Saturday, 17 April 2010

Must Catholics Persecute Transsexuals?

I'm mirroring this from the site Catholic Answers. Many controversial posts disappear, as the poor moderators are overwhelmed by the torrent of posts about Priestly Paedophilia, so haven't been quite as careful and fair as they usually are.

Must Catholics deny Transsexuals and the Intersexed Human Rights?

The Magisterium has not said so.
The Congress of American Catholic Bishops has not said so. (UPDATE: As of May 19 2010, they have said so)
The Pope has said so though.

First, to show that the Vatican thinks it would be best to legally deny gays human rights:
The Vatican expressed similar concerns in a 1992 letter to Bishops of the Catholic Church – authored by then-Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI – regarding legislation to “make discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation illegal,” which according to Ratzinger, “may in fact have a negative impact on the family and society.”

“Even when the practice of homosexuality may seriously threaten the lives and well-being of a large number of people, its advocates remain undeterred and refuse to consider the magnitude of the risks involved,” Cardinal Ratzinger wrote. “’Sexual orientation’ does not constitute a quality comparable to race, ethnic background, etc., in respect to non-discrimination. Unlike these, homosexual orientation is an objective disorder and evokes moral concern.”

“Including ‘homosexual orientation’ among the considerations on the basis of which it is illegal to discriminate,” Ratzinger wrote, “can easily lead to regarding homosexuality as a positive source of human rights…(and)…to the legislative protection and promotion of homosexuality.”
-- Americans For Truth About Homosexuality

What Human Rights are we talking about here? Let's look at the list of rights in the legislation ynder consideration that is deemed to have a "negative impact on the family and society".

To be allowed to use:
(1) restaurants, soda fountains, and other eating or drinking places, and all places where food is sold for consumption either on or off the premises;
(2) inns, hotels, and motels, whether serving temporary or permanent patrons;
(3) retail stores and service establishments;
(4) hospitals and clinics;
(5) motion picture, stage, and other theaters and music, concert, or meeting halls;
(6) circuses, exhibitions, skating rinks, sports arenas and fields, amusement or recreation parks, picnic grounds, fairs, bowling alleys, golf courses,
gymnasiums, shooting galleries, billiard and pool rooms, and swimming pools;
(7) public conveyances, such as automobiles, buses, taxicabs, trolleys, trains, limousines, boats, airplanes, and bicycles;
(8) utilities, such as water and sewer service, electricity, telephone, and cable television;
(9) streets, roads, sidewalks, other public rights-of-way, parking lots or garages, marinas, airports, and hangars; and
(10) places of public assembly and entertainment of every kind.
That from Bill 23-07 in Maryland, and opposed by the Thomas More Legal Centre.

While these do not in themselves appear to be especially dangerous, the danger is that by supporting the granting of any such rights, the church will be seen to be tolerating homosexuality. That is such a bad outcome that catholics must actively oppose such measures, by whatever means necessary. I'll talk about the means later, and give justification for my statement there.

The argument against Homosexuality has since been expanded, as being against Natural Law. Why is it against Natural Law? Because it causes confusion between the two God-ordained sexes, and anything which does that is dangerous to humanity's survival. There is a Human ecology, just as there is a Global ecology, and this must be protected against such threats to the Natural Order. Anything that confuses the sexes is dangerous, and must be legally suppressed. Well-intentioned laws granting or maintaining existing human rights for anyone who confuses the sexes are thus dangerous - and so presumably should be opposed.

About Natural Law, and the danger to human survival of Intersex - things between male and female - and a call to speak up on this issue:
(The Church) must also protect man from self-destruction. What is needed is something like a human ecology, correctly understood.

If the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman, and demands that this order of creation be respected, this is not some antiquated metaphysics. What is involved here is faith in the Creator and a readiness to listen to the “language” of creation. To disregard this would be the self-destruction of man himself, and hence the destruction of God’s own work.


To carry our reflection further, we must remember that the problem of the environment is complex; one might compare it to a multifaceted prism. Creatures differ from one another and can be protected, or endangered, in different ways, as we know from daily experience. One such attack comes from laws or proposals which, in the name of fighting discrimination, strike at the biological basis of the difference between the sexes. I am thinking, for example, of certain countries in Europe or North and South America.

Now onto the means of opposition, and showing that opposition to the existence of Intersexed and Transsexual people is a separate but related issue to opposing Homosexuality. They're all dangerous to humanity's very survival in their own right.

First, to show that such opposition is more important than merely spreading Christ's message, and that all levels of Catholic organisations are involved in organising the opposition to human rights for these people:

HAMTRAMCK (Oct. 10) – Nearly a dozen religious leaders in the City of Hamtramck and a nationally prominent lawyer will speak at a campaign kick-off rally for the group Hamtramck Citizens Voting NO to `Special Rights’ Discrimination.

The rally will be held Sunday, Oct. 12th, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 9632 Conant St. Admission is free.
The keynote speaker will be Brian Rooney, attorney for the Thomas More Law Center and legal expert on discriminatory “gay rights” legislation.

Below is a list of speakers scheduled…
• Rev. Andrew Wesley, pastor of St. Ladislaus Church and co-chair of the group Hamtramck Citizens Voting NO.
• Masud Khan, president of the Al Islah Islamic Center.
• Abdul Latif Azom, imam of Al Falah mosque.
• Abdul Salam, imam of Masjid Un Nur mosque.
• Adbo Zindani, secretary of Eiman Islamic Complex.
• Amin Alwagah, representing Algalazali mosque.
• Saleh Algahaim, president of Eiman Islamic Complex.
• Dzenan Kalanac, imam of Bosnia Islamic Center.
• Mohammed Shehab Khan, imam Baitul Islam mosque
Yes, that is correct, a Catholic priest leading. and the Knights of Columbus providing facilities, for an almost entirely Islamic conference to organise legal persecution.

He noted the campaign was highlighted by a rally at which three Catholic priests and six Muslim imams spoke out against the proposed ordinance.

“We salute Father Andy Wesley for his courage and leadership in being the first to stand against this discriminatory ordinance at a time when the city’s political establishment and news media were intent on demonizing and caricaturing anyone who dared oppose homosexual activists’ fraudulent ‘rights’ agenda,” Glenn said. “
Glenn also said the defeat of the ordinance would not have been possible without the efforts of campaign manager Jay McNally, a Catholic activist who commuted from Ypsilanti to manage the winning campaign, and the Thomas More Law Center, which provided legal counsel to the campaign and a regular speaker at campaign rallies, attorney Brian Rooney.
The point is, that it wasn't just homosexuality that was the issue here. Again, from AFTAH:
Not content with adding the discriminatory “sexual orientation” language to city law, homosexual activists and their political allies succeeded in adding the words “gender identity” as well.
This “gender identity” language is so radical in its potential effects that even openly homosexual Congressman Barney Frank, D-Mass., refuses to include it in his federal “gay rights” legislation.

Yes, that's right. Many gay rights groups and prominent Gay politicians oppose human rights for Intersexed and Transsexed people. This is not a matter of "homosexuality by stealth". Neither is it a matter of Red vs Blue - Hamtramck voted for Obama 4:1.

The same day that the New Hampshire Senate voted in favour of same-sex marriage, they voted unanimously to stop Intersexed and Transsexed people from enjoying the same human rights Gays have had in that state for over a decade.

From about the Catholic attitude to that bill:
New Hampshire Alert: “Transgender Rights” and the “Bathroom Bill”
by Brother André Marie March 18th, 2009

Legitimizing perversity is a fetish for some legislators. New Hampshire House Bill 415, dubbed by conservatives, “the Bathroom Bill,” is an effort to protect the rights of people who voluntarily mutilate themselves in the futile pretense that they have changed their God-given gender to another one.

I await comments.

Is it the case that

a) Despite this evidence, of course the Catholic Church isn't against human rights for gays and those born with anatomy neither wholly male nor wholly female. Just because the Thomas More Legal Centre, various prominent Catholic Activists, multitudes of priests and religious, the Vatican itself in letters to bishops, and Pope Benedict himself encourage such legal persecution, that's all just matters of individual conscience. The Church itself would never condone denial of human rights, and it's insulting to say they do. Only anti-Catholics would say so.

b) That the Church does this, but is perfectly justified in doing so, because the fight against homosexuality is so important. It is unfortunate that the Transsexual and Intersexed are collateral damage.

c) That the Church does this, but is perfectly justified in doing so, as the existence of Gay, Intersexed or Transsexual people contravenes Natural Law, and they endanger all Humanity. (This appears to be the view of His Holiness).

d) Something else.

Please give URLs and quotes to justify your thesis, as I've had to do.
I made a vow at my son's baptism that he brought up in the Catholic faith. I take vows seriously, but they're not making it easy.


Jordynne Olivia Lobo said...

For what does it profit a man if he should gain the whole "human ecology," and lose his immortal soul?

Justine Valinotti said...

What I find astounding is that ostensibly spiritual people cannot tolerate, much less accept, other people's expression of their own spirituality when that expression differs from their own but harms no one.

The Church will not deal in any meaningful way with paedophilia among its priesthood unless it acknowledges that gender manifestation and sexuality are intertwined with the spirit and treats them as such. While I don't want to see priests taking liberties with altar boys, I also think that merely punishing those priests will not eradicate the problem. All it does, in the end, is to condemn the urges of those men.

Anonymous said...

Zoe, even the catholic Church knows your not an Intersex person. They know your a mentally ill Transsexual with an identity crisis. You need to Repent and stop claiming intersex because everyone including the pope and the catholic church can see through all the bullshit and crap you produced. You such a pathetic loser and that's why all your lies are piling up and people know it.

Zoe Brain said...

Nicky - please use your own name, or FAB (Female At Birth), which is the last monicker you used.

Anonymous said...

It seems that the Catholic Church and many of the fundamentalist Christian churches have a need to demonize LBGT people. They wish to have us eliminated or marginalized more and more until there is no way for us to live. In this way, they have a focus for their piety and good works against the powers of Satan. We then serve as a convenient scapegoat for them to show how close they are to God. In this philosophy, all manners of hideous treatment levied against LBGT people ultimately become not only justified but lauded as acts of faith.

They do not really try to understand or examine their actions nor will they consider our side of the story because it is very dangerous to their entire belief system. Speaking from experience, the homophobia and by it's ultimate extension, transphobia, the fear that is instilled in church congregations against us is very intense. When I was caught up in it before I came out, I was in favor of all of the actions taken against LBGT people. Then again, I hated myself.

Maggie in California

amandainsjc said...

Well, my understanding with Catholicism (and Eastern Orthodoxy for that matter) is that there's nothing wrong inherently with being gay or trans-its acting out on those desires that is sinful. Like being a straight, cis person who engages in extra-marital sex. The catch being that for straight, cis people there are ways of expressing intimacy and sexuality that are church approved.

I of course disagree strongly with that, but I would guess that's how traditional/conservative Catholics would respond.

And its not surprising to see Muslims and conservative Catholics coming together like this; I'd have thought the list would have included evangelical prots and Orthodox Jews as well.

amandainsjc said...

Hehe, if you wanted to be a pain in the ass, you could always waive supportive statements made by authorities in the (Shi'ite) Republic of Iran about transsexuality (obviously none, alas, about homosexuality there) as I bet those Muslim clerics are all Sunni.

jessie-c said...

amandainsjc says Hehe, if you wanted to be a pain in the ass, you could always waive supportive statements made by authorities in the (Shi'ite) Republic of Iran about transsexuality

Let's not. The theoconservatives who control Iran are using SRS to erase gay people. They truly believe that forcing gays to become "ersatz straights" is morally good. And it was designed to eliminate the gay population. The fact that Iranian transsexuals also benefit is a mere side-effect. That's an even worse denial of reality and abuse of power then the Catholics have ever dreamed of doing.

That being said, it's past time to eliminate the fossil in charge of the Catholic Church and to bring down the entire tottering mess. All the good done by individual Catholics (and there is much good done) is being ruined by the increasingly-discredited and morally-bankrupt cabal running^Wruining the whole mess. Their attitudes were old-fashioned in the 19th Century, let alone the 21st.

Nicole said...

Every one of the comments I've read on this subject, here and on other websites still buys into the notion that some people are hetero and some are either Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Pansexual, Asexual etc.

Has anyone here ever considered that sexual diversity may exist naturally in all of us and that we are not "born" hetero or gay for instance, and that the whole trouble with religious organisations is that they seek to suppress natural instincts within us that some can conform to but others can't.

The amount of diversity I pick up within people who will tell you they are hetero is astounding. When is some real talk into this concept going to start instead of the continual usage unnatural and corrupting model of human kind?

Imogen said...

Sadly, I have finally given up on any possibility of a peaceful resolution with these people. They are a mortal threat to my life and wellbeing, and as such it is imperative that they be neutralized or destroyed by any means necessary.

It took me a long time and much reluctance to come to this conclusion. But I can't see it any other way.

amandainsjc said...


I know very well just how much homosexuals are persecuted in Iran, and just wanted to show that there is *some* diversity in the Islamic world when it comes to these things (besides, I was under the impression that the law wasn't designed to erase gay people; rather that's just a very, very bad side effect of criminalizing homosexuality while making transsexuality legit).

jessie-c said...

Amandainsjc, that's what they want you to believe. The diversity comes because they believe they have a way to create straight people so they tolerate (barely) transsexuals. They never state this outright because the outcry would be heard round the world but this outcome is exactly what they want; people are uncertain of their true agenda and they're getting away with it.

Marisa said...

If they had a whit of moral fibre, the International Union of Hairdressers and Fashion Designers would condemn homosexuality too!

Fact is that the Catholic Church is a larger employer than any corporation. Only national governments exceed them in scale--and the typical military/civil service job doesn't have near the career appeal for "struggling gays" that the Catholic ministry has.

I'd hazard a guess that Benedict has more homosexual employees than anyone except for Hu Jintao.

Marisa said...

Also . . . granted Zoe, that the person you identify as Nicky/FAB is a rude, angry asshat.

But . . . on the web alone there are many, many dozens of people who observed the time when you reported being struck by your improbable condition. To say nothing of those who must have been personally privy.

Doubtless, some of them have hung around to notice the concocted revisions to your personal history made since that time.

Quite possibly a handful of these individuals are also rude, angry asshats. Thus, the assumption that you are being pestered by one troll, while reasonable, isn't necessarily true.

Nicole said...


As a person who has transitioned I must say that the more that I learn, the more that some of the otherwise unexplainable things from my life pre-transition and during transition become clear. I may have tried to explain them as best as I could at different intervals in the past using terms that I knew back then to describe concepts that I knew back then, but as I learn more, as human kind evolves and discovers more it alters what I understand about my past.

That doesn’t make my past different, it just helps to describe it more accurately than I could ever possibly hope to do back then, especially the things I tried to describe in the midst of transition while trying to live in a world that seems strongly opposed to difference of any kind.

I can’t speak for Zoe, nor anybody else. But my interpretation of my story has changed many times, and I make no apologies for that.


Zimbel said...

It only took the Roman Catholic Church about 187 years to fully apply the implications of Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. They appear to realize that genetics exist; perhaps they'll be quicker this time.

In any case, best of luck. Were it me, I'd probably stay within the literal statement of the vow, bending my implementation significantly.

For example, studying the apparent protection that much of the church has given to certain criminals in their midst might be very instructive to a young potential devotee. As might, say, studying Church history - particularly portions that the modern church regrets.

Imogen said...

Personally, I think Zoe's personal situation is irrelevant. The tireless work she does speaks for itself. We have almost diametrically opposing political views but that doesn't keep me from appreciating what she does.

I am definitely intersexed, in a quite visibly obvious way, but the real cause of my problems is the fact that the doctor said "boy" when I was born, and I beg to differ. So for practical purposes my situation is no different from someone trans, other than making it easier to pass.

So thanks for your work, Zoe.

Katherine said...

I am a threat to the Catholic Church. I am a danger incarnate so devastating that the very foundation of the church will be shaken.
I am an innocent being being persecuted by the church right from the very top.

They offer no love, no compassion no concern. They demand that my rights be denied and that I cease to exist.
They believe in the perfect gender, and all that do not fit into this must be persecuted.

They say they make exceptions for people who are intersexed, but we are not treated any differently. And there are so many variations - such as those in the brain. Nature loves diversity - that is natural law.

Has it come to this?
If I am not of the Aryan race... I will be forced to wear a pink triangle, and live in a ghetto, and do only those jobs that "good" people won't do.

I am sorry if it has. I am sorry that the leader of the Catholic faith learned his tactics at the hands of the Nazis. I am sorry there is no love left.

Zoe, when the first statement of a person arguing the case of the church resorts to insults, and personal attacks it is truly a sad day.

I swore an oath to God,not man. I will place no other gods before God. Not even the head of the Catholic Church. Know who your true allegiance is owed to, and you will know and be able to follow your faith.

Zoe Brain said...

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Meanwhile educate, inform, argue, and fight.