Recently Pope Francis "denounced attempts to teach children that gender is fluid and can be chosen, rather than a biological fact and a gift from God." I thought I would get a little more information on this from a Catholic source to see what he and they are actually saying.
Although LGBT leadership has decried Pope Francis’ supposed ignorance and insensitivity regarding transgenderism, a recent paper from a group of prominent pediatricians suggests that the pope may have science solidly on his side.
Several LGBT activists criticized Pope Francis after he denounced attempts to teach children that gender is fluid and can be chosen, rather than a biological fact and a gift from God. In a meeting with Polish bishops during World Youth Day, the pope bemoaned the infiltration of “gender theory” into educational materials for children.
“Today, schools are teaching children-children!-that everyone can choose their own sex. And why is this being taught? Because their textbooks are chosen by the people and institutions that give money. This is ideological colonization, promoted by very influential nations. This is terrible,” the pope said.
Sarah McBride, a transgender woman and National Press Secretary of the pro-LGBT Human Rights Campaign, said that Francis’s words were “not only hurtful, and frankly harmful, but really demonstrating a misunderstanding of what it means to be transgender.”
Francis DeBernardo, the executive director of New Ways Ministry, a Catholic LGBT advocacy group, also responded immediately to the pope’s remarks, suggesting that he was ignorant concerning the nature of transgenderism.
“Pope Francis’ shocked lament about schools teaching children they can choose their gender says more about the pope’s knowledge of LGBT issues than it does about the reality of gender identity,” DeBernardo said in a statement.
“Nobody chooses a gender identity. They discover it. Transgender people come to know themselves in a process is [sic] similar to the way that lesbian, gay, and bisexual people discover their sexual orientation,” he said.
Thank you Francis DeBernardo for saying what I was thinking. It's not like choosing a team to try out for, let's do soccer this year because it looks fun, then switch to swimming. If there is confusion, there has to be a way to discover one's identity, but I think using the word "choosing" is dangerous, just like we choose to be gay or straight. I think teaching children they can choose to be transgender would be like teaching children they can choose to be gay or bisexual. NO ONE CHOOSES. Instead, it's a discovery that we are not just straight or that we were not born into the correct physical external body.
But then the Cruxnow.com article goes a little south. They discuss twin research which is interesting, but just proves that twins aren't always biologically equal. And then it addresses the other side of the coin. I agree with the Pope in saying gender identity is not a choice. I believe it is more so a discovery. You may discover it is "the norm" or you may experience it is exceptional! But the Pope then clarifies his statement a little more.
On numerous occasions, Pope Francis has reaffirmed Catholic teaching that God creates human beings as male and female, and that young people should be taught to embrace the sexuality that God gave them.
In his letter on marriage and the family, Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”), Pope Francis said that sex education should teach “respect and appreciation” for sexual differences, as a way of helping the young to overcome self-absorption.
This respect includes self-acceptance and learning to embrace the body one is born with, rather than playing with fictional identities that deny reality.
“An appreciation of our body as male or female,” he added, is “necessary for our own self-awareness in an encounter with others different from ourselves.”
According to the most recent studies, the pope’s views are not only theologically orthodox, but scientifically sound.
It is always good to see what the other side thinks. We need to know what we are battling. But if the Pope understands that there are homosexuals and we live and breathe and love, why can't he understand that there are transgender people as well?
What are your thoughts on the Pope's beliefs and statements?
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