Vladimir Putin
Vlad the Impaler | via Kremlin.ru

There is nothing courageous about anti-LGBTQ bigotry.

“Transgender persons have nothing to be ashamed of.”

Leave it to International Organization for the Family, an anti-LGBTQ hate group, to describe Vladimir Putin as courageous: Putin–a flawed leader courageously confronting cancel culture and the radical transgender agenda.

Noting that Putin is a “flawed leader” does not offset the hypocrisy and stupidity of calling him courageous for his transphobia. Moreover, I am at a loss to describe the “transgender agenda” other than to suggest that it would be kind of nice if people would stop making scientifically flawed accusations. Is that so “radical?”

The author of this idiocy is IOF’s Robert Siedlecki who seems to think that being a white, Christian, cisgender heterosexual is spectacularly challenging. Siedlecki not only drank the Kool-Aid; he is intravenously transfused with the toxic substance

According to Mr. Siedlecki:

… He repeatedly makes threats against the West. Yet, in one area he should be admired—in thinking clearly about woke cancel culture and the radical transgender agenda.

“‘Radical’ describes the religious zealots who insist that their superstitions are more applicable to medical conditions than medical science.”

I am quite certain that Robert Siedlecki can find members of ISIS and Iranian mullahs who will be as LGBTQ bigoted as he is. Indeed, the very fact that Putin is put on a pedestal for anti-LGBTQ views says a great deal about those who share those views. After all, Mr. Putin is a sociopath. Just today, in the New York Times:

Over the past year, the Kremlin has moved aggressively to stifle dissent in the news media, in religious groups, on social networks and especially among activists and political opponents, hundreds of whom have been harassed, jailed or forced into exile.

Shutting down Memorial is another step in President Vladimir V. Putin’s effort to rewrite some of the most painful chapters in Russia’s history and soften the image of an often brutal regime during the Soviet era.

That is Siedlecki’s hero. But let’s get to specifics:

In regard to the radical transgender agenda that holds that any biological man can become a woman just by saying so and vice versa, Putin made several common-sense remarks; remarks that all of humanity unanimously agreed with until the last few decades in the West.

If Siedlecki has a reasonable argument then he would not have to employ a straw man (the logical fallacy of misstating an opponent’s argument to make it easier to refute). It constitutes intellectual mediocrity.

“Transgender participation in athletics provides the ultimate straw man for people who disapprove of transgender persons due to religious beliefs.”

No one “holds that any biological man can become a woman just by saying so.” The scientific consensus is that some people — not many; just a few — have incongruent gender identity and natal sex. Moreover, many, if not most, of those people find that their gender identity prevails over chromosomes.

The Vatican does not like the science. Therefore, the robotic Robert Siedlecki doesn’t like the science. Church teachings are based on scripture. Specifically Genesis 1:27. Essentially, the Church claims that transgender people cannot exist because that presents a conflict with scripture.

Furthermore, there is nothing “radical” about being transgender. “Radical” describes the religious zealots who insist that their superstitions are more applicable to medical conditions than medical science.

Back to Siedlecki’s hero, the sociopathic dictator who murders opponents:

Putin made several common-sense remarks; remarks that all of humanity unanimously agreed with until the last few decades in the West. “If someone believes that males and females are the same thing, well, let them believe that, but let’s think about common sense,” Putin stated.

Putin is as capable of spouting a straw man as Siedlecki. No one believes that males and females are the same thing. This is about allowing female transgender athletes to compete in conformity with the gender identity because they are testosterone suppressed.

“Transgender persons have nothing to be ashamed of.”

But let’s say that doing so is unfair to cisgender women. What does any of that have to do with Siedlecki’s transphobic bigotry? This involves a very small minority (trans women athletes) of a very small minority (transgender women). It’s actually even smaller because it only seems to be relevant when a trans female athlete is successful. It is statistically insignificant. Did Siedlecki appeal to common sense?

If that is the problem, if that is the complaint, then they should be bitching to the NCAA and the IOC to change the standard. It has nothing to do with some mythical “radical transgender agenda.”

Transgender participation in athletics provides the ultimate straw man for people who disapprove of transgender persons due to religious beliefs. It provides a vehicle for displaying their contempt as shame. Transgender persons have nothing to be ashamed of.

From there, Siedlecki transitions to a trans woman in a women’s prison. Yeah, that is statistically relevant.

Mr. Siedlecki has a problem. Well, far more than one but he cannot answer a simple question: “What’s it to ya?” Therefore, a minuscule number of trans women athletes and far fewer trans women prisoners are presented as a problem to all.

Except they are not much of a problem to anyone. The reality is that Robert Siedlecki has four issues:

  1. Siedlecki disapproves of transgender persons due to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
  2. The disapproval of the Church is based on faith and not on evidence.
  3. Siedlecki perceives that he has a religious duty to display his disapproval.
  4. Transgender persons neither seek nor require anyone’s approval.

“Robert Siedlecki is an odious bigot. That his bigotry is in defense of the faith alters neither its perniciousness nor its cruelty.”

Personally, I disapprove of Mr. Siedlecki for smearing an entire class of individuals. These are people whom he does not know and who have done him no harm whatsoever.

My concern is always the same. When someone besmirches a community he knows nothing about, he is harming children. These are kids who are especially vulnerable and who have enough to deal with without religious crazies giving a free pass to and promoting bigotry.

Siedlecki concludes with a sophomoric rhetorical question:

After hearing Putin’s remarks, you have to ask yourself: Why is Putin, flawed in so many ways, the only current Western world leader courageously confronting the “virus” of cancel culture and the lie that a biological man can become a woman just by saying so? Why are so many officials in the West afraid to defend objective reality and common sense? Let us hope that Western leaders will soon find the fortitude to speak the truth before insanity takes over the world.

The above is a combination of two logical fallacies: Begging the question and constructing a straw man. “Cancel culture” refers to the fact that bigots are not part of polite society and are treated as social outcasts due to their bigotry.

Furthermore, the success of a handful of transgender women athletes and the existence of one or two transgender women in women’s prisons does not present the peril of “before insanity takes over the world.”

Mr. Putin is an odious dictator. Robert Siedlecki is an odious bigot. That his bigotry is in defense of the faith alters neither its perniciousness nor its cruelty. I would possibly have some respect for Siedlecki if somewhere in the diatribe he would write something along the lines of: “As Catholics we believe.”

Yet that, too, is problematic because most Catholics are quite tolerant. Robert Siedlecki represents the radical fringe. I sincerely hope that he doesn’t have children that he can infect. Unfortunately, he probably has many.

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.