The Pentagon announced that it will now allow transgendered individuals to serve in the military under their preferred sex. The military health care system will also provide hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery to current servicemen and women who wish to transition to another sex.
So far “transgender” has involved men identifying themselves as women, and vice versa. But now another option has been legally recognized, changing your sex to “non-binary.” This is being described as neither one nor the other, “a third sex.”
Perhaps this is the utopian ideal that all of the other sex and gender controversies have been pointing to. Eliminating sex and gender as categories all together. An individual might fall in love with another individual–or have sexual desire for that person–and it doesn’t matter what sexes or genders are involved. The begetting of children has been ruled out anyway, so what does it matter? (Is there any way to answer this? We can invoke nature, but those caught up in these ideologies reject nature, though it always seems to have its way eventually.)
More from Mary Eberstadt and her new book, discussing how sex is the sacrament for the new religion and abortion is its sacred ritual. She also notes how if abortion proponents were truly “pro-choice,” there would be times for abortion’s defenders to choose against it, but this never happens. She also observes that people aren’t losing their jobs for self-publishing books against, say, stealing. No one gets in trouble for citing the Book of Ruth. Rather, virtually all of the opposition to Christianity and to religious liberty today derives from Christianity’s opposition to the sexual revolution.
Secular progressivism has assumed the form of an institutionalized religion, complete with orthodox dogmas that may not be questioned, saints and demons, sacraments and rituals. It has become a church–not the beneficent kind, but the sort that squelches liberty and seeks to punish non-believers.
Roman Catholicism famously doesn’t believe in divorce. But it does believe in annulments, a procedure which determines that for one reason or another–immaturity, not knowing what they are getting into, etc.–a valid marriage never took place.
The implication is that many couples who had a church wedding and a marriage license, who have had children together, and who have lived their whole lives together are not really married. I suppose this comes out if the couple wants to break up the marriage and, if they are Catholic, receive an annulment, but even if they stay together, they can never really know if they are married.
I would say that, from a Lutheran perspective, this is another example of Roman Catholicism’s being not nearly sacramental enough. Catholics believe that marriage is a sacrament, but the objective sacrament doesn’t make the marriage, just the subjective experience of long ago when they first became married. Similarly, Catholics can’t really know if they have been saved, even though they have been baptized, received Holy Communion, etc.
This is also an example of legalism in religion, in which laws that are too difficult to fulfill are, in practice, weakened by creating technicalities and loopholes that make it easier to accomplish while defeating the whole purpose of the original law. (If you don’t believe in divorce because marriage is a sacrament and thus permanent, don’t have annulments either! These are just divorces by another name, even though they “save the appearances” of permanent marriage by declaring that a marriage never happened, though at the expense of your whole sacramental theology.)
Anyway, the Pope last week said that, because of the lack of commitment, “the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null.” His handlers later edited the original transcript to change “the great majority” to “some,” but still. . . .If so many people who have gotten married are really just living together, committing fornication and their children illegitimate (to use other Catholic categories), then the line between wedlock and cohabitation is fatally blurred. If marriage, however, is a VOCATION, a calling from God, it’s a different story. [Read more…]