Father Mark Hodges believes that he is “cool” (check out the photo). Hodges also thinks that he is pretty smart. He may be but if someone is going to write about human sexuality (one of Hodges' hobbies) then he should know the difference between sexual orientation and sexual identity.
Nevertheless, the real problem with folks like Hodges is that they believe that their theology makes them experts in social science. Some people put Hodges and his ilk on pedestals of authority and are prone to some very dangerous advice when it comes to raising their gender nonconforming or gay children.
A gay rights organization recently published the largest survey of transgender people ever attempted in the United States.Obviously NCTE is not a gay rights organization. Some transgender people are gay; some are not. “[T]hose who believe transgenderism needs healing” describes priests, prelates and unquestioning believers. A natural variant of human sexuality does not require healing and could not be healed if it did. Furthermore, it is not how they feel that is important. In point of fact transgender people are victimized and discriminated against. Hodges is the problem — not the solution.
The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) surveyed 27,715 self-described transgenders in 2015 and analyzed the results of their self-reported experiences.
Both transgender rights advocates and those who believe transgenderism needs healing would agree that the NCTE survey shows transgender life is anything but gay. Responses reflected a special interest group that as a whole feels victimized and discriminated against in the wider community. The survey also revealed that violence is a common facet of transgender life.
Nearly half (47 percent) of transgender participants said they experienced being sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime. No follow-up questions probed the possibility of cause-and-effect, or asked whether respondents felt past sexual assault led them to reject their birth gender.The obtuseness is truly remarkable. Transgender people are assaulted because they are transgender. They are not transgender because they are assaulted as transgender people. That makes no sense. There is nothing in any of the literature to suggest that there is an external cause for gender dysphoria.
If one wishes to understand why transgender people suffer assaults then one needs to understand the relationship of violence to the poverty and stigmatization that transgender people often experience. One also needs to understand the nature of those who perpetrate the violence and their motivations for doing so. Hodges makes no attempt to understand any of that. Nor does he appreciate that his ignorant rhetoric contributes to that same violence.
Psychiatrists and researchers have long known the high rate of suicide and attempted suicide among transgenders. Some experts attribute these tendencies to deep inner conflict and others say transgenders are suicidal because of a lack of acceptance in society at large. The NCTE survey found 39 percent of transgenders report serious recent psychological stress (eight times the 5 percent rate of the average American).The general consensus is that transgender people are stressed. As a civil society we can reduce the amount of stress that they suffer. Claiming that they need to be healed is not going to reduce stress. Nor are any pseudo-scientific “cures” likely to reduce the discrimination that trans people endure in abundance. If anything the rhetoric from people like Hodges induces stress and for that they should be ashamed of themselves.
Studies have also demonstrated that the earlier people transition in life, the more successful their lives will be. Experienced clinicians are able to balance transition with the possibility of gender fluidity. Just to be clear, children are not candidates for gender affirming surgery. Hormones are administered with great caution.
Additionally, the survey confirmed the astronomical rates of HIV infection: five times the general population (1.4 percent vs. 0.3 percent). It lists 3.4 percent of transgender men (men living as if they were women) having HIV, and an incredible 19 percent of black men living as women — nearly one in five — having the life-threatening precursor to AIDS.People are not HIV positive because they are transgender. People are HIV positive because they engage in unprotected sex. Many transgender people are forced to make a living as sex workers because other opportunities are not be available to them. This exposes them to HIV at a much higher rate that the general population. Father Hodges should know this but his answer to the problem is to simply not be transgender. Simplistic approaches kill people. Also, what Hodges describes as a transgender man is actually a transgender woman. Effective communication requires getting these details correct.
The NCTE also concluded from their survey that transgender people are economically disadvantaged. Twenty-nine percent were living in poverty in the summer of 2015 — twice as many as in the general population (14 percent). Thirty percent experienced homelessness at some point in their transgender journey. Transgenders reported a 15 percent unemployment rate — twice as high a rate as the rest of the country last year.Obviously they are not impoverished because they are transgender. They live in poverty due to the discrimination they endure as trans people.
Just to add some outrageous insult to injury:
“The 2015 Transgender Survey presents a heartbreaking portrait of the tragic lives led by many transgender persons: unemployment, poverty, disease, attempted suicide, and a myriad of other sorrows,” Foundation for Moral Law Senior Counsel Col. John A. Eidsmoe told LifeSiteNews. “Whatever the cause and effect may be, we should think twice about adopting policies that could encourage people to enter into the transgender lifestyle.”To think that people choose to be transgender makes Eidsmoe an imbecile. The Foundation for Moral Law, by the way, is Roy Moore's operation (or his wife's). Moore needs to learn a thing or two about constitutional law. The idea that there are policies that might influence someone to choose to be transgender is so spectacularly stupid as to defy any product of human thought. It is not easy to be that much of an idiot. It requires determination and practice.
The NCTE places blame for transgender suffering not on the lifestyle but on the government. As Vox reported, "The nation isn’t doing enough to support trans people."As a society (not the government) we are not doing enough to support transgender people. As for Mr. Lane he is a notorious dominionist who also confuses sexual orientation and sexual identity as we can see. The fact that Hodges repeats a moronic quote is telling. What Eidsmoe describes as “Christ's love” looks more like hate to me. It is inexcusable because it is based upon willful ignorance. Mark Hodges couldn't buy a clue into the lives of trans people. For him they do not really exist. God or the pope or some eunuch prelate has told him so. Well, they are all quite astonishingly wrong.
David Lane of the American Renewal Project rhetorically asked LifeSiteNews, "Homosexual behavior is an activity, a behavior; when did political correctness succeed in making it an identity?"
Eidsmoe concluded, "We should approach transgender persons with Christ's love and compassion, but we should not compromise the truth of His Word."