June 17, 2019

GOOD NEW VATICAN DOCUMENT ON GENDER THEORY


Good new doc from Vatican Congregation on Catholic Education entitled "Male & Female He Created Them: Toward a Path of Dialogue on Question of Gender Ideology in Education." Skeletal but good start. My 2 cents (nuances) below.

Here's the document itself: http://www.educatio.va/content/dam/cec/Documenti/19_0997_INGLESE.pdf


MY COMMENTS ON NEW DOCUMENT FROM VATICAN CONGREGATION FOR EDUCATION ON GENDER IDEOLOGY:

--#11-12 The definitions of “sexual orientation,” “transgenderism” and “queer” are slightly different than my (current) understanding of them (since language, too, is subject to fluidity!) and I think could have been defined with more nuance, precision and explanation.

--#16 This statement is not clear to me: “welcome all legitimate expressions of human personhood with respect.”

--#17-18 “A further positive development in anthropological understanding also present in writing on gender….” then is quoted a portion of the Church’s thinking on “femininity” (that radical feminists to not agree with, I assure you!) not general/secular “writing on gender” (unless the point is putting the Church’s contribution on the same level as “gender studies,” which is not a bad idea). However, the new document goes on to outline--lopsidedly--only women’s sacrificial self-giving and motherhood, while nothing is said about men’s sacrificial self-giving and fatherhood (which is a huge, huge problem in the Church itself today)! We then wonder why young men aren’t formed into responsibility and handling their life-giving powers well! On top of that, we disparage men for not doing what they’ve never been taught/challenged to do. This fact, rightly, is what feminists of different ilks bring to our attention: women are just automatically expected to serve others because it’s their “special gift.” What about the men?

--#24-25 After describing the condition of intersex (without naming it as such) the document in the next breath lumps “intersex” (which means born with certain biological indeterminacies with regard to sex in varying degrees, including genes, genitals, neurology, etc., often with characteristics of both sexes) in with transgender (as a psycho-affective condition). However, it’s OK to call the condition of being born intersex “intersex” without deeming it to be a “3rd sex” or negating the reality of male or female, or using it to support the notion of transgender.

I would also be very, very careful about saying ONLY medical professionals can determine which sex (male or female) an intersex baby is! Medical professionals have often determined wrongly and intervened toward a sex that the child growing up does not feel themselves to be! (The intersex community rightly gets very angry about this!) Some cases of intersex are slight, but others are more complicated. The parents can make an educated guess (with the help of medical professionals) and begin organically, gently raising the child toward one sex or the other without medical intervention. Let the kid figure it out as they grow up. Wait to do medical interventions (even till after puberty and into young adulthood). The intersex person knows who they are. For an intersex person to choose medical interventions for themselves when they are physically and emotionally mature enough has nothing to do with transgenderism. It’s treating and correcting a physical disorder as one might choose to medically correct any other physical disorder. But neither is the intersex person obliged to do this. 

Here is a very good article about a (blended) family who have two intersex girls. The first XXY child had a medical intervention towards male, but she grew up feeling female (and hips and breasts developed in pre-teenhood)—which caused her much grief and pain (and physical violence)! The second XXY child they did no intervention on, and at five years old, she has gravitated to being female. https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/06/09/lovingly-a-family-raises-an-intersex-child-again-2/

--#30ff As stated in the subtitle of the document, the Church is hoping for “dialogue” with families, school, professionals, society, etc., participating (always with an acknowledgment that parents are the first educators of their children) regarding the best information and milieu for children regarding sexuality. (It does mention Catholic schools specifically, also.) However, the home is truly the best locus for this. I believe the best support would be educating parents’ groups (often along with their teens at the same time), and helping them prepare their younger children for today’s hypersexualized, pornified, misinformation Sexual/Gender Revolution culture. See resources here:  www.tinyurl.com/TOBsexED  

Although we can always hope for true dialogue, and we must keep trying, the well-heeled, ever more powerful global LGBTQ+ movement has made deep inroads into law, governments, military, sports, education, teachers’ unions, media, news, entertainment, courts, academia, bio-ethics, hospitals, etc., and into the Catholic Church itself. We need an emergency-crisis-mode mentality. A wedge is being driven between parents and their children by many of the above-mentioned entities, now to the point that children can be legally removed from their homes by case workers to they can live as their “true selves” (viz., transgender—which the child has falsely been indoctrinated and persistently affirmed that they are) in a “trans-friendly”home/environment.

--#40 “Tolerance” is not a Christian virtue. Charity is. True charity is willing and doing the good of the other. "Tolerance applies to people, but never ideas. Intolerance applies to ideas, but never people." --Fulton Sheen





May 30, 2019

HOW "BIRTH CONTROL" BETRAYED WOMEN


"No one, no one tells young women how their body works. I know people who graduated from med school knowing only how to tell women to take the Pill."

OF COURSE, I disagree with her advice to go ahead and do condoms/contraception "if you're having sex with random people." Don't have sex with random people.

May 20, 2019

MOVIES: "US"



The new film, simply entitled “Us,” is the much anticipated follow-up to Jordan Peele’s runaway success “Get Out,” which won a 2018 Oscar for “Best Original Screenplay.” “Us” is not a sequel, but continues to tell African-American stories in the horror genre. I didn’t quite see how this was a social commentary (as is the delicious “Get Out”). The best I could figure—if it IS a social commentary at all—is that it’s a contrast between the privileged and underprivileged, those considered more human and less human. Either way, it’s a fun-enough thriller, although the pacing is inconsistent at times, with beats, scenes and sequences that are too drawn out, automatically dulling the suspense. Also, the mise-en-scene is almost too calculated and precise as to be antiseptic and remind us we are in a film.

A loving family of four: Mom, Dad, teenage girl and younger son set out on a family vacation at Santa Cruz beach, the very place that Mom had a harrowing experience as a young girl. She’s reluctant to go at first, but her sanguine husband convinces her. All is going swell…until it isn’t. A family of four (yes, Dad, Mom, daughter and son) in red jumpsuits suddenly shows up in the driveway. At night. Wielding scissors. The red-clad family are doppelgangers: primitive, feral, brute-like copies who immediately go on a murderous spree. Each family member is pursued by their own mirror-image. (Reminded me here of the excellent little film, “Coherence.”)

What do these miserable creatures want? Your life. No, not just to extinguish your life but to take it over. To live your life. To be you. The main character is the Mom and her nemesis (the only one of the humanoids that seems able to speak, albeit in a menacingly raspy voice). It’s personal, and yes, it’s related to Mom’s ordeal as a small child. What chance does the little family have confronted by these zombie-like beings? In an all-out war to survive, the family that slays together stays together. At a certain point, the kids must save the Mom (reminiscent of “Incredibles 2”). There is no danger that anyone will abandon ship and run for their lives, because “family means there are people who will die for you” (according to a play I once saw performed in Hollywood).

The storyline is unfussy and linear with a few flashbacks to Mom’s childhood experience.
Dad and others provide dark comic relief at the tensest moments. The gore is, blessedly, like an old school film, off camera (thank you, Mr. Peele!), while the blood splatters on the faces in the frame. The soundtrack is superb and intense, an experience and story within itself, busy and lively but never detracting or distracting from the visuals. There’s even a dance to the death at the end. Quite a marvelous metaphor.

Jeremiah 11:11 is the ominous theme. “No escape,” eh? Whether you know it or not, horror movies aren’t supposed to have happy endings.

OTHER STUFF:

--Is it social commentary when the monsters say “We are human, too”? “We are human beings, too?” “You could have taken us with you?” “It’s our time now?”When the only safe place is Mexico? When the police will take too long to save the night? When the family becomes vicious, hacking slaughterers themselves?

--Do the white rabbits represent experimentation or Alice in Wonderland or both?




March 27, 2019

MOVIES: "UNPLANNED"



Yeah. I saw it. Here are my endorsements. (In theaters March 29, 2019.)
#ShoutYourUNPLANNEDexperience

--"'Unplanned' is the film event of the twenty-first century."

--"'Unplanned' 'goes there' like no other film--with love and compassion--proving 'love is stronger than death.'"

--"'Unplanned' is a victory for all who want take a second look at what abortion really is. This is a win-win film!"

--"Truth wins. Forgiveness wins. Love wins. Life wins."

--"If you think this is a typical 'Christian film'? Guess again. It's fair, it's gritty. It's real."

--"Hard to watch? Only because, as Abby Johnson says, 'Abortion isn't pretty.' But abortion will not have the last word. Not in this film, not in history.'"

--"With serious talk of the horror of infanticide on the horizon, 'Unplanned' couldn't come at a better time."

--"This would be a horror film--if love and life didn't win in the end."
____________

The new feature film, “Unplanned”—the true story of Planned Parenthood director, Abby Johnson, who turned pro-life—is phenomenal. It’s rated “R” due to the violence that is abortion, or as Abby says in the film: “Abortion isn’t pretty.”

As is the trend today, the film is not chronological. It starts with the abortion that changed it all, the abortion Abby witnessed on an ultrasound machine, watching a baby struggle and fight for its life before it was suctioned out of the womb and reduced to pulp. We get bits and snatches of Abby’s life before working for the abortion industry, her own two abortions that she needed to justify by joining the anti-mothership itself:  Planned Parenthood.  Perfectly seasoned with just enough candid voiceover (a film like this really needs some narration of what the protagonist’s intentions are), we learn two mind-boggling mysteries. 1)  Abby really was na├»ve, was deceived as to what abortion is (she was convinced the fetus doesn’t feel pain, and that’s what she based her support for abortion on). 2) She, along with many of the southern, Texas women working at the clinic, were Christians and some even believed they were doing “God’s work,” helping “women in crisis.”

The film is incredibly fair to pro-aborts. It speaks from within their fatally-flawed logic. Good arguments are given to “the other side”—the problem is, those arguments will never be good enough. "Unplanned" also depicts the brand of shrill, shrieking, hostile, insulting pro-lifers who get few flies with their acrid vinegar—as they protest outside Abby’s clinic. The heroes of the film are the kind, prayerful “40 Days for Life” vigil-keepers at Abby’s Planned Parenthood who befriended her from the very beginning, before she rose up the ranks to become the PP director. When Abby’s eyes were finally opened, she knew exactly where to go, who to go to, who she could trust.

Although “Unplanned” has the look, feel and soundtrack of a typical “Christian film,” the rest of the content does not. This is a gritty film that “goes there” with no “easy” God solutions. Cheryl (Robia Scott, a Madeleine Stowe lookalike)—the PP director before Abby took over--gives an icy, Oscar-worthy performance. All the acting is superb, in fact, as well as the dialogue, which completely avoids platitudes, soundbites and catch-phrases of any kind. “Unplanned” is not the idea or theory of the rightness or wrongness of abortion, it is the everyday, lived business of abortion. Nowhere does the fact of a de facto ideology of abortion come to light more clearly than when Abby is given a baby shower in the abortion clinic. It’s a baby if I want it. It’s a baby if I say it is. If I don’t want it or say it isn’t? It’s not. No incongruity there! The “triumph of the will” is on full display but in a subtle, mundane way (“the banality of evil”). The “impose” worldview is hard at work: Nothing “is what it is” or has any value until I say so, until I impose my ideas, meanings and values on that thing or person. I am not only the master of my own destiny but the master of everything and everyone around me. I am speaking of the social engineers of abortion. The film also shows many young, lost, confused, unsure, scared, hesitant women who have assumed that because it’s legal, it must be OK. Also, the fact that everyone in the clinic wears scrubs and a (surly) doctor performs the procedure, what could go wrong?

“Unplanned” will educate you about abortion. Educate you about facts you may not have known. You will be educated by someone who directed one of the largest Planned Parenthoods in the Western Hemisphere for eight years, until she was asked to assist with an abortion—for the first time--and saw the ultrasound….

I met Abby shortly after she turned pro-life and know many more of the details or her amazing conversion. The film is incredibly faithful to her story. Not only that, this was a difficult film to make in every way: the writing, the acting, questions of what to show/how much to show/how to show it, the editing, etc.--and the filmmakers succeeded, far better than I would ever have dreamed. This may not be a “perfect film,” but it’s a “perfectly made film.” It’s everything it needed to be. One would even have been able to call it “entertaining” because of the almost unbelievable story-line and plot twists, the way it draws you in and never lags--except that this is a story of death and destruction of the lives of women and children on a massive scale.

The fence between the abortion clinic and the pro-lifers becomes a poignant symbol throughout the film and is well utilized, as are so many other cinematic storytelling devices.

A few minor drawbacks: the actress who plays Abby could’ve come across as a little more strong-willed (as is the real Abby); the soundtrack is cloying at times, at other times when scenes was screaming for silence, snatches of bombastic Christian songs are plopped in. The immediate aftermath of Abby’s conversion was almost anticlimactic in its ho-hum normality. But maybe that was the point. No trumpets went off, no awards were handed out. But little by little the personal and public triumph grows, with all the love, gentleness and sweetness of hundreds of red and white roses.

OTHER STUFF:

--The abortion on the ultrasound is not an actual abortion. Authentically simulated.

--Should I bring young people to see this film?
This is what I told one mum:

Only a parent knows each child and what they can handle. I would say a mature 13 year old who already knows what abortion is and has a steady fare of today's media could handle. A sheltered child? Maybe not so much. Nothing terribly graphic except an ultrasound (shown 3 times) of a baby being sucked out of the mother's womb (baby loses a leg in the process)...then we see a closeup of the blood and "pulp" in the tubes. It should be rated "R" because abortion is a horror, of course. Also lots of women in distress and some blood and gore when a woman takes the "morning after pill" and it doesn't go so well.

--Anyone who goes to see this film and has participated in an abortion in any way is going to be deeply moved and may want to avail themselves of counseling/healing. Here are some organizations that can help:

www.hopeafterabortion.com  (post-abortion healing)
www.SistersOfLife.org  (help for women in crisis pregnancies)
www.rachelsvineyard.org (retreat for men & women wounded by abortion)
www.heartbeatinternational.org (the largest worldwide network of aid to pregnant women)

--Remember, many on the pro-abortion side outright lie that pro-lifers are not concerned about the woman and only want the baby to be born. “Catholic Charities” (the charitable arm of Catholic dioceses in the USA) and many other organizations (see above) have all kinds of assistance to mother and child before, during and after birth, including housing, job training and child care.


--After landing role of Abby Johnson, "Unplanned" actress finds out she was almost aborted. (Here she also states that she's willing to be blacklisted in Hollywood for taking the role.)









March 8, 2019

WHAT'S AT STAKE WHEN A CHILD SELF-IDENTIFIES AS "TRANSGENDER"


Can a Child Really Self-Identify as Transgender? (The Silencing of Discussion, Therapy, Debate, Research--4,500% increase of ROGD in girls--Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria--Using Suicide as a Threat)

A Brave "Inclusion Expert" Educator Stands Up For Youth:

The role of online/digital/social media in ROGD:
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0202330