Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Priestly Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy

Msgr. Andrew Cummings
Most of us can agree on what an "LGBT student" is. A student is someone attending school at some level and in this case they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Msgr. Andrew Cummings (out of Baltimore and currently at the Vatican) doesn't see things that way. "Truth," for Cummings, is defined by religious doctrine. Science, society and our very culture must conform to the catechism of the Catholic Church.

Writing at Crisis Magazine (which has become crank-central):
Should a Catholic School admit LGBTQ students or refuse the benefit of a Catholic education to this particularly vulnerable subset of children? Such is the choice with which those responsible for Catholic education seem to be presented, and, increasingly, they will opt for the former.
Yes. Most Catholics live in the real world and they accept that LGBT kids actually exist. Cummings informs us that even a prelate, a colleague understands the reality:
Apparently, this is the path chosen by Bishop John Gaydos of Jefferson City, MO, who reportedly set up a task force last fall to draft guidelines for the admission to Catholic schools of those who “identify as LGBTQ.”
The perfectly named Bishop was intelligent enough and curious enough to create a working group to study the issue. It shouldn't have been necessary in the first place but credit is still due Gaydos for trying to do the right thing — and for having some spine.
Back to Cummings:
Fortunately, this tricky dilemma is, in reality, a false dichotomy. In other words, there is a third option, which is the authentically Catholic route to take.
Of course I am biased but I see this as neither tricky nor a dilemma. It is as simple as determining what is best for the children. After all, isn't that what Cummings' deity would want?
To discover the third option, one must realize that the expression “LGBTQ students” is an ideologically loaded term. It lumps into one group all the children whose attractions and inclinations in this area do not correspond to what is expected from their biological sex, labeling them as members of the “LGBTQ” community. Even if the term “LGBTQ students” is only understood as referring to those children who willingly “identify as LGBTQ” or “decide to present as the opposite sex,” the term presupposes that persons have a right to consider themselves “gay” or “bisexual” or “transgender” and to be treated accordingly. This is precisely what a correct understanding and application of Catholic teaching precludes, as it does not consider such inclinations a true reflection of our God-given nature (cf. CCC 2358).
"LGBTQ" is only "ideologically loaded" if one subscribes to the belief that our sexuality is an ideology. To use the phrase "willingly identify" Cummings means that sexuality (or the acceptance of one's sexuality) is a choice which defies the scientific understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity. He goes further by seeming to assert that people do not have a right to consider themselves gay or transgender. According to the superstition and to satisfy the diety that Cummings is so desperate to please one has to accept the utterly absurd notion that there are no LGBT people because the deity doesn't make LGBT people.

It is easy to ridicule but Cummings' assertions are the basis for discrimination and even violence against LGBT people (including children). He needs to get a grip on reality.

Later on:
Most of the recommendations in the guidelines are perfectly fine, such as the encouragement given to “affirm this young person’s identity as a child of God” and to ensure that such children be treated “with compassion, sensitivity and respect.” Other points are rather vague, such as “prudence and subsidiarity need to be exercised” and “balance pastoral considerations with doctrinal correctness and mission integrity.” The main objection, however, as indicated already, is the failure to distinguish clearly between children who are experiencing “gender concerns” and those who “come out” or “present” these concerns publicly, demanding, even implicitly, that their condition be recognized and accepted as non-problematic.
No one wants his compassion. Compassion means pity for the suffering of others. A gay or trans kid isn't suffering because they are gay or trans. They suffer at the hands of self-righteous fools who insist that they aren't really what they are because to admit that their sexuality exists means to dispose of the associated superstition. In other words, gratuitous and phony compassion creates the very suffering that they want to pity. To pity a gay or trans child is to disparage that child!

Furthermore, one cannot claim to respect someone by insisting that they are "objectively disordered." The assertion that there is something wrong with a gay child is what is really wrong. They deserve respect for who they are in contrast to what some religion thinks they should be (in spite of mountains of scientific evidence to the contrary).

There is no doubt among clinicians that gender affirmation relieves the discomfort of gender dysphoria. Thus it reduces the potential for self-harm. If a child makes a social gender transition it is out of necessity. No kid ever raised their hand to volunteer to be gender non-conforming or trans. When did common sense flee?

Crackpots are sometimes afforded some form of equal opportunity:
This is a rather subtle point, which is why it appears to have been completely overlooked by the guidelines in question. It can be grasped by recalling the term coined by the late Dr. Joseph Nicolosi: “non-gay homosexual.” This term indicates that experiencing same-sex attraction is one thing, and embracing the situation as one’s true identity or nature is another.
Nicolosi was a quack who placed religion above medicine. No professional clinician uses the term "non-gay homosexual." What? The kid should be told that he or she must involuntarily commit to celibacy for life? And that is not a form of child abuse? People do not "experience same-sex attraction" which suggests something that is transitory or comparable to a bad habit. Some people are gay (homosexual if you prefer). Who we are romantically attracted to is at the core of who we are as humans. Denying the existence of sexual orientation won't turn a single gay person straight. It doesn't work that way.
A significant number of students and applicants to Catholic schools will be emotionally wounded and confused about their sexuality. They deserve assistance so as to mature in a healthy and moral manner...
This guy is hopeless. Gay and trans people are not emotionally wounded regardless of how much the Church insists otherwise. They are perfectly normal kids who have a perfectly normal and natural variant of human sexuality. Treating healthy people as sick only makes them sick. Aren't these kids under enough undue stress. There is blood on your hands Monsignor.  Or there will be.

One final paragraph of spectacular stupidity (I am at my limit):
Catholic schools should be ready to help this vulnerable group of children for many reasons, but, especially, because today nobody else will. The secular world only encourages them to follow the path of least resistance, rather than to fight against the sexual disorientation that has developed in their young lives, through no fault of their own.
Perhaps the secularists, unrestricted by superstition, know a bit more than those people who are slavishly devoted to ancient manuscripts. To tell a kid that he or she has to "fight against" their sexual orientation or gender identity is to assign illness that does not exist to a perfectly healthy person.

What Cummings proposes (or practices) is clerical Munchausen syndrome by proxy.

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