Bigotry on the basis of religion is easy to identify. It is the extension of beliefs to toxic behavior.
If Jonathon Van Maren is going to continue to display his personality disorder then I am going to continue to document his insane bigotry. Tuesday, Van Maren’s dismay is depicted in: Transgenderism: All of these minor changes amount to a cultural sea change.
Van Maren is an ultra-conservative Catholic. I get that. The Catholic Church teaches, essentially, that transgender people do not really exist. I don’t get that. It is contrary to reality and science. Nevertheless, religious dogma, by definition, is not required to be anything other than esoteric doctrine. So be it.
However, Mr. Van Maren is wed to the proposition that his beliefs warrant the promotion of bigotry. Orthodox Jews keep kosher. I would take similar exception if my fictional uncle Avram insisted that people who eat lobster are evil, disgusting creatures who pose a serious danger to those who comply with Jewish law. Uncle Avram would be fear mongering.
Jonathon Van Maren is a fear monger. His real fear, I think, is that other people are increasingly likely to accept the existence of transgender people. If that is the case then he is on a mission to see to it that people remain as bigoted as he is.
Therefore, Van Maren resorts to the logical fallacy of the slippery slope. A small first step or steps creates a chain of events leading to catastrophe. Tolerance is not catastrophic unless one is thoroughly devoted to intolerance.
“It is preposterous — spectacularly stupid — to claim that biological sex has been eradicated by the existence of transgender persons.”
Sure, I get that in the grand scheme of things a cereal company launching a Pride Month Kellogg’s box telling kids to pick their pronouns (“they/them” being a grammatically confusing option) is minor, but the reality is that all of these minor changes amount to a cultural sea change that has been surging up the beach, inch by inch.
The above could be used as an example of the slippery slope for Wikipedia. It become fallacious when either the chain of events is improbable or when the predicted outcome is unobjectionable while being presented as “dire consequences.”
To illustrate this point, let’s survey just a few recent stories.
Reuters noted on May 17 that the French Rugby Federation (FFR) will be permitting biological men (“transgender women”) to play in the women’s rugby league next season. This is after the governing body, World Rugby, issued guidelines last year after “months of research” stating that it had “concluded that safety and fairness cannot presently be assured for women competing against trans women in contact rugby.” FFR stated that they will instead implement a testosterone threshold that will in fact allow those still “transitioning” to play. FFR’s board voted unanimously on this decision.
The NCAA adopted a similar policy about 11 years ago. The IOC also has a comparable policy in place. My immediate reaction is: “So what?” Who is harmed and how are they harmed? What is the connection between athletics and Kellogg’s cereal as a chain of events?
Van Maren’s rhetoric is eventually followed by denying the existence of gender as a scientific reality. The consensus is that a trans woman is, for all intents and purposes, a woman. In this case, a testosterone-suppressed trans woman is considered the athletic equal of a cisgender woman.
One would think a women’s league would be exclusive to women, but there you have it.
The above could be added to the Wikipedia definition of “obtuse.”
Also on May 17, Mississauga.com reported that the Peel District School Board in Ontario, Canada, will be flying the Transgender Flag — because the rainbow is now passé …
If religious conservatives would, for whatever reason, stop promoting the idea that trans kids are evil little “confused” perverts then it would be necessary to demonstrate support. Due to advances in science people are transitioning earlier in life but the percentage of the population that is transgender remains about the same.
The existence of more trans youth led the Obama administration to issue guidance for the accommodation of trans kids in public schools. Conservative Christians have maintained a shit fit ever since in defense of scripture. The Catholic Church has explicitly stated that its teachings regarding transgender people are based on the the same verse in Genesis.
“President Biden’s statement would be unnecessary but for the amount of bigotry that is being promoted in the name of a deity.”
On May 16, there was this, from NPR: “Rev. Megan Rohrer has been elected as the first openly transgender bishop within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America …
ELCA has realized precisely what Mr. Van Maren should (but never will) realize. Gender incongruence does not impair the performance of people in their duties. That includes religious leadership. There is no connective tissue between someone being transgender and their effectiveness as a religious leader.
This isn’t some sinister conspiracy to piss off Jonathon Van Maren. The only chain of events is the improved understanding of transgender people by the public.
It reminds me of the increased acceptance of gay people. That tolerance directly correlates to the understanding that sexual orientation is not a choice.
About 70% of Americans now accept marriage equality because the “dire consequences” rhetoric from people like Robert P. George and Ryan T. Anderson has been proved untrue. None of it came to pass. Americans realize that the marriage of the gay couple down the block does not affect them in any measurable way.
Around 2012 a liberal Mormon columnist wrote something to the effect that his only fear is that his gay friends will register at retailers that are too pricey. That is much closer to the eventual reality than all of the fear mongers.
The same people are now spouting “dire consequences” rhetoric in defense of religious doctrine. Ryan T. Anderson, for example, has been proved wrong about marriage equality. He has also been proved wrong about transgender people.
In early April, at another outlet, Van Maren wrote:
As I’ve noted before, I do think that is still possible. We’re going to see a wave of lawsuits initiated by permanently mutilated men and women who were permitted (or encouraged) to transition as children, and the damage done by this movement will eventually become clear.
That amounts to wishful thinking for misery. Furthermore it makes assumptions that are not true. For starters, children are not candidates for gender confirmation surgery. Secondly (at least in the United States) there is an arduous process in place.
“… the presence of transgender people benefits society. They provide us with an opportunity to demonstrate that being different isn’t a bad thing.”
People are required to have at least one year of “real life experience.” Then two psychological evaluations are required. One from the surgical candidate’s regular therapist and another from another therapist who has never treated the individual.
Furthermore, patient satisfaction with gender confirmation surgery is very high. 91% of the subjects in the linked study had improved quality of life.
Moreover, Van Maren cites “damage.” He does so without evidence. He is probably assuming that transgender people are damaged because they conflict with the dogma which he accepts as incontrovertible truth regardless of evidence to the contrary.
Interestingly, I had a telemed visit with my PTSD therapist last week. He is a conservative Catholic (as far as I know). He knows that I am active in trans advocacy and he mentioned to me that he has been doing behavioral interviews of transgender surgical candidates for University of Miami Health System. Out of the blue he said: “I am amazed at how together these people are.”
Returning to the previous statement by Van Maren, he mentions a “movement.” There is no “movement.” There is no organized effort to create transgender people. The science has become abundantly clear. Gender-affirming care is the best approach to treating gender dysphoria.
President Joe Biden, who identifies as Catholic (you can identify as anything you like these days) assured the trans movement in his first joint address to Congress in late April that he is there for them. “To all transgender Americans watching at home,” he warbled, “especially the young people. You’re so brave. I want you to know your president has your back.”
Our president is the president for all people. President Biden’s statement would be unnecessary but for the amount of bigotry that is being promoted in the name of a deity.
Jonathon Van Maren resents being called a fear monger:
Specifically, I am a fearmonger because I have spent several years chronicling the myriad ways in which the gender ideologues have embarked on the total eradication of biological sex and the transformation of our society.
Van Maren is defending fear mongering with more baseless fear mongering. It is preposterous — spectacularly stupid — to claim that biological sex has been eradicated by the existence of transgender people. It is downright silly for Jonathon Van Maren to claim that the existence of transgender people results in the “transformation of our society.”
Indeed, the presence of transgender people benefits society. They provide us with an opportunity to demonstrate that being different isn’t a bad thing.