The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and other conservative religious leaders released a letter last week denouncing acceptance and tolerance of transgender people. The letter also called for governments to create a legal and legislative climate hostile to transgender people. Much of the language was couched in code words and bland platitudes about love and tolerance, but the meat of the letter told a much different story to those of us on the receiving end of their "love."
(RELATED: Catholic Bishops: Trans People Don't Exist)
I wanted other people to understand what was really written, so I fed this letter into my Google Religious Bullshit-to-English translator, and this is what came out.
As leaders of various communities of faith working to oppress LGBT people around the world with 'Kill the Gays' and 'No Homo Propaganda' laws, many of us came together in the past to affirm our commitment to lost causes, namely keeping gay people from being able to get legally married. We still can't believe we lost Ireland, and remain butt-hurt over Australia. We were so sure conflating gay with transgender was going to work.
We now come together to join our voices in a pursuit of vilifying and oppressing a different group of people by ignoring all the anthropological, archaeological, biological, and sociological evidence. We assert that there's only two sexes, and sex is totally the same thing as gender, because everyone knows boys like trucks, and girls like staying at home and making babies. We're not holding out much hope that this message will get to the 1.2 billion Hindus who have a 3,000-year cultural tradition of a third-sex, but they're all going to Hell anyway so what do we care?
We acknowledge and affirm that we really, really love everyone, including the deluded abominations. Really. We're totally not saying this so people won't think we're bigots and haters. We think God never makes mistakes. Except intersex and transgender people. We'll ignore the intersex people for now and hope you don't remember that biological tidbit. But God definitely did NOT make transgender people to be transgender. Now we'll quote something from the Bible out of context and present it in a completely literalist way that ignores the biological reality of intersex people, while leaving out the parts that suggest transgender people existed in the time of the New Testament and that God was ok with them.
We really don't get the whole gender dysphoria thing, because it's too hard and complicated, and we don't feel like making the effort to approach this from any sort humanistic, cultural, historical, or scientific standpoint. So, we're going to rely on dogma and Biblical literalism instead. That ALWAYS works out well. I mean, we forgave Galileo in what, 1989, right? But, we're definitely not advocating that anyone should directly physically harm the deluded abominations who will destroy all of creation if we continue to allow them to exist in public. We would never advocate for people to take personal responsibility for eradicating the demons whose sole purpose is to destroy all of God's creation and warp our children into monstrosities. That's why we're just asking governments to do this for us.
As Catholics, we're totally freaking out over the idea that people might have some level of bodily autonomy, including choosing not to have more children. We totally believe the world is running out of people, and that all these claims that 'we're in the middle of the sixth great mass extinction event because of over-population and global warming' is a bunch of liberal propaganda. Instead, we're going to rely on a couple of doctors who share our religious views to make claims that run counter to the overwhelming consensus. Rejecting your children and subjecting them to reparative therapy is totally the right thing to do to your children if they come out as delusional God-hating abominations. I mean, living your entire life in the closet never made any of our priests act out, amiright?
We reject the millions of deluded freaks and their lived experiences, and encourage everyone to verbally abuse them until they skulk back into the closet. It is SO unfair that people think doing this is mean; we're just exercising our religious right to harass people until they live in accordance with our beliefs. The people who think we're meanies just hate religious freedom and God.
We wish everyone health and happiness. Except the God-destroying deluded abominations, who need to be extirpated from public life as soon as possible to save all the good people like us. Thus, we demand that governments pass laws designed to drive them underground. These laws should allow good people like us to make them as miserable, lonely, and impoverished as possible. For their own good, of course. After calling for cultural genocide, though, we want to again remind people again that we totally really love the deluded God-killing abominations, and wish them the best.*
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(*Best is defined as "spending the rest of their lives in the closet for fear of persecution and poverty.")
BRYNN TANNEHILL is a former naval aviator who currently serves on the boards of SPARTA and the Trans United Fund. She has nearly 300 published articles across a dozen platforms. She lives in Northern Virginia with her wife and three children.