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Quite A Surprise

Colleen Henderson

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I never discuss religion or politics with anyone. We all have our own beliefs, and not contradicting the private opinions of others is the approach that works best for me.


My half-brother, who at 79 is two years younger than I am, still cannot resist passing on material that supports his strong conservative views. Being someone who is suspicious of the fact that we Americans have been (and are still being) manipulated into taking sides against one another, I just delete whatever he sends without comment.


I should tell you that he is a man of science, with a PhD and a legacy of great work in his field. Imagine my surprise when, just a few days ago, he sent an email extolling the virtues of a book that purportedly disproves the theories of Charles Darwin and proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the creation story in Genesis is fact. Then, he forwarded a collection of conservative memes - one of which stated "You can change your clothes and powder your nose, but in the end your Maker knows. A man can't be a woman and a woman can't be a man. Pretend all you want, but you am what you am."


We found each other just 22 years ago. He lives a few states away and has no idea that I'm transgender. We get along wonderfully, but I can't help but wonder how he would react to learning that I have almost eight decades of life experience and research that would blow his "knowledge" of this particular subject right out of the water.

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Wow, @Colleen Henderson. That must have been a tough email to read. As an ordained pastor who not only believes that Darwin was on the right track, but that faith and science don't contradict each other, I would ask him which creation story he's referring to; Genesis has two of them. I've also always thought that God explains things in terms we can understand. Remember that Genesis was written for a bronze age civilization. It would be easier for me to explain quantum physics to an infant (and I have no background in that discipline) than to explain creation to a bronze age person...


As for his conservative memes, I would point out that the Bible makes no reference to transgender people. Period. So, the source of that quote shows an, shall we say, incomplete (?) understanding of Scripture.


Your eight decades or experience, IMHO, trump his "knowledge."



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I dug out the email to find his exact wording: "Read this last week. Excellent. Reduces macro-evolution and billion-year earth age arguments to uselessness. Provides the details supporting conclusions that I began to reach when I was being taught this material as an undergrad, recognizing the circular arguments that were relied upon."


I'm not offended by it, as whatever a person wants to believe is fine with me. But I never would have expected that to come from him.


We have Mormon family members on my wife's side (whom I love), and I jokingly offered to trade him for them plus a future draft choice.

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Raised Catholic but driven away by child abuse scandals. I can't understand how religion can be turned into messages of hate and judgement. Although it seems that we are continuously and intentionally being driven to despise anything we don't agree with as a matter of self righteous faith. Our so-called leaders from both sides of politics following the same playbook of demonization, crisis mongering and idiotic do little solutions.


I couldn't agree more with avoiding arguments with the 'faithful' to any specific belief system as one cannot reason with certainty. I so miss being able to have meaningful discussion of different ideas.



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