Thursday, June 4, 2015

My D&D Profile (according to an online quiz)

I Am A: Lawful Good Human Wizard/Cleric (2nd/2nd Level)

Ability Scores:

Lawful Good A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. He combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. He tells the truth, keeps his word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice. A lawful good character hates to see the guilty go unpunished. Lawful good is the best alignment you can be because it combines honor and compassion. However, lawful good can be a dangerous alignment when it restricts freedom and criminalizes self-interest.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Primary Class:
Wizards are arcane spellcasters who depend on intensive study to create their magic. To wizards, magic is not a talent but a difficult, rewarding art. When they are prepared for battle, wizards can use their spells to devastating effect. When caught by surprise, they are vulnerable. The wizard's strength is her spells, everything else is secondary. She learns new spells as she experiments and grows in experience, and she can also learn them from other wizards. In addition, over time a wizard learns to manipulate her spells so they go farther, work better, or are improved in some other way. A wizard can call a familiar- a small, magical, animal companion that serves her. With a high Intelligence, wizards are capable of casting very high levels of spells.

Secondary Class:
Clerics act as intermediaries between the earthly and the divine (or infernal) worlds. A good cleric helps those in need, while an evil cleric seeks to spread his patron's vision of evil across the world. All clerics can heal wounds and bring people back from the brink of death, and powerful clerics can even raise the dead. Likewise, all clerics have authority over undead creatures, and they can turn away or even destroy these creatures. Clerics are trained in the use of simple weapons, and can use all forms of armor and shields without penalty, since armor does not interfere with the casting of divine spells. In addition to his normal complement of spells, every cleric chooses to focus on two of his deity's domains. These domains grants the cleric special powers, and give him access to spells that he might otherwise never learn. A cleric's Wisdom score should be high, since this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

My Uneducated Thoughts on Transgender Issues

Mostly for myself, I'd like to use this blog post to outline what I do and don't know about transgender issues.

First, it bothers me that part of the definition of gender identity disorder is that a person prefers stereotypical activities, friendships, and clothes of their "true gender" rather than their physical sex. As a man who usually prefers female friends, who loves cooking and reading and writing, who relates better to women in most ways, and also as a psychology grad who is highly skeptical of stereotypes, I think we need something better to go on.

Second, contrary to common LDS opinion to the contrary, I can find no canon, doctrine, or consistent Apostolic teaching that it is impossible for a male spirit to be born to a female body, or a female spirit to be born into a male body. I see no doctrinal explanation for hermaphrodites. On this matter, I can only say, "[I] believe that God will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God" (Article of Faith #9).

Third, Latter-day Saints have a unanimous Apostolic statement that gender is eternal, applying to spirit and body alike. Therefore, the gender of the spirit is of paramount importance.

Fourth, I don't know what it is like to believe that your true gender and physical sex are at odds. I don't know what sort of support, therapy, or counseling such people would need. But I know that the Savior knows, because if he experienced every sorrow, temptation, and imperfection of humanity on the cross, then he experienced the sensation of gender identity disorder.

Fifth, even if spirits can be born into opposite-gender bodies, it seems likely to me that there are people who believe that they have a spirit-body gender clash, but who really just don't relate to gender stereotypes. People like me: I have a male body, a male spirit, and strong feminine tendencies. If I am right, and there are people like this, then a sex change operation is not what they need. They need to see how foolish stereotypes are, and to embrace being a "feminine" man or a "masculine" woman: we have women of strength, determination, intelligence, and boldness, and we need them; we have men who are gentle, nurturing, relationship-oriented, and wise, and we need them.

Sixth, the Lord has to be the ultimate judge. He knows the gender of each spirit, the needs of every soul. He alone can care for us as we truly need to be cared for.