Speaking the truth, in the face of popular rejection of it, has never been easy or safe; but if one wants to be honest, it has to be done. I commend the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education for doing precisely that.
The Vatican condemned gender theory on Monday as part of a “confused concept of freedom”, saying in a new document that the idea of gender being determined by personal feeling rather than biology was an attempt to “annihilate nature”.
LGBT rights advocates denounced the 30-page document, called “Male and Female He Created Them”, as harmful and confusing, saying it would encourage hatred and bigotry.
The document, the Vatican’s first on gender theory, was written by the Congregation for Catholic Education as an “instruction” to Catholic educators on how to address the topic of gender theory in line with Church teaching.
It was released as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people around the world have been celebrating “Pride Month” amid a surge in demands for acceptance of the idea that gender is more complex and fluid than the binary categories of male and female, and depends on more than visible sex characteristics.
“The concept of gender is seen as dependent upon the subjective mindset of each person, who can choose a gender not corresponding to his or her biological sex, and therefore with the way others see that person,” the Vatican booklet says.
It says gender theories are “often founded on nothing more than a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants, or momentary desires provoked by emotional impulses and the will of the individual, as opposed to anything based on the truths of existence”.
. . .
It denounced theories that attempted to “annihilate the concept of nature” and “educational programs and legislative trends that … make a radical break with the actual biological difference between male and female”.
There’s more at the link.
It’s an indisputable scientific and medical fact that, generally speaking, genes and chromosomes define our sex, and hence our gender. The two concepts are biologically inseparable, despite all the politically correct fantasies about separating feelings from reality. With the vanishingly small exception (far less than 1% of the human population) of those who are intersex, there is no sexual fluidity in individuals’ bodies from a medical, scientific, chromosomal or genetic standpoint; and, hence, one’s feelings about gender fluidity cannot override physical reality. To maintain otherwise is scientifically nonsensical.
(That’s not to deny the extraordinarily difficult situation of those who are intersex, and their families. For the experiences of one such family, see this article. I have nothing but sympathy and compassion for those caught in this dilemma through no fault of their own. As a pastor, I’ve come into contact with a few of them. That said, they are indeed a very, very tiny minority of the population.)
I’ve met a number of people who claim to be different in gender from their physical sex. Sorry, but I don’t accept that. It may be their psychological or psychiatric fantasy, but it’s not founded in biological fact. I can understand their desires, and I’ll treat them with all the respect I can, but I’m not going to indulge their fantasies by denying medical reality. That would be dishonest. They may need treatment, but (with the intersex exception noted above) it’s almost certainly not surgical in nature. It’s a problem of the mind, not the body.
Of course, LGBTetc. groups immediately denounced the document. I’m not surprised, because this divisive issue highlights one question in particular. Is an individual, or an organization, founded on and committed to objective facts and truth, or subjective feelings and emotions? I suspect this document will expose the rift between those positions very clearly as time goes on, at least as far as LGBTetc. issues are concerned.