Thursday, June 09, 2016

Bishops and Reality

Seldom do Alberta's Bishops allow reality to interfere with their preconceived ideas.  In fact, where Calgary's Bishop Henry is concerned, the idea of reality seems to exist in another dimension entirely where LGBT rights are concerned.  In his latest tirade, carrying the grandiose title "TOTALITARIANISM IN ALBERTA IV", is so profoundly riddle with ignorance, hyperbole and outright paranoid thoughts that it deserves a more detailed tearing down.  
Despite the differing signage, ranging from “Flush Bill 10” to “Everyone Can Pee,” the issues are not just about bathrooms, plumbing and urination, parental rights, safety of children, how people feel, GSAs and an imperfect Bill 10. What is at stake is the very order of creation. (emphasis added)
Apparently, protecting LGBT youth in Alberta schools is now such a profound threat to the Bishop that it now represents an existential threat to the world itself!  Wow ... I had no idea that LGBT, and in particular Trans, kids were so powerful.
Mr. Eggen's guiding principle for best practices is: “self-identification is the sole measure of an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.” This foundational statement is simply assumed to be true and no evidence is offered to substantiate the claim.

Such subjectivity is ever expansive and morally problematic. LGBT has now swelled to LGBTTQQIAAP2S. ... The newest addition is the “2S” which denotes being two-spirited, a term used for one who does not fit into the male/female binary. Some have even added “BDSM” for those into bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism.
Oh yes, the dreaded "slippery slope" argument.  Of course recognizing that human sexuality and expression is far more diverse than the simple male/female missionary model that the Bishop seems so hung up on would collapse - a reality that most of us have figured out the hard way.
However, facts, not ideology, determine reality. On April 6, 2016, the American College of Pediatricians, representing more than a hundred pediatricians, issued an important statement concerning gender ideology ... The College’s statement meshes perfectly with biblical and theological truths.
 Let's look at this for a moment.  "Biblical and theological truths" is a key phrase in here.  Let me be abundantly clear about something.  In spite of the Bishop's protestations, we are not talking about biblical or theological notions of truth here.  Bill 10 and the guidelines that came down earlier this year are not about those issues at all - they are about protecting children and creating a safe environment for them.  For all that the Bishop may wish to blather on about "biblical truth", the fact is that he is miles offside here, because there is clear evidence that providing safe, secure environments that acknowledge the realities of LGBT youth provide better outcomes for their education.  (There's a lot more like this)  From the pulpit, the Bishop is free to spout whatever he wishes, but when it comes to objective realities, the facts contradict everything he is saying.

Pope Francis, “the who am I to judge” Pope, has not minced his words: “the gender ideology is demonic.” He includes gender theory among the fundamental dangers of our era, with the same threatening potential as nuclear weapons and gene manipulation and describes it as an attitude with which man creates a new sin that is directed against God the Creator.
I love this.  The political right wing has started to use the language of "gender ideology" in its attacks on gender minorities.  Seriously?  Lovely attempt at trying to obfuscate the discussion by inventing terminology.  Rather than admitting that they are objecting to equality rights for transgender people (which means you have to admit that you are advocating for discriminatory practices), the Bishop borrows a meaningless piece of verbiage and uses it hoping that we won't notice the sleight of hand.
“Beyond the understandable difficulties which individuals may experience, the young need to be helped to accept their own body as it was created, for thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation… Sex education should help young people to accept their own bodies and to avoid the pretension to cancel out sexual differences because one no longer know how to deal with it.”
Really?  I wonder if either the Bishop or the Pope realize that most transgender people experience  significant levels of dysphoria from the outset?  That for some, the only option for a viable life is to transition?  Many spend years trying desperately to "accept" the lot that they have been given, only to find that they are perpetually unable to do so.  It isn't merely "accepting their bodies", most have struggled for years to achieve that, and failed.

Bishop Henry might want to actually get to know the realities that transgender people face, the struggles of their lives and how his hostility to them affects their lives before making grandiose pronouncements about how they should be "treated" in his judgment.