It is no secret that our culture as a whole is descending into an ever-deeper sexual confusion. Recently two examples of this were in the news.
In the first article which I summarize here, a Canadian couple have chosen to raise (impose upon?) their child a “genderless” upbringing. For now, they have refused to tell any of their family or friends the sex of their child, whom they call “Storm,” and groom and dress the infant child ambiguously.
I would like to provide excerpts of a much longer article here and comment as we go. As usual, the article is in bold, black italics. My comments are in plain red text. The full article is here: Parents Keep Baby’s Gender Secret
“So it’s a boy, right?” a neighbor calls out as Kathy Witterick walks by, her four month old baby, Storm, strapped to her chest in a carrier.
Witterick and her husband, David Stocker, are raising a genderless baby. (Pet peeve: “Gender” was traditionally a word that referred to grammar, as in the subclass of a noun (male, female and neuter) in Latin and in the romance languages.”Sex” was the traditional word that referred to the sub classification of human beings as either male or female. I am willing to admit that language (which does change) is undergoing a change here. But perhaps too, it is no coincidence that, as we increasingly loose a proper sense of our humanity, that we would take up the word “gender” to refer to our sexuality. For gender in language is somewhat of an arbitrary assignment to words which have, not only a male and female sub class, but also, a third “neuter class). While there’s nothing ambiguous about Storm’s genitalia, they aren’t telling anyone whether their third child is a boy or a girl.
“If you really want to get to know someone, you don’t ask what’s between their legs,” says Stocker. (And here is one of the great errors of the modern age, a kind of Gnostic or Manichean dualism, if you will. Sexuality is much more than genitalia. The whole body, and the whole soul, is male or female. The body is not some arbitrary container or machine in which I live. My body and my soul are one. The body expresses the soul, the soul is the form of the body. It is not just my body that is male. I am male. As a human person my body and soul, though distinguishable, are one. Thus my body is a revelation of who I am at the deepest level. The child’s father (am I allowed to use that term?) has an anthropology that no Christian can accept, it is an ancient heresy (dualism) fought by the Church 18 Centuries ago, and also in more recent times. Gnostic dualism tried to separate the soul and the body).
Friends said they were imposing their political and ideological values on a newborn. Most of all, people said they were setting their kids up for a life of bullying in a world that can be cruel to outsiders. Witterick and Stocker [the parents] believe they are giving their children the freedom to choose who they want to be, unconstrained by social norms about males and females. Some say their choice is alienating. (Their friends are right. This is a terrible thing to do to the child, not only for social reasons, but also for deeply personal reasons. They are messing with this child’s psyche. For nature (and I would add, nature’s God) has supplied this child with a sex, and pretending this is insignificant, is unnatural, and thus unhealthy, for the child. Sex (or “gender” as they say), is not something we choose. It is something that is given. It is, quite simply, who and what we are).
Stocker, 39, and Witterick, 38, believe kids can make meaningful decisions for themselves from a very early age. “What we noticed is that parents make so many choices for their children. It’s obnoxious,” says Stocker. (I wonder if they will allow their kid to take up smoking, swallow broken glass, or join a right-wing political movement? The fact is, children need to be raised. They are in no position to make most decisions for themselves at an early age. Children need to be formed and educated according to what is right and proper. (Sadly, these parents seem in no position to do that anyway). Parents need to be parents. They need to show their children what is the way and how to navigate, both reality, and the social order. It is possible for a parent to micromanage a child in some matters, but these parents are over correcting for the possibility.
Further, though they claim to be giving their kid “freedom,” it is just as arguable that they are imposing their confused agenda on their children. To say that “gender” is up for grabs, is not a neutral position, it is a viewpoint; a (perverse) doctrine they are imposing on their child. So, though they like to claim that they are on some sort of (perverse) high ground, the fact is, they are imposing an agenda upon their children. So perhaps the truer conclusion is that they are being parents, just bad parents).
The moment a child’s sex is announced, so begins the parade of pink and barrage of blue. Tutus and toy trucks aren’t far behind. The couple says it only intensifies with age. (Shame on us! We are all so evil. Imagine, recognizing a child for what he or she is, how could we be so pushy?).
“In fact, in not telling the gender of my precious baby, I am saying to the world, ‘Please can you just let Storm discover for him/herself what s (he) wants to be?!.” Witterick writes in an email. (Again, we don’t decide what sex we are going to be. The body is a revelation from nature (and, I would argue, from nature’s God) of who the person IS. Sex change operations, and other forms of pretending, do not change what we are. They simply reveal deep-seated confusion and psychological disorder.
Christian anthropology insists that the body is revelation. We learn about ourselves from our bodies. They will often tell us when we are under stress, when we are being gluttonous, how old we are, etc. It is true, the body is not the only revelation of who we are, but it IS revelation, it does not lie. It cannot simply be ignored or set aside because of some form of stinking thinking, or delusional notion, that all that matters is what I think. The body is a reminder of a little thing called “reality” to which we must answer and square our thinking by. More on this below).
Stocker teaches at City View Alternative, a tiny school west of Dufferin Grove Park, with four teachers and about 60 Grade 7 and 8 students whose lessons are framed by social-justice issues around class, race and gender…. The family traveled [recently] through the mountains of Mexico, speaking with the Zapatistas, a revolutionary group who shun mainstream politics as corrupt and demand greater indigenous rights. In 1994, about 150 people died in violent clashes with the Mexican military, but the leftist movement has been largely peaceful since. Last year, they spent two weeks in Cuba, living with local families and learning about the revolution. (I wonder what the indigenous people would think of this couple’s absurd notions? I would think that most indigenous people are more in touch with reality, basic nature, and “real-world” living than this Canadian couple, lost in a post-Cartesian fog. My guess is that as they observe this sort of thing from the “corrupted West” a word comes to their mind: “Loco.” Not sure about the Cubans and how much they’ve been “westernized.”
Witterick has worked in violence prevention, giving workshops to teachers. These days, she volunteers, offering breastfeeding support. At the moment, she is a full-time mom. (Glad that mom is a full time mom, but in this case, I wish the kids had other influences).
Witterick practices unschooling, an offshoot of home-schooling centered on the belief that learning should be driven by a child’s curiosity. There are no report cards, no textbooks and no tests. For unschoolers, learning is about exploring and asking questions, “not something that happens by rote from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays in a building with a group of same-age people, planned, implemented and assessed by someone else,” says Witterick. The fringe movement is growing. An unschooling conference in Toronto drew dozens of families last fall. (These poor kids, these poor, poor kids. Not only are they being heavily influenced by sexual confusion, but they are being wholly unprepared for life. Life does occur on our own little schedule, or indulge our moments of curiosity. Life does have tests, and we are accountable for what we do. Tests, and report cards are good training for life. Textbooks, though not perfect, do at least provide a reasonably common curriculum written by some one other than these confused parents. These poor kids, what a mess. I am not against home schooling, but the picture is, that these kids are being really isolated from the real world by parents who refuse to engage reality).
Jazz — [the oldest boy] soft-spoken, with a slight frame and curious brown eyes — keeps his hair long, preferring to wear it in three braids, two in the front and one in the back, even though both his parents have close-cropped hair. His favourite colour is pink, although his parents don’t own a piece of pink clothing between them. He loves to paint his fingernails and wears a sparkly pink stud in one ear, despite the fact his parents wear no nail polish or jewelry. Kio [his brother] keeps his curly blond hair just below his chin. The 2-year-old loves purple, although he’s happiest in any kind of pyjama pants.“As a result, Jazz and now Kio are almost exclusively assumed to be girls,” says Stocker, adding he and Witterick don’t out them. (Sigh…)
On a recent trip to Hamilton, Jazz was out of earshot when family friend Denise Hansen overheard two little girls at the park say they didn’t want to play with a “girl-boy.” (Now, of course, the parents and their supporters will calls these girls unenlightened, harsh, mean spirited etc. But the fact is, these boys are (understandably) confused, and their (created) confusion unsettles people. But as is usually the case in these matters, those who engage in disordered and troubling behavior, demand all the sensitivity, and show none. As per usual they are preferring an “in-your face” approach that demands acceptance and tolerance, while at the same time showing none for us, who are understandably troubled by deeply disordered notions that fly in the face of reality).
Dr. Ken Zucker, considered a world expert on gender identity and head of the gender identity service for children at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, calls this a “social experiment of nurture.” When asked what psychological harm, if any, could come from keeping the sex of a child secret, Zucker said: “One will find out.” OK, Doctor, you have used an important word here: “experiment.” Since when did we get the notion that performing experiments on children is just fine? And do you, Doctor, parents, and supporters of the parents, really think its OK to just “find out” if any harm will come to the children? Is it right for parents to perform “social experiments” on their children in regard to the deepest aspects of who they are?
What if a certain group of parents decided that sleep was over-rated and 8 hours of sleep was an undesirable and socially imposed rule that had to go? And what if they decided to impose an “experiment” on their children by depriving them of sleep and indoctrinating them with the notion that what their body was clearly saying (“I want to sleep”) could and should be ignored? How about another experiment where we just let kids eat what they want, or bathe when and if they please? Maybe we could also refuse potty training since toilets are “social constructs.” It wouldn’t take long for the authorities to intervene in cases like this. But when it comes to sexual confusion, a politically correct and protected deviancy, we are all just supposed to step back and admire an “experiment” while three children descend into utter confusion).
The broader question, he says, is how much influence parents have on their kids. If [some] lean toward nature, Zucker puts more emphasis on nurture. Even when parents don’t make a choice, that’s still a choice, and one that can impact the children. Well Dr. Z you’ve spoken the truth here: the parents non-choice is, in fact, a choice. And their “non-choice choice” will have “impact” on their children, I would estimate the impact at about 65 mph, head on.
Well there it is, in all its tragic gloom. And, as the lights go out in Western culture this sort of thing is going to become more common.
At the heart of the problem in the Western world has been the full flower of the Cartesian error. Rene Descartes, back in the 16th Century, adopted a radical skepticism wherein he did not trust that the reality around him was real or even existed. All he could “trust” was that he doubted and quipped, “I think, therefore I am.” And thus began in the Western World, a slow but steady retreat away from reality, and into the mind. Little by little we have pulled up roots from the real, the actual and natural world around us, and turned in on ourselves. Increasingly all that matters is what I think. When one points to the actual, the real world, to facts of nature, and so forth, the modern world is increasingly unimpressed or runs to find an anomaly and pretend it’s normative. In the end for the modern westerner, All that matters is what I think. And as for what you think, well that’s just your opinion, what you think. There is no common, no shared reality, just what I think, that is all that matters.
When it comes to many of the moral issues of the day, the actual, physical, aspects of the matter are increasingly ignored and everything becomes an abstraction. Abortion is not the physical dismemberment of a human baby, it is a “choice” or just a political “issue.” When one points out that homosexual activity violates the clear design of the human body (for the man is clearly for the woman and the woman for the man, not the man for the man or the woman for the woman), one is greeted with puzzlement, as if to say, “What does the body have to do with it?” For the modern age, our bodies apparently have nothing to say to us. That promiscuity of any sort brings disease doesn’t seem to register with modern man. Most today do not conclude, on account of STDs and AIDS that perhaps our bodies are telling us something. Rather the only conclusion is that the government needs to supply more condoms and antibiotics and do more research so that we can go on ignoring our bodies and indulge our passions.
It is clear that we are retreating into our minds and away from the physical realities that are before us. Reality is cast aside. We owe no debt to the “is-ness” of things. All that matters is what we think. Rene Descartes’ retreat into the mind has come full flower and it is an ugly flower.
But for the Church and the Biblical moral tradition, natural law is an essential component of understanding what is right and wrong. The body is a revelation to us from nature, and for the Church, the body is also a revelation from God. Our bodies and the natural world around us have essential and critical things to teach us, and we owe a debt to reality that is actually before us. To simply ignore the body in discussion of sexuality is unthinkable from a Natural Law perspective, and from a Biblical perspective. The body speaks truth to us, and reveals to us what is right. When we retreat from reality by rationalizations and intellectualizing, or simply by ignoring it, we suppress the truth it reveals.
At the heart of the Church teaching and or her Natural Law Tradition is a confidence that we can know reality and trust what it tells us. To ignore reality, to ignore the revelation of the natural world, and the body is, pure and simple, to suppress the truth. The Letter to the Romans speaks with great sobriety about this problem:
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their senseless minds were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools….Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in their bodies the due penalty for their perversion. (Romans 1:21-27)
In suppressing the truth about God and what can be known from nature, our senseless Western minds have become darkened. As the Scripture points out, one of the most obvious symptoms of this is sexual confusion: promiscuity, contraception, and homosexual activity, all involve a turning away from what the body teaches us about sexuality. Sex is pleasurable to be sure, but that pleasure is obviously oriented to pro-creation. The bodily aspect of sexuality is clearly unitive but it is also procreative. We cannot simply set aside the procreative dimension of sexuality without doing violence to what the body reveals.
And, as we descend deeper into sexual confusion it would now seem that we have come to a place where some cannot even decide what it means to be male or female. How can anyone be so confused? And the yet Scriptures say plainly how. Just suppress the truth, by ignoring God and what he reveals in creation, and the downward slide begins. Before long, there is utter debasement, confusion and, at least collectively speaking, our senseless minds are darkened.
As the lights go out, the Church cannot simply curse the darkness. We must light a candles of Revelation and Natural Law. We must hold them high. And as we do so, the world will curse us, for light is obnoxious to those accustomed to darkness. But gradually, the light can be adjusted to again.
The following video is another example of the sexual confusion being pushed on others. In this case it is indoctrination in the public schools of California which insists that one can “choose” to be a boy, a girl or “both.” The “instructor,” as he points to his heart and head says, “Gender identity is about what’s in here, and up here.” It is pure Gnostic dualism, and a Cartesian retreat into the mind, and away from reality. All that matters is what I think. What is outside, “doesn’t matter.”
We have a lot of work to do.