Thursday, June 20, 2019

New England has its share of crazy bigots

Steve Pauwels
Steve Pauwels is another know-it-all Christianist blowhard and bigot
via Twitter
I like to think of New England as Bernie Sanders territory. A place where people are not overly concerned with the sexuality of others.

Steve Pauwels is pastor of Church of the King in Londonderry, New Hampshire. Church of the King seems to be located in a strip mall in close proximity to Crazy Noodle. How appropriate. Anyway, Mr. Pauwels doesn't like LGBT people very much and he is not content to simply accept the premise that his version of Christianity does not approve of gay sex or transgender folks.
Pauwels' real problem is that most people are not as bigoted and hateful as he is:
Exactly when did our intrepid conservative leaders deem it impermissible to make the moral argument against official approval of homosexuality? The date, the year at least, when our “on-the-Right” stalwarts junked any reference to the disorder of a “gay” lifestyle? That there is something decidedly and intrinsically “wrong” with same-sex activity?
The power of the rhetorical question. Mr. Pauwels needs to find a gay person willing to discuss this with him. That brave individual might explain some of the science of human sexuality beginning with the fact that sexual orientation is not a “lifestyle.” Being a pastor of a church in a strip mall while writing crazy shit about LGBT  people? Now that's a lifestyle.

I am quite certain that Mr. Pauwels has the intellectual curiosity of a dead tulip. Nevertheless, sexual orientation is a continuum with gay and straight at the extreme ends. Every point, according to the overwhelming consensus of science, is a natural variation of human sexuality. Gay people are most certainly not disordered. While Mr. Pauwels might believe that gay sex is a sin, there is nothing “decidedly and intrinsically 'wrong' with same-sex activity?” Why did he put the word wrong in defensive quotes?
Whenever it became verboten to even hint homosexuality might be anything besides absolutely fabulous, the point of fact is that today anybody in the limelight — politicians, entertainers, journalists, celebrities, social commentators – avoid like the lavender leprosy any moral disapprobation of same-sex canoodling.
I only quote the above due to its intellectual dishonesty. There is nothing “fabulous” about any sexual orientation. This is variation of “homosexuals want us to celebrate [fill in the blank].” We humans are not defined by our sexual orientation. Gay people do not require anyone's approval which is no different than seeking approval for having a certain hair or eye color. Religious fundamentalists have a fundamental need to think that we are desperate for their approval.
“Gender dysphoria”? That’s sesquipedalians’ favorite term for a person all mixed up about his/her sexual identity. It wasn’t only centuries ago, or even mere decades, that clear-thinking folk would vocalize the obvious: any hairy-chested lad dressing like, speaking like, insisting on passing himself off as a lady was a troubled soul. Same for any woman resolutely opting for the aggressively butch route — I’m not woman, hear me roar! — and expecting the rest of society to play along.
Nice try. There are not enough syllables in gender dysphoria to be sesquipedalian but I am suitably impressed. Confused (or mixed up) people have a tendency to assert that others are confused. Gender dysphoria is the term used by the American Psychiatric Association to describe gender incongruence — the state of having conflicting gender and natal sex which can cause considerable distress. It is a condition that we have known about for a very long time.

What I will never understand is why some people are oddly obsessed with criticism of a medical condition. No one ever raised their hand to volunteer to have gender dysphoria and, due to the potential for self-harm, it is as deadly as coronary artery disease. Mr. Pauwels indulges in appealing to a stereotype of a hairy chested man claiming to be a woman. His description of expectations is another way of saying that people seek his approval.

Does Pauwels believe that one can pray away gender incongruence? Does Pauwels realize that there is no medical intervention that addresses the condition? Before he wrote this nonsense, did he take so much as five minutes to read some research or does he think that the medical establishment is part of a huge conspiracy to mislead Christians? Aside from the stupidity of criticizing a medical condition it makes even less sense to criticize the only thing that brings relief to those who have the condition. Must they suffer to satisfy Mr. Pauwels?
Mr. Pauwels provides much needed scientific clarity:
Such individuals are laboring under a heartbreaking delusion, plain and simple. The presence — or lack thereof — of a penis objectively means something. The involvement of XY or XX chromosomes isn’t a pesky fantasy to be wished away by use of a frilly dress or tomboy haircut respectively.
Mr. Pauwels is laboring under the bigoted delusion that gender, as a separate construct from natal sex, does not exist? Are his conclusions derived from an exhaustive reading of the scientific literature? More than a century ago (1917 to be exact) a transgender man — a medical doctor himself — had gender confirmation surgery. Pauwels refers to “centuries ago” without realizing that ancient Egyptian and Hindu texts refer to transgender people as a third sex.

Since the dawn of time, people have been trying to cope with a rare medical condition which Mr. Pauwels, in his infinite ignorance, chooses to denigrate. It makes about as much sense as criticizing people because the suffer from kidney disease. It is also not being very kind. Essentially it is an effort to marginalize a group of people because they are different.
The considerable effort to look profoundly idiotic:
On the heels of the Trump White House’s formal ratification of June as rainbow-bespattered “Pride Month”, Stars and Stripes reports, “About 1,525 troops had been diagnosed with gender dysphoria since July 1, 2016, when Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, lifted a military ban on transgender people openly serving and allowed them to seek medical treatment.” “Diagnosed”? Was that an editorial slip? Since when do normal, desirable conditions need to be “diagnosed”?
Aside from criticism of people who are different Pauwels criticizes things simply because he is incapable of understanding them. A diagnosis of gender dysphoria is based on a very objective criteria.

The United States has about 2.2 million troops; 1.3 million on active duty and another 900 thousand reservists. 1,525 personnel (0.07% of the total) should not cause Pauwels significant distress. Presumably he has not read the RAND Corporation study recommending transgender military service. Does he think that Trump made a reasoned decision based on research or does he realize that Trump was pandering to the religious nitwits?
Keep digging that hole:
Transgenderism — like homosexuality — is a psycho-sexual aberration. Boom. It needs “diagnosing” because those vexed by it need help finding a way out of their dilemma. That prognosis ought not include slobbering over their pathology, reassuring “trans” men and women there’s no problem, no consequences whatsoever, if they indulge it.
Being transgender is not a medical condition. It is not subject to a diagnosis. Being transgender is a response to a medical condition which can be objectively diagnosed. Pauwels is undermining his own argument. Having gender dysphoria is a big problem with considerable consequences. The problem is the condition — not the fact that it can be diagnosed. In order to conform his world to scripture, this individual is making scientific pronouncements without the erudition to make them. He is saying “my ignorance should be your truth.”

I am not a scientist either. However, my conclusions are consistent with the overwhelming consensus of medical science. I am not arguing in opposition from a position of pseudo-authority.
And, yes – same-sex cavorting, “gender dysphoria” and the entire conga line of weirdo glandular inclinations currently so trendy are, let’s admit it, not good for anybody.
Human sexuality is not a trend. What I find incredibly weird is the substitution of a belief system, based upon faith, for science which is based on evidence. What I find weird is a preacher claiming to have expertise in medical science.

Mr. Pauwels claims to have three sons. Just imagine if the fraternal birth order effect were visited upon Mr. Pauwels. What would he do? What could he do?

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