You’re Not A Doberman

Dauchshaund on stiltsI laugh every time I see this photo from Codeblack Comedy shared on Facebook. But there’s an important point that shouldn’t be lost in the humor: the little dachshund is still just a dachshund. He can pretend to be a doberman all he wants, but he’s a dachshund. On stilts. And likely no longer able to walk, at least until his owner sets him free from that gismo he’s attached to.

I think this picture speaks volumes to our discontented society with so many people trying to be who they are not. Pretend all you want, but cross dressing doesn’t turn a man into a woman. A boy who says he feels like inside he’s a girl is still a boy.

And even with surgery and drugs, there remain things that are physically true about those born with a Y-chromosome that are just being discovered. Like certain drugs used for heart disease that work only for men and not women. Will those drugs recognize the inner woman in those dachshunds on stilts?

Or how about the discoveries at the genetic level? Just last year, Nature published the findings of a study of the genes on the Y-chromosome. Here’s part of the New York Times article covering the study:

“Throughout human bodies, the cells of males and females are biochemically different,” Dr. Page said. The genome may be controlled slightly differently because of this variation in the 12 regulatory genes, which he thinks could contribute to the differing incidence of many diseases in men and women.

Differences between male and female tissues are often attributed to the powerful influence of sex hormones. But now that the 12 regulatory genes are known to be active throughout the body, there is clearly an intrinsic difference in male and female cells even before the sex hormones are brought into play.

“We are only beginning to understand the full extent of the differences in molecular biology of males and females,” Andrew Clark, a geneticist at Cornell University, wrote in a commentary in Nature on the two reports.

But this “you can be whatever you want” claim is much more far reaching than gender identity. Little boys and girls are told they can be the next great___; fill in the blank.

There’s nothing wrong with reaching beyond our circumstances to make more of our lives, but there is something wrong with reaching beyond our personhood, with the talents and abilities and skills with which we’ve been born.

I’ve used myself as an example before: when I was in college, I discovered volleyball. I also discovered that I wasn’t too bad at the game, and I started dreaming of playing in the Olympics. A teammate of mine had the same dream and in fact transferred to a university where she might have a better opportunity. The problem was, neither of us was taller than five feet six inches. Neither of us had a forty-inch vertical leap. Our chances of making the Olympics were slim and none.

I don’t know what happened to my former teammate. She didn’t have a scholarship to play volleyball. Did she walk on at the university where she transferred? Was her bold move positive for her despite the fact that it didn’t lead to a spot on the Olympic team? I have no way of knowing. I can say, changing schools would have a radical effect on her life. And at some point she had to learn the truth: despite strapping on stilts, she wasn’t a doberman.

Of late there have been a rash of “stars” who are famous for being famous. They have no special talent. They aren’t particularly rich, haven’t achieved anything meaningful—other than getting themselves known by millions of people who find their lives an entertaining soap opera. Some might argue that they have in fact become what they dreamed of becoming simply by putting their minds to it. Well, maybe.

I suppose if you set your sights low enough (“I want to be famous, at least for fifteen minutes”) anyone can achieve their goal.

I remember when we used to get tested in PE for a variety of skills. We even did a high jump. To begin with, the bar was set so low that we all were able to clear it (hardly needing to employ the jumping part of the skill). So yes, there are some things anyone can achieve if they put their mind to it.

The sad thing is, though, that a number of young people have resorted to things like cheating in order to achieve their dreams. Others notoriously con, manipulate, pay for, and trade sex for what they want. All in the name of becoming the doberman they’ve always dreamed of becoming.

Where in this mix does contentment lie?

When is it time to cease striving and know that God is God (Psalm 56:12)?

I suspect the answer is simple: we will stop trying to pretend we are dobermans when we realize dachshunds are made precisely the way God wanted them made, and there’s nothing wrong with short legs and a weenie-dog body. They won’t do what dobermans do, but dobermans can’t make people laugh the way dachshunds can either.

As soon as we embrace who God made us to be, we’ll turn all our striving, not into trying to be something else, but into being the best us we can be. That’s not anything like, Be whatever you want to be. That’s, Be who God intended you to be.

Published in: on April 1, 2015 at 5:59 pm  Comments (5)  
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Is Your Dog A Person?

512px-Cheddar_CheerleaderIn the recent discussion about abortion at author and friend Mike Duran’s site, the pro-abortion commenter asked more than once when a baby (he said fetus or one of his other preferred scientific terms) was a person.

To me that was an obvious—we’d established, and all agreed, that life begins with conception. However, in his mind, that just-conceived life was not yet human, not yet a person.

Another commenter, a pro-life advocate in Canada, highlighted the question of personhood as central to the discussion:

the more pressing question and one perhaps that we could have engaged him on more fruitfully was , “But when should they be assigned a right to life, and why?”

In other words, for what reasons do we assign “personhood”, with all of its attendant rights, on a human being?

I’m a little stunned. I should think when they’re alive would be a good enough answer to the question, “When should they be assigned a right to life.”

But ultimately this discussion comes back to belief in God. Man cannot create life. Yes, I know, that’s somewhat under review, what with the advancement of cloning. But in reality, unless there is life to begin with, there is no cloned life, so Man still can not create life.

God creates life, and even if Man someday figures a way to produce life apart from “natural causes,” that doesn’t change the fact that God is supreme, and still the giver of life. I don’t look at this issue as any different than a person taking antibiotics as a way to recover from an infection. Man did not heal him. God still healed, but He used the medicine.

But let’s say we agree that a person gains personhood at conception—that a life is considered a person when he first becomes alive—what about the life of an animal? Shouldn’t a dog’s life be preserved and protected the same way as an unborn baby’s life? In fact, if life determines personhood, is my dog a person?

No, the issue isn’t simply the preservation of life, any life, in any form. Setting aside the fact that plants are also alive, I’m addressing the Hindu idea that animal life is sacred, an idea that is gaining traction in the US and perhaps in other places in western society.

Of course evolutionists who ascribe to the common descent theory—in which all life descended from a common source—don’t see human life as unique. For them there is no reason to protect an unborn child over against a titmouse. Both are alive but society has not recognized either as persons. In other words, society gets to decide who is a person and who isn’t.

Except, society does recognize the unborn as a person when the mother wants to give the child birth. The irrationality, then, is with society. Why would a woman wanting a child or not wanting a child change his personhood?

In essence this view says slave owners were right—if they didn’t recognize the personhood of a slave, then he wasn’t a person.

Today we think that view is hateful. And it is.

Why, then, would society choose another class of people and determine they are not persons?

The frightening thing is that this rationale carried to its logical extreme means other groups of people can be stripped of personhood—homeless people or those with Down Syndrome or the schizophrenic or those with Alzheimer’s. If society gets to say who’s a person, why should we think there will not one day be a determination that an undesirable group is stripped of personhood.

At the same time, since human life is viewed as no different from animals, why not elevate our pets to the place of personhood. We already call them our children, and more and more owners are putting clothes on their dogs. It’s a natural leap for us to give them the “right to life.”

We Christians need to understand this issue. More than the lives of the unborn are at stake, and that’s saying a lot since so many babies lose their lives to abortion.

The real issue is the evolution-creation divide that so many Christians seem to be wearied with, and since children are, by mandate, taught evolution in school, in one generation our country will no longer think human life is separate and distinct from animals.

Unless we teach our children otherwise. Purposefully. Clearly.

Creation isn’t just about genesis. It’s about God breathing life into Man, giving us a spirit which He did not give to any of the animals. Why do you suppose no suitable helpmate was found for Adam? It wasn’t because of sexual comparability. It was at the level of personhood. No animal was created in God’s image, after His likeness.

Man is more than what the animals are. We have capacities animals don’t have. We can reason, we can sin, we can worship, we can forgive, we can judge, we can aspire. These are not things we’ve learned or gained because of superior intellect. These are part of our personhood, part of our moral fiber, our spiritual makeup. They are part of human life.

Consequently, all human life should be valued. The taking of life should not be something done for convenience or comfort. Today, a woman can kill her unborn baby because it’s inconvenient for her to be pregnant at this point in her life. Tomorrow will she be able to kill her aging parent because it’s inconvenient for her to be a caregiver at this point in her life?

And will our dogs be given more rights than our unborn children?

Maybe we’ll simply stop giving birth since we have these dog children who don’t have all those irritating tendencies to think for themselves as human children do. Maybe we’ll simply let the culture go completely to the dogs.

Published in: on February 6, 2015 at 6:06 pm  Comments (4)  
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