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What Does Identity Really Mean?

The other day my friend and I went out for coffee. Same-sex attractions are both a part of our stories. However, he has pursued fulfillment within the gay identity (up to and including marrying another guy), while I have chosen to honor the call to strive towards chastity.

He mentioned that people should always be happy for a gay couple… because they have someone in their life that loves them. While I totally respect the natural desire to love, to be loved, and to seek fulfillment, we see our journeys very differently.

And it all starts with identity.

 

Please let me explain…

1. Perception and Identity

How we see ourselves matters. Our self-concept influences what we perceive to be fulfilling (and vise versa). The embracing of a particular self-concept is a specific choice. As such, it needs to always be considered distinct from the non-specifically chosen attractions that we experience. The point is that people are not simply “gay” or “straight” but rather that we make that who we are based on expectations of what we ought to do along our journey to fulfillment. I choose to not self-identify according to the attractions I experience, while my friend does. I don’t make “being gay” a part of my defining identity, and he does. Both of us are honest with ourselves about the attractions we experience.

2. The Lived Example
We can all only love inasmuch as we know how. How can I expect him to desire the love of Christ as found within the Catholic Faith, if his only encounter with Christians has been negative and or misrepresentative of the faith? Why would he want to anchor his identity first and foremost on Christ, unless he saw a good reason to do so? Here is the thing: if we do not radiate joy, and or if we lord the “rules of the Church” over others, and or if we are closed to growing in our understanding of this topic, few will desire to follow us to Christ. In both educational and pastoral ways, we have much room for improvement; we are called to be the living reasons as to why someone might want to open their heart to growing in the fullness of virtue to begin with.

3. What Are Our Goals?
Our time on earth is finite, while our time afterwards is eternal (and thus longer). If we prepare for retirement within our earthly life, then it would make sense to prepare for retirement from our earthly life, given that our retirement from earth will be that much greater. With that in mind, pursuing fulfillment within an embraced identity that is first and foremost anchored on anything less than God, is simply something that does not make sense to me. However, to my friend, who has rejected the Christian understanding of God, it makes perfect sense.

A Need to Clarify
In our conversations, I noticed we weren’t speaking the same “language” at times. As such, I offer the following clarifications on the word identity.

Created Identity is how we were structurally created as male (XY) or female (XX) or some other genetic variant, in addition to our soul which is authored by God and which extends beyond our physical life. No matter our thoughts, perceptions, or even surgeries, our created identity does not change.

Ascribed Identity is the identity we place onto ourselves or others. It often leads people towards a particular embraced identity.

Embraced Identity is how we specifically choose to see ourselves. This is our perceived identity.

However, the words we use don’t always match what is on our hearts. For example, some people embrace the gay identity but truly strive for holiness. To them, the word gay is used to describe but not define themselves. Thus the clarification between non-wholeheartedly embraced identity (to describe) and wholeheartedly embraced identity (to describe and define) is also necessary.

Conclusion
Though we respectfully disagree on certain major points, what remains is an open door to growth and dialogue. Of course I hope that he may open his heart to the fullness of virtue, but I know that God is permitting his journey. I have to respect that. In the meantime, I hope these clarifications help those who are called to serve on this topic.

Response to Calgary Sun Newspaper, April 6, 2016

Original Article Here

This write-up is being offered to shed light on the topic as a whole. Read with an open mind and with caution.

Since Alberta Education Minister David Eggen told school boards they needed to adopt policies that protect LGBTQ staff, students and families, Albertans have debated the wisdom of guidelines to help schools draft new rules.

While proponents say human rights of transgender students are contingent on them being free to use the bathroom, or play on a sports team that matches their lived gender rather than their sex at birth, critics say adopting the guidelines could put other students at risk. Catholic education leaders also say the recommendations would take away parents’ rights to know important information about their children’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

This is a very fair statement. There is one major clarification that needs to be made, and that is the distinction between one’s created gender identity (stemming from being born XX or XY or any derivative of such), and one’s perceived gender identity (this would be related more so to ones response to the inclinations they are experiencing, and is also formed by their expectations of what it might mean to experience such attractions and or inclinations).

Anywhere that created gender identity and perceived gender identity are not spoken of to be distinct, be assured that the fullness of truth on this matter will be inhibited. The non-distinction of those terms entrenches a mindset that has far-reaching consequences; it serves to form an environment in which people will lack the opportunity to become aware of those distinctions to begin with. As we know from every area of human existence, our realities are formed by our language… and on this topic, an inhibition of language can inhibit a person’s understanding of the greater topic.

Sixty of the province’s 61 school boards, all 13 charter schools, and about 80 per cent of Alberta private schools submitted their policies to the minister for review by the March 31 deadline.

As students from queer-straight alliances and gay-straight alliances across Alberta were invited to the Federal Building to lunch with MLAs from all parties Wednesday, the Journal asked teens what they thought of the provincial debate.

The note about language forming the reality of our culture is actually manifest in this above statement. Our culture uses language that inhibits people from coming to understand the difference between non-specically chosen attractions experienced, and specifically chosen ways of self-identifying and defining oneself. As unpopular as it may be to say, the truth of the matter is this: we are only as gay (with regards to defining identity) as we choose to be. The attractions are not specifically chosen, but how we see ourselves is. However, the world is immersed in this truth-inhibiting language that prevents people from considering attractions to be distinct from identity, and because of that, we have this false idea that if you experience opposite-sex attractions it means you are straight and if you experience same-sex attractions, it means you are gay.

This form of language lends itself to the gradual embracing of gay or straight identities (identities anchored on one’s sexuality) because people are not given an opportunity to see beyond it – to see that one can experience any particular attractions and still retain the capacity to specifically choose to self-identify and define themselves in any fashion they so choose, reflective of their perceived gender identity. Whether or not one’s perceived gender is reflective of their created gender is moot. For now, the point is that our world uses language that places a series of cultural expectations onto people. Many of those expectations have to do with this notion of rejecting organized religion. The most unfortunate part is that by using inhibited language, those who reject organized religion are exemplifying that they do not understand the organized religion because the organized religion uses clarified language that is beyond their paradigm of reality.

 

Daniel McAndrews, 16, a Grade 11 student at Boyle Street Education Centre:

“It does hurt me to see the pushback. Some nasty things can be said, and I don’t think people necessarily understand that there are people who you’re actually talking about. It isn’t just a theoretical person. These are actual people who are hearing what you’re saying, and it’s their lives.”

” … It is really sad to see children as young as six being treated like predators for just wanting to use the bathrooms where they feel comfortable. The idea that even a high school student would sexually assault another student who is in the washroom because they apparently do not belong in the washroom is ridiculous. Lots of gay students use the washrooms and do not harass other students. Why would being trans be any different?”

Response to paragraph 1: I would want to listen to this student and ask him what part of the push-back he feels is hurtful. Perhaps there are some very uncharitable members of humanity who are saying awful things. Or, perhaps he is expressing frustration because not everyone is ready to endorse what he believes. There would need to be a much more in depth conversation with this child, to better understand where he is coming from. He is correct though – we need to remember that we are dealing with actual human beings. What concerns me though, is that many human beings, when it comes to this topic, are speaking mostly through the emotional lens, with a closure to further dialogue. That goes for people on all sides.

Response to paragraph 2: He is misinterpreting the objection – possibly so that it fits his paradigm. The objection must be seen to be unreasonable, and it would be unreasonable to paint a 6-year old as a predator, so therefore, their objection is anchored on the idea that a 6-year old is a predator. This response may be due to confirmation bias being enacted – meaning, he can only come from the point of reference he knows. And that point of reference is all for one view, and possibly all against the other. As far as speaking about what a high school student may or may not do, we can easily see that his response is based on his hopeful expectations. We hope he is correct. However, he seems shortsighted in his view, in that he is not looking at the impact beyond his own school setting. As well, he refers to people as gay and trans, which is proof-positive that he either does not know how to speak about this topic in ways that are capable of reflecting the fullness of the matter, or that he does know that the language he uses is tailored to drive the social movement that enshrines the power of the LGBT movement within our world as the prevailing religion.

David Merry, 16, a Grade 11 student at Red Deer’s Lindsay Thurber High School:

“There are legitimate concerns from a lot of people about what these guidelines mean. (These people) might have not ever met a queer person in their life, or they might have had us taught to them in a different way than we actually are — especially if you come from a sort of conservative, Christian family, you might never really have been able to experience what the queer community is. You have a misguided ideology.”

“ … It’s important to have people say, ‘No, this isn’t what I believe in,’ even if it hurts your rights a little bit, because then you can get a dialogue going, and you can make the world a better place. You can make a conversation and help to change opinions.”

Response to paragraph 1: Again, this person is speaking about people in terms of LGBT terminology, again immediately proving their inability to address this topic in the way it needs to be addressed, which is to squarely hit on the role and significance of specifically chosen embraced identity. I can appreciate that he is leading with his heart. The jab at Christians seems to come from a misunderstanding of Christianity, where people easily mistake the lower rate of gender-bending youth with a form of suppression (rooted in the idea that people are “born that way” – which is something that even gay activists such as Dr. Kristofer Wells himself admits is false). The reality is that in faiths where people have their hearts open to growing in virtue, you will still have young men and women who experience same-sex attractions, but they will be more desiring to serve God and live chastely, than they will to engage in the pursuit of a same-sex relationship (which of course comes only after a person has come to first self-identify and define themselves as gay to begin with). This adherence to virtue seems to be categorized as “misguided.”  This is ironic because the Christian ideology actually uses words to clarify attractions to be distinct from identity, and created identity to be distinct from perceived identity (among many other clarifications) while the language of the LGBT movement does not. Here we have this young person formed to believe that the ideology that actually invites people into a deeper understanding, is the one that is misguided.

Response to paragraph 2:This is beautiful, although I sense that he is trying to get people to embrace what he believes. It seems that there is little regard for pursuing truth, and great value attached to shifting one’s opinion. This could be reflective of our world in which there seems to be no truth (yet somehow there is still a standard of what is truly wrong… which doesn’t make any sense). Again, here we are dealing with the aftermath of a world-wide campaign to make people’s opinions matter more than objective reality. This person cannot be blamed for the environment in which they were formed.

 

Jey Robinson, 17, a Grade 12 student at Lindsay Thurber:

“You let heterosexual teachers and possibly homosexual people in the same change rooms. What’s so wrong with having someone who’s possibly not even attracted to them in the same change room?”

Calling people heterosexual and homosexual. Incapable of reflecting necessary truths in his way of speaking and thus his conclusions will be flawed. The point he is getting across though again seems to be one rooted in hope that no one would ever do something against what they think. In that sense, it is sort of juvenile – reflective of his age category. This is likey no fault of his own, but rather due to poor formation.

 

Avery Klassen, 15, a Grade 10 student at Lindsay Thurber:

“I respect their opinion, because it is theirs, but if it’s criticizing, or trying to offend (people who are LGBTQ), it sort of aggravates me. I think everyone is equal and should be treated equally, because we are all human. We don’t choose how we are made.”

This seems to be one of the most sensible statements made. It is rare to see an opinion respected, unless it conforms to the machine of society. Whether a person is trying to offend another, that is another story. I hope that people are trying to offend others., However, sometimes the truth as it is, is offensive. If I inform you that it is problematic to reject the message of a song, while at the same time you lack the language to understand the song, then I am rightfully pointing out a deficiency that will lead to false or unreasonable conclusions. The problem is that people do this all the time with regards to the Church. We have an entire world that does not know the lyrics to the song of the Church, and yet is trying to reject Christianity on account of their perception of those lyrics. Without having the necessary language, people form their opinions on such matters (on all sides) and dig their heels in, making dialogue nearly impossible and or near fruitless. The answer is to raise the standard of the language so that there is a hope of communicating messages in a more efficient and fruitful manner.

In short, people use inhibited language, and this stunts their growth with regards to understanding this topic as a whole.

 

David Eggen, Alberta’s minister of education:

“I’ve tried to keep the temperature down, but now I have the policies in, some of the mythology that we need to work on is that other students would not be safe if transgender students could use the bathroom of their gender choice. This is a very important point to clarify. People don’t make a choice around these issues frivolously. It’s a difficult decision that involves parents, and students, and teachers and lots of support. Someone doesn’t change their gender back and forth or anything like that.”

I think what needs to be addressed is not whether students would be safe, but where or not students would feel safe. Why? Because this entire movement came to be on account of how students felt unsafe in their schools to begin with. If David Eggen is promoting a movement that was built upon feelings by ignoring the feelings of others, then he contradicting his desire to have safe schools for all people. He brushes off those who feel unsafe, and disregards their feelings, while ensuring that one side will have their narrative pushed forward.

 

Conclusion: We will not win this battle on earth. Prayer is the first answer. Trust God that He will win.

The practical solution right now: Ensure to teach your children from a very age, that the world is out there to influence their minds. If you do not teach your child to be on guard against the ideas of this world, they will likely fall for them. Teach your children to think, and also model for them true Christian virtue – which may mean martyrdom on this topic. If you raise your kids with the mindset that the Church is a bunch of rules, your child will surely reject them. That is how this movement has capitalized on the poor evangelistic strategy that has been employed over the last several generations. We need to aim back at the heart, and accept what has been sown, and respond accordingly. Prayer first. No aggression or other inflammatory campaigns. Those only serve to strengthen the other side, as a means of solidarity.

For Parents and Friends

What is life like?

When parents learn that their son or daughter experiences same-sex attractions, they are often brought to grief.  The loss of hope with regards to grandchildren, the legitimate fear of AIDS or other STIs, the potential gay-bashing, discrimination, and social rejection, all weigh deeply on the parents. They often wonder how to relate to their child, and whether this revelation will have a negative impact on their other children. Many fear for their child’s soul.

What does the Church say, in approach?

  • Thorough and uninhibited education is crucial, so that parents can come to better understand this topic, and thus be better able to walk with their children.
  • Becoming educated about the topic itself will look very different than becoming educated in the pastoral sense – both approaches should be used in tandem.
  • Learning new terminology will be crucial with regards to developing an understanding of the Catholic position, and also raising the standard of the discussion within your community.
  • We are invited to approach this topic and others with an open mind so that we do not subconsciously dismiss new information that may be overly challenging to our current paradigm.

 

 

What does the Church say, educationally?

  • Not all attractions are sexual attractions, but in our hypersexualized world, many non-sexual attractions are becoming sexualized, in accordance with the behavioral expectations of our culture.
  • Sexual attractions (whatever they may be) are part of our fluid human experience, and are subject to development or change over time. They are not something that people simply “have.” Note: The Catholic Church does not endorse therapy with the objective of changing one’s sexual attractions. 
  • The sexual attractions we experience are not specifically chosen, and therefore are not, in and of themselves, a committed sin. For that reason, the attractions in and of themselves do not serve to separate us from God. For the same reason, we can let go of any shame internalized on account of the existence of those attractions.
  • The identities we embrace are specifically chosen, and thus need to be considered distinct from the non-specifically chosen attractions we experience.  That is, we can no longer simply use words like “gay” or “straight” without further clarifying whether we are speaking about attractions experienced or embraced identity.
  • The Church invites us all to be honest with ourselves about the attractions we experience, because that is a part of greater self-honesty, which the Church sees as an integral facet of human development. That is, the Church does not teach that people should suppress and or run from the realities they are experiencing.
  • The Church invites us all to strive to exemplify Christian virtue, regardless of state in life, and regardless of whether we are married or single. That is, the call to virtue is universal – it is not something reserved for people who experience same-sex attractions.
  • Christian virtue always respects the art of the Divine Artist – and thus honors how we are structurally created. That is, in order to understand the Christian position on this very sensitive topic, we must first move beyond emotionally driven positions, so that we can begin to understand the language of the Church as it was intended.
  • The Church invites us to see committed sin as our specific choice to not respect the creation of the Divine Artist. In other words, the Church invites us to see committed sin as our specific choice to not respect that which the Church refers to as Natural Law.
  • Natural Law in Church language does not refer to “that which feels natural.” It is strictly to do with creation (physiologically) and nothing to do with our perceptions of feelings or emotions. However, that is not to say that feelings and emotions are devoid of the conversation. In establishing the foundation of “what is” this departure from feelings and emotion is necessary.
  • All persons (regardless of attractions experienced) are called to joyfully strive to exemplify Christian virtue. Note: One’s commitment to their faith is revealed in one’s desire to strive, and not necessarily one’s success in their objective.
  • One virtue of great relevance is the virtue of chastity. Note that chastity is not the same as abstinence or celibacy:
    Abstinence means not doing something (for example, not having sex). It is about behavior.
    Chastity means saying “Yes” to God in your heart and mind to pursue choices, thoughts, and actions oriented toward a holy (virtuous) expression of sexuality. It is about the state of the mind and heart.
    Celibacy is the state in life where an unmarried person willfully follows the discipline of saying yes to holy sexuality (fueled by their desire to live chastely), for the purposes of building the Kingdom of God. It is about a deliberately chosen state in life.
    Note: Celibacy without chastity is not celibacy at all, but rather is merely abstinence. Note also that monogamy does not equate to chastity.
  • Christian virtue also reflects the order of creation with regards to embraced identity, by properly ordering God (who is infinite) to be greater than ourselves (who are finite). That is, Christian virtue once again reflects the objective truth that the infinite is greater than the finite.
  • To specifically choose to self-identify and define ourselves first and foremost according to ourselves instead of God, is counter to virtue (for within it, we elevate ourselves to be greater than God), and thus is a committed sin (in this case, idolatry).

What does the Church say, pastorally?

  • We need to listen to their hearts, and invite them to share with us their journey so that we can better understand where they are coming from.
  • We need to receive and accept them as they are. Note this does not imply an endorsement of any particular behavior or mindset. It does imply an acceptance of the reality of their life experience, with an appreciation for the road taken thus far. No matter how we may feel about their journey, it is what has brought them into conversation with you.
  • We need to examine our own lives and evaluate how well we are succeeding (or not) at being the living reason as to why a person might want to eventually open their heart to growing in the fullness of virtue.
  • We should not approach people who experience same-sex attractions (regardless of how they self-identify and define themselves) with the intention of “having the talk.” Doing so can serve to undermine the validity of the trustworthy relationship that is being built. Rather, offer your trust to God, that He will place in their hearts, a desire to pursue Him above all else in this world. Grow in the virtue of patience (and other virtues) during this friendship.
  • We need to be aware that in order to receive someone where they are in a pastoral fashion, you may need to use pronouns that you do not agree with. Humble yourself to the language that they are using, while keeping in mind that over time, new language may be introduced as you help them understand the Church’s position (when the time is right).
  • We need to help all persons see that we are unified in our journey towards holiness. In this, we can move our world from the “us versus them” mindset to the “us” mindset. This not only strengthens the Church community, but also properly reflects the truth that all people belong in the Church and that all people have a purpose in our Church – including those who experience same-sex sexual attractions.
  • We need to help all people see that in the eyes of God, there is no Gentile or Jew, Black or White, nor Gay or Straight. When we walk through the doors to bring ourselves to the Lord, we are as He sees us – first and foremost as His beloved [adopted] sons and daughters; beloved [adopted] brothers and sisters in Christ. We can do this while not sacrificing the self-honesty that the Church calls us to, via the acknowledgement of the attractions we may experience.
  • Encourage and affirm one’s pursuit of the Heart of the Lord Jesus Christ. In this, with trust in the Lord, as they are more motivated to pursue the Heart of the Lord, they will become more convicted of the Love of the Lord. This conviction will come via the grace of God and on His time, and will lead to a gradual desire to further abandon unchaste pursuits (in any form).
  • Invite them to pray with you, and trust the Holy Spirit where that may lead. Ask them to pray for you. We need their prayers.
  • Help them see the Church not through the lens of “following rules” but rather through the lens of the joyful pursuit of virtue. This can help everyone see the Church through new eyes, and make it less about behavior modification and more about the openness of our heart to the Love of Jesus Christ.
  • Recognize that words used to describe oneself might not be reflective of how one defines themselves. And in that way, there needs to be a distinction between non-wholeheartedly embraced identity and wholeheartedly embraced identity. This, in certain ways, will be known by the expressed desires of their heart; what they perceive to be as part of their journey towards fulfillment.
  • We must help all people recognize that the call to virtue is not a commandment to follow orders, but rather an invitation given out of love for us.
  • We must exemplify the humbling power of striving to die to ourselves and our attachments to this world, including the dying to ourselves with regards to embraced identity. That is, we need to be the living reason of joy as to why any person might want to willfully relinquish a gender-centered identity and instead take on the identity of being first and foremost a beloved child of God.
  • We need to invite all persons to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In doing this, we can positively impact our church community, by making it more normal and less intimidating. Also, be clear that Reconciliation is not to “confess being gay” although as a person gets to know their priest, it may be valuable for them to express that facet so the priest may better know how to pastorally respond within the conveyance of that Sacrament.
  • We need to trust the Holy Spirit, and ensure that our words reflect the love of Christ at all times.
  • We need to respect the law of gradualness and remember always that God could convict their hearts immediately if He so chose to do. The fact that He typically doesn’t do so, is evidence enough of the Wisdom in His greater plan – the journey He permits us to take serves to prepare us for a more profound love of God if we choose to fully give our hearts to Him.
  • We must never lose sight of the reality that a person who experiences same-sex attractions, and or who may even self-identify and define themselves first and foremost according to those attractions, may indeed become the world’s next greatest Saint in Heaven.
  • Recognize that each person’s journey will be unique.
  • Approach difficult linguistic concepts of the faith as they come up. This will reflect a respect for their journey towards greater understanding.
  • Acknowledge that there can be great degrees of self-giving love within a same-sex sexual or romantic relationship. There can even be great degrees of self-sacrificial love within a same-sex sexual and or romantic relationship. That is, even though the fullness of love (of the Divine Artist) is inhibited within a same-sex sexual and or romantic relationship (by virtue of the choice to use the art not as it was structurally intended), those involved may truly be giving all the love that they are able or know how to give.
  • Recognize that people only love in as much as they know how. It is our job to strive to exemplify a love to them so profound that they are attracted to it, and know that it is different from the love that is shown to them by the world. That is, it is our job to show them the infinite love of Christ in such a way that they will desire His love more than any other form or expression of love known to them.

 

 

For Parents

  • Accept and love yourselves as parents in order to accept and love your son or daughter. Do not blame yourselves for the existence of your child’s sexual attractions. There are a lot of factors at work in their lives which form their bonds of trust and their expectations of how they ought to behave, given particular inclinations (such as wanting to spend a lot of time with a same-sex peer) and or given particular external circumstances (such as having different interests that same-sex peers).
  • Do everything possible to continue demonstrating love for your child. However, realize that accepting the reality of their attractions is distinct from approving related attitudes and behavioral choices. In fact, you may need to challenge certain aspects of a lifestyle that you find objectionable – through the same lens that you would challenge the behavior of a child experiencing opposite sex attractions.
  • Urge your child to stay joined to the Catholic faith community, and help them discover stories about others like them who have found great joy in the pursuit of chaste living, with an openness to the abundance of God’s blessings, and a respect for God’s time. If they have left the Church, invite them to return and assure them of your love for them, and the Church’s love for them, and the Church’s desire for them to continue to grow in their understanding of the topic.
  • Recommend that your son or daughter find a spiritual director/mentor to offer guidance in prayer and in leading a chaste and virtuous life. This, in addition to networking with peers of the same relative age category that he or she can journey with, as to prevent the feeling of isolation.
  • Seek help for yourself, perhaps in the form of counseling or spiritual direction, as you strive for understanding, acceptance, and inner peace. Embrace the power of a complete resignation to the Will of God, and offer your prayers and sufferings for all other children who may feel alienated, such that the Lord may convict them of the love that the Church truly has for them.
  • Reach out to other parents via EnCourage (accessible at www.couragerc.org) which is a world-wide network of friends and loved ones of those who experience same-sex attractions. Many parents who are walking a similar journey to you. When the time is right, prayerfully consider making your presence known in your local church so that other families in your community who need your support, may know that they have someone to talk to.
  • As you take advantage of opportunities for education and support, remember that you can only change yourself; you can only be responsible for your own beliefs and actions, not those of your adult children. This peaceful resignation to the Will of the Lord will bring you great freedom, and will allow you to serve more fruitfully.
  • Put your faith completely in God, who is more powerful, more compassionate, and more forgiving than we are or ever could be.

 

 

 

 

 

My Catholic Friend Came Out! What Do I Do?

Ah yes. The question that more and more of us are facing every day.

Do not panic, and do not worry. Trust God, but don’t simply “wing it.” As with anything of a sensitive nature, it is in the best interest of all parties to actually prepare yourself. For that reason, this article of 50 specific points has been composed. It is not meant to be a catch-all, but it could be used as some form of foundation in some regards, such as long as it all comes secondary to your full and uninhibited trust in God.

Here we go (in no particular order):
1. Pray Rosaries for the conversion of their heart, to be open to growing in the fullness of virtue.

2. Recognize that they might consider “chastity” to mean “monogamy” thus the idea of having a same-sex partner might be equated to “following Church teaching.”

3. Walk with this person, regardless of the decisions they might make, in a way that speaks to their heart.

4. Always let them know that they are welcome in the Catholic Church and that God loves them.

5. Help them understand that, because of the Church’s love for us, the Church invites us all to walk alongside every other Christian in a shared journey towards the foot of the Cross. This is a walk towards the suffering yet welcoming arms of Christ, which are wide open for all of humanity, regardless of the state of our own lives.

6. Do all you can do to disarm them about the misgivings they may have about the Church. These misgivings may have arisen on account of witnessing poorly executed pastoral responses, and or on account of misinformation about the Catholic Church that may have been internalized and embraced.

7. Pray about how you might be able to draw them out of or away from contemporary gender ideology positions, which essentially state that people “are gay” or “are straight” to begin with. How this will unfold though, cannot be fully known at this time, for it will be revealed most profoundly after fervent prayer.

8. Place your own will below the will of God. Prayer helps us do that. Grow in faith of the power of full resignation to the Will of the Lord.

9. Recognize that God permits us to journey in ways that can lead to more profound conversions of heart at a later time (and note that God’s permissiveness is not the same as God’s willingness).

10. Recognize that the Church sees beyond those gender identity labels, while at the same time not trying to take away the importance of someone’s history, with regards to how they came to be where they are today. When we walk through those doors, there is no longer Gentile or Jew, or black or white, or gay or straight. At the same time, the journeys that we have all taken to get there, should still be honored (but not necessarily glorified).

11. Recognize that unless a person sees themself through different eyes (outside of contemporary gender ideology), their heart will not likely be open to seeing themself beyond his current frame of reference.

12. Discourage sexual exploration (as you would for any friend). People forget that, regardless of the sexual attractions and or inclinations one might experience, a sexually explorative encounter may feel physically gratifying. Because of this, the encounter often serves to be a personal confirmation that “they are gay”‎ and thus should continue to pursue those types of encounters (within the context of some form of relational structure that they are comfortable with). When this occurs, further and further does one’s sense of self-concept become cemented within that type of mind-set (and identity).

13. Recognize that your prayers to help a person desire holiness are what you need to offer to God. Offer them with complete abandonment to the Will of God. It will be God who convicts a person’s heart. By the power of God. On God’s time. By God’s grace.

14. Recognize that even if they are well-informed of their Catholic faith, they may not understand completely the Catholic meaning of the word “holiness” and how it has to do with striving to uphold the order of creation (what Catholics call “Natural Law” which of course has nothing to do with what “feels natural”).

15. Be aware of the fruits: If one does not desire holiness, then one is not fully living the Church’s teaching with regards to loving Christ. Note that I spoke to the desire of the heart, and not the day-to-day actions that one might be involved in.

16. Be aware that people might be striving to live by their perception of the “rules” of the Church. This is very common among Catholic people. The problem is that following the “rules” of the Church should be a fruit of a life of virtue, as opposed to being a primary objective. This is because adherence (or rather personally chosen alignment) to the truth that is upheld by the Church (what many perceive to be the “rules”) inevitably arises out of one’s continual growing in the fullness of virtue. If we focus primarily on keeping the “rules” of the Church, then we will be primarily focusing on managing our behaviour, as opposed to primarily being concerned with the state of our hearts and ensuring they are open to growing in the fullness of virtue.

17. Pray for said person. Pray with said person, and ask them to pray with you and for you as well – for God’s grace and protection. God hears the cry of our hearts, but also lets us endure things for the opportunity of spiritual growth.

18. Recognize that this may be more of an opportunity for spiritual growth for you than it is for the person in question. In this way, no matter the outcome, your efforts to follow the convictions of your heart (supposing that they are rooted in self-sacrifice for the Kingdom of God) will yield fruit that will contribute to the building of the Kingdom of God on earth.

19. Recognize that in a pastoral sense, you will likely have to use language that meets a person where they are at. That may include using “preferred pronouns” at first, or speaking in terms of “his boyfriend” or “her girlfriend” and so forth.

20. Recognize that in an educative sense, you will need to elevate the conversation at all times (to a degree appropriate to the circumstances), such that the critical mass of people in your surroundings will be able to grow in their understanding of this topic beyond the parameters of gender ideology language. That is, in an educational setting, we must always elevate the conversation, at the very least, in these three ways:
a. Ensure that attractions experienced  (non-specifically chosen) are always made distinct from the identity one chooses to embrace (specifically chosen).
b. Elevate the conversation to clarify the differences between abstinence, chastity, and celibacy.
c. Clarify that chastity does not simply mean “monogamy.”

21. Assess resource on this topic, for where these clarifications do not exist, the fullness of truth is inhibited from being known.

22. Recognize that words used to describe people don’t always reflect how they define themselves. And in that way, there needs to be a distinction between non-wholeheartedly embraced identity and wholeheartedly embraced identity.

23. Recognize that conversations based on what is or is not “allowed” will bring about less fruit than conversations based on our willingness to open our hearts to grow in the fullness of virtue.

24. Recognize that re-focusing on the universal call to virtue (chastity in particular), we become unified as one people with one common calling (which we are not commanded to fulfill, but are rather invited to fulfill).

25. Be it known that in an overarching sense, the litmus test of where someone’s heart might be, is whether or not they will choose to remain attached to contemporary gender ideology identity labels after being brought to awareness of the invitation for all Christians to die to themselves and their attachments of this world. This is because for as long as someone chooses to not die to themselves in this fashion, they impede the wholehearted anchoring of their lives first and foremost on Christ. One of those ways of dying to ourselves is the matter of our embraced identity; who we say we are.

26. Be aware of the differences between support-style groups and communities such as Courage International versus Spiritual Friendship. They both have a lot to offer with regards to certain pastoral aspects, but the latter falls short with regards to fully dying to self, with regards identities embraced. That is, the mindset of that latter group is that, even upon invitation, they choose to not willfully relinquish their attachment to contemporary gender ideology identity labels. In this fashion, Spiritual Friendship is actually perfectly in line with the goals of contemporary gender ideology. For the same reason, Courage International is perfectly not in line with contemporary gender ideology.

27. Do all you can do to maintain the relationship and draw them to holiness. Chances are, this will come first and foremost through your lived, humble example.

28. Pray for the literal expulsion of demons first and foremost from our own lives, such that WE may radiate loving virtue that brings forth within the hearts of all humankind, a desire to strive to live as we strive to live – anchored on Christ.

29. The humbling Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation will be of great help in loosening the grip of the demonic (and remember if you don’t think demons exist close to you, then they have already accomplished most of their objective).
Note: It does not do us any good to pretend that demons do not exist. For all the Catholics who might be reading this, you can prove the existence of Demons by simply attempting to pray the Rosary. You will either feel an interior draw to not do it, or you will be able to do it and your life will gradually change as demonic grips are loosened (according to the promises of Mary the Mother of God who is our Mother as well). Further, you may witness people who will actually try to get you to not pray it, or pray it poorly. If Demons did not exist then there would be no invisible drive that would work against our promotion and prayer of the Rosary. If someone was to challenge me on this, I would invite them to try it out and see for themselves.

30. Recognize that if a person ever perceives that you need to give them “the talk”, that could damage their perception of trust in you.

31. Recognize that having “the talk” or by being reckless in your approach in other ways, it could trigger the thought that they think you are trying to change them (or possibly even change them from “being gay” to “being straight”). Assure them in all cases that that is not what you are trying to do. Assure them in all cases that that is not what the Catholic Church seeks to do, despite the reality that many Catholic people do in fact speak about “change therapy.”
Note: In some places, the phrase “Reparational Therapy” might be used, but that does not refer to therapy to change someone from gay to straight. It is an overarching term used to describe the reparation of our brokenness as human beings overall.

32. Recognize that prayer to increase openness in communication in other areas, may bring about a relationship in which a person might feel safe enough to talk to you about this topic. Trust God that He will ordain the moment when things need to be said.

33. Recognize that trusting the Holy Spirit must take precedence over any of the words written in this article.

34. Recognize that we are all on journeys and what matters is that they know you are there for them and that you strive to become as holy as God is calling you to be.

35. Never lose hope that one day he might desire the joy that you radiate by striving to live a virtuous life. Never lose hope that this person could one day become the world’s next greatest saint!

36. If their heart is open to growing in the fullness of virtue, make sure they knows that you love them (while acknowledging that, as with any friendship, you might have different ideas of what that might look like). In either case, we can always place our trust in God an pray together. In a sense, this selfless act requires a dying to self, of both parties (you and said person) so we know that at the very least, God’s grace will abound in some fashion, as a result of that choice.

37. Remember that even though everyone is unique, the tie that binds us is the universal call to holiness, which is answered when we choose to die to ourselves in more and more profound ways, such that we may more profoundly live in Christ and His virtues.

38. Elevate the conversation to address how any relationship pursued as a means of “fixing” one’s current life situation (depression, loneliness, isolation, etc…) should be approached with caution, and that any reasonable person would try to help their friend see how entering a relationship (even as cuddle buddies) cannot “fix” their underlying issue(s), whatever they may be.

39. Recognize that in-depth conversations are best done in an intimate and trustworthy relationship. Asking questions pertaining to whether or not one attends Adoration or the Sacrament of Reconciliation heart, and if they regularly pray the Rosary, are all questions that could be asked by someone who is in relationship with the person. This, as well as the question of whether or not his heart is open to allowing God’s love to be it’s primary source of love. ‎

40. Re-emphasize to all people that the Church’s invitation to grow in the fullness of virtue is universal, and has nothing to do with gay or straight anything.

41. In the pastoral sense, be sure to approach your interactions first and foremost through the heart, while framing with within a journey towards greater self-honesty, and while honoring the journey one has taken thus far, and while honoring the existence of the attractions and or inclinations they may experience.

42. Recognize that unless said person begins to see the attractions they experience to be distinct from their identity as a person, the probability that they will be open to growing in the fullness of virtue, will remain very low. This is because any comments to do with the attractions themselves, will be more likely be seen as a personal attack (against the person’s identity).

43. Recognize that how things might unfold, could be different for each and every person. The precariousness of each situation (pastorally, educationally, and now legally) should draw each and every one of us to desire a deepening holiness. This is so that we will be able to more-clearly recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit as it calls us into appropriate action.

44. Help them understand that to be virtuous means to honor the order of creation, and thus the structure of creation as well. Help them understand that to love the Artist, it is imperative that they honor his handiwork as it was intended (structurally created). Thus to love God, is to honor His handiwork as it was intended (structurally created).

45. Recognize that people conform to the parameters that are around them – most specifically the parameters of reductionist and truth-inhibiting language.

46. Recognize that people will involuntarily employ “confirmation bias” which means that they will connect new information (that may draw them outside their schema) in ways that merely fit within their schema. In other words, people will interpret incorrectly new information, on account of having new information presented to them that is simply beyond their understanding of reality. An example of this a few years ago would have been the idea of talking about attractions experienced to be distinct from identity embraced (which is now a commonly made distinction).

47. Recognize that people need to be prepped on concepts before the concepts can be applied. For example, one can’t talk about intrinsic disorder and hope to have fruitful results, unless people are first clear on the meaning of intrinsic disorder (as a concept) before it is applied.

48. Recognize that people can only love as good as they know how, and if people have not tasted the reality of joyful virtue in their lives (by someone like you) it follows that they would not be able to intentionally strive for that joy. That joy would be technically beyond their understanding, and thus beyond their grasp. In fact, they would not yet be at a point to even realize there is a greater joy to even reach towards.

49. Recognize that there can be self-giving love within a same-sex relationship. People love as best as they know how and if they do not know Christ, and what His love calls us to, then they truly may be in a state of same-sex relationship where they are loving their partner in the most profound way they know how to do. However, Christ’s love will call all of us to be open to growing in the fullness of virtue. The manifestation of that openness to grow in the fullness of virtue is typically gradual, depending on the state of one’s heart (and their degree of openness).

50. Recognize that you cannot talk someone out of a belief. Their heart needs to be convicted. That is the work of God, and thus we should step back and pray before anything else.

 

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The Response

Hi y’all – it’s Andrew again and it looks like the response and the comments to the response all pinpoint a desire to not pursue virtue. I can’t wrap my mind around that, seeing is how that is the universal call (invitation) of all Christians.

 

ARTICLE http://sbradfordlong.com/2016/02/15/christians-gay-celibacy-and-miscommunication/comment-page-1/#comment-77

 

Celibacy as a fruit, is different than celibacy as a goal. There is no “bait and switch” – virtue will draw you to honour Gods creation as it was designed, and that would include the protection of sexual activity (or acts leading towards that) to be with someone in which there would be at the very least an openness to life – as to permit our sexual faculties to not have their purposes compromised intentionally by us.

Anyway, of course I have more to respond to, but it really seemed overall that there was a closeness to see beyond the idea of “I am gay” and as far as I am concerned, as long as we keep that identity, our whole life is framed within that identity. That’s a choice. That’s not God’s will… that is a choice.

But these commenters that are commenting about ex-gay this or that – I shake my head and ask if they even read what I wrote. What does virtue have to do with being ex-gay? You know what it does though, is derail the entire conversation from being about the pursuit of holiness (and thus holy relationships, which have the order of creation respected out of love for the Divine Author) and takes it into the realm of gay and ex-gay. Until people see beyond the whole gay/ex-gay thing people will be locked into realities that will not even be able to comprehend the idea of getting off the ride.

Should We Teach That Gay People Should Be Celibate?

More and more I hear of people like me (who have same-sex attractions as part of their story) who desire a deeper relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ within the community of the Catholic Church. Out of that desire, they are sincerely striving to make sense of how their life could fit within the Church. Some are striving to make sense of how they might fit in socially, while others are striving to make sense out of why God “picked” them (to experience these attractions), while even others are striving to figure out how they might be able to enter a gay relationship that wouldn’t break the “rules” of the Church. These of course are honest pursuits of greater understanding.

However, the root of these pursuits is the idea that “Gay people should be celibate.”

This idea is driving many people away from the Church, as personally described here.

What people don’t realize is that having celibacy as the primary objective, is tantamount to jumping on a life-long roller-coaster and merely “white-knuckling it” until you die. With “celibacy” as the primary goal, all you can do is hang on for the ride that you are “destined” for, for your entire life.  The problem with this is that it doesn’t give a person the opportunity to get off that ride; it doesn’t permit people to see beyond the ride itself.

The pursuit of celibacy in this way, is aimed at behaviour suppression instead of what Church is inviting us all into, which is the transformation of heart on account of our love of Christ (which of course will open us to growing deeper in virtue). Again, the “gay people should be celibate” way of thinking is focused on behaviour, while the Church is really calling us first to focus on the state of our hearts, and our openness to growing in the fullness of virtue.

The Church invites us to consider the state of our heart, so that we may become aware of how we are able to show our love for Christ more profoundly. People of course will begin to do that not when they are told they can’t do this or that (behaviour modification) but rather when they taste the joy from someone who is living a life of virtue (transformation of the heart) – and because of that, they come to want it for themselves.

For that reason, we need to be that living reason why someone would want to open their heart to growing in the fullness of virtue. If we are not the reason, then we are not offering a better garden than the one they are used to, so to speak. That means we have to look interiorly, and assess our own commitment to virtue, and recognize our commitment for what it is along the scale of radiantly attractive, to muted and stuffy. We have to be the better garden.

Until that occurs, the mind-set that “gay people should be celibate” as a primary objective will continue to spread, and will continue to frustrate people into leaving the Church. However, once people become convicted of their desire to grow in the fullness of virtue, the objective of celibacy (to “follow the rules”) falls away to the objective of pursuing a life of holiness – in which one of the fruits will be celibacy for those who are outside of a holy marriage (a marriage in which chastity is practiced and Christ is at the center).

In short, we need to shift our focus from “gay people should be celibate” to “all people should be holy.” In doing so, we let go of the false nuance that we should white-knuckle our way through life, and instead introduce the reality that the Lord Jesus Christ desires our hearts to be unified to His (for He knows His infinite love will fulfill us). When embraced whole-heartedly, this will manifest itself in a greater desire for holiness, but in God’s time, and in God’s way. All we can do in the meantime is walk with all those who choose to do so.

In that, we are one in the same, on a shared journey.

 

Self-Control and the Pursuit of Holiness

One might think that being a priest in a confessional would be like watching re-runs. The same sins come up over and over again. However, every priest I know approaches these re-runs with a great joy for they know that there has been a choice made by the penitent, to hopefully strive to turn his life back to God and start fresh.

Think about it – if we are going to confess our sins, why not confess to someone who has apostolic authority to offer absolution. Why? Well, as recorded in exorcism, Satan has said

What you have already confessed, I do not know.

See, they are not just dissolved in our universe, but absolved from our universe. That is, through an authentic confession to a priest who gives absolution in persona Christi, by the power and Authority of God, those sins are blotted out of the memory of fallen Angels, while we retain the ability to remember them but for the purposes of drawing glory to God and all that is Holy. That’s what every great conversion testimony has at it’s core! :)

The point being though, if fallen angels have their memory of a particular committed sin blotted out, then they can no longer use that particular committed sin against us.

What is a Committed Sin?
When we place ourselves above God and or use His creation counter to its purpose as structurally designed that is a committed sin. This comes in all forms (especially with regards to sexuality). Who tempts us to sin? Those who hate God and who hate us (because we still have the chance to turn back to Him and glorify Him). Who? Fallen Angels (Demons). Note that just as how we could be decieved by a fallen human entity, we could be decieved by a fallen angelic entity. And if you don’t believe that angels exist at all, then try praying the Rosary every day. It is so hard to do because there are legions of fallen angels who do not want you to do it.

Father Gabriel Amorth, Chief Exorcist of the Vatican writes:

One day a colleague of mine heard the devil say during an exorcism: “Every Hail Mary is like a blow on my head. If Christians knew how powerful the Rosary was, it would be my end.” The secret that makes this prayer so effective is that the Rosary is both prayer and meditation. It is addressed to the Father, to the Blessed Virgin, and to the Holy Trinity, and is a meditation centered on Christ.

Self-Control
If you are successful, observe the changes in your life after 30 days, and measure them against these promises. The thing is, to pray the Rosary for 30 days takes self-control, but we have been raised in a world that replaces self-control with the pursuit of self-gratification which is counter to every virtue including chastity.

If you recognize that you lack self-control in certain matters, with the help of God, and the growth in self-discipline, you can overcome that by His grace. It is He who works in you that makes it possible. It is not you alone. However, if you lack discipline and self-control to manage yourself at the little things, chances are you will be less successful at exercising discipline and self-control at the big things.

Discipline and self-control is something that we must practice daily, otherwise we won’t get good at it.

Test Yourself
Below is a list of ways you can practice self-control in the littlest of ways, which will lead to great of transformation over time – from being reactive to proactive in your life. Measure your daily activities against the items of this list, and take an honest inventory of where you are at.

1. When your alarm goes off, don’t hit the snooze button.
2. Open your day with a short prayer.
3. Get out of bed after prayer (or intimate time with your spouse).
4. Do x-many push-ups or sit-ups per morning, add one each day until you hit a target.
5. Set your bed before you leave your room.

6. Get dressed before you leave your room/bathroom.
7. Do not spend time on social media before work.
8. Control your portions at breakfast at home.
9. Have a well-balanced breakfast at home.
10. Shovel the driveway before you leave for work (winter).

11. Brush and floss your teeth.
12. Shower or wash daily.
13. Before bed, do remaining dishes.
14. Ensure unused lights are shut off.
15. No Internet after 8pm, and no Smartphone/Laptop in your room.

16. Have a set supper time.
17. Shave appropriately.
18. Plan your meals.
19. Pray before meals.
20. Pray the Rosary daily (25 minutes).

In Closing…
God’s Mercy is greater than our sins, but angels are greater than us. However, even the lowest in Heaven is greater than the highest fallen angel. For that reason, pray without ceasing, and watch your life transform.

 

 

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Catholic Apologetics for the Secular World: Contemporary Gender Ideology

Catholic Apologetics for the Secular World: Contemporary Gender Ideology

See initial articles
1. Alberta Education Guidelines for Best Practices: Creating Learning Environments that Respect Diverse Sexual Orientations, Gender Identities, and Gender Expressions
https://education.alberta.ca/media/1626737/91383-attachment-1-guidelines-final.pdf

2. A Commentary by the Rebel Media
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7n_F38nKUPI
(Note: This is not an endorsement of fear-mongering via anecdotal rape incidents)

Response to New Government Policy: It is a violation of this document to affirm a child’s dignity and self as a beloved child of God, if indeed that child has instead chosen to embrace or label themselves according to any label befitting of the advancement of contemporary gender theory.

It systemically discriminates against Christianity (because it will be of nil effect on Islamic schools) and it forces gender ideology as a forced belief system, while undermining parental right to be involved in the formation of their child’s self-concept in this fashion.

Comment from reader: “…and it forces gender ideology as a forced belief system”
as opposed to Catholic Schools forcing binary gender ideology as a belief system? I agree with your point about Muslim schools though, they are more likely to protest and refuse complying, so I hope all religious schools are held up to the same standard (Including Jewish ones).

Response: Catholic schools do not “force” a binary gender ideology. “Binary Gender” is a phrase fabricated by a world that cannot handle (and chooses to suppress) the language of the Church. The reality is that the Church invites people to lift themselves OFF of the gender ideology identity-spectrum altogether… while recognizing XX and XY to be distinct, as they are recognized to be distinct in any Biology class. If you are suggesting that XX and XY are matters of ideologies being forced, then all biology classes need to be removed from the curriculum as well. Meaning, if the Church is accused of advancing a “binary gender theory” on account of upholding the biological reality that XX and XY (aside from certain aberrations) are how we are structurally created, then those who reject the Church have to reject the biological sciences as well. Note that XX and XY, which is what the Church speaks towards, is about sex, and not gender, so to suggest the Church forces a binary gender theory despite the Church speaking towards sex, reveals a non-understanding of the language of the Church at the very forefront. The Church also does speak towards gender, however, with it being specifically interwoven with a person’s sex, and his is not the same concept as one’s “perceived gender” which is what is driving the policies of today.
Comment: Nobody is saying XX and XY are matters of ideologies. The issue at hand is does XX necessitate a female gender as much as it necessitates a vagina. Some people say no, some say yes

Even if you can define transgenderism as psychosis, which you might have grounds for, I think we usually treat mental illnesses only if they make the person dangerous to themselves or their surroundings…
Being convinced you’re a woman when you have a penis is no more out of touch with physical reality than being convinced there is a god when you cannot present one.

No one has yet to present biological or physical evidence of heaven or hell, and people have no trouble spending money to make accommodation for those realities.

If you want to tie our policies to physical, self-evident, facts, no problem! but it goes both ways then, if we have to treat transgender persons as if they aren’t in touch with reality, we must do the same for all worshipers.

Response: The Christian/Islamic Heaven are external to our universe. You are approaching things through the lens of “our universe is all” which is simply not the case. To apply an intra-universal understanding of logic to the extra-universal domain is a flaw, and it taints your entire reasoning.

Comment: That may be, but heaven and hell being external to our universe is still your opinion, not grounded in the physical world

Response: Until the extra-universal domain becomes a part of your frame of reference, nothing that you speak of with regards to “Heaven” (or the counter “location” of “Hell”) can even be taken to be remotely evident of anything other than a faith statement in itself.

The probability of our universe being static in size approaches zero percent. Our universe either expands into, or contracts out of some external domain. Without this foundation… there is no possible way to grasp the Christian or Islamic understanding of Heaven

And yes, according to the Intra-universal Law of Non-Contradiction, this is true, and it can be expressed beyond the matter of opinion using mathematics.

Comment: That law only states the universe is more than we see, doesn’t state anything about the state of things that we don’t see. For example, even if there are things external to our universe, you cannot be sure of their nature

Response: The Law of Non-Contradiction points to an extra-universal domain, AND that the extra-universal domain is being responsible for the Law of Non-Contradiction to remain in place as is. The configuration of order in our universe remaining consistent from one increment of time to the next has a probability of occurrence of approaching zero.

With regards to things beyond our universe… you are correct, we cannot have perfect certainty as to their existence or nature, unless it is revealed in some fashion, in which it would be a matter of faith. However, the existence of the external domain is not a matter of faith but rather a matter of necessity based on the mathematics that exist of this world.

Comment: “The configuration of order in our universe remaining consistent from one increment of time to the next, has a probability of occurrence of approaching zero”

Any configuration of the universe has a probability approaching zero, since there are infinitely many configuration (not all support life, but they exist)

“…we cannot have perfect certainty as to their existence or nature, unless it is revealed in some fashion, in which it would be a matter of faith”

Similarly, nobody is questioning the existence of gender, only its nature and its linkage to our sex chromosomes

Response: Point being: This extra-universal domain matters. If our universe had a beginning, then this extra-universal domain pre-existed it. If our universe did not have a beginning and somehow always was, then it is the extra universal domain that still is responsible for the maintenance of the law of non-contradiction that we see within our universe (for the law itself dictates a probability of existence of approaching zero percent).

 

The point is that you made a claim about Heaven and Hell being akin to gender, when they are two different things. The “Heavenly” realm as Christians would say it, DOES exist, in that it is the domain external to our universe. That is beyond the shadow of opinion, and is supported by the law of non-contradiction.

The only reason I bring this up is because you linked transgenderism and God as being equitable in their treatment, philosophically, which is an erroneous claim, based on pure mathematics alone.

Comment: and similarly gender DOES exist, but may not be what we assume it is

Response: sex, gender and sexuality are all different things.  Gender perception and gender are different things

Comment: yes

Response: When someone’s perception does not match the physiological reality… that is the matter of concern that has been raised by this issue

Comment: Right, but if you say that sex, gender and sexuality are different, then what is the physiological reality of a person’s gender if not their genitalia?

Response: XX vs XY

Comment: … so you’re saying gender is related to having XX or XY, but penises and vaginas are not?

Response: Maleness and femaleness are not the same as masculine and feminine – the latter being influenced by our perception of that which is masculine or feminine, while the former is attached to chromosomes

Comment: So we should send people to washrooms based on their chromosomes? You do know there are XXY and XYY individuals out there, right? You know there XY individuals with an inactive Y chromosome such that they develop fully as female?

Response:
Sex -> XX, XY, XXY, etc…
Gender –> Associated with cultural norms and expectations
Perceived Gender –> What someone perceives of themselves, relative to their understanding of cultural norms and expectations

Comment: ok so I’m a bit lost
A person comes to you with a penis, they say “I feel I am a female”, how do you measure which washroom they should go to?

Response: Yes, I am aware of the people who have that, and who embody a particular gender more than another. That can’t be used as an argument to throw out the reality that sex and gender are distinct.

Comment: I don’t even need to answer that question. It is anchored on the idea that someone’s perception of themselves should trump the physiological reality of their situation. XX and XY human beings grow differently, there are differences in brain responses to similar stimuli, and there are unique needs for peer interaction that can be met by the different sexes in different ways.

Gender ideology has said
“We ignore neuroscience in which it has been revealed that XX and XY brains function differently”

“We ignore physiological and hormonal differences in which it has been revealed that XX and XY bodies grow to different densities of bone and muscle”

“We ignore best educational practices which call for homogeneous groupings of students for certain activities… which will be completely undone with the implementation of rules that frown upon sex segregation for certain activities, whether they be for play or for academic growth”

Comment: yeah, you can go on and answer my question

Response: Ultimately, what do you want a child to anchor their identity on? Maybe you could answer the question for me. Should it be their perceived gender? Or their actual sex? Or perhaps something aside from either?

Comment: Anchoring the identity based on chromosomes creates problems for XYs with inactive Y chromosomes. Anchoring it based on genitals creates a problem for hermaphrodites (you could say that can be solved with surgery, but that’s cheating). Really, their perceived gender is the only option that is consistent to everyone. More importantly, what’s the problem with people choosing their own gender identity? We let people choose their own religion…

Response: Do you want an answer from a religious perspective or a secular perspective?

Again you compared gender identity (internal) to religion (external). Not a reasonable comparison. This also reveals you consider religion to be some matter of opinion, as opposed to being a collection of objective truths being commonly upheld.

Comment: Religion is as internal as it comes. It’s more internal than political affiliation

Response: Religion is a set of beliefs. A set of beliefs that is based upon perception of external truths. You embrace it within your heart. That is internal. But the truths or “truths” are external.

Comment: “Religion is a set of beliefs.” The truths are external, your interpretation of them is internal

Response: …. based on objective truths.
Example: I believe 2+ 3 = 5. My religion is to uphold the law of non-contradiction. Nothing upheld by my religion is opinion, if the only thing I believe is the law of non-contradiction.

A gender identity label does not reflect the fullness of a person, nor the cycle of their existence in the human realm. It is too small. It is also anchored on the self, who is finite. It puts people towards a journey towards fulfillment that only serves to satisfy their perception of reality, which is influenced by how they see themselves. This is true for any person.

It sets people along a trajectory of pursuing fulfillment within an identity anchored on the finite.

Response: and that’s a problem because…?

Comment: However, since the domain beyond our universe is beyond infinite, because it is beyond the parameters of our universe…

Response: What on earth is “beyond infinite”? “infinite SSJ3”?

Comment: One has the choice to anchor their identity on that extra-universal domain, which is infinite, and thus enter a journey towards fulfillment along that trajectory, which is anchored on the “beyond infinite”. What, is greater? The finite or the infinite? That is the point I am trying to make. What could give you more? The finite or the infinite?

If a person is truly seeking the greatest degree of fulfillment within any perceived identity, would it make sense for them to anchor their journey on the finite (by wholeheartedly embracing a gender-ideology style way of self-identifying and defining themselves) or would it make better sense for them to anchor their journey on the infinite – by wholeheartedly relinquishing a perceived identity anchored only on the finite, and instead wholeheartedly embrace an identity anchored on the infinite?

That is the point I am trying to make. Nothing wrong with anyone being honest with themselves about where they are or what they are experiencing… nothing wrong with that at all. But why anchor your heart on the finite world via defining yourself according to your finite self (actually only one facet of one’s being) when instead they could anchor their hearts on the infinite extra-universal domain?

What can provide a greater degree of fulfillment? The finite or the infinite?

 

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