Friday, March 17, 2017

Transgenderism: Science, St. Augustine, & How the Catholic Church is Crucifying Christ

Why do so many Christians work so hard to deny the very reality that their "God" has placed so unmistakably in front of them?  Why do they have "eyes but cannot see, and ears but cannot hear," as it says in Jeremiah 5.21?  Because they are so addicted to their own "beliefs" about how they want the world to work, and about what they are convinced it means to be "holy," that they would rather murder Jesus a thousand times, than ever humbly admit they could ever be wrong about anything - EVER!  And that is just what St. Augustine warned against.

In his work, De Genisi ad litteram (The Literal Meaning of Genesis) the great Christian theologian, St. Augustine of Hippo, talked about the need to always ground Christianity in the foundation of scientific understanding, rather than in what we just choose to "believe.” We see an interesting example of this in the disagreement between Pope Urban VIII and Galileo.

In 1616, Pope Urban VIII disagreed with Galileo’s view on Copernicus, that is, on the claim that the Earth revolved around the Sun instead of the other way around. Due to personal failings of both men, a conflict of personalities caused the two sides of the debate to sulk off into their respective corners. And ever since, atheists have used this to condemn the stupidity of religion to follow science. What most atheists fail to understand, however, is that Pope Urban VIII WAS following science, when he disagreed with Galileo, because the scientific community at the time did not support the Copernican view, nor was there very strong evidence at the time to support it.

So even though the Church was ultimately proven wrong, it was following St. Augustine's admonishment that scriptural interpretation must always been exercised in the light of scientific understanding. The problem, therefore, was that the scientific consensus at the time had gotten it wrong first. Today, however, the Church simply ignores science about transgenderism, and by so doing, abandons the advice given by one of it's most acclaimed saints.

And by doing this, the Catholic Church exposes itself to the condemnations of St. Augustine, by proclaiming the kind of pseudo-scientific conclusions offered by Fr. Mike about transgenderism as being “offensive and disgraceful for an unbeliever to hear a Christian talk” about.  Augustine said it was even worse to hear a Christian claim “that what he is saying is based on Scripture.”  As such, he warned Christians “to avoid such an embarrassing situation, which people see as ignorance in the Christian and laugh to scorn.” As Augustine went on to explain:

Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking non-sense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn.
The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of the faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason?
Reckless and incompetent expounders of holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although “they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.”“
’(1 Timothy 1:7)

Rather than consider transgenderism in the light of scientific understanding, however, Fr. Mike simply concludes that such people are confused by their own pain and suffering. What he fails to mention is that most people turn to Fr. Mike's very own Catholicism because of their own pain and suffering; suffering which Christianity alone turns into a sacramental virtue.

Put another way, pain and suffering causes far more people to believe in a Christian "God" and the particular brand of religion Fr. Mike is selling, than it causes people to be as confused about their gender as a boy who thinks he's a dog. In this respect, one could argue that religion and a "belief in god" is just as much of a mental problem caused by pain and suffering as "transgenderism." And since I've never seen crusades or inquisitions or jihads waged by those who chose to define themselves as transgendered,  it's safe to say that the "delusional belief" in religion and God has caused much more suffering in the world, than anyone choosing NOT to conform to the binary gender norms proscribed by such "believers."

If we put this in terms of Matt 7:5, Fr. Mike is trying to remove the speck of saw dust in the eye of those who identify as "transgendered," because he has fallen in love with the plank in his own, because the plank in his own is shaped like a Christian cross.  And upon that cross, he would rather crucify all those who do not measure up to his own ideas of "holiness," (probably because the church thinks we are called to join Christ in his suffering, which appears to be why Fr. Mike has no problem hammering in the nails), than consider he could ever, ever, ever, be wrong in his "beliefs."

They are the dough, and he is the baker who cookie cuts them into the shape of his own binary gender ideal, and pushes them into an oven fired by Fr. Mike's burning love of Christ. But while there is no doubt that Fr. Mike honestly believes he is doing "the Lord's work out of love for God," in truth, he is only doing his own work out of his love for his own "beliefs" about what constitutes the ideal forms of gender, and what does not. In doing so, he completely abandons any semblance of the Christian search for "truth," while ignoring St. Augustine's admonishments for the damage he does not only to the transgendered community, but to his own Christian faith as well.

 In this way, Fr. Mike plays the serpent in the garden of his own righteous beliefs, and seduces his innocent Christian children with the apple of his own "beliefs," and his every attempt to remove the speck from someone else's eye only results in him crucifying such people to the plank in his own. But Fr. Mike never addresses any of this, nor does he address the fact that his own "beliefs" about gender may be only contributing to the very suffering he claims to be trying to alleviate, and by so doing, he may end up only hiding the very "truth" he claims his religious "beliefs" are always trying to unveil.

From a spiritual perspective, by suggesting that our gender is as affixed as our bodies, Fr. Mike only proves he is more of a material determinist than someone who believes in the soul, for by insisting that our gender is wholly determined by the physical appearance of one’s genitalia, he is claiming that every person is ultimately reducible to the external appearance of their genitals, in the eyes of a Catholic Priest.  This is not only the same reasoning used to justify slavery, in fact, but it also ignores the very spirituality that his own Church champions perhaps more than anyone else!   For as the Jesuit Priest Pierre Teilhard Chardin put it, we are not physical beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having physical experience.  

Hence, the Cathlic Church, by clinging desperately to its antiquated and uninformed "beliefs" about humanity, which it refers to as "the body of Christ," is only ensuring the repeated crucifixion of Christ with every word about transgenderism it utters.

No comments:

Post a Comment

ground hog day

Our central nervous system needs constant stimulation with new stimuli, and so does our brain.  Otherwise, both our sensations and our minds...