Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Father Mark Hodges constructs a world of fanatical fantasies

Fr. Mark Hodges
Fr. Mark Hodges
Orthodox priest, Mark Hodges is another one obsessed with LGBT people. Late Tuesday he wrote: “Transgender hormone blockers are ‘institutionalized child abuse’: pediatrician.” According to Hodges:
A nationally recognized pediatrician offered a jolting reality check about the dangers of encouraging children to think they are transgender and prescribing hormone blockers to prevent them from developing.

On October 11, the Heritage Foundation sponsored a forum on transgenderism at which Dr. Michelle Cretella said it is child abuse to facilitate gender confusion in children by helping them “transition” to the opposite sex.
“Nationally recognized?” Michelle Cretella is a hate group leader. Her little operation, American College of Pediatricians, had revenues of $111 thousand in 2016. The American Academy of Pediatrics has an annual budget of $125 million — $150 million if you consider the chapters. Furthermore, Cretella does not seem to be licensed to practice medicine.

More importantly, it is Cretella who is confused. Trans kids are quite certain regarding their gender. Cretella is simply trying to conform medicine to the teachings of the Catholic Church and that makes her dangerous to the health and wellbeing of people who might listen to her nonsense. Child abuse exists when children are made to suffer with gender dysphoria as some sort of religious obligation. That is obscene!
“Chemical castration is what you’re doing when you put any biologically normal child on puberty blockers,” said Cretella, the president of the American College of Pediatricians. “It’s treating puberty like a disease, arresting a normal process which is critical to normal development.”
That misses the point. There is no known intervention to directly treat gender dysphoria. For many children who suffer with the condition the only means of mitigating the symptoms (including anxiety and depression) is gender affirmation. Unless the symptoms are relieved the child is at considerable risk for self-harm. Cretella's assertions amount to human sacrifice as a religious duty. They have no foundation in science.
She added that she speaks from a great deal of personal experience in “treating teenagers with depression, anxiety, even suicidal depression.”

Transgender ideologues like Zack Ford at ThinkProgress tell parents to observe and let their 1 ½-year-old’s behavior gauge his/her/ze’s gender. “Children as young as 18 months can begin to articulate aspects of their gender,” Ford claimed, “and it’s the children themselves who tell their parents about their gender identity.”
Cretella was never a board-certified psychiatrist and had no business treating teens with mental health issues. That's called malpractice. And Zack is correct. Children do communicate their gender quite assertively. A boy might say “I wish I were a girl.” However a boy with gender dysphoria will say “I am a girl!” A toddler is not going to be given puberty blockers. They are simply unnecessary until the child approaches, well, puberty.

For this to all work for Cretella, she needs to blame adults to construct an imaginary conspiracy:
Cretella spoke against such agenda-driven use of youngsters. “Indoctrinating preschool kids with the lie that you can be trapped in the wrong body … disrupt(s) their normal reality testing and cognitive development,” she explained. “Those things are abusive.”
As you can see the ubiquitous Homosexual Agenda™ has been re-purposed to suggest a trans conspiracy. No one has used the “trapped in the wrong body” language in 25 years. No one except religious conservatives attempting to editorialize. Nor is anyone “indoctrinating” anyone. That is just more recycled anti-gay bullshit. This is all relatively simple — even for someone who is not an MD.
  • Some children — not a lot but some — are going to have gender dysphoria. It is well documented in the medical literature and can be objectively diagnosed by clinicians experienced in this area of pediatric psychiatry. Those doctors only have one “agenda” which is the best interests of their patient. The children at issue have incongruent natal sex and gender.
  • To relieve the symptoms, some of these children will transition into their gender. Doing so is supported by science — peer reviewed research published to respected academic journals.
  • Social transition does not involve any medications. By the time that puberty blockers are warranted there is a reasonable certainty that the child requires gender affirmation.
People like Cretella never explain what their alternative is. Nor do they cite research in support of an alternative to the existing protocol.  Cretella and her ilk do have an agenda: Defense of the Christian faith. They do want to indoctrinate people to accept their faith as law. The best interests of the child are not their priority.

Hodges has more:
Breitbart noted the pervasive influence of LGBTQI activists who say the government should pay for dangerous drugs, sterilization, and castration — beginning at toddler age.  “The children-choose-their-sex claim was strongly pushed … by former President Barack Obama,” the conservative outlet pointed out. With Obama’s official initiative, the “biology-does-not-matter campaign” is being pushed “into schools and workplaces, into civic society, media, and law.”
When did Breitbart become authoritative on anything? Is Hodges that desperate to make some point? And what is the point? None of that has anything to do with the fact that there are gender dysphoric kids. They exist and they must be treated.
Breitbart claimed that trans activists and organizations are “directly or indirectly funded by pharmaceutical companies.” Their goal is to “force Americans to accept the ‘gender identity’ claims made by each person, regardless of scientific data about genetics, biology and the variety of normal behavior and appearances.”
Breitbart's writer, Neil Munro, does make that claim but offers no evidence to support it (nor does he have an editor who requires more than just accusations). Munro is immersed in the notion of transgender ideology which is the idiocy pushed by an uninformed pope and the Vatican. There is no great hidden agenda in keeping trans kids safe at school (which is all that President Obama tried to do). The crazy people at Breitbart see conspiracies in everything, everywhere. It is WND with a better layout and styling.

Hodges goes back to Cretella:
In Wednesday’s Heritage Foundation forum, Cretella pointed to liberal studies that seem to support LGBTQI conclusions. “As to the studies, there are two that I am aware of that claim affirming your child’s gender confusion is good for them,” Cretella stated. She then proceeded to effectively refute the studies for myriad logical reasons.

“Number one, it assumes that coaching a child into a fixed-false belief is mentally healthy,” she said about the two pro-trans studies, but “science doesn’t allow you to assume your conclusion.”
That is a dishonest construct. These kids are (hopefully) in the care of doctors who specialize in this area. No one is doing any coaching. Again, “gender confusion” is religious language. That is what is not science.
“Number two, those studies are extremely small,” she critiqued, adding, “Number three, those studies are very short term.”
The studies are small because there aren't that many gender dysphoric children. The term of the studies is based on the length of childhood.
“Number four, the control group of ‘mentally healthy children’ are the siblings, most of them are siblings of the trans-identifying child” and not an objective control group.
Unfortunately Cretella has not cited the specific studies. We do not know what the investigators analyzed. Siblings might be a perfect control group because their environment is identical. I would have to read the study but I suspect that Cretella is generalizing.
“Number five, the parents were the ones evaluating the mental health of the children,” the pediatrician said. That revelation evoked laughter from conference attendees.
Again, I would have to read the full study. It all depends upon how their health was evaluated. I am reasonably comfortable saying that instrumentation could be designed that would make parents the ideal evaluators of a child's health.
“This is not science,” Dr. Cretella concluded regarding the two pro-trans studies. “I don’t think you need to have an M.D. or a Ph.D. to know that’s not science — that’s ideology masquerading as science.”
Cretella is projecting. It is the religious ideology that is not science. The bullshit lands at the pulpit. Moreover, I cannot find where Cretella ever published anything to a peer-reviewed journal. She is not the most scientifically erudite critic. The defense of the faith continues:
“The crux of the matter is that while the transition-affirming movement purports to help children, it is inflicting a grave injustice on them and their non-dysphoric peers,” Cretella explained in an article for the Daily Signal.

She charged LGBTQI-friendly professionals with engaging in “massive, uncontrolled, and unconsented experimentation on children.” She said gender confusion is quite common in preadolescents and adolescents and it most often resolves after puberty.
It is not a movement. There is no damned conspiracy! And the Daily Signal (Heritage Foundation's blog) is neither scholarly nor peer reviewed. Furthermore, this has nothing to do with being LGBT friendly. She is also factually incorrect in stating that gender dysphoria resolves after puberty. This woman will make any claim, no matter how crazy, if it supports the religious dogma that she likes. That is not medicine. Perhaps Cretella should have been a nun.

Meanwhile Father Mark Hodges is as intellectually dishonest as ever. If there is a god, he or she is going to be pissed at all the sanctimonious blowhards like Hodges who lose the ability to tell the objective truth. They are intent on molding the truth to conform to the dogma, usually through selective observation. The troubling thing is that some people mistakenly look up to these bloated clerics.

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