Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Transgender Movement Is Not Beneficial to Our Children

God have mercy on us all. That's all I can think of when I see things like this popping up in my news feeds throughout the day. National Geographic has come out fully in support of the transgender movement that believes each people (both children and adults) have the right to define their gender/sex/identity (whatever other vogue words one wants to include to talk about one's sex) as they see fit, even if it's in contradiction to the realities literally in front of them. It's pretty clear by the editor of the magazine's statement regarding the issue in question, that this is the case and wishes to "spark thoughtful conversations about how far we have come on this topic"; and in saying we've "come so far" on the subject of transgenderism, he refers to the "progress" that many in or current culture believe can only come from when we subvert objective realities and traditional thoughts in favor of a brave new world that really doesn't look so "brave" after all.
Bernardino Luini- The Christ Child and the Infant John the Baptist with a Lamb

On the cover of one of these new issues of the magazine featuring stories on “the science of gender”, there is an image of a confident looking nine year old dressed in pink clothing, and long hair dyed a bright shade of pink. Apparently, this is how we tell the world that a little, pre-pubescent boy, has somehow declared himself to be a girl. The parents of this young child are both fully supportive of their son’s “decision” and the mother has gone as far as to say that it would be, in her words, “wrong” for anyone to refer to her child as a “he” or a “male” instead of a “she” or a “female”. And here we have the dictatorship of relativism. Everyone is morally wrong for calling this young boy what he really is, a boy, and must be castigated as monsters if we don’t use the proper pronoun. I’m sorry ma’am, and I truly am sorry for all the hardship the family has gone through in dealing with a very depressed child, but I will not tell a bold faced lie and subject myself to doublethink by calling someone who is clearly a boy, instead a girl.

I was sitting on the sidelines watching some people have a conversation on this issue, and the charge was brought up by someone that anyone who opposed this boy’s “transition” was guilty of being “judgmental”, and that “the blind shouldn’t lead the blind”. People were making to many judgments based on one cover photo on a magazine. Well, as it turns out, we actually do know a lot about this young child, named Avery, who has been in the news for at least the past couple years as the child and family try to spread their story to “help” others. Some people have indeed wrongly judged the character, and soul of the boy and his parents, some going as far as telling them all that they will go to hell and that God doesn’t love this child anymore. That is despicable, and anyone saying that much is indeed hateful and is not spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the slightest. That is to be roundly condemned, and I certainly do so. God does not hate transgender people. We are all children of God; God loves us all unconditionally. So we must be kind and charitable in everything we do towards our brothers and sisters. One way to be kind, however, is to tell the truth. God loves us unconditionally, but He will not approve of our faults when we fall away from Him through our actions. And in addition to that, while we may not judge anyone’s soul (since this is left to God alone), we as Christians are certainly commanded by Jesus to judge the actions of others.

The child’s father tells the New York Times that he “love[s his] daughter for who she is without preconditions”. That’s great. All parents should feel that way as I do with mine. I don’t care if one of my children grows up to be a mass murderer; there is nothing he could do that could make me stop loving him. But just because we have an unconditional love for our children, that doesn’t mean we should support them in every decision they make; especially if that decision may cause them great harm. Because I love my children so much I refuse to approve of things they do that would lead them astray and that I know are wrong. To take a step back and acquiesce to their demands instead of helping them concretely with whatever problems they have is a misplaced love, a false mercy. To tell the truth and to help others live the truth… that is love.

One especially saddening aspect of this story, is that this young child had thoughts of mutilating himself, and even killing himself by jumping in front of a truck at a very, very young age. Here's a sidebar though...

Many of those who call themselves progressives like to make a distinction between the words "gender" and "sex". Your "sex" is something biological, and your "gender" is how you present yourself. This is why we see ridiculous formulations like this (from a "Cis Privliege Check" blog, which I will not drive any traffic towards):
In my opinion, the only universal trait between all females is the part of the brain that makes them self identify as female, and the same goes for males.  Not the rest of their bodies, their endocrinology or their chromosomes.  After all, that part of our brain cannot be changed by human hands, and if it makes us identify as female, male, or something else all together, then it does not matter how our body, or even the rest of our brain is structured."
Again, why is this "opinion" correct? There is nothing to scientifically back up this assertion. There is no basis for this, especially the bolded. We're not talking about the tiny minority of intersex people, which is an aberration. We're talking about healthy human beings, born with fully functioning sex organs like this young boy in National Geographic. The above quotation make the subjective human mind the deciding factor for what one's maleness or femaleness is. So the question I have, is if gender truly is just how one presents themselves in relation to how culture defines male and female, then why is it necessary to alter the body through hormone blockers, hormone injections (of the opposite sex), implants, surgeries, and worst of all, genital mutilation? Shouldn't it be enough to do all the things females supposedly do while not altering the body in any way, and without disrupting perfectly natural, biological processes, such as puberty? Apparently, in the minds of those of the transgender crowd, it's not. Objective biology and physiology must kowtow to the demands of the subjective reality that has been created in the mind. And we do know by the parents' own admission that their son "will take hormone blockers when she reaches puberty, and that if she wanted surgery in the future it would be something the family would consider." How sad, truly. I've mentioned this before in a previous post, and it needs to be asked again: "Why does the mental feeling of womanhood override what growth is happening and is reflected both outside the body and inside the body?"

So getting back on track, it's obvious that this boy is depressed if his mother felt the need to hide all knives and scissors in the house so that her son would not cut or mutilate his genitals or otherwise inflict harm on himself. This is a sign that there is something psychologically wrong with someone if they want to harm themselves in such a permanent way, and that includes asking about jumping in front of a truck... all before the age of seven. Yet, we are told that "Gender Dysphoria" is no longer a mental illness or disorder. Indeed, former male-to-female transgender person Walt Heyer (who has now accepted his actual sex) notes how hormone blockers and injections, as well as sex change operations, do not lead to an end of depression, nor to an end of suicidal thoughts.

Many, including this buy's parents, believe that the reason so many transgender kids are suicidal is because they are bullied or not accepted: "Over 50% of transgender children try to commit suicide by their mid to late teenage years. A large number of them succeed. And the main reason that these children state that they try to harm themselves is the lack of love and support of their family and friends. My wife and I decided that we would much rather have a happy, healthy daughter than a dead son." But this is the narrative that is being pushed, that is, transgender children are depressed and committing suicide not because of a mental issue (which is similar to [but not the same as!] body dysmorphic disorder), but because they are not feeling loved and accepted. Yes, I agree that bullying can lead to depression, but keep in mind that many like Avery were feeling these emotions of depression before coming out as a transgendered person to the general public. There is obviously a pre-existing condition going on in the minds of those who consider themselves transgendered, and this is why the rate of suicide is so much higher! Like those who have body dysmorphic disorder and want to remove a part of their body and despise a part of their body because it's "in the way" as this young boy has described, those who suffer from gender dysphoria also want to remove those things, (or at least hide them) that don't fit in with the internal image of themselves and what their so-called gender truly is. Some will still argue for a difference, but to say that the difference between the two mental health issues ends between the legs, is ridiculous and amounts to special pleading on behalf of the sex organs. This is something serious, and simply living as one's perceived sex will not necessarily, or even typically, make the depression the transgender person suffers go away. As Heyer notes in an essay of his:
Hormone therapy is still administered to transgenders. Suicide still occurs with far too much frequency, and 41 percent of transgenders attempt suicide. Affirming the false belief that changing genders is a cure for depression has not changed the outcome...
I know; I lived the “transgender life” for eight years. I followed all the prescribed steps to change my gender and I was surrounded by affirming friends. I totally invested myself physically, psychologically, financially, and emotionally into the promise of a future free from gender dysphoria. But I was also one of those 41 percent who attempted suicide out of despair...
In the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 41 percent of more than 6,000 transgenders surveyed reported they had attempted suicide at some time. How high does the number have to go before the foolishness of denying the role of mental illness stops? The advocates refuse to acknowledge a link between transgender suicide and mental illness ,and by doing so they keep transgenders from receiving appropriate treatment that could prevent suicides.
The enlightened elite blame lack of affirmation and acceptance for transgender suicide. They say that transition and cross-gender hormones are the answers to transgender happiness and suicide prevention. Perhaps you agree with them. Think again.
Kyle Scanlon, a female-to-male transgender, lived the life that activists claim will prevent suicide. Fully integrated, supported, and loved, Scanlon was the executive director of the Lesbian Gay Bi Youth Line, and a well-known and well-respected valued leader and mentor in the trans community in Toronto, Canada. He was committed to improving the quality of life for others. Yet, he turned to suicide on July 3, 2012. His friends said he suffered from depression before and after his transition. Not a smidgeon of discrimination or inequality existed in this transgender’s life; no society to blame. He chose to die, even after changing genders.
Scanlon, with every possible support for being transgender, still took his life. That should be a lesson for us. You can blame society, but it’s the unresolved mental disorders causing suicide.
There’s also a video of the child’s mother giving a short speech in defense of the decision her and her husband made in this article over at The Huffington Post. One of the lines from the speech that has been often repeated in news stories on this situation is this: “My daughter, then my 4-year-old son, said these words to me, ‘Mom, you know I am really a girl right? I am a girl on the inside.’” It pains my heart to see a little child so confused, and so depressed, and then, when the one person who should be looking out for her child’s well being acquiesces and accepts what her child says as verboten, and chooses not to firmly say “No. You’re a beautiful boy who we love so much exactly as you are”… that is even sadder, because this child will continue down an even more difficult road that involves living a lie.

After watching the speech, it seems that her son has reached this decision to become a girl because he associates certain things with being a girl. In the speech, there’s lots of talk about dresses being worn and nightgowns and girls underwear. But nowhere to we hear about how the boy expressed a desire for menstrual cycles, lactating breasts, or the capability to have children through having uterus. All these are integral to being a female… but it would seem that all that was in this boy’s mind regarding girls were pink things, clothes, and wanting his penis to disappear because it was "in the way”. How could one possibly reach the decision of allowing their son to live as a girl before puberty, and how could one not tell their son that being a girl involved much more than losing their penis and dressing as a girl would? How can a doctor not tell both child and parents this and instead approve this kind of "treatment" we're seeing? If one says those other things are of an “adult” nature, let’s keep in mind that choosing to change your sex is a very adult decision, yet we are seeing doctors encouraging 5 year-olds to follow through with that decision, and parents are expected to follow the lead of the child in such a case. Dear God, have we lost our minds?

The mother also quotes religion in her speech. I’d rather not bring up religion in a discussion on this topic, because it’s not necessary to appeal to our Catholic Christian faith in denouncing how wrong it has to allow your child to live a lie, suppress or block puberty, approve of hormonal injections as a teenager, or consider genital mutilation at age 18. But it certainly helps. And since this mother, who describes herself as a “conservative, Southern Baptist” has gone there, I’ll go there too in order to defend what our Christian faith truly teaches on this subject….

She says "My God taught us to love one another". So does my God; and as a Catholic Christian that is what I am called to do every day. But let us not equate one's decisions or action with the actual person. We don't have to "love" the decisions and actions our brothers and sisters, whom we love, commit.

Another note is that "Jesus sought out those who others rejected." He did, but those didn't just include the infirm, the leper, or the sick. They also included the adulteress and the tax collectors. Did He ever affirm the wrong actions committed by these people? No, he instructed them to "sin no more." The speech continues in calling out those that cherry pick Bible verses to show that the transgender movement in our culture today contradicts the message given to us by God in Holy Scripture. But she then proceeds in cherry-picking a verse of her own out of context

She quotes 1 Samuel 16:7 which says "But the Lord said to Samuel: Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. God does not see as a mortal, who sees the appearance. The Lord looks into the heart." From this we are to infer that, "My daughter is a girl in her heart. She knows it. God knows it. That's good enough for me." Of course, this verse from 1 Samuel has been misapplied. According to the logic given here, we're supposed to equate this verse with the transgender movement. Where we see a 9 year old boy, there is actually a nine year old girl in the heart. Don't judge based on the appearance of maleness. God sees the heart, and knows this little boy is actually a little girl. This is clearly preposterous.

Samuel is trying to find a new king, after the disappointment that was Saul. God tells him he will find that king among the sons of Jesse. Jesse's son, Eli′ab, is first presented, and Samuel think this must be the "anointed one" because of his stature and appearance. However, God tells him this is not the case because of what is in Eli'ab's heart; and by heart, he means his disposition. Compare what God says in verse 7 to what is written by in Isaiah 11:3 regarding the heart: "And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked." Our Lord looks at a person's interior disposition, and that is what we are judged on; the holiness or goodness of the heart, which recommends us to God, and is in his sight of great price, as is mentioned in St. Peter's first letter: "Let not [your behavior] be the outward adorning with braiding of hair, decoration of gold, and wearing of robes, but let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious." (1. Pt. 3:3-4) The Book of Samuel isn't talking about how we perceive ourselves in our heart, and therefore that perception must be in accord with how God perceives us. No, instead, it's speaking as to how we should strive to have a holy and righteous disposition in our lives, and that our outward appearance has no bearing on our holiness. We are to live in the truth of Christ, God who became man. So I ask, how can one live according to God's truth by denying the truth that one, who is living as a female, is truly a male? God created this child as a male; how is this behavior of living a lie as a girl, therefore dismissing God's bestowal of male sex organs and a healthy male physiology on this child as a mistake, leading to holiness in the heart?

God created us body and soul. Christians believe that the two will be reunited in the age to come. Our bodies aren't a shell that our souls are trapped in. We are our bodies and we are our souls. To think otherwise runs contrary to perennial Christian teaching, but this is something many have bought into in our Western culture. The body is a prison, and our true selves exist apart from the body. That is heresy. We can not be human without our body. We are not some floating spirit stuck in a vessel; and transgendered people are not some female spirit trapped in a (wrongly given) male body, or vice versa. As St. Justin Martyr said:
"Indeed, God calls even the body to resurrection and promises it everlasting life. When he promises to save the man, he thereby makes his promise to the flesh. What is man but a rational living being composed of soul and body? Is the soul by itself a man? No, it is but the soul of a man. Can the body be called a man? No, it can but be called the body of a man. If, then, neither of these is by itself a man, but that which is composed of the two together is called a man, and if God has called man to life and resurrection, he has called not a part, but the whole, which is the soul and the body" (The Resurrection 8 [A.D. 153]). 
That is perennial Christian teaching, not a misinterpretation of the First Book of Samuel. In more recent times where we have dealt with these issues of transgenderism tangibly, several bishops, and even Pope Francis, have spoken out about the "ideological colonization" of those putting forth the theory that we can choose our sex because what we were given was "wrong". Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg, Germany, had this to say last year:
"Gender theoreticians use the equality issues in order to introduce in society a notion of man that goes far beyond specific concerns of equality and, finally, paradoxically, leads to the dissolution of that which ought to be protected, specifically the intrinsic value of male and female existence. The gender theory implies a denial of the nature of man and woman and, hence, also the exclusion of the belief in God, the good Creator. 
The bishop distinguished between culturally assigned roles and the essence of sex differentiation, noting that, "of course, men can also iron shirts, wash dishes and change diapers. And women can also park cars, become chancellor and change tires. This is not just a question of what is supposed to be ‘typically female’ and what is considered 'typically male.' This pertains to what is essential. The excessive differentiation, in extreme cases, the separation of biological and social gender, is the basic error of gender theory."
Pope Francis also makes clear in his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia that maleness and femaleness do not only refer to things such as "doing the dishes" or dressing in pink for females and being strong and tough for males. There is more to it than that, and as I noted above, it seems that many transgendered children, including the one from National Geographic, equate maleness or femaleness with clothing and other social constructs. The Pope puts it as such:
...the young need to be helped to accept their own body as it was created, for “thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation… An appreciation of our body as male or female is also necessary for our own self-awareness in an encounter with others different from ourselves. In this way we can joyfully accept the specific gifts of another man or woman, the work of God the Creator, and find mutual enrichment”.304  
Only by losing the fear of being different, can we be freed of self-centredness and self-absorption. Sex education should help young people to accept their own bodies and to avoid the pretension “to cancel out sexual difference because one no longer knows how to deal with it”.305  
Nor can we ignore the fact that the configuration of our own mode of being, whether as male or female, is not simply the result of biological or genetic factors, but of multiple elements having to do with temperament, family history, culture, experience, education, the influence of friends, family members and respected persons, as well as other formative situations. It is true that we cannot separate the masculine and the feminine from God’s work of creation, which is prior to all our decisions and experiences, and where biological elements exist which are impossible to ignore. But it is also true that masculinity and femininity are not rigid categories.  
It is possible, for example, that a husband’s way of being masculine can be flexibly adapted to the wife’s work schedule. Taking on domestic chores or some aspects of raising children does not make him any less masculine or imply failure, irresponsibility or cause for shame. Children have to be helped to accept as normal such healthy “exchanges” which do not diminish the dignity of the father figure. A rigid approach turns into an overaccentuation of the masculine or feminine, and does not help children and young people to appreciate the genuine reciprocity incarnate in the real conditions of matrimony. Such rigidity, in turn, can hinder the development of an individual’s abilities, to the point of leading him or her to think, for example, that it is not really masculine to cultivate art or dance, or not very feminine to exercise leadership. 
304 Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ (24 May 2015), 155. 
305 Catechesis (15 April 2015): L’Osservatore Romano, 16 April 2015, p. 8. 215 286.

The Holy Father also notes in other publications that there are: "[modern day] 'Herods' [that] destroy, that plot designs of death, that disfigure the face of man and woman, destroying creation...

"Let's think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings. Let's think also of genetic manipulation, of the manipulation of life, or of the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation.

"With this attitude, man commits a new sin, that against God the Creator. … God has placed man and woman and the summit of creation and has entrusted them with the earth. … The design of the Creator is written in nature."

He says elsewhere that "There are also ideological colonializations of the family, different paths and proposals in Europe and also coming from overseas. Then, there is the mistake of the human mind — gender theory — creating so much confusion. So, the family really is under attack."

Pope Benedict XVI has also condemned these "ideological colonizations", and makes some really excellent points in a 2012 address to the Roman Curia:
The Chief Rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim, has shown in a very detailed and profoundly moving study that the attack we are currently experiencing on the true structure of the family, made up of father, mother, and child, goes much deeper. While up to now we regarded a false understanding of the nature of human freedom as one cause of the crisis of the family, it is now becoming clear that the very notion of being – of what being human really means – is being called into question. He quotes the famous saying of Simone de Beauvoir: “one is not born a woman, one becomes so” (on ne naĆ®t pas femme, on le devient). 
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. According to the biblical creation account, being created by God as male and female pertains to the essence of the human creature. This duality is an essential aspect of what being human is all about, as ordained by God. This very duality as something previously given is what is now disputed. The words of the creation account: “male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27) no longer apply. 
No, what applies now is this: it was not God who created them male and female – hitherto society did this, now we decide for ourselves. Man and woman as created realities, as the nature of the human being, no longer exist. Man calls his nature into question. From now on he is merely spirit and will. The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned. From now on there is only the abstract human being, who chooses for himself what his nature is to be. Man and woman in their created state as complementary versions of what it means to be human are disputed. But if there is no pre-ordained duality of man and woman in creation, then neither is the family any longer a reality established by creation. 
I do find it sad that this boy is happy not to have to pretend anymore, as the cover of the magazine states... but in this child's mind, what was he "pretending"? What does it mean to him when he says "he's happy not having to pretend to be a boy anymore"?

Is he glad to no longer pretend to like short hair, darker colors, action figures, and playing football? You don't have to do any of those things to be a boy; that's the social construct. The reality of being a male goes much deeper than social constructs. Will this cessation of "pretending" really go so far as to lead to something such as castration or artificial hormone or hormonal blocking injections, as the parents of this child have alluded to? Let's hope not, but the parents of this poor child have made it clear that he is a "girl"... or at least what our society perceives as a girl; having long hair and liking pink clothes.

Is this what this child perceives as being a girl? Because it's so much more than that, as we can plainly see. Let's keep this family, and all families in a similar situation, in our prayers. God have mercy on us all.

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