Friday, August 19, 2016

Telling Our Children the Truth When It Comes to Our Gender

It seems every day we hear more and more about what Pope Francis calls the "gender ideology". We see at an alarming rate that buying into transgenderism as a good thing has become highly fashionable and politically correct. It's so sad to see many confused children, teenagers and even adults affected by this form of thinking; the form of thinking that one's sex is defined on how they perceive themselves subjectively, instead of considering the objective realities before them. Pope Benedict XVI had a good point on this phenomenon back in 2012:
“These words lay the foundation for what is put forward today under the term ‘gender’ as a new philosophy of sexuality. According to this philosophy, sex is no longer a given element of nature that man has to accept and personally make sense of: it is a social role that we choose for ourselves, while in the past it was chosen for us by society. The profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves.” 
There were some headlines made in the last week or so, where a single mother has decided to allow her five year old son to live as a girl, and is now fighting the state of Texas to change its bathroom laws. How someone can not see this as child abuse is beyond me. This seems more like a severe form of Munchausen Syndrome than anything that can be attributed to this young child. I shudder to think that this mother will one day give her son artificial hormones to stop puberty, damaging the young child's perfectly functional male body. I shudder even more to think that a good portion of Western society thinks that this is OK and we should "live and let live", showing once again where moral relativism has got us.

I replied to a comment over on a prominent Catholic blogger's profile regarding this story, and saw how this moral relativism regarding transgenderism has really affected the general public. My interlocutor's words will be in red, mine in blue and a few other people's in various colors to make reading easier. Unfortunately, the "dialouge" ended in Tom launching a personal attack. Apparently, having discourse on opposing viewpoints isn't something many people want to do much at all. if you don't agree, you're apparently supposed to roll over and be quiet. This is why I always say "I don't agree with that" when someone tells me we should "agree to disagree". This person does not say that explictly, but it'll be apparent that he means as much by what he says towards the end of his final comment. This man, who I honestly can't tell if he's Catholic or not, seems to believe these young people taking artificial hormones is not a negative thing, morally or physically. We will see why this is false in both cases:
Christ Blessing the Children- Lucas Cranach the Elder

Tom: There's a reality show on called, "I AM JAZZ..." Never heard of this until this show came out. I don't know what to believe. There are plenty of doc's that support it and provide hormone therapy before they hit puberty to prevent the "storm" from taking a turn for the worst. Could be true, could be made up. Hard to say...

Leila: Imagine putting a small, growing child on hormones, a child whose body is *completely healthy*. The medical professionals who do these things are guilty of malpractice at the very least.

Tom: In the show, the boy transgendering to a female is about 14 now. And she is a straight up girl... According to the show, hormone blood tests reveal that not everyone is as "balanced" as you or I. The decision whether or not to assign themselves to correlate with the corresponding sex organ is no longer as cut and dry as once thought. As with any birth defect or disease process, there are likely factors that extend past what we think is normal. I'll agree, a toddler won't know what "it" is but I do believe if there is a legitimate test that shows hormone imbalances are present, correct it ASAP.

Nicholas: Well what do you exactly mean by "hormonal imbalance"? If there is one, why does it matter as far as someone's sex goes? I think the question should be, is there a chromosomal anomaly. In other words, does this person from the "Jazz" reality show have an X and Y chromosome in the 23rd pair, or something different?

It's apparent that this young person in the reality show has an X and Y chromosome, making him a male. That's not "cut and dry" that's just how we are made. Jazz is not intersex. He is a straight up male. In what way would he be a "straight up girl"?

Tom: Estrogen is predominantly the "female" hormone. Testosterone is the "male" hormone. Everyone has both. It's just one of them is dominant and that determines sex. Sometimes the ratios are very close and that's when the brain and the body aren't always on the same page. XX or XY is not always the deciding factor. It's like height. There are all different ratios. People are not always simply short or tall.

Nicholas: Ok... well what is the point you're trying to make here? When is XX or XY not the deciding factor (leaving intersex people out of this discussion) in determining if someone is male or female? Are you trying to say that if, for example, a male has too much or too little estrogen in his body, he should be pumped full of hormones and be castrated so that he can attempt to become a female?

There are many men out there who have too much or too little estrogen.

This doesn't make a male a female. In short, just because someone has an imbalance in estrogen or testosterone, it doesn't follow that that male should put himself on artificial hormones, potentially delaying puberty, nor castrate himself. Just because you look like a female doesn't mean you are a female. Just ask RuPaul.
Adam and Eve- Jan van Bijlert

Jane: Whether one is hormonally imbalanced or not, our gender is NOT determined by the amount of which hormone we have more of. It goes all back to our "basic building block" Our DNA. X AND Y chromosomes make you MALE and TWO X chromosomes make you female. No surgery or amount of hormones you take can alter that. Who we are as male and female is INTRINSIC. It is stamped in our very soul by the one who created us. I have ALWAYS been a tomboy. I have always liked hanging with "the boys" I liked playing with "boy" toys and "boy" games but you know what I am wife and mother of two today. I am still every bit "tomboy" but I am also the WOMAN that God created me to be. Nothing about how I "felt" growing up changed ANY of that. Period. End of story. Stories like this make me mad.

Tom: I don't know, Nick. Neither do you. It's all what we read or believe to be real - science, religion, Facebook. You've got some people born with BOTH sets of sex organs (Hermaphroditism they call it), others with none. I believe we are an imperfect animal and sex is not a penis or a vagina. Those are just obvious features we recognize to be male/female. It is in the brain. Gender identity issues, in some cases, is as much a birth defect as any genetic defect - Downs Syndrome, Dwarfism, Anemia... I don't think anyone on here (including me) has an answer to why this happens and how to fix it. But I think it's a very real medical condition and not just a colorful choice to get attention.

Harriet: I'm pretty sure science is clear on the fact that chromosomes determine sex. My freshman high school biology class teaches that much. Basic as it gets.

Nicholas: What don't you know, Tom? I'm not being facetious; I asked you three questions, and I'm honestly not sure which you're answering.

in any case, this sounds pretty relativistic: " It's all what we read or believe to be real - science, religion, Facebook."

Science is empirical data. We know, because of scientific study, what constitutes a male and what constitutes a female, i.e., what the 23rd chromosomal pair is, as well as primary and secondary sex characteristics, among other things.

Are you Catholic, Tom? Or at the very least a Christian of another denomination? if so, our doctrines are not merely beliefs among many, but objective truths. Christianity teaches that God created us male and female. This is apparent (though not easily) even in the cases of the intersex and hermaphrodites. But again, we're not talking about hermaphrodites. You originally brought up the example of a young man who is trying to stop puberty in an effort to "transition" into a female. Our conversation only pertains to those who are without question male or female (such as Bruce Jenner and Jazz), but wish to alter their bodies to become the opposite sex, despite the fact such people are perfectly healthy males (in the cases of Jenner and Jazz).

I also believe we are imperfect, rational animals, and no one is reducing maleness or femaleness to having a penis or a vagina. As I mentioned, secondary sex characteristics play a big part in this as well, as does physique and internal hormones and organs (i.e., testicles and ovaries, the vas deferens and Fallopian tubes, etc.).

" It is in the brain."

What does this even mean? It seems to me, and please correct me if I'm wrong and misunderstanding you, that you're saying the brain alone dictates if someone is a male or female, not the characteristics of the body. You're ready to say that "Sex is not a penis or vagina... It [sex] is in the brain"? If so, that would be ridiculous.

I once posed this question to an Episcopalian male who claimed to be transitioning to a female. A good conversation ensued. I pose that question again:

"I am strictly referring to healthy males (such as Jenner) that would’ve been perfectly fine fathering children (and had fathered children in the past) if a sex change surgery had not occurred... Why does the mental feeling of womanhood override what growth is happening, and is reflected, both outside the body and inside the body?"

That very fruitful dialogue can be found here.

I agree that gender identity issues can be classified a defect, even the medical community admits as much, despite changing the term to a "dysphoria". I never implied that having such a condition (that is, experiencing confusion regarding if one is truly a male or female) is only and merely a cry for attention, but instead agree that this a medical condition and these people need our help and prayers. they don't need to be enabled, like Jazz is, and be told the only way to get through this is by stopping puberty and "transitioning" to the opposite sex.
Christ Blessing the Children- Nicolaes Maes

Tom: The Science of Transgender- from Rolling Stone Magazine

Jane: Science isn't a lets believe this IF you choose to believe it. Science is not based on if you have "faith" in it. Science is hardcore facts. I do believe even with hermaphrodites although both genitalia are expressed one gender is dominant in the DNA. Again our basic building block. Stamped in every single cell of who we are. That my friend can not be denied nor chosen. It is there by design. How that is expressed (our behavior) does NOT define our gender. How we "feel" is not how we define gender. Some days I feel like a zombie going about my day on little to no sleep on autopilot like some kind of robot (who don't have any gender) but does mean I am no longer a human female? No. Not in the least. /end rant

Nicholas: Was the posting of a Rolling Stone article supposed to be a response? I still don't understand the point you're trying to make, and your previous reply is still incoherent. 

Yes, obviously the underlying causes of why people are afflicted with this disorder are complex. But here's the crux of the matter: is it right or moral to alter your body so that it fits your "gender identity", and more importantly is it right or moral to allow children or teenagers to do so? Do you believe that doctors "that support it [allowing people with gender dysphoria to transition] and provide hormone therapy before they hit puberty to prevent the 'storm'" are making a prudent, moral, and correct decision?

Tom: Nick, all the "incoherent" posts I offered were simply to offer that I don't know what the problem, cause, or solution is. Just that it likely goes well beyond even your gifted comprehension of the human animal and all of its "prudent, moral, and correct decisions. Live and let live, brother... And when somebody doesn't quite agree with you, try not coming off like such a dick... God bless.

Nicholas: Hey when all else fails, resort to personal attacks, eh? And so ends what could be positive discourse.

I'm still not buying into your moral relativism, Tom. "Live and let live" isn't a creed that Christians, Catholic or non-Catholic can live by. As a Christian, there's no way in good conscience I could sit by and let my brother and sister do whatever he wants and "live and let live". That shows a total lack of respect for the other person's well being. Instead of saying, "yea, it's ok for you to transition if you want; you're not directly harming me, take these hormones", we should be trying to find other avenues to help those suffering with this condition by not enabling the false perception of the need for a sex change. That is an integral and real part of the solution: truth. The moral relativistic "solution" that you propose is not the solution.

Al Kresta sums it up pretty good. Some food for thought:

"If we just live and let live, cease judging one another and allow all to enjoy his own values and opinions, peace and harmony would abound.

"This is a lie... Deny the reality of universal moral truths and reap a world of personal despair, social disruption and philosophical nonsense."

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