Friday, June 05, 2015

One more time: About Caitlyn Jenner

She looks fabulous - no doubt about it.

People who read too many blogs and watch too much news are sick and tired of the Caitlyn Jenner story, right?

Nevertheless - it's important to discuss the phenomenon.  Jenner has become the spokes-model for the transgender/transsexual 'community'.  There have been other high profile transgender personalities, Chaz Bono might be the most notable.  Bono's transition, female to male, was a sort of evolution from same sex attraction to sexual reassignment surgery.  He enjoyed some time in the spotlight but nothing like what Jenner is experiencing.

Jenner's case is most startling because he identified as a heterosexual male - a famous athlete, a 'family' man - 3 wives, with children from each marriage.  He claims to have struggled all of his life with gender dysphoria - but he is not attracted to men.  He has had psychiatric evaluation, counselling, and therapy over the decades, and finally committed to go through with the transgender identity.

That said, it's interesting that many non-professionals seem able to diagnose Jenner as suffering from mental illness - while his psychiatrists and counselors reassure him whenever he vocalized second thoughts - as he did when going through facial feminization surgery.  That's a very strange curiosity which should be investigated.  Especially considering the movement to ban any sort of reparative therapy for same-sex attracted, gender confused children. LGBTQ activists and many in the psychiatric profession are against any sort of intervention in these cases - going so far as to lobby for legislation against it.  As I said, Jenner is a sort of spokes-model for transgender/transsexual people now - which is why these things need to be discussed openly and honestly. Something is off in the psychiatric profession/industry.  And that is why the discussions about Jenner - positive or negative - are very important.

Deeper issues.

In the past few days, I've speculated on the connection between feminist ideology/spirituality and the effect of gender ideology and pagan metaphor which may influence contemporary attitudes regarding identity and sexuality, while others have discussed the phenomenon in terms of idolatry.  As one author pointed out: "Modern idolatry is our desperate self-veneration through things we have made ..."

Likely driven by serious mental illness and pushed by a manipulative media, Jenner, in attempting to change his face and thus his identity, has made his identity an idol, "a face which is not a face" but a mask of his own making. He sets himself at the center of reality, reducing reality to his desires. The false identity—the graven image—which Jenner has fashioned for himself is a lie: the false face he paid surgeons to craft for him, the false body he robes in the guise of femininity, the false name he has taken on—these works of Jenner's hands are the form of a false god.
And the relativistic culture, seeking a new idol, pays tribute at his feet. - Catholic World Report

 It is an excellent essay on the subject.  However, I'm not sure about the serious mental illness diagnosis made by non-professionals.  Especially when the professionals involved in transgender/transsexual care do not use the same terminology.  We may consider it insane - but the medical-psychiatric profession doesn't.  In fact - the medical treatment/surgical transition is supposed to be the cure.  It seems to me we are moving towards a point where there will be no diagnosable mental illness which can't be modified or controlled by some sort of medical intervention.  In other words, what seems to be happening is the attempt to accomplish the elimination of suffering through pharmaceutical and surgical intervention.   This sort of healthcare, joined to a non-religious spirituality, can act as a sort of neo-shaminism.  What is disordered can be declared ordered, transcended and spiritualized and integrated through an altered consciousness of self - in and through conscious evolution.  Conscious evolution towards a whole new planetary system.  The New Age connections are deeply embedded in gender ideology - whether or not its subjects are consciously aware of it or not.

Christians do need guidance on these issues... but.

Yet I object to those who want to silence personal opinion and observation stemming from the confusion which erupted over the Caitlyn Jenner reveal.  People need to be free to express themselves on the issue, even at the risk of condemning Jenner's actions.  He's a public personality, a well known athlete, a 'reality show' star, a superficial fashion/pop idol, as it were.  I discussed the weird spiritual goddess worship metaphor, I also did a post praising 'the look' - from a purely superficial, fashion-entertainer viewpoint.  Never condemned the person - simply labeling the outcome as a gender stereotype - but he/she looks good.  (I used to work in fashion display - so it is like critiquing a good mannequin.)

Of course we should have empathy and compassion for him in his sufferings - but his doctors and handlers tell him he's just fine - and, he seems to love the spotlight and is happy with his looks.  Not a lot to feel sorry about there.  If he's suffering - he doesn't know it.

To call everyone else out for not being more sensitive is pretty much a load of crap.  How should Christians really respond to Caitlyn Jenner?

For starters, religious leaders need to point out what's wrong with this picture - while being considerate of the person of course.  Unless you are a psychological professional, I'd resist any sort of medical/psychological diagnosis - unless you feel you can voice your personal opinion - despite the fact you may not want others to do so - especially if it is negative.

For all intents and purposes, it seems to me the affliction is a spiritual malady, a spiritual disconnect or disorder.

I don't think all that many people are actually condemning Jenner - I think they are condemning the procedure and the resulting caricature.  For some, scorn and laughter is a coping mechanism, a visceral reaction to what seems to be an absurdity.  For others, the very idea is repulsive and disgusting.  Others see it as an assault on human nature, a degradation of women, or manliness.

Being welcoming?  What would Jesus do?  I hate it when people talk like that.

This is serious, grave matter, which affects family life and human nature, therefore society.

Gender ideology is pushed in our face round the clock these days.  We are forced to watch: Jenner's new persona is staring out from newsstands, online, on television news, radio talk shows,  LGBTQ - Gender politics is everywhere.  Is Jenner asking to join your parish?  Welcome him there, then.  Does he want to be Catholic - good - come on in.

He/she's not asking that though.  Of course he wants to be accepted - and we've pretty much done that.  He's also coming out and wants our approval.  He wants our applause.  He wants our praise.  He wants our viewership.  We don't have to do that if we don't want to.

We may not demonize Jenner or transgender persons, but we certainly can demonize the process, the ideology which supports it.

“Let us be on guard against colonization by new ideologies. 
There are forms of ideological colonization 
which are out to destroy the family.”
- Pope Francis


  1. I read this and am left with an even strong sense of the tragedy that is Bruce Jenner.

  2. I just read an article by a transgender individual who was born a boy, took on the identity of a woman, and changed back to male. According to him the suicide rate among the transgendered is over 30% How Bruce Jenner feels after ten years will be interesting...if he lives that long. Prayer is certainly in order. He will lead many astray. And no matter how much makeup he wears and how many hormones he takes and what he calls himself, Bruce Jenner is still a man.

    1. I posted a piece on what Archbishop Cordileone said about gender ideology - it ties in with some of the stuff I've been writing about as regards neo-pagan spirituality and genderlessness. It will publish after midnight.

      Many are deceived by all of this and Jenner's choices will influence many.

    2. Thanks, Terry, your posts are absolutely on target with this.

  3. Anonymous11:10 PM

    I think I watched a partial episode of the kardashians quite a while back. I didn't know anything about them & I was shocked when I saw Beuce Jenner beiefly on the show. I had to google to find out he was married to the mother. At the time I thought he came off as a bit jealous of all the limelight the females received & all the glamour around them. I wonder if it weren't for that ridiculous reality show, if Brucey wouldn't still be Brucey, without a thought about any such notion as a sex change.

    1. Hi Gette!

      That idea crossed my mind as well.

  4. “Bruce is an autogynephiliac rather than a homosexual. In his interview, he insisted, somewhat aggressively, that he is not gay (and he laughed off the question of whether his transitioned self will be a lesbian). He’s not interested in becoming just any kind of woman. He’s interested in being the kind of woman that he, as a man, has found seductive. Bizarre as its manifestation may be, his derangement is not all that different from the derangement of a supercharged porn addict...” Read more: How to Preach About Bruce Jenner


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