What is Transgenderism?
Those who espouse “transgenderism” argue that a human person is assigned their gender at birth, based on their observed anatomy. Consequently, when a biological male identifies as female and then has related surgery, they speak of that medical practice as “gender confirmation” vs. “gender reassignment,” because they believe their anatomy now reflects their true identity as a human person.
The Church has a different take, one that is grounded in genuinely confirmed reality. One is conceived either male or female, and this also applies to hermaphrodites who, though they manifest both male and female anatomical aspects at birth, are either biological boys or girls.
In this light, the Church recognizes that every human person is created in the image and likeness of God, male or female (Gen. 1:26-27). – From article “The Church’s Position on ‘Transgenderism’” by Tom Nash
We are all beautifully and wonderfully made in the image and likeness of God.
Genesis teaches us that God made man and woman and Jesus reaffirms this In Matthew 19:4-5, “Jesus answered, ‘Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female.'"
The Catechism says in 1701: "Christ, . . . in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love, makes man fully manifest to himself and brings to light his exalted vocation." It is in Christ, "the image of the invisible God," that man has been created "in the image and likeness" of the Creator. It is in Christ, Redeemer and Savior, that the divine image, disfigured in man by the first sin, has been restored to its original beauty and ennobled by the grace of God.
God made each of us unique and loves us just the way we are.
- Bruce Genner & the Transgender Question by Fr. Mike Schmitz - https://youtu.be/4-9_rxXFu9I
- Can Transgender People Find Happiness in the Church by Jason Evert - https://youtu.be/qD3qHKdpB1E
- Effectively reaching out to individuals who identify as transgender by Jason Evert - https://youtu.be/0QNcu9fIKuo
- What role does prayer play for those who identify as transgender? by Jason Evert - https://youtu.be/5CTuLvaBzqY
- The consequences that come with accepting and promoting transgenderism by Jason Evert - https://youtu.be/hToI50tYUsg
- How can Catholics Avoid Unjust Discrimination by Jason Evert – https://youtu.be/f3aYJm_4SRQ
- What Trends are You Seeing in Society Related to Transgenderism by Jason Evert – https://youtu.be/LsOT_IyLtJE
- Did God Go Wrong When He Made Us by Jason Evert – https://youtu.be/N7Zg-gTOzeQ
- What is Transgenderism by Jason Evert – https://youtu.be/B4eLFQTVTw4
- How Does God See Transgender People by Jason Evert – https://youtu.be/zwKuccgxG08
- Is there a Difference Between Sex and Gender by Jason Evert - https://youtu.be/HK18fp0EYN8
- Transgender or Made This Way with Trent Horn - https://youtu.be/F-MncAubHSI
- What Does the Church Think of Transgender People by Catholic Answers - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8G4cmQl_-o4
- Answering Gender Confusion by Catholic Answers - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_aQK_LNiy0
Visiting the Chastity Project website is a great starting point.
www.chastityproject.com – Resources, videos, books, articles, audio talks, online videos, and so much more covering topics like: transgender, dating, how far is too far, homosexuality, pornography, birth control, STDs, starting over, how to stay pure, vocations and spirituality, and much more
Made This Way: How to Prepare Kids to Face Today’s Tough Moral Issues By Leila Miller & Trent Horn
A generation ago, Christian parents didn't have to worry about how to explain transgenderism to their nine-year-old, or help their teenager deal with mockery at school for believing in traditional marriage.
But today, as our culture's moral center continues to fly apart and with every form of deviance publicly aired and celebrated, we have no choice but to equip our kids to understand and to own the truth about such issues.
In Made This Way: How to Prepare Kids to Face Today's Tough Moral Issues, Leila Miller and Trent Horn give parents (guardians and teachers, too!) crucial tools and techniques to form children with the understanding they need, appropriate to their age and maturity level, to meet the world's challenges. Their secret lies in an approach that begins not with the Bible or Church teaching but with the natural law. In kid-friendly ways, Miller (Primal Loss) and Horn (Persuasive Pro-Life) help you communicate how the right way to live is rooted in the way we're made.
God's design for human nature is a blueprint or owner's manual for moral living that any child can grasp through reason and apply to modern controversies over sex, marriage, life... and the quest for human fulfillment. Topics covered include: Sex Outside of Marriage Same-Sex Marriage Divorce Contraception Abortion Reproductive Technologies Modesty Pornography Transgenderism Homosexuality Silence can no longer be an option. If we’re not teaching our children how to understand tough moral issues, then the world will.
When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment – By Ryan Anderson
Can a boy be “trapped” in a girl’s body? Can modern medicine “reassign” sex? Is our sex “assigned” to us in the first place? What is the most loving response to a person experiencing a conflicted sense of gender? What should our law say on matters of “gender identity”?
When Harry Became Sally provides thoughtful answers to questions arising from our transgender moment. Drawing on the best insights from biology, psychology, and philosophy, Ryan Anderson offers a nuanced view of human embodiment, a balanced approach to public policy on gender identity, and a sober assessment of the human costs of getting human nature wrong.
This book exposes the contrast between the media’s sunny depiction of gender fluidity and the often sad reality of living with gender dysphoria. It gives a voice to people who tried to “transition” by changing their bodies, and found themselves no better off. Especially troubling are the stories told by adults who were encouraged to transition as children but later regretted subjecting themselves to those drastic procedures.
As Anderson shows, the most beneficial therapies focus on helping people accept themselves and live in harmony with their bodies. This understanding is vital for parents with children in schools where counselors may steer a child toward transitioning behind their backs.
Everyone has something at stake in the controversies over transgender ideology, when misguided “antidiscrimination” policies allow biological men into women’s restrooms and penalize Americans who hold to the truth about human nature. Anderson offers a strategy for pushing back with principle and prudence, compassion and grace.
What the Catholic Church Wants the Transgender Community to Know
by CHRISTINA MEAD from LifeTeen
Any time I write about topics like this I get nervous. I get a pit in my stomach and I worry that whomever reads it won’t fully understand, 1) what I’m trying to say, and 2) that it comes from the best part of my heart.
It comes from a place in my heart that only knows care and concern and love. It’s the part that wants to welcome everyone with open arms. The part where my deepest desire is that no one would ever be turned away from a pew in a church. I wish that no one would be looked upon scornfully, or judged for their outside appearance with no regard for what matters most — who they are.
So it’s from that place that I’m here to tell you first and foremost that the Catholic Church, as a whole, loves you.
I’m so sorry if that isn’t what you’ve experienced personally. If a person, or group of people who associate themselves with the Church have treated you poorly… well then you and I need to forgive them together. It wasn’t accurate. It wasn’t how the Church has ever encouraged them to treat you.
Our model is Jesus Christ. He let anyone sit and share a meal with Him. He saved the outcasts from the shame of isolation. He welcomed those whom others had judged and labeled as sinners. And He spoke the truth in love.
We’re trying to do all those things.
The Catholic Church is in a position whereby we are upholding what God has revealed. We look to God, our creator, to understand how He intended His creations (us) to live life and how to live well.
And if you’re a teenager who experiences that your body doesn’t feel like your own, and that you weren’t meant to be the sex indicated by your body, I totally understand how it can feel like the Catholic Church isn’t the place for you.
But you are welcome here. This is why:
We understand life may feel overwhelming for you. Gender Dysphoria (the condition of feeling one’s emotional and psychological identity as male or female to be opposite to one’s biological sex) is a very real condition and many people suffer greatly because of it.
However, God doesn’t make mistakes. When He fashioned you in your mother’s womb with the care of that of an artist making His one and only greatest masterpiece, God took delight in choosing the things that make you uniquely you. If you feel like there was some big mistake when you were created, then let’s just be brutally honest and say that we don’t share the same definition of God. If God is an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving Father, it is impossible for Him to make mistakes because it would be contrary to His nature. God created you male or female for a reason.
If your sex is a source of suffering in your life, I want you to know that God can be there with you to comfort you and help you through that suffering. He doesn’t promise to take away our sufferings and struggles, but He does promise to be there carrying our crosses alongside us.
Regardless of how you experience your mind, body, and sexuality being in contention and working against one another, there are a couple things that are true for all of us.
#1 You are precious and loved and worthy of good things.
You are not defined by your sexuality. You are first and foremost a son or daughter of God and being His child is the number one priority.
Because you are His child you can find all your worth and validation in Him. He died because He wants to spend eternity with you. That’s how personally He loves you.
#2 We are all called to holiness.
Anyone, no matter their sex or how they feel about their own gender identity, is called to holiness and to live a life of self-giving love. God’s will for your life is that you grow closer to Him. How each of us does that is constantly changing every day, week, month, and year of our lives.
For this season, He may be asking you to grow in holiness (grow closer to Him) by wrestling with trying to trust Him that He doesn’t make mistakes and that He created you as male or female for a reason.
Maybe in the next season of your life, He will ask you to grow closer to Him by working with a therapist to help you relieve some of the daily anxiety in your life caused by not feeling at home in your own skin.
In the future, God may want you to grow closer to Him by learning to love others through self-giving love in acts of service. Whether it be serving the poor, loving your neighbor,or hosting regular get-togethers for your friends, God may challenge you to dive into a life of love in community because that’s where fullness of life happens.
#3 Medical advances are to heal not hurt.
If you are having a transgender experience right now, that doesn’t mean it’s permanent. God has given us the gift of science and the wisdom of doctors to help us heal where we need healing. Doing harm to your healthy body and hormones is not the answer. Your healthy body doesn’t need healing. There are other options to help you manage. There are other steps you can take to help your mind not be at war with your body.
We humans are integrated beings. That means our souls don’t reside in a round glowing ball in the middle of our chest. Our bodies aren’t something to detest, something that holds our soul for now but isn’t important.
We are one being. So just as much as your soul is you, so is your body you. What we do with our bodies matters. You don’t just hurt my nose if you punch my face, you hurt me. If someone uses my body sexually for their own gratification, it’s not just my body that is affected, I am affected – my whole personhood has been hurt by being objectified.
When someone is having a transgender experience, it may feel like sex reassignment surgery, or hormone therapy will heal your body to be more in line with your perceived gender identity. In reality it is hurting the dignity of who you are, body and soul.
#4 Your body doesn’t have to define your personality.
I know that societal norms for men and women can be frustrating. Given those norms it can be even more difficult to feel like you don’t associate with others of your sex. That’s okay. The Catholic Church celebrates the core of masculinity and femininity in their uniqueness apart from societal and cultural norms.
If you feel like you as a male, you don’t fit the stereotype of men — so be it! Same for women. No one said you have to. Our differences as male and female are beautiful in the way we can compliment each other, but how drastic those differences will be are naturally going to vary from person to person.
In my relationship with my fiance, he likes cleaning the house way more than I do… and he’s better at it. He also loves shopping more than any man I’ve ever met. Those may not be the most “masculine” things, but that’s his personality, his experience of being male… and that’s okay.
What the Church does teach is that there’s only one way to have a sacramental marriage – one man and one woman. And the Church affirms the reality that biologically men and women each have something different and unique to offer in the ways they reveal God’s image and likeness in their complementary ways of giving and receiving.
#5 The greatest good in life is not genital sexual expression.
There’s been a misunderstanding recently that sex is the highest form of love and fulfillment and if you can’t have sex, you’re doomed to being unhappy and unfulfilled. That is simply not true.
The greatest good in life and the highest form of love is self-giving love.
Jesus on the cross is our example. He loved us so much that He left His throne in heaven to suffer and die for us. He set Himself aside in order to love us. When we give up our own wants and desires for the good of another person, that’s self-giving love and with it comes our own fulfillment and joy.
#6 The Catholic Church is a place for us to call home.
I have a hard time telling you that every Catholic Church will be super welcoming, especially if you stand out from the norm because the Church is made up of other broken, sinful people. There are people who might judge you. I’ve been judged at church for wearing shorts, or receiving communion on the tongue or receiving communion on the hand, or any number of things that others decided to judge me for.
I’m telling you that so you’re not surprised. We are a Church made up of people who keep coming back to God for healing and guidance. So if you need help on the road to heaven, if you need encouragement to live a Christian life, if you’re looking for some truth instead of the same old, “do whatever you want” mentality, this is the place for you.
This is the place where we are all trying to accept who we are. We are all trying to love ourselves. We are all trying to figure out how to be happy, and how to live lives of love. We are all struggling to accept the limitations of our humanity and find out how to grow deeper in a personal relationship with God.
So if you are a teenager who is having an experience of gender dysphoria… please… come to the table. Sit with us at the altar of plenty and experience God’s love and mercy and truth. He wants us all to be free to love Him with our whole being — body, mind, and soul. And if you don’t feel freedom, but only burdens within your being, let’s walk toward freedom together.
Because you are loved.
You are a child of God.
*Editor’s Note: This blog is only meant to cover the one topic of transgenderism. We realize that other people have other experiences, such as intersex individuals (someone born with both male and female sexual organs), but that is a large enough topic for a separate blog and could not be covered here.
Understanding and Responding to Our Transgender Moment
Ryan T. Anderson
Principles (A Publication of Christendom College), Volume V, Issue II, pp. 1-7.
America is in the midst of what has been called a "transgender moment."
In the space of a year, transgender issues went from something that most Americans had never heard of to a cause claiming the mantle of civil rights. Can a boy truly be "trapped" in a girl's body? Can modern medicine really "reassign" sex? Is sex something "assigned" in the first place? What's the loving response to a friend or child experiencing a gender identity conflict? What should our law say on these issues? These shouldn't be difficult questions.
Thirty years ago, Dr. Paul McHugh thought he had convinced the vast majority of medical professionals not to go along with bold claims about sex and gender being proffered by some of his colleagues. And as chair of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, McHugh put a stop to sex-reassignment surgery at Hopkins. Once the elite Johns Hopkins did this, many medical centers across the nation followed suit. But in recent years we have seen a resurgence of these drastic procedures—not in light of new scientific evidence, mind you, but as a result of a growing ideological movement. Such is our transgender moment.
The people increasingly in the spotlight of this moment are children. In the past ten years, dozens of pediatric gender clinics have sprung up throughout the United States. In 2007, Boston Children's Hospital "became the first major program in the United States to focus on transgender children and adolescents," as its own website brags. A decade later, over 45 gender clinics opened their doors to our nation's children—telling parents that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones may be the only way to prevent teen suicides.
Never mind that according to the best studies—the ones that even trans gender activists themselves cite—80 to 95 percent of children with gender dysphoria will come to identify with and embrace their bodily sex. Never mind that 41 percent of people who identify as transgender will attempt suicide at some point in their lives, compared to 4.6 percent of the general population. Never mind that people who have had transition surgery are 19 times more likely than average to die by suicide. These statistics should stop us in our tracks. Clearly, we must work to find ways to effectively prevent these suicides and address the underlying causes.
Many psychologists and psychiatrists think of gender dysphoria as similar to other dysphorias, or forms of discomfort with one's body, such as anorexia. The feelings of discomfort can lead to mistaken beliefs about oneself or about reality, and then to actions in accordance with those false beliefs. The most helpful therapies focus not on achieving the impossible—changing body to conform to thoughts and feelings—but on helping people accept and even embrace the truth about their bodies and reality.
Operating in the background is a sound understanding of physical and mental health—proper function of one's body and mind—and a sound understanding of medicine as a practice aimed at restoring health, not simply satisfying the desires of patients. For human beings to flourish, they need to feel comfortable in their own bodies, readily identify with their sex, and believe that they are who they actually are.
In my new book, When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment, I argue that McHugh got it right. The best biology, psychology, and philosophy all support an understanding of sex as a bodily reality, and of gender as a social manifestation of bodily sex. Biology isn't bigotry.
Transgender activists reject much of this. But before proceeding, I want to draw a distinction between people who are experiencing gender dysphoria and ideologues who embrace and promote transgender ideology. Many people who suffer from gender dysphoria reject the activists' claims and should themselves be regarded as victims of the activists. Many of those who feel distress over their bodily sex know that they aren't really the opposite sex, and do not wish to "transition." They wish to receive help in coming to identify with and accept their bodily self. Imagine feeling so alienated from your own body that you would contemplate removing some of your own body parts. These people are suffering, and they are being fed bad advice from the professionals in their lives. The critique of this essay is [aimed] at those ideologues, not at the individuals experiencing gender dysphoria. If anything, we should have abundant charity for people who feel alienation from their own bodies. But we should insist on telling the truth about those who are promoting a faulty anthropology.
People say that we live in a postmodern age that has rejected metaphysics. That's not quite true. We live in a postmodern age that promotes an alternative metaphysics. As I explain in When Harry Became Sally, at the heart of the trans gender moment are radical ideas about the human person—in particular, that people are what they claim to be, regardless of contrary evidence. The rhetoric of the transgender moment drips with ontological assertions: people are the gender they prefer to be. Transgender activists don't want to have the debate on the level of philosophy, so they dress it up as a scientific and medical claim. And they've co-opted many professional associations for their cause.
Thus the American Psychological Association tells us, "Transgender is an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression, or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth." Notice the politicized language: a person's sex is "assigned at birth." This phrase is now favored because it makes room for "gender identity" as the real basis of a person's sex.
In an expert declaration to a federal district court in North Carolina concerning H.B. 2 (a state law governing access to sex-specific restrooms), Dr. Deanna Adkins stated, "From a medical perspective, the appropriate determinant of sex is gender identity." Adkins, director of the Duke Center for Child and Adolescent Gender Care, argues that gender identity is not only the preferred basis for determining sex, but "the only medically supported determinant of sex." Every other method is bad science, she claims. But what exactly is this "gender identity"? Adkins defines it as "a person's inner sense of belonging to a particular gender, such as male or female." Note that little phrase "such as," implying that the options are not necessarily limited to male or female. Other activists are more forthcoming in admitting that gender identity need not be restricted to the binary choice of male or female, but can include both or neither.
These notions about sex and gender are now being taught to young children. Activists have created child-friendly graphics for this purpose, such as a "Gender Unicorn." It has a body shape that doesn't appear either male or female, and instead of a "biological sex" it has a "sex assigned at birth." According to its creators, "Biological sex is an ambiguous word that has no scale and no meaning besides that it is related to some sex characteristics. It is also harmful to trans people. Instead, we prefer 'sex assigned at birth' which provides a more accurate description of what biological sex may be trying to communicate." The Gender Unicorn is the graphic that children are likely to encounter in school. These are the dogmas they are likely to be catechized to profess.
If the claims presented in this essay strike you as confusing, you're not alone. The thinking of transgender activists is inherently confused and filled with internal contradictions. Activists never acknowledge those contradictions. Instead, they opportunistically rely on whichever claim is useful at any given moment.
On the one hand, they claim that the real self is something other than the physical body, in a new form of Gnostic dualism; yet at the same time they embrace a materialist philosophy in which only the material world exists. They say that gender is purely a social construct, while asserting that a person can be "trapped" in the wrong gender. They say that there are no meaningful differences between man and woman; yet they rely on rigid sex stereotypes to argue that "gender identity" is real, while human embodiment is not. They claim that truth is whatever a person says it is; yet they believe there's a real self to be discovered inside that person. They promote a radical expressive individualism in which people are free to do whatever they want and define the truth however they wish; yet they try ruthlessly to enforce acceptance of transgender ideology.
It's hard to see how these contradictory positions can be combined. If you pull too hard on any one thread of transgender ideology, the whole tapestry comes unraveled. But here are some questions we can pose: If gender is a social construct, how can gender identity be innate and immutable? How can one's identity be unchangeable with respect to an ever-changing social construct? And if gender identity is innate, how can it be "fluid"? The challenge for activists is to offer a plausible definition of gender and gender identity that is independent of bodily sex.
Is there a gender binary or not? Somehow, it both does and does not exist, according to transgender activists. If the categories of "man" and "woman" are objective enough that people can identify as, and be, men and women, how can gender also be a spectrum, where people can identify as, and be, both, or neither, or somewhere in between? What does it even mean to have an internal sense of gender?
What does gender feel like? What meaning can we give to the concept of sex or gender—and thus what internal "sense" can we have of gender—apart from having a body of a particular sex? Apart from having a male body, what does it "feel like" to be a man? What does it feel like to be both a man and a woman, or to be neither? The challenge for the transgender activist is to explain what these feelings are like, and how someone could know if he or she "feels like" the opposite sex, or neither, or both.
Even if transgender activists could answer these questions about feelings, that still wouldn't address the matter of reality. Why should feeling like a man—whatever that means—make someone a man? Why do our feelings determine reality on the question of sex, but on little else? Why should a person's "real" sex be determined by an inner sense of identity, but not a person's age, height, race or species?
Of course, a transgender activist could reply that an "identity" is, by definition, just an inner sense of self. But if that's the case, gender identity is merely a disclosure of how one feels. Saying that someone is transgender, then, says only that the person has feelings that he or she is the opposite sex.
Gender identity, so understood, has no bearing at all on the meaning of "sex" or anything else. But transgender activists claim that a person's self-professed "gender identity" is that person's "sex." Activists must explain why the mere feeling of being male or female (or both or neither) makes someone male or female (or both or neither).
Gender identity can sound a lot like religious identity, which is determined by beliefs. But those beliefs don't determine reality. Someone who identifies as a Christian believes that Jesus is the Christ. Someone who identifies as a Muslim believes that Muhammad is the Final Prophet. But Jesus either is or is not the Christ, and Muhammad either is or is not the Final Prophet, regardless of what anyone happens to believe. So, too, a person either is or is not a man, regardless of what anyone—including that person –happens to believe.
The challenge for transgender activists is to present an argument for why transgender beliefs determine reality. If gender identity is self-created, why must other people accept it as reality? If we should be free to choose our own gender reality, why can some people impose their idea of reality on others just because they identify as transgender? Another challenge for the transgender activist is to articulate some conception of truth as the basis for how we understand the common good and how society should be ordered.
There are human costs to getting human nature wrong. Contrary to the claims of activists, sex isn't "assigned" at birth—and that's why it can't be "reassigned." Sex is a bodily reality that can be recognized well before birth with ultrasound imaging. The sex of an organism is defined and identified by the way in which it (he or she) is organized for sexual reproduction. And that organization can't be "reassigned."
Modern science shows that our sexual organization begins with our DNA and development in the womb, and that sex differences manifest themselves in many bodily systems and organs, all the way down to the molecular level. In other words, our physical organization for one of two functions in reproduction shapes us organically, from the beginning of life, at every level of our being.
Cosmetic surgery and crosssex hormones can't change us into the opposite sex. They can affect appearances. They can stunt or damage some outward expressions of our reproductive organization. But they can't transform it. They can't turn us from one sex into the other. "Scientifically speaking, transgender men are not biological men and transgender women are not biological women. The claims to the contrary are not supported by a scintilla of scientific evidence," explains Dr. Mayer. Or, as Princeton philosopher Robert P. George put it, "Changing sexes is a metaphysical impossibility because it is a biological impossibility."
Sadly, just as "sex reassignment" fails to reassign sex biologically, it also fails to bring wholeness socially and psychologically. As I demonstrate in When Harry Became Sally, the medical evidence suggests that it does not adequately address the psychosocial difficulties faced by people who identify as transgender. Even when the procedures are successful technically and cosmetically, and even in cultures that are relatively "trans-friendly," transitioners still face poor outcomes.
Dr. Paul McHugh explains: "Transgendered men do not become women, nor do transgendered women become men. All (including Bruce Jenner) become feminized men or masculinized women, counterfeits or impersonators of the sex with which they 'identify.' In that lies their problematic future. When 'the tumult and shouting dies,' it proves not easy nor wise to live in a counterfeit sexual garb. The most thorough follow-up of sex-reassigned people-extending over thirty years and conducted in Sweden, where the culture is strongly supportive of the transgendered, documents their lifelong mental unrest. Ten to fifteen years after surgical reassignment, the suicide rate of those who had undergone sex reassignment surgery rose to twenty times that of comparable peers."
In 2014, a review of the scientific literature was done by Hayes, Inc., a research and consulting firm that evaluates the safety and health outcomes of medical technologies. Hayes found that the evidence on long-term results of sex reassignment was too sparse to support meaningful conclusions and gave these studies its lowest rating for quality: "Statistically significant improvements have not been consistently demonstrated by multiple studies for most outcomes... Evidence regarding quality of life and function in male-to-female (MtF) adults was very sparse. Evidence for less comprehensive measures of well-being in adult recipients of cross-sex hormone therapy was directly applicable to GD patients but was sparse and/or conflicting. The study designs do not permit conclusions of causality and studies generally had weaknesses associated with study execution as well. There are potentially long-term safety risks associated with hormone therapy but none have been proven or conclusively ruled out."
The Obama administration came to similar conclusions. In 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid revisited the question whether sex reassignment surgery would have to be covered by Medicare plans. Despite receiving a request that its coverage be mandated, they refused, on the ground that we lack evidence that it benefits patients. And when it comes to the best studies, there is no evidence of "clinically significant changes" after sex reassignment: "After careful assessment, we identified six studies that could provide useful information. Of these, the four best designed and conducted studies that assessed quality of life before and after surgery using validated (albeit non-specific) psychometric studies did not demonstrate clinically significant changes or differences in psychometric test results after GRS [gender reassignment surgery]."
In a discussion of the largest and most robust study—the study from Sweden that Dr. McHugh mentioned in the quote above—the Obama Centers for Medicare and Medicaid pointed out the nineteentimes-greater likelihood for death by suicide, and a host of other poor outcomes: "The study identified increased mortality and psychiatric hospitalization compared to the matched controls. The mortality was primarily due to completed suicides (19.1-fold greater than in control Swedes), but death due to neoplasm and cardiovascular disease was increased 2 to 2.5 times as well ... The risk for psychiatric hospitalization was 2.8 times greater than in controls even after adjustment for prior psychiatric disease (18%)."
These results are tragic. And they directly contradict the most popular media narratives, as well as many of the snapshot studies that do not track people over time. The Obama Centers for Medicare and Medicaid pointed out that "mortality from this patient population did not become apparent until after 10 years." So when the media tout studies that only track outcomes for a few years, and claim that reassignment is a stunning success, there are good grounds for skepticism.
As I explain in my book, these outcomes should be enough to stop the headlong rush into sexreassignment procedures. They should prompt us to develop better therapies for helping people who struggle with their gender identity. And none of this even begins to address the radical, entirely experimental therapies that are being directed at the bodies of children to transition them.
Transgender ideologues ignore contrary evidence and competing interests; they disparage alternative practices; and they aim to muffle skeptical voices and shut down any disagreement. The movement has to keep patching and shoring up its beliefs, policing the faithful, coercing the heretics, and punishing apostates, because as soon as its furious efforts flag for a moment or someone successfully stands up to it, the whole charade is exposed. A transgender future is not the "right side of history," yet activists have convinced the most powerful sectors of our society to acquiesce to their demands. While the claims they make are manifestly false, it will take real work to prevent the spread of these harmful ideas.
Referenced sources are listed in the article at getprinciples.com.
Ryan T. Anderson is the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation and the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Public Discourse, the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, NJ. He is the author of several books, including When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment, from which this article is adapted. He is an adjunct professor at Christendom College this spring.
I Look Forward to the Resurrection of the Dead
Father Bernard J. Ezaki
As you may know, the Church teaches that Jesus’ death on the Cross means that the souls He has redeemed can at last enter paradise. From the time of Adam’s fall until Good Friday, the gates of heaven were closed to the soul of every human being. Good Friday changed all that. What about Easter Sunday? Our Lord’s bodily resurrection from the dead—the permanent reunion of His body and soul—means that the souls whom He has redeemed will—after the Last Judgment—be able to bring their bodies into heaven with them. Because of Good Friday, the souls of the blessed are given access to heaven. Because of Easter Sunday, the souls of the blessed are promised that they will one day have their bodies with them in heaven.
This may sound strange coming from a priest. For many years, I took more joy in Good Friday than I did in Easter Sunday. The possibility of my soul entering heaven, I thought, was awesome, but the idea of my body being one day with my soul in heaven was not all that appealing. You see, for many years, because of my blindness, I regarded my body the way some ancient pagans and the way the Gnostic heretics regarded the human body, as a kind of cage of the soul. Not being able to see the beauty of nature or the sparkle of human eyes was bad enough. When, however, I was in college, it became apparent that God had perversely given me a facility for learning ancient Greek and Latin. Alas! Although I excelled in my coursework—I forgot more Greek and Latin than most people will ever know—my poor vision prevented me from spending long hours poring over the ancient texts I loved. Thus these no good, rotten eyes of mine kept me from pursuing a career in the classics. Why had God given me ability and desire and not the body to pursue the goal to which they pointed? Then, after ordination—wouldn’t you know it?—I was assigned to teach high school sophomores, tenth graders who were always getting their driver’s licenses, and this seemed only to make my inability to drive more painful. In short, I felt as though I were a sighted person trapped in a blind body. Those who knew me then can attest that I would often say that my body was a burden that “weighed down my soul in its otherwise unimpeded quest for God.” My poor eyes were all too good at producing tears of frustration and anger, but they mercilessly stood in the way of many of my most cherished dreams.
My outlook, however, began to improve when, at age forty-five, I found a life-transforming sentence in a book by Father Ronald Rolheiser:
I’m not grateful because I’m happy; I’m happy because I’m grateful.
To my surprise, I discovered that Father Rolheiser was right. The more I counted my blessings, the happier I became, and, even more surprising, my attitude toward my body gradually began to change. Perhaps this parable will help to illustrate my shift in thinking:
Two friends, a tall blind man and a short man with 20/20 vision are walking hand-in-hand down a road. They come to an apple tree. The man who is small in stature sees the apples, wants the apples, but is too short to reach the apples. What does he do? He climbs atop the shoulders of his blind companion, and thus he is able to obtain sweet nourishment for both himself and his friend.
Hmm. My body, I began to realize, is to my soul as the blind man is to his keen-sighted companion. It is not my soul’s cage or prison. On the contrary, it is the means whereby my soul can creatively accomplish its ends. Christian apologist C.S. Lewis elaborates on an even more playful analogy for the body. In his book, The Four Loves, he comments on Saint Francis’ habit of referring to the human body as Brother Ass. Lewis says:
.…Man had held three views of his body. First there is that of those ascetic Pagans who called it the prison or the “tomb” of the soul, and of Christians like Fisher to whom it was a “sack of dung,” food for worms, filthy, shameful, a source of nothing but temptation to bad men and humiliation to good ones. Then there are the Neo-Pagans (they seldom know Greek), the nudists and the sufferers from Dark Gods, to whom the body is glorious. But thirdly we have the view which St. Francis expressed by calling his body “Brother Ass.” All three may be—I am not sure—defensible; but give me St. Francis for my money.
Ass is exquisitely right because no one in his senses can either revere or hate a donkey. It is a useful, sturdy, lazy, obstinate, patient, lovable and infuriating beast; deserving now the stick and now a carrot; both pathetically and absurdly beautiful. So the body. There’s no living with it till we recognise that one of its functions in our lives is to play the part of buffoon. Until some theory has sophisticated them, every man, woman and child in the world knows this. The fact that we have bodies is the oldest joke there is.
Yes! The more I regard my body in a light-hearted fashion, and not as a trap in which my soul is snared, the happier I am. I know now that if I am ever to enjoy heaven, it will be the result of a happy compact between my soul and my body. My body is not an enemy, something to be fought against or overcome. It’s not a cage, a prison, or a burden that weighs me down. On the contrary, it is my partner in salvation with which, if I am to have any peace in this life, I must make my peace.
Indeed, I’ve come to believe that my body is a pretty good partner. Not only does it come equipped with poor eyes, but it also has a gene inherited from my Japanese father which makes the metabolism of alcohol difficult. Thus because of my body, there are all sorts of sins I will never be able to commit. I’ll never look at pornography. I’ll never overindulge in intoxicating beverages. I’ll never drink and drive; and I’ll never, ever be able to commit the worst sin of all, viz. deliberately driving slow in the left lane! Besides, because I’m not drop-dead gorgeous, I’ll always know who my friends are. Come to think of it, my body is helping me to achieve the most important goal of all, namely getting to heaven.
Well, Brother Ass, we’re in this together. And, by the way, I like you just the way you are.
Thus, echoing the words of the creed we are about to recite, “I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.”
 See the wonderful poem “Limbo” by Sister Mary Ada.
 I found this sentence, or one very similar to it, in the book Holy Longing.
 The parable is not entirely original, but I do not recall its inspiration.
 The Four Loves, Chapter 3.
- How to Talk to Kids About Transgender Identity with Leila Miller - https://player.fm/series/the-counsel-of-trent/ep-056-how-to-talk-to-kids-about-transgender-identity-with-leila-miller
- The Perils of Transgenderism by Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons - https://www.catholic.com/audio/cal/cal-7451
- Totalitarian Transgenderism and Answering Dan Barker by Trent Horn - https://www.catholic.com/audio/cot/totalitarian-transgenderism-and-answering-dan-barker
- Explaining Transgender to Kids – Without Puppets by Leila Miller - https://www.catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/explaining-transgender-to-kids-without-puppets
- 5 Questions for Supporters of Gender Transitioning by Trent Horn- https://www.catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/five-questions-for-supporters-of-gender-transitioning
- The Church’s Position on Transgenderism by Tom Nash from Catholic Answers - https://www.catholic.com/qa/the-churchs-position-on-transgenderism-0
- One Way to Debunk Transgender Philosophy by Karlo Broussard - https://www.catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/one-way-to-debunk-transgender-philosophy
- Two ‘Transgender Traps’ to Avoid by Trent Horn - https://www.catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/two-transgender-traps-to-avoid
- Exposing the Hypocrisy in the Transgender Movement by Trent Horn - https://www.catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/exposing-the-hypocrisy-in-the-transgender-movement
- It May Be Real for You, but Not for Me by Karlo Broussard - https://www.catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/it-may-be-real-for-you-but-not-for-me
- Bruce Jenner, The Shadow Council and St. Irenaeus by Bishop Barron - https://www.wordonfire.org/resources/article/bruce-jenner-the-shadow-council-and-st-irenaeus/4785/
- LOVE, TOLERANCE, AND THE MAKING OF DISTINCTIONS by Bishop Barron - https://www.wordonfire.org/resources/article/love-tolerance-and-the-making-of-distinctions/4798/
- Other Articles on Word on Fire: https://www.wordonfire.org/?s=transgender
- Brief Statement on Transgenderism by the National Catholic Bioethics Center - https://www.ncbcenter.org/files/5014/9641/4634/Q16.4_05_TransgenderStatement_REV.pdf
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