What Do Bruce Jenner And Rachel Dolezal Have In Common?

What Do Bruce Jenner And Rachel Dolezal Have In Common?

On June 9th, 2015 the world woke up to the picture of Bruce Jenner, now “Caitlyn” Jenner, on the front cover of Vanity Fair magazine.  Who is Bruce Jenner? Bruce Jenner was the gold medal winner, and world record breaker, in the decathlon competition in the 1976 Summer Olympics. After some time out of the spotlight he returned to television, not as an athlete, but as a reality TV star father on “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.” Then on April 24, 2015, in an exclusive Interview with 20/20, Bruce Jenner identified himself as “transgender.” Now, due to a surgical procedure and some hormone therapy Bruce Jenner, the Olympic athlete, looks like a woman.

On June 11, 2015, about two weeks after this groundbreaking story broke about Bruce Jenner we hear of another person, a woman, by the name of Rachel Dolezal. Who is Rachel Dolezal?  Rachel Dolezal is a White American woman who served as the NAACP President for the Spokane Washington Chapter, but claimed she was Black (or African-American).  Her story came to light as the city of Spokane investigated Dolezal for a possible ethics violation related to false claims about her ethnicity on a job application. Jeff Humphrey, a reporter for KXLY news, broke this story when he interviewed Rachel Dolezal who claimed she, and her family, had been a victim of numerous hate crimes.  When Rachel Dozal was asked by the reporter if her father really was a African-American man her response was, “That’s a very…I mean…I don’t…I don’t know what you’re implying.”  A couple days after Dolezal’s story broke, her parents Larry and Ruthanne Dolezal, two White-Americans, shocked the world using her birth certificate to prove they were Rachel Dolezal’s parents. Recently Rachel Dolezal was interviewed by The Today Show in which she claimed to identify with Jenner and said, she was “transracial,” then “biracial,” and then at last “Black.” She said,

“I definitely am not white. Nothing about being white describes who I am. I’m more black than I am white. That’s the accurate answer from my truth.”

You may think there is no connection or association with these two stories.  You may believe in terms of their topics they are light years apart. One is talking about a man becoming a woman by surgical means, and the other is talking about a woman who was faking an ethnicity for the sake of personal benefit.  Despite the contrast, there is one overarching fact connecting these two events that must not be ignored: The rejection of absolute, objective truth.

For Bruce Jenner (I refuse to acknowledge him as Caitlyn) this is a denial of the clear and objective truth of how he was created.  It does not matter if he has felt all of his life he was a woman trapped in a man’s body, or if he has all the external body parts that make up the female anatomy.  The plain fact is: He is not a she, but he is a he with some modified body parts resembling a she. For example, Jenner lacks such things as ovaries, fallopian tubes, and a uterus which are important internal organs for a woman’s body.  In addition, because of these reproductive organs, a woman, naturally, is able to create and house a human baby naturally, something Bruce Jenner will never be able to do.  He could never give birth to his own baby with his own ovum, breastfeed, or experience a menstrual cycle.  This is something Bruce Jenner’s DNA did not grant him the abilities to do. He lacks the very things that make women objectively unique and special and never will have them.

On the same level, Rachel Dolezal will never be an African-American no matter what she does.  Similar to Bruce Jenner, she would have to modify herself artificially to continue her African-American ruse. It does not matter how many times she kinks or dreadlocks her hair to make it look more ethnic, or spray tan herself to make it appear like she has darker skin, or even study the Africana culture to identify herself according to the ethnicity she feels intimate with.  It does not change the absolute, objective reality that she is White.

Then we have society at large which has not only accepted this denial of objective reality, but celebrates it.  In July 2015 Bruce Jenner is expected to receive the Arthur Ashe ESPY award not for his contribution to sports, but for his “courage” to come out as a transgendered person. Maura Mandt ESPN executive producer says

“She has shown the courage to embrace a truth that had been hidden for years, and to embark on a journey that may not only give comfort to those facing similar circumstances, but can also help to educate people on the challenges that the transgender community faces.”

There are people even coming out in defense of Rachel Dolezal and her subjective reasoning. For instance Whoopi Goldberg and Raven Symone said this about Rachel Dolezal

If she wants to be black, she can be black,” said Goldberg, adding, “Look, just like people say, ‘I feel like a man, I feel like a woman, I feel like this.’ She wants to be a black woman, fine. Everything that comes with that she is prepared for. Okay.” Raven-Symone noted that “everybody has some type of African blood inside them,” and asked rhetorically, “And what makes a black person, just your skin?”

Sacred Scripture discusses this issue with those who embrace the lie of relative truth when Paul, writing to the believers in Rome says

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. (Romans 1:18-23, NASB)

Both Bruce Jenner, and Rachel Dolezal, believe it or not, have suppressed the truth in their unrighteousness and wickedness. They have chosen to neglect God’s divine attributes that are clearly seen and understood by what has been made.  God made Bruce Jenner a male, this truth is clearly seen. However Bruce Jenner has decided, due to how he feels, to reject this plain clear truth he is indeed a male and distort this clarity, even though he had second thoughts about his surgery and even some regrets concerning his procedure. In fact, he has admitted that he has not removed his male genitalia. Rachel Dolezal has also rejected objective truth by denying that she was born White. She has not only deceived others, but herself by ignoring and rejecting what has been clearly seen based on the nature of her DNA.  By contrast, when they, and we, base our reality on what we feel rather than what is, how do we determine what is right or wrong? By how strong we feel something? By how many people agree with us? This particular type of worldview is ripe for all kinds of confusion and trouble.

As believers in Christ, we hold to the objective and absolute truth of God’s Word,  and so we must continue to hold the objective light of this Sacred Word.  Due to the denial and rejection of absolute truth found in Sacred Scripture, we, like Paul, must acknowledge the world is indeed under the wrath of God…

But we must also proclaim the external, objective, and absolute reality of repentance and the forgiveness of sins.

Yes, even now God will forgive Bruce Jenner for changing who God created him to be: a man.  God bled and died for this sin and Bruce Jenner can receive a full and complete pardon for his denial of reality.  Even Rachel Dolezal for deceiving people, and herself, stating she was Black when she was not. Even she can be forgiven for this lie. No amount of justifying herself in front tons of cameras, or having a change of heart and apologizing for lying to all the people who have heard this will quiet the judgment of God. Only her trust in the Gospel of Christ Jesus will accomplish this reality.

We are no different from Bruce Jenner or Rachel Dolezal. All of us, at one point or another has denied objective reality. Whether we have told a “little white lie” or have denied who we are to obtain fulfillment and happiness all of us have fallen short of God’s glory. When we focus on objective truth, moreover the objective reality of the Word of God, we will no longer see one another as “transexual,” “transracial,” or “trans-anything.”  We will see ourselves for who we truly are and what we truly need…

We are all sinners in need of a transformation by our God who offers the forgiveness of sins in His Name.

Until next time,

Soli Deo Gloria!

Praying for my Christian brothers and sisters in Charleston SC

Praying for my Christian brothers and sisters in Charleston SC

Like many Americans, I awoke to read the tragic headline of evil hitting Charleston, SC as a gunman killed 9 Christians during a prayer meeting. The suspect, Dylann Storm Roof, 21, has been captured and is yet to speak out about his motive. Is Roof a deplorable racist, hateful of blacks? Is a an angry atheist, hateful of Christians? Or maybe both?

While we do not yet know the motivation for his act of evil, my prayers go out to the families of those killed in cold-blood. I pray they can find peace in the abiding grace of Jesus Christ—Lord and Savior of those 9 beautiful souls.

EDITORIAL UPDATE: JUNE 19, 2015

The suspect has now confessed and it appears that his motives for attacking are rooted in a pervasive racial hatred of blacks. His affiliation to an ideology of racism clearly makes this mass killing far more worse than a hate crime, but a deliberate act of terrorism. 
Bruce Jenner and Gender Dysphoria

Bruce Jenner and Gender Dysphoria

The Television and News is filled with unqualified opinions about Bruce Jenner, now Caitlyn. There is a general glee, almost euphoria, as people rush to the microphone to voice their support for Jenner’s so-called “heroic” declaration of transgenderism. To date, I have not given any opinion because I lack the clinical training and expertise to comment. So instead of sharing my thoughts, the following are excerpts from an expert in the field of gender identity.

Dr. Paul McHugh, MD, is University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He is the author of The Mind Has Mountains: Reflections on Society and Psychiatry. Dr. McHugh recently wrote an article titled, Transgenderism: A Pathogenic Meme. From the start, he takes a viewpoint that radically differs from the populist narrative.

The idea that one’s sex is a feeling, not a fact, has permeated our culture and is leaving casualties in its wake. Gender dysphoria should be treated with psychotherapy, not surgery.

So what are his qualifications to make such a claim?

For forty years as the University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School—twenty-six of which were also spent as Psychiatrist in Chief of Johns Hopkins Hospital—I’ve been studying people who claim to be transgender. Over that time, I’ve watched the phenomenon change and expand in remarkable ways…

At Johns Hopkins, after pioneering sex-change surgery, we demonstrated that the practice brought no important benefits. As a result, we stopped offering that form of treatment in the 1970s. Our efforts, though, had little influence on the emergence of this new idea about sex, or upon the expansion of the number of “transgendered” among young and old.

So with this background, Dr. McHugh offers some insight into what is driving Jenner..

This history may clarify some aspects of the latest high-profile transgender claimant. Bruce Jenner, the 1976 Olympic decathlon champion, is turning away from his titular identity as one of the “world’s greatest male athletes.” Jenner announced recently that he “identifies as a woman” and, with medical and surgical help, is busy reconstructing his physique.

I have not met or examined Jenner, but his behavior resembles that of some of the transgender males we have studied over the years. These men wanted to display themselves in sexy ways, wearing provocative female garb. More often than not, while claiming to be a woman in a man’s body, they declared themselves to be “lesbians” (attracted to other women). The photograph of the posed, corseted, breast-boosted Bruce Jenner (a man in his mid-sixties, but flaunting himself as if a “pin-up” girl in her twenties or thirties) on the cover ofVanity Fair suggests that he may fit the behavioral mold that Ray Blanchard has dubbed an expression of “autogynephilia”—from gynephilia (attracted to women) and auto (in the form of oneself).

In other words, this man has made his living as a public figure. From his fame in the 1970’s through his recent supporting role in the series, “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” and now promoting his new reality TV show… Jenner is driven by a need for attention.

Dr. McHugh offers two key observations; first, regarding the real solution to Jenner’s gender dysphoria and second regarding the media response.

The Victims of Gender Dysphoria

But this does not explain why so many have jumped on the bandwagon of support. Dr. McHugh’s article outlines what he sees as the viral meme (public narrative) that has developed over the years and now pervades the general discourse.

In fact, gender dysphoria—the official psychiatric term for feeling oneself to be of the opposite sex—belongs in the family of similarly disordered assumptions about the body, such as anorexia nervosa and body dysmorphic disorder. Its treatment should not be directed at the body as with surgery and hormones any more than one treats obesity-fearing anorexic patients with liposuction. The treatment should strive to correct the false, problematic nature of the assumption and to resolve the psychosocial conflicts provoking it. With youngsters, this is best done in family therapy.

On a related note, my previous article, “My Body My Choice: Amputees by Design” deals with the issue of those who have similarly distorted views of body image called Body Integrity Disorder and the desire to cut off functioning body parts (arms, legs, etc..).

The Public Response to Gender Dysphoria

The larger issue is the meme itself. The idea that one’s sex is fluid and a matter open to choice runs unquestioned through our culture and is reflected everywhere in the media, the theater, the classroom, and in many medical clinics. It has taken on cult-like features: its own special lingo, internet chat rooms providing slick answers to new recruits, and clubs for easy access to dresses and styles supporting the sex change. It is doing much damage to families, adolescents, and children and should be confronted as an opinion without biological foundation wherever it emerges.

What Next?

If you are bold enough to talk about this issue and if you do so from a biblical perspective on sexuality you will face criticism. As Dr. McHugh point out (and I have no idea if he is a Christian) be ready.

But gird your loins if you would confront this matter. Hell hath no fury like a vested interest masquerading as a moral principle.

Should Teachers Get Paid Like Doctors?

Should Teachers Get Paid Like Doctors?

A friend recently posted this meme suggesting that if teachers got paid like doctors, they would all become better at educating our kids. While the meme itself is factually incorrect about teacher pay in Finland, here is the question that I want to ask…

To get paid like a doctor, are you willing to go through what a doctor does?

It is all well and good to covet their paycheck, but are you willing to put in the work to earn it?

My cousin who is a doctor recently posted this on his FB page. He writes,

“Finally – after nearly 12 years of masters, med school, orthopedic surgery residency, and spine fellowship – I will be moving back to Denver! I am joining Precision Spine Center and will begin practicing in Colorado in September.”

On a personal note, I have spent 12 years in post-high-school education and earned my doctorate. I am a graduate professor and would love to make a doctor’s paycheck. However, considering the information below, I am not sure my experience is apples to apples with a medical doctor.

So to the high school teacher of music or English, Algebra, Geography, etc… who wants to earn a doctor’s salary, here is what it takes:

  1. Pay the price. The median four-year cost of medical school (including expenses and books) is $278,455 for private schools, and $207,866 for public schools in 2013.
  2. Put in the time. Go through 11 to 14 years of higher-education BEFORE you make a full-time salary.
  3. Spend approximately 27,000 hours on your training. (For doctors this assumes 80 hours a week of studying and training, for 48 weeks a year in medical school, and 80 hours a week of studying and work, for 50 weeks a year during residencies.)
  4. Carry a half a million dollars in real and potential losses, all by your early 30s.
  5. Pay off an average of $167,000 of eduction debt (assuming it takes 30 years to repay at 7.5% interest — a total cost of $419,738.)
  6. Coupled with average medical school debt of $170,000, the total cost of attending med school including lost opportunity is around $1,000,000.
  7. During residency, keep up with your full-time studies, incur more debt, and earn an average of $55,000 per year.
  8. Once on the job, spend at least 25% of your time doing school administrative/office work.
  9. Be willing to get rid of the Teacher’s Union and compete for the best jobs.
  10. Get paid based on performance, not based on years doing your job.
  11. Be willing to enter private practice and bill the government directly for every student you teach.
  12. Expose yourself to malpractice lawsuits for bad teaching.
  13. To earn the biggest salaries, be willing to pay malpractice premiums anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000 per year.

Also note, to get paid like a doctor, you need to be willing to live with the stresses and frustration that most face:

  1. In hindsight, 50% of doctors say they would go back and chose a different career path, but you are so invested you don’t have a choice but to go forward.

To answer the question, “Should teachers get paid like doctors?”. I say if they are willing to put in the work… yes. Holy cow, anyone willing to go through all this deserves to make big money!!

Creating a culture where respect is defined by a paycheck is not healthy. Doctors should get paid like Doctors, Accountants should get paid like Accountants, and Teachers should get paid like Teachers. Ultimately, the real point is that every profession has its challenges and deserves the respect of others not in that profession.

Sources Used

  1. $1Million Mistake: Becoming A Doctor” — CBS Money Watch
  2. Is Medical School Worth it Financially?” — Best Medical Degrees
  3. “Which Medical School Graduates Have the Highest Debt” — US News: Education
  4. Residency Salary and Debt Report 2014” — MedScape
  5. The True Cost Of Medical Malpractice – It May Surprise You” — Forbes
  6. How Much Do Doctors Pay in Insurance?” — Chron

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