Below is my gob-smacked reaction to an article in the current issue of Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity. The article, “Surgical Fantasy”, was written by Robert Hart, who is identified as the rector of St. Benedict’s Anglican Catholic Church in Chapel Hill, NC.
Above is my family in the mid-1940’s looking the way the vast majority of families used to be.
The author of the piece in Touchstone announces at the beginning that “a new civil right is being forced on us”. And it is this “new right” which he discusses. It is the right to deny natural order and to choose (against fact and reason) what gender (strange and frightening word) we are. That such a right exists. That people who know it is mad to stand on the tracks while the train is bearing down on them, yet believe this a “right” is where the gob-smackedness of the situation comes in
At a time not so long ago “gender” was a word that was used in grammar when a person wanted to speak or write about which words went with what words; it being necessary for those things to “agree in gender and number” . Gender had a place in botany, too I think, during discussions about flowers and their bits and pieces; stamens were one kind of gender and pistils were another. Stuff like that.
One of the dictionaries Google found for me to consult about gender has it that the word was in use as early as the 14th century in the first sense. It appeared a bit later in the second. It only became mixed up (confused?) with the word “sex”, people sex, in the mid 20th century. Even then the dictionary notes tell me gender applied to differences between male and female people was limited to cultural and social differences, while the word sex was limited strictly to biological differences. Call what has since happened to it mission creep.
The terms of art concerning the phenomenon of such a sudden strangeness as is written about are, as far as I can tell, “gender identity”, “gender assignment” and “gender choice”; which indicate that no longer is it the case someone’s sex (or gender, the term du jour when referring to all of those parts your grandmother might have called your “naughty bits”, and what one was able to use them for) is something which is decided in our mother’s womb when we are all newly formed zygotes. We now, or recently, have the right to choose which we want to be; or perhaps in the near future, both, none or an illimitable number. Ain’t science great! Off with the old, on with the new!
When all of this started, it want by the name of “Sex Change”. Milder forms of such a thing were known as “Cross Dressing” or that thing called “Drag”; a word whose application in this sense I cannot for the life of me understand. In the first case one lost some things and had other things sewn on or added in one way or another, and voila, one was a new, umm, thing; sort of like becoming a coupe after starting out as a pick-up or tractor, where mechanics and painters and the odd engineer or two cut and re-assemble what essentially remains the same, but looks like something different. Only, in the case of the internal combustion machine, it still works as one.
In the latter two cases above it was simply a matter of playing dress up, and pretending to be something you deep down knew you were not, and could never be. Now??? Now, well now, it’s all for “real”. What or who we identify as, not who we are is the determinant most valuable. We, or those who think they must and therefore should, change what we were born to be have, as the author says, a right to do it. Boy. Girl. Dragon. Turtle.
And everyone’s gotta go along with this at the risk of being labelled an intolerant trans-gender or trans-species bigot.
I am not quite sure I understand what these new terms mean, but, from a number of tales and stories in the press and on the “inter-world”, people who apply the terms to themselves, of whom the terms are used in such places, people who undergo surgeries and hormone treatments and take courses in makeup application, and use different bathrooms, these people have become another kind of person, so they say. With the skilled cutting and pasting of surgeons and pharmaceutical firms, counselors and the ever present and increasingly more vital counseling services necessary for all of us to become “the best we can be”, they have become the person they were,so they say, “destined” to be, and about whom we are supposed to say, in humble acclamation, the difference is complete. The change affects everything about the “changed”. Not just a physical and psychological change has taken place. It may be thought of as a change on the ontological level. A new being has been re-engineered, manufactured, re-tooled (no pun intended); in a word, Born! That’s a change worth thinking about, an ontological change, to use a big word.
Well, no! All of his, her, its billions of cells, and its single soul are still as they were when sperm met egg and there was only one. Nothing has changed but the atmospherics; the curtains and the colors of the walls.
When I think about this, I think that the ones undergoing this process must believe that God made a mistake, and they have , or the attending surgeon and the pharmaceutical industry have, fixed it. God’s roll of the dice in their case, they are convinced, came up, what, snake eyes? And they’ve got the right to go God one better. Well, why not!? We’ve been doing stuff like that since apple blossom time in paradise.
Or, they could be nuts, completely delusional, Bedlam worthy cuckoos screwing up their lives to a fare thee well. And, they could be being helped to “develop” their mad delusion, correcting God’s big mistake, not getting treated for it, by quite a few people from incredibly stupid doctors to the dimwitted darlings of the airwaves ready to do anything for a sensation or two. There’s more than enough evidence for the screwiness of everything concerned with this, and the author deals with that in the first part of his article.
Much more charitably than I do.
Anyway, here’s a link to the article: