The Party That Extremism Built

When Democrats ask for their jobs back next year, there should be two dates on voter’s mind: February 25 and May 17. One should have been an unremarkable Monday. That all changed when 44 men and women marched to the Senate floor and justified taking the life of a newborn baby. Three months after that extreme, the House is taking its turn at gut-wrenching clarity — this time, with a bill that would wad up 231 years of freedom and throw it in the garbage along with the rest of the so-called “personal choices” liberals won’t protect. If there was ever any doubt that Democrats are out to destroy the republic, today’s vote on the Equality Act ought to have made that quite clear.

Apparently, the party of legal infanticide wasn’t radical enough. Now, Speaker Nancy Pelsoi (D-Calif.) is going for broke. She doesn’t just want to treat infants like garbage, but women, freedom, parents, science, employers, and religious organizations too. When 228 members of her party cast their “yes” votes for H.R. 5, they weren’t only saying yes to the most extreme piece of LGBT legislation in history — they were saying no to girls’ sportsparents’ authorityreligious libertywomen’s rightsprivacy, and the free market.

What most people don’t understand is that this campaign was never about equality. That was just a convenient stalking horse to get what the far-Left really wants: raw power. Think about it, Stella Morabito writes in a frightening column about the end-game of H.R. 5. “If you and your cronies wanted to control everybody’s lives, how exactly would you go about [it]?” Obviously, you wouldn’t come right out and say it. “You would mask your self-supremacist intentions with a benign and trendy word like ‘equality.’ You’d pretend that your project was about helping a vulnerable minority.”

In this case, that minority is a handy one. Society is already trained to tiptoe around the people who identify as LGBT. That’s why this legislation is so shrewd — it plays right into the country’s hypersensitivities about tolerance. As Stella points out, Democrats already have an infrastructure in place that shames anyone who with morals, questions, or points of concern about their agenda. Add that to the Left’s around-the-clock reward system for CEOs, organizations, and celebrities who support the con job, and suddenly, the culture is ripe for the taking. “It’s another attempt by a ruling micro-clique to exert mega-control over everyone else’s lives…”

And eight Republicans were foolish enough to take the bait. Reps. Susan Brooks (Ind.), Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.), Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Will Hurd (Texas), John Katko (N.Y.), Tom Reed (N.Y.), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), and Greg Walden (Ore.) played right into the Democrats’ hands. And it’s not as if the warning signs aren’t there. Teachers are already being fired for using the “wrong” pronoun. Girls are already being violated in restrooms and changing rooms and bathrooms. Shop owners are already being driven out of business for their beliefs. Female athletes are already losing scholarships and competitions to biological males. Taxpayers are already bankrolling abortion. Doctors, nurses, and therapists are already handcuffed into violating their conscience. Religious charities are already closing their doors because the government wants to force them to change their standards. America is already catering to the 0.6 percent at the expense of the other 99.4. This would just give the government more painful tools to punish non-conformers.

“No one who disagrees with this bill,” Congressman Doug Collins (R-Ga.) said, “believes [anyone] ought to be treated wrongly, badly. Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) echoed his friend. “There are some fundamental principles that we ought to agree on: don’t hurt other people, respect the right of doctors to do no harm, respect the right of parents to protect their children… Unfortunately, [the bill before us today] violates these principles in the most fundamental way… And this isn’t speculation. Many states have adopted similar laws so we can see firsthand the result of them. This bill harms people in so many ways, taking away safe spaces for women, undermining women… We know this will happen because it already has.”

One after another, conservatives held the line. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) warned that H.R. 5 is “a classic example of passing something now and figuring out what it actually means later. We have been here before. If the devil is in the detail, we’re in for a lot of devilish surprises. This is a small price for some greater good [that] the bill’s proponents have argued.” She’s right, Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) made clear. “This is not equality. This is far from it.” Almost as far as the brave new Left is from the American people.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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EDITORS NOTE: This FRC column is republished with permission.

State of “Gun Violence” in the United States

Politicians treat so-called “gun violence” as a lever issue, hoping to energize their base and guilt law-abiding Americans into supporting policies that would have no effect on crime or help the mentally ill. Part of this effort entails presenting as large a number of fatalities as possible, and so researchers, the media, and anti-gun politicians combine suicide, homicide, accidents, legal interventions, and incidents in which the intent is unknown.

They’ve chosen to sensationalize tragedies time and again to advance an anti-freedom agenda. The media misrepresents old data by using current-tense headlines. Anti-gun organizations the Brady Campaign and Moms Demand Action politicized memorial services held the day after a shooting when the community wanted a chance to mourn properly. Anti-gun politicians ignore pre-existing trend data if it means they can claim gun control works – no matter how many caveats are included in the underlying analysis.

What does “gun violence” really look like? CDC non-fatal injury data is not reliable, but fatality statistics are accurate. The most recent data available is for 2017; there were 39,772 total firearms-related fatalities. Sixty percent were suicides. Thirty-seven percent were homicides, which is a rate of 4.5 fatalities per 100,000 people. The rate held steady between 2016 and 2017, but it has increased slightly since the start of the decade. However, the 2017 rate is 34% lower than it was in 1980 and 36% lower than in 1993. In other words, the firearms-related homicide rate dropped by 36% in the last 25 years for which we have data. Rates don’t tell the whole story; the total population grew by more than 99 million people from 1980 to 2017 and the number of firearms-related homicides decreased by 958.

Let’s look at the specific wording used in a recent article supporting gun control. “In 2017, the United States had the highest rate of firearm fatalities since 1996.” This statement is specifically crafted to make a dramatic point. The rate of all firearms-related fatalities in 1996 was lower than it was in the previous 15 years, and the rate was lower every year from 1997 through 2016. The data tell a clear story, even in the presence of a recent and moderate increase. Perhaps more importantly, the data shows that suicide is increasing as a percentage of all firearms-related fatalities.

Not all charts are as clear. Some seem designed to support a certain perspective rather than to present data without bias. Doctor Eric Fleegler, affiliated with Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, recently published the above-referenced article titled, “Mass Shootings and the Numbing of America” in JAMA Internal Medicine. He presented firearms-related fatalities by age group and intent. The bars represent the percentage of all fatalities within that age group that involve firearms.

This representation is technically correct, but it suggests at first look that there are more firearms-related fatalities among younger people, specifically those within the 15-19-year-old and 20-24-year-old age groups. The chart really indicates what is not shown: that younger people face fewer potentially fatal injuries and health complications than older generations. In other words, younger age cohorts are generally healthier than older people, some of whom unfortunately pass away due to falls, to heart disease, cancer, or any number of other issues that are not common among teenagers and young adults.

This commentary is not designed to trivialize any deaths, but efforts to address firearms-related fatalities should be targeted and the data needs to be considered sincerely. Unfortunately, we too often see the presentation of data sensationalized to make a point. But, that’s the shell game that anti-gun activists and politicians want to play.

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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column is republished with permission.

Should We Panic over the Measles Outbreaks?

In general, it is not a good idea to panic about anything. The panic itself often causes more harm than the original threat.

Crisis situations, real or contrived, lead to new intrusive laws that the public would never accept otherwise. We supposedly cherish freedom, but if we believe that the world will end if we don’t act NOW, then we may clamor for the government to save us. Cynical politicians bent on increasing their power never let a crisis go to waste.

Something like the Green New Deal—the end of our comfortable, prosperous lifestyle—takes a truly apocalyptic threat. But to eliminate our freedom to decline a medical treatment, the threat that “millions will die” of measles is evidently enough. Or if not millions (most older people had measles and recovered fully), a few especially vulnerable children, who can’t be vaccinated themselves, might catch measles and die.

There are several hundred cases of measles nationwide, more than in 2014, and bills are being pushed through state legislatures to eliminate all but very narrow exemptions to the 60 shots now mandated for school attendance.

In New York City, people are receiving summonses based on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s emergency order. Everybody, adult or child, who lives in four ZIP code areas must get an MMR shot or prove immunity, or face the prospect of a $1,000 fine ($2,000 if you don’t appear as ordered). Your religious exemption is overridden. The threat of 6 months in prison and the prospect of forcible vaccination were removed before a hearing on a lawsuit brought by five mothers. The judge dismissed the case.

Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot said that the purpose of the fines is not to punish but to encourage more people to proclaim the message that vaccines are safe and effective. Get it? If you say something to avoid a fine, that makes it true.

It’s about the need for herd immunity, they say. We need a 95 percent vaccination rate for herd immunity to measles. With only 91 percent or so we are having outbreaks! If we could just vaccinate another 4 or 5 percent!

Mayor De Blasio has a point about vaccinating everyone. Adults are getting measles because their shots have worn off. It is likely that we have survived for decades with a large part of the adult population vaccinated—but not immune. So where do the mandates stop?

Outbreaks have occurred in populations with a near-100 percent vaccination rate. Was it vaccine failure? Or was the vaccine not refrigerated properly? Or was a claimed outbreak real? One in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was called off when a special test, a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) showed a vaccine-strain measles virus rather than a wild-strain measles virus. Some 5 percent of vaccinees may get an illness that looks like measles, but it is just a “vaccine reaction.” Can they shed live virus? Yes. Should you keep your immunocompromised child away from recently vaccinated people? Just asking.

Like all medical treatments, vaccines are neither 100 percent effective, nor 100 percent safe. Read the FDA-required, FDA-approved package inserts. Arizona defeated a law that would have required making these available to parents in obtaining informed consent. (You can get them on the internet.) Vaccine Court has paid out about $4 billion in damages—recently for two children with severe brain damage from encephalopathy (that’s brain inflammation) after a fight lasting about 15 years. Just incidentally, they had an autism diagnosis also. Parents bring their severely injured children to hearings. You won’t see these children on tv, only pictures of babies with measles. No “fear-mongering” allowed about “rare,” possibly coincidental problems from vaccines.

There are trade-offs with vaccines: risks and benefits. But in the panic about measles, the right to give or withhold informed consent—fundamental in medical ethics as well as U.S. and international law—is being sacrificed. And so is free speech. The AMA wants to censor “anti-vaccine” information on social media. I happened on a factual article by investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson, but was not able to retweet it because it had been removed.

The threat of infectious diseases is real and increasing. We need more robust public health measures, better vaccines, and improved public knowledge and awareness. Deploying vaccine police and shutting down debate will erode trust in health authorities and physicians, although more people may get their shots. But such heavy-handed measures will not defeat the enemy—measles and worse diseases.

Nancy Pelosi’s Equality Act Would Undo Trump’s Most Significant Achievements

Back in October, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi told an audience at Harvard University that if the Democrats retook the House, one of her top legislative priorities would be to pass the misnamed Equality Act, a bill that would impose radical sexual ideology on the nation.

Democrats took the House, and Pelosi wasn’t bluffing. She’s now pushing a bill that would undo some of the most significant achievements of the Trump administration. Here’s how.

The Equality Act adds the phrase “sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity)” to our nation’s civil rights laws that ban discrimination on the basis of race. This means the law would suddenly treat people as racists if they dare to dissent from the left’s ideology on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Here are the major Trump victories that the Equality Act would undo.

1. The Equality Act would force employers to cover abortion, and medical professionals to perform or assist in performing abortions.

When the Obama administration tried to force this same policy in its very last months in office, a federal judge declared it unlawful. When the Trump administration came into office, the Trump Justice Department agreed with that judge and did not appeal his ruling, which placed a 50-state injunction on that regulation.

Should the Equality Act become law, this abortion policy would become the law of the land, undermining President Donald Trump’s significant pro-life record.

2. The Equality Act would force employers to pay for sex “reassignment” procedures in their health insurance plans, and require medical professionals to perform them.

Think Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor, but only worse. If a health care plan covers mastectomies in the case of cancer, but not in the case of “reassignment,” the Equality Act would deem this illegal “discrimination.” So, too, if a doctor chooses to perform mastectomies in the case of cancer but not for sex “reassignment” purposes. That doctor would be guilty of illegal “discrimination.”

Thankfully, when the Obama administration attempted to impose this mandate, a federal judge struck it down, and the Trump administration agreed with the judge and did not appeal the ruling. Should the Equality Act become law, it would undo Trump’s policy of protecting the freedom of medical doctors to not perform “reassignment” procedures if they deem them bad medicine.

3. The Equality Act would force all schools and businesses to open their women’s bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and sports teams to boys who “identify as” girls and to men who “identify as” women.

The Obama administration imposed this transgender mandate on schools in all 50 states, and thankfully the Trump administration reversed the misguided policy during its first weeks of office. But, should the Equality Act become law, it would override the Trump policy and would threaten the privacy, safety, and equality of women and girls across the country.

4. The Equality Act could be used to force the military to pay for “reassignment” procedures and force the military to accept recruits suffering from gender dysphoria who are not combat-ready.

The Trump administration has implemented a careful, nuanced policy that allows people who identify as transgender to serve in the military—provided they no longer suffer from gender dysphoria and serve in accordance with their biological sex. But should the Equality Act become law, this Trump policy could be deemed “discrimination.”

5. The Equality Act would force faith-based adoption agencies to either violate their conviction that every child deserves both a mother and a father or to stop serving children in need altogether.

Thankfully, the Trump administration has taken initial steps to protect adoption agencies from these misguided policies. Additional steps are needed. But if the Equality Act became law, it would force all adoption agencies in all 50 states to either violate their convictions or close their doors.

6. The Equality Act would force a variety of small business owners to violate their beliefs about marriage, sexuality, and gender.

At the state level, this has happened to bakers, florists, photographers, and even funeral home owners.

Thankfully the Trump administration has supported these small business owners as their cases proceeded through the court system. But should the Equality Act become law, it would bring the full force of the federal government against these small business owners, treating them as violators of federal civil rights law.

7. The Equality Act, in general, threatens the freedom of speech, freedom of association, and free exercise of religion rights of countless people.

Anyone who believes we are created male and female, and that male and female are created for each other, will be at risk. This means Orthodox Jews, Roman Catholics, Evangelical Christians, Latter-day Saints, Muslims, and people of no particular faith tradition but who take science seriously will be on the wrong side of federal civil rights law.

Thankfully, the Trump administration has championed freedom of speech, free exercise of religion, and the rights of conscience. All of this would be at risk should the Equality Act become law.

COMMENTARY BY

Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., is the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation, where he researches and writes about marriage, bioethics, religious liberty and political philosophy. Anderson is the author of several books and his research has been cited by two U.S. Supreme Court justices in two separate cases. Read his Heritage research. Twitter: .

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Dear Readers:

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However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission.

Ignorance, Fear and LGBTQ

Mary and I met with several black relatives for dinner at a restaurant in Baltimore. The jovial conversation drifted to politics. I was stunned that they know nothing about several important political issues. Because they only watch mainstream media, my relatives are either misinformed or uninformed.

For example: My relatives have never heard of Sharia Law. When I explained the tyranny of Sharia and how leftists are promoting it in America, my relatives were shocked. Overwhelmed, a relative said, “I’ve heard enough. Can we change the subject?”

The second thing that disturbed me was my relatives’ intense fear of pushing back against LGBTQ indoctrination that is impacting their lives. As I said, these are not political people. And yet, they know they had better not get caught opposing LGBTQ activists forcefully infiltrating every aspect of our lives; from public education to entertainment to Sunday morning worship.

A relative said her two granddaughters told her about a picture posted on the internet by their cousin. Their cousin is a girl who posted a picture of her kissing her girlfriend. All these kids are in elementary school. Disturbed, my relative asked her son, her granddaughter’s father, about the picture. He begged his mom not to say anything about the picture. He feared that disapproving of their cousin kissing her girlfriend could lead to him being deemed an unfit parent and losing custody of his daughters.

Another relative said his two little granddaughters were painting their fingernails. Having a little fun, he bent his hand femininely and said, “Paint my nails too.” The little girls immediately turned stone-faced. They said, “That’s not funny Pop-pop. It’s not right to make fun of them like that.” My relative was taken aback by how upset his granddaughters were with him. He did not know that kids are taught beginning in pre-k that homosexuality is superior to heterosexuality

Another relative chimed in about a visit at his adult daughter’s home. His granddaughter looked beautiful in her gown for a formal high school event. He was shocked when her date arrived. It was a girl wearing a tuxedo. He thought this was terrible but hid his feelings, fearful of offending his daughter and granddaughter. He knew they would think he was an old-fashion, out-of-date hater if he showed any sign of disapproval.

Folks, LGBTQ activists’ domination of our culture has come a long ways from the days when they claimed they only wanted tolerance. Today, they demand that we bend a knee in total submission and approval of their lifestyle in education, entertainment media and even Christian churches. LGBTQ activists are aggressively seeking to ban the Bible, declaring it bigoted hate speech. LGBTQ activists seek to make it illegal to counsel those who wish to transition from LGBTQ lifestyles

Leftists are thrilled about “Corpus Christi” which is a blasphemous movie in which Jesus and his disciples are portrayed as homosexuals. And yet, leftists are demanding that public schools forbid students from drawing pictures of Mohammad because Sharia law says to do so is blasphemy

My late dad, Dr Rev Lloyd E Marcus said homosexuals were coming out of the closet and forcing us who believe the Bible into the closet. Truer words were never spoken.

Years ago, I wrote an article about how LGBTQ activists were aggressively seeking to infiltrate and take-down Christian institutions like the Boy Scouts of America. Tragically, LGBTQ activists have transformed the Boy Scouts away from its Christian founding, principles and values. Everything I stated in that article was 100% true. Shockingly, Christians, conservatives and Republicans who usually agree with me backed away from me. My article was branded “mean-spirited” and “anti-Christian”.

At that time, I was Chairman of a PAC which helped to elect conservative candidates. LGBTQ activists attacked our candidate, demanding that they disassociate from this “hater”, Lloyd Marcus. My employer warned that if the bad press intensified, he would be forced to request my resignation. This was my first time personally experiencing the wrath and punishment of LGBTQ activists, simply because I warned people about their mission to bully us into submission.

The surprising intensity of the LGBTQ attacks, reporters chasing me down and sticking microphones in my face, scared me. I could not give a rat’s derriere about what leftists think of me. I had to fight off feelings of guilt as I witnessed LGBTQ enforcers attacking everyone associated with me.

My wife Mary and I prayed about the situation. My wife is awesome. Mary said, “You must spread truth without fear of man.” Life has taught us that while my paycheck came from my employer, God is the true source of our financial security. The heated attacks over my LGBTQ/Boy Scouts article faded away. I was not fired.

However, another of my controversial articles sparked tension between my employer and me. Mary and I concluded that I must be free to write as I am led by God. I resigned from my position as chairman of the PAC.

For years, leftists have accused me of being a black “Uncle Tom sellout” highly paid by the Republican Party. This is not true. Quitting my position as chairman of a PAC was a serious financial decision; an act of faith. God is faithful and has sustained us. Praise God!

I left our family gathering at the restaurant feeling a bit disturbed that my relatives were so politically clueless and so fearful of attempting to stop LGBTQ activists from forcing their anti-Christian agenda down the throats of our children. Still, I am determined to continue spreading the truth and standing up for what is right. God is the source of my strength.

On a positive note, my wife Mary is a crab-cake snob. The crab-cakes at Romano’s restaurant were excellent.

RELATED VIDEO: Drag Queen Showdown – Bill Finley.

Big oil goes big green: Green groups rake in fossil fuel cash

Climate alarmists often accuse skeptics, like myself and independent groups like CFACT, of being in the pay of Big Oil. This is completely false — we do not receive even a dime from them. It is part of the green fairy tale that skepticism only exists because the oil companies are funding it. That Exxon-Mobil threw a few million at various skeptical causes prior to 2007 is the standard example, but that was many years ago.  They have stopped sending any money whatsoever to skeptical causes since then.

So I did some digging and the reality turns out to be just the opposite. In fact the big oil companies are putting at least a billion dollars into alarmist projects and lobbying. Of course they have good commercial reasons, which are killing coal and making natural gas more “climate friendly.” After all, Big Oil is also Big Gas.

The central vehicle for moving these green billion dollars goes by a perfectly descriptive name — the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative or OGCI. If the false accusers were correct then “oil and gas” would never go together with “climate initiative” but there it is and it is very big.

OGCI members include these Big Oil names:

  • British Petroleum
  • Chevron
  • China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)
  • Eni
  • Equinor
  • Exxon Mobil Corporation
  • Occidental Petroleum
  • Pemex – Petróleos Mexicanos
  • Petroleo Brasileiro – PETROBRAS
  • Repsol
  • Royal Dutch Shell
  • Saudi Aramco
  • Total

Collectively they claim to produce 30% of the world’s oil and gas.

The OGCI website features a lineup of Corporate CEOs, just to show how seriously green they are. Their latest annual report has a letter from the CEOs, including this gem:

As our ambition grows with the scale of the challenge, we look forward to working closely with policy-makers, regulators and all stakeholders to help develop the levers that can economically and sustainably accelerate the pace of the low carbon transition.”

OGCI was started in 2014, shortly after the famous Chesapeake Energy scandal. Chesapeake’s CEO was caught giving the Sierra Club millions of dollars to support the war on coal, but some Club members objected, given that they consider fossil fuels their enemy.

What seems to have happened is that the ever-wily big companies simply created their own green group. With a billion bucks in funding it may well be the biggest outfit in Big Green (not counting the green governments).

However, I also found that EDF is actively engaged with corporations, via its EDF+Business arm. In particular EDF has a huge methane reduction program — the Methane Challenge — that involves OGCI. This program is featured in the Sustainability Reports of several major oil companies. EDF is even building and launching their own satellite, cleverly called MethaneSAT.

EDF is clearly getting a lot of money for this. They say they get none directly from the companies, rather that they get it from unspecified “philanthropies.” Where these philanthropies get it may be a different story. They could easily be laundering Big Oil money. It may be telling that OGCI does not issue a financial report.

Space News actually asked EDF about this funding but got stonewalled. Here is their report:

However, EDF has provided few details about how much MethaneSAT will cost or how it will be funded. The project received last year a grant from a new initiative called The Audacious Project, although the size of the award was not disclosed. An EDF spokesman did not respond to an inquiry about the financial status of the project.”

Having EDF on their side is certainly a big plus for Big Oil.

In any case it is clear that Big Oil is spending at least a billion dollars on green stuff, which is a lot of green. There is no evidence that the skeptics are getting anything, but if some are it is trivial in comparison. Meanwhile OGCI is getting at least a billion and EDF maybe many millions.

When it comes to skepticism, the simple fact is that roughly half of Americans do not accept climate alarmism, right up to the President. No one is paying for this widespread skepticism. As for Big Oil, they are putting big bucks into green climate initiatives, not skepticism. Conservatives do have their think tanks, which happily manage to find some funding, but not from Big Oil for climate skepticism.

That Big Oil is responsible for skepticism is just another part of the alarmist fantasy world.

Author

David Wojick

David Wojick, Ph.D. is an independent analyst working at the intersection of science, technology and policy. For origins click here. For over 100 prior articles for CFACT click here. Available for confidential research and consulting.

Transgenderism as a Tool of Humiliation

Matthew Hanley: Transgender activists are unafraid to make menacing displays of power, to which appeals to basic reason count for nothing.


What if I were to tell you that defining gender by objective reference to genetics, anatomy, and genitalia “has no basis in science”? Would you consider that persuasive – or unhinged?

That, alas, is the viewpoint expressed in the journal Nature, long reputed to be an authoritative scientific publication. They now banish the classification of male and female as “a terrible idea that should be killed off” since it threatens to “undo decades of progress” in reclassifying sex and gender as a “social construct.” You might think Nature would be concerned about cultivating a credibility problem. But what do they have to worry about when colossal lies are the order of the day?

Regarding the “mismatch between gender and the sex on a person’s birth certificate,” Nature applauds the American Academy of Pediatrics for advising physicians to “treat people according to their preferred gender, regardless of appearance or genetics.” Pediatricians doubling as transgender apologists: this surely is the mark of a culture that has made peace with its disdain for children, science, and human nature.

Meanwhile, the American Psychological Association (APA) has issued guidelines warning about the dangers of espousing “traditional masculinity.” But if we are to take the APA at its word, why on earth should medical authorities encourage a female to become a male?  It seems the reigning approach is that troubled females should be entitled to undergo reassignment surgery – an act of mutilation – in order to acquire an unconvincing external appearance, but should also, thenceforth, be encouraged to disdain all the “harmful” traits associated with masculinity.

A related inconsistency is also routinely ignored: if transitioning from one sexual identity to another is so enthusiastically embraced as a good to be facilitated because of our enlightened appreciation of gender “fluidity,” why are there legal obstacles to legitimate approaches to help people transition away from homosexuality?

Though still quite rare, there has been a spike in the incidence of transgender identification in recent years – sometimes in bunches and rather out of the blue.  Going transgender does not necessarily invite derision but, believe it or not, is sometimes pursued as a way to boost popularity among one’s peers. To point that out is not to dismiss the genuine distress some adolescents acutely feel, but largely overcome with the passage of time.

Common sense suggests the transgender surge has been prompted by the Zeitgeist, against which the medical profession, in particular, should be on guard. Yet they have become complicit in its emergence.

We tell ourselves this is a free country.  No one is “forcing” them to peddle the falsehood that a man can become a woman, or vice versa. But just because this is not Mao’s China does not mean that a form of its Cultural Revolution has not made its way here.

So says Anastasia Lin, who left China at age 13 and now resides in Canada.  Writing recently in the Wall Street Journal, she pinpoints the ultimate objective of our politically correct mobs:

The goal is not to persuade or debate; it is to humiliate the target and intimidate everyone else. The ultimate objective is to destroy independent thought.

One can only hope that the extremism exploding all around us may help more people perceive that the target in this case, as with the sexual revolution more broadly, is Christianity itself, along with its social and moral order.  By definition, this means that man himself is in the crosshairs, a point to which many who have adopted the post-Christian quasi-religion of “humanitarianism” are apparently oblivious.

Lin describes how her parent’s generation in China “learned to keep their heads down and to watch what they said, even to their closest friends, for fear of being accused of thought crimes,” in order to lament what is taking hold here as well. Too many of us in any number of professions know how true those words ring.

Coercion in one form or another is mandatory anytime a lie is purveyed to the masses. Examples of this are multiplying before our eyes. A professor at Arizona State University contends, in the American Journal of Bioethics, that parents should not be permitted to prevent their children from acquiring puberty-blocking treatment.

In the inverted thinking so typical of our time, it is the withholding of this “treatment” that constitutes child abuse, rather than the abetting of delusions and the sanctioning of aggressive measures that are often harmful, and in a real sense experimental, since evidence justifying their use is utterly lacking.

For now, that remains a proposal in our country. But the Supreme Court of British Colombia decreed last month that the father of a fourteen-year-old girl may not thwart her quixotic attempt to transition into a boy. She is entitled to puberty blockers that are hers by unnatural right.  Furthermore, the father was put on notice that he also better watch his mouth: calling his own daughter a girl or using female pronouns when referring to her would be considered “family violence,” the truth now being a punishable offense.

And as the night follows the day, he has since been declared “guilty” of that “crime.”

In light of this menacing display of power, basic appeals to reason count for nothing. This is ultimately a matter of competing wills. But taking a strong stance against irrational gender tyrants can work, as Muslims in the UK proved by getting the LGBT-oriented curriculum pulled from their kids’ schools.

That the militant LGBT crowd, having pushed over everyone else, backed down in this context suggests that they are driven primarily by the desire to dismantle Christian sensibility rather than an unwavering belief in gender ideology. Note here the winner in this battle of wills.

If only faith and the art of persuasion were in vogue, more might see that abandoning Christianity and our inbuilt human nature does no favor to man; doing so tends toward ruin, as all too many discover after wading into the transgender abyss.

COLUMN BY

Matthew Hanley

Matthew Hanley is senior fellow with the National Catholic Bioethics Center. With Jokin de Irala, M.D., he is the author of Affirming Love, Avoiding AIDS: What Africa Can Teach the West, which recently won a best-book award from the Catholic Press Association. The opinions expressed here are Mr. Hanley’s and not those of the NCBC.

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2019 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

NASA Chief Criticized for Mentioning Christianity in Speech

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the First Amendment. Or maybe, after the spat over a speech by NASA’s Jim Bridenstine, it does.

Thanks to the double standards of secularism, public officials can’t even talk about faith without making headlines. It’s no wonder, then, that when the head of America’s space program gave remarks at a Christian ministry, even he had trouble finding signs of intelligence in the criticism that followed.

Capitol Ministries, the organization that Bridenstine has supported for years, is hardly controversial. Nine of the president’s 15 Cabinet officials are sponsors of the ministry—whose aim is simple: influencing government with biblical teachings.

During his talk, Bridenstine even talked about the importance of that goal and what it means in the context of these times. “I love what Ralph said earlier: We’re not trying to Christianize the U.S. government. We believe in an institutional separation, but we also believe in influence. And that’s a big distinction and an important distinction, and that’s why I love this ministry.”

Bridenstine couldn’t have been more clear: No one in the Trump administration is trying to create a theocracy. They just want the same freedom to bring their personal views to bear on public policy that liberals have.

Still, secularists like Business Insider’s Dave Mosher seem intent on dragging Bridenstine through the mud for daring to talk about actual NASA history—like Buzz Aldrin’s communion on the moon and the Apollo 8 astronauts’ Bible reading in orbit.

In a 2,000-word rant about the faith of President Donald Trump’s team, Mosher insists that “Some ethics and legal experts outside NASA have expressed concern over Bridenstine’s speech. They believe it ran afoul of the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which outlines a separation of church and state, and might have also violated ethics rules for federal executives.”

Quoting people like Virginia Canter of Citizens for Responsible Ethics, Mosher tries to paint Bridenstine as a typical Establishment Clause abuser. “One’s personal beliefs must be respected, but when appearing in an official capacity, you have to adhere to certain ethical standards,” Canter explained. “One is not to give the impression that you are officially endorsing any products or service or enterprise.”

Funny, where was Mosher when former President Barack Obama was headlining political fundraisers for Planned Parenthood? Or worse, invoking God’s blessing on the abortion giant?

Everyone from Hillary Clinton to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., have not only endorsed the group’s “service”—but funneled hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to it. No one seemed to care when they appeared in their official capacities to preach the gospel of abortion. But put a Christian on the stage from the Trump administration—encouraging something as innocent as prayer—and they’re a walking ethics violation. This is NASA, for crying out loud. What are they worried about? Bridenstine sending astronauts to evangelize the galaxy?

If secularists are upset about Bridenstine’s speech, then they should have been shaking the White House gates over the last administration’s agenda for the space agency.

How quickly we forget those shocking comments in 2010 when Obama told NASA Administrator Charles Bolden that his new mission should be “to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations … .”

If you’re looking for a textbook abuse of public office, I’d say start with the Obama administration. After that, giving a few remarks at a charity function seems like small potatoes.

But hypocrisy is the name of the Democratic game. Like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and countless other Trump officials before him, Bridenstine is just the latest target of an intolerant left whose only goal is purging faith from public life and history.

If activists can’t get Christians to stay quiet, then they’ll try to drive them out of government altogether. That will be tough to do in this administration, thanks to the fearless leadership of Trump. If his team has learned anything, it’s how to stand up to bullies. That shouldn’t be hard for a man like Bridenstine. He was already light-years ahead of the opposition.

EDITORS NOTE: This Family Research Council column is republished with permission.

Gender Identity Law Declares War on Women, Forces Trans Men to be Accepted as Female

House Democrats have reintroduced a bill that would make “gender identity” a protected class under federal civil rights law and force men who identify as women to be treated and accepted as female. If the measure, known as the Equality Act, becomes law, it would drastically impact numerous sectors.

Hospitals and insurance companies will have to provide costly sex-reassignment therapies, employers and workers who don’t conform to new sexual norms will lose their businesses and jobs and women would lose female-only facilities and sports. The only requirement for protection under the bill is a self-declared “gender identity.”

In a statement celebrating the Equality Act’s reintroduction last month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said this: “To dismantle the discrimination undermining our democracy, we must ensure that all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, are treated equally under the law — not just in the workplace, but in education, housing, credit, jury service and public accommodations as well.”

The veteran California congresswoman claims the measure has strong bipartisan support even though two Republicans that supported it when it was first introduced in the last Congress are no longer in office. Florida’s Ileana Ros-Lehtinen retired and Virginia’s Scott Tayler failed to win reelection. Fortunately, the bill is likely to encounter serious resistance in the Republican-majority Senate as well as the White House.

Nevertheless, the transgender movement has become a dangerous war on women and girls and the law floating around in Congress will be detrimental to both. The Equality Act would be a setback to women’s rights in several areas.

American women would be stripped of single-sex accommodations in public multi-stall bathrooms, domestic violence or rape crisis shelters, drug rehabilitation centers, jails, juvenile detention facilities, homeless shelters, locker rooms or group showers. Judicial Watch recently wrote about a separate law that aims to defund women’s shelters that don’t allow transgender men who self-identify as women.

The Equality Act goes further by also stripping a woman’s right to have a person of the same sex conduct security searches on their body, supervise drug tests, handle intimate medical care and supervise children on overnight trips. This is because the language in the proposed law replaces sex with gender identity, open to the claimant’s interpretation, as a protected category.

This would be especially harmful to females in areas such as competitive sports. A decades-old federal measure known as Title IX prohibits discrimination in all federally funded education programs, including sports.

It ensures that boys and girls in elementary through high school and men and women in college have athletic opportunities. If the Equality Act passes males will have the right to compete against females, an atrocity that even the most liberal women and feminists reject.

Among them is tennis legend Martina Navratilova, an 18-time Grand Slam champion who encountered lots of discrimination for coming out as gay during the peak of her professional tennis career in the 1980s. “You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women,” Navratilova said. “It’s insane and it’s cheating. I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her. It would not be fair.”

A recent public high school case in Georgia supports the tennis great’s assessment. At a track competition, a transgender athlete easily beat all the females. The mother of one of the demoralized athletes reached out to several women’s rights groups for help but her concerns fell on deaf ears. A conservative public policy women’s organization in Washington D.C. helped the mother express her concerns to Congress.

In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee the mother writes this: “To say that my daughter, as well as the other female athletes, were humiliated and had a sense of defeatism is an understatement. In the words of my daughter, ‘What’s the point Mom, we can’t win.’ Hearing this broke my heart, for my daughter and for all the female athletes, who train so hard, but no matter how hard they work and train they will never be able to beat a biological male. … What are we doing to our girls by forcing them to race biological males?”

Concerned Women for America, the group that assisted the Georgia mother, has conducted extensive research on the Equality Act and recently published a document outlining the measure’s dangerous consequences for women and girls.

Shea Garrison, the organization’s vice president of international affairs, says the bill wrongfully “redefines civil rights law” and “elevates the interests of one group over another.” An esteemed academic, Garrison’s work and research focuses on women’s economic and social empowerment, religious freedom and human rights.

EDITORS NOTE: This Judicial Watch column is republished with permission.

BOOK REVIEW: The Terror of Existence — From Ecclesiastes to Theater of the Absurd

“Sincerity in literature may not always be a virtue, but insincerity is almost always a vice.” – Theodore Dalrymple

“A theater of the absurd is exactly that: absurd.” – Kenneth Frances


Theodore Dalrymple, a former prison doctor and psychiatrist, and Kenneth Frances, who holds an MA in Theology, joined together to produce a work that explains how we have fallen into the “theater of the absurd.”

I have written dozens of articles about uncontested absurdities that have now become public policies. Theodore Dalrymple and Kenneth Frances analyse how we have come to accept these uncontested absurdities via literary works. Frances writes this about a J.D. Salinger book read by millions of public education students:

I have often wondered whether the America novel, The Catcher in the Rye, is a literary hoax, a kind of Leftist propaganda manifesto, manufactured to discredit traditional family values.

Who are the culprits? Who set the cornerstone for the theater of the absurd?

The culprits are existentialists, led by Jean-Paul Sartre, who are a “conundrum of intellectuals” who have abandoned God and replaced him with man.

Existentialism is about “being”, not “believing.” We are in an age of “identity theory” that has morphed into “identity politics.” God has been taken out of the public square and replaced by me-myself- and I.

What could possibly go wrong?

The Believer vs. The Non-Believer

In their compelling book The Terror of Existence — From Ecclesiastes to Theater of the Absurd Dalrymple and Frances analyse the main existentialist works of the 20th century. Francis is a “believer” Dalrymple is not. However, both help us find meaning in a existentialist created meaningless universe.

This book is both literary criticism and spiritual and philosophical exploration. The authors try to answer some of the most compelling questions faced today including:

  • How can a life stripped of ultimate meaning be anything but absurd?
  • How is man to live?
  • How could man find direction in a world of no direction?
  • What would a father tell his children that could make their lives worthwhile?
  • What is the bed rock of morality?

Education Has Created a Nation of Idiots

In Chapter 13 Francis reveals how educators have been injecting our children with the heroin of existentialist ideals. Francis writes:

Theologian Peter Mullen, writing in the Salisbury Review in 2017, said: “Give me fifty years of comprehensive education and I will show you a nation of idiots.”

Francis goes on stating, “[E]ver since the widespread use of social media and the rise of political correctness, many institutions of education seem to have lowered their standards. Generation Selfie, particularly millennial college students, live in an era of sound bites, ‘micro-aggressions’, ‘safe spaces’ and shallow, trolling tweets.”

In the May 2017 edition of Taki’s Magazine, Dalrymple wrote the following on “Sovietization without a revolution”:

“For to force people to assent to propositions that are outrageously false, on pain of losing their livelihoods or worse, was to crush them morally and psychologically, and thus make them docile, easily manipulated, and complicit in their own enslavement.”

Without God Life is Meaningless

Francis writes, “Satanic temptation is real…Shielding our ears from the groans emanating from Western or Eastern holocausts in the pursuit of happiness is evil and satanic.”

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, during his Temple Address in London, England on May 10, 1983 said:

“If I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous [Communist] Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately that to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”

In Chapter Six Francis does an analysis of Jean-Paul Sartre’s novel Nausea. Francis writes, “This book is about a writer who finds himself in the belly of the absurd.” Francis notes, “there’s a long list of factual infamous despots and psychos influenced by [Sartre’s] existentialism who exercised their authenticity with gusto.”

One of these “existentialist” tyrants was Pol Pot.

“Many years before the Year Zero slaughter of millions began in the mid-1970s in Cambodia, a well mannered, polite Mr. Pot left Cambodia and went to Paris to study radio technology. While there, he was deeply influenced by Sartre and Marxism.” notes Francis. “In testimony before a genocide tribunal in Cambodia, Pol Pot’s chief jailer, Kaing Guek Eav, said that children were executed to prevent them seeking revenge. In order to save bullets, executioners would hold the children by their legs or feet and smash their heads against tree trunks in the ‘killing fields’ on the edge of Phnom Penh.”

Conclusion

If you want to understand how we got to our current political system and the culture of identity politics then read The Terror of Existence — From Ecclesiastes to Theater of the Absurd.

A Message to Mayor Pete from a Latina Mama: ‘DON’T FORCE YOUR SEXUAL IDEOLOGY ON ME AND MY CHILDREN’

By Ana Samuel

Yes, be polite to us, and we will be polite to you. But we know that we are in an intense battle over the hearts and minds of our children. Mothers are very good at educating and protecting our children from harm when we believe they are in danger. This time, that danger is the harmful sexual ideology of the Left.

I would like to respond to a tweet by Pete Buttigieg, newly announced Democratic presidential candidate. Last week, he tweeted:

People will often be polite to you in person, while advancing policies that harm you and your family. You will be polite to them in turn, but you need not stand for such harms. Instead, you push back, honestly and emphatically. So it goes, in the public square.

Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is a man in a same-sex marriage. The tweet’s sub-text is that anyone who refuses to cheer for same-sex marriage or support the Left’s sexual ideology is a bigot — someone who is out to harm Mayor Pete and his family.

Mayor Pete, it cuts both ways. As a Latina mama in touch with a number of other Latinas with traditional family values, I can tell you we are faced every day with people who are “polite to us in person” but who advance and execute policies that assault our values, harm our families, and hurt our children.

Enough Is Enough

I’m talking about policies that undermine our parental rights and duties by seeking to indoctrinate our children in progressive sexual ideology without our consent and sometimes in spite of our explicit protest. Consider just a few examples:

  • The public schools in my area where reading assignments from the Language Arts curriculum ask: “What is heteronormativity and how is it harmful?” (Mind you: this is a question from the school district’s recommended language arts curriculum for eighth graders, not from a single health teacher or counselor. It is not unusual for the LGBT theme to find its way into history classes, foreign language studies, and even STEM courses. The explicit goal is to normalize LGBT lifestyles throughout curricula).
  • Pediatricians who ask to see our teenagers alone and then push to prescribe them contraceptives or ask them about sexual behaviors that we find offensive. Our teens themselves bring these pediatricians’ inappropriate behavior to our attention. (One OBGYN slipped a prescription for oral contraceptives stealthily to a 14-year-old daughter of a Mexican friend of mine, after she had explicitly stated to his face that she did not wish to see her daughter on oral contraceptives.)
  • Sex education classes in which our kids are taught unproven Freudian-Kinseyan doctrines that “sexual repression” will cause neuroses (“express yourself, don’t suppress yourself”), and which preach about topics like abortion, masturbation, condom use, sex toys, “outercourse,” oral stimulation, and rectal intercourse, with all the humor and scientific grounding of a Saturday Night Live sketch, while refusing to seriously address the short and long-term medical and psychological health risks of those actions.
  • Public library programming where unicorns, rainbows, gingerbread persons, drag-queen story hours, and other symbols of progressive sexual ideology make an appearance, so that we must regularly steer our toddlers clear of the propaganda. With our middle-school children, it’s much harder to opt out. Trendy middle-school books (published after 2014) that appear to have fairly innocuous plots frequently feature an LGBT teen or gay couple, ever-so-gently normalizing the ideas that are so conflicting to our consciences. (Avoiding these storylines isn’t easy, since book-review websites regularly delete or block parents’ reviews that warn of LGBT elements, so we cannot even alert other parents of the real content within these books.)
  • And last but not least, the latest round of violence against children: efforts to entice children to question the reality of their sex through school gender-transitioning ceremonies, pronoun-sensitivity training, and other transgender propaganda. Parents have historically enjoyed the right to direct the education and upbringing of their children, under the correct presumption that parents—rather than school counselors, psychiatrists, teachers, government bureaucrats, or any other persons—are best able to act in their children’s best interests. Now, activists are pushing courts to allow minors to receive puberty-blocking drugs and cross-sex hormones against their parents’ objections.

Mr. Mayor, it is hypocritical for you to cry foul about policies that “harm you and your family” while your side pushes for government intrusions into the parent-child relationship at the most fundamental levels.

At some point, we say “enough is enough.” Basta.

Toleration for You, but Toleration for Me Too

Mothers tend to emphatically care about the welfare of all children, regardless of their family’s origin or current form. We also tend to emphatically care about every LGBT person—recognizing our common humanity even when we do not agree with their lifestyle choices. When we are polite to you, we are coming from a place of deep moral principle and authenticity. It’s not a superficial cover up for our true beliefs about you. You are rights-bearing individuals (like all of us) endowed with human dignity.

Although our home countries have often been viciously anti-gay places, there is a deep understanding among Hispanic mothers that those who identify as LGBT have suffered a lot, and that many have lived a life of hurt, harm and pain. We feel great sympathy for your suffering. But the ideas you have developed from painful experiences are not always sound ones. And we can distinguish between the two: between affectionate concern for you as a person and disagreement with your ideas. So please stop shutting us out of the conversation by the intellectually dishonest rhetorical expedient of implying or saying that we are bigots. We are the opposite of bigots.

We are prepared to co-exist peacefully and tolerate a great deal of what you propose, but not at the expense of losing our own ability to practice and preach our own values and freedoms. We are happy to work side-by-side with you, to have you as our coaches, neighbors and friends, but don’t cross the line and tell us what sexual values to cherish and uphold.

Check Your Financial Privilege

Blacks, the poor, and children have always paid a disproportionately heavy price for the breakdown of marriage and sexual morality in society. Marriage between husband and wife has historically been the institution that best offers women, children and the poor a decent shot at a peaceful, stable, financially secure, socially connected life.

Please note that I’m not blaming the erosion of marriage on the LGBT movement. No, we in the mainstream did that all on our own. However, the LGBT movement has further eroded marriage, and in a more shocking way. It is not a good idea to tell society that you don’t need a member of the opposite sex to have a baby or that kids don’t need a mom and a dad because they will do fine in any kind of arrangement. That’s not true, and there’s plenty of empirical data to prove it.

Respecting the truth about sexuality and marriage is also the least expensive. Friend, it takes a lot of money to circumvent nature. It takes upscale health insurance to pay for those doctor’s visits to the urologist, OBGYN, and additional medical care linked to sex outside of marriage, rectal intercourse, or cross-sex hormones. It takes a lot of money to pay for that surrogate rent-a-womb so that two men can have a baby. Even if she’s from a third world country—and easily exploitable—it’s still expensive (and the ethics don’t look good). It also takes a lot of money to go through IVF, usually requiring dual-income households.

The fact is, permanent, monogamous, exclusive marriage between husband and wife is the cheapest and highest quality deal on the market. It’s the most financially accessible way to have a child and the safest way to experience sexual pleasure. It also provides some built-in sexual complementarity: a family environment that educates in sexual diversity by example and is more likely to offer balanced childcare, with both sexes offering their unique and invested perspectives on how to raise the children.

Amigo, I’m sorry, but these are the truths of nature. Hijacking nature with cutting edge technology may sound attractive to those who can afford the niceties of upper-class life, but not to those working to meet their basic daily needs. (Do you think getting a sex change is cheap? Don’t you think the poor have other things to think about?) Your agenda requires a lot of extra cash—either that, or socialized medicine. And many of us Hispanics have fled from countries like Cuba and Venezuela (and increasingly Argentina and Mexico) precisely because socialist policies in our home countries turned despotic.

Ask yourself: is the lifestyle you are setting up as a pattern for others to follow replicable and sustainable? Or does it further destabilize the family form that has provided the greatest financial and social stability to women, children, and the poor? The evidence consistently points to the latter.

You play the victim card, but it’s well-off same-sex couples who can afford to cushion themselves and their children from the costly effects of the progressive sexual lifestyle. You can redirect your children’s attention away from the gaping absence of a mother or a father towards a good education, nice clothes, memorable experiences, and recreation. However, your lifestyle cannot be sustained by millions of people who make less money than you. The mothers in my circles know this, and we care about those poor children — and their mothers and fathers, too.

The weight of the past fifty years of social science evidence is virtually unanimous in its conclusion: children — and societies — do best when kids are raised by their married, stable, biological parents. Separate a child from his or her biological mother or father, and you’ve made that child much more likely to experience internal conflict, significant pain and suffering, relational struggles, and a host of other issues.

Challenge Accepted

So yes, be polite to us, and we will be polite to you. But we know that we are in an intense battle for the hearts and minds of our children. We mothers may be underground and quiet, we may not be marching in the streets, and we may not be debating you in public. But we are meeting for coffees in our homes, talking privately with our school teachers, spreading thoughts the media refuses to print, and speaking freely while the First Amendment still means something. Yes, so long as we still enjoy the freedom of association in this country, we will continue to meet and organize, to speak and teach.

Mothers are very good at educating and protecting our children from harm when we believe they are in danger. This time, that danger is the sexual ideology of the Left.

Finally, to my Latina sisters, my message is this: ¡Encuentren su voz! ¡No dejen que la ideología de genero de la izquierda borre nuestros valores culturales sobre la familia! ¡No dejen de ejercer sus derechos de madres! ¡Mamas del mundo: únanse!

This essay originally appeared at Public Discourse: The Journal of the Witherspoon Institute and is reprinted with permission.

COLUMN BY

Ana Samuel

Ana Samuel, PhD, is the daughter of Mexican immigrants, the wife of an Argentine immigrant, and the mother of six awesome children. She completed her undergraduate studies at Princeton University and her doctoral degree from the University of Notre Dame before becoming a founding mother and the Academic Director of CanaVox.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Church Militant column is republished with permission.

Colorado Sex Ed Bill Would Force Kids to Learn LGBT Ideology, Ban Talk of Abstinence

Colorado’s wildly controversial, comprehensive sex ed legislation has ignited national discussions about how far Americans want to expose their children to a radical social agenda.

More than a few eyebrows were raised when Colorado passed its mandatory comprehensive sex education law in 2013, which required students undergo “culturally sensitive” lessons.

“Culturally sensitive” meant that sex ed lessons would incorporate minority perspectives on sex that had not previously been represented in sex-ed—including LGBT individuals, but also other groups. (In practice, this meant teaching and affirming more diverse kinds of sex.)

Though many parents were concerned, those concerns were appeased by the fact that students could discuss their moral, ethical, and religious beliefs on sex and sexuality in the classroom. It also allowed some schools to be excused from provisions of the law, if requested.

Yet, just five years later, Colorado’s Democrat-controlled General Assembly thinks the 2013 law is no longer good enough to address the sexual education of teens.

Enter HB 1032.

HB 1032 would do away with all the “concessions” included in the 2013 law and would specifically prohibit religious, moral, and ethical perspectives on sex from being discussed in the classroom.

The bill demands that schools teach about the relational and sexual experiences of LGBT teens. It would forbid any emphasis on abstinence and sexual-risk avoidance as the only foolproof method against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, and even declares that saying so in the classroom is against the law.

HB 1032 would strip teachers, administrators, and school boards of the ability to choose the content of their comprehensive sex ed curriculums and would no longer allow schools to be excused from the requirements of the bill.

The bill is almost militant in its stringent requirements and prohibitions, thoroughly censoring the speech of teachers and crushing parental rights and religious freedom in the classroom.

Currently, only two states in the country (California and Louisiana) prohibit schools from speaking about religious beliefs regarding sex. The majority of states—including Colorado currently—allow abstinence to be stressed or emphasized to teens as the only foolproof method against sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.

Yet, HB 1032 would flat-out ban speech that suggests abstinence is the best and healthiest choice. That’s despite the fact that the majority of American teens are choosing abstinence, and Colorado teens have a lower rate of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted teen pregnancies than the national average.

HB 1032 would flat-out ban speech that suggests abstinence is the best and healthiest choice.

Prohibiting emphasis on abstinence isn’t the only instance of the Colorado Legislature attempting to place words into the mouths of teachers and ideology into the hearts of our children. HB 1032 would also require that teachers who discuss pregnancy outcomes, like adoption and parenting, also discuss abortion.

If passed, Colorado would become only the third state in the country to have that, after Vermont and California.

Clearly, the vast majority of American parents, teachers, and schools believe adoption and abortion are not morally or ethically equivalent options. The bill brazenly refers to teaching abortion as an example of “objective, unbiased” instruction, despite abortion being one of the most contentious issues of our time.

It probably comes as no surprise that Planned Parenthood lobbies across the nation for comprehensive sex education bills to be enacted, and Colorado was no exception.

It certainly isn’t coincidence that Planned Parenthood is one of the world’s largest providers of comprehensive sex education materials in the world, peddling radical content that even the most liberal among us might find too shocking for our taste.

Planned Parenthood’s ready-made sex education curriculum just happens to fit the exact requirements HB 1032 would impose on local school districts. Its materials often promote virtually any type of sexual exploration and experimentation as a “safe and healthy” part of any relationship, no matter the child’s age or biological sex, just as long as you “say yes.”

Planned Parenthood’s ready-made sex-education curriculum just happens to fit the exact requirements HB 1032 would impose on local school districts.

That last point is certainly the provision of Colorado’s sex education bill that garnered the most heartfelt protests from parents during the 20-odd hours of public testimony. Parents tend to take issue with the government mandating teaching elementary school students the definition of “consent.” They already know the answer.

In Colorado, as in most other states, the definition of consent for elementary students is: Illegal. Criminal. Unsafe.

Parents have been rightfully confused on how teaching young children about consent could possibly protect them from predators. How did decades of “No Means No!” education become upended to be “Yes Means Yes”?

Young children are certainly capable of voluntarily saying the word “yes” to acts that might feel good but are nonetheless deeply harmful and traumatic. It is a parent’s job to protect their children from an agenda that has shifted sex education dialogue from being one of protection to one of pleasure, from prevention to gratification.

Unfortunately, HB 1032’s sponsors and supporters have downplayed the tens of thousands of parents clamoring for the bill to die as well as the national dialogue the bill has ignited on how parents can guard their children’s hearts and minds in today’s schools.

HB 1032 has already been passed through a state House committee, the House floor, and its first state Senate committee, despite the overwhelming outcry. The bill is currently being considered in a Senate fiscal committee, which will soon vote on whether $1 million will be allocated from the general fund to schools to help them pay for implementing the burdensome legislative requirements.

If passed out of committee, the full Senate will vote on the bill, and then it will be off to the desk of Colorado’s openly gay governor, Jared Polis, for signature.

It is a parent’s job to protect their children from an agenda that has shifted sex-education dialogue from being one of protection to one of pleasure, from prevention to gratification.

Families in states such as Arizona, Massachusetts, and Texas are fighting controversial provisions similar to Colorado’s. Tennessee, Alaska, Idaho, and other states are taking proactive measures to ensure family values are respected in the classroom.

Washington state parents recently took a page from Colorado parents’ book and successfully stopped their own appalling comprehensive sex education bill, as did parents in New Mexico.

But the threat isn’t limited to state legislatures. The U.S. House of Representatives will be voting soon on the deceptively named “Equality Act,” which could lead to federal courts ordering schools to implement curriculums on sexual orientation and gender identity.

We hope the outcry in Colorado continues to encourage parents in other states around the country to stay informed about what’s being taught in their children’s classrooms—and to do everything they can to protect their children from harmful ideology.

COMMENTARY BY

Stephanie Curry is the policy manager for Family Policy Alliance.

RELATED ARTICLE: Bans on ‘Conversion Therapy’ Are Really About Locking Kids Into Transgenderism


Dear Readers:

Just two short years after the end of the Obama administration’s disastrous policies, America is once again thriving due to conservative solutions that have produced a historic surge in economic growth.

The Trump administration has embraced over 60 percent of The Heritage Foundation’s policy recommendations since his inauguration. But with the House now firmly within the grips of the progressive left, the victories may come to a screeching halt.

Why? Because they are determined more than ever to give the government more control over your lives. Restoring your liberty and embracing freedom is the best thing for you and the country.

President Donald Trump needs all of the allies he can find to push through the stone wall he now faces within this divided government. And the best way you can partner with him is by becoming a member of his greatest ally in Washington: The Heritage Foundation.

Will you activate your membership with a tax-deductible gift today?

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RELATED ARTICLE: California Parents Object to New Sex Ed Program in Public Schools

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Two Commentaries on Benedict XVI’s Letter

Note: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s brief letter to German priests, which was released last week, has generated a flood of commentary, both because it was unexpected from a figure who has maintained almost total silence since his resignation, and because it presented sharp observations about developments inside and outside the Church that led to the steep rise in sexual abuse. That text warrants extensive consideration, but for now two commentaries by TCT regulars: Fr. Gerald Murray, a theologian and canon lawyer; and Michael Pakaluk, a philosopher. – Robert Royal


God’s Absence Enabled the Offenses

Fr. Gerald E. Murray

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in his surprise letter on the sexual abuse crisis in the Church, examines the root causes of the criminal immorality of an astounding number of Catholic clerics. He identifies as a prime factor the collapse of sound moral theology, the result of the rejection of natural law reasoning. Underlying this theological chaos is a deeper crisis, what Benedict calls “the absence of God.” He writes: “Only where faith no longer determines the actions of man are such offenses possible.”

This calls to mind Robert Cardinal Sarah’s book God or Nothing. When God ceases in fact to be the motive, the center and the hope of the Church’s teaching and activity, innovators very quickly create clever substitutes that in fact turn out to be nothing more than self-worship.

Benedict writes that, after the Council, “it was chiefly the hypothesis that morality was to be exclusively determined by the purposes of human action that prevailed.” Since each man determines his purposes, each man creates his own morality, making himself the determinant of right and wrong for himself, pushing God and His law aside.

Man is to be honored in place of God as the source of his own moral truth. This is the apostasy of the autonomous man of “conscience” who recognizes God’s law only when it is in agreement with what he has decided he already wants to do.
In the strange world of a Church without God at its center, what about other doctrines of the Faith? Benedict examines the loss of faith manifested by how many in the Church treat the Most Holy Eucharist: “Our handling of the Eucharist can only arouse concern.”

The generalized loss of a sense of awe and respect for Christ’s Real Presence is undeniable. Benedict writes: “What predominates is not a new reverence for the presence of Christ’s death and resurrection, but a way of dealing with Him that destroys the greatness of the Mystery.” His use of the word “destroy” is telling.

The new thinking about the Mass and the Eucharist that largely prevailed after the Second Vatican Council resulted in various changes that have diminished the reverence expressed by the average Mass goer:

*
  • Holy Communion is no longer received kneeling but standing, no longer on the tongue alone but now also in the hand;
  • the tabernacle was moved off of the main altar, and the priest now stands, or sits in a chair, in the location where the Blessed Sacrament was formerly reserved;
  • the tabernacle containing the sacramental presence of God made man is placed off center on a side altar or in some instances in a location not visible from the church pews;
  • silence in church before Mass has been replaced by casual banter in audible tones;
  • many, many parishioners no longer genuflect when entering or leaving the church;
  • venerable liturgical forms, the Latin language and sacred chant were cast out and replaced by generally inadequate and uninspiring replacements;
  • almost everyone at Mass goes to Communion, while very few people go to Confession, indicating that people no longer have a consciousness that one must not receive Communion is a state of mortal sin, because most people no longer think that mortal sin is still mortal sin.

Benedict identifies the signs of this breakdown of faith and worship:

  •  “The declining participation in the Sunday Eucharistic celebration shows how little we Christians of today still know about appreciating the greatness of the gift that consists in His Real Presence.
  •  “The Eucharist is devalued into a mere ceremonial gesture when it is taken for granted that courtesy requires Him to be offered at family celebrations or on occasions such as weddings and funerals to all those invited for family reasons.
  • “The way people often simply receive the Holy Sacrament in communion as a matter of course shows that many see communion as a purely ceremonial gesture.”

The temptation to make religion into a kind of folkloric experience celebrating man’s attempt to build a community of benevolence and good feeling is seen when a priest invites everyone at a Funeral Mass of Nuptial Mass to receive Holy Communion.

Why would a priest invite people who do not believe in the Real Presence to come forward to receive, saying to them ”The Body of Christ” in response to which the non-believers are asked to say “Amen,” signifying belief in what they do not believe?
Why would a priest communicate to non-practicing Catholics that they should feel free to receive Holy Communion without previous confession? How did we get to this point of treating the Sacred Body and Blood of Christ as a mere token of participation in a ritual?

Benedict calls us all to renewed faith: “what is required first and foremost is the renewal of the Faith in the Reality of Jesus Christ given to us in the Blessed Sacrament.”

It is obvious that a profound disorientation entered into the Church that has manifested itself in doctrinal confusion and an attitude of laxity regarding immorality and even criminal sexual abuse.
The remedy that Benedict indicates is to return to a deep appreciation of the Faith according to its true nature, which includes being ready to die for Christ as the price of fidelity to him.

The Rev. Gerald E. Murray, J.C.D. is a canon lawyer and the pastor of Holy Family Church in New York City. He is a frequent contributor on radio and television, including EWTN’s Papal Posse.

A Practical Way for Pastors – and Laity

Michael Pakaluk

Benedict was the universal pastor of the Church, but his essay on sex abuse and the crisis is written not as pope but as a priest, to priests, in Germany (specifically, to the journal Klerusblatt). Therefore, although it raises large questions in passing – and no one who publishes today can claim to be addressing only a restricted readership – it is valuable mainly as showing a practical way for pastors. In doing so, it also shows ordinary Catholics how humbly to serve the Church in these troubled times.

We see its limited purposes in its opening sentence: “The matter begins with the state-prescribed and supported introduction of children and youths into the nature of sexuality.” He is referring to how, in Germany in 1968, the Ministry of Health under Käte Strobel published a “sex atlas” (Sexualkundeatlas), and produced a movie called Helga, both ostensibly “educational,” but calculated to subvert the authority of local governments and churches over sexual mores.

One could raise deep and universal questions on this basis. Walker Percy, for instance, pleaded with us to consider how America almost overnight became a society in which people streamed to see a pornographic movie in their neighborhood theater. He meant Deep Throat (1972), which became the highest grossing movie of its time.

Or one might ask why libertinism gets introduced under the guise of objective science.

Or whether a sexually permissive society doesn’t, as a society, set itself against the welfare of children – abandoned in divorce, instrumentalized by in vitro conception, or killed by abortions.

But it’s clear that Benedict gives the example simply to appeal to the memories of his readers, mainly elderly German clerics, to shock them once again into seeing that “what is evil and destroys man has become a matter of course.”

Even his reference to Veritatis splendor has a limited purpose. It’s an open secret that Veritatis splendor is not a favorite reference source of the magisterium of Francis. In particular, Amoris Laetitia ignores it, while seeming, to many interpreters at least, to re-introduce all the errors that the encyclical rejected – the “fundamental option,” conscience as subjective not objective, the denial of intrinsically evil acts.

**

So how is it possible to refer to Veritatis splendor without at least asking whether any current hesitancy, today, in dealing firmly with sexual abuse, is a consequence of a dalliance among influential bishops in those old errors?

And yet Benedict, now devoted primarily to a life of prayer and contemplation, obviously avoids asking this. He does not even write in the manner of someone who thought to raise the question, but then thought better of it. In his essay, Veritatis splendor was important in putting an end to the Church’s vulnerability in teaching, in the face of the sexual revolution.

That vulnerability led to a collapse in seminary formation. Veritatis splendor proved a necessary piece in the reform of seminaries, which has mainly been successful. This again reflects the viewpoint of a priest, who wonders “how young people in this situation could approach the priesthood and accept it, with all its ramifications.”

I said that Benedict’s essay shows a humble path. So it is, here, in its engagement with Veritatis Splendor. He refers to just one teaching of the encyclical, “there [are] actions which [are] always and under all circumstances to be classified as evil.” His essay clearly assumes that that claim, although once controversial, is now taken for granted by everyone.

Why? Because everyone has come to judge, correctly, that sexual abuse of minors is intrinsically evil. Philosophy professors know that certain stock examples have always been able to confound relativists in the classroom: What about rape? What about dashing out the brains of infants?

Well, what about sexual abuse of minors? For Benedict it’s a secondary point that that logic has not, yet, been universally extended to other intrinsically wrong sexual acts, such as sodomy.

That he is writing humbly, for priests, is shown in the Eucharist’s being the focal point of the essay. John Paul II used to write a humble letter to priests, as a fellow priest, on Holy Thursday. Benedict does something similar just before Holy Week.
Benedict gives a wonderful précis of the gospel: the universe is meaningless without God; but a loving God would reveal himself; and he showed the depth of his love by taking on our nature.

Just as the source of evil is flight from God, so the remedy for evil is found in the presence of God. “Let us consider this with regard to a central issue,” he next says, “the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Our handling of the Eucharist can only arouse concern.”

Note the “our”: he means priests. It’s within the power of any parish priest to address the abuse crisis just here.

The letter closes, “I would like to thank Pope Francis for everything he does to show us, again and again, the light of God, which has not disappeared, even today.” Here, too, is an example of great humility, since it is clear from Benedict’s essay that, the differences noted above notwithstanding, he has allowed himself to be influenced by Francis.

Consider that a couple of paragraphs in the essay are on the theme of the devil as the great accuser. That was not a big theme of Benedict’s pontificate but it has been for Francis, long before Viganò.

Or the theme that, although it’s good to foster communities of Christian life, the Church catches up the good and bad in its dragnet.

The most beautiful paragraphs in the essay perhaps those on martyrdom, “Today God also has His witnesses (martyres) in the world. We just have to be vigilant in order to see and hear them.”

Benedict, I think, means Francis and the martyrs Francis has noticed for us. Read Francis’ homily at a Mass for Martyrs of the 20th and 21st centuries to get the point. And of course, he encourages us to be witnesses ourselves.

Michael Pakaluk, an Aristotle scholar and Ordinarius of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, is acting dean of the Busch School of Business at the Catholic University of America. He lives in Hyattsville, MD with his wife Catherine, also a professor at the Busch School, and their eight children. His latest book, on the Gospel of Mark, The Memoirs of St Peter, is coming out from Regnery Gateway in March 2019.

The Catholic Thing

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own. Like us on Facebook and Twitter. © 2019 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Pro-Abortion Snobbery

David Carlin: What factors divide pro-life from pro-choice Americans? Mostly, it’s the difference between humility and arrogance.


This column is about abortion, but it will take a moment or two to get to the point.  Please bear with me.

If ever there was an obvious example of fallacious reasoning, it’s this: “I am rich, and you are not.  Therefore I’m right, and you’re wrong.”

What could be more stupid than an argument along these lines?  And yet this is precisely the reasoning that has been used, century after century, by those in the higher classes to dismiss complaints made by persons from the lower classes.  This is the reasoning that permitted lords of the manor to dismiss complaints by serfs, slaveholders to dismiss complaints by slaves, mill-owners to dismiss complaints by factory hands, etc.

In a society that places great value on wealth (and what society does not place great value on wealth?), rich people cannot help but feel that they are superior people: not just superior in wealth, but superior in almost every way.  And if you are superior in almost every way, then you must be superior in judgment.

If it happens, then, that a person from the lower classes disagrees with you, it becomes obvious – does it not? – that you must be right and the other must be wrong.

Your rightness and his wrongness are so obvious, in fact, that there really is no need for you (the rich person) to examine the other fellow’s case.  Save yourself time and trouble by dismissing it from the get-go as unworthy of consideration.

And don’t waste a lot of time trying to explain to the other fellow why he’s wrong. Out of a noblesse oblige kind of courtesy, you might offer him a brief explanation; but when you see (as you soon will) that he doesn’t buy it, move on to something else.

And now to abortion.  Considered on purely intellectual merits, the anti-abortion argument is vastly superior to the pro-abortion argument.  The anti-abortion or pro-life side argues that the entity that gets killed in an abortion is a human being, a tiny human being that grows less tiny every day.

And what else could it be if not a human being?  It is not a dog or a monkey or a fish or an elm tree.  The pro-abortion side has no counter-argument that comes even close to refuting the anti-abortion case.  The best the pro-abortion side can come up with are mindless slogans like “a woman’s right to choose” or “a woman’s right to control her own body” or “if you don’t like abortion, don’t have one.”

*

This last is my favorite stupid argument.  It is strictly parallel to, “If you don’t like slavery, don’t own a slave.”

And yet, despite the obvious superiority of the anti-abortion argument, hardly ever is a pro-abortion person persuaded.  Why is this?

The answer, I think, can be found in the social class differences between pro-life and pro-abortion people.  The heart of the pro-abortion movement is found among men and women of the upper-middle classes: people who have (or soon will have when they finish college and get a few years older) good educations, good jobs, good cars, good houses, good food, good wine, high incomes, millions in assets, many important social and political connections, a cosmopolitan outlook, etc.

Given contemporary American standards, they are superior people.  They may not be superior according to the standards that prevailed in Plato’s Academy, or in ancient Sparta, or in the monasteries of St. Benedict, or in the Shaker communities. But they are without question “superior” according to present-day American standards.

By contrast, the heart of the pro-life movement is found among women from the lower-middle classes: persons with educations and incomes that are barely adequate in today’s high-price society; persons who lack the millions, the high culture, the good connections, etc.

These women tend to be religious; they tend to have more children than does the average American woman (and certainly more than does the typical pro-abortion activist); they tend to be sexually un-liberated – so much so that many of them (and this is truly shocking from a contemporary point of view) have had sexual relations with only one man, their husband.  According to present-day standards, these women are definitely inferior.

It will be pointed out that my ideas of the typical pro-life and pro-abortion person are stereotypes.  Of course. But stereotypes are often enough more or less accurate.

In any case, the typical pro-abortion activist, instead of taking seriously the arguments presented by the pro-life movement, says to herself or himself: “I am rich and well-educated, I own a handsome house or condo and a fine automobile, I am thin and athletic, and I am blessed with excellent taste when it comes to coffee, wine, food, furniture, music, movies, works of art, etc.  In short, I am a superior person.  The world is fortunate to have people like me in it.”

“And so, that anti-choice woman standing over there – whose education is limited, whose income is modest, whose house is small and unattractive and in the wrong neighborhood, whose body is unshapely and somewhat overweight, whose taste is appallingly vulgar – when she tells me that I am wrong about abortion, I would laugh at her if I didn’t pity her.  What could be more preposterous than to think that an inferior person like her might be right and a superior person like myself might be wrong?”

These “superior” people, let us remember, are the people who control the “command posts” of American culture. Which is to say that they are dominant in a number of our leading institutions: the mainstream journalistic media, the entertainment industry, our best colleges and universities, and one of our two great political parties.

They shape the public mind, especially the mind of younger generations.  If they won’t listen to reason (which they won’t), do we have any grounds to be hopeful for the long-run success of the pro-life movement?

Yes.  But I’ve run out of time (and space) today. More to come next time.

COLUMN BY

David Carlin

David Carlin is a professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island, and the author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America.

RELATED ARTICLE: How State ‘Birthday Abortions’ Bills Stack Up to Federal Restrictions

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Kids Aren’t Born Transgender, So Don’t Let Advocates Bamboozle You

People who pursue a cross-sex identity aren’t born that way, and children should not be encouraged to “transition” to the opposite sex, according to a reference work endorsed by the American Psychological Association.

Yet every day I hear from another parent who tells me that a child’s therapist, after an appointment or two, strongly recommends that the parent allow the child to change his or her name and personal pronouns, live as the opposite sex, and get on the track toward irreversible medical interventions.

Laura Haynes, a licensed psychologist in California, recently reviewed the APA Handbook of Sexuality and Psychology and highlighted its research findings about transgender children.

Among those findings, cited on page 744 of Volume 1:

  • “In no more than about one in four children does gender dysphoria persist from childhood to adolescence or adulthood,” with the majority of affected boys later identifying as gay, not transgender, and up to half of affected girls identifying as lesbian, not transgender.
  • “Early social transition (i.e., change of gender role, such as registering a birth-assigned boy in school as a girl) should be approached with caution to avoid foreclosing this stage of gender identity development.”
  • “Early social transition may be necessary for some; however, the stress associated with possible reversal of this decision has been shown to be substantial.”

Yet we all have been bamboozled by distorted claims to the contrary from sex-change advocates, who insist the science is settled.

They say people who identify as the opposite sex will never change their mind, the cross-sex identity is fixed and the earlier the child, teen, or adult is affirmed as the opposite sex and makes the transition, the better off he or she will be.

In fact, however, the American Psychological Association and the weight of historical evidence both challenge society’s affirmation of cross-sex identities.

The preface to the APA Handbook of Sexuality and Psychology, published in 2014, says it is endorsed and approved by the American Psychological Association, which describes itself as “the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and the largest association of psychologists in the world.”

underwent my own “sex change” in April 1983. I had no idea then that I would be here today talking about the subject, or that the evidence against “born that way” had started oozing out as early as 1979, four years before I was mutilated.

In 1979 an endocrinologist, Dr. Charles L. Ihlenfeld, sounded a warning on using hormones and surgery on the transgender population in remarks to a group of clinicians. Ihlenfeld had administered hormone therapy for six years to a large sample of 500 trans-identified adults.

Ihlenfeld, who is gay, told the clinicians that “80 percent of the people who want to change their sex shouldn’t do it.” Desires to change sex, he said, “most likely stem from powerful psychological factors—likely from the experiences of the first 18 months of life.”

Ihlenfeld’s comments 40 years ago foreshadowed the evidence provided in the APA Handbook, where page 743 of Volume 1 says that identifying as the opposite sex is “most likely the result of a complex interaction between biological and environmental factors.”

“Research on the influence of family of origin dynamics,” it adds, “has found some support for separation anxiety among gender-nonconforming boys and psychopathology among mothers.”

Ihlenfeld and the APA, generations apart in time, came to a similar conclusion: The desire to change sex most likely stems from early life experiences and psychological factors.

As to the wisdom and effectiveness of using cross-sex hormones and sex-change surgery to treat gender dysphoria, the evidence does not exist.

Above:  The author, Walt Heyer, takes part in a related panel discussion at The Heritage Foundation. His remarks begin at 47:30 in the video.

In the United Kingdom, the University of Birmingham’s Aggressive Research Intelligence Facility conducted a review in 2004 of 100 international medical studies of “post-operative transsexuals.” It found “no conclusive evidence [that] sex-change operations improve the lives of transsexuals.”

Additionally, the evidence showed that the transsexual person, after undergoing reassignment surgery, “remains severely distressed to the point of suicide.”

A professor at Oxford University, Carl Heneghan, is one recent voice questioning cross-sex hormone use in children and adolescents. Heneghan is editor-in-chief of a respected British medical journal, BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine.

On Feb. 25, Heneghan and a fellow researcher reported significant problemswith how evidence is collected and analyzed, concluding:

Treatments for under 18 gender dysphoric children and adolescents remain largely experimental. There are a large number of unanswered questions that include the age at start, reversibility, adverse events, long-term effects on mental health, quality of life, bone mineral density, osteoporosis in later life and cognition.

So the negative findings stack up, and alarms are raised about the lack of proof concerning effectiveness and safety. But administering unnecessary hormones and rearranging healthy body parts with sex-change surgeries continue undaunted by a deaf medical community.

I feel like I’m standing alongside the road shouting to warn approaching drivers: “The bridge is out! The bridge is out!”

Because I know—I drove off that cliff, and I’m still affected 35 years later.

The APA Handbook of Sexuality and Psychology, again, says that transgender people are not born that way, that cross-sex identification can change, and that the majority of children grow out of a desire to change sex if they don’t engage in social transition.

Strangely, the medical and psychological community doesn’t follow its own evidence and seems oblivious to the experiment they’re conducting on real lives, especially those of children.

The sex-change cheerleaders falsely claim, “Affirmation is the only solution.” They use distorted doctrine to lobby for laws that punish counselors and parents who say otherwise, laws that take away the rights of patients to choose their own therapy goals.

Organizations such as The Trevor Project are lobbying in all 50 states to outlaw any therapy that suggests interest in cross-sex transition can change.

Meanwhile, accounts such as these of families and lives being ripped to shreds by sex change appear in my inbox daily. I have compiled 30 of the stories I’ve received, along with recent research, in my own book “Trans Life Survivors.”

We must wake up and use the evidence provided in the APA Handbook to counter those who say transgender people are born that way.

Instead, we must fight loudly for the rights of patients to choose their counseling goals and against laws that legislate affirmation as the only therapy allowed.

COMMENTARY BY

Walt Heyer is an author and public speaker. Through his website, SexChangeRegret.com, and his blog, WaltHeyer.com, Heyer raises public awareness about those who regret gender change and the tragic consequences suffered as a result.

RELATED ARTICLE: My ‘Sex Change’ Was a Myth. Why Trying to Change One’s Sex Will Always Fail.


Dear Readers:

Just two short years after the end of the Obama administration’s disastrous policies, America is once again thriving due to conservative solutions that have produced a historic surge in economic growth.

The Trump administration has embraced over 60 percent of The Heritage Foundation’s policy recommendations since his inauguration. But with the House now firmly within the grips of the progressive left, the victories may come to a screeching halt.

Why? Because they are determined more than ever to give the government more control over your lives. Restoring your liberty and embracing freedom is the best thing for you and the country.

President Donald Trump needs all of the allies he can find to push through the stone wall he now faces within this divided government. And the best way you can partner with him is by becoming a member of his greatest ally in Washington: The Heritage Foundation.

Will you activate your membership with a tax-deductible gift today?

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