Friday, July 19, 2013

Catholic.org Spouts Off On Transgender Issues

I've tripped over the website "catholic.org" a couple of times in the past.  Generally, I haven't paid them much attention because they seem to be slightly more off their rocker than LifeSiteNews.

However, they posted a particularly vile article today entitled "Gender Is Gift:  The Dangers Of The Gender Identity Movement Must Be Exposed".

Part I:  Who Is CatholicOnline.org?

The first thing I did was try to find out who, or what, is behind the website.  A quick whois dump was quite uninformative:

Domain ID:D129277-LROR
Domain Name:CATHOLIC.ORG
Created On:16-Nov-1994 05:00:00 UTC
Last Updated On:16-Nov-2012 18:39:42 UTC
Expiration Date:15-Nov-2015 05:00:00 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:Network Solutions, LLC (R63-LROR)
Status:CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED
Registrant ID:46032708-NSIV
Registrant Name:Catholic Online, LLC
Registrant Organization:Catholic Online, LLC
Registrant Street1:ATTN insert domain name here
Registrant Street2:care of Network Solutions
Registrant Street3:
Registrant City:Drums
Registrant State/Province:PA
Registrant Postal Code:18222
Registrant Country:US
Registrant Phone:+1.5707088780
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX:
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Registrant Email:ry62y8nt8zg@networksolutionsprivateregistration.com
About all it did was show a link to Catholic Online, LLC.  Which frankly tells us very little about who is behind this.  The first, and most important, question in my mind was whether or not this group was somehow affiliated with the Catholic Church itself.  A little bit of digging led me to the California Secretary of State website which has a nice little feature for looking up company names:

Results of search for " CATHOLIC ONLINE " returned 1 entity record.
Entity NumberDate FiledStatusEntity NameAgent for Service of Process
20100301016201/28/2010ACTIVECATHOLIC ONLINE, LLCMICHAEL L GALLOWAY

It doesn't give much more than that, and I'm not surprised by that.  A little bit of digging around turns up a few articles about Mr. Galloway, but nothing particularly revealing beyond having been embroiled in a number of lawsuits over the years.

What it does tell me is enough to be fairly comfortable that any relationship between Catholic Online, LLC and the Catholic Church itself is arms length, and what is published there is reflective of the company and its ownership and is not directed out of Rome.

Part II:   The Article Itself:  Gender Is Gift:  The Dangers Of The Gender Identity Movement Must Be Exposed

Every single human cell contains chromosomes which identify whether we are male or female. That cannot be changed. It is a given. In fact, it is a gift.
Welcome to the opening line - the standard trope we've heard from various sources in the right wing when arguing against any kind of accommodation for transgender people.  Chromosomes determine sex, and sex determines gender ... or so the argument goes.  Of course, there are a plethora of intersex conditions which call that little bit of nonsense into question.

The Gender Identity Movement insists upon the recognition in the positive law of a newfound right to somehow choose one's gender. They insist upon laws which accommodate, fund, and enforce this newfound right. Those involved in the activist wing of the movement want to compel the rest of society to recognize their vision of a brave new world or face the Police Power of the State. In a culture where freedom is redefined as a right to choose anything and liberty has degenerated into license, the newspeak of the age calls the instrumental use of the body of another sexual freedom. Sadly, the same spirit of the age fails to recognize the integral unity of the human person, body, soul and spirit, and has turned the human body into a machine with parts which the revolutionaries think can simply be interchanged. 
The grammar nazi in me desperately wants to tear this paragraph apart.  It is appallingly poorly structured.

However, there are basically three prongs of attack that they are setting out:


  1. That laws which prohibit discrimination against transgender people are somehow "creating" a right which did not exist before.
  2. That transgender people, simply by existing in the public sphere, are somehow central to the degeneration of society into licentiousness.
  3. That transgenderism is based on the notion of body parts being interchangeable. 

I have yet to fully understand what it is that people have against ensuring that all members of society are freely able to live and contribute equally, free from discrimination and marginalization.  Coming from an allegedly Christian source it is particularly disappointing.  One only has to spend a small amount of time reviewing the history of early Christianity to observe that the modern day church has its roots in a highly persecuted group.  That they should engage in the same kind of persecution today is testament to how far the faith has drifted from its roots.

LGBT people have long been pointed to as an example of society degenerating into licentiousness - mostly based on the mythology there is something inherently immoral about someone whose sexual preferences aren't aligned with the "majority".  Really, this is rooted in little more than social "othering" - a favourite tactic of bullies through the ages.

The last claim fails entirely to address the realities of what it means for someone to be transgender.  First of all, it makes the assumption that gender surgery is somehow a central feature of transition.  It is not.  Second, as with the pithy quote used as an introductory statement, it makes the false assumption that there is a direct relationship between gender and genitals.  Talk to anyone who has walked through a gender transition, and you will find that even if they have had Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS), that there is an awareness that the physical only defines a limited subset of gendered experience.

Quoting former Pope Benedict XVI's address to the Curia in December 2012, the article's author makes the following claims:


"The profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, which serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves. According to the biblical creation account, being created by God as male and female pertains to the essence of the human creature. This duality is an essential aspect of what being human is all about, as ordained by God." 
"This very duality as something previously given is what is now disputed. The words of the creation account: "male and female he created them" (Gen 1:27) no longer apply. No, what applies now is this: it was not God who created them male and female - hitherto society did this, now we decide for ourselves. Man and woman as created realities, as the nature of the human being, no longer exist. Man calls his nature into question. From now on he is merely spirit and will."
Frankly, I do not expect any Pope to be terribly well versed in the subtleties of human experience when it comes to gender, sexuality and the accompanying social baggage.  My expectations where Benedict XVI (Ratzinger) are concerned are exceedingly low.

Ratzinger misses something that is critical in his analysis. He presupposes that the physical body defines the person entirely.  The one thing that psychology has demonstrated in its relatively short history is that mind and body are not guaranteed to be congruent.

Further, his attempt to interpret Genesis literally falls flat on its face when confronted with actual evidence.  Of particular note is the existence of people who have CAS and other intersex conditions.  These are naturally occurring conditions, and just as much part of "God's Creation" as anything else.  Frankly, the rest of the Genesis story is so riddled with statements that we know to be factually incorrect that it is difficult to take seriously any attempt to read it literally.


These articles reflect where this is headed unless we expose it and oppose it. The operative word in all of this is gender.  Cultural revolutionaries are intent on redefining the word. Then, using the Police Power of the State, they insist that people be guaranteed a right to choose their gender and change their mind at whim. 
Babette Francis mentioned a book in the gender identity movement, "Trans People in Love", co-edited by Katrina Fox, an Australian activist, who "wrote an emotive piece for the Australian Broadcasting Commission recently entitled "Marriage needs redefining." In it she insists that all the "gender boundaries" surrounding marriage must be removed. "A more inclusive option," she begins, "is to allow individuals to get married whatever their sex or gender, including those who identify as having no sex or gender or whose sex may be indeterminate."

Well, duh.  As much as the far right wing likes to continue to insist that the only kind of marriage that is valid is between a man and a woman, countries like Canada who have legalized Same Sex Marriage demonstrate clearly that there is absolutely no basis to the fear mongering that society will collapse as a result.  Further, existing marriage laws in so many places hang transgender and intersex people out to dry.


We also face an increase of what are wrongly referred to as Sex Change or Gender Reassignment surgeries. Though those who suffer from Gender Identity Disorder (GID) deserve empathy, the facts remain; no such surgery can accomplish a change of gender or sexual identity. In effect, they mutilate the body and destroy the bodily integrity of the person. 
Every single human cell contains chromosomes which identify whether we are male or female. That cannot be changed. It is a given. In fact, it is a gift.
As previously noted, chromosomes and DNA are far from the entire story when it comes to gender.  Even if you take the line that chromosomes = sex, you run smack into having to explain a variety of intersex conditions where chromosomes clearly do not equal sex.  I'm not at all certain that such simplistic aphorisms are ever going to be meaningful.

Most transsexuals will tell you that if their "birth sex" was a gift, it was given by someone with a particularly nasty sense of humour.


Removal of genitals and attachment of artificially constructed ones which are absolutely incapable of ovulation or conception, in the case of a transsexual male who tries to be a woman, or the generation of sperm, in the case of a transsexual woman trying to be a man, does not change the structure of reality. 
The removal constitutes mutilation and the construction of artificial organs with no reproductive function does not alter the gender or sex of the person. Medical science confirms that our identity as male or female affects even our brains. In addition, even the physical appearance must be sustained by massive doses of synthetic hormones.
The argument that GRS is somehow "mutilation" fails to appropriately examine the consequences of failing to provide that surgery for transsexuals.  Here is where the whole person arguments that the religious love to throw around are obliged face the fact that GRS is part of a protocol aimed at ensuring that the whole person is as congruent as possible.  No more, and no less.


In 2002 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Catholic Church issued a letter sent without public release to every Bishop. It clearly stated that such surgical procedures do not alter a person's gender and that in no circumstance are baptismal records of such individuals who have undergone them to be altered. Further, the document made clear that no one who has undergone such a surgery is eligible to marry, be ordained to the priesthood or enter the religious life. 
At the time the letter was received from Rome, Bishop Wilton D. Gregory of Belleville, Ill., was the President of the U.S. Bishops' conference. He sent a letter to all US Bishops in which he wrote "The altered condition of a member of the faithful under civil law does not change one's canonical condition, which is male or female as determined at the moment of birth." 
The Gender Identity Movement insists upon the recognition in the positive law of a newfound right to somehow choose one's gender. They insist upon laws which accommodate, fund, and enforce this newfound right. Those involved in the activist wing of the movement want to compel the rest of society to recognize their vision of a brave new world or face the Police Power of the State.

In short, when you distill the entirety of their argument down, it still reduces to preserving their religiously borne right to treat others as second class citizens.

If the great danger that transgender people pose to the Catholic Church is that their presence and existence will someday force the church to treat all people as equal members of society, then perhaps the Church needs to revisit its dogma and practices with an open heart and mind.  It is hard to argue that would be a bad thing.




4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The site catholic.org takes the most biased and bigoted stories from foxnews, newsmax, et. al. and reposts them like a troll, until recently without giving credit. Look up the video of Michael Galloway telling the Bakersfield reporter to "go eat some tacos" because of his skin color. That tells you all you really need to know.

MgS said...

I did find that video ... and a few others. Mr. Galloway certainly does not come across as a pleasant man, does he?

Anonymous said...

Nothing about his site is actually Catholic. In his mission statement he has listed his company as a for profit website, which is red flag number one, as anything that is actually affiliated with the Catholic Church has to be a nonprofit. Beyond that, the Vatican uses an imprimi prostate, nihil obstat, and imprimatur to signify approved information that doesn't violate the doctrine of the church, none of which are found on his site. (Never mind the dozens of plagiarized bits from Baptist sites on his page which are obviously not Catholic, as well as the countless places where his posted opinions to contradict church doctrine.) He has also been sued countless times by not only the local Catholic Diocese for his scams (collecting money for charity and never giving it to charity) but by the IRS for the same. I could go on, but I'll stop at that. The only reason this little troll has gotten to keep his website and LLC name is because he bought it in 1994 and paid for it through 2020, and the word catholic (small c) is a regular English word that means universal. Basically he can't be sued by the Catholic Church for using the word catholic anymore than Universal Studios could sue you for use of the word universal in your LLC or website name. If a website doesn't specifically list an association with a Diocese or the Vatican, it's just some a$$hat with a computer and an opinion.

MgS said...

One of the purposes of this blog is to identify these asshats, and call them out.

Galloway and his organization might be nothing more than "an asshat with a computer and an opinion", but that doesn't make the hate and misinformation he spews any less damaging, nor do I believe you can simply ignore the publication of such hatred.