It’s hard to see things as they are. When what I see sets off prophetic alarms, I am tempted to look away and dull myself with pleasantries. Jesus helps us. On this first Sunday of Advent (and the first day of the Church’s new year), He snaps us out of sleep, rouses us from our revelries. ‘Be watchful!’ He implores His disciples, ‘Be on the alert! You do not know when the time will come!’ (Mk. 13:33)
Let me give you an example. I had a tough week and I just wanted to have fun with one of my grandkids. We went to a cool museum designed to offer any toddler adventurous fun. It delivered. On the way out we encountered a massive statement on the wall that referenced diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. For kids. Casting vision of sexual fluidity for the next generation.
Painful to look at. Alarm bells ringing in my head, I couldn’t shake the insanity of a place dedicated to kids that unwittingly seeks to undermine their process of becoming integrated, fruitful adults. Godless. A flight from gender clarity is a flight from the One whose image we bear. However well-intentioned, such ‘inclusivity’ fosters confusion, rebellion, and pride in false justice. Adults who allow kids to guide them onto the rainbow path abet their dehumanization.
We cry out with Isaiah: ‘Why do You let us wander, O Lord, from Your ways, and harden our hearts so that we fear You not?’ (Is. 63:17)
I wrestled with what to do. I could not not do anything. The bells kept ringing. Stay awake! So I picked up the phone and to my shock was instantly speaking to the executive director. What to say? I thanked her for the fine museum and corrected her for excluding people like me from her inclusivity statement. ‘No person of serious faith is comfortable with casting vision for a child’s gender alternatives…’She intimated that I was racist; I politely challenged the link between ethnic rights and the ever-evolving nature of sexual identities. I asked her if I might nuance my concern with an email, which I sent quickly and included:
‘It is difficult to be a child today. We must make every effort to confirm the value of each one in his boyhood or her girlhood. I am all for the diverse ways we image gender in our unique personalities as male or female; I oppose the notion that a child is ontologically ‘gay’ or ‘trans.’ That imposes an unbearable burden on any child…I contend that sexual identity ‘options’ are not helpful to children and the necessary developmental task to secure identification with their birth sex and same-gender peer group...Children just want to belong. Parents can and must learn to confirm in love the trustworthy nature of a child’s biological destiny, especially in the woke gender revolution harassing families today…Though your inclusivity statement may well comfort LGBTQ+ adults, it adds to the burden of children who need clear confirmation of their dignity as male or female.’
I did not hear back from her. I am ok with that. I hope she considers the dangers of the gender ‘spectrum’ on kids. Maybe she will reconsider her take on Christians as irrational bigots. Maybe she will wake up a little.
I woke up. Advent sounds an alarm to us and provokes us to see. And act. ‘May He not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: “Watch!”’ (Mk. 13:37)