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Probably the strangest thing I’ve ever read. A refutation of the rant of a cultural radical.

July 30, 2014 79 Comments

Newborn baby girl right after delivery, shallow focus

A reader recently alerted me to a piece in Slate (an online magazine) that is so bizarre you might think it is a joke, an April Fools’ Day parody, or someone illustrating absurdity by being absurd. Yet as far as I can tell, the author means every word she says.

I must say, I have never read anything stranger in my life (except perhaps for a couple of things in Mad Magazine, but they actually were parodies). If you dare to read the excerpt below, prepare for your brain to explode.

And yet nothing I have read is such a perfect example of the growing absurdity of the cultural radicals, who are increasingly losing touch with reality. So bizarre and “out there” is this article, that some of you will surely say, “Oh well, no one really takes this seriously; why give publicity to such fringe lunacy?” But if that is your view I would ask you to think again. Even a mere ten years ago most people did not think the notion of “gay marriage” would ever go anywhere. And yet what was thought by most as a fringe lunacy then is now celebrated by many and is the “law of the land” in a growing number of states.

Watch out! Things are getting dark very quickly. Make sure you have a strong stomach before you read what follows. And beware, it may be coming soon to a maternity ward near you. A piece such as this surely illustrates what St. Paul said of the unbelievers and sexually depraved of his day: they became vain in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened (Rom 1:21).

As usual the words of the author are in bold, black italics. My comments are in plain, red text.  If you have a very strong stomach and a brain that does not easily explode you can read the full piece here: Slate Magazine article

Imagine you are in recovery from labor, lying in bed, holding your infant. In your arms you cradle a stunningly beautiful, perfect little being. [“Being”? “Baby” is the usual term is it not? Consider this your first warning, dear reader.] Completely innocent and totally vulnerable, your baby [That’s better.] is entirely dependent on you to make all the choices that will define their life for many years to come. [OK, here’s another sign of trouble. This woman has succumbed to fearing her own philosophy. Let me state for the record that it does not pertain to the human person to “define the life” of another person. That is what God does. This is a central error of the cultural radicals. They claim the right to “define life” and the lives of others. This woman is going to go on to describe her anxiety that parents can “define the life” of their child. Again, her fear is based on a flawed and prideful notion.]

Suddenly, the doctor comes in. He looks at you sternly [Oh, please!], gloved hands reaching for your baby … “Is it really necessary?” [you ask] … The doctor flashes a paternalistic [Oh, please!] smile. “No, no … but … This is a standard practice. People just wouldn’t understand why you didn’t go along with it,” he says, casting a judgmental [Oh, please!] glance.

[Look out, here it comes!]

… The imaginary [scenario] I described above is real. Obstetricians, doctors, and midwives [Well at least it’s not all stern, paternalistic, judgmental male doctors!] commit this procedure on infants every single day, in every single country … without even asking for the parents’ consent, making this practice all the more insidious. It’s called infant gender assignment: When the doctor holds your child up to the harsh light of the delivery room, looks between its legs, and declares his opinion: It’s a boy or a girl, based on nothing more than a cursory assessment of your offspring’s genitals. [It just gets stranger every day. Again, this piece is so insane that I was certain it had to be a joke. But it seems the “woman” (May I call “her” that without giving offense?) is quite serious.]

We tell our children, “You can be anything you want to be.” We say, “A girl can be a doctor, a boy can be a nurse,” but why in the first place must this person be a boy and that person be a girl? Your infant is an infant. [No, the sex of a baby in not incidental; it is integral; the infant IS male or IS female AND it is deeper than genitals, despite the author’s flippant reductionism. The “gender”—or as most of us used to say, “sex”—of a person goes all the way down to the DNA and, I would argue, to the soul, which is the form of the body.] … As a newborn, your child’s potential is limitless [No, it isn’t. Human beings are limited, contingent beings. We are not God. Here, too, the strange notions of the cultural radicals are on full display. The simple fact is that no matter how unpleasant some think it is, human beings ARE limited and thus our potential is also limited. No matter how much the author might wish to leap a tall building in a single bound or to be “genderless” (to use her term), she cannot. There are just some stubborn facts that get in the way of her pipe dream. Namely, that we are not of unlimited potential and we ARE either male or female.] The world is full of possibilities that every person deserves to be able to explore freely, receiving equal respect and human dignity while maximizing happiness through individual expression. [I wonder if our author would allow “offspring” to “explore freely” the owning of slaves, or the thrill of “maximizing happiness” through the “individual expression” of engaging in human trafficking, or leading a genocidal campaign in a foreign land. Just asking. But her vague and wide open notions here allow such a question. Surely she has some lines in mind that should not be crossed. But if she does, is she not limiting the “limitless potentials” she celebrates in every newborn?

With infant gender assignment, in a single moment your baby’s life is instantly and brutally [Oh, please!] reduced from such infinite [There’s that word again.]  potentials down to one concrete set of expectations and stereotypes, and any behavioral deviation from that will be severely punished [Oh, please!]That doctor (and the power structure behind him) plays a pivotal role in imposing those limits on helpless infants, without their consent, and without your informed consent as a parent. This issue deserves serious consideration by every parent, [No, it doesn’t.] because no matter what gender identity your child ultimately adopts, infant gender assignment has effects that will last through their whole life. [I would like to say that I think the author is seeking to limit my “infinite potential” by trying to coerce me into ignoring the obvious. She is  “imposing” silliness on me and then (as the cultural radicals are more than capable of doing) threatening to “severely punish” any “behavioral deviation” by me against her (and their) politically correct agenda. In other words, doesn’t she want to break the very rules she announces? Does she not seek to impose an agenda on doctors and folks like me, who she says commit the crime of imposing an agenda on others?]

… Infant gender assignment might just be Russian roulette with your baby’s life. [Oh, for Heaven’s sake, such over the top rhetoric! But since she raised the issue of taking life, I would like to point out that the cultural radicals are the one who have the body count—in the hundreds of millions—through their advocacy and funding of abortion, which really DOES kill babies.] 

For the sake of thy sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

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Comments (79)

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  1. Robertlifelongcatholic says:

    The author of this article in Slate Magazine possibly was born with and suffers a severe case of ambiguous genitalia. Unfortunately the ambiguity has spread to their brain.

    • Christopher W Milton says:

      The main problem with this article doesn’t explain what she’s talking about. I have read that ambiguous genitalia occur in 1 in 2000 births, so it’s fairly prevelant.

      The writer’s transgender theory is off the rails, but could you imagine a doctor deciding to make a best guess at the gender of your child? I’ve read and seen articles on such things, no genetic tests, just a doctor deciding what’s best without the parents’ consent – and sometimes guessing wrong.

      I judge that her complaint is valid, even if her justification is in error.

      • But you’re accepting her premise that a doctor decides. Of course a doctor does not decide, a doctor only observes the obvious of what God and nature has decided and determined.

        • Christopher W. Milton says:

          No, of course God and nautre has decided and determined the gender of the child, I do not deny that.

          What I am saying – and the writer vaguely said – is that in some cases where the gender of a child (determined by God and nature) is not immediately clear when looking at the external indicators, the doctor will declare the child to be of one gender or the other, without waiting for genetic tests and without the input or consent of the parents, and surgically alter things to correspond with his declaration.

          This happens, and it is wrong.

          The idea that a doctor decides the gender is part of her incorrect justification that we can and must be able to decide our own gender.

          • In the VERY RARE cases where this happens, doctors work with parents and there is usually no rush to make that determination. This is a very rare case and a red herring in this discussion. You know this is not what she is talking about.

    • Repent and Believe the Gospel! says:

      I got it, I got it (you know me I love to do interpretation)!
      The nut job (the author) is equating the horror of gender reassignment (the fake scenario ) with the true gender assignment that God gives each one of us. Thus, God should be viewed as the crazy doctor.

      Man, you need a degree to interpret clown writing.

  2. Linda Kimball says:

    “I must say, I have never read anything stranger in my life…..”

    We are in the presence of an emerging Gnostic pantheist ‘alternative’ reality, an evolving universe of matter and energy where man is no longer created but rather the emerging (androgynous) product of evolution. To help you understand this madness:

    “Creation is, as it were, a book. Every creature is a sentence or a word in this book. The Author and Publisher is the Triune God. It is the task of human and angelic intelligence to read God’s thoughts from this book and co-operate with Him. The theme, the dominant idea that runs through each sentence—even each word—is the Word made Flesh, the Incarnate Word of God, Jesus Christ, because this Word says everything. This is why the Archangel says to Blessed Mary at the Incarnation, “No word will be impossible for God.” Evolution is not a word. It cannot be found in this book or in its theme. It is a fable (cf. 2Tim 4:4), a “strange doctrine” of which St. Paul warned us against so long ago.” (Christ the Exemplar Cause of Creation, Eliminates the Possibility of Evolution, Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation)

    The evolutionary thinking that has swept the post-Christian West and America, virtually displacing the Genesis account of creation is a strange doctrine positing an inverted exegesis, an evolutionary ascent from primordial matter to creeping things, crawling things, and so on. It is in every way the antithesis of the Revealed Word of God hence the enemy of the Revealed Word, as even evolutionary atheist Richard Dawkins agrees:

    “I think the evangelical Christians have really sort of got it right in a way, in seeing evolution as the enemy. Whereas the more, what shall we say, sophisticated theologians are quite happy to live with evolution, I think they’re deluded. I think the evangelicals have got it right, in that there really is a deep incompatibility between evolution and Christianity…” (“Homeschooling parents demand evolutionary textbooks,” Lita Cosner, 13 June 2013, creation.com)

    In fact, the ancient roots of modern evolutionary thinking are traceable to Babylonian Cabala and Egyptian Hermeticism. Like its modern counterparts, Cabala and Hermeticism posit an inverted exegesis teaching biological and spiritual evolution (transformism) from lower to higher states of existence:

    “Human beings are themselves the product of a long spiritual evolutionary process that moves from ‘creeping things’ to fish, mammels, birds and then people. Humans can-—through occult knowledge and extraordinary ability-—continue this evolutionary process and become daemons, then gods, and finally planets or stars.” (The Making of the New spirituality, James A. Herrick, p. 40)

    Dr. Peter Jones, director of truthXchange and adjunct professor of Westminster Seminary CA., takes aim at the ‘sophisticated theologians’ comprising the fellowship of the Jesus Seminar in his essay, The Paganization of Biblical Studies. Jones connects the Jesus Seminar with resurgent pagan Gnosticism and argues that the first Gnostics were what is known today as Liberal Christians. The essence and methodology of liberalized Christianity throughout its history is the,

    “…importation into the church via the use of Christian terminology of the various historic expressions of pagan notions, in particular, the denial of God’s transcendence. In this sense, the first “liberals” were the Gnostics.”

    Thus the goal of Jesus Seminar founder Robert Funk is the liberation of Jesus, “from the scriptural and creedal experiential prisons in which we have incarcerated him.” Funk’s new Christianity is evolutionary and pantheistic and his Jesus, rather than coming in the flesh from God (1 John 4:1-3; 5:19) is a mortal, a teacher who emphasizes forgiveness and endorses “protected recreational sex among consenting adults.”

    Retired Bishop John Shelby Spong, another Jesus Seminar fellow, is a self-professed liberal who doesn’t believe in the authority of scripture and holds that Christians should simply be quiet and accept the tide of homosexuality that is sweeping society. Spong credits the Presbyterian heretic Lloyd Geering, Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at Victoria University, for creating an audience for him in New Zealand and Australia. Embraced and celebrated by the Jesus Seminar, Geering’s books are promoted as programmatic templates for the future utopian pagan community from the point of view of Christian apostasy, socialism and transgenderism (why in the first place must this person be a boy and that person be a girl?) undergirded by evolutionary pantheist orthodoxy.

    According to Geering, the world’s future culture will be post-Christian, global and religiously pagan and evolutionary. Tomorrow’s culture will be post-Christian because evolution proves that human beings, as they evolved out of ‘creeping things’ created language, then symbols, then religious explanations and God Himself. Since men created God, sophisticated theologians are able to use Him to create and ignite a Cosmic Egg (the Big Bang) and afterward direct evolution according to the will of his creators. Nevertheless, whether He is of use or not, Jesus Seminar pagans say the time,

    “…for glorifying the Almighty (male) God who supposedly rules is now over.” The end of Christianity is so evident “that some future generation may well be moved to discard the Christian calendar entirely, and rename the year 2000 AD as 1 GE, the first year of the global era.” (ibid, Jones)

    Tomorrow’s culture will be pluralistic and syncretistic because evolution integrates all scientific, cultural, religious and economic human activity into one worldwide matrix thus when the global society emerges from the evolutionary process,

    “it will require humanity to develop a new consciousness and a new form of spirituality” because “the new story which has become basic to the global world begins with a new word or idea…evolution” which in its broadest sense refers to change and development from within.”

    None of this is new. Nor is it scientific except in the sense of ancient occult science. It is revamped and revised occult spiritual pantheism, and Geering admits with surprise that the New Story has “links with pre-monotheistic…nature religions.”

    Dr. Jones wryly observes that in an odd turn of events,

    “….contemporary spiritual’ evolution goes backwards! Biblical theism disturbed evolutionary progress. The clocks have to be put back.”

    In his concluding remarks, Dr. Jones warns the faithful that they are in the,

    “…..presence of a powerful pagan/Gnostic theological agenda, claiming to be spanking new, objective and scientific, but as old as the hills. It is my belief that this trend in biblical studies is part of the setting in place of a pagan reconstruction of human culture for the planetary era.”

  3. Harold Koenig says:

    It is the old gnostic dualism redivivus — not that it ever went away. It comes with gnosticism’s usual outriders, sexual libertinism, little gods who make few demands, and a sense of passionate superiority.

  4. Scott W. says:

    Modern thought has become a veritable factory of damnation.

  5. Scott W. says:

    P.S. It wasn’t any doctor that “assigned” gender to my second born. The moment SHE was delivered I exclaimed with delight “It’s a girl!” To this day I sometimes greet HER that way to remind myself and HER mother of that wonderful moment.

    • Panmon says:

      No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

      When I was born, the doctor lifted me up and said “He’s got red hair”

      Ever since then, I was assigned to the dreaded red hair circle of limitation. I have been mocked and demeaned as carrot top, etc.

      If only that doctor had not assigned my hair color!

      He even wrote it on my birth certificate, the fiend. (sniff, sniff)

      Oh, the humanity.

  6. A rational Jew who reads the good Monsignor regularly says:

    Dear Sir, your article is wholly accurate in highlighting the inane accusation of “infant gender assignment.” The stupidity of this Slate Magazine writer is massive, because everything one does with one’s child may be termed selection — from the choice of language or languages to speak,to the kinds of food(s) with which a child will be nourished, to the kinds a physical contact and clothing and care. The idiocy of “gender assignment” is indeed cultural Marxism taken to its insane limit, and the malarkey is become evil. One notes that in other areas of the cultural Marxists’ struggle — one might as well say “Kampf” or “jihad” — is the attack on marriage and massive support for abortion, all designed to tear society apart. But all of this is for one reason, and that is to establish socialism — call it Marxism, or one or another brand of fascist socialism — because their hatred of Western society and the church and synagogue is rooted in their quasi-religious belief in the state as replacement for God. That these fools refuse the many lessons of history and demand cultural, linguistic and historical revisionism and relativism shows they operate without true direction, and can only tear away at society. Among the definitions of “evil” this magazine article is one example of true evil stalking the world today. Thank you for your continued speaking out. Bless you.

  7. Fr James Hudgins says:

    I do believe there are limits to the public acceptance of absurdity. (I do not know what those limits are. I admit, I am utterly baffled that same sex “marriage” has been accepted.) But the human mind naturally desires the light of truth, and when the world grows dark, it becomes clearer and clearer where the light is coming from.

    If the absurdity expressed in this article does become widely accepted, it may also prove to be very short lived. A society that attempted to abide by such ideas would discover how unsustainable they are, and would perhaps discover that quickly.

  8. Donna L. says:

    This is scary. There is so much confusion and “twisted thinking” in the world today.

  9. Dave says:

    Find a mental institution both for the author of this piece and whoever believed it was worthy of publication immediately.

  10. Maria says:

    We hopefully are seeing the last thrashings of the one who swept away one third of the stars …

    what surprised though was , how, even in the darkness and confusion, one sees the groping for the light .

    Had read while ago, in Fr.Barron’s book on ‘Healing The culture’ how we ARE made , by God , to know Infinity – in love, truth , goodness , which explains our efforts to go from one thing to the other , till we get to The One , who alone can fill our yearnings for infinity !

    His Name is The Lord ofcourse and may The Lord forgive any of us , who are kept in darkness of mind , to all that He has brought us to believe in and love , to be blessed with that ( highest ) level of happiness , of the ( ever growing ) awareness of being loved by and loving The Infinite God !

    May the holy angels hasten to our help , with the Queen of Angels , through the intercession of St.Michael –

    the Choir of Seraphim – to infuse us with true charity ,

    the Choir of Cherubim , to free us from wickedness ..

    the Choir Thrones . to keep us humble,

    the Choir of Dominions to help us control the passions , guard the senses

    the Choir Powers, to free us from the snared of the enemy ,

    the Choir of Virtues , to free us from temptations,

    the Choir of Principlaities , to kee us in obediance to The Truth

    the Choir of Archangels to help us to persevere in faith and good works

    The Choir of Guardian angles to protect us and lead us to heaven

    all for the glory of The Father,

    through prayers of St.Ignatius and holy saints !

    https://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/prayers/chaplet-of-st-michael.htm

  11. C Beltz says:

    Same sex marriage…

    No one has ever pointed out the exact clause in the US Constitution that explicitly gives the right to marry to ANYONE.

    Would someone please do that? Because until I see it with my own eyes I will not understand how we as a nation have given into this fallacy of “same non assigned gender marriage”.

    Last time I checked, God was the one who gave us marriage, and He is pretty clear on the whole boy/girl thing.

  12. I Like The Church Fathers says:

    Thanks for this Monsignor. This Slate article represents the outcome of liberal thought. It also shows why Blessed Pius IX was right so long ago when he courageously identified liberalism as an error.

    The simple reason why liberalism is an error is that liberal thought is ultimately a rebellion against nature. In the liberal worldview, nature is whatever people decide it is, not what God has decided.

  13. . . . all for Jesus says:

    +Protected and living out our lives in the Holy Shadow of the Cross . . . as GOD’S much beloved children . . . the Sweet Spirit of our Holy GOD provides us with such . . . wonderful . . . strengthening and encouraging . . . deep wisdom and great light . . . concerning this . . . difficult . . . and . . . so very weird at times . . . (to-say-the-least) . . . day-and-age of . . . constant . . . spiritual battle in which we are living . . . and GOD’s holy pathway for victoriously living in and through same . . .
    _________________

    Ephesians 6:11-18

    “[11] Put you on the ARMOUR OF GOD, that you may be able to stand against the DECEITS of the devil.

    [12] For our wrestling is NOT against flesh and blood; but against PRINCIPALITIES and POWER, against the RULERS of the world of this darkness, against the SPIRITS OF WICKEDNESS in the high places.

    [13] Therefore take unto you the ARMOUR of GOD, that you may be able to RESIST in the evil day, and to STAND in all things perfect.

    [14] Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with TRUTH, and having on the breastplate of JUSTICE,

    [15] And your feet shod with the preparation of the GOSPEL OF PEACE:

    [16] In all things taking the shield of FAITH, wherewith you may be able to extinguish ALL the fiery darts of the most wicked one.

    [17] And take unto you the helmet of SALVATION, and the sword of the SPIRIT (which is the WORD OF GOD).

    [18] By all prayer and supplication PRAYING at all times in the Spirit; and in the same watching with all instance and supplication for all the saints …”
    _________________

    Thanks be to GOD for all his wondrous heavenly provision for times just such as these . . .

    . . . all for Jesus+

  14. Brian English says:

    “I do believe there are limits to the public acceptance of absurdity.”

    I have always believed that as well, but I am starting to fear that I might be wrong.

  15. Mike says:

    An ugly illustration of the chasm between humility (i.e., the proper understanding of one’s relationship to the divinely transcendent Creator) and solipsism.

  16. teomatteo says:

    In my opinion the only thinking to more absurd and probably the final absurdity is when living is no different than deadness and killing is the same as birthing. She will write someday, “the doctor came in and said the child is dead so we will have to bury it…. we cannot imposing those limits on helpless infants”

  17. dmw says:

    When these radicals refuse to speak to their children until they’re old enough to decide which language they want to speak, then I’ll listen.

    How dare anglophonic parents impose their language on their offspring!

  18. K. says:

    On a positive note, if you read the comments box for the original article posted on Slate, you’ll see that the writer of this piece is nearly unanimously recognized as a lunatic.

    • Repent and Believe the Gospel! says:

      Well, I am glad to hear this. I was fearing the toxic air of lunacy was spreading everywhere.
      I didn’t read the article but is the author trying to promote gender reassignment with a twist of “Your Big Brother” knows better???
      So what is the point of the article? Perhaps the author is a lunatic.

      Well, I’ve read some freaky stuff coming from India. Where they added male organs to girls so that the parents don’t have to worry about girls getting married because of the whole dowry system.
      I don’t know if it’s true, perhaps India is very progressive. Perhaps India is the Brave New World!

    • I Like The Church Fathers says:

      OK, but 25 years ago, most people would have said that someone advocating gay marriage is a lunatic. Now, 25 years later, we’ve arrived at a place where opponents of gay marriage are widely denounced as Neanderthals [or much worse].

      Is it just me, or does it seem like we are rushing quickly towards the edge of a cliff?

  19. Eric says:

    Dear Msgr,

    What is more disturbing to me than this woman’s departure from reality is the fact that the people who write things like this accuse people like you and me of being backward and crazy. We are so far apart on fundamental concepts that debate seems futile.

  20. William M. Briggs says:

    Monsignor! You need a stronger warning! I was drinking (thank God it was only water), reading merryily along, and though I had been cautioned, I didn’t expect it. Sppluurt! Everywhere.

    I know it’s a terrible tragedy, but I laughed first. The woman’s piteous tone sucked me in, and I thought for sure she was going to lament, say, how badly women were treated by patriarchical medicine, maybe sigh over the sterility requirements, anything but what she said.

    “[C]ursory assessment of your offspring’s genitals.” Oh, Lord, what a punchline.

  21. Brian says:

    My ex-wife and I are uber-fascists. We “assigned” gender to our children–along with compatible names–months before they were born based on that oppressive technology that we bourgeois like to call a “sonogram.”

  22. JC says:

    One of our friends calls that kind of circular and nonsensical thinking a “carousel of crazy”. It is a most apt descriptor of this article protesting gender assignment.

  23. stefanie says:

    Our young people are fascinated by superheroes and cartoon violence through anime and other vehicles. Yet when faced with true violence (terrorist acts, mass murders, individual ‘random acts’ of violence and hostility) they don’t turn to God, they blame God for not being a superhero who rescues people from harm.

    This article reminds me very much of what I see constantly through my under-40 friends’ social media running commentary on the world. Many have been conditioned by parents who rejected religion over ‘humanism’, so it is not a very big leap from there to the author of the Slate article.

    Accepting ‘your cross’ and firmly walking behind Jesus is a concept totally foreign to them. They are literally afraid to suffer ‘in real life’ –will do anything to avoid suffering– yet are always suffering in their hearts. It’s why they complain so much about everybody and everything. This suffering is exposed when they feel powerless when tragedies happen. They do not see the strengthening of the spirit that happens in trials.

    Accepting the beauty of who you are — in spite of what others might see as ‘bad’ or ‘disfigured’ or ‘ugly’ — is essential for us. This beauty can only be found when united with God, when you can look at yourself and others and situations with His eyes.

  24. Donna says:

    Satan is the father of all lies……and he has made the field of poppies so inviting in which many (including Catholics) have closed their eyes and fallen asleep.

    • Bonnie says:

      Thanks Donna, very well put!

      I have been so dumbfounded, I did not know how to react. Totally do not agree with the original article. Am glad it was brought to our attention.

      This causes me to want to pray more!

  25. Hegesippus says:

    Good response.

    The scary thing is that some people actually believe this stuff.

    Anything to justify their increasingly unfounded “experiences” and “preferences”.

    Seems there’s no comments section on the article. A pity as I was going to link your response in it.

    God bless those who accept this without questioning it properly.

  26. Cynthia BC says:

    Below is an article about a Canadian couple who decided not to reveal the sex of their baby, named Storm:

    http://blog.sfgate.com/sfmoms/2011/05/24/canadian-couple-wont-reveal-childs-gender/

    There also is an English couple who didn’t reveal their child Sasha’s gender until he started preschool.

    It is arguable how much of gender differences (i.e. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus) are innate v. learned. The amateur psychologist in me wonders how children such as Storm and Sasha will add to the debate. As an undergraduate I watched a film of adults interacting with an infant. Half were told that the infant was a girl the other half that the infant was a boy. The differences in how the two groups interacted with the child was quite remarkable…particularly the men. The men told that they were holding a girl stood paralyzed as if they feared one wrong move would cause “her” to shatter. Those who thought they had a boy were much more active in their interactions with “him.” Granted the film was made in the 1970s (or maybe the 1960s). I wonder whether the same study conducted today would show the same differences.

    • Nathan @ AdoroErgoSum says:

      But the deeper question then emerges, doesn’t it? Is it GOOD or BAD for adults to treat male babies and female babies (i.e. babies that are different) differently or is it better for them to be treated as if they were the same (even when they obviously are not)? Remember, it is just as unjust to treat different things as if they were the same as to treat similar things differently. Justice, then, demands not a blanket “equality” but a “double standard” if there are “double sexes”.

  27. Fr. Steve Gallagher says:

    “Poor human reason, when it trusts in itself, substitutes the strangest absurdities for the highest divine concepts.” St. John Chrysostom via Zenit

  28. Repent and Believe the Gospel! says:

    Okay you got me to finally read the freaky article. The author is promoting the transgender agenda:

    “Infant gender assignment is a wilful decision, and as a maturing society we need to judge whether it might be a wrong action. Why must we force this on kids at birth? What is achieved, besides reinforcing tradition? What could be the harm in letting a child wait to declare for themself who they are, once they’re old enough (which is generally believed to happen around age 2 or 3)? Clearly, most children will still turn out like we’d expect, but it’s unlikely the extra freedom would harm them. On the other hand, we do know the massive harm caused to some children by the removal of that freedom.”

    But then her writing style is SOOOO lame, thank God! If she was diabolical genius then we would be in big trouble! Her lunatic writing style reveals that she is living in the Land of the Lunatics. She said the “treatment is performed universally” when the the doctor ‘declares his opinion’ that the baby is a boy or girl.
    So TO LIVE IN REALITY IN THE AUTHOR’S LUNATIC LAND the doctors should not make that announcement because that is “gender assignment” and “gender assignment” is bad according to the author:

    “In reality, this treatment is performed almost universally without even asking for the parents’ consent, making this practice all the more insidious. It’s called infant gender assignment: When the doctor holds your child up to the harsh light of the delivery room, looks between its legs, and declares his opinion: It’s a boy or a girl, based on nothing more than a cursory assessment of your offspring’s genitals.”

    Maybe to make the author happy, the doctor should say: “Congratulation you delivered a pizza.”

    Jesus, my Savior please come quickly and deliver us from lunacy. Amen.

  29. Jennifer F. says:

    “The pre-eminence of prudence means that realization of the good presupposes the knowledge of reality.” Josef Pieper, The Four Cardinal Virtues.

    Knowledge of reality is clearly lacking these days and we are living the fallout.

  30. Jacqueline Y. says:

    The author of the Slate piece, Christin Scarlett Milloy, is a transgender activist. Rod Dreher discussed this on his blog on 7/27/14.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/transgender-babies-the-new-civil-rights-frontier/

  31. taad says:

    If this Ebola virus is not stopped, this will all come to an end quickly. We had all better fast and pray that God does not punish us. We are on the edge of a disaster that is beyond anything before in history. And all our technology will not help us. Only God can. Mary Mother of God pray for us!

  32. BlueBuffellow says:

    It is necessarily true that 50% of the population is of below average intelligence. However, I have never encountered anyone who thought they belonged in that group.

    This author appears to be a case in point.

  33. Sheena says:

    I have only two words to describe this Moral Relativism . Our Holy Father warned us about this on many occasions before his election and during the 2003 interview with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo. These people who keep persistent Gender Identity. Stuff like the word GENDER itself is a buzzword or catchphrase for the LGBT people and Benedict warned us before this issue just months before he Retired last year and I think Francis needs to pick up on this same danger. There is no longer male or female based on how we are formed. These People have lost all touch with reality as you have said Monsignor, and need prayers, but we must rest these tyrannical lunatics who want to say there is several genders. I have already seen people marrying pets inanimate objects and now want polygamy and incest legalized. I think we Christians must and all people of good will need to stand up and say NO to this idiocy.

  34. Ron B says:

    Was it Chesterton who said that one can become so open minded that one’s brain falls out?

    This is a perfect case. Absurdity.

  35. poverello says:

    I, too, read Christin Scarlett Milloy’s piece in Slate, and the comment section was as entertaining as the article was idiotic. Commenters (Slate readers, no less) took to task the author and magazine for the article’s histrionic tone, juvenile style and ridiculous premise. I also googled Chris Milloy’s website. Ahem…now that’s an experience.

    I’m happy to report, Monsignor, that neither Slate nor the Milloy website made my brain explode. However, I do appreciate your concern. Heheh.

    • Glad to know this and am grateful to know what you and another commenter noted. For some reason i cant access the comments there. But beware that this sort of “thinking” is underway and if you don’t think the absurd will triumph recall gay marriage and killing babies in a abortion. Dark thinking enters via dimmers and drip by drip

      • David says:

        Msgr. Pope, to access the comments, you have to click on the little brownish icon that looks like a ballon. They do provide some hope…

        May God Bless you and save us all.

  36. Damien Woods says:

    In addition to everything else wrong with this article, it’s not good science. Your genitalia may be ambiguous (in the opinion of the observer) but you’ve either got a Y chromosome or you don’t.

  37. rl bussell says:

    “The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.” — GK Chesterton in Orthodoxy

  38. Sygurd says:

    Actually, I have read something more strange albeit not published by any official media:

    http://hollsboll.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/why-all-men-should-be-castrated/

  39. Robert S says:

    Christin clearly is not comfortable with the gender God assigned him and therefore he seeks validation for willfully rejecting his natural biological condition to assert HE is a SHE.

    In the new age we now confront,(ie The age of apostasy) gender is considered by Liberal’s as a random biological accident, an evolutionary construct that will eventually disappear the same way the “tail” disappeared over time (hey according to evolutionists the tail bone is evidence we once had tails right ??)

    It appears that the heresies of Gnosticism which our Fathers of the Church have battled against for over two millennia have returned with a vengeance.

    Christin in reality is preaching the doctrine of the fallen angels pure and simple. There is after all a spiritual war raging all around us and when we put her remarks into that context , it all makes perfect sense.

    God have mercy on us all.

  40. jessej says:

    So…..Christians are the ones who oppose science?

  41. Nate says:

    This is far from the strangest thing out there. If you look at the goals of the transhuman movement, their goal is the complete liberation of humanity from biology.

  42. Pasisozi says:

    There is such a thing as intersexuality, formerly called hermaphroditism.

    It extends to more than the appearance of the external organs.

    A man served with distinction in the army until a CT scan showed he had a uterus and ovaries.

    A beautiful Texas coed who has never started her periods was discovered to be XY rather than XX.

    Are these people men or women?

    • Not sure your point. If it is ‘hermaphroditism” it has been noted in comments above. It is a very rare condition, and can be treated. And frankly it is a red herring in this discussion since the author was not talking about the situation you describe which an anomaly .

      Anomalies prove the norm they do not refute it, since they are so rare. Perhaps you could suggest that since a certain number of babies are born missing an arm, that arms are not normal and that anything that requires two arms to operate is tyrannical and must be legally forbidden? But of course that would be absurd. We would all know that is is an unusual situation that does not reflect at all on the 99.95 cases of people born with two functioning arms. Its only when the matter is about sex that thinking becomes fuzzy, dark and even absurd. I wonder why that might be?!?

      Anomalies are by definition abnormal and rare and they should not dictate life for the rest of the 99.95% of people who do not suffer them. There is absolutely nothing wrong or strange or tyrannical about looking to the genitalia and concluding the sex of the child.

      In the rare situations you describe, even if they are true, are handled as the out-lying cases they are and should have no impact on normal life, since they are by definition, abnormal. Frankly though the “beautiful Texas coed” and the “man who served with distinction” stories sound simplified as you present them. To quote the old song, “Your story’s touching but it sounds like a lie.”

      To answer your question, if the genitalia are ambiguous, I suppose a chromosomal analysis could prove helpful. But I would take each of these very rare cases on a case by case basis and certainly not rely on a simple set of facts as you state them here.

  43. Maria says:

    When I was born they not only assigned me a gender, but a species and a genus as well!!!! But in fact, sometimes I feel like a nut, sometimes I don’t. I think they just got it wrong on my birth certificate, I am really an almond.

  44. JES says:

    For the 1 in 2000 (0.05%) babies with ambiguous genitalia there is legitimate treatment. For the 99.95% where it is not ambiguous, when would they decide? What percent would be coerced, convinced, berated to decide one over the other? How many would just decide wrong and regret that decision later? XX or XY is in the chromosome not the brain. OMG! I just realized I’m trying to refute this with logic. Its idiocy, my calculus professor would say, by inspection!

  45. 500years says:

    The mind is the battleground!

    G.K. Chesterton writes: “The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man.”

    Matthew 11:25
    Proverbs 3:13-15
    Amos 4:13
    Isaiah 55:9

  46. Es says:

    For another view, and it’s a chilling one, I recommend As Nature Made Him – The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl, by John Colapinto. The parents, in this case, were utterly mislead by a doctor they thought was helping them and their son. The doctor definitely had his own agenda. Ugh, As Nature Made Him was published fourteen years ago.

    The train that this article’s author is on left the station even before that.

    As a person whose father has these sorts of peculiar ideas as the article’s author, and who has wanted to be a woman his whole life, even now, in his 80s…well, it’s something – gender assignment notions – that has affected my life, too. I love the Church, and her teachings, but how on earth to explain, much less minister to, people with these struggles.

  47. Mike says:

    What should be done when the 3 year old ‘it’ decides, after listening intently to a children’s story, that it is a monkey or a goat? One cannot count the author’s levels of confusion.

  48. Paul B Rimmer says:

    Dear Charles Pope,

    I usually come here to complain about how you are out of touch with the world and are completely wrong about whatever article your are critiquing or point you are making. I was planning on doing the same with this article. Then I read the article.

    Wow. I don’t know what more to say. You are right. I don’t know what else to say. My only complaint is that you might have been too kind to the Slate article. Would it be possible to pack more stupidity into a mere 1400 words? Rest assured, most of us liberals have better things to do than to berate doctors for seeing a penis and saying “boy”. At least, I hope we have more important things to do. Otherwise, we need to work on developing a less asinine political platform. Maybe a platform that matters.

  49. John Fisher says:

    Ok lets not look at the genitals…lets do a chromosome test. It isn’t the medical doctor its genetics. When I was born I was defined as human…. maybe I am a pineapple!

  50. Erin Garlock says:

    While I do find the article poorly written, I do find it interesting that not one person here seems to have been able to separate the notion of gender as physiological trait from the idea that gender is not a required trait to chart our path in life.

    Saying, “Chris is a nurse” should suffice. Is it necessary to say, “Chris is a nurse, and a man”? Why are you so hung up on gender as an in-your-face label to be broadcasted wherever you go? Do you have one that likewise says you can’t do anything unless it is prefixed with your race? How about the same associated labeling that identifies your sexuality, your political affiliation, your income level, and anything else that tears down the egalitarian message of Christ – Luke 10:25-37 (The Parable of the Good Samaritan).

    “Chris, a wealthy, heterosexual, from a household of Republican, Catholic, and inter-racial parents, wants to be an astronaut.” This is the kind of message every one of these comments is pushing for. I prefer the much simpler statement that tells me only the things relevant to the conversation: “Chris wants to be an astronaut”.

    (And for the record, “Erin (me) is a technologist” is perfectly fine. If you read that and thought, “What’s _her_ problem?”, you’d be wrong. I am a man – I just happen to have an Irish name.)

    • Well it might have something to do with the fact that the sex (gender is your word) of a person is so much more basic and obvious than if they are republican or democrat or makes 50K or more. Further, while those things can change, the sex of a person does not.

      Your issue is also a red herring. Since no one here is making the point you assert, namely that sex is should be the only way some one is identified; and I and others (to my knowledge) are not “hung up” on what is simply obvious: that human beings are male or female. Further the article does not make your point either. She is denying the obvious, is nihilistic and nominalistic and outright rejects that there is a category that nature or God supplies. That is the issue. I am not the reductionist, and accepting obvious distinctions is not reductionist, as you suggest. Let the other debates about who can do what and how we more fully appreciate each other beyond mere categories continue.

      If anyone is doing what you criticize it is the cultural radicals who keep categorizing everyone obsessively as Black, White, Hispanic, rich poor, gay, straight, etc. It is they who obsessively what to reductionisticly describe themselves as LBGTQ…. and ask me to salute. They are the ones who are “in-your-face” and hung up, and I would say obsessed with being known by all this exotic labeling and who want and support the 14 different categories for “gender” at Facebook. When you say:

      “Chris, a wealthy, heterosexual, from a household of Republican, Catholic, and inter-racial parents, wants to be an astronaut.” This is the kind of message every one of these comments is pushing for.”

      No, it is just the opposite it is (you? and) the cultural radicals who want all that stuff and labeling. Frankly I’m not interested in knowing if someone is “gay” and then being asked to salute and give fawning approval. And the same for all the other dividing up (hyphenated Americanism etc) the radicals and liberals do.

      But as for sex (or “gender” as the radicals prefer) that’s pretty basic and hard to completely ignore since pronouns and whole verb forms in many languages considers and acknowledges it. It may not be important for most jobs and task, but in terms of identity, it cannot be ignored and it is silly to try and do so and blind to pretend it doesn’t exist at all and is simply a social fiction imposed. And THAT’s the issue here, not all the stuff you’re throwing on the table which is a red herring.

  51. Repent and Believe the Gospel! says:

    I love your reply Msgr., this is why your blog is AWESOME!!!!

    • Repent and Believe the Gospel! says:

      I love your reply to Erin that is.

      • JohnR says:

        I fully agree with your reply also.
        Well said Monsignor!

        • JohnR says:

          I might also add that “Erin” has always been, in my experience, a girl’s name! There are, now, many examples where parents, clearly disappointed in the gender of their child, have sought to muddy the issue by giving a name to their child which generally conveys the opposite gender. It was not until I came to live in Australia that I encountered so many girls with the name of Peter…except that their parents chose to spell the name as “Peta”. I also encountered a really funny one. A young lady I once encountered at work had the very masculine name of “Robin Hood”. Well. I ask you. What sort of parents would think that name up for their daughter! Robin Hood and his merry men are part and parcel of English folklore. Every one knows that he robbed the rich to give to the poor! Parents certainly have a lot to answer for in the choice of name for their children!

  52. Chris says:

    This article actually just takes the feminist notion that “Biology is not destiny” to its logical conclusion. It bespeaks the utter devaluation of our physicality–seemingly ironic in this era of obsession about our bodies–almost as if we are really just spirits who happen to inhabit bodies like a crab inhabits a random shell. It sounds vaguely Manichean, that old heresy that held that the body and in fact the whole physical world were evils that we must extract ourselves from…except the modern spin is that the physical world isn’t necessarily evil, merely “meaningless.”
    Well, the fact is, we ARE our bodies as well as our souls, and God not only created the physical world, but apparently esteems it greatly. Not only did Christ Himself become enfleshed, but the Church He left us is one which is intrinsically “physical” and not merely “spiritual”–the Sacraments being a prime example of how the spiritual effects He willed for us depend in their very essence on material things (Baptism is accomplished with water, the Eucharist requires bread, etc…) One can speculate that devaluing the body–even despising it–may be one outcome of rampant sexual profligacy; the promiscuous person may well seek to reassure himself by saying,”What difference does it make how many people I sleep with? It’s only my body, not the real ‘me’…”

  53. AnthonyH says:

    Before my daughter knew what being a female, and therefore in varying stages a girl, then a woman, was, she loved all that was feminine. We tried her with “non-gendered” toys (eg., lego) and she wasn’t interested. But she was interested in pretty things, and kittens and puppies; she loved other babies and young children.

    Even at birth she was potentially a biological mother since she already had all the eggs she will ever naturally produce.

    Has this limited her? Only in the same way that Usaine Bolt is “limited” to the 100 meters.

    • AnthonyH says:

      BTW – she is 5’10”, rows (Olympic style), is great at math and science,and is a fantastic writer and artist, while paying the flute and piano. so not “limited” at all.

  54. Norman says:

    Thanks for your article Monsignor! I also read the article on Slate you cited, by using the author’s logic we should also stop driving out of safety concerns. Therein lies the “cool” part of “freedom” in that it can be “dangerous”!!! *gasp*… There are wise and unwise ways to handle such aforementioned danger, and fracturing the fundamental learnings of humanity would be terribly unwise. Its unfortunate that I wasn’t that surprised to guess “probably” when I asked myself if any person had read this prior to the author posting it.

    Keep up the good work!

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