner. We are not holding our breath.Ω
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