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Will ‘Transgender’ Rights Drive Catholics Out of Public Schools?

March 11, AD2013 201 Comments

\"Mary

The Massachusetts Board of Education recently issued formal “guidance” to the state’s public schools, telling them how to implement new laws protecting against gender identity discrimination. The Board of Education insists that schools must not only provide equal access to educational activities programs but also proactively “create a culture” that would make gender-nonconforming and transgender kids “feel safe, supported, and fully included.”

The result? Transgender children must be allowed to use the restrooms and locker rooms of the opposite sex, if they so choose. Teachers will “work with” other students who object to the invasion of privacy, helping them over come their “discomfort” and embrace the agenda of tolerance. In addition, schools must “eliminate” gendered policies such as dress codes (e.g., rules requiring girls, but not boys, to wear dresses to prom, or traditions that dress boys in blue graduation robes while girls wear white) and classroom management strategies that divide children by gender (e.g., a boys’ line and a girls’ line for the water fountain). Transgender children will have the right to insist on being called by any name or pronoun they choose, regardless of its biological mismatch. And other students must go along with it or face “discipline.”

In its rush to support the ‘progressive’ agenda for transgender rights, the Board of Education has thrown privacy and safety—for the other students—right out the window. That’s bad enough. The full impact of its decision, however, is even worse.

It’s an insidious strategy that promotes a view of the human person utterly incompatible with Christianity.

The Massachusetts policy systematically foists a perverse orthodoxy on every teacher and child within the system. It promotes the core belief that there is no such thing as human nature or natural distinctions of male and female. Instead, the Board of Education embraces the queer gospel that each person is a god unto him or herself, creating a gender identity and sexual expression based on feelings, or one’s “internalized sense” of self, regardless of biology.

The indoctrination (“education and training”) will be part of every Massachusetts school’s “anti-bullying curriculum, student leadership trainings, and staff professional development.” And the Massachusetts Board of Education clearly expects all students and teachers to get with the program. The entire school community must help create a “safe and supportive” culture for transgender and gender non-conforming students.

Catholic parents who send their children to public school in Massachusetts now have to worry not only about the system’s hostility to religious belief but also about its hostility to basic truths about the human person.

Parents in other states have reason to worry as well.  Laws in sixteen states, plus the District of Columbia, prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity.  Some states are moving to promote transgender privileges in schools—including access to opposite-gender restroom and locker room facilities. In other places, families with transgendered children are suing to insist on unfettered access to restrooms and locker rooms.

In New York, transgender activists argue that unlawful harassment of a transgendered student occurs if others make “repeated, deliberate use of pronouns and names that are inconsistent with a student’s gender identity…[or ask]…inappropriate, unnecessary questions about their gender identity, anatomy, and / or any medical treatment that is related to their gender identity.” A child who sees a boy in a dress, for example, and calls him “he,” will be guilty of harassment.

In Chicago, the Board of Education is considering new health education standards that teach a non-judgmental attitude towards gender identity, including transgender identity. Chicago’s new policies “align with the new national standards.”  (Although it’s a topic for another day, I wonder how many parents even know that the left has created and is pushing “National Sexuality Education Standards” in every public school district in the country. “Public schools were specifically chosen” as the venue to promote a flawed anthropology and an immoral approach to sexuality.)

Is the growing pushing for transgender rights in schools really a problem for Catholics?  Can’t we all just be nice and get along? Why does it matter how schools approach gender identity?

Pope Benedict answered those questions in December 2012. He said that when “sex is no longer a given element of nature that man has to accept and personally make sense of,” but instead is viewed as “a social role that we choose for ourselves,” human beings lose sight of \”an essential aspect of what being human is all about.\”

When “people dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being,” then they deny the truth that “male and female He created them.”

The implication, according to Benedict, is that man rejects God as Creator and loses the sense of his own dignity and value. “When freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God.\” When human beings deny the truth about themselves, they deny the truth about God.

It’s bad enough that children in public school must learn in an environment that no longer recognizes God. But it’s even worse when that educational environment no longer recognizes basic truths about the human person.

Catholics in the past have been able to opt-out of public school sexuality education classes; it’s impossible to opt-out from a pervasive culture based on a flawed anthropology.

So the question is: What will we, as a Church, do in response?

© 2013. Mary Rice Hasson. All Rights Reserved.

About the Author:

Mary Rice Hasson is a Fellow in EPPC's Catholic Studies program. Mrs. Hasson is currently working on a book that offers new data on and explores the views of Catholic women on sexual morality and reproduction and on the Catholic Church's teachings on those topics. She recently co-authored an article on media ratings in the June 2011 issue of the professional journal Pediatrics. She writes commentary for the Catholic News Agency, which also distributes her columns to diocesan newspapers throughout the United States. She also writes from a natural law perspective for the international human rights website, MercatorNet.com, and for a variety of Catholic parenting websites. She blogs at Words from Cana. The mother of seven, Mrs. Hasson previously co-authored with Kimberly Hahn the leading book on Catholic homeschooling, Catholic Education Homeward Bound (Ignatius, 1995). She has spoken at numerous family conferences over the past 15 years, and has appeared on CNN, EWTN, and numerous local radio shows. A lawyer and member of the D.C. and Indiana bars, Mrs. Hasson graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1984 and from the University of Notre Dame in 1981, with a BA in Government.

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  • Sheri McBride

    Is it even possible for Catholic schools in Massachusetts to opt out of this ruling? I can’t imagine that if they are exempt now, that they will be for long. This movement won’t be stopped with the “children”. Those children will grow up to be “transgendered” adults and the “accommodation” that they are accustomed to will have to be continued into the general society. Unisex restrooms coming to your local stadium, concert venue and YWCA locker room soon.

    • http://catholicstand.com Stacy Trasancos

      Sheri,

      We lived in MA for 9 years, and moved last summer. We had kids in parochial school. They are able to opt out of the comprehensive sex ed classes already, but like you said, there has been pressure for them to do it. This will be the same I imagine.

      The point you and Mary make is the one that concerns me even more, although I live in NY now. It’s the change in society that this push on public schools will effect over time. Boys walking into girls’ bathrooms at school is one thing. Imagine being in an airport and an older man who suddenly calls himself a woman walking into the women’s bathroom where your daughter just went.

  • http://www.healingandempowerment.blogspot,.com Phil Dzialo

    Our transgendered, gay, lesbian children are our children. They do not choose their orientation nor their gender orientation. This is not a matter of anthropology and these children have been part of our social network from all time. It is not a matter of anthropology it is a matter of civil rights. Love our children, not crucify and marginalize our young. Acceptance and love of our young is crucial.
    I am amazed that a comment about godless classrooms in public schools exists. We do have a first amendment, as you are assuredly aware. The founders intentions were clear. James Madison wrote the 1st amendment, please refer to his writings for a clear understanding of Jefferson’s wall.
    Please remember we are talking about our children. Would you also want disabled to have separate facilities as opposed to accessible facilities? It is about civil rights, not radical religious fundamentalism in public schools. Religious schools can do what they want….

    • Mary Rice Hasson

      Phil, I appreciate your comment and your sensitivity to children–certainly it’s wrong to “crucify and marginalize our young,” as you say. But ‘transgendered’ children need guidance to help them embrace their innate masculinity or femininity–not encouragement to hate the body they have. The transgender-supportive culture rejects the age-old understanding of human nature–that our bodily identity helps define who we are as human beings. Love means telling our children the truth about who they are–and helping them embrace it. That’s not “radical religious fundamentalism.” That’s reality.

    • http://www.healingandempowerment.blogspot,.com Phil Dzialo

      Please describe what treatment there is for a transgender child, other than the medical model of aligning body with identity. A penis or vagina do not determine gender identity…they are simply anatomical facts. The model for treatment involves a medical, allopathic alignment of the body with the the innate identity. Our bodily identity has little to do with gender identity. The “truth of who they are?” Do you tell a child in a female body who feels they are a boy that their feelings are wrong? Telling a person they are not who they really are is a lie, not the truth. I do not believe that either the medical or psychiatric professions would agree with you view of transsexual people and we are aware that transsexuality is not linked to any particular sexual orientation. Again, the right to be who you are is a civil right. Thank you for listening to my view…

    • Sally Kate Taylor

      As we say in South Yorkshire – England – ‘Bigot is what bigot say’

      MRH – I’m afraid after reading this diatribe I have no faith in the Catholic Church anymore. Goodbye organised religion – wager of wars, division, hate and home of protected abusing priests. Hello freedom from the church and peace and love for the world as an individual.

      You have absolutely no idea about true acceptance, understanding and real love for the human soul in all its forms. Or masculinity and femininity and gender either.Gender is much more complex issue than the ‘Dark Age’ simplistic garbage you espouse.

      Transgendered individuals exist get used to it. God, if not you, accepts and loves them for what they are.

      Thank God I read this awful rant; Bin Laden woudl have been proud. Still it helped me realise fundamental Catholism is a sin against humankind.

      Goodbye – your idiotic uninformed rant has certainly opened my eyes to the evil that wraps itself around the Cross the modern world. I suggest you see counselling – you need it girl!

    • Jill Davidson

      Attempts to get trans kids and adults to embrace the gender assigned to them at birth has a long disastrous history; many were involuntarily hospitalized between the 1920s and the 1970s. Anti-psychotic drugs, electroshock therapy, psychosurgery, incarceration, none of it was effective in terms of changing gender identity,improving quality of life, or reducing the suicide rate. We now live in more humane times, where treatment is based on evidence. These kids have always been with us; long before the internet they appeared in isolated places. How can you have so little faith to not believe transgender people are part of human nature? That perhaps being trans is part of God’s plan for some people? Surely, there is nothing immoral about being a man, and nothing immoral about being a woman. How can changing from one to the other be immoral?

    • Linda Randolph

      Actually the disabled do have separate facilities. Those are called handicap stalls for the restroom as well as disabled parking. Park your car in a handicapped parking spot without the tag that shows you have the tag and you are facing a huge fine. It is still a separate place to park the car. The same goes for bathrooms. In major stores and restaurants there is a stall that is for the person who is in a wheelchair. Granted if there is not a handicapped person using it; others may use it. But it is designed for those in a wheelchair.
      In making way for those who are transgendered; it seems to me that it is encroaching on the rights of those who are not, whether they are a Christian or not.

    • Jeanette

      I do not like it being shoved down my childs throat. It amazes me how people can allow this in the public schools and force my child to accept something that is totally agains his religious beliefs. Is that not a discriminatory act? What about the kids who feel they are being abused having to have this forced on them? I think it is time for all Gods people to get their kids out of the public schools and make no tarrying!

    • http://contemplativehomeschool.wordpress.com Connie Rossini

      A law against murder may keep me from killing my neighbor, but it can’t make me kind towards him. Ditto a law against bullying. Kindness is a lot more than the absence of violence. Kids can take the most innocent words and make them an insult through their tone of voice.

      I went to 6 different schools in my childhood–3 public, 3 Catholic. All had rules about how we should treat others. They weren’t mandated by law.

      I think everyone commenting here agrees kids should be kind–but our definitions of kindness appear to differ. I don’t think it’s kind to let children live a lie and be made to think the whole world should conform to their disordered viewpoint.

    • KMS

      Phil, could not agree more! I get so disappointed with my Catholic faith when I read comments like the ones here where people are so scared of transgender kids and adults. Obviously do not know what it means to be transgender. Education is needed. AND LOVE. Transgender people are not sick and do not need to be fixed. God made them. I am the parent of transgender child. I know what I speak of. She goes to religion classes and you know what? She uses the bathroom of her gender. And yes the priest knows about her. I talked to him. PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSElF. It is heartbreaking to know people are actually scared of my sweet daughter who never asked to be born transgender. She needs understanding and respect for who she is like any child. By the way, we spent years talking to doctors and psychiatrists. Spent years praying as well. We know she is perfect and is living her life exactly how GOD intended. Perhaps it is you Mary that need to do some soul-searching.

  • Aleini

    What about the rights of non transgendered children? I have a problem with my daughter who is about to be 5 years old to share a bathroom or change with a transgendered child. I’m ok with the school providing a separate area for transgendered children just not where the other children are and can get confused. Non-Transgenderd children are children too! Also people don’t like to bring it up but kids now do talk about boyfriends and girlfriends. Having a transgendered child will confuse other young children. How do you explain that on Valentine’s Day which we all celebrate if your child comes home and say’s so and so gave me this she’s my girlfriend and you have to explain that the child is not a girl. My point is confusing others is not ok. Lets think about all the children not just one.

    • TammyBeth

      I constantly find myself taken aback by the denial that goes into these arguments. We seem to proceed from the (false) assumption that our children have never been exposed to opposite sex genitals. Are we not all aware that natural childish curiosity has already led the vast majority of kids across that bridge…and that none of them are scarred thereby?

      Yes, a girl can be traumatized by a penis used in a sexualized or aggressive manner – but the mere presence of one among her peers is routine.

      We may also look to the witness of other cultures, wherein unisex restrooms, saunas, etc, are routine and there’s no greater incidence of negative effects.

      what has been argued for here, in terms of segregation, is nothing more than preserving the inertia of a cultural tradition. Tradition is not a good enough reason to put kids at risk (and in contrast to the foregoing, there IS documented increased risk among trans kids who have their gender identity professions rejected).

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      So, is TammyBeth basically answering by saying, “Too bad about those other children. They and their parents don’t have any rights. It’s our way or the highway.”

      Sounds like it to me. And frankly, that sounds a little bit like bullying.

    • TammyBeth

      Lelia, respectfully – every society is built on the process of finding a balance between competing interests. this subject is no different. Those who are charged with making these decisions should, if they are skilled, examine the ramifications and make the best choice the available information leads them to.

      Whenever this happens there will ALWAYS be some portion of the population who will object. The very really of competing interests insures it. In this case, if one wishes to boil the decision down to a very cynical and uncaring one-liner, then one may say that their choice is to say to the “other” families “too bad” or to say to the trans families “too bad”

      But no one here is trying to be uncaring, IMO.

      The framework for this discussion is this, as I see it: opponents argue for tradition, as if the word tradition is a trump card which wins every debate. The problem with that is that unthinking tradition tends to preserve some very bad ideas – human history is filled with examples. We should consider the wisdom of our forefathers to be sure, but we should also be wise enough to recognize where their traditions are flawed (as when our courts rightly recognized the error of laws against interracial marriage).

      Those in favor of this change argue that REAL children REALLY suffer by the “traditional” approach – this is scientifically and medically demonstrable.

      so the latter folks are saying “when the choice is to preserve tradition, or save the lives and mental health of trans kids, then tradition must take a back seat.”
      In response, opponents have completely failed to provide any evidence of harm to non-trans kids by this action. It’s not that you don’t have rights to be heard, you DO. But that doesn’t mean that what you say is immune from rational and logical examination.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      Tammy, I agree that logic and rationality needs to be applied here. Clearly you disagree, but it is not rational for a boy to believe he is a girl, when science and biology and reality say something different. It is not rational for parents to give small children powerful hormones to derail the workings of a healthy body. It is not rational to surgically mutilate healthy body parts. If there are ambiguous sex organs, I can understand and agree with you, but that is not what we are talking about here.

      Truly, I feel horrible for a child who believes himself to be something he is not. But what parents and society should do is tell the child the truth, and teach him to cope with his particular cross or disorder, not require the rest of the world to conform to him. There is something called the tyranny of the minority, and I fear we see it happening in all LGBT issues. It is alarming, especially when my Church will soon be legally pegged as “discriminators” when the laws ultimately disallow anything but full compliance for consent on these issues. It does not look good for religious liberty going forward, and frankly, religious liberty is a basic human right (and enshrined in the Constitution) whereas sexual “rights” are not. May God bless the severely confused, but please understand that we should not be legally forced to affirm that confusion.

    • http://www.healingandempowerment.blogspot,.com Phil Dzialo

      @Leila,
      Joe Biden, VP, asserts that transgender discrimination is the CIVIL RIGHTS issue of our day:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/30/joe-biden-transgender-rights_n_2047275.html

      It is a civil rights issue…telling a child that their belief in their gender identity is an untruth, a lie is so patently wrong. You cannot “cure” gender identity, no credible psychologist or psychiatrist would attempt to tell a child that their belief about their identity is a lie. Who you are is a right not to be tampered with.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      Phil, I am no fan of Mr. Biden.

      So let’s say the government decides a new “civil right” here. What should be done with practicing Catholics and their families? We will be denying others’ “civil rights” if we speak out, correct? That would be “oppression”, right? You have said that we in this combox are “oppressors” just by writing our thoughts here. Will you have us jailed, or just fined? And what of my inalienable human right to free exercise of my religion? Will I get to live and practice my faith in the world, or only in secret? What can I hope that the government will allow for us, if anything?

      Thanks!

    • TammyBeth

      “Tammy, I agree that logic and rationality needs to be applied here. Clearly you disagree, but it is not rational for a boy to believe he is a girl, when science and biology and reality say something different”

      the problem with that claim is that science and biology SUPPORT the reality if Gender Dysphoria as a real physiological issue, as ever major medical and psychological association is on record agreeing to.
      Please see the syllogism I posted earlier in response to the OP and tell me where you believe it is flawed. I’d hate to bog the thread down by repeating the whole thing again.

      “It is not rational for parents to give small children powerful hormones to derail the workings of a healthy body.”

      Indeed it is. Thankfully, that NEVER HAPPENS. The first medical intervention occurs with the onset of puberty (NOT “small children”) and that treatment is NOT hormones, but rather drugs designed to suppress the natural hormones and delay puberty. This sort of treatment is not at all controversial or experimental, it has been used for years in the treatment of early-onset puberty, and in cases of cancer patients in which the hormone rush of puberty would fuel the cancer.

      I would respectfully suggest that if one wishes to be so adamantly vocal on an issue, it is incumbent upon that person to avail themselves of accurate information rather than basing their opinion on myth and supposition.

      Puberty is delayed until, usually, around the age of 16 to allow the child to mature and be absolutely certain of their gender identity (most of them will have persisted in their view for 10 years or more by that point) and only then are hormones introduced into the equation.

      and, by the way, if hormones were such powerful and dangerous drugs, one wonders why God’s design was to flood our bodies with them as we reach adolescence? There is no medical difference between those our body produces naturally, and those introduced via HRT

      “It is not rational to surgically mutilate healthy body parts. If there are ambiguous sex organs, I can understand and agree with you, but that is not what we are talking about here. ”

      Surgery to alter the appearance of healthy body parts are very very common, and i do not see the Church crusading against, for instance, nose jobs – do you?

      Beyond that – again I refer you to my previous question which remains unaddressed by anyone, to wit: how is it rationally logical that it is possible for the genital organs to be ambiguous (for instance, both penis and ovaries are present – which happens) but it is somehow NOT possible that the sex-specific nature of the brain could be part of such an ambiguity? (see my other post for a full discussion of this)

      That question MUST be answered for the person who says “it’s okay to clarify the intersex person but not the transsexual”

    • TammyBeth

      “So let’s say the government decides a new “civil right” here. What should be done with practicing Catholics and their families? We will be denying others’ “civil rights” if we speak out, correct? That would be “oppression”, right? You have said that we in this combox are “oppressors” just by writing our thoughts here. Will you have us jailed, or just fined? And what of my inalienable human right to free exercise of my religion? Will I get to live and practice my faith in the world, or only in secret? What can I hope that the government will allow for us, if anything?”

      Scare tactics and paranoia. sounds exactly like the garbage that comes out of AFA.

      The simple truth, verifiable by looking at the history of the last great civil rights movement, and the one before that, is this:

      in places where you make yourself a public marketplace participant, say as a business owner or landlord, those things have to follow the same rules as everyone else. if you would not support the idea of a Muslim owned business refusing to serve Jews, then you cannot with any logical consistency support the idea of a Christian refusing to serve trans people.

      but in matters of freedom of speech or free exercise, those will remain uninfringed. Please direct our attention to the church or minister who was forced by law to marry an interracial couple against his will? Such a case does not and cannot exist.

      Scare tactics serve to cloud the issue, not clarify it. I can’t determine whether you are an innocent victim of the lies told by others, or whether you knowingly propagate them in order to further your own agenda, but in the absence of certainty I’ll assume the former.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      TammyBeth, you said:

      The first medical intervention occurs with the onset of puberty (NOT “small children”) and that treatment is NOT hormones, but rather drugs designed to suppress the natural hormones and delay puberty.

      If this is true, then I stand corrected and thank you for clarifying. I am sure that I read at least one or more news stories of transgendered children getting medication at a young age, for their condition. Perhaps the media is misreporting? I wouldn’t be surprised, as you can imagine that as a Catholic I am more than familiar with misrepresentation of facts by the media. I will try to find the information that led me to the error.

      In the meantime, I hope you will also correct your misstatements about Catholicism. Thanks!

      You said:

      …if hormones were such powerful and dangerous drugs, one wonders why God’s design was to flood our bodies with them as we reach adolescence? There is no medical difference between those our body produces naturally, and those introduced via HRT

      Because we were meant to have those hormones; that’s how He designed us. It’s how our bodies are made to work and that is called “health”. Now, if there is a disorder of the bodily hormones, then we would give hormones medically to restore the right order to a body or fix a pathology (and never to “change” the person to the opposite sex). But since you are saying that children are not in fact receiving the hormones, then we have no issue.

      You said: Surgery to alter the appearance of healthy body parts are very very common, and i do not see the Church crusading against, for instance, nose jobs – do you?

      First, the way we “treat” transgendered folks is not just “changing appearance”… it’s also derailing the function of healthy organs. It’s not cosmetic, and the Church would also be against surgery to make someone deaf, or make someone’s kidneys fail, etc. We don’t mutilate healthy organs or body parts to make them not work, or not be ordered to what they were meant to be ordered for. A nose job is cosmetic, and does not change the nature of the nose. And, some nose jobs are done in conjunction with fixing a deformity (a true disorder) or to help the patient breath normally (again, restoring order). If a person were to have cosmetic surgery simply for reasons of vanity, then one could argue that the Church would be opposed. But she would be opposed to the vanity not the nose job per se.

      Second (and I guess I touched on this above), this is an ontological change that is being sought. But one cannot change what one is. Our bodies are NOT incidental to us. God made us male or female by design, and we are not free to discard His creation.

      As to your final question:

      That question MUST be answered for the person who says “it’s okay to clarify the intersex person but not the transsexual”

      You yourself stated elsewhere that the birth defect of transgendered folks would be of the brain (like autism, a “birth defect” which “affects the brain” you said). If it’s the brain/mind that is disordered, then you treat the disorder. You treat the brain/mind. You don’t take an ordered body and fit it to “match” the disordered brain. That is not health.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      Please direct our attention to the church or minister who was forced by law to marry an interracial couple against his will? Such a case does not and cannot exist.

      First, you are talking to a Catholic, and the notion of “sinfulness” of interracial marriage does not concern my Church. Being black is not a sin, nor is marrying one of another race, nor has it ever been.

      But I can surely direct your attention to the HHS mandate, where good Catholic men and women are being forced by law to provide contraceptive and abortifacient pills (and sterilization) to employees who could get them a million other ways. It is a mortal sin to provide (not just use, but provide) these things, and the government says it can force us to sin. What government can have such power? To force the Catholics in the land to sin mortally, actively? It’s not a scare tactic, it’s happening to real people, right now, and there are many, many lawsuits costing millions of dollars and many wasted hours. If it were not serious and were not happening, there would be no lawsuits and fear of losing one’s business.

      When even the normally milquetoast bishops are ready to stand and fight with one voice, and threaten civil disobedience, will you concede there is a problem? Or will you watch as we go to jail, and think it justified for oppressors such as us? Because we will go to jail (and sadly, close all our hospitals, schools, businesses and charities) rather than offend our Lord. Is that what you are hoping for? I pray it’s not.

      http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2012/04/listen-up-they-dont-care-about-your.html

    • TammyBeth

      “In the meantime, I hope you will also correct your misstatements about Catholicism. Thanks!”

      I’m not sure to what this refers, but if you have corrected some misstatement I offer a blanket acknowledgement, I’m not here to debate comparative theology.

      “Because we were meant to have those hormones; that’s how He designed us. It’s how our bodies are made to work and that is called “health”.”

      Indeed, and the body responds equally well, in equal health, to either set of hormones. One need look no further than young trans people who were so treated. There is no visible or practical distinction, other than infertility (which I realize is a major issue for Catholics)between the young transwoman and the young ciswoman (or vice versa). Clearly the human biology dies not see the hormone treatment as something alien or unhealthy.

      ” this is an ontological change that is being sought. But one cannot change what one is. Our bodies are NOT incidental to us. God made us male or female by design, and we are not free to discard His creation.”

      This, and the foregoing, continues to ignore the fundamental question, which I will repeat:

      How can one argue “God made us male/female on purpose” while at the same time acknowledge that in a few cases he did NOT in fact “make us” either in whole. The existence of ANY sort of intersex condition undermines the dogma that God has a specific intent for our bi8ological sex.

      Extend the obvious logic a step further:

      People say “God made you X” as if the obvious reaction is to STAY X, yet we do not say to the blind from birth “God made you blind and we will not allow any surgery which might give you sight”

      Why? Because as you imply, we are correcting a DISorder. The extended logic is that we live in a fallen world where DIorder is in fact the norm. It is mainstream Christian theology that’s not really in dispute that we live in a fallen world in which bad things happen, including disaster, disease, death and yes – birth defects.

      no onereally believes that you get cancer because god specifically wants you to have it, your house wasn’t blown away because God specifically targeted you with the tornado. There are all sorts of reasons why such makes no sense. And no one seriously believes that if a child is born blind, or intersex, it is because God specifically targeted that individual to be flawed.

      so what can we reasonably conclude?

      That God, in his infinite wisdom, allows birth defects to occur.

      That he does not dissallow or disapprove of humans employing their God-given wisdom to make things better when they can.

      That among those defects are intersex conditions, which you and the church at large acknowledged as valid candidates for treatment.

      and, per my previous syllogism (which STILL remains resounded to) transsexual gender dysphoria is almost certainly one sort of intersex condition.

      Why then does the church select that ONE sort of birth defect as unworthy of repair, or even basic human respect?

      Here was your reply on that subject:

      “You yourself stated elsewhere that the birth defect of transgendered folks would be of the brain (like autism, a “birth defect” which “affects the brain” you said). If it’s the brain/mind that is disordered, then you treat the disorder.”

      Let me take a moment to further revise your knowledge base: THERE IS NO SUCH THING as a treatment which “fixes the brain” on this subject. Every remotely plausible (and some wildly implausible) method has been tried.

      TALK to transsexual people, get to KNOW them. I challenge you to find even one who transitioned in adulthood who will not testify that they would have given ANY price to have had their “brain fixed” and NOT have become a revialed social pariah by going through thevery painful and exceedingly expensive process of transition.

      Such people often lose literally EVERYTHING in their life in order to do this. if there was a brain fix transsexuals would be lined up for mile upon mile waiting their turn.

      It’s. Not. There.

      that leaves two alternatives: 1. condemn them to a life of abject misery and depression until their despair grows so deep that they take their own life; or 2. treat that which we CAN treat in order to give them a since of peace in their spirit and allow them to become the whole human beings that God would want them to be.

      now i realize that according to Catholic theology, at least as it is popularly propagated, voluntary sterilization of healthy reproductive ability is simply a non-starter, not possible to be anything other than sin. THAT I cannot explain away and if you and/or the church wish to say “we understand and accept the validity of the transsexual condition but we will never condone treatment which results in sterilization” – I’ll respect your right to that view. I think it is poorly ordered priorities but i at least “get” why the physical reality of this treatment crosses the line in your view.

      But the argument I’ve been seeing goes well beyond that into questionable assertions about what “god intended” and whether or not the final arbiter of our sex is found in our genitals.

      In closing for now, I would only remind you of this, in the midst of all these professions about how important the physical body is: The Bible itself says “Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart”

      No matter how much the church might protest, when God looks on a transwoman, and sees her HEART, he sees a female because THAT is her heart. One wonders why those who wish to honor God’s will cannot look upon her and see her as he does.

    • TammyBeth

      “First, you are talking to a Catholic, and the notion of “sinfulness” of interracial marriage does not concern my Church.”

      It’s nevertheless a proper bit of evidence. Many fundamentalist churches STILL consider such acts sinful and they enjoy complete freedom to decline to endorse them, without any remote challenge from the government or the courts – and that 40 years after the loving decision.

      “But I can surely direct your attention to the HHS mandate, where good Catholic men and women are being forced by law to provide contraceptive and abortifacient pills (and sterilization) to employees who could get them a million other ways. ”

      to the extent that this is true, and the case is overstated because technically they are required to provide insurance with certain coverages, not actually provide the meds directly, I’m opposed to that action and believe that the courts will ultimately rule in the churches’ favor.

      but that case does not prove that marriage will be forced at the point of government gun or lawyer. It’s a much less clear analogy than the example I provided.

      “To force the Catholics in the land to sin mortally, actively?”

      Actually, no. the government cannot and will not force you to sin in that manner. Because you have the option to NOT own a business. Now, again, I would find that action oppressive…but the choice to sin or not still lies with the individual. One of the imperfect balances in our country concerns equality in the marketplace.

      the government has taken it upon itself to insist that public accommodations do not discriminate. As i noted earlier, most of us would agree that a Muslim business owner ought not have the right to refuse service to a Jew, or vice versa. The owner may very well consider such service a sin, but he assumed the obligation to treat all customers equally when he opened a public business. It’s an imperfect balance, but it’s better than allowing open discrimination of the sort that happened in the 50’s and before.

      The government’s theory here is that the owner of a business is obliged to play by the same rules as everyone else, which is a reasonable premise (and one, by the way, would would not apply in any way to a private religious act). I personally am in favor of religious exemptions whenever it’s practical, but the point is the government is not saying “we will strip you of your religious liberties because we hate god!!”

      and the fact that there is conflict here is not a sound argument to support the paranoia that they will somehow force gays into your congregations and homes.

      ” Or will you watch as we go to jail, and think it justified for oppressors such as us? Because we will go to jail (and sadly, close all our hospitals, schools, businesses and charities) rather than offend our Lord. Is that what you are hoping for? I pray it’s not.”

      Indeed, I stand with you in spirit on that question. I regret the cost incurred and to be incurred and I honor the good that Catholic institutions do. Having been a Baptist all my life I often mourn that people so easily dismiss any faith without acknowledging the great good they have done.

      Now, here’s the thing: when you are being oppressed by an unwise government action, my passion is with you. Yet when it comes to whether or not my trans brothers and sisters will be stygmatized by the government, orshown compassion – your church stands with the former choice.

      I find that regrettable. And the next time that, in one of these threads, some transperson (or gay person) comes along and rants at you about how mean and hateful religion is and completely ignores the good you do – remember, THAT is WHY they feel that way.

      I pray you consider how legitimate it is to complain about BEING oppressed while at the same time advocating for it when it comes to others who are not like yourself.

    • KMS

      The children are not confused by trangender kids until the adults make them intolerant. My family explained it like this to their kids, “We thought Brian was a boy. We found out Brian is a girl.” Gentitals are not even appropriate to discuss. The AMA and the APA all recognize transgenderim is real – it is not a mental disorder. It is something that happens biologically and it can not be changed. Acceptance is what is needed and that is what GOD teaches. By the way, a transgender child is going to go to the bathroom in a stall and in private just like any child – they are not sexual deviants.

    • Peter Priestly

      What is the problem? The bathroom that your daughter will be using has stalls, lockable doors and adult supervision just outside. What is going to happen other than your daughter’s meal of bean casserole might stink out the other kids?

    • Chantal Chauvet

      Will the transgendered male get menstruation? Perhaps when he does, it would be a good time to talk about sharing the bathroom. In another article, there was a comment that perhaps the doors should be labeled, penis and vagina. The parts to pee are different and this way the bathroom gets labeled according to what body parts you have to pee. It is factual and no longer based on “gender” since we no longer know how to determine gender. When the transgendered male gets menstruation and a vagina then he could use the washroom with those body parts.

    • Tammy Rainey

      what you have failed to do is demonstrate relevance. If one needed a certain specific place to use a vagina, then there would be no such thing as a unisex restroom and every home would need separate rooms for the male and female residents.

      Reality is, you are arguing for a cultural tradition, not a biological necessity. For all of human history up until the 18th century, men and women routinely used the same toilet facilities whatever they were. There are cultures which exist on this earth today in which male and female are not only routinely in use of the same restrooms but, indeed, are routinely in situations where they see each other’s nudity without incident, including minors.

      It’s JUST CULTURAL tradition, not any sort of natural law.

  • John Phillips

    Your argument depends on the assertion that transgender people are, as you say, ‘the opposite sex’ but you have presented nothing that in any way suggests that this is true. There are a few intrinsic problems with depending on religious interpretation to answer scientific questions like this, like evolution, like if the planets revolve around the earth or the sun. First, because there is no guarantee that the religion turned to will be the same one you believe. Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, and all sorts of other children attend public school. Luckily for us, we have a simple system for resolving such conundrums. Church teaches religious beliefs, school teaches science. Anyone who objects to that is welcome to send their children to private, religious school or homeschool.

    The same argument used to justify discriminating against transgender children was once used to justify discriminating against black children. What about the rights of the white children to not have to share the same classroom as black children? You might as well ask for thin children to not have to share a bathroom with fat children.

    You criticize anti-bullying curriculum but that is exactly what is needed to help children, parents, and you, learn that transgender children are people just like you are. Before criticizing it, why not read a little of it like the picture book Goblinheart about goblin that has gown wings like the fairies rather than claws. Its so simple, a five year old can get it if they can, adults can too.

    • Mary Rice Hasson

      Certainly all people should be treated with respect and no child should ever be bullied, no matter how confused the child may be or how out of step their feelings maybe with physical reality.

      But unless a ‘transgender’ person has a “disorder of sexual development,” (the term used by the National Institutes of Health to refer to rare ‘intersex’ disorders, which occur because of some physiological malfunction during development), then the ‘transgender’ person is either male or female, by virtue of their internal and external genitals and their chromosomal makeup.

      A person’s subjective perception of him or herself does not change that reality. The truth is rooted in physical reality. And it’s a mistake to think of our femininity or masculinity as something that is external to our ‘real selves,’ something that’s only skin-deep, and that could be changed just as one might peel off a shirt of one color and substitute another.

      And please do not mischaracterize my argument. The ‘transgender’ child has an equal dignity–and my objection is not about distaste or stigma. I object 1) to the invasion of privacy when children who are female, for example, have to share private space (bathrooms or locker rooms) with a child who is, anatomically, of the opposite sex. Privacy rights of ALL children should be respected and kids should not be forced to share private space with opposite-sex children; 2) to the school’s insistence that children treat an anatomical male as a female, and vice versa, and to the school teaching that the ‘transgender’ identity is normal or natural–this ignores the reality of human nature, imposes a fallacious belief system on all children (the belief that whether a person is a man or a woman is unconnected to whether that person was born male or female), and “disciplines” children who follow their reason and physical senses and call a boy a boy, even if he’s wearing a dress.

    • TammyBeth

      MS Hasson, let me lead you through a logical train of thought and you tell us where you get off the train. I respond to the following quote:

      “But unless a ‘transgender’ person has a “disorder of sexual development,” (the term used by the National Institutes of Health to refer to rare ‘intersex’ disorders, which occur because of some physiological malfunction during development), then the ‘transgender’ person is either male or female, by virtue of their internal and external genitals and their chromosomal makeup. ”

      Some of this will re-state what you have already acknowledged but it seems best to state the syllogism in whole.

      1. Birth defects do occur, no one denies this.
      2. Birth defects sometimes affect the physiological sexual characteristics manifest in one’s physical body (as you acknowledged). This can be an external characteristic, or an internal invisible one such as chromosomes.
      3. Birth defects can and do affect the brain, e.g. autism. No one denies this.
      4. Science is certain that the physical structure and working processes of the male and female brain are different.

      Now, none of these statements are in any serious dispute, correct? How then are we to logically conclude that it is not possible for one to have a birth defect which, rather than affecting the sexual construct of the genitals or the chromosomes, affects the sexual distinction of the brain?

      Objectively, it seems blindingly obvious that a transsexual child IS in fact intersex (I make the distinction between transsexual and transgender as they are not at all the same thing).

      Please point out where you disagree?

  • Jill Davidson

    You likely aren’t certain of any child’s chromosomes without a karyotype, and even if one has been done, you should’nt know unless that medical information has legally been released to you. Intersex conditions are not common, but they also aren’t exactly rare; about 1.5% of the population has an intersex condition; about 0.3% of the population are transgender. These are best guesses because these are conditions most people do not wanr known. You conflate sex (male or female), a legal designation based on a physician’s observation of genitalia at birth, with gender (woman or man), the social roles society expects us to play, and gender identity, or core sense of being male or female.

    You do not give a child dignity by denying her a safe bathroom. You should visit a school bathroom. There is limited privacy; and you wouldn’t want unlimited privacy; children need supervision. But there is a degree of personal privacy in using a stall. Children are not showing each other their genitals in a bathroom.

  • Racheal Campbell

    Mary, you casually make medical and psychiatric assertions that you are not qualified to credibly make. Education serves a purpose. Those with an good education in a field are able to come to better conclusions than those without. If that were not true there would be no need for any child to attend any school, which illuminates the need for school bathrooms.

    John is right about the book Goblinheart. It renders the issue so simple that a five year old can understand it which is very handy when you consider that most transgender people know that their gender does not match their body at 5 or 6. Get it out of your library and read it.

    • Mary Rice Hasson

      Racheal,

      My argument relates to human nature—which can be understood through the lens of reason.

      As to the medical issues surrounding people with transgender identity, Dr. Robert Zucker of the University of Toronto offers credible and compelling research on these issues, particularly on the question of how to respond to a child’s insistence that he or she is ‘transgender.’ Dr. Zucker is an expert (a member of the APA task force dealing with revisions to the DSM description of gender dysphoria) and has treated transgender clients for decades, and incidentally has no qualms about assisting adult or even adolescents in “transitioning” to the opposite gender in order to relieve their distress (a position I personally disagree with). He maintains, however, that treating children who identify with the opposite gender requires a different approach.
      While it is true that an adult ‘transgender’ person typically looks back in time and describes being aware of transgender feelings as a child, you cannot generalize in the other direction (i.e., it’s absolutely not true that every child who identifies with the opposite gender will persist in that ‘transgender’ identification.) Clinically, according to numerous studies (Google Dr. Zucker’s work), less than 20 percent of children who identify with the opposite gender when they are young will persist in that “transgender” identity through their adolescent and adult years. In other words, more than 80% of young kids who say they “are” female (when they are born male), and vice versa, will align with their “gender assigned at birth” (to use the statutory terms) as they mature. The problem with policies like Massachusetts’ policy is that instead of 1) encouraging families to understand why a child might experience those ‘transgender’ feelings and 2) encouraging families to help their children deal with those underlying issues (typically families of ‘transgender’ children exhibit other signs of dysfunction within the family, perhaps with one parent displaying a preference for a particular gender) so that the child might align his or her ‘gender identity’ with the ‘gender assigned at birth,’ the school system sends the wrong message–that the child already “is” transgender. And insisting that the rest of the children ignore physical reality and treat the child as ‘transgender’ (i.e. saying the boy “is” now a girl, and should be called “she,” etc) teaches them a lie about human nature and themselves. And that’s not right.

    • TammyBeth

      Assuming that we take Dr. Zucker at his word (I don’t, there are equally credible, if not more so, experts on the other side of the issue – and in much greater numbers) – none of that work alleges, let alone demonstrates, any psychological harm resulting from letting a child suss out their own gender identity rather than imposing it upon them from outside. there is a LONG and UGLY track record of psychological damage resulting from forcing trans kids to conform against their identities, surely THAT is a model that must be changed.
      It seems that many people simply assume that we are dealing here with a “boy” who just wakes up one day and says “I think I’d rather be a girl” and everyone goes “no problem” and rolls with it. Nothing could be further from the truth. By the time a child gets to the point where the school is asked to make accommodation for them, they have been the subject of quite a bit of therapy in order to determine the extent of the gender identity issue.

      These things are not, in fact, done lightly or without serious forethought. It’s a shame those who do not have a stake in the issue can so cavalierly brush aside those efforts. One of the things our faith teaches us is compassion. Since we know from history that forced compliance almost always ends badly, I would suggest compassion would be the logical and god-honoring choice.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      Mary, those stats are very eye-opening! I wish someone would address them. With the “you ARE transgendered” message from a young age, who knows how many kids would have eventually grown out of it?

    • TammyBeth

      Really? Seriously? EVERY SINGLE ONE!

      Think about it, you are a “normal” female, yes? Pray tell what force of man could ever so affect you – now or in childhood – such that it would make you WANT to be a man? The very reasons transsexuals are such pariahs is because no non-trans person can possibly conceive of the notion they would want to be the opposite sex. Our psychological sex is so innate and ingrained (I believe, in our very soul) that it is beyond ludicrous to suggest that some lose lipped psychologist would be able to say “clearly you are transgender ” (as if they ever WOULD) and in so doing condemn a kid to be mixed up the rest of his or her life.

      it’s silly and naive, and such arguments – such, pardon my saying, gullibility, is the very reason that inexperienced and untrained people speaking from a purely religious view ought not carry the day when it comes to public policy.

      Just to be perfectly clear: the accepted professional practice of gender therapy in children is to allow the child to self-determine and support that child without shaming or derision whatever the conclusion. It’s true that many children “grow out of it” (albeit the 20% figure above is a BS claim arrived at by classifying EVERY instance of non-gender conforming behavior as a potentially “transgender” issue. No professional seriously believes that, including Zucker himself. He’s manipulating the data to reach a conclusion he preferred in the first place. It’s junk science)

      but I mildly digress as I am wont to do.

      There are no reputable therapists who would ever say to a child “you are obviously transgender and we’ll need to get you into dresses” or such like. It never happens. In fact, the doctor who’s the biggest U.S. proponent of treating gender dysphoria in kids says himself that most children grow out of it and they are all too happy to let them do so because there is much less grief in recovering harmony with your assigned gender. but THOSE kids (the ones who “grow out of it”) were never transsexual in the first place.
      They are not being harmed by being given the right to self determination with the compassionate guidance of their parents and professionals. Nor is any other child. Nor is any child PHYSICALLY altered until at least age 16 and then only if they have consistently and persistently exhibited gender dyspohria for YEARS.

      None of these realities are addressed by Zucker’s self-serving opinion dressed up as research. Nether Zucker or Paul McHugh are credible on this issue as both stand in opposition to the judgement of the entire medical and psychological community.

  • CyndiB

    I am trans*
    As such I think I have a better grasp on this than the author of this article.

    It isn’t about body essentialism. It is about results. If you do not treat these children in the current accepted fashion then they kill themselves in droves. The suicide rates of trans* people alone tell us what we need to do.

    So a few kids are curious and a bit confused that Billy is now Susan, they will adjust and adapt and understand. The other option is to force little Susan to live as Billy and increase the childs chance of suicide.
    Because we all know the comfort of a handful of children that share a class with a trans* child is much more important than the life of the child causeing the discomfort.

    The kids can suck it up and adjust. Kids are malleable and easy going in this area.

    I remember being a child. I was alot more resiliant and intelegent than adults gave me credit for. I imagine that as adults today we are treating kids the same way we were treated. Which is sad and rediculous. Kids are not the delicate and ignorant flowers you think they are.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      CyndiB, you are transgendered (from childhood, I would guess?) and you have said two contradictory things:

      I remember being a child. I was alot more resiliant and intelegent than adults gave me credit for … Kids are not the delicate and ignorant flowers you think they are.

      right after you said this:

      If you do not treat these children in the current accepted fashion then they kill themselves in droves.

      Which is it?

    • KMS

      Mary- regarding Dr. Zucker. You do realize don’t you that he believes these children are gay and steers then towards that? Google him some more. Also Zuckers practices and studies have been hotly debated.

  • Elizabeth Jenkins

    This is addressed to Mary Rice Hasson. I read your comments and I feel you are indeed a caring and loving person. I just feel your views of what it is to be gender dysphoric are colored by so much misinformation. The world as a whole is slowly becoming aware of this very serious condition and how it affects we who suffer from it. There is a general attitude emerging to work with people, especially the young, who suffer this handicap. It is a tragedy that the very ones best able to help, those with strong humanistic virtues, are the ones most often turning away, and doing so without realizing it. I can only suggest that you review the real truths, and not depend on the wrong information. It would be sad to see in say, ten years, you were on the wrong side of the Will of God. Sorry to be so blunt, but I feel rather strongly about this.

    • TammyBeth

      this is worth emphasizing. In so many cases where trans issues arise, so many people resent the infringement on “traditional” views. Essentially, “we’ve always done it this way and i don’t want it messed with.”

      But the objective reality is that traditional views are based on pre-existing understandings of the situation and it turns out that those change. We simply know more about, well, EVERYTHING now than we did,say, 100 years ago. Therefore it is perfectly reasonable that on some occasions, our increased knowledge would lead us to realized that “the way we’ve always done it” is flawed.

      This is most obviously manifested in our move away from segregation. There was a time when our culture had to, even in the face of the opposition of tradition, change how we did things because we were not as ignorant as we had been in the past.

      Tradition has it’s value, but unthinking tradition which cannot adjust to new information does not.

  • Shelley Adrienne Mimi Belsky

    I must say that I am disappointing by the old boogeyman of the “potty police” being raised as an example against recognizing the rights and identity of transgendered children.
    Children (as was mentioned) are very good at adapting.
    It’s their parents who try to fight acceptance. Who try to impress their out-dated beliefs, rules and regulations on their progeny.

  • Kyla

    Another post that suggests cisgender people are infinitely stupid.

  • http://www.healingandempowerment.blogspot,.com Phil Dzialo

    @ Stacy, I do not know your definition of droves. I have been an administrator in a rural public school system in Massachusetts for 30 years. I have seen a number of transgender children. I have seen their joy and their pain and I have seen suicide. droves? Ignorant question. One death is more than sufficient to warrant our attention.
    I am so happy we recognize the identity of transgender kids (as young as as early elementary). I am happy that we have GLQT alliances in Massachusetts schools. Biology and sexuality and identity are all on a continuum and speak to the diversity of God’s creation. Concepts which go beyond the binary nature of sex and identity are newly recognized in the public arena and are accepted and accommodated for in our society. I am proud to live in Massachusetts.
    Above all, your personal God allowed for diversity and allowed for transgender kids. As part of His creation, our obligation is to embrace and love them as they are and as they are becoming….period.
    BTW, a story of a very young transgender child and the pathetic world to be faced: More braverythan we most know… http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/01/religious-right-calls-girl-scout-cookie-boycott

  • http://catholicstand.com Stacy Trasancos

    ‎”Every man and every woman has a right to educate their children in their religious values. When a government deprives children of this formation, it can lead to cases like Nazism, when children were indoctrinated with values which were alien to the ones held by their parents. Totalitarianism tends to take over education to feather its own nest…”

    ~Pope Francis

    H/T Leila Miller

    • http://www.healingandempowerment.blogspot,.com Phil Dzialo

      @Stacy…no argument, that’s why we have Catholic Schools as an option for those of differing beliefs.

    • TammyBeth

      Stacy,

      what prevents you from doing so?

      Are you suggesting that you need the help of the government to fulfill your parental duty in this regard? I homeschooled two sons and accepted complete responsibility before God as to their moral and ethical education. i would be ashamed to default to the government on this point, or invite their involvement.

      but one does not have to homeschool, or even private-school, their children in order to communicate to them your worldview and values.

      They are, of course thinking beings and they may choose to believe differently in the end – but is that a free agency you would deny them? would you prefer your children be so insulated from contrary ideas that they had no choice to believe as you do? That does not strike me as a God honoring position.

      In the Bible God says “come now, let us REASON together” – where there are no competing ideas, there can be no reasoning.

    • http://catholicstand.com Stacy Trasancos

      TammyBeth,

      Seriously? Did you read Mary’s article at all? Did you Phil?

      Even if people homeschool their children or are fortunate enough to afford private or parochial schools, the children indoctrinated by the government with alien values in public school still affect us all in society. (You ought not shame people who can’t afford anything but public schools either.)

      Totalitarianism does tend to take over education, making private and homeschooling even more difficult.

    • TammyBeth

      Again, Stacy – it is your argument that you cannot train your children in such a way as to survive in a society which does not fully agree with them? Are we to assume that in order to be fair to Catholics our only choice is to indoctrinate EVERY CHILD into Catholicism? What then of the people who hold a different view?

      We live in a pluralistic society. Look around, on every hand you will see SOMETHING that is a commonplace reality which runs counter to your dogma – how do you survive?

      How does the Pentacostal woman survive in a world where most women wear pants? How does the person who religiously believe in racial purity survive in a world of interracial relationships?

      What if every religion demanded that THEIR dogma alone dominate the public sphere? Religious war? Haven’t we learned over the centuries how poorly that works? In this country we ALL live together with people who think and act differently than we would like. There’s no other way.

      I suggest that it is not the place of the government to legislate dogma. If we ask the government to infringe on liberty, it ought only be when there is a compelling, rational reason to do so which cannot be addressed by any less invasive means.

      I further suggest that the simple fact that some folks consider trans people to be “icky” does not rise to that level.

    • http://catholicstand.com Stacy Trasancos

      TammyBeth,

      “Again, Stacy – it is your argument that you cannot train your children in such a way as to survive in a society which does not fully agree with them? Are we to assume that in order to be fair to Catholics our only choice is to indoctrinate EVERY CHILD into Catholicism? What then of the people who hold a different view?”

      No. No. It is a major tenet of the Catholic faith that people cannot be forced to think or believe anything because they have free will.

    • TammyBeth

      Stacy, I think that is a wise position. Thar being the case, it is not only unwise, but a violation of your faith for the schools to make policy based only on your dogma. The school’s policies will communicate SOME message. Either one which reflects a religious dogma – that being trans is sinful and morally wrong – or one that communicates a message of neutrality and tolerance for our differences.

  • JoAnne Bland

    I am a 68 year old post-op Transwoman who has been an evangelist, lawyer, and State Supreme Court Justice. I am appalled by the above article. It shows just how much ignorance exists regarding Transgender Hunan Beings. Being Transgender is not a choice. I don’t understand why people cannot realize that. If you would educate yourself you might learn this. Unfortunately some professing Christian individuals have closed minds and closed brains. I would love to debate you or anyone on this subject. Treating Transgender children correctly and appropriately is the best thing for these children. Closed minds plus closed hearts equals ignorant transphobic bigots.

  • CDC

    @Mary Rice Hasson

    A long time ago, Bloodletting was used to cure illness, Trepanation was used for migraines and seizures, Heroin was used as a cough suppressant, and in the not too distant past, Lobotomies were used as a cure for depression.

    My point is, medicine and science has come a long way in a few hundred years…50 years from now science and medicine will have gone so much further and understand so much more.

    Is it possoble that your medical diagnosis of gender issues is wrong? Is there a doctor or scientist in the world today that has publish a modern peer reviewed paper that clearly states that Gender Identity Disoder is a mental condition and a biological condition?

    You are basing your opinions on science and medical opinions of the past…you want lobotomies for depression, and you should be more informed than that.

    The development of a fetus causing gender dysphoria makes more sense than numbers of children and young adults facing taunts, humiliation, and violence, as a life choice.

    I do not know the answer to gender issues, but I do not believe you do either. Before you close your mind and start handing out lobotomies, why don’t you allow children the benefit of doubt and accept the claim that this condition “may” be biological and not mental.

    The Christians offended would understand, simply ask what Christ would do. Jesus once shamed a crowd from stoning a woman to death for adultery…Jesus did not judge the woman’s adulturous behavior as mental or biological, he loves and defends all his flock for what they are.

    For you to imply that these transgender children or their supporters are wrong for seeking access to their own public facilities for safety or need…is a way of you casting stones at these children for being different.

    Think of this not like a mob with stones…but humans with compassion. You will see Mary Rice, you have not learned all there is to know :)

    • Mary Rice Hasson

      CDC,

      No one here is casting stones. Love and compassion, however, do not mean that we affirm the person in everything that person thinks or does. Jesus didn’t either–he told the adulterous woman to change her behavior.

      You mis-represent the science and ignore the current scholarship (See Zucker) that shows, empirically, that the majority of ‘transgendered’ children successfully align their inner perception with their bodily reality by the time they are adolescents or adults. Distinct from true ‘intersex’ conditions–which by definition are a defect of sexual development–gender dysphoria IS something that can be corrected. And that’s all the more reason why adults should not take a child’s assertion that he or she really “is” the opposite gender and just go with it. Science tells us that at least 4 out of 5 times the child’s inner perception will change–which undercuts the whole assertion made by some commenters here that the transgender identity is a “brain defect” that is somehow immutable.

      Feelings themselves are not morally right or wrong–ie no one is saying that a person who suffers the confusion of gender dysphoria is “bad.” However, feelings and inner perceptions don’t ‘make it so.’ Consider the anorexic who feels fat–indeed is convinced beyond doubt that he or she is fat–in spite of a body weight of 90 pounds. The anorexic’s attempts to remake the body to conform to those inner perceptions are injurious, not helpful. The incredible lengths that ‘transgender’ people go to in order to make their bodies reflect their inner perception– the lifelong hormone treatments, genital surgery, mastectomy, etc–are a troubling reflection of deep pain, but they are injurious as well. Harm results when feelings, instead of bodily reality, dictate actions.

      I support the idea that those who suffer from a transgender identity, and who are attempting to live as the opposite gender, should be provided private restroom facilities. That would provide a “safe” place for them. But it’s wrong to expect the rest of the world to say that a transgender person “is” in fact male, though born female, or vice versa, just because they think they are. To bring the conversation back to the school arena, that’s what these school rules do: they require the rest of the community to embrace, as truth, the transgendered person’s distorted perception. Worse, they confirm a confused child (the ‘transgendered child’) in his or her confusion, instead of helping him or her find happiness by accepting him or herself, body and soul.

    • Karen Anne

      I read where you said transsexual children should have a separate restroom so as to provide a “Safe” place for them. I am in the South and we used to have safe places for Blacks to eat,drink,sit and wash their hands. That was wrong then and this is wrong now. Don’t make a freak out of the child by making a third restroom

  • http://google post christian era

    hm, so afraid of this nation is turning to, Lord help us. It seems men are more knowledgeable than God that created him. Search your heart and no for sure one day in His presence all your knowledge and power of defense taking away then reality done on you.

    • TammyBeth

      know better than God? consider this:

      1 Samuel 16:7

      New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

      7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

      The one fundamental mystery, in my mind, when Christians proceed to pass judgement on trans people, is why those who serve a God who spent centuries trying to tell us that it was our HEARTS that matter so easily default to the exact opposite position.

  • jesse kane

    Face it the ignorant and their intolerant ways are being phased out and dying off thank GOD! There is NO place for bigotry in America or the civilized world

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      Last I looked, devout Catholics, Mormons, and Muslims (i.e. “intolerant” ones) are the only ones who still welcome large families and consider many children a blessing. We won’t die out since that’s the case, but maybe the government will eventually “phase us out”? Will you be supportive if that movement begins?

      So much for diversity. I guess it’s okay to have sexual diversity, but not diversity of thought.

      Sorry, but the talk I hear from the “tolerant” ones is very chilling.

    • TammyBeth

      Lelia, do you REALLY favor diversity of thought?

      I certainly do. Sadly, yours would be the minority position among politically active Christians. Such folk are legendary for viciously going after those who put for that which they consider an “unchristian” point of view on virtually any subject. not far from my home, one of the major evangelical ministries is headquartered, and they are well known too invade the personal lives of their opponents and try to get them fired, or disowned by their family, or even evicted. And yet they enjoy much respect from their fellow crusaders.

      Personally, I believe passionately in the arena of ideas. Let the worthy stand and the unworthy fail. That post you refereed to was, in my view, unnecessarily harsh. I find it quite troubling that those on my side of the argument so easily default to harsh and biting comments – although I do understand where the bitterness comes from – I prefer to maintain a civil discourse.

      but with that said, the research indicates that young people, across the board, are more compassionate to LGB/T people than their elders. It may well be true that Catholics have more children, but what Catholic parents cannot stop is the reality that more and more of your children KNOW some REAL LIFE trans people and they see with their own eyes, and learn with their own minds, that the traditions are not sufficient to account for the existence of these people.

      just as there was a time (multiple times actually) in the past when a scientific mind said “X” and the Church said “X is heresy and God will not tolerate it” …. only to find out in the course of time that “X”was the case all along, so again the Church leadership, and far too many of the faithful had rather build their house on the shifting sand of tradition (NOT god’s word, just man’s tradition) in the face of scientific evidence.

      You would think that by and by, mankind wold learn from their mistakes.

    • http://catholicstand.com Stacy Trasancos

      Leila,

      “Sorry, but the talk I hear from the “tolerant” ones is very chilling.”

      Very chilling.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      TammyBeth, I was responding to jesse kane who implied that folks with my view (i.e., devout Catholics) are (“thank GOD”) being “phased out and dying off”. Do you think that is a good thing? It find it chilling.

      If you are referring to one incident in 2,000 years (Galileo?), that is a much misunderstood incident, and it’s interesting that it’s the only one that folks can point to (meaning… how incredibly rare). The Church does not teach science. The Church is interested in the moral law, doctrinal truths, and salvation in Christ, who is God. Science never contradicts any other truth. All truth is from God, and truth can never contradict itself.

      It used to be the role of scientists to discover scientific truth and the beauty of the physical, natural world, and to stand it awe of those discoveries, which would lead to more discoveries. Scientists worked with science not against it. Science was used to restore order where there was disorder, for example. Today, we have switched gears, and scientists seek to dominate and override nature and natural order, twisting it and crushing it, rather than respecting it and serving it. It is alarming, and the bad fruits of this new philosophy are everywhere. That’s a whole post on its own…

    • TammyBeth

      “Do you think that is a good thing? It find it chilling.”

      I absolutely do. Every bit as chilling as many of the things Christians routinely say about trans people. As I mentioned above, when you condemn people for something they cannot in any way alter, you ought to expect that many of them will really really resent it. particularly when, in their view, it is YOUR characteristic (being religious) that is the chosen lifestyle.

      It’s unreasonable to consistently attack people and speak of them as perversions and abominations and then require that they speak gently and kindly to you in return.

      I make a point of doing so but I’m the exception, and I do so because of my own long experience arguing your side of the premise. Unlike many of my peers, I’m more open to the idea that you don’t intend malice. but for most of them, malice is all they can see.

      “If you are referring to one incident in 2,000 years (Galileo?)…”

      No, I am referring to quite a few. There are many instances of scientific discovery being condemned as heresy by the church, and if you go beyond strictly scientific questions, there are many dozen instances of The church (and other religions) changing it’s dogma.

      Tell me, why does the church no longer burn heretics? why does it no longer wage crusades? why no inquisitions? Or more gently, why is it that priests once could marry and now they can’t?

      I know the answers to these, i’m not trying to debate theology – I’m illustrating that there is no grounds to consider anything “The Church’s unchanging position” because multitudes of positions have changed and a great many of them as a belated response to undeniable scientific evidence.

      I fear that pointing this out will do no good at all because I sense that i’m speaking with people who can’t really deal with the possibility that “The Church” could ever be wrong or flawed in any way.

      But at least I can put some objective reality into the conversation for the casual reader to consider, even if you will not.

  • http://the-american-catholic.com/ Donald R. McClarey

    A great post Mary. This whole transgendered mania is part and parcel of a “let’s pretend” sickness that encourages people to defy reality, and which is tragically popular in our society currently. The idea that a six year old boy or girl should be encouraged to pretend that they are really a member of the opposite sex is a truly perverse form of child abuse.

    • TammyBeth

      please explain to us upon what study, experience, or research you have based this opinion. It is always fascinating to hear someone who has no rational basis upon which to form an opinion boldly take a stand on that opinion just the same. Particularly in the face of those who have spent a lifetime dealing with the issue first hand.

      It’s rather like the guy sitting at the bar, whose never left his hometown, holding forth his strongly held views on how to deal with North Korea or Iran.

  • http://the-american-catholic.com/ Donald R. McClarey

    I agree with you Mary that Dr. Zucker is a voice of sanity in this area:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Zucker

    • Elizabeth Jenkins

      I assume you are aware that the Wikipedia reference you cite is under challenge on Wikipedia, from many sources as being biased and inaccurate? Dr. Zucker was also on the DMS-5 Review Committee where the original “GID” (Gender Identity Disorder) has been revised from a metal illness, to “Gender Dysphoria” which is a condition. Dr. Zucker has moved away from his original recommendations of “Repairative Treatment” for the gender dysphoria post-adolescent and adult, and had abandoned “Repairative Treatment” recommendations for the homosexual several years ago. Although Dr. Zucker still advocates early intervention in preadolescent, the “GIDC” diagnosis is no longer in existence and has been replaced as “Gender Dysphoria (Child).” With the newer early diagnosis of GDC in preadolescents, it appears “Repairative Treatment” recommendations for preadolescents has lost support and is on its way out.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      “it appears “Repairative Treatment” recommendations for preadolescents has lost support and is on its way out.”

      Isn’t illegal now in California? That in itself is scary. That parents will not legally be allowed to get the therapy of their choosing for their own child. Truly the heavy hand of the state, and these limits of treatment are imposed to force compliance of thought. Otherwise, why not leave open all the options for therapy that might help a child? Why is the only option to “accept” that the child is not what her biology presents? Smacks of an agenda, not of good science, nor of respect for the rights of parents, children, liberty, freedom of conscience, religious freedom, or any of the other things we hold dear.

    • TammyBeth

      because “reparitive therapy” is, objectively and demonstrably, abusive

      It’s not legal for the same reason that electroshock therapy and lobotomy are not legal.

      One might as well be arguing that they should be allowed to confine their child in isolation until they recover their senses, or “beat it out of him” as argue for so-called “reparitive therapy”

  • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

    Here is the National Catholic Bioethics Center’s take on gender identity disorders and “gender reassignment” operations:

    http://www.ncbcenter.org/page.aspx?pid=1287

    It will be pounced upon by those who feel gender is fluid and something we create in the mind, but for Catholics who want to understand the Church’s unchanging position, I will risk the wrath that follows and post it. We live in very scary times. Most folks I know won’t even speak of gender issues publicly, so as not to be attacked by the “tolerant” left. It actually is heartbreaking. Catholics, follow your Church, as she will not lead any of her children astray, straight, gay, bi, transgendered. Follow the Church. This world is fleeting, we are made for another world.

    • TammyBeth

      “the church’s unchanging position”

      and that right there sums up the problem. the church once had an “unchanging position” that the Earth was the center of the universe – how’d that work out? How many hundred times does the Church need to repeat this error in order to learn from it?

      ” Catholics, follow your Church, as she will not lead any of her children astray, ”

      that would certainly be a refreshing change of pace. Are you really willfully blind to all the various ways the church has indoctrinated the “children” in error over the years? for instance, the church now recognizes the validity of evolution. what was the church’s position on origins in, say, 1850?

      By the way, the link you supplied contains some factual errors (for instance, HRT can never raise the pitch of ones voice)which by itself ought give you pause, but let me address a key point I raised earlier in the thread and which none of addressed:

      “A sex-change operation should be distinguished from certain procedures performed on sexually ambiguous persons, for example, those suffering from congenital adrenal hyperplasia (a species of which is anrdogen insensitivity syndrome), mosaicism, chimerism, or some other congenital cause of mixed sexual identity. These disorders present ambiguous sexual identity and certain operations done to confirm a person in the “dominant” sex aims to correct a pathological condition. Such operations should not be thought of as changing a person’s sex, but rather confirming what is originally ambiguous.”

      We have an official admission then, that certain congenital birth conditions result in ambiguous physical sex characteristics. We know that it is an established fact that certain birth abnormalities affect the human brain. We know for a scientific fact that the brain is “gendered” (i.e. the female brain is different from the male brain)

      SO

      Please explain how it is impossible to have a congenital birth condition, as described in the quote, which affects the brain such that there is a sexual ambiguity between the brain and the visible organs. (e.g.a female brain and a male body or vice cersa). How can we remotely conclude that this one “birth defect” is impossible despite the obvious presence of other very similar conditions?

      I get the impression that for you “because the church says so” is a good enough answer. Which you are entitled to. What you are NOT entitled to, in this country, is to impose what the “church says so” on the general population by the arm of government. Teach your own kids as you will, but you have no authority to expect the state government to back your position simply because “the church says so.”

      The rest of your link following the quoted passage is a classic example of circular reasoning, constructing supporting arguments post-hoc after having already started with the conclusion.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      TammyBeth, you are doing what you accuse me of. You say I don’t know about transgender issues, but you clearly don’t know much about the Church. For example, your comment about evolution shows no knowledge of Church teaching. Are you aware that St. Augustine (fourth century, which was waaaay before 1850) said that we don’t have to take the Creation account literally? You may be confusing us with fundamentalist Christians? That shows a grave ignorance of the Church. It’s okay, I don’t expect you to know about Church history, but I do expect that you do not misrepresent us when knowledge is readily available (you can try the Catechism or even catholic.com).

      As I mentioned above, you misunderstand the Galileo incident utterly (the Church does not teach science), so could you mention the moral or doctrinal issue that the Church has changed? Not Church discipline, not Canon Law (these are changeable), but issues of faith and morals, i.e., the Deposit of Faith. Which moral law or doctrinal truth has the Church reversed in 2,000 years?

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      And just to be clear: The National Catholic Bioethics Center has as its education director Fr. Tad Pacholczyk, Ph.D, who earned a doctorate in neuroscience from Yale University, did post-doctoral work at Harvard, has four undergraduate degrees — in molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, biochemistry and philosophy — and has two degrees in advanced theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

      He is not anti-science, I hope you will agree.

      And here is what I find strange about the whole LGBT movement. I have debated enough folks on that side to know that they many of them (and a growing number) believe that there is no difference between men and women. It’s been stated many times to me on my blog. Many, many times. (Usually to make the case that there is no difference between mothers and fathers… so that children should be adopted by gay men or lesbian couples.) So, how do we reconcile all of this? It seems like your side is saying all these things at once (maybe not everyone, but enough that it’s not a coherent philosophy):

      1) Gender is a construct and completely fluid.
      2) There is NO difference between men and women.
      3) There is such a HUGE difference between men and women that I have to have major surgery to become the opposite of what my body objectively is.
      4) Gender is in the mind; no matter the body, the DNA, the biology, because it’s what I think in my mind that determines what I am.
      5) Legally and morally and scientifically, no doctor or therapist or anyone can tell me what gender I am. If I think it, if I identify as it in my mind, then that is reality, and everyone must legally accept what I tell them I am, no matter what biology or DNA or science say I am.
      6) Catholics are anti-science, unlike us [see above], and so their thought on this issue can be disregarded.

      Do you see why this is hard to understand? Contradictions abound, and yet we are all going to be required, by force of law (and ultimately, penalties ranging from fines to closure of businesses to jail) to submit to the LGBTQI (yes, there are more letters that many folks don’t know about) orthodoxy.

      Tell me Catholics should not be alarmed. Reassure me.

    • TammyBeth

      I do not speak for all so-called “transgender” folk and, in fact, many of the arguments that are put forth are in my view kind of silly. I confine my arguments whenever possible to the specific physiological condition of being transsexual (as a subset of being intersex) – that said, I will attempt to bring as much clarity as i can here. but be advised, one of the truths of the internet is that any hair-brained person can say any hair-brained thing. I strive NOT to judge all Christians (of which I am one) or all Christian arguments by the behavior of the more radical examples i can find on-line.
      I try to show grace in my responses and educate, not ridicule. I acknowledge that this is a minority position, most tend to be hostile (on both sides)

      1) Gender is a construct and completely fluid.

      Sex and gender are two different things. sex is a physiological reality which is usually clear but as your side has acknowledged, is sometimes in rare cases ambiguous. given that the brain is as much a physical organ as the penis (for example) there’s no medical or scientific reason why the brain sex cannot likewise be ambiguous. I admit that being one who’s brain-sex is female, in the classic sense, I can’t understand or relate to the person who’s brain sex is ambiguous. but I would be a fool to admit that chromosomes, or ho9rmone receptors, or genital construct can be sex-ambiguous and NOT acknowledge that it’s scientifically possible for the brain to be.

      Gender, on the other hand, IS asocial construct – as may be seen by the different expectations of gender roles in different human cultures. One who chooses to defy gender conventions in their culture may profess, legitimately, to be “gender fluid” in the sense that for whatever reason they feel more comfortable in not conforming.
      That is a different phenomena than the physiological condition I have been discussing.

      let me take a moment and clarify terms (and some of my peers take issue with these definitions, there’s actually a strenuous debate within the trans community)- “transgender” is a sociological term. It’s an umbrella label designed to cover pretty much every single variation of non-gender conforming persons, from (obviously chosen lifestyle) drag queens, to intersex persons.

      I use this term as seldom as possible because I believe that there is a distinct and valid difference between what a crossdresser, for instance, can expect society to accommodate and what a transsexual can reasonably expect. That does not mean i toss the crossdresser”under the bus” but I do acknowledge the complexities of the situation.

      By contrast, a transsexual is a person born with a congenital condition which leave them with a brain-sex which is in opposition to their “body-sex” (and I believe that the”brain sex” is the “soul sex”but this cannot be proven scientifically)- it cannot be cured by any known method of treating the brain, and the only way for such people to achieve permanent mental health is to bring the body into alignment with the brain. such people have no more choice in their condition than does an autistic person or a paraplegic. And there “affliction” should be recognized as a legitimate medical condition.

      You will find, as you discuss these subjects on-line, that some activists seem to want to leverage the real physiological issues of the transsexual into a blanket policy which applies to all “transgender” people, even when the trans status is admittedly a preferred lifestyle and not a condition. i dispute that.

      I can only counsel you that as you have these discussions, be careful to separate the wheat from the chaff and do not dismiss all of us because some make shaky arguments.

      2) There is NO difference between men and women.

      That’s just silly.In some cases this is stated as a verbal shorthand (i.e. “it makes no difference if a child is being raised by two men”) and sometimes it’s just wrongheaded. also, you will tend to find that argument made by homosexual activists, not by trans people. and even among gays it’s hotly debated (there’s, in fact, a notorious group of lesbians that intensely hates trans people because they see M2F as invading womankind with their “male privilege” and F2M as frustrated women seeking to get “promoted” to the status of enjoying “male privilege”

      Trust me, there are ALL KINDS of goofy ideas afoot out there. But don’t gloat, there are all kinds of goofy religious ideas out there too.

      3) There is such a HUGE difference between men and women that I have to have major surgery to become the opposite of what my body objectively is.

      Though poorly stated, this one is valid. But to clarify, the human brain knows, no matter the culture that surrounds it, whether it’s male or female and experiences sever distress when the body is not aligned. In THAT sense, the differences in men and women are vastly different. I don’t know WHY this is, but scientific findings and experience indicates that it is the case.

      4) Gender is in the mind; no matter the body, the DNA, the biology, because it’s what I think in my mind that determines what I am.

      No. you are confusing the terms again. SEX is in the mind. consider this, if a man is in a horrible accident and his genitals are destroyed, does he cease to be male? If it were possible to remove his brain and put it in a jar and that brain retain consciousness, would it cease to think of it’s person as male?

      It’sa perfectly scientific and rational premise to suggest that our sense of our own sex does not derive from the mirror, but from our brain.

      5) Legally and morally and scientifically, no doctor or therapist or anyone can tell me what gender I am. If I think it, if I identify as it in my mind, then that is reality, and everyone must legally accept what I tell them I am, no matter what biology or DNA or science say I am.

      Well, that is absolutely true – with the caveat that science is on my side, not yours. You are free to hold the faith based view that i am deluded or whatever, but in terms of legal acts wherein I interact with the government or the marketplace, you do not have the authority to determine my status for meany more than I would have such authority over you.

      6) Catholics are anti-science, unlike us [see above], and so their thought on this issue can be disregarded.

      Disregarded? No. the arena of ideas is always open? Legislated? Not as long as I have the breath to protest it.

      I am a person of faith myself, I have certain strongly held religious views. if the government came to me and said “we have decided to enforce by law all of your religious views, if you will tell them to us” i would instantly and firmly decline. because one of the most important of those views is that every human is a free moral agent who most be reconciled to, or reject, God on his or her own terms. I may hold the view that their terms are flawed, but that is not in my power to correct. if he asks me i will advise but i will NEVER enforce or stand by quietly while others do.

      That is, in fact, the FIRST principle of a free society, in my view. The reality is that EVERY reasonable argument why the government ought suppress transsexual transition flows from religious dogma. and no matter how valid that dogma may be, it CANNOT serve as the sole support for legislation. That is for the private sphere.

  • Karen Anne

    I am a transsexual. I also attended Catholic school. I only wish when I was there that I could have told someone that I wanted to be a girl but in 1956 this was not said. I have always known I was female. I am not confused by my true gender and am confused why people are so upset about me or any other transsexual using the restroom that we identify with. I do not know of any cases where a transsexual has been arrested for doing anything in a restroom other than pee. Grow up and treat people with respect.

  • TammyBeth

    ultimately, the heart of this issue is not whether or not the Catholic Church, or any other, is entitled to disapprove of transsexuals or their treatment. Most certainly they are.

    But we do not live in a theocracy, nor does any thinking Christian wish us to.
    The government which can impose YOUR dogma on others can also impose THEIR dogma on you.

    It is never ever right, moral, or just for the government to impose upon a citizen that dogma which the citizen has not voluntarily subscribed to. Therefore, if you wish to make a case for rejecting the needs of trans people, children or adults, then you are obliged to do so with reasons that go beyond “the church said so” or even “God said so”

    If this is not how you wish to live, then you are quite obviously in the wrong country.

    • Mary Rice Hasson

      TammyBeth (and others),

      Human nature is not a matter of religious dogma or mere “tradition.” It’s reality. It doesn’t change just because the prevailing cultural winds blow in the direction of particular gender theories.

      Reading the comments here illustrates the depth of pain, anger, and misunderstanding that transgender people have experienced–and no one here is “judging” or condemning you as a person or trying to “impose” a religious “dogma.” But the depth of your feelings does not change reality–people are male or female and happiness comes from embracing our created reality, not rejecting it.

    • TammyBeth

      “Human nature is not a matter of religious dogma or mere “tradition.” It’s reality.”

      Indeed.

      but our UNDERSTANDING of that nature is ever growing and evolving. We simply know MUCH more about human psychology, in EVERY respect, than we did 50 or 100 or more years ago.

      We know more about physics than we did 100 years ago, and that doesn’t mean physics has changed – our knowledge level has changed.

      the problem is, many people cling to the inertia of the traditional understanding because they can’t deal with the implications of the new discovery. This is simply an act of denial.

      “But the depth of your feelings does not change reality–people are male or female and happiness comes from embracing our created reality, not rejecting it.”

      and with all due respect you speak from a complete and utter lack of experience in that regard.

      Shall I tell you my story? I confess that to do so completely will make this post quite long.

      I was born and labeled a male in Mississippi in 1963. I was raised in a heavily christian culture, under the influence of nominally christian parents and devotedly Christian grandparents. I was never at any point exposed to any sort of sexual abuse or other “perverting” factor, and my parents conformed to traditional gender roles.

      Before I started school I was intensely aware of my “otherness” in away i was not equipped to define but by the time I started school I was completely convinced I should have been a female. I thought, in my ignorance and isolation, that I was the only such person on earth and that I was hopelessly broken and “weird” for feeling this way. I was closing in on – and dreading – puberty when i became aware of Rene Richards and understood that there were others like me. From that time on, for the next decade, I was intensely depressed to the point of being suicidal in that I felt trapped in a culture that wold by no means respect my understanding of myself and therefore I was forced to pretend to conform.

      I’d “gotten saved” at nine, and that had not altered my gender dysphoria, despite countless hours of prayer. At the age of 22, at a Crusade, I rededicated myself to God in response to the sermon that god would heal anyone who was willing of their “besetting sin”if such a one would dedicate their whole life to Christ.
      And yet a year later i still felt I had fallen short and I “surrendered” to the ministry and was licensed to preach. for the next 20 year I taught and preached a faithful conservative brand of Christianity, and vocally put forth precisely the same position on LGB/T people that you now hold.

      I WANTED it to be true, I NEEDED it to be true. The idea that god would one day deliver me from my “warped” mind was all that kept me alive. I prayed thousands of hours and cried tens of thousands of tears begging God to “fix” me. in every way that was within my power embracing my physical maleness.

      and yet, 20 years later, I was JUST as convinced that my body was inherently WRONG as I had been at the beginning. Do not EVER repeat the lie that embracing your physical sex leads to happiness for the transsexual person . it stinks of the pits of hell.

      I’ve BEEN there. I’ve DONE that. What you claim is flat out untrue – I know because I lived it.

      something else i lived/ i lived through a public transition in a small conservative Mississippi town, I’ve put up with mockery and stares and ridicule and laughter, i’ve suffered through my own father and brother and best friend completely rejecting me (and the latter openly mocking me). I’ve gone two years at a stretch unable to get a job because no one wanted to hire the “town freak” …and i still have, in my future, tens of thousands of dollars in expense and hundreds of hours of intense pain in order to get to the place i need to be.

      And yet it is NOW, in the midst of all that, that my heart and soul is at peace with myself and with God.

      i do not mean to sound hostile and i try to approach these conversations with grace, but comments like yours test my resolve. You have NO CLUE what it’s like to live this life, and no willingness to learn from our experience. You declare what will make us happy in direct defiance of what we know from our own experience as if your opinion is sufficient to win the day.

      Your views are rooted in your faith, and that’s fine for you. Feel free to never try to be a man. but my views are rooted also in my faith – a lifetime spent seeking God’s truth on this matter and hoping with all my heart to find that he had an answer for it that would make me whole as a man. but it ALSO flows from my life experience which has proven to me beyond reasonable doubt that the church – yours, mine, anyone elses – has got this issue WRONG. We’ve been lied to. Inadvertently I’m sure, but false doctrine nonetheless.

      That false doctrine is easy to propagate because for 99% of the population it costs you NOTHING. You have no dog in the hunt, as they say. But for a few of us, that lie potentially costs us EVERYTHING. Up to and including sometimes our very lives.

      I know I’ve wasted my time here but I plead with you and your peers, PLEASE exercise GREAT restraint and humility in making such absolute pronouncements about a thing that you cannot POSSIBLY understand. I do not presume to lecture you on how you ought behave in order to please God, even on those points where I’m connived you are wrong, by what authority do you presume to correct people like me?

      “By this will all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another”

      If you love me, respect my free moral agency as a child of God and leave “fixing” me to him, okay?

    • TammyBeth

      by the way, I’m still waiting to be engaged on the post above, which I will quote here for ease of reference.

      Quote:

      1. Birth defects do occur, no one denies this.
      2. Birth defects sometimes affect the physiological sexual characteristics manifest in one’s physical body (as you acknowledged). This can be an external characteristic, or an internal invisible one such as chromosomes.
      3. Birth defects can and do affect the brain, e.g. autism. No one denies this.
      4. Science is certain that the physical structure and working processes of the male and female brain are different.

      Now, none of these statements are in any serious dispute, correct? How then are we to logically conclude that it is not possible for one to have a birth defect which, rather than affecting the sexual construct of the genitals or the chromosomes, affects the sexual distinction of the brain?

      Objectively, it seems blindingly obvious that a transsexual child IS in fact intersex (I make the distinction between transsexual and transgender as they are not at all the same thing).

      Please point out where you disagree?

  • http://the-american-catholic.com/ Donald R. McClarey

    “please explain to us upon what study, experience, or research you have based this opinion.”

    I guess you ignored my reference to Dr. Zucker, or perhaps you were too busy furiously typing to bother reading my next comment? I am an attorney with 30 years experience. I have represented transgendered clients in court and I have been involved in custody cases where transgenderism was alleged regarding minor children. I can also read and think, which are the essential attibutes necessary to comment on an issue of public policy.

    • TammyBeth

      Dr. Zucker’s work is widely questioned by his peers, and in some respects has been recanted by the good doctor himself.

      Your “let’s pretend” remark betrays a serious contempt for transgender people and I would hope that none of them are so foolish as to retain your services so long as your views are so callous. If your experience with the subject consists of professional efforts to combat the rights of trans people, then that does not indicate you have any actual understanding of the subject, just an opinion and the legal standing to push it.

  • Racheal Campbell

    Permanence of a condition, or lack there of, can not be a basic for establishing its legitimacy. The wheelchair ramp is for both those who are missing legs and those whose legs are broken, even though his legs will later heal and allow him to walk again.

    We are all learning about gender fluidity, what is nature, what is nurture, what is cultural and what is choice. What we do know is that being allowed to transition early has not harmed children that then transition back, however being denied that right has harmed those that did not change again.

  • Racheal Campbell

    Transgender people are not suffering from their condition. Their only suffering is what you inflict on them. They suffer from bullying, which is what the school board is sensibly trying to resolve.

    • TammyBeth

      well said in both posts.

  • http://catholicstand.com Stacy Trasancos

    Rachael,

    “They suffer from bullying, which is what the school board is sensibly trying to resolve.”

    Labeling kids as bullies just because they are confused and use the wrong pronoun is not going to help.

    Kids need parents, a father and a mother, not government.

    • http://www.healingandempowerment.blogspot,.com Phil Dzialo

      @Stacy
      “Labeling kids as bullies just because they are confused and use the wrong pronoun is not going to help.”

      A truly ignorant, solipsistic comment. Thirty years as a public school administrator and I can tell you bullying of transgender kids has nothing to do with using a wrong pronoun. It has to do with demeaning behavior, words directed at someone different which are not suitable for print, sarcasm, hitting, pushing, cyber threats, isolation, exclusion. And where to these kids learn bullying behavior and confusion toward the diversity of mankind? Their parents….

      Public schools protect the public good and act as a model for acceptance and the embrace of diversity. That is their job…schools are not a function of the Christian agenda and self-righteous bigotry. Anyone who does not take the side of transgender kids takes the side of the oppressor. Given the attitude of some of the oppressors on this post, yes, we do need government which protects kids civil rights.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      Phil, ah, the language of “oppressor”. The mommies and scientists and teachers and Americans here are “oppressors”. Okay.

      Let me guess. You view the world through the lens of race, class, gender. Catholics (and many others) view the world through the lens of truth, goodness, and beauty. Your lens necessarily divides humanity into “oppressed and oppressor”. Our lens necessarily unites humanity, as truth, goodness, beauty are for all people at all times and eras. They are the basis of our common human dignity.

      It is disconcerting but not surprising that you use the oppressor model as an educator and administrator.

      What would you have the government do to us “oppressors” who disagree with your worldview?

      Thanks, I’m truly curious what should become of us who do not think or label as you do.

    • http://www.healingandempowerment.blogspot,.com Phil Dzialo

      Well, I think that the oppressors should learn to love and wholeheartedly embrace all of God’s children, accepting the things which are a human’s civil rights: “God, give me grace to accept with serenity
      the things that cannot be changed.”

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      Phil, but you agree that I am an “oppressor” because I am a devout Catholic, right? I am oppressing people, because I will never say that sin is good. What should be done to me? And, what do you do with your Catholic families and their children in your care?

      If you know anything about Catholicism, you know that the basis for all her moral teachings is precisely love and dignity of every human being. We serve and love ALL people. We want ALL people to know how much the Lord loves them, and that they were made in His image and likeness. We want ALL people to be in heaven, forever. We will the highest good for every human soul, without exception.

      By contrast, when I debate homosexual activists, they often mock and curse and wish evil upon anyone who disagrees. Frankly, they (many, not all) are quite hateful. Even in this thread, one person thanked “God” that people like me would soon be dead or phased out.

      Is that love?

    • http://www.healingandempowerment.blogspot,.com Phil Dzialo

      I’m checking out of this discussion…to answer your one question, what would I as an ed administrator in a public school do to protect the rights of children of Catholics…make sure that everyone’s civil rights are respected regardless of religion or non-religion.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      Phil, that’s a non-answer, which should give the Catholic kids and families in your care no comfort at all.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      And why bow out when I am asking very specific, pointed questions? When we are getting somewhere? I find this pattern all the time. Bow out just when we are getting some clarity and answers. Frustrating. I have never bowed out of answering questions, and I don’t know why those on the left seem to do it repeatedly.

    • http://catholicstand.com Stacy Trasancos

      Phil,

      “What would you have the government do to us “oppressors” who disagree with your worldview?”

      I was hoping for an answer to that, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

      You have called us oppressors and you have stated the government needs to protect others from us. As a citizen and a parent, I very much want to know what you think they should do to our families.

      Thank you Leila for asking that question.

    • http://www.healingandempowerment.blogspot,.com Phil Dzialo

      I would have the government use whatever sanctions are available to those who willfully violate the civil rights of others…you have a right to an opinion protected by the 1st amendment and are allowed to voice your opinion as you usually do. You have a right to assemble and protest this MA advisory and try to convince others of your views. You do not have a right to make a black sit in the back of a bus; you do not have a right to prevent a disabled kid from being included in a regular classroom; you do not have a right from disallowing a gay kid from participating in school activities; you do not have a right to bar a transgender kid from using a bathroom as directed by the Advisory. If you actually tried to prevent this, I would get a civil injunction to bar you from the school. I imagine a civil rights suit could be initiated…frankly, Stacy, short of deporting you to the Vatican there really aren’t many viable sanctions available (that’s a joke).

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      you do not have a right to bar a transgender kid from using a bathroom as directed by the Advisory. If you actually tried to prevent this, I would get a civil injunction to bar you from the school. I imagine a civil rights suit could be initiated

      Thanks, Phil! And just to be clear, the law states that anyone who says (he/she) is a woman can walk into a girls’ bathroom at a school, right? In Massachusetts we now are, legally, whatever “gender” we say we are, and people have to agree with it, no matter what the anatomy objectively is, correct? Any man, any woman, right?

      And if we tell our daughters that they are unfortunately “going to have to share their school bathroom with men and boys now, although those men and boys believe themselves to be women”, then we are bullying and subject to penalty for speaking those words, correct? Or if our children speak such words, correct? The kids and parents have to acknowledge that these people are the “gender” they claim to be, or else we are afoul of the law? It’s against the law to say what is biologically, ontologically, scientifically true, because it is illegal to “offend” someone with such words, correct?

      That is my understanding of the Mass. law, but I could be wrong. No doctor need be consulted, no therapist. We just must agree that a man is a woman if he tells us he is, no questions asked. Am I right on that part of the law?

    • http://www.healingandempowerment.blogspot,.com Phil Dzialo

      All the info about the MA DOE Advisory…I stole this from the Boston Globe (2/15/2013) but it’s on target in terms of the advisory, the intent and consequences for non compliant students:

      “The Massachusetts Department of Education on Friday issued directives for handling transgender students, including allowing them to use the bathrooms or play on the sports teams that correspond to the gender with which they identify.

      The guidance was issued at the request of state board of education to help schools follow the state’s 2011 anti-discrimination law protecting transgender people.

      ‘‘These students, because of widespread misunderstanding and lack of knowledge about their lives, are at a higher risk for peer ostracism, victimization, and bullying,’’ the document read.

      Gunner Scott of Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition the welcomed the guidance, saying it would be ‘‘immensely helpful to those parents who have been struggling with making sure that the school environment is safe and welcoming of their child.’’

      But the Massachusetts Family Institute said allowing transgender boys to use girls’ bathrooms, and vice versa, endangers other students and violates their privacy.

      ‘‘Fundamentally, boys need to be use boys’ rooms and girls need to be using the girls’ rooms, and we base that on their anatomical sex, not some sort of internalized gender identity,’’ said Andrew Beckwith, general counsel for the institute.

      The education department said it prepared the 11-page document after consulting policies in several states, as well as advocacy groups, parents and students.

      The document said whether a student identifies as a boy or girl is up to the student or, in the case of younger students, the parents.

      In all cases, ‘‘the student may access the restroom, locker room, and changing facility that corresponds to the student’s gender identity,’’ it said.

      The guidance said some students may feel uncomfortable sharing those facilities with a transgender student but this ‘‘discomfort is not a reason to deny access to the transgender student.’’ It urges administrators to resolve issues on a case-by-case basis, and recommends sufficient sex-neutral restrooms and changing areas.

      The guidance also addresses what to do if other students consistently and intentionally refuse to refer to a transgendered student by the name or sex they identify as: ‘‘It should not be tolerated and can be grounds for student discipline.’’

      Beckwith said the guidance forces students to ignore ‘‘a basic truth of anatomy’’ or face punishment. He also said the guidance is an end run around the state Legislature, which specifically excluded public accommodations, such as rest rooms and locker rooms, from the 2011 bill.

      But education department spokesman JC Considine said school restrooms aren’t public accommodations.

      ‘‘We’re talking about the use of school facilities by students who have no choice but to be in a school building,’’ Considine said. ‘‘Kids have to have restroom access.’’

      Scott said disciplining students who won’t acknowledge a student’s gender identity is appropriate because it amounts to bullying. He said the directives simply aim to create a safe learning place for a group that’s statistically far more likely to be harassed.

      ‘‘The reality is that it’s about creating an inclusive environment for all students to learn,’’ he said.”

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      So in other words, everything I said was true. And non-compliance will not be tolerated and will be punished.

      Any man who wants to use a little girls’ bathroom now can, legally, in the state of Mass., as long as he claims he’s a woman, and if you try to object, you will be the one afoul of the law. Phil, if you wanted to use a little girls’ room, you could, correct? Any man could?

      If only the public had any clue. We have such apathy now, and I promise you the average American has no clue what is happening.

    • http://www.healingandempowerment.blogspot,.com Phil Dzialo

      No I could not…I am not trans. I am a 65 year old male, married and have spent the last 15 years caring 24/7 for a non-verbal, non-mobile, non-everything 27 year old son who was under water for 25 minutes at a summer camp when he was 12. Also, if it helps I am not a Christian but am committed to living a life which is morally good without the need for a anthropomorphic god.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      Phil, God bless you for your heroic service to your son. That is a beautiful witness to his dignity and to the love you have for him.

      But as to the Mass. law, it does appear that all one would have to do (trans or not, who could prove it?) is say that one identifies as a female, and then may have full access to a girls’ bathroom. How are you reading it otherwise? I can’t see where it says that someone has to somehow verify that you are transgendered? In fact, I read the opposite. That all depends on what the person himself says.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      “anthropomorphic god”

      We don’t make God in our image, He made us in His. You may have many common misunderstandings about the Christian God.

    • http://www.healingandempowerment.blogspot,.com Phil Dzialo

      Leila,
      It is an unfair assumption that I have many misunderstandings about a Christian god. I was a member of a Roman Catholic religious order for 8 years (heard the talk and lived the life). My experience, my research, my education and observation have led me to reject what I believe is a god that man has tailored to his phantasm..hence I use the word anthropomorphic god. Again, please do not accuse me of misunderstanding; accuse me of rejection.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      Phil, then how about I accuse you of misrepresentation? What you have concluded that the Church believes is not what the Church actually believes. So, it’s a misrepresentation.

      It’s like this ex-Catholic Baptist seminary professor that I’ve been in dialogue with for fourteen years now. He is positive (from his observation, study, etc.) that Catholics literally worship plaster statues. It doesn’t matter to him, apparently, that the Church actually teaches that it would be a mortal sin to worship statues as gods. No matter how many times I tell him we do not worship statues (or Mary), and cite official Church teaching, he refuses to concede the point, because “he believes” we do.

      That is another example of misrepresentation, and it’s wrong.

      You may disagree with or reject Catholicism, but you may not misrepresent it.

      Thanks!

    • TammyBeth

      “Phil, but you agree that I am an “oppressor” because I am a devout Catholic, right? I am oppressing people, because I will never say that sin is good. What should be done to me? ”

      This seems a blatant tactic to claim the role of victim and it is obviously manipulative.

      No, you are not an oppressor by believing gender transition is sinful.
      No, you are not an oppressor when your opinion is sought and you voice it.

      NO OWE IS ASKING YOU TO “say that sin is good”

      What IS being asked is that you live your life and raise your family according to YOUR faith and not require that anyone outside your home feel obliged to comply with your views.

      Gender transition is sin? fine – don’t do it then. I happen to believe differently and frankly, i do not have any need to even know, let alone submit to, your opinion. Nor do I require you to submit to mine. On ANY subject.

      when you DO become an oppressor is when you (a) attempt to employ the power of the state to make policy in accordance with your dogma; and(b) when you indoctrinate your circle of influence to be intolerant of those with different beliefs.

      You yourself invoke the language of the oppressed earlier in the thread on the birth control issue, so it is disingenuous for you to now pretend that a claim to the oppressed/oppressor paradigm is not legitimate.

      Please don’t play word games, particularly not with our lives.

  • http://catholicstand.com Stacy Trasancos

    Phil,

    “A truly ignorant, solipsistic comment.”

    Sorry, that’s as far as I got. If you want people to hear what you have to say, you do not start with insults.

  • Estelle

    Thank you, TammyBeth, for being the voice of reason here. Reading some of the comments here (particularly from Leila and Stacy) has been like a punch in the gut. Affirming the dignity of all human beings…as long as they’re just like you or aspire to be just like you. I wish you guys could see what your comments look like to someone on the “other side” – prioritizing your cisgendered children over trans* children, trivializing very real bullying and marginalization in society, deciding (arbitrarily) that a penis or vagina a man or woman makes. To us, that’s what’s chilling. A world in which trans* people are the group the most likely to be victims of violence, and you propose a world where it’d be even worse for them.

    I think, even if you won’t change your opinions (and I am under no illusions that you will), you should read these, if only to understand where we’re coming from:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed/2012/03/27/13-myths-and-misconceptions-about-trans-women/ (the last point addresses your concerns about bathrooms)
    and
    http://skepchick.org/2011/12/bilaterally-gynandromorphic-chickens-and-why-im-not-scientifically-male/

    Give them an honest read, please. A lot of us go through and read what you write in order to understand where you’re coming from; it would be good for you to do the same.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      Violence and bullying should not be tolerated ever, by anyone, regardless of the reason for the bullying. I have redheaded boys, and redheaded boys have been bullied mercilessly in this world, sometimes to the point of committing suicide.

      So please do not confuse the issues. Bullying of anyone, for any reason, should not be tolerated. But that is a separate issue from forcing conformity of thought, or an admission that boys are girls, and silencing any other viewpoint.

    • Estelle

      Sure, anyone can get bullied. But that’s a common trope bandied out by people who are more concerned about their freedom to offend (by, for instance, calling someone clearly presenting as a girl a boy) than they are concerned about the mental and physical wellbeing of those being bullied.

      Keep in mind, no one is forcing conformity of thought. You can believe whatever the heck you want about anybody. But basic human decency? Yeah, that should be forced upon the unwilling.

      Question: are you hurt more by treating someone as the sex they know themselves to be (regardless of physical attributes), or are they hurt more by you telling them and treating them as the sex they know themselves not to be?

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      Estelle, “trope”? Seriously? That is how you answer my comment that NO ONE should be bullied? Okay, then.

      Look, there is a distinction that the PC crowd has forgotten. There is a difference between being bullied and being disagreed with. Unfortunately, we live in an age where if one makes a comment that merely bothers someone else, it’s considered bullying! I can hardly believe we have arrived at this place.

      So your question at the end needs clarification: What, for instance, is being done to the child in question? What is the offense you are suggesting? Then I can tell you whether I think bullying or disagreement is occurring. Thanks!

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      And frankly, this is a little scary: “But basic human decency? Yeah, that should be forced upon the unwilling.”

      Who defines “basic human decency” and how would it be “forced upon the unwilling” exactly?

      No one ever actually answers my questions on this matter when pressed. How should the government deal with practicing Catholics who refuse to acknowledge that boys are girls? What should be done to us?

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      See, this theme I hear more and more is freaking me out. I read an LGBT meme on facebook that had a ton of illogical stuff, but this one was just chilling:

      “It is no longer your personal religious view if it is bothering someone else”

      Does that stop you in your tracks? If a religious view “is bothering” someone else, you don’t get to have that view in public? The standard is “bothering” now? Which is like “annoying” someone? So, if my Catholic views “bother” you, then I must be silent?

      How does this fit with free speech protections, exactly?

      Your “right” not to be “bothered” trumps my religious freedom? Is this where the left stands? Goodness, I teach my kids that if someone doesn’t like Arabs or Jews and makes nasty comments about them (yes, my kids are of Arab and Jewish descent), that’s the other person’s issue. I never, ever, ever, ever teach my children to be victims, or to be so sensitive that if a comment “bothers” them, their “rights” have been violated and the speaker must be silenced! What are we coming to?

      Seems awfully totalitarian to me.

      There is no “right” not be be offended.

    • Estelle

      Yes, Leila. I’m not going to applaud you for saying that no one should be bullied, because that should go without saying.

      Deliberately using pronouns the person doesn’t identify with, splitting them up by sex (such as for class/PE games) and putting them with the sex they don’t identify with – any of the gendered things we do without thinking, that’s what I’m thinking of. Does it hurt you more to treat them as they want to be treated, or does it hurt them more to be treated as the sex they know themselves not to be?

      As for “It is no longer your personal religious view if it is bothering someone else”…to a certain extent, yes. No one is saying you can’t be openly Catholic, but you can believe that someone’s genitals are the end-all-be-all of their sex while still using the correct pronouns (the pronouns someone identifies with) and treating people with respect. It doesn’t hurt you at all to use a pronoun you feel is wrong, but it’s just one more reminder to trans* people that society views them as outcasts when you can’t be sensitive about this. Religious freedom is the ability to worship as you please, it’s not a free license to gratuitously offend when it doesn’t hurt you to be respectful.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      It doesn’t hurt you at all to use a pronoun you feel is wrong, but it’s just one more reminder to trans* people that society views them as outcasts when you can’t be sensitive about this. Religious freedom is the ability to worship as you please, it’s not a free license to gratuitously offend when it doesn’t hurt you to be respectful.

      Actually, you are asking me to lie, and lying is a sin. So yes, it hurts me to tell my children that they must say a boy is a girl. That is a lie, and it’s wrong for my children to lie. I am sorry, but that is a tenet of my faith.

      No, religious freedom is not about mere “freedom of worship” as the left tries to say (that is the new phrase). Even the Soviets allowed “freedom of worship” but not freedom to actual live as a Catholic. I don’t leave my faith at Mass on Sunday. It is part of every action of my life, and I will not relegate it to “worship” so that no one will be “offended”. The country is actually founded on the premise that the state cannot abridge my religious expression. That’s why the Founders fled Europe, if you remember. The Establishment Clause actually facilitates the Free Exercise Clause. They are not in tension or competition. The point was to protect the churches from the state, not the other way around.

      Of course my religion is going to offend people (the Romans hated it so much they fed us to the lions), but that is precisely why (and for no other reason) that we have an enshrined right to religious liberty (given by God, not man, and protected by the state). You have no right to abridge that, simply because you feel “offended” by Catholicism. I am offended by a million different things every single day, believe me, but never once have I thought to use the power of the government to silence anyone’s religious or political speech or expression.

    • TammyBeth

      “Your “right” not to be “bothered” trumps my…”

      Ironically, that is PRECISELY the argument that is used to insist that transwomen must continue to use the mens room…that we “bother” the”normal” women.

      Perhaps you can empathize?

  • Elizabeth Jenkins

    Directed to Mary Rice Hasson. I do hope this discussion stays civil, and it seems to be doing so in a general manner. I think it is educational to hear both side of any controversial subject, and I applaud your patience. And as a transsexual woman who has completed her transition, and as an advocate for the human rights of all, including the gender dysphoric, I just have a few final comments and I will sign off this topic.

    First of all I wanted to refer to a comment you made, and I went back to the earlier posts to find it as I wasn’t certain who had said it. It turned out is was yours, and that told me you were very much in hard support of the ideas of “changing behavior” if you happen to be gender dysphoric. You wrote… ” Jesus didn’t either–he told the adulterous woman to change her behavior.”

    Adulterous woman – hummmm, to me that infers a moral decision or choice of life style, made by the woman Jesus was speaking with. Gender dysphoria is not something a person chooses. I hate being gender dysphoric and would not wish it on my worst enemy. And, it is certainly not a life style choice. I did not wake up one morning and decide to lose everything -wife, children, family, job, career, house and savings – just to become my real self. And all that (except my children) did result when I decided to transition.

    So I have to say, being in the Catholic Faith – the Americanized version we all tend to follow, but practiced in the old Sicilian ways – what was I to do? I transitioned late in life, you see, terrified my entire lifetime that I was horribly perverse, perhaps insane, and at the best, with feelings that would doom me for all eternity.

    I talked to GOD. At the Blessed Mother Ceremony in 2008, I asked for an intercession – simply asked for resolution. I was told that GOD made me the way I am (gender dysphoric) and it was HIS plan. So I accepted that and began the quest for resolution.

    So why did GOD make me transsexual? I have had this condition since I was born.

    I now understand it was to help other lost souls with the same condition, who fight to survive in this world. We estimate there are 400,000 of us in America alone. about 30,000 have already fully transitioned. Last year just the known murder and horrible torture of transsexual women in the world was 236. The suicide rate among the gender dysphoric is endemic, with 51% of us attempting it before the age of 20. And the list of inequities and social problems goes on and on.

    Let those babies use the restroom. They are just trying to be themselves. The other children don’t notice or really care. The puberty blockers children with GDC use keep them from ever having sexual development – especially to the point of being promiscuous. And frankly, the adult school administration and staff of public schools having an interest in a child’s genitalia is really creepy.

    I will stop at that. We need compassionate people in the world to help us. PLEASE don’t choose to be on the side of the misinformed, the prejudiced, and yes… the bigoted.

  • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

    Elizabeth, it is not a sin to have a disorder. No one in the Church says it is.

    It is a sin to act on one’s disorder by mutilating one’s body, or by willfully denying one’s own bodily identity (we are not souls who happen to have a body; humans are both body and soul, and God gifted us with our bodies, male or female).

    We truly do, as Catholics, make a distinction between a person and his or her actions:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/01/answering-miss-gwen-distinction-between.html

    So having a disorder is NOT a sin.

    However, where sin does occur, we can absolutely love the sinner and hate the sin, as Jesus commands. We are all sinners, and we must all carry the crosses we were given, for our own sanctification. But we can never condone sin, as it is not good for any human person.

    • Elizabeth Jenkins

      I had that same concern, but I was told by the Holy Mother that I was fine in my need to transition and GOD did say it was what was needed to make me complete.

      This was the argument my sisters said to me before they called me, in their ‘Christian” way, “an abomination in the eyes of GOD.” When I said HE told me I was okay in His eyes, they countered, “How do you know it was GOD speaking to ypu?” (I have no doubts, the revelation was crystal clear) So I replied, “How do you know it was not?” They said they believed GOD did not want my transitioning, and I asked how did they know. They quoted several religious leaders they believe in, in their the Fundamentalist Christian Church. (They also had condemned me for being Catholic, not “born again,” but that was years earlier).

      So I asked, “Who to believe? GOD himself, or what someone told you they ‘thought’ GOD meant?”

      I haven’t seen them, their family or their friends in four years. They abandoned me in my most desperate time of need, and I will tell you it was very very difficult to transition. My family is now the CHURCH and I am accepted and loved there, where I am just me, the real me.

      I am at peace with the CREATOR.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      I’m sorry, I don’t know who “Holy Mother” is. But for info on private revelation, go here:

      http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2009/11/obedience-to-catholic-church-judging.html

      I am very sorry that people treated you poorly and rejected you. There is no excuse for that.

    • Elizabeth Jenkins

      The Holy Mother – in Sicilian Catholicism tradition (obviously not everywhere) is Mary, mother of Jesus, and Her statue shows Her in blue and white vestments, with the infant Jesus, a crown on his head. The statue is usually in a grotto or small chapel located away from the main church, usually several miles, in a peaceful and secluded area. Once a year the statue representing The Holy Mother and the Christ Child, is carried in a procession to the main church, where it is blessed and returned the following day. The procession is solemn and very spiritual journey taken by the faithful, in each direction. It is accompanied by a brass and drum band, and the priest, who leads the followers reciting the Rosary. As it is held in the first weekend in July, it is usually very very hot, as we live in Louisiana. So it is also a sort of repentance of your sins. The women walk barefooted.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      Elizabeth, I understand now. But the real Blessed Virgin would never be at odds with Holy Mother Church. You have been misled. She is Queen of Heaven and Earth, but also put herself under the obedience of the Apostles (the Church) and their successors. So it is today. I hope you read the link that I supplied about discerning private revelation.

    • TammyBeth

      “It is a sin to act on one’s disorder by mutilating one’s body, or by willfully denying one’s own bodily identity”

      Please cite supporting Scripture that conclusively demonstrates that this is the case.

      (also, after you do that – if you can – I have another question: if we can conclusively be certain of the Bible’s teaching on a given doctrine, with no possibility of error, then why are there so many differing dogmas within the Christian religion? and if the whole body of Christianity cannot agree on, for instance, a central doctrine such as how one is reconciled to God, then what are the odds that we can be so VERY sure about the supposed sinfulness of gender transition?)
      The point is – Christians disagree on virtually EVERYTHING. And the only implication is that SOMEBODY is WRONG. Isn’t it a bit arrogant for any of us to assume that we alone MUST be the ones who have the whole truth?

  • Racheal Campbell

    This is a Catholic forum. As far as I know everyone here is Catholic, but even if some are not, its the most absurd straw man argument I have seen in some time to say that Phil is attacking Catholics when he calls you, Leila, out on your ignorant, hateful, bigoted dogma. God didn’t make you a hateful bigot, you did that on your own. God is not a hateful bigot, that is all on you.

    • Mary Rice Hasson

      Racheal,

      You are out of line to be calling us bigots. No one here commenting has any hatred or ill will towards any of you and we are not condemning in any way.

      However, we have a clear disagreement about human nature–the transgender folks on this thread seem unwilling to grant that there is such a thing–and about the prudence of requiring some children to go along with another child’s insistence that he or she is ‘transgendered.’Consider what would happen if we were talking about race instead of sex and gender. If a white child were to decide that he really is black, because that’s how he perceives himself, does he get to apply for scholarships reserved for African-Americans? Does he get to insist that all the other kids describe him as black? No. There’s a reality that exists independent of his feelings about himself. The same is true here.)
      We disagree about the centrality of bodily identity in determining who we are–but that doesn’t make anyone here a bigot. What’s with the judgmental attitude and name-calling from your side?

    • TammyBeth

      “If a white child were to decide that he really is black, …”

      One of the classic features that is always presented in these discussions is the non-existent analogy. You want to create such an analogy, go out and find ONE case in which a white child legitimately thought of themselves as black…absent that, you might as well say “what if a child thought he was a flyswatter”

      the reality is that there is no scientific evidence of a physiological distinction between the Caucasian brain and the negroid brain and absent that, no evidence that such a self-perception might be legitimate.

      furthermore, there’s a fairly well understood physical process in the womb which creates the different sexual distinctions during pre-natal development and science has a good grasp of how those processes can occasionally go awry and leader to ambiguity of sexual traits.

      there is no equivalent process for race distinction (or, for those wise-acres who say “what if I say I’m a dog” is there is there a similar process which makes one either human or some other species.

      so you see, there is a perfectly reasonable science based rebuttal for your non-existent analogy.

      One thing that never fails to appear in these discussions: poorly reasoned arguments from the unaccepting, based on myths and cliches. This hardly ever means the poster is, in fact, incapable of sound reasoning. Only that they – as i did for so much of my life – allowed their religious tradition to trump their reasoning skills. they look for arguments which sound good while not challenging their preferred views, rather than whether those arguments are objectively rational.

      Let me ask you three most vocal ladies here – are ANY of you willing to consider the POSSIBILITY that MAYBE what you’ve been taught to believe on this subject is incorrect?
      is there ANY openness in your mind to new information and fresh perspective? Or are you slaves to “The Church Unchanging”?

  • Racheal Campbell

    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. — Galatians 3:28

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      Context. This means that, unlike in the Old Testament, when only Jews were part of the covenant, now all are invited into New Covenant. It does not mean we are genderless or sexless.

  • http://catholicstand.com Stacy Trasancos

    “What should be done to us?”

    I’d really like an answer to this too.

    I was just reading (at the suggestion of another writer) today in the book of Maccabees (2 Maccabees 7).

    There was a Greek dictator who had conquered the Jewish people, and to force equality among all people (the pagans and the Jews) he ordered a set of progressive reforms. The pagans were required to change nothing, the Jews were required to stop practicing their faith in public so as not to upset the pagans.

    Seven brothers and their mother were arrested because they refused to eat pork against their beliefs.

    “Why dost thou put us to the question? What secret wouldst thou learn? Of this be sure, we had rather die than break the divine law given to our fathers.”

    So they were tortured by the king to try to make them conform.

    “Tongue of him should be cut out, scalp torn off, hands and feet mutilated, while mother and brethren stood by to see it; 5 then, so maimed, he was for the fire; they should roast him alive in a caldron. Long time he suffered, and there stood the rest with their mother, each heartening other to die bravely…”

    After the first brother died, the king only grew angrier because the others wouldn’t comply and eat pork — mind you — just so the pagans wouldn’t feel bad.

    So the king continued. The sons were scalped, mutilated limb by limb as the mother watched. None would deny Divine Law. Even down to the youngest son, torture was imposed the worst as the mother watched because the king grew so angry. And then he killed the mother too.

    See, we answer to a higher law and no man’s law will force us to deny it. Our kids are already being pushed out of the schools, they already are in danger if they practice their faith openly. All for what? Because people are trying force equality. You can’t do that. It’s not the way.

    So, yes, Phil and Elizabeth and Estelle and Rachel — I want you to answer that question. What should be done to us? We are not going to deny our Church.

    • Estelle

      Is it denying your church to use the pronouns someone identifies with?

    • http://catholicstand.com Stacy Trasancos

      Answer the question Estelle. If you are confused about our position, reread the article. You already know the answer to your question, you are dodging.

      Yes, it is denying the truth to call a female a he or a male a she. I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to teach my children to do it. You disagree and want me to teach them otherwise, I understand that, but I’m not going to do it.

      Now, what should be done to us? I want a direct answer this time.

  • Estelle

    Wow! You must be a joy to be around in real life. My sincerest apologies for asking you a question I did not know the answer to. I won’t do it again.

    Well, if you’re in a public school where the right of trans* kids to feel safe and accepted is considered important, then anyone who persists in treating them as though they are the sex they do not identify with should be disciplined as would any other bully. I don’t see how it could be otherwise. See, what we’re talking about is not polite discourse on natural law or theological arguments against transitioning, but about real children who go to school every day feeling marginalized and unsafe. If we don’t put in place some protections against bullying to create the best learning environment possible for all children (not just yours), we’re doing everyone a disservice. Even if you believe that God is going to smite you down for treating trans* people as the sex they identify with, you should still be able to find ways to work with them so they aren’t left feeling mistreated. The world is never going to be full of straight, cisgender Catholics (I recall you had an issue with gay people being out in public during daylight hours…), and if you’re uncomfortable and cry persecution in a world where everyone but your kind is forced into the closet, then I don’t know what to tell you.

    • http://catholicstand.com Stacy Trasancos

      So if I didn’t indoctrinate my kid to your dogma, you’d have him disciplined and labelled a bully.

      Disciplined how? Be specific. What should be done to my child for using a pronoun you disapprove of?

    • http://www.healingandempowerment.blogspot,.com Phil Dzialo

      Stacy, here is a stolen article from the Boston Globe 2/15/2013 which outlines the history, rationale, advisory (not only bathrooms, but all activities) development, implementation and student consequences. The article is accurate while the Advisory is 11 pages. Should hopefully answer all your questions…I’m not seeking any degree of agreement, just passing on a good summary:

      BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Department of Education on Friday issued directives for handling transgender students, including allowing them to use the bathrooms or play on the sports teams that correspond to the gender with which they identify.

      The guidance was issued at the request of state board of education to help schools follow the state’s 2011 anti-discrimination law protecting transgender people.

      ‘‘These students, because of widespread misunderstanding and lack of knowledge about their lives, are at a higher risk for peer ostracism, victimization, and bullying,’’ the document read.

      Gunner Scott of Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition the welcomed the guidance, saying it would be ‘‘immensely helpful to those parents who have been struggling with making sure that the school environment is safe and welcoming of their child.’’

      But the Massachusetts Family Institute said allowing transgender boys to use girls’ bathrooms, and vice versa, endangers other students and violates their privacy.

      ‘‘Fundamentally, boys need to be use boys’ rooms and girls need to be using the girls’ rooms, and we base that on their anatomical sex, not some sort of internalized gender identity,’’ said Andrew Beckwith, general counsel for the institute.

      The education department said it prepared the 11-page document after consulting policies in several states, as well as advocacy groups, parents and students.

      The document said whether a student identifies as a boy or girl is up to the student or, in the case of younger students, the parents.

      In all cases, ‘‘the student may access the restroom, locker room, and changing facility that corresponds to the student’s gender identity,’’ it said.

      The guidance said some students may feel uncomfortable sharing those facilities with a transgender student but this ‘‘discomfort is not a reason to deny access to the transgender student.’’ It urges administrators to resolve issues on a case-by-case basis, and recommends sufficient sex-neutral restrooms and changing areas.

      The guidance also addresses what to do if other students consistently and intentionally refuse to refer to a transgendered student by the name or sex they identify as: ‘‘It should not be tolerated and can be grounds for student discipline.’’

      Beckwith said the guidance forces students to ignore ‘‘a basic truth of anatomy’’ or face punishment. He also said the guidance is an end run around the state Legislature, which specifically excluded public accommodations, such as rest rooms and locker rooms, from the 2011 bill.

      But education department spokesman JC Considine said school restrooms aren’t public accommodations.

      ‘‘We’re talking about the use of school facilities by students who have no choice but to be in a school building,’’ Considine said. ‘‘Kids have to have restroom access.’’

      Scott said disciplining students who won’t acknowledge a student’s gender identity is appropriate because it amounts to bullying. He said the directives simply aim to create a safe learning place for a group that’s statistically far more likely to be harassed.

      ‘‘The reality is that it’s about creating an inclusive environment for all students to learn,’’ he said.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      So, we have to tell our kids to lie so that other kids won’t feel offended? Why don’t the parents of the transgendered child tell him that the Catholic children are not able to say something they don’t believe to be true? Why aren’t they told that the world is not going to always be able to accommodate their personal feelings and that others have rights, too? Like the right of Catholics not to be forced to lie, or else be disciplined and labelled a bully?

      And yes, Stacy is a sweetheart in real life! Kinder lady you could not meet. Did you ever read her back story? She has a heart of gold and has lived a very diverse life.

  • Mary

    I would like to state that I have known two females who were adamant they were boys as young children. Their parents fought them for a while, but one even was allowed to wear a suitjacket and tie to her 8th grade graduation, and the other was allowed to wear a boys bathing suit (with nothing on top) until she was 11! BOTH these girls transitioned back to a female identity through puberty, and one even has children and is happily married today, and the other is about 18 and dating boys. So, I believe Dr. Zucker knows something worthwhile about using extreme caution when dealing with children with gender identity disorder.

    That said, there probably are a small minority of folks who are mentally the other gender due to hormone imbalances etc. If it is such a small number (0.3%), why do we care so much about forcing them to use bathrooms that correspond to their anatomy? Public restrooms have stalls. If these folks are discrete, what is the issue? If a child is not being overly dramatic and attracting attention to their difference for the sake of getting attention, then I don’t think there is a problem.
    If my boys came home and said there was a child in their class who was “a boy who thinks they are a girl”, I would tell them to be nice and kind to them and treat them with respect, and leave it to their parents and teachers to worry about. I would NOT tell them that it is their job to correct this person or make an issue about their actions at all.

    I am traditional about a great many things, but this seems like making a mountain out of a molehill.

    • Elizabeth Jenkins

      I agree.

      I am going to leave the conversation. I don’t seem to be getting any responses to my replies that aren’t sending me to sites that are propaganda. I knew that coming into these discussions I would not change anyone’s viewpoint, but as a transgender person I had hoped for a bit more attempt at understanding, by giving people a view odf what it is like from my side.

      Too many are caught up in a dogged misunderstanding of what gender dysphoria is like. I cannot wish it away, I cannot “fix it” with prayer, I cannot really even get much understanding, apparently. As I posted – I am at peace with the CREATOR – it’s people that have forsaken me.

      Peace be with you.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      Mary, the problem is not about treating folks with respect. That is a given. It’s that we are being forced by the government to “accept” what we believe is wrong, and pretend that boys are girls. Lying is a sin in my faith (in all faiths, I hope!) and I am not going to lie and tell my children that a boy is a girl simply because he “believes” he is, despite reality. And no government or school should insist on playing this charade, because it is lying.

      When did it become okay to tell our kids an untruth? Even if you believe that boys can be girls, many of us are not going to tell what we believe to be an untruth.

      I hope you can understand and respect that diverse point of view.

    • TammyBeth

      Mary, you display great wisdom. My compliments.

  • Estelle

    “Why aren’t they told that the world is not going to always be able to accommodate their personal feelings and that others have rights, too?”

    Bingo. So you do get it, you’re just pretending not to. That’s exactly it – not everyone has to accomodate your personal feelings. Non-Catholics have rights, too.

    You don’t have to indoctrinate your kids – don’t make things up. You can tell them that trans* kids may appear to be male/female, but that they identify with the opposite sex, and that to treat them otherwise is akin to telling your redheaded sons that they have no soul (although it’s much worse, but a kid would understand it that way). You can help them find ways to coexist without violating your religious beliefs and without mistreating others. If pronouns are an issue, they can use the neutral “they/their”. But under no circumstances should your kids feel the need to point out the discord between a trans* kid’s body and identified sex, or be vocal about your beliefs on the issue. You seem to believe that it’s either trans* kids are left to the wolves, or your kids are forced into jail for being Catholic – it’s really not that hard to accomodate them while still not violating your conscience. If Christians are really supposed to have the moral high ground, don’t cry foul every time someone asks you to do a little more (really, nothing at all) so that others can be comfortable.

    • Estelle

      So basically, Stacy, I think your kid who repeatedly and deliberately uses a pronoun that incorrectly matches a child’s identified sex should be disciplined how any other bully would be. I don’t know what the exact punishment is because I am not a school administrator or someone who was disciplined for bullying as a child. That said, I don’t think your kid should ever have to worry about it, because it takes very little effort to work around the issue.

    • http://catholicstand.com Stacy Trasancos

      Estelle,

      My kids have never encountered a transgender person. They’ve been around homosexuals, but those people respected us just as we respected them. They didn’t demand that we parent according to their desires. If our children knew of a child that thought he was a she, we’d just explain that the child had a disorder and should be treated kindly, and that since pronouns are so upsetting, then just use proper nouns. Always.

    • Estelle

      Stacy, no one’s telling you to parent according to anything. Just that, like you said, your kids should be taught to treat people respectfully, and the onus is on you to make sure that happens – not on the parents of the trans* kids to tell their kids not to be offended.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      Estelle, so basically you are saying to do what we would teach our children to do anyway. Treat others with respect. That is a given, and that should be the basis for ALL children and all school policy. If only that were the case, and it were that simple. I don’t tolerate my children being rude to anyone (nor do I allow them to wallow in any victimhood).

      But you and I both know that there is an agenda not simply to be respectful of all children, but to accept LGBT as perfectly good and normal and moral. But we cannot comply with that. There is a belief now that to disagree is to “persecute”. I have heard it so many times. My Church, simply by teaching the moral law as she always has, for millennia, is by virtue of that teaching (and nothing more) “persecuting” LGBT folks. Disagreement is now persecution.

      Yes, there are ways around the pronoun issues, and that is what I would do (like Stacy said, always use a proper name, not a pronoun). I am privately having a fb convo with a young woman who believes she is a man, and I always call her by the name she has given me to use (a male name). But I will not use a masculine pronoun. It would be denying her dignity and it would be denying how God made her, beautifully and wonderfully.

      The fact that there is a punishment for children who object to men using the little girls’ room, and government penalties, is bizarre and frightening for Catholics. We see where the momentum is going on these types of laws, and the days where “we just want tolerance, not acceptance” are long over. I’m old enough to have watched it evolve, and the “accept or be punished” philosophy is growing stronger by the day. How this will end in a united, peaceful populace is beyond me.

      I think we have a very troubled, divisive road ahead. And it’s unnecessary.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      “…your kids should be taught to treat people respectfully, and the onus is on you to make sure that happens – not on the parents of the trans* kids to tell their kids not to be offended.”

      Actually, Estelle, the onus is on parents to do both. We teach our kids to be respectful always, and we also teach them that there will be people in life who are not nice to them, or who do not agree with them. There will be nasty, ugly people out there, no matter how we try to shield them. They have to learn not to take it personally, or at least be tough enough to let it roll off their backs, or they will crumble in life, whether transgendered or anything else. This earth is not Utopia, people are sinful, human nature is not going to suddenly change, and we can not force perfection on earth. It is a fallen, sinful world. If we don’t teach our children to get along in a cruel world, and that they are not victims, then we are falling down on the job. So, it’s not an either/or, it’s a both/and. Hope you will agree.

      Bottom line, if we all taught our children to be virtuous (yes, virtue is still a concept that is alive and well), things would be a lot better for all of our children.

    • Estelle

      Well, to be fair, it wasn’t exactly clear what constituted being respectful – the title of this post does imply that Catholics don’t intend to be any kind of accommodating, but I’m glad that that’s not the case.

      I do think there is an agenda, just as you have an agenda for others to believe what you believe (or at least conform legally to what you believe). But you do need to understand, that it’s not just a matter of disagreement. We do disagree, but when one’s beliefs impact another group of people, it becomes more serious than a disagreement; it becomes something where we need to really debate and figure out which viewpoint brings out a better and more just society.

      As for teaching our kids, yes, resilience and respect are both very important. I think, though, that it’s more complicated than that – it’s one thing for your redheads to be bullied (I hope they aren’t!) but still understand that in every other way they’re equal to the rest of society, it’s another thing entirely for a trans* kid to be bullied and have the prospect of a lifetime of marginalization ahead of them. In any case, it’s not quite as easy as telling kids not to be victims when they actually ARE victims, you know? Like I said, resilience is important, but we agree – people can be cruel, and whether someone feels themselves to be a victim is one tiny part a matter of resilience and one much bigger part a matter of others’ actions.

      One last thing – this: “The fact that there is a punishment for children who object to men using the little girls’ room, and government penalties, is bizarre and frightening for Catholics.” …what? When was this ever an issue?

  • http://www.healingandempowerment.blogspot,.com Phil Dzialo

    For the information of all, the MA DOE Advisory on Transgender Students traces its roots from a 2000 MA Superior Court Case of a 7th grade public school student (Doe v Yunits)…it’s a matter of law here and has evolved since. To my knowledge, it applies in MA only, although I admit I could be wrong.

    http://www.glad.org/30years/case_aug.html

  • Zach

    I’m an atheist, but I’ve been reading a bit of the Bible lately, and I’m pretty sure this following passage may address the things in this comment section. The passage is 1 Corinthians, Chapter 8 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+8&version=NIV).

    Essentially, what Paul is saying is that even though it’s not wrong for Christians, by their religion, to eat this meat offered to pagans, they probably shouldn’t do it, because the pagan members of their community will find it upsetting. Even Paul is a little PC! He’s saying that if the Corinthians are going and eating this meat that has been offered to idols just because they can, then their ego is being placed before their respect for others.

    It is pragmatic and Machiavellian for Christians to respect the gender pronouns that people wish to be called me. That being said, I know Catholics love the truth, and the truth in your eyes trumps pragmaticism (as truth always should). However, I make this point because if you decide to be stubborn and call trans* children and persons by a gender identity they do not identify with, their hurt and anger will drive them away from YOU and, ultimately, even further away from your church.

    We live in a multifaith society and should expect this type of tension but that doesn’t mean we need to polarize ourselves the way you guys are right now. Just like you should be able to teach your kids your values, many parents wish to teach their children that gender is relatively arbitrary, it is a social construct that does not need to be determined by their sex, and we should respect those parents just as much as I respect your Catholic views.

    So, in this cultural battle, where should you be drawing the lines. Just because your Pope says that a person’s sex and gender is an integral part of their identity certainly doesn’t mean the next logical step is making sure boys and girls of certain sexes go into certain bathrooms! This is about our children being able to be normal in school. You can teach your children that you don’t agree with the liberals about their views on gender, but you should be teaching your children that love and respect should trump being uncomfortable about another person being a gender you don’t think they are.

    I’m with Mary on this one. These are bathrooms, with stalls. Men and women have probably been sharing restrooms for most of history.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      Zach, I totally agree with meeting people where they are, absolutely, but I can’t take it all the way to the point of lying about things. But on most of this, I agree.

      Also, why do you use an asterisk after the words “trans”? I’ve seen it more than once. Thanks!

    • Zach

      I don’t think it’s a lie.

      One example that might be relevant (and one I admit isn’t the strongest analogy) is how my real name is Zachary, but I ask nearly all people to call me Zach. That’s not my legal name, and it’s a lie in a sense if people refer to me to other people as Zach and not Zachary. But, since I identify more with Zach, it’s okay. Some people know my legal name is Zachary, but they still choose to call me Zach. Other people don’t know my legal name is Zachary, so it’s no difference to them.

      Although we may disagree about a trans* person’s gender identity, for those who are trans*, pronouns are important. Each individual knows themself, and you know them to the extent that you do. If they prefer to go by a set of pronouns, I think we should respect that in the same way we respect nicknames, which–if we consider things grammatically–I do believe are also pronouns! It’s a courtesy we extend to people regardless of our knowledge of what kind of chromosomes they may have.

      It’s not my place, at all, to try and make compromises on the behalf of the trans* community, but I want to make this concession as something I think may be reasonable, but I’m certain some of my trans* friends might label me a bigot for: it should be okay for anyone to approach someone they personally know and are close to and express concern over their gender identity, but it’s only polite to use the pronouns someone picked for themselves.

      Names and pronouns are important, and I know that that’s why you persist. Do you think if you were to call a trans* female by male pronouns you would be doing it with love and respect? I mean, if someone called me a “faggot” they may be telling the total truth (after all, while I may not be effeminate I certainly am in a long-term relationship with another man), I still would not allow them to call me that again (either by taking them out of my social circle or talking to them seriously). I’m sure you understand the levity of someone calling someone else a faggot. Although your motivation may be compassionate, and I believe it is, for many trans* persons being referred to by something other than their chosen name and pronouns can be of the same situation.

      Trans* is an umbrella term for people who are gender non-conforming in the most general term.

      A dept. at our school is actually working on a trans* awareness project, and I lifted this from their website (http://www.transawareness.org/what-is-trans.html , take the site as you will, it stands for itself):

      “Trans* is an umbrella term that attempts to capture the complexity and diversity of gender identity and expression by those who transgress gender boundaries. The term trans* may encompass (but is not limited to) those who identify as transgender, genderqueer, trans, transsexual, androgynous, agender, bigender, two spirit, and gender non-conforming.”

    • Zach

      And, for that matter, Leila, I do think there is a difference between men and women (I know I have a reputation for mostly saying otherwise), and I want to concede that to you, and there are people in the LGBT community who would as well. BUT, I want to have that conversation somewhere else.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      Zach, I have a friend (you know her, JoAnna) who does use the pronoun that the transgendered person requests. She does it out of courtesy, even though she knows that the person we are dialoguing with is not a man but a woman. I can’t bring myself to do that, as I think it’s a denial of what God has done in gifting this woman with her female body (which, again, is not incidental to her). But I can see why JoAnna does acquiesce. To me, it feels like a lie, rather than just a courtesy, but that’s me. I would not ever teach my children that a girl was a boy, or vice versa, so I would just have to tell them to use whatever proper name this person goes by.

      I don’t know… I can’t equate pronouns to someone calling you a “f****t”… I truly hate that word and I would blast my children for using it, even for “levity”. By contrast, I don’t blast anyone for using a pronoun.

      To me, the concession will have to be that I only speak proper names (which I have done with the person I am dialoguing with privately). And actually, I have told her that she is actually still a woman, and she didn’t get furious with me. Somewhere deep down, I wonder if she knows that she is?

      I truly appreciate your thoughtful comments, Zach, and also thank you for telling me about trans*. Honestly, it’s a whole new world than when I went to college, and we thought we were all pretty edgy back then. :) A lot of promiscuity, drugs, drinking, etc. But the gay stuff, even 25 years ago, was not an issue. I can’t imagine what things will be like in 25 more years.

  • Mary

    Stacy said, “Yes, it is denying the truth to call a female a he or a male a she. I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to teach my children to do it. You disagree and want me to teach them otherwise, I understand that, but I’m not going to do it. ”

    I think you are in hot water here. These days the decision of when to reassign a gender to a child born with real deformities of the genitals is being delayed until at least puberty by many experts. A child might have been born intersex but be genetically female. If this child identifies as male from an early age, and desires to be called “he”, how can you or your children know the truth unless you stand over him/her in a bathroom stall? It seems to be prudent to tell your children that there are some people born a bit different, but we still love them and care about them and treat them nicely. It seems a small thing to ask. You could even bring up Jesus’ description of eunuchs in the bible.

    Now, if this becomes a catchy and trendy thing…I can see where problems would arise. Let’s say that an attention-seeking girl who likes to start drama declares she is a he and starts wearing boys clothes and insisting on playing on boys teams and using boys bathrooms. Your children would be at risk for trouble if they persisted in calling “her” “him”. But don’t you think that most sensible teachers and administrators would know the difference?

    Growing up I constantly heard gay slurs at school. Heck, we even played “Smear the Queer” at school!!! People openly mocked effeminate boys. This was NOT GOOD. These kids were and probably are still at a high risk of being bullied. I am so ashamed I did not stand up and protect these people when I was a kid. Trying to prevent this is not a bad thing today.

    • http://catholicstand.com Stacy Trasancos

      Mary,

      That’s the point. If it’s such a small minority, such a rare case, then they don’t need to turn it into this big huge deal. We all know what bullying is (I hope). If a child means no harm and innocently calls a transgender boy a boy, where is the sense of pursuit of peace in punishing that child?

  • http://Wordsfromcana.com Mary Rice Hasson

    The problem is that the Mass. Regs require the schools to “create a culture” that supports the transgender -theory-of-reality. That means teachers, administrators, and even the curriculum take a stand that teaches that there is no human nature and that a person ‘s body gives no clue whether he or she is really a boy or a girl, because “truth ” depends on what the individual perceives. Children will be taught– and forced to accept–the belief that “gender” is fluid, is in the mind but not connected to bodily reality, and that being transgender is but a normal variation on the spectrum of identities a person might choose for him or herself. It would be one thing if the school simply said”treat everyone w / respect” and all bathrooms were private, unisex facilities but they didn’t do that — instead, the school system has taken a stand and is forcing the ‘progressive’ LGBT “truth” on kids, whether or not they or their parents agree.
    That’s not respect. That’s imposing a viewpoint and insisting kids accept it or face “discipline” ( punishment).

    • Zach

      Hi Mary, Could you link to something from the Mass. Regs that would explain all of this or at least, hint towards it? It sounds to me like you’re polarizing what these schools are probably actually doing into something a bit more demonic.

      It sounds to me like you’re bitter that a school would promote an open environment where children are accepted for being transgendered or LGB, and you’re extrapolating a lot on what a “transgender-theory-of-reality” is, because even I know trans* individuals who would disagree with you about what that means.

  • Racheal Campbell

    The book of Maccabees example does not apply because being required to do something against one’s faith is not allowed, here we are talking about being required not to do something that violates another person’s right to exist.

    Ah, the pronoun issue. We’ve actually seen this one before, 60/70 years ago when the right for interracial couples to marry was gaining leverage over the old bigoted ways. Then, as in now, the bigots did not believe themselves to be bigots, then, as in now, the bigots’ twisted their concept of God and nature to support their bigotry, then, as in now, they were wrong. In tie people learned and today we can look back , and say, yes, that was bigoted and no, it was not a threat to God or Nature, nor was it a lie to use the proper pronouns. In that case it was a percentage of Christians and Catholics that refused to call woman newly legally married in an interracial marriage Mrs. Rather than Miss. People said, “They ain’t married in the eyes of God” but guess what? They were. And people got used to it and Catholicism survived.

    • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

      Racheal, you completely confusing “being” with “doing”. Race is a passive state of being that has no moral meaning or implication. The Catholic Church has been marrying folks of different races for 2,000 years. If a bigoted priest refused it, it was not due to any Church teaching.

      Homosexual acts, on the other hand, are actions. They are things folks choose to do (as opposed to having same-sex attraction, which is not a sin). The orthodox of every single major world religion has taught the sinfulness of homosexual acts. It is not a Catholic thing. And there is no “bigotry” in proclaiming the Natural Law (the universal moral law). You may think that race (“being”) and illicit sexual acts (“doing”) are analogous, but they are not. If you think Catholicism will ever change on this or any other moral issue, you are going to be sorely disappointed. She will never change the moral law, because she cannot.

      More on that here:

      http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2012/06/sorry-youre-not-allowed-to-do-that.html

  • http://www.littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com Leila

    here we are talking about being required not to do something that violates another person’s right to exist

    Wait, wha…? When the Catholic Church talks about treating transgendered persons with dignity, you translate that as “they have no right to exist”?

    How can we have a dialogue if this is what you claim the Church teaches? Perhaps I am misunderstanding. I am happy to listen to a clarification. Thanks!

    • Micha Elyi

      Racheal isn’t interested in a dialogue. She’s only interested in bullying you.

  • TammyBeth

    okay, it’s almost 5 am and I tire of this conversation, though I’m curious to finish reading it when I have time. The obvious overweening arc of the thread though, from the OP and those who hold forth that side of the issue, is a “not as subtle as it tries to be” attempt to claim the mantle of victim-hood.

    “What is to be done to us?”

    Could it be ANY more obvious. Scare tactics, paranoia, fear mongering and the pretense of victim-hood.

    there are over 25 million (if my stats are correct) Americans who profess to be professing Catholics, and at least that many more conservative evangelicals, Jews, Muslims, etc (combined) and yet all these multiple millions of folks are somehow going to be victimized by few thousand marginalized folks with a rare medical condition?

    Seriously? Yall need to relax just a bit.

  • TammyBeth

    no time beforework to get into any point by point replies but I wanted to add a general comment. A lot of this discussion seems to “major on the minor”

    for instance, the idea that requiring kids to be respectful of those who are different is tantamount to indoctrinating them to acceptance. The message being sent is not “you can pick your gender if you want and we’ll back you” – rather it’s “not all of us are the same, or believe the same, but we all owe each other respect”

    I’m quite certain that if a Catholic child privately views a transgirl as, in fact, a boy that this will in no way incur any correction from the school. All the school would ask is that such a child exercise discretion and not disrespect the trans student. It’s a reasonable request.

    Likewise the obsession with pronouns. It’s not that difficult.

    Let’s recognize that they vast majority of the time, the disapproving student would have no reason to refer to the trans student by a pronoun AT ALL. Unless they are specifically asked by a teacher or some such something about that child, they would simply elect not to refer to that person.

    for instance: someone is running in the hall. Teacher looks out and sees Catholic kid and says “Did someone just run through here?”

    Catholic:. Yeah, it was Susie”
    Teacher: which way didshe go?”
    Catholic: (pointing) “That way”

    (as opposed to SHE or HE went that way)

    It’s also not improper to use a generic pronoun when appropriate such as they or them.

    bottom line, the school would not be insisting on “she”, just asking that you withhold the use of “he” (or vice versa)

    And therein lies the false assumption behind most of this conversation. if the policy said “we are going to insist that all students respect the religious differences of other students and that no one make a person feel bad for being a Catholic” then the wisdom of that would be obvious. The policy is self evidently not trying to make kids think that being Catholic is the best or only option or even right – some of the kids might be Muslim or Jewish or even Baptist and find that sort of message offensive.

    Rather, the message is very simple and straightforward, whomever is mention as in need of consideration:

    Hey kids, look: not everyone is alike, not everyone believes the same things, not everyone is going to be or do as you think they should. but if they are not hurting anyone, let’s respect each other’s differences and be kind.”

    HOW is that a bad thing?

    • Mary Rice Hasson

      Tammy Beth,

      If only it were so simple, but that’s not the only scenario–the schools are supposed to “create a culture” that supports and welcomes transgender children–and the “guidance” from the state Board of Education clearly takes a stand on gender (self-determined and unconnected to the body), human nature (denied), and what it means to be male or female. It’s not a question of children (or adults) being polite and respectful–we all agree that’s a good thing–it’s a question of teaching (indoctrinating) children in false ideas of the human person, human sexuality, and gender. It’s the “dogma” of the left and it’s not backed up by science at all. It’s nothing more than “gender theory.”

      My last comment on this–Dr. Zucker has not backed off his views. I interviewed him at length about 8 months ago. He is not proceeding from a religious standpoint, but from a clinical one. He’s looking to make people feel better (which is why he approves of sex reassignment surgery for adults, as it can lessen a ‘transgendered’ person’ inner pain) and, in his experience, most little children who are confused about gender present with a host of problems and family therapy is indicated. And for most of those children, with therapy, alignment between their self-perception and their bodily reality is achieved. His work is respected worldwide—except by those who posit gender theory that is not supported by science.

      I wish you well. You’ve been through a lot. Most of all, I hope you find God, who loves each of us in our own brokenness and imperfections, and that you will experience the love that is never conditional, never diminishes, and never ends.

    • http://www.healingandempowerment.blogspot,.com Phil Dzialo

      “human nature (denied)”: It appears that the bone of contention navigates around the words “human nature”. The questions of what these characteristics are, what causes them, and how fixed human nature is, are amongst the oldest and most important questions in western philosophy.

      The words human nature reveal an insight into whether we consider them fluid or fixed. I believe that primate evolution involves a constant, slow change of the human genome. So I would believe human nature is a fluid, evolving concept; others may rightly believe it is fixed. Conflicts arise as a matter of definition….. resolution is either one is fixed in one’s position or open to dialogue about what defines human nature.

    • crusader1234

      Human nature is something that the Catholic Church is far more qualified to define than psychiatrists, or other social scientists, because it goes to the very soul of humans and God’s purpose in creating them. And God gave the Catholic Church the task of preserving His Truths about humans, without error. And the Catholic church clearly teaches that one’s sex is PERMANENT and transgenderism is a LIE. No amount of surgery, hormones, etc will change the sex God assigned a human. It is just another attempt of man trying to play God. Please read pope Benedict XVI’s recent pronouncement on the subject of transgenderism.

  • http://contemplativehomeschool.wordpress.com Connie Rossini

    I read through most of these comments, and it seems to me that the real issue got lost along the way. The Massachusetts law is saying that children who self-identify as the opposite sex are so traumatized by sharing a bathroom with members of the same sex, that they shouldn’t be made to do it. The solution? Send them to the opposite sex bathroom. And when parents protest about the right of their daughters, for example, not to have to share a bathroom with boys, their concerns are interpreted as bigotry, What happened to the trauma? If it’s so serious for kids in one instance, why not in the second? Why should the .3% be accommodated, but not the rest of us? Why is a separate bathroom for these children not an option? Forcing the kids who see themselves according to their God-given sex to share a bathroom with members of the opposite sex seems to me a way to advance a political agenda, rather than help children. If everyone in the school already knows about the identity issues a child has–as they would have to for the use of the opposite-sex bathroom, how could it be degrading for them to have their own private bathroom? Or to only have unisex private bathrooms? It seems to me this law is really about forcing everyone to accept the GLBTQ… (can’t keep up with the latest letters) worldview–not about helping kids. You don’t help a tiny minority by forcing the majority to put themselves in the situation that the minority says is traumatic.

    Sorry if this was addressed already and I missed it.

    • Jill Davidson

      You’re assuming that a trans girl looks like a boy, but most look like girls – unremarkable in the girls’ bathroom, but an anomaly in the boys’.

    • TammyBeth

      the argument is not that they would be traumatized but that they would be stigmatized. It reinforces the sense of “otherness” both for the trans child and for her classmates.

      No one is claiming to be traumatized. Furthermore, the only reason cis-kids would be traumatized is because they have been indoctrinated into a fear-based mindset by their parents.

      Kids “get it” – left to their own instincts they don’t have a problem with their trans classmates, and this is more true the younger you get. It only becomes an issue when the parents get worked up.

      Folks get all a twitter because a young girl my see a young male penis. you know what? Kids are curious, kids “play doctor” even in pre-school. the great majority of them have already seen the dreaded penis. It’s no big deal. Until you start teaching your kids to be fearful and suspicious and create trauma where none existed before.

      But then, if we didn’t do that where would the next generation of Zealots come from.

    • http://contemplativehomeschool.wordpress.com Connie Rossini

      Jill, does the law define what “trans” means? And if it is a medical definition, why is no doctor’s confirmation needed for a student to get these privileges?

    • http://contemplativehomeschool.wordpress.com Connie Rossini

      TammyBeth,

      The problem remains, if you change the word “traumatized” to “stigmatized.” Aren’t the 500 girls being stigmatized as bigots and bullies, or at least people who need to be re-educated? Their natural fears and self-preservation instincts are not only being brushed aside, but also labeled as wrong.

      Are you suggesting that in a society where we are told 25% of female college students experience some kind of sexual assault, and where child sexual abuse is so much in the news (and brought up in every conversation where someone disagrees with the Catholic Church–see below) we should teach our girls not to pay attention to their feelings of discomfort? That if we were raising them right those feelings would not even exist? That they are social constructs? That it’s “no big deal” when a boy or man reveals himself to her?

      I also have an unanswered question: why can’t we have private bathrooms as a solution?

    • TammyBeth

      “The problem remains, if you change the word “traumatized” to “stigmatized.” Aren’t the 500 girls being stigmatized as bigots and bullies, or at least people who need to be re-educated?”

      Oh please. I don’t mean to be disrespectful but that’s flat out silly. I sympathize with (though disagree) the argument that there’s going to be a lot of discomfort, but stigma? nonsense.

      “Their natural fears and self-preservation instincts are not only being brushed aside, but also labeled as wrong.”

      A great deal of what is “natural” is often labeled as “wrong” – most notoriously by the Church itself. Catholics are hardly in a position to criticize anyone for labeling a natural instinct as wrong.

      “Are you suggesting that in a society where we are told 25% of female college students experience some kind of sexual assault, and where child sexual abuse is so much in the news (and brought up in every conversation where someone disagrees with the Catholic Church–see below) we should teach our girls not to pay attention to their feelings of discomfort?”

      Nope – I’m suggesting wisdom and discernment. Care to point out how many of those assaults are committed by transsexual folk? The number approaches ZERO..
      on the other hand, a goodly number happen at school, yet no one suggests teaching girls to fear school, a goodly number happen at church, and again, we encourage your young ladies to go to church. Selective outrage is not convincing argument.

      ” That if we were raising them right those feelings would not even exist? That they are social constructs? That it’s “no big deal” when a boy or man reveals himself to her?”

      Context matters. Discernment matters. If a woman is a nurse and a man in her office exposes his penis, is she in danger? Probably not – context matters. Ham-fisted thinking to assume ANY penis in ANY context is to be feared.

      “I also have an unanswered question: why can’t we have private bathrooms as a solution?”

      You can. Feel free to advocate to the proper authorities for the considerable spending necessary to retrofit all school building with such restrooms (as one school in Oregon did – you don’t hear trans people protesting that move do you?)

      Thing is, if WE had proposed that your lot would be yelling that no way should we be spending so much money to “cater to” so few. It’s a rigged game when your mind is not open.

  • Racheal Campbell

    Your point is valid, but I wonder if you have followed the chain of dominoes that falls when you take it into account. You are saying that the entire concept of segregated bathrooms is discriminatory. that may be true, but are we even ready to have that conversation?

    • http://contemplativehomeschool.wordpress.com Connie Rossini

      Racheal, I believe you were replying to my comment above. If so, you misunderstood me (my fault, not yours–I was in a hurry). I’m afraid you’ll no longer find my point valid when you understand it!

      The proponents of the law say a boy who identifies as a girl (for example) is traumatized by having to share a bathroom with other boys. But they either dismiss or disregard the trauma girls naturally feel at having said boy share a bathroom with them. One of the other commenters said .3% of the population identifies as the opposite sex. If that is accurate, then in a school of 1000 students, you might have 3 such boys. So, we are now making a law to accommodate them, but disregarding the shock, embarrassment, and even sense of violation the 500 girls in the school might naturally feel when meeting a boy in their bathroom. More than that, the law says these girls can’t even protest without being labeled bigots and bullies who need to be disciplined in an unspecified manner. Why would anyone advocate this? The only reason I can come up with is the LGBTQ… community’s tendency to force the rest of us to accept their worldview.

      If this were really about the needs of children, the needs of the 500 girls would not be brushed aside. The law could demand that unisex private (note that word) restrooms be built to accommodate children who identify as the opposite gender. Or, it might mandate unisex private bathrooms for all students. By this I mean what you sometimes see in kindergartens, or what we have in our homes: one toilet and sink with a door that locks, which children can only enter one at a time.

      Also, you and many others who are arguing for the law are assuming that the kids who make use of it will fit one specific profile which the law itself does not demand. As far as I can tell, no doctor’s slip, no parental agreement, no history or evidence of any kind beyond a child’s word is needed for kids above a certain age to be treated as though they were the opposite sex. So a child could obviously be a boy, have always called himself and been treated as a boy, then one day say he’s a girl and get permission to use the girls’ locker room and restroom. You might protest that a person who really self-identifies this way would never do that. I could reply that you are a bigot and a bully for making the boy fit your definition of what it means to be “really” transgendered. I’m just kidding, of course, in order to show how ridiculous this whole thing is.

      I’m not dismissing the real suffering of these children. I’m just saying this law is a ridiculous response to it.

    • http://www.acceptingabundance.com Stacy Trasancos

      Thank you Connie.

  • Racheal Campbell

    Throughout this conversation the common element among those that wish to deny transgender children their basic human rights is denial of their gender identity. You are being told that someone is female, for example, and your opinion based on observation of characteristics that you associate with males is that the person is male. It doesn’t matter what the characteristics you observe are but let us assume that no one is exposing genitalia in school, so it isn’t a penis. Does hair on one’s upper lip identify someone as male? Perhaps interest in auto mechanics? Genitalia alone does not answer the question, we know that people have been, and are born with the chromosomes of a male and the genitalia of a female (and visa versa). Its all very complicated and even among professionals there isn’t 100% agreement. If you ask 100 people you might get 100 different answers on what makes one person male and another female. So what is the precedent we follow, legally? Isn’t it the individual’s own medical professionals? People who need glasses often look just like people who do not need glasses, but we take the word of the professionals and let people who need glasses wear them. There are physical education requirements in school but a note from a doctor can exempt a child from them and we don’t challenge that assertion. You are certainly allowed to believe that one child doesn’t really need glasses or another child is capable of playing basketball or another child is male, but if that child’s medical professionals say otherwise the school has a legal imperative to accept it at fact and all of us, children and parents, have a moral imperative not to discriminate against the child or bully.

  • Micha Elyi

    We must have Separation of School and State. Reasons of conscience require it.

    P.S. If you’ve been voting for any funding of government-controlled, politician-run, taxpayer-financed schooling then you’re part of the problem.

  • TammyBeth

    “My last comment on this–”

    so…my perfectly reasonable questions go unanswered.

    UI wish I could say this surprises me.Frankly, it’s a poor witness. I spend literally HOURS trying to respond to various assertions on this thread, correcting misrepresentations, pouring my heart out…

    And I ask a few very basic questions and none dares accept the intellectual challenge of engaging me on those points.THIS, ladies, is why the skeptics don’t respect you. You show yourselves unwilling to give fair consideration to opposing points. it gives the appearance of “don’t confuse me with the facts”

    I pray that by and by, your minds and hearts may be opened. One day it might be your own child who says “Mom, I think I’m…” and I hope you have the wisdom to deal with it.

    • http://contemplativehomeschool.wordpress.com Connie Rossini

      It seems to me that Mary Rice Hasson did answer your question:

      “Hey kids, look: not everyone is alike, not everyone believes the same things, not everyone is going to be or do as you think they should. but if they are not hurting anyone, let’s respect each other’s differences and be kind.”

      With:

      “If only it were so simple, but that’s not the only scenario…”

      This law mandates a lot more than being kind. It mandates that boys be able to use the girls’ bathroom. It mandates that all the kids be taught a worldview that might be foreign to them, their families, and religions, and their natural instincts. It mandates they be taught that the body is not an essential part of a person’s nature.

      We don’t need laws to teach people to be kind. Presumably there are already school rules against teasing, bullying, and violent behavior. This law gives privileges to a tiny minority of students that it denies to everyone else.

    • http://www.healingandempowerment.blogspot,.com Phil Dzialo

      “We don’t need laws to teach people to be kind.” Oh, well. the anti-bullying programs in MA. were mandated by law. Oh, well. laws which made beating up gays, blacks, etc a hate crime, were based on laws.Oh, yeah, MA laws which made hazing a crime, were based on laws. On yeah, MA has a load of hate crimes laws on the books which land kids in jail. Oh, yeah, we need laws to make dating violence, stalking, rape, etc.
      Kindness is not part and parcel of human nature….WE DO NEED LAWS TO TEACH PEOPLE TO BE KIND and that there are limits to socially acceptable and appropriate behavior.

    • TammyBeth

      Connie – I’m afraid you are thinking of the wrong question. the one I mean is the one about the logical reasoning that being transsexual is a birth condition no different than, say, autism.

      As to the rest, I’ll repeat what I aid earlier: as a parent, MY responsibility is to teach MY kids the best worldview I know, and to defend it intellectually with enough sound reasoning that it can STAND against the presentation of an inferior one. I choose to homeschool my kids in large part for just that reason.

      A parent who whines about the public schools presenting a view they do not share is a parent who’s either (a) conceded THEIR role to the government; or (b) worried that the view they taught their kids cannot stand in the arena of ideas.

      A well educated child is not taught WHAT to think but HOW to think, and if they have been given the latter then IF your worldview is worthy, it will stand the test in the arena of ideas and be strengthened by the battle.

      So – are YOUR views strong enough to win that battle, or not? If not, you shouldn’t want your child saddled with them.

  • Lucy Brown

    You have a lot more to fear from your own priests than gentle transgender people, how many catholic priests have been involved in paedopholic related scandals over the last 30 years? loads and loads, the hypocrisy of the catholic faith astounds me it really does.

    • http://www.healingandempowerment.blogspot,.com Phil Dzialo

      Right on, Lucy…even Benedict 16 agrees:

      “Today we see in a truly terrifying way that the greatest persecution of the Church does not come from enemies on the outside, but is born of the sin within the Church” May 10, 2010

  • Racheal Campbell

    Connie, thanks for the clarification but you need a clarification too. Just using the wrong bathroom isn’t traumatizing, being bullied in the bathroom, denied your identity, treated like something less than human, that is the problem.

  • CyndiB

    We have to take into consideration what would happen to the male to female transsexual child if she is forced to go to the mens bathroom.
    Who here thinks this child will be able to make it through a school year and not be beaten up by the boys? Think it would happen weekly? Maybe even daily? And it could just stop if the little child would stop being so girly and man up. See where this goes?
    There is no possible way you are going to be able to protect this type of child from male pack violence.
    The girls are not likely to beat this child up for transgresing gender norms.
    It is safer for the transgender male to female child to go to the ladies room.

    As for the other girls seeing the transgender girls penis…this is highly unlikely. If you think transgender females are willing to let anyone see thier penis in a public place, you know nothing about transgender females. The fact that they have a penis is in most cases very traumatic and not something they want others seeing.

    And you do not need to lie to the kids or require them to lie. When they ask you why Johny is now Suzy you tell them the truth. That Billy has a birth defect that makes them have a girl brain in a boy body. That some people have special chalenges and that it is unkind to say anything to the transgender child about being transgender.

    I do not understand why you can not accept that people can be born with an intersex brain, but you have no issues accepting that a child can be born with intersex genitals.

    I know that transgender seems icky and unnatural to you. It is not something you can possibly accept as godly.
    But please do not loose sight that not every one shares this view. Some of us are 100% convinced that transgender/transsexual people have an intersex condition. Furthermore, some of us even go so far as to believe that transgender people are being run through a spiritual crucibal, that it is a personal chalenge from God to transition.

    For me it was a spiritual test of my faith in God to transition. All my life I have had the call in my heart that I should transition. I fought it for years and my life was a misserable failure. Once I embraced the truth God put in my heart I have grown spiritualy and have been the vehicle by which grace has come to others.
    That is a very strong testament to Gods glory in my eyes. So long as I fought what I knew to be Gods will, he turned from me. The minute I accepted that it was my mission in this life to transition, then Gods favor returned to my life. In every way it is obvious to me how God gave me this chalenge of being transsexual to be an instrument of his mercy.

    It literaly harms no one and gives you a chance to minister to your child about love, mercy and compasion when a transgender child enters your life.
    Do not squander that chance.

  • http://www.healingandempowerment.blogspot,.com Phil Dzialo
  • Hana

    I honestly don’t see much of a problem with this, and here’s why:
    a)Transgenderism isn’t inherently against Catholicism. Why??? Because it doesn’t deny physical differences between men and women. It doesn’t say that penises and vaginas aren’t real. What it denies is the social norms we assign to these genders. For example, dresses are not inherently female. The ideas that dresses can only be worn by girls is a social construct, not something created by God. While our genitals are just as important as any other bodily organ, they don’t define every single trait we have. Therefore, things like gendered pronouns aren’t inherently Catholic either. We use them. They are used in the Bible. However, they don’t define you as a person, and I don’t think God really cares whether you view yourself as a he or a she. Many people forget, God is actually genderless, though we use He for the sake of a non-demeaning pronoun (can you imagine referring to God as it??? Because I surely can’t!!!). We are made in God’s image and likeness. If society’s gender norms don’t apply to God, then why do we assume He wants us to follow them? And how do we account for the changes in gender norms over time (back to the dresses example, men used to wear dress-like garments with no shame)? If gender norms are due to one’s biological sex, then why have those norms changed over time? Why are gender based divisions in schools (lines, uniforms, etc) even so important anyways? What Catholic purpose do they serve? None, of course. They serve a SOCIETAL purpose, which is completely different.

    b) These changes won’t have that much of an impact on other children. Reading people’s comments on the “dangers” of having children with different genitals in the same bathrooms makes me wonder how long it’s been since any of you have actually been in a school bathroom recently. You see, there are these lovely thing called stalls that keep kids from watching each other whilst ‘taking care of business’ (of course, urinals are different, but I doubt any trans children are going to attempt to use those, for obvious reasons). No one will see anything they shouldn’t, I can promise you. The dangers of sexual assault, too, are no higher than they are otherwise. I mean, someone could just as easily go into the wrong bathroom at my school (we don’t have these sorts of protection laws yet) and do inappropriate things. You see, such actions break the rules regardless of the protection laws, and if someone is set on inappropriate sexual conduct, it will be because they want to, not because the bathrooms gave them the opportunity. Once again, you can trust my statements here. I’m in a public high school, and I can assure you that these laws would not in any way change sexual activity, merely the charges against the offenders (ex: focusing more on the act and less on the location).

    c) These laws ultimately prevent transgender children from feeling like outcasts. Their perceptions and beliefs are respected, just as cis children (those whose gender perceptions align with their biological sex). Seeing as God wants us to treat each other with love and respect, regardless of differing beliefs, behaviors, etc., I’d say these laws are positive. Isn’t it good to prevent discrimination (and transgender children do face discrimination, especially in high school, I’ve seen it, I have proof)?

    I’ll leave you all with a final statement. God created transgenders, just as created all of His children. And unless you think He didn’t know what he was doing, I’d say it’s safe to say He intended to create transgenders. For what ultimate purpose? Who knows! However, that shouldn’t stop us from recognizing this part of His creation and respecting transgender children.

    • TammyBeth

      Bravo! Well argued!!

    • crusader1234

      “a)Transgenderism isn’t inherently against Catholicism. Why??”

      Transgenderism is ABSOLUTELY against CAtholicism. Are you not aware of what Pope Benedict XVI said about this subject?; He stated that the sex you are born with is PERMANENT and no surgical procedure, hormone use , counseling, personal preference can ever change that. On fact he said that it is sinful to attempt to change the sex that God gave you, because then YOU are attempting to do what only God can do in choosing your sex.

    • Tammy Rainey

      so you are going to go with the best tradition of Catholicism and completely ignore scientific fact? Have fun with that.

  • TammyBeth

    While checking in to compliment Hana, I looked over the thread and I noticed another of my posts which posed questions the faithful bible scholars here choose to ignore, so for emphasis I’ll re-eat the post in it’s entirety> Anyone here ABLE to answer?

    ——-
    “It is a sin to act on one’s disorder by mutilating one’s body, or by willfully denying one’s own bodily identity”

    Please cite supporting Scripture that conclusively demonstrates that this is the case.

    (also, after you do that – if you can – I have another question: if we can conclusively be certain of the Bible’s teaching on a given doctrine, with no possibility of error, then why are there so many differing dogmas within the Christian religion? and if the whole body of Christianity cannot agree on, for instance, a central doctrine such as how one is reconciled to God, then what are the odds that we can be so VERY sure about the supposed sinfulness of gender transition?)
    The point is – Christians disagree on virtually EVERYTHING. And the only implication is that SOMEBODY is WRONG. Isn’t it a bit arrogant for any of us to assume that we alone MUST be the ones who have the whole truth?

    • crusader1234

      The only implication is not just that somebody is wrong, but also that only ONE religion is 100% right. The rest are wrong to some degree or another since contradictory teachings can’t be all right at the same time. It is our job to find out the One True Faith. I know which one that is. It is the Roman Catholic Church.

    • Tammy Rainey

      this is the same Catholic Church that repeatedly confronted new scientific FACT with excommunication and worse because, in the opinion of the all-knowing church, the scientist was wrong…right? You know, they church that was CERTAIN that the sun revolved around the earth?

      When did this whole “always right” superpower actually kick in?

  • AMichaels

    As a transgender Catholic myself, I feel ashamed. Not of being transgender, but that you people actually hate love. Children need love. Yet because you feel uncomfortable with the idea that the Bible is a 5,000 year old collection of folk stories and may not therefore be appropriate for modern life, you channel that discomfort into an innocent child and abuse them instead.

    Even Islam allows transgnder people to live without persecution. The supposedly barbaric scourge of minorities acknowledges that when a behavior is innate (like gender), there is no blame. Man cannot control what God has planned for them, so why are you fighting God’s plan?

    By the way, have any of you eaten shellfish? If so then, according to the Bible, you have committed a mortal sin (Leviticus 11:12 That without fins nor scales shall be an abomination). And seeing as you think alike, why not have a look at this website: http://www.landoverbaptist.net/showthread.php?t=68675

    • crusader1234

      AMichaels,
      if you are catholic then please take the time to educate yourself correctly as to what the Catholic church teaches. Jesus gave the Catholic church the authority to interpret bible passages as to what is a sin and what is not. He did not give that authority to you. Eating shellfish IS NOT a mortal sin. Ask any catholic priest. The church has the authority to regulate dietary laws, such as forbidding eating meat on Good Friday. Also the Catholic church teaches that the sex you were born with is PERMANENT, and no surgical procedure, hormone treatment, psychological counseling or personal preference will change the sex you were born into. That is TRUTH, The Catholic church teaches TRUTH, whether people like the truth or not.

  • Sue

    Why don’t these Drag Queens have schools of their own and live their life the way they choose instead of trying to cause problems and school and be a very bad influence on young children. I have noticed all the parents that get on tv and are happy having little drag queens look very odd themselves. There will be grave safety issues with them using the same bathrooms as this is only a cover and they are not to be trusted.

    • Tammy Rainey

      Le Sigh.
      Desperate troll is obviously desperate. So I’ll ignore your obvious pleas for outraged replies and simply note quietly, for the record, that in many many places trans people, young and old, routinely use the restroom appropriate for their identified gender, with and without public notice and approval – in numbers of visits that likely run into the tens or hundreds of thousands….

      and YET there are exactly ZERO reports of sexual misbehavior by any actually trans perpetrator. You are free, of course, to wallow in your irrational paranoia. but the track record is quite clear that your delusion bares no resemblance to reality.

    • Chantal Chauvet

      There are no reports, because it is a new issue.

    • Tammy Rainey

      Reading comprehension is your friend. These people did not suddenly start using new restrooms in 2013 were they had not done so before.

      Heck, the LA United School District has had trans friendly bathroom policies in place for almost a DECADE and no misbehavior by a trans student is on record. Thats just one example among thousands.

  • Foxwelder64

    Stop bashing transgender people. Have you ever even met one? How dare you suggest that we are our own god. You wrongly seem to think that a penis will automatically make a boy want to be man when inside the inner core of the person a female exists. Call it an aberration or whatever, the fact is it exists and all fear mongering and demonising you want to hang on to causes more pain. Transgender people go through much pain and torment long before they express their true selves. Before you write about a subject you clearly have no idea about get out from behind your ivory desk and go and speak with researchers and medical professionals who deal with this every day.

    • Chantal Chauvet

      How does a transgender person change their DNA? When he dies and a scientists years later want to find out who was this person, what would they conclude?

    • Tammy Rainey

      actually, a bone marrow transplant can alter DNA.

      Not, of course, that your point is relevant since their exist in nature XX people who are apparently male (from birth) and XY people who are apparently female from birth, and also XXY, and XYY – in short, DNA does not ALWAYS correspond to apparent gonadal sex.

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