Even a year ago, I was completely blind to the spiritual danger of the rising transgender movement.
I conceptualized transgenderism as a treatable societal malignancy, which would not cause widespread problems if it could somehow be contained within the confines of an otherwise “cisnormative” (read: normal!) society. After all, even using bloated figures from activist groups, transgender people constituted, at most, around 3% of the population.
Sure, I was on board with disdaining the LGBT outrage machine, the idea that there are more than two sexes, and the legal codification of endless mandated “preferred pronoun” lists, but that was basically as deep as my opposition could really go ideologically.
I discovered that there was a small contingent of transgender people who sought to tackle what I saw as ideological excesses from within, and I began to browse their content. Part of me, influenced as I was by the prevailing “harm none, do as thou wilt” radical individualism of modern society, felt a certain affection for those people, who were clearly suffering deeply with their affliction but chose a route other than tyrannical victimhood in order to deal with it.
I certainly felt – and in many ways still feel – a great amount of compassion for these individuals, as opposed to edgy teenage bisexual girls on Twitter or gender-of-the-week college communists. After all, these people did not exist within a vacuum, but within a sickened society that had long ago embraced a false feminist history as reality and was now living with the detonation of gender landmines laid long ago.
Why would a person choose to be transgender? Why would a person choose to feel so revolted by his sex mentally that he would be willing to do just about anything to himself physically to rectify the disunity?
Cancer- and disease-causing hormones, phalloplasty, permanent wounds masquerading as female genitalia, puberty-blockers for pre-teens, and other grotesques better suited to a museum exhibit on Josef Mengele…these were the treatments available. This was it. This was the best that we, in all our secular modern medical brilliance, had to offer these people. These people, with their astronomical rates of anxiety, depression, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and suicide, were being offered demonic distortion of their bodies as a solution, at the hands of top surgeons and doctors making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
What a waste of human lives. How could this be?
In the warm light of grace, it was clear. I had been driven insane, just like them. The idea that I could in any way tolerate this, could act as though it could be contained at some “acceptable” level, was proof enough of that. As I have come to realize in regard to many other issues, Peter Kwasniewski was correct when he wrote that “conservatism is liberalism in slow motion.”
Looking at the crisis in the Church today, I see disturbing parallels. More than parallels, I see one spirit at work, within the Church and outside it. I don’t plan to fester in my own self-righteous insanity, pretending that if I just make a deal with this devil, I’ll be able to ignore it and wait for it to go away. This time, I’m fighting, in whatever little way God gives me to make war.
This spirit of the age began taking root a long time ago, but it was not truly unleashed until the middle of the twentieth century, with the sexual revolution and the Second Vatican Council, respectively. The Second Vatican Council could not change the Church in her divine element. It could only mutilate the human element almost beyond recognition, which it did. The feminists, the sexual revolution, and transgenderism could not change the reality of how God created man and woman. These could only warp, twist, mutilate, and disfigure this reality of who we are.
What happens when women, created as tabernacles of life, to be cherished and protected by men, decide that they wish to rule over men instead? Miserable “independent” women lost children, hundreds of thousands of abortions, falling birth rates – the list goes on. The natural evolution of this gender disobedience is the very transgenderism we now see spreading. It is malignant, all right. A cancer. Even secular observers are beginning to acknowledge it as such. It’s no longer enough for feminists to take the place of men while proclaiming how evil men are – they must destroy man altogether, and woman along with him.
What happens when this rebelliousness takes root within the Church? When sons and daughters of the Church decide they do not need parents to tell them what to do and would be better off if they drove out their good and faithful Fathers, making sure their Mother would be left to fend for herself? When priests and especially bishops, created to be patriarchs and protectors over their bride, decide to go along with their children and abandon her – or worse, to abuse her themselves?
We know what happens. We are living through it. I am astounded by the speed at which these bad fruits are rotting. There is a heaviness about everything, a perceptible feeling of alarm and danger that is growing harder to ignore for anyone who has even a fragment of the sensus Catholicus left intact.
I would posit that in a very real and frightening way, the Catholic Church is undergoing her own reassignment surgery at the hands of Pope Francis and his collaborators. No longer is Christ the King, with absolute authority over doctrine and discipline in His Church, through his vicar and the bishops united with him. Instead, the “synodal Church” is being foisted upon us, wherein the subjects tell the King what to do.
No longer does the moral law of the Church reign in the hearts of her children with absolute expectations for behavior, binding under pain of mortal sin when violated if forgiveness and reconciliation are not sought. Instead, these expectations are simply an “ideal” that must only be met if an individual person is able to make the effort.
Many other examples could be given, but the result is the same: no matter how much those in power in the Church try to mutilate what the Church really is on the outside, to align her with their internal machinations, she remains as God created her.
We, as members of the Body of Christ, are experiencing the gender dysphoria of the Church in different ways.
For most of us reading this, this dysphoria is simply childish feelings of rebellion, asking ourselves why the Church couldn’t be more aligned to what we feel is right in this or that teaching. Tomboy girls who wanted to play dinosaurs instead of barbies. Eventually, we grew up. We realized that the Church is what she is, and it was up to us to conform to reality.
Unfortunately, it is not the sane who currently preside in the halls of power.
For those in the hierarchy who are orchestrating these barbaric ecclesial medical procedures, this dysphoria took another turn. These men did not put aside childish things. Instead, they decided that reality is not acceptable relative to their feelings and set off on a decades-long mission to make God and His Church in their image. Little boys who wanted to wear makeup were outraged that their fathers would dare tell them that boys must eventually grow up into men.
The transgender issue is an interesting microcosm to observe, but it is only one head of a writhing Hydra. This evil spirit seeks to destroy every remaining vestige of categorization and hierarchy in order to bring about the perfect society of chaos, dressed up in the utopian delusions of queer philosophers, wishful socialists, and all other useful servants.
Witting or unwitting, entirely culpable or not, we know that these people can only serve one master, and it is the prince of this world whom they have chosen to call king. The only true charity is to pray for their conversion. The only true mercy is to give their toxic ideas no quarter.
Stefanie Nicholas is an unexpected Catholic convert from a (very lapsed) Greek Orthodox background. The history of the Crusades played a positive role in her faith journey, and she believes firmly that the Rosary will save the world. Readers can connect with her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @StefMNicholas.