Friday, April 8, 2016

Msgr. Charles Pope: God, Our Bodies and Creation

The following comes from Msgr. Pope at NCR:

Our body is revelation because it comes from God with a specific design. Through it, God is teaching us; He is revealing His truth, just as He does in the whole of His creation and in the sacred Scriptures.

The notion that our bodies have anything to say to us, let alone teach us, is not popular today. Indeed, there seems today to be a great divorce of the human person from the body. For many moderns, the body is little more than a machine that can be redesigned and accessorized at will.

This mentality finds its most extreme form in the widespread sexual confusion of our day. It is a kind of resurgent Gnostic dualism in which one’s “identity” is something separate from one’s body. And thus there is the idea that one can be a woman trapped in a man’s body, a man trapped in a woman’s body, or any of 50-some-odd other categories (see Facebook) within a fluid notion of “gender.”

Nothing could be more clear than our sex as disclosed by our body. We are either male or female. But to many moderns, our body has nothing to say to us, nothing to reveal to us about our own self.

But just try to say to supporters of “transgenderism” that a person is quite obviously male or female, that it is clearly indicated by the very structure of the body. The usual response is a blank stare followed by the insistence that the body has little to do with it, that feelings and attractions are what matters.

This same scenario plays out when speaking with those who support homosexual acts. Saying to them that the design of the body reveals the flawed nature of homosexual acts, that the body parts don’t “fit” in this way and that something is obviously amiss elicits blank stares and a sort of incredulity that the body really has anything to do with it.

It is pure Gnostic dualism, an almost complete divorce of the human person from the body. Only feelings, attractions, and thoughts matter; the body is irrelevant. In our culture we have elevated feelings to such an extent that we seem to have lost our reason. Indeed, if someone from a mere ten years in the past, let alone fifty, were dropped forward into our time, he would conclude that we had lost our minds or become delusional, denying the obvious reality right before our very eyes.

Our time traveler, unaffected by recent errors in thinking, would make the (once) common sense assessment that an obviously male person who thinks he is actually a female needs psychological help and healing. He needs our sympathy and offer of help, not our encouragement of his delusion. Our time traveler would marvel at the shocking and collective delusion of a culture that so widely approves of and even celebrates such sad confusion.

And so here we are as a culture. Yet here we are and in such a bad state that there are so-called “bathroom bills” in various phases of the legislative process in many states, to require that people must use the public bathroom that conforms with their biological “gender” (we used to call this a person’s sex). Even five years ago, such a legislated requirement would have needed no law to spell it out; it was axiomatic, just common sense. But the reaction to such legislation today has elicited denunciation and calls for boycotts.

How have so many gotten so lost so quickly?

Read the rest here.

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