Bishop Michael F. Burbidge sights prey
Bishop Michael F. Burbidge — “I cannot wait to get my hands on that kid.”
It is hard to be deferential towards someone promoting dangerous crackpottery.

A Catholic bishop eliminates any subtlety.

Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington — genius that he is — has authored a statement of religious propaganda worthy of the Taliban titled: A Catechesis on the Human Person and Gender Ideology. I don’t need to quote much of this to make a point:

The Church teaches that a person is created male or female. No one “is” transgender.

Later on, as self-inoculation, the bishop will state that all persons are worthy of dignity. And the bishop claims that it is trans persons who are delusional. He, of course, presumes to be among the most lucid of creatures.

In the past decade our culture has seen growing acceptance of transgender ideology-that is, the claim that a person’s biological sex and personal identity have no necessary connection and could in fact contradict each other. According to this view, “human identity” is self-defined and “becomes the choice of the individual.” Consequently, our culture is experiencing a rapid rise in the number of persons claiming an identity contrary to their biological sex. Attempts to accommodate such claims already have resulted in tremendous upheavals in our social, legal, and medical systems.

I know that the guy is a bishop. I should be respectful. I would be were he not dishonest about the most vulnerable constituency within the LGBTQ community. Burbidge doesn’t offer the possibility of my extending deference.

First of all, the suggestion that transgender persons are adherents to an “ideology” is an outright lie. It is a projection. The bishop is torturing logic and medical science in service to an ideology; a belief system based on faith.

Furthermore, in the above quote, the bishop has quoted Pope Francis. I want to be respectful. However, the pope is asserting — and the bishop is affirming — the idea that gender identity is a choice. That is demonstrably false.

“… footnotes are to the usual KoolAid slurpers: Michelle Cretella and Paul R. McHugh, plus … other outlets of intellectual pornography.”

They used to claim the same nonsense about gay people. Actually, they still do but they are quieter in the shadow of reality. It is simply a mechanism to make things conform to scripture when they do not.

Furthermore, the bishop is attempting to undermine the certainty of medical science that some people have incongruent gender and natal sex. Gender is — irrefutably — a construct independent of sex.

Moreover, without a statistical base, the bishop is asserting that there is “a rapid rise in the number of persons” who are gender incongruent. I know that adolescents are transitioning earlier in life due to advances in science. However, I have not seen data suggesting that the total number of transgender persons has increased.

The bishop’s footnotes are to the usual KoolAid slurpers: Michelle Cretella and Paul R. McHugh, plus the National Catholic Bioethics Center, and other outlets of intellectual pornography.

Of course there is the “we’re not bigots” self-serving bullshit:

The Christian Response

A disciple of Christ desires to love all people and to seek their good actively. Denigration or bullying of any person, including those struggling with gender dysphoria, is to be rejected as completely incompatible with the Gospel.

What could possibly be more denigrating than claiming that a medical condition is a delusion which causes people to make very bad choices?

As the Endocrine Society has stated:

There is a durable biological underpinning to gender identity …

According to the Pediatric Endocrine Society:

… we express our concern for the health risks and safety of transgender and gender diverse youth and their families, when public discourse delegitimizes their right to express their gender and to receive gender-affirming care. This is not only harmful to the mental and physical health of these youth, but opposes current standard of care recommendations.

So tell me about this Christian Love™, bishop, when you are willing to risk the health and even the lives, of children to defend scripture.

“Kids do not ‘catch’ gender dysphoria from the Internet.”

The bishop is dangerous.

I have skipped over a great deal of nonsensical bloviation. You have heard it all before. A great deal of text is devoted to the denial of the existence of gender identity. This nonsense is despite the inarguable (or what should be inarguable) scientific consensus. Religious gibberish. The bishop’s greatest failure is an inability to separate an issue of faith from an issue pertaining to medicine:

For Parents
[…]
In addition to your good example and teaching, raising your children also requires vigilance against dangerous ideas and influences. This means the close monitoring of what your children receive via the internet and social media. Transgender ideology is being celebrated, promoted, and pushed out over all social media platforms and even children’s programming. Much of your good work and witness can be undone quickly by a child’s unsupervised or unrestricted internet access.

The bishop has degrees in theology and education administration. Where does this medical erudition come from? What the guy is saying is that children can be influenced into having gender dysphoria. That makes no more sense than telling parents to watch out for those who might promote leukemia. It is dangerous to tell parents that they have a religious duty to be wilfully ignorant.

Kids do not “catch” gender dysphoria from the Internet.

Bishop Burbidge’s “medical” advice is equally dangerous:

“We do not, and should not, ask priests, ministers or rabbis for their interpretation of an MRI. Nor should they be consultants for how we treat any medical issue.”

For those struggling

Finally, a word to those struggling with gender dysphoria.

Every one of us has a struggle that is unique. But none of us should feel alone or abandoned in his or her struggles. Like many others, you may feel alienated from your body, as though you are supposed to have a different one. … [God loves you, etc.]

Be on guard against simplistic solutions that promise relief from your struggles by the change of name, pronouns, or even the appearance of your body. There are many who have walked that path before you only to regret it. The difficult but more promising path to joy and peace is to work with a trusted counselor, therapist, priest, and/or friend to come to an awareness of the goodness of your body and of your identity as male or female.

Allow me to enumerate the bishop’s deficiencies as they would apply to transgender youth:

  1. Those who are “struggling” do so principally due to minority stress syndrome. To defend scripture, the bishop is actively creating minority stress. That is hard to forgive.
  2. The supposed love of a deity has no bearing on a medical condition. Young, pious religious adherents die every day from a variety of illnesses. Similarly, God is not part of the equation when one has gender dysphoria.
  3. If one is a believer in an omnipotent god then that deity is responsible for creating scientists with great minds and discipline. It follows that listening to those scientists makes more sense than listening to a theologian in response to a scientific matter.

    We do not, and should not, ask priests, ministers or rabbis for their interpretation of an MRI. Nor should they be consultants for how we treat any medical issue.

  4. Youth are not influenced to transition. They do so — often in secret — to garner relief from the distress of gender dysphoria. Oftentimes the act of transitioning in some form is what brings the condition to a parent’s attention.
  5. The person posing simplistic solutions that endanger a child’s life should not describe a process to which they have a religious objection as “simplistic.”
  6. Counseling is the worst option. To talk someone out of their gender dysphoria would require gender identity conversion “therapy.” Research concludes that such efforts create a lifetime of adverse mental health consequences.

This endless, persistent communal diatribe against transgender persons is wearying. It constitutes the promotion of prejudice and they take no responsibility for the misery that they inflict on others.

They are torturing logic and science. They do so to manipulate and have people discard scientific evidence. It is a corrupt endeavor.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.