UPDATE August 23:
The day following his conviction and 35-year sentence to military prison for sedition, Bradley Manning (a fitting name, eh wot?) declared himself a girl. His attorney will be demanding that taxpayers foot the bill for sex change hormone therapy and suggests that Manning’s gender confusion contributed to his handing over US secrets to the world.
From a Christian perspective we might be charitable and simply recite the Old Testament lament from Judges that “every man did what is right in his own eyes” acknowledging a human rebellion against God’s moral standards and against God himself.
My very first inclination is to suggest that Manning’s attorney is an unprincipled whore servicing his gender-confused client. My second inclination is to suggest that Christianity in America is deserving of its decline due to its failures to speak out boldly with conviction against our culture’s sexual/gender/procreation rebellion. Instead many churches and denominations endorse the rebellion, falling all over themselves to be the most ‘gay friendly’ or most ‘pro-choice friendly’ (aka ‘murder-in-the-womb’ friendly). Even conservative churches choose the passive middle ground of indifference to this rebellion by merely noting the “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” passage.
The highest priority has become being “charitable”, “tolerant”, “non-judgmental.” This non-reaction to evil would be correctly labeled “indifference” and is in fact part of the church’s own rebellion against God and his moral standards. But who are we to judge? Who is the Pope to judge? We tiptoe around evil by parsing distinctions between judging and discerning. I admit to not being well versed in the distinction. I suppose the difference between “judging” and “discerning” is that judging is active – it requires our reaction to sin – either our opinion of the sinner, or altering our behavior toward the sinner. Discerning, on the other hand, is passive. It just requires taking notice, but going on with life as though there is nothing to see here folks. This passive approach is what some call “charitable” as if there is little real problem with the sinful behavior. After all, they say, who are we to judge – only God can judge – so let God do the judging while we just ignore the whole sordid mess. We may only “discern” evil, but God forbid we judge evil behavior. And this is the path of most conservative churches in America. The majority of liberal mainline churches go the extra step of denying the existence of sexual/gender/procreation sin altogether.
One pastor explained to me that such indifference is in fact the opposite of “charity.” Passively allowing the sinner to rot in his own immoral cesspool while merely taking note (discerning) is not very charitable.
And just a question: Why were “judges” called “judges” in the Old Testament? And why are “judges” called “judges” today and not “discerners?” I can just see the District Discerner up on his high Discerner’s bench stroking his discerning beard doing his “discerning”, and then doing nothing about the murder he has just discerned, as he declares silently to himself: I’ll let God do the judging.
I can understand not being the judge, jury AND executioner. Executioner is the domain of our government. But judging? Judging based on well founded moral principles of our God IS our duty.*
*Note: Some theologians suggest that only Jesus/God can judge - that we are not to judge. These same theologians are convinced from Scripture that we are to be “like Christ.” This seems rather contradictory. Which aspect of Christ’s behaviors are we to limit ourselves to mimick? Only his resistance to temptation? Only his love for us? How about his recognition of evil? Are we to ignore that? Are we to ignore passages following his narrowly focused “do not judge lest ye be judged” passages when he himself clearly judges by admonishing “do not give to dogs what is sacred; do not throw our pearls to pigs.” This is not merely “discerning”; this is judging, calling for our action in how we relate to the people being judged. Are we to ignore this aspect of Christ? God forbid!
“Defense lawyer [for Bradley Manning] David Coombs portrayed Manning as a well-intentioned but isolated soldier with gender identification issues, and he asked Lind to impose “a sentence that allows him to have a life.”
Washington Post, August 21, 2013
Let me understand this. If an individual has “gender identification issues”, that should entitle him to a lesser punishment if he chooses to commit a crime. In other words, being a homosexual or a sexually confused individual entitles him to sympathy and preferential treatment.
Not even suffering from terminal cancer justifies a lesser sentence. But “gender identity issues?” What does that have to do with ANYthing?
I’m confused. I thought mainstream opinion on sexual preference is that varied gender identification is now as normal and acceptable as motherhood and apple pie – if not for the sexism involved in motherhood and the unhealthy carbs involved in apple pie.
So it IS true then, that attorneys will try to pull any stupid-sounding stunt to get their clients off the hook.