Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Religious conservatives insist that changing the nomenclature changes reality

A Wednesday headline in National Catholic Register readsBoy Scouts’ New Policy Further Strains Connection With Catholics.” According to the subtitle:
The new policy of allowing biological girls who identify as boys follows the organization’s lifting of bans on same-sex-attracted scouts and scout leaders.
Would it not be simpler and more intellectually honest to call those kids transgender boys and gay boys respectively? What do they think is gained by calling a transgender boy a “biological girl who identifies as a boy?” Being transgender is a medically understood expression of gender dysphoria. There is no other known medical intervention. There is no therapy, medication, wishful thinking or prayer that has the ability to change gender identity. It is a matter of medical and social science. Nowhere in the literature will we find a reference to “biological girls who identify as boys.” They are seemingly trying to eliminate the concept of gender. It is religious propaganda.

Similarly, sexual orientation is a scientifically identified state of human sexuality. In simplest terms it expresses the attraction to men, women, both or neither. In a more accurate representation, it is a continuum with heterosexual and homosexual at the extreme ends. “Same-sex-attracted” suggests that some sexual orientations that they disapprove of are comparable to a bad habit or a predisposition to addiction and can be controlled or reversed. That is simply untrue. Calling gay people same-sex-attracted is merely more religious propaganda. Demagoguery. To what end? Will it make a single gay person not gay?

Ryan T. Anderson was revealing the other day. Anderson insists that everyone is created heterosexual and cisgender. Anderson has an Ivy League education and a PhD from Notre Dame and I think that he is gay. Yet he finds the need to assert that sexual orientation and gender identity are acquired traits, presumably to suggest that they can be altered. This, in turn, justifies discrimination. Anderson's only concern in life seems to be LGBT discrimination in one form or another because Anderson lives in a zero-sum universe. Every measure of equality for LGBT people is somehow a deduction from his Catholic religion. In other words, faith conquers intellect and common sense.

The end effect is a noxious mix of arrogance, dishonesty and willful ignorance.

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