A Pregnant Man?! redux

Last week I blogged about an Oregon couple’s joyful expectation of their first child. That doesn’t sound too unusual. Children are a blessing from the Lord, and their arrival should be joyfully anticipated. What makes this particular couple’s story unusual is this little detail: the husband is the pregnant partner.

Is this a miracle? No it is not; in spite of what Ms. Lagondino told Oprah. Is this proof that evolution is true; that humans have evolved to the point where men are able to become pregnant? No. This is a woman – Tracy Lagondino – who had a sex change operation to legally, although not really, become a man – Thomas Beatie. The purpose of this post is not the regurgitation of the previous one; which you may read here. The purpose of this post is…

  • To follow up on the one post which has driven a horde of traffic to this blog. The Oxgoad has been hit 25-30 times a day by people who have searched the Internet using the words “Tracy Lagondino”, “Thomas Beatie”, “pregnant man”, etc. (Yes, 25-30 extra hits per day is a “horde” of traffic for this blog.)
  • To respond to the sole comment that last week’s article engendered
I received a solitary comment on the original post, and the commenter did not share my understanding of the situation. Here is “skylana‘s” comment:

wow, i always forget that there are still people as close minded and cruel as you out there. why does it make you so upset that these people have found something that makes them happy? i understand not agreeing with it, but it making you upset seems really weird. i hope that someday someone close to you, like your child or another family member goes through something like a sex change so you can have some compassion and understanding towards people who are different than you. what is sad and pathetic to me is how angry you are over someone elses happiness simply because you choose not to understand it. how childish.

“Wow” indeed! A woman has her breasts surgically removed, received hormone therapy to look and sound masculine, married another woman, and then, thanks to IVF, became impregnated, and I am the weird one.

I understand her charge of being “close-minded”. I believe Ms. Lagondino’s gender confusion, Lesbian “marriage”, and the birth of an innocent child into such confusion is tragic. Thus, my mind is closed. I understand and am comfortable with that criticism, and if being open-minded means viewing as acceptable or normal trans-gendered marriages and pregnancies; then I am closed-minded.

Except I’m not. Being open-minded does not mean universal, unilateral acceptance of everything under the sun. I am open to the viewpoints of others. I am willing to learn and be intellectually and culturally stretched. This story is stretching it way too far, however, and it is simply wrong.

What I do not understand is the accusation of being cruel, unless skylana means that, since I find this whole affair “a sad and pathetic commentary on our culture” I am therefore a cruel human being. She used that identical phrase – “sad and pathetic” in her comment as she referred to me as angry and childish. I was not then, nor am I now, angry about this story. I am saddened by it all, and I do find it pathetic. I do not believe that constitutes cruelty, but wishing that my children will grow up to have a sex change operation…well now, that’s kinda cruel.

I also understand her suggestion that I am upset at the happiness of others. Please understand, I like happiness. I am all for happiness; my own, as well as the happiness of others, but I do not believe that gender confusion leads to happiness. I would say the same thing about promiscuity, drunkenness, or any number of behaviors in which many people futilely engage as they grasp for an unattainable happiness. Just because it feels good (at the moment) doesn’t mean you should do it, and it most certainly does not guarantee your happiness.

That is why I said “unattainable happiness”. The pursuit of happiness is not just an inalienable right or a Will Smith movie. The pursuit of happiness is a human trait. It is a natural, God-given desire to pursue happiness, but there is only one avenue that leads to ultimate happiness. The person who will be happy will not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers; but his delight will be in the law of the Lord. The person who pursues happiness will achieve it if he delights himself in the Lord. Do so and the Lord will give you the desires of your heart, and one may be assured that those desires will be consistent with God’s word.

So you want to be happy? Get it right on the inside. Down deep inside remove the trash, the shame, the fear, the clutter, the guilt. Repent of it. Repent of the thought that maybe you can make your life better than God can. The key to real happiness in your life and my life is connecting in a delighted way to God’s Word.

Finally, as to the indictment that I am not being compassionate because I can not rejoice in this woman’s gender confusion and pregnancy, let me just say that the truth – God’s truth – is compassionate no matter how out of sync that truth may be with cultural consensus. Albert Mohler has clearly written an article – The Compassion of Truth: Homosexuality in Biblical Perspective – on this very subject.

I hold no ill will towards Tracy Lagondino, her expectant child, or her partner Nancy Roberts; however, I will not celebrate their sin. I am not referring to the child as their sin; the child is the only innocent person in this ordeal. The sin to which I am referring is their homosexuality.

Here are a few additional helpful links on this topic:

And several blog posts from Al Mohler:

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About Travis

Happily married. Blessed to raise three young men. Associate pastor of Rodgers Baptist Church.
This entry was posted in Culture, Gender, Homosexuality. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to A Pregnant Man?! redux

  1. Fresh Dirt says:

    This is one of the most volatile issues in our society and within the American Church. Individuals and groups react in such a variety of ways. Our society is one that does not seek to understand pain or fear or truth. The American church for the most part is a place of much pain for those who are gay. For the church’s talk about grace, there is no grace for them. And the church (including the bible) has no answers for those who are born with both male and female reproductive parts. This debate has to go beyond truth positions to grace-filled postures. The woman caught in adultery was in sin, but Jesus steps beyond the truth of her sin to acknowledge a person in need of grace and mercy that religion and Torah would not provide– indeed could not provide.

  2. Travis says:

    To have a grace filled posture is to hold a truth position. You have to hold the truth, and hold it the right way. There should be room for homosexuals in the Lord’s churches; just like there should be room for all sinners, but not so they can remain sinners (homosexual or otherwise). Jesus did tell the woman from John 8 to go and sin no more.

  3. SB says:

    I often hear people say that others are closed minded when they don’t agree with a controversial issue such as this one. I read a bumber sticker once that said “the definition of a liberal is someone who is so open-minded that their brain has fallen out”. While that may sound funny it’s not necessarily true I understand. There are many intelligent liberals out there. However, one thing that I believe the world lacks today is strong men and women who will take a stand for what they feel is right. People that do this are typically called closed minded. Tolerance has crept in and caused a confusion in the world today like none other. When I heard the story about the “man” who was pregnant I too was saddened. This is a person desperately seeking happiness but doing it in a perverse way. I agree that as christians we need to reach out to people like this and love them, we need to help them if they want help but we DO NOT and SHOULD NOT tolerate something that clearly goes against the Word of God. I find that many times people want to shove acceptance down peoples throats and this is very wrong. Travis, you are not cruel for pointing out the wrong in this. And I’m sure if this person contacted you for help you would not turn them away or act cruel towards them. That goes against everything the Bible teaches. Love the sinner but hate the sin. God can turn tragedy into something beautiful and who knows how he’ll work in this innocent child but I’m praying he uses this situation, in some way, to bring this couple to an understanding of their wrong actions and to repentance and salvation.

  4. Anonymous says:

    High levels of Testosterone in the womb are known to affect the brain development of the unborn child, leading to severe behavioural problems. Some doctors believe it is the main cause of Autism. A study on convicted rapists showed that 92 percent had been exposed to higher than normal levels of Testosterone in the womb. This child has been exposed to unprecedentedly high levels of testosterone! It could be a real beast, if it survives after the pregnancy.

  5. Fresh Dirt says:

    But there isn’t room… all kinds of other sinners show up in our churches. But it seems that certain types/groups overwhelmingly rarely darken a church door. This is because of the stigma and lack of grace that our churches have for these groups. My type of sin and your type of sin are allowed in the doors of our sanctuaries, but others are not. This isn’t just about the church not being perfect… it goes far beyond that.

  6. Travis says:

    Anonymous (and everyone else),Let’s not refer to the unborn child as a beast, please. It is true that high levels of testosterone will have a negative effect, causing male-type characteristics in the female baby. Which, to say the least, is ironic in this case. From what I have read, Ms. Lagondino has halted her bi-weekly testosterone treatments.Justin,I don’t think you can accurately throw the intolerance blanket over all the churches of America. Obviously, this would be a difficult situation to handle. Solomon’s wisdom was tested by women fighting for maternal privileges of the same child, but he never had to consider whether, before the sex change operation, one of the women had fathered the child. This in no way means that scripture does not speak to this situation. It does. All people are to be dealt with in the same manner: with grace and truth. It would not be gracious to say to a (insert sin category here) “You are fine just the way you are.”The Gospel of Christ is about transformation not reformation. That message of truth must be graciously seasoned; just as Paul said in Colossians 4. That doesn’t negate the fact that truth cuts deep.Scott,Thanks for the comment. I agree.

  7. Fresh Dirt says:

    “Intolerance blanket.” You have categorically put me on the opposing side of this conversation by inferring that my statements are somehow in opposition to your own, as if this person and these groups do receive grace from the churches. It is a statement of sociological fact that many of these individuals do not feel welcomed and would not be welcomed into our churches. SB believes the world lacks strong men and women who will take a stand for what they feel is right. Look around, all kinds of people are standing up, shouting out, for what they believe is right. We can claim to be full of grace and truth all day– but, categorically, conservative people tend to first write a post about their disgust of this woman rather than writing about how the church can welcome in such a person in order to provide a space for transformation, a community of restoration, and access to a cross they never knew about. Do you feel that we overemphasize grace and mercy in the church today? Because I don’t see enough of it. I see a lot of truth being spoken without grace. I see a lot of falsity being spoken as well– still without grace. Grace is unmerited favor. It should be our first reaction. I don’t want the church to be tolerant. I do want it to be full of grace. Tolerance is some namby-pamby cop-out of secular society– it requires nothing of us. Grace requires an unabashed giving of love– even when they reject the truth. This woman should not have to seek us out. The church should be seeking her out to say that we love her and that we want to understand her pain, that we want to listen. Then, and only then, may we have the right heart to speak life-giving and life-changing truth into her. This is the gospel– it is powerful. It requires us to get messy and to jump into the mud to rescue people.

  8. Travis says:

    Justin, I don’t think I “placed” you on one side or the other. I simply responded to your comments, and your comments claimed that ungraciousness abounds.I wrote the first post on this story to illustrate how our culture, at least on the surface, has accepted the idea that a woman can become a man. I believe that is sad and pathetic, and it is not ungracious to say so. I also wanted Christians to begin to think about how to minister to folks like this. The second post was to publicly respond to criticism I received. There was no basis to the criticism other than I am not rejoicing at this woman’s sex-change, homosexual relationship, and pregnancy. Since I cannot rejoice about it be quiet about it then I am intolerant, or some would say – ungracious.Not true.I too believe, Justin, that we have to step into the mud; “get dirty” so to speak. That does not mean that a sin isn’t called a sin. The most unloving, ungracious thing I could do for any lost soul is to have them believe that they are ok in their sin. Now I’m not promoting an ignorant, unBiblical harangue, but a complete, honest, truthful presentation. There is no need for grace if there is no possibility of judgment. People need to be told of the grace and warned of the judgment.

  9. Fresh Dirt says:

    Agreed!

  10. Kyla Randall says:

    Travis,Although this comment is slightly outdated, I have to say I totally agree with you.

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