25 February 2016

on gender

i just got home (and ian just returned to work) from our twenty-week ultrasound appointment at st. thomas’s hospital.

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^^ this is seriously the view right outside the hospital doors! baby looks perfect! there are three happy hearts in this here family! ^^

in my purse there are two sealed envelopes containing two papers with just one identical word written on each (the boy wanted to make sure we had a backup!).

we won’t know whether that word is boy or girl until saturday morning (at our little “gender reveal” party).

the anticipation is pretty darn thick!  we are so, so excited to discover if we will be welcoming a son or a daughter into our family this summer.

learning this little fact about our baby is quite monumental for us, because we really believe this statement is true (from the family: a proclamation to the world, a document we hold to be divinely inspired):
gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
through study and prayer we have both learned for ourselves that being male or female is about much more than the sex organs we were born with. we believe that all humans are sons or daughters of a heavenly father and heavenly mother, that gender is a core element of who we each are and always have been (even before we were born on earth), that male and female differences and complimentarities are a central part of god’s plan.

we acknowledge that gender identity and specifications are not celebrated or unambiguous for everyone, and we do not claim to understand and certainly do not attempt to write-off those who may not connect with gender designations. but
we believe in gender. 
and we are deeply grateful for how that belief helps us to understand and navigate mortality and immortality.

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and so – the anticipation is thick. take your guess on the poll below, if you’d like!

is charian's baby a boy or a girl?!

boy
girl
make a quiz

** there is a (i think!) really fantastic discussion about this topic in the comments, if you want to check it out. i am of the opinion that there is so much value in understanding others' points of view. **

62 comments :

  1. Baby Girl! Name ideas: Pippa (oh so Brit!), Molly, or Charlotte (Brit again!). Looking forward to finding out what was written on that paper - congrats!

    -Sabrina in Seattle (long time but rarely commenting reader)

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  2. I've been thinking about you all morning. We can't wait to hear.

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  3. Charity,

    A few name ideas; If it's a boy, Benjamin after Big Ben, or Thomas after the hospital.

    ~Kiki~

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  4. Hi Charity, love your blog and found this post very interesting.

    I don't really understand the importance of 'gender' to you. I think most people nowadays would agree that gender is a sociological construct, concerning whether you act in a more traditionally 'masculine' or 'feminine' way...and surely we've moved beyond those concepts now and don't straightjacket our kids into acting a certain 'gendered' way!

    I would love to know more about why you think gender is important.

    On names...I love French names like Isabelle and Amelie :)

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    1. hi anon! thanks for your perspective - i know it is a quite widely held one. i just have a different belief, and both should be respected, so thanks for your kindness :) just because the boy and i believe that gender is a part of eternal identity doesn't mean we would promote "straightjacketing" children into acting a certain gendered way. we definitely want our kids (and all kids!) to be free to become whomever their heart tells them they are. we just believe that gender is god-created, not society-created.

      i really like those girl names! the boy and i have a hard time agreeing on names, so this is going to be interesting -- at least knowing if it's a boy or girl will help us narrow things down! :)

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    2. You are either born a boy with boy parts or a girl with girl parts. You aren't born neutral and get to decide what you are depending on how you feel. Gender does give you an identity - and if you lack certain hormones that correspond with your birth parts - you can correct that with supplements. You can't just pick. Not how it works. I feel like a cat today, and I really identify with cats. I think I will choose my species and be a cat. See how silly that is?

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    3. Listen to "the boy's" name choices - then YOU decide. Tell him that the next time he carries a baby inside him for 9 months and pushes it out through a very tiny orifice - then he gets to choose the name!

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    4. Hello to both Charity and the other responder!

      Charity, thanks for your very civil reply. It is really interesting to hear more about your faith.

      I think our difference is etymological, not in our beliefs - I think you both might be thinking about 'sex', not 'gender'?

      If you google 'sex vs gender', you'll see a very good succinct summary comes up:

      'Sex refers to the biological and physiological characteristics, while gender refers to behaviors, roles, expectations, and activities in society. Sex refers to male or female, while gender refers to masculine or feminine.'

      So to the other responder, yes you are born male or female - and I agree with Charity that that probably has an effect on the course of your life (although I would hope nowadays that there is not much difference between the way men/women act and are treated...sadly that is probably not the case yet though).

      Being male or female is sex, however, not gender :) your gender is basically made up by how society tells you to act, and what judgements people make of your actions.

      Anyway thanks again for replying! I live in London too and I am really enjoying seeing you explore it and your thoughts on it.

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    5. thanks, anon. i believe that of course society affects the ways that we behave, and that certainly society has created inequality between men and women that still exists and is absolutely wrong. but i also believe that "behaviors, roles, expectations and activities" - not just biology and physiology - are (and should be) inherently and divinely different in some ways for males and females - that "behaviors, roles, expectations and activities" for daughters and sons of god are part of their eternal identity. so i'm not just talking about anatomy. and understanding both sex and gender as part of who i am as an eternal member of god's family, as essential elements in god's plan for his children, helps me to make sense of a lot of things, and rings true in my mind and heart. that's just my strong personal experience.

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    6. -Anonymous 1, beautifully put.
      -Charity, I've always respected how while you are fast in your own beliefs, that you seem to try to be open to other's beliefs and opinions. I find it sad that a lot of people seem to live in a world of absolutes, with no room for other perspectives. Like I said, I really respect you for how you seem to do this.
      -Anonymous 2, while you are entitled to your own opinions, gender-identity is a very difficult issue for some individuals. As Charity has demonstrated, you can have a different view-point and still be kind. I hope you can try to do the same.

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    7. Thank you for clarifying, Charity (and for your kind words KatyBelle!).

      I guess that's where we do hold different beliefs, then - in that I don't believe that 'behaviours, roles, expectations and activities' should vary for boys and girls / men and women.

      If my (hypothetical) little boy wants to take ballet, play with dolls, marry a man and quit work after having kids - all power to him! And likewise, if my future potential daughter wants to be a career scientist and never marry or kids...also great for her! I just want my children to follow their hearts and do what makes them happy...whatever form that takes.

      But as I said before, it is so interesting hearing about your faith and beliefs, so thank you for giving me an insight into them.

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    8. katybelle, thank you for that really awesome compliment. there is so much to learn from viewpoints that are different from our own!

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    9. anon:
      thank you for the enlightening discussion from both sides - interesting for me as well!

      i wanted to clarify further that this doesn't mean i'll actively discourage my sons from taking ballet or playing with dolls or - i'm even more emphatic about this one as a self-proclaimed feminist :) - actively discourage my daughters from becoming career scientists. certainly there is a wide human spectrum of "femininity and masculinity," and no individual should be painted into very specific or non-important corners because of gender (i don't think what you like to play with as a child or what career you choose really matters at all in the grand scheme of things). i too want my children to follow their hearts, while embracing (what i believe to be) truths about our heavenly parents' plan (and certainly it will be their own journey to decide what they themselves believe about god and eternity). there are so many different circumstances that humans find themselves in or put themselves in in our world, and it is never my place to judge anyone else. but i do simply and earnestly believe that general differences and complementarities in men and women are of eternal importance. (and i hope others won't judge me for that belief like you graciously and kindly haven't.)

      thanks for the insight into your beliefs as well! :)

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    10. Sometimes the DNA confirms the outside doesn't match the actual sex assignment. Society does tell the person who has male parts they can't be female even if they feel female and heck later it's confirmed through DNA. I certainly wouldn't wish such a thing on anyone. It's also awesome people have stepped into the roles of the other like the girl disguised as a boy so she can go into the public square in Afghanistan and buy food since there is no male relative to accompany her. They would starve to death. You can see that role as inequality but what makes you think the different roles in your culture aren't inequality? Makes people think that perhaps it's silly to put restrictions on men or women until someone crosses that line.

      I can understand wanting to know if the baby is a boy or girl. I don't understand why it requires a public celebration. It's not like you have siblings at home yet or you both couldn't make the appointment. You probably want to have more than one child and would like to parent boys and girls. You are not saying God treats male and female kids differently I hope.

      God should be capitalized. imho

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    11. hi kms/kris :) there's a lot to tackle in a reply to your comment, but i'll just say that the way i see it equality does not equal sameness. being different doesn't mean being unequal. i believe strongly in both gender equality and gender differences. and yep, i believe God (capitalized just for you :) ) treats all his children with the same measure of love and care.

      thanks for reading!

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    12. Tina - perhaps if you want to call all the shots you should be a single parent and not bother with a husband. IUI with donor sperm. The mom getting sole naming rights to heck what the husband thinks because she delivered the baby makes as much sense and it being the priviledge of dad to heck what mom thinks cause he has a penis.

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    13. Glad to hear the baby is doing well.

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    14. Thanks so much for your responses Charity! This has been a really interesting discussion. I think I have been too judgemental about what you believe / what I thought your faith entailed.
      (This is Anon. the first, haha)
      PS to match my girls' names...I love Toby/Tobias and Theodore for boys :) all the best with your pregnancy

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  5. This is very exciting to you, I'm sure, but sealing it in an envelope and waiting til Saturday? Please. Don't you think that's just a bit juvenile??

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    1. haha, i'm not sure i'd classify it as juvenile. but maybe a bit silly, just for fun :) we decided finding out with friends (and candy!) in a park was better than in a darkly lit, sterile hospital room. not promoting that for anyone else!

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  6. I have to say you guys are quite brave to start this convo. Or it's just because here in Finland we are in the middle of the great gender war of 2016 and just expect flames every time someone mentions gender as something black and white.
    I get you completely even tough I'm not religious at all and thus would not think like you. If I were pregnant, I would want to know the possible sex of my baby since it does tell something concrete. But at the same time I would have a hard time with myself since I don't believe in the binary structure of gender even tough I'm a good old dress wearing ballet dancing lady myself.

    I believe you'll be great parents and love your child no matter what (or I'd hope so since that to me is the ultimate measure of parenting).

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  7. what fab pictures infront of Big Ben! You sure have a lot of will power to not peek before Saturday. I hope the rain stays off for the reveal in the park and the sun shines for you.

    Girls names, I really like Evangeline for a girl, there was a TV programme called The House of Elliot, (which is a set in the 1920's where they start a fashion house), one of the sisters is called Evangeline.

    And boys, I like Duncan and Rory. (both Scottish names)

    I hope you have a beautiful day on Saturday, babies should be celebrated at every step as far as I am concerned.

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  8. Hello Charity,
    I love your thoughts and following your journey. And I am excited as well if you and Ian will be getting a girl or boy ;-)
    But here are 2 questions:
    1. What are your thoughts on transgender?
    2. Are you aware that the gender can still change even after being told and seeing the ultrasound pictures and even with today's technology? (A friend of mine was told to have a girl and she was surprised at birth that it as a boy.)

    Thanks for taking some time to reply.
    Best wishes from NJ!
    Sabine

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    1. hi sabine!
      1. the sentiments expressed in the post and comments above apply to my thoughts on transgender:
      "we acknowledge that gender identity and specifications are not celebrated or unambiguous for everyone, and we do not claim to understand and certainly do not attempt to write-off those who may not connect with gender designations. but
      we believe in gender." and "there are so many different circumstances that humans find themselves in or put themselves in in our world, and it is never my place to judge anyone else."
      2. yes, i'm aware! well, i don't think the gender actually changes - but ultrasounds and ultrasound technicians can be wrong! i hope we don't get a surprise like that, but it sure would make for a good story, and we will love our child to bits no matter what! :)

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  9. Such an exciting day for you. I remember it with my two. The first was a boy and the second, who I was certain would be another boy, surprised us and was a girl. Both have taught me more about life than in ways that I never would have expected. Mine are called Alexander and Megan. If the girl had been a boy she was going to be called Finlay. Congratulations xx

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  10. My theory? do what makes YOU happy, Charity.

    Ignore the people from GOMI who incessantly feel the need to interject with their opinions...some people really need to move away from their computers and have a happy life of their own. -you can pick them out like a sore thumb

    I am not mormon..I am jewish so there ya go.

    Enjoy this time of your life...your first baby is always a most amazing experience.

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    1. Is parenting about doing what makes you happy? I think it's more about making parenting choices that will help your child to growth healthy and strong.

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    2. jenny, i think anon above is just talking about how we are going to find out the gender. i don't think that affects our baby growing healthy and strong much :) but i definitely agree that parenting isn't about doing what make you happy, but what is best for your child. ian and i actually talk about this concept a lot.

      thanks for reading!

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  11. I noticed you said "heavenly father and heavenly mother" and later in a comment "heavenly parents." I'm not Mormon, but some of my family is. I also love learning about your doctrine. I've never heard about heavenly mother. Would you elaborate?

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    1. sure! we do believe that all humans on earth are children of heavenly parents - both a heavenly father and a heavenly mother. my conviction in the divinity and power of (heterosexual) marriage connects with this concept that "god" is made up of a husband and wife. i believe that heavenly father and heavenly mother are perfectly unified, and when i pray i 100% believe i am communicating with both of them (although i usually address heavenly father - their oneness is so complete that the salutation doesn't really matter to me). i have deep faith in both of them, and feel i have a relationship with both of them.
      you can read more about lds beliefs around heavenly mother here: https://www.lds.org/topics/mother-in-heaven?lang=eng

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    2. I've always wondered about that as well. Thanks for the link. I notice that it does say that LDS do not pray to the heavenly Mother.....

      "Latter-day Saints direct their worship to Heavenly Father, in the name of Christ, and do not pray to Heavenly Mother. In this, they follow the pattern set by Jesus Christ, who taught His disciples to “always pray unto the Father in my name.”11 Latter-day Saints are taught to pray to Heavenly Father, but as President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “The fact that we do not pray to our Mother in Heaven in no way belittles or denigrates her.” "

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    3. yes. we don't address heavenly mother in prayer - we don't pray directly to her, by name. but i feel really strongly that heavenly father and mother are so perfectly unified that praying/directing worship to heavenly father (not sure why we address him instead of her, but i'm not really that bothered) is praying to them both.

      the concept of oneness and unity in marriage really helps me to understand some things in lds tradition that seem a little off when it comes to gender equality. eternal, god-like unity means it doesn't matter who goes first or who is addressed - someone has to, but men and women are bound together as one complimentary, powerful entity.

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    4. Thanks. It probably has something to do with the fact that women can't be elders, or bishops, or whatever the terminology is.

      By the way, if you address them by "Heavenly Father" (or "Heavenly Mother") - how are you addressing them "by name". I guess I'd like to know - what are their actual names?

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  12. Wonderful post. I loved how you put into words the excitement and beliefs that you have (and that I share!) in regards to gender and the excitement of finding out what gender the baby is. A book I read recently might interest you-- "Why Gender Matters" by Dr. Leonard Sax. He explains why gender matters in how we raise and educate our children. Very enlightening, especially coming from a psychologist and medical doctor. He also addresses gays, lesbians and transgenders, which was informative. Congratulations on your little one!

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    1. thanks for the suggestion. sounds like something really interesting to check out.

      thanks for reading!

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  13. I disagree wholeheartedly with your post, BUT, I have to echo what others are saying in that, Charity, I'm always so blown away with how kind you are in proposing opposing ideas and responding to not-so-nice comments. I admire that greatly!! I also find it really fulfilling to begin to understand what's behind some of your beliefs that I don't agree with. And that is such an important thing for all of us to learn and experience. So, keep on keepin' on! I'm so excited to see your journey into motherhood unfold! Best of luck!

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    1. thank you so much! i totally agree that there is so much value in working to understand others' views.

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  14. I have to echo what people above have said about your acceptance of beliefs that differ from your own. I'm sure it's exhausting to be treated as a spokesperson for the LDS faith, but a question that I have always had (as a non-Mormon, non-Christian) is how the idea of gender as a binary thing, particularly God-given, accounts for hermaphroditism - something that some people are absolutely born with. I've listened to a pod-cast where the hosts discussed the question with a missionary, but the missionary was never able to answer - she kept saying she would have to look into it and get back to them. Do you have any thoughts/how do you reconcile your beliefs surrounding gender with the fact that some (albeit few) people are born hermaphroditic?

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    1. hi anon. thanks for your comment, compliment and kindness.

      i really don't have a conclusive opinion or belief about hermaphrodites. i don't understand why that happens. but that small lack of understanding doesn't phase my much larger conviction in the (not necessarily god-dictated, but more simply) eternal nature of gender (i.e. gender is part of our identity and was before we were born). there is a significant amount of puzzling, unfair, confusing phenomena in our wild world, and i actually don't think we are meant to have the answers for all of these. i know that's not a nice conclusive answer, but those are my thoughts for what it's worth to answer your question.

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    2. No organized Christian religion has declared identifying with a sex different from your outer physical parts a sin. Or a hermaphrodite would be in a state of sin for not being able to identify as both male and female. When a botched circ leads to parents and doctors deciding to reassign the child knows something is wrong and is quite vocal about it in later life. A person knows who they are regardless of what the parts look like or society tells them which they should identify as. Most the time they coincide. People go through heck and it's not just a whim to correct such things.

      The thing with parenting, it teaches you lessons you never knew you needed to learn. I am actually pretty excited for you that you are expecting. It's been everyone else's turn since you were like 10. This must have felt like an eternity to get to this stage in life.

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    3. Glad to see you are an expert on all "organized Christian religions", Kris. Actually you are wrong.

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    4. thanks, kris. we are pretty excited for us too :) but -- while i have certainly always earnestly looked forward to becoming a mother, it really hasn't felt like an eternity to get to this stage in life. i really relished my single and childless years by filling them with learning experiences, valuable relationships and enjoyment. every chapter is wonderful!

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    5. Anon,

      I would love for you to tell me which denomination has listed under their examination of conscience a need for repentance for not feeling equally male and female if born with both parts? Or a need for repentance for not feeling you are the gender between your legs suggests? There are sections about who you can be sexual with and who you can't and when it's allowed. But those are actions, not states of being. No one has an "identity" that is sinful.

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    6. OK - you asked for it. By the way, aren't you Catholic?

      From the National Catholic BioEthics Center website:

      "What is immoral about a sex-change operation?

      Properly understood, a person cannot change his or her sexual identity. For persons not suffering the disorders mentioned above (e.g., hermaphroditism) a person is either male or female. A person is the unity of soul and body, and ‘soul’ should be understood not as an immaterial self, but as that which makes the body be what it is, namely, a human person. We are either male or female persons, and nothing can change that. A person can mutilate his or her genitals, but cannot change his or her sex. Changing one’s sex is fundamentally impossible; these procedures are fundamentally acts of mutilation."

      From ReligiousTolerance.org - discussing the Catholic Church's view on gender issues:

      "There are two obvious ways to resolve this conflict:
      1.Change the person's thinking so that the accept their genetic gender: Our scientific knowledge of the workings of the human brain are not developed to the point where this is possible; it may never be. A full range of therapies have been tried in an attempt to cure Gender Dysphoria in adults. However, there has allegedly been not a single cure during many decades of attempts. What there has been is a massive suicide rate, claimed by some to have been about 50%. Attempting to change the thinking of transgender persons does not appear to be a safe or encouraging path.

      2.Change the person's physical appearance to match their perceived gender. In this way, a woman who felt trapped in a man's body can be altered to appear to be female through hormone therapy and perhaps gender reassignment surgery. Similarly, a man who felt trapped in a woman's body could pass as a man. Their perceived gender and their physical appearance become harmonized. The vast majority who try this path are pleased with the changes.


      This second approach is forbidden by the Roman Catholic Church, because of their system of morality, ironically called the "Culture of Life," even though it would probably lead to a significant increase in the rate of suicides if the Church's ban is followed."

      From the Catholic World Report website:

      Pope Benedict directly addressed transgender issues by cautioning Catholics about “destroying the very essence of the human creature through manipulating their God-given gender to suit their sexual choices.” Pope Benedict warned that “when freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God.” "

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    7. Again, you are speaking of actions and I am speaking of identity. An operation is an action. And there is mentioned in your quote no problem with surgery for ambiguous genetalia or having both parts or some concrete DNA suggestion the person is in fact not what the outside suggests. Though changes should be done by the person of age and the not parents since so much pain has been done in this past by well intentioned people. That is a person (parent) changing a person (their child's) appearance to suit their own choice. Catholic bio center isn't the Vatican. btw. It's just Catholics trying to adhere the best they can to doctrine and teachings.

      Homosexuality isn't even a sin in the Catholic church unless it's acted on. Completely different thing that transgendered. btw Actions can be sinful or benign. Identity in itself isn't sinful.

      The only thing I can't wrap my head around is the new contraception allowance to fight Zika. If in fact there were nuns using contraception they were using it not intending to have sex. A single person not active can take the pill for some other purpose and it's not a problem, only if they intend to have sex as it could harm an embryo or fetus if they know they are going to be intimate. Rape isn't a consensual act. But in a couple of days that remark from the pope might be restated and NFP classes will sprout up all over South America and thermometer sales with go through the roof. Everything the current pope says gets rewritten a few days later.

      There have also been very few infallible statements from Pope's. This hasn't been covered in them.

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    8. Matthew 5:28 "You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY'; 28but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

      So thoughts can be sins even if not acted upon. Unless of course you are saying that the Bible is also not infallible.

      And the Catholic Encyclopedia says that the infallibility of the Pope is a non-negotiable belief for all Catholics:

      "Catholicism maintains that the pope is infallible, incapable of error, when he teaches a doctrine on faith or morals to the universal Church in his unique office as supreme head. When the pope asserts his official authority in matters of faith and morals to the whole church, the Holy Spirit guards him from error."

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  15. I hope you embrace your child fully no matter what gender or gender identity your precious child had. Preconceived ideas of gender seem to me to be unhelpful to finding out about the unique spirit of your child and encouraging them shine as brightly as they can.

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    1. hi jenny. we absolutely intend to embrace our child fully no matter what.

      understanding gender as an essential part of eternal identity and part of god's plan, to me (and this seems to be where we differ), is *helpful* in finding out about the unique spirit of a child and encouraging them to shine as brightly as they can. we just have different contexts and lenses through which we see this issue. as i've commented above, this doesn't mean enforcing strict society-created norms on children depending on their gender. it means teaching and encouraging children to learn for themselves that boy/girl is part of who they are, always have been, and always will be. certainly that can look quite different from individual to individual when it comes to specifics, but we believe core differences and complimentarities are part of god's plan.

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  16. Hi! First off, LOVE your idea of gender reveal! I hope you have a fun way of telling your families too!
    Just on a point of the gender question, and honestly I'm not writing this comment in any malicious way, I whole heartedly respect different people/religions/cultures have different belief systems, its what makes the world so diverse and great!
    I understand how gender is important in your religion and how equality doesn't mean sameness. Shawni did a great post on this a while back and I too believe that women and men are inherently different for key reasons. But your comments about the idea of transgender/disphoria still don't make it quite clear for me. You believe in gender and I guess you believe in your child acting out the gender God has assigned them? So what would be the steps if your child or children came to you and said 'look mum and dad, I just don't feel like a girl, I want to act and live as a boy now." What would your response be? Would you encourage and parent that decision for them to transition or try and get them to understand God had a plan for them when He assigned them female and what the limitations of this would be if they don't see it that way (depression etc) . I'm honestly just curious about how different religions approach subjects like this, I love learning these things. Thanks!

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    1. I know I'm not Charity but I am a Mormon mom of 5. Honestly if one of my children came to me with gender confusion I don't know what I would do except love them and support them. It would be so hard to watch my child struggle with it and I would be loving and supportive. I know that through prayer and inspiration we could work through the challenges. Until that situation arises, I cannot honestly say what I would do except love my child and isn't that what any good parent would do?

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    2. thanks amy! it's a really interesting question and your comment is 0% malicious :) and thanks cheryl for piping in with your thoughts.

      there are so many varied issues that can arise in parenting. i do strongly believe that children are born as unique souls that can and should be taught but can't and shouldn't be "molded" - they already are who they are, spiritually begotten children of god with distinct identities (that of course learn, grow and evolve). just like i can't anticipate and don't quite know how the boy and i would work together to respond to a child with any type of concern about their identity, mental or physical impairment, or significant life challenge (note that i'm not equating all of these but pointing them out as separate), i can't anticipate and don't quite know how the boy and i would work together to respond to a child who didn't connect with the gender presented by their anatomy.

      all i know for sure is that we would absolutely and completely love and support our child no matter **what**. and that we would earnestly pray, listen to our child, and (all three) attempt to work as a team with god to do what is *truly* best each step of the way (in the case you're presenting, that could be transitioning and it could be something else). i also trust, trying to keep an eternal perspective, that everything will work out in the end - i really, really believe that because of jesus christ, who knows our hearts perfectly, all will be made right.

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    3. Love your honestly and willingness to talk about this even if it brings so much attention and discussion (not the eastiest thing to do.) thanks for clarifying! It really does seem like at the end of the day, regardless of religious beliefs, good people want the best for their child and will love them whole heartedly. So looking forward to seeing you both as parents, I'm calling boy!!

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  17. YOU'RE HAVING A BABY!! Miss you :)

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    1. love you dearly, brit. miss you so much! get back over here ASAP please!!

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  18. When I read the post, I hesitated to read the comments (I mean: internet and controversial opinion...). Glad I did though and thanks to everyone for a civil and interesting discussion! Kerstin

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  19. Your post really confused me, the use of the word 'gender' led me to believe that you were going to make a distinction between gender and sex and I felt so hopeful - but then I read the comments and, nope.

    I have absolutely no doubt that you will love (or rather, that you already love) your child and will be a very dedicated mother, no matter what his/her orientations are, but the idea of a homosexual child growing up in a family like yours makes me sad. Really. How can you feel when you know that your parents place so much emphasis on religious orthodoxy, even if they tell you that they love you no matter what? Surely you must feel like you are loved "nevertheless", instead of loved- full spot.

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    1. i think i understand where you are coming from, bh.

      we do hope, of course, that our children will develop their own faith of the same truths that we hold as important and real, but definitely will encourage them to learn for themselves, and are absolutely open to the possibility of non-mutual belief or experience. i believe there are a significant amount of parents that feel super strongly about something (religious or not) and their children encounter (by no fault of their own) or chose something contrary. that's a hard spot. all i can say is that ian and i, if confronted with that scenario, would do everything in our power to not only love our children full-stop but work and show to allow them to feel that truly unconditional love.

      thanks for sharing your perspective.

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  20. oups - make the last word 'point'!!!

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  21. Yes, this is a very interesting discussion - but Charity, please don't get all stressed out over what you'd do in this situation or that.... enjoy your pregnancy, then enjoy your child! As you said, things will work out - you don't need to worry or stress over things that probably will not happen! Congratulations!

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    1. thanks maria! i'm not stressed :) but i am enlightened and learning from the discussion!

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  22. Such a nice discussion! And I love all the names...
    Kirstin from Half Moon Bay

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