Monday 28 November 2022

A War on Reality (2)

In the first post in this series, I raised the question of how we got to a situation when intelligent people of good will could subscribe to the mantra Trans women are women, particularly when 'transwomen' includes a very diverse range of people, from those deserving our sympathy, to those deserving to be locked up.

One of the ironies of this situation is that many of those who are pushing back against this are people who identify as feminists, and particularly as lesbian or gay. For, amongst other things, the trans activists' manifesto undermines what it means to be a woman, what it means to be same-sex attracted, and so on.

I say this is an irony, because it seems to me that the trans activists have followed precisely the same path as the Pride movement before them.

The Pride movement has been remarkably successful in changing social attitudes to same-sex attraction, and it has done so by promoting untruths (not least with skilful sloganeering), by institutional capture, by using salami slice tactics, and by exploiting public sympathy for atypical (but appealing) examples.

Few people now will dare to dispute the idea that some people are 'born gay.' But there is no evidence to support this claim: there is no gay gene. There may be a slight genetic disposition in some individuals, but how genes are expressed is very much a result of environment. As far as patterns of sexual attraction are concerned, nurture (in the broadest sense) is a much larger factor than nature.

Few people now will dare to acknowledge that same-sex attraction is a disorder. Yet it was in the DSM (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) until relatively recently, and was removed, not because of any advances in scientific or medical knowledge, but as a result of a political campaign. It is certainly clear that active male homosexuals have worse physical and psychological health outcomes on a number of measures: this is not healthy behaviour. Yet to raise such issues is to be met with howls of 'homophobia' just as surely as questioning the appropriateness of a (trans-identifying) man winning a female sports competition will be greeted by cries of 'transphobia.'

Further, there is a massive conflation of meanings hidden under the word 'gay.' Activists love this ambiguity. Thus they claim that it was a crime to 'be gay' until recently, which is simply not true. Certain actions were criminal, but not same sex attraction itself. But the elision is deliberate, both because it serves the purpose of creating a victim-myth, and also it implicitly denies the possibility of being same-sex attracted and also chaste. 

As a result of this, few people will dare to point out that adopting a gay identity and lifestyle is in fact a choice. There are other possible responses to same sex attraction.

But does any of this matter? you may wonder.  Isn't it kinder not to raise these issues? After all, what business is it of ours what people do in their bedrooms?

Well yes, it does matter. For a start, any research into helping, or worse still attempts to help, people to free themselves from unwanted same sex attraction is entirely beyond the pale. The rhetoric around 'conversion therapy' is every bit as vehement as that around 'trans rights.' It may well be true that some people have been hurt by attempts at helping them in this way. But that is true of all therapies as they develop. We do not abandon the search for cancer therapies merely because initial trials show that some approaches risk doing more harm than good: we seek to learn from the trials and improve the therapies.  No, the reason for the hostility to such a therapeutic approach is two-fold: one is that it acknowledges that (at least) unwanted same sex attraction is a disorder that may be capable of being cured; and the second is a fear that an effective therapy may indeed be found. But in the current climate that is almost unthinkable.

Further, children are taught that they 'have a sexuality' and must be 'true to themselves;' with the real - and often realised - risk that a passing phase, such as having a crush on someone of the same sex, means that they believe that they are homosexual. And such a belief risks becoming self-fulfilling.  It is no coincidence that so many homosexuals report early sexual liaisons with people of the same sex; and it is no coincidence, either, that those promoting homosexuality so often campaign to reduce the age of consent; and that a staple of homo-erotic literature (until they cleaned up their act in the pursuit of their political agenda - see Kirk & Madsen After the Ball for details) was the seduction of boys by homosexual men.

Moreover, the kind approach to this issue laid the foundations for the kind approach to the trans issue: with the result that thousands of young women have now had unnecessary double mastectomies, for example. How kind is that?

As to what business is it of ours?... it is clear that private behaviour affects public behaviour, and that those who want rights in private today, want to be proselytising for them tomorrow.  It is also clear that caritas and veritas are never truly opposed. 

It results in lies being embedded in the law and society, such as the lie of equal marriage; when it is clear there is no real equivalence between a homosexual pairing, and the marriage of a man and a woman that will give rise to a family. These two things are different in kind, and to pretend that they are not is dishonest, and undermines our ability to understand what marriage truly is.

And all of this proceeds by way of salami slicing.  I remember the outrage at Section 28 in the 1980s.  It was alleged to be homophobic, as it implied that people might want to promote homosexuality in schools, which was, we were told, a complete lie.  Fast forward 30 years, and we see books promoting homosexuality in our schools.  And so on.

For the curious, who wish to know more about this, see The Global Sexual Revolution, by Gabriele Kuby, and Making Gay OK, by Robert Reilly, as starting points.

But I don't want to stop my analysis there: my agenda is not to blame same-sex attracted people. Rather, I think we need to look in the mirror, and that will be the subject of my next post in this series.

Sunday 27 November 2022

A War on Reality (1)

I can't remember when I first heard that some people were aiming to 'smash heteronormativity.'  Good luck with that one, I thought.  Because heterosexuality is normal. Simply on a statistical basis, there is no arguing with that reality.

How wrong I was! It turns out that something being obviously, demonstrably, objectively true is no defence against the onslaught of ideology. Orwell is increasingly cited these days, and with good reason.

We now live in a society where serious and intelligent people expect us to believe the mantra Transwomen are women. By transwomen, they mean men, of course; the only absolutely necessary criterion for being a trans woman is to have been born male. This is absolutely on a par with Orwell's War is peace etc.

How did we get here?  I think it is a complex story, going back to the gay pride movement, the 'sexual liberation' of the 60s, the Catholic reaction to Humanae Vitae in 1968; and beyond that, to the Lambeth Conference of 1930; and beyond that, to that incident of the fruit in the Garden of Eden.  I will explore some of these links and causalities in future posts.

But first, I wish to explore the current confusion.  For the situation is confusing, and that is, I believe, deliberate. 

The label trans is being used, quite deliberately, to conflate a number of different groups of people; in order that our sympathy for one group may provide a cover for many others.

The first group is those people who suffer from severe dysphoria. John, later Jan, Morris was a classic example of this.  It is by no means clear that the change from John to Jan provided much relief for the dysphoria, either in this case or in other similar ones. But one can only sympathise with people so profoundly disoriented from the reality of who they are.

The trouble (for hard cases make bad law...) is that the accommodations extended to them are also used by others in a number of ways.

Transvestites, that is, men who get sexually aroused by dressing as women, are now counted as trans; some seem to delight in taking photos of themselves in women's facilities, sometimes performing obscene acts, and sharing them on social media. Some drag artists also seem to fit this category; and disturbingly are given access to young children, whose natural boundaries of normality and decency are eroded, placing them at risk of grooming. 

Some narcissists also find that claiming a trans identity gives them power over women - forcing them to [pretend to] recognise them as women - even whilst they remain bearded men.

Some malign men, who for reasons that may include exploitation or voyeurism, adopt the trans identity in order to gain access to vulnerable women in places that are meant to be safe, such as women's refuges.

Some men prosecuted for offences against women suddenly identify as women so that they can be placed in the women's estate in the prison system.  Some are even brazen enough to identify as men again on release.

Some young men who are only moderately good at sport suddenly discover their true identity as women, and (would could predict this?) subsequently win prizes and medals at the expense of female athletes; whilst also degrading them by forcing them to pretend that they see this as fair, and also sharing their changing facilities etc.

Some influencers, (and behind them some doctors and pharmacists who stand to make substantial profits) have created a whole social trend amongst vulnerable children; particularly, it seems, girls with other problems, such as autism. Persuaded that their anxieties as they approach adolescence will be alleviated by becoming boys, they bind their breasts, risking lasting damage, and take puberty blocking drugs, again risking lasting damage. They are 'love-bombed' and taught to mistrust their parents or anyone else who suggests that this might not be the magic panacea. And the evidence is that once on puberty blockers, most go on to irreversible surgery, resulting in sterility and a lifelong dependency on drugs; whereas those who are the subject of watchful waiting, largely recover from their dysphoria (real or imagined) as they grow up.

And then there are younger children, whose parents 'recognise' that they are trans. Whether this is Munchausen's by proxy, or driven by some other pathology, it has been well said that if your cat is vegetarian, we know who is making the choices...

And my point is that we are expected to categorise all of these as 'trans', and to affirm that Trans women are women - and that many seemingly intelligent and well-intentioned people go along with this. And anyone who questions this extraordinary and counter-factual ideology, (and particularly any woman who does so, which is telling...) risks the wrath of the mob, being denounced to their employers and the police, and having their livelihoods threatened. 

For the social justice warriors who campaign for inclusion, tolerance, freedom from shame,  and diversity are extremely intolerant of anyone who diverges from their self-righteous ideology, and will seek to shame and exclude them until they comply. 

But my question is, how did we get here?  And to that I shall turn in future posts.

Tuesday 8 November 2022

Not again...

So we learn that yet another senior prelate is guilty of serious sin, and of concealing it for many years.

What are we to make of it?

Whilst righteous anger is not inappropriate, it is risky...  the righteous bit, I mean.

I think a good place to start our consideration is to look into our own hearts. Have I never wilfully turned away from Christ, and broken my relationship with Him and the Father? Have I never tried to hide my sins?  Have I never sought to justify them to myself?

So casting the first stone is not, perhaps my job (though I should add, with that trivial turn of mind for which I am justly renowned, that I do rather like the story of the woman take in adultery which ends with Our Lord saying: Mother... Not you...!)

But my more serious point is Solzhenitsyn's: The line separating good and evil passes... right through every human heart. It is a bit too seductive to think in terms of us and them: Thank you, Lord, that I am not like that bishop... 

And the reason that I think that is important to consider is because it gives me a clue about what I should actually do when I read about such grave scandals.  I should strive harder for my own sanctity: pray more, do more penance, more acts of charity, and above all, cast myself at the foot of the Cross and ask the Crucified to have mercy on me, and on all sinners.

Likewise, I could consider what the Devil would most like me to do, and avoid that...