by Tyler O’Neil
Gender ideology preys upon the young, convincing girls and boys that they were “born in the wrong body” and rushing them onto experimental drugs, hormones, and surgeries that will leave them stunted, scarred, and infertile. Yet the ostensible Catholic who currently occupies the Oval Office not only supports this horror but had the gall to condemn those who would protect children from it as “sinful” and “cruel.”
President Joe Biden slammed the Florida Health Department’s efforts that prioritize counseling over medical transitions for children, calling these efforts “close to sinful” and “cruel.” The president emphasized the humanity of children who struggle with an identity at odds with their biological sex, saying, “They love, they have feelings, they have inclinations”—as if to suggest that the Florida Health Department considers these kids as subhuman.
Biden didn’t address the horrific outcomes of transgender medical interventions, which Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ team highlighted in a gruesome—yet revealing—video responding to Biden. The president also didn’t address the recent scandal in St. Louis, Missouri, in which a pro-transgender whistleblower claimed that a gender clinic rushed kids into medical transitions on extremely flimsy grounds.
Biden also didn’t address Pope Francis’ statement Friday—three days before Biden’s remarks aired Sunday—that “the ideology of gender” is “one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations,” denying “the richness … of men and women, and of all humanity” in “the tension of the differences.”
Instead, Biden adopted religious language to advance a cause directly opposite from the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church and from the witness of Scripture and Christian tradition for the past 2,000 years. He adopted the moral authority to declare sinful what Catholicism doesn’t consider sinful, and to advocate a teaching that contradicts Genesis 1:27, thus turning Christianity on its head.
This moral inversion reminds me of a similar episode in my own life. While in D.C. one summer, I attended a service at Washington National Cathedral in which the priest preached against “the sin of heterosexism.”
Christians must live out compassion and we must remember—as redeemed sinners ourselves—not to strut about as if we are morally superior to those who struggle with different sins and temptations. Yet the notion that “heterosexism” is a sin doesn’t just entail condemning an animus against people who struggle with same-sex attraction. It also suggests that the moral endorsement of heterosexual activity (in certain contexts) over homosexual activity is itself a violation of God’s law.
In this short statement, the priest compared historic Christian teaching on sexuality to racism and sexism. The priest suggested that the doctrine of marriage as the union of male and female for life—which St. Paul describes as a “mystery” prefiguring the marriage of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:31-33)—traces back to ignorant animus against gays, rather than a fundamental truth of the universe. It is hard to fathom the pride and disobedience of such a statement.
Similarly, Biden’s remarks defending experimental medical interventions for children in the name of transgender identity appear to signal a political weaponization of his religious faith unmoored from its actual tenets. Only when the president’s Catholicism becomes a political tool can he wield it to advance goals directly at odds with the basic tenets of his mother church.
Besides Francis’ condemnations of transgender ideology, the Bible speaks to gender issues, condemning cross-dressing (Deuteronomy 22:5, 1 Corinthians. 11:3-15) and teaching that God created humans male and female.
Both the Old Testament and the New Testament urge believers to serve the orphan and the widow, and Jesus warns his disciples about children, saying that “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:5-6).
The Bible doesn’t directly weigh in on many political issues, but it strains credulity to imagine that Jesus approves of telling children the lie that they are really members of the opposite sex and urging them to take experimental drugs with long-term consequences to which they arguably cannot consent, setting them on a path to removing perfectly healthy sex organs.
It’s hard to imagine anything more cruel than that.
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Tyler O’Neil is managing editor of The Daily Signal and the author of “Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center.”