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Protecting Children and Marriage

By Susan Ciancio

If you have spent any time on social media the last few days, you will have seen that one of the things the month of June is known for is Pride Month—a month for those in the LGBTQ community to celebrate pride in their sexuality.

Pride, according to Merriam-Webster, is “reasonable self-esteem: confidence and satisfaction in oneself.”

Certainly we all want to have a healthy view of ourselves. And we want the same for our children. But today, it seems that people—young people especially—see themselves only or primarily as sexual beings. They put sexuality first and foremost in life and disregard all of the beautiful and wonderful things that make us who we are as individuals. They often fail to understand that we are so much more than whom we are attracted to.

Same-sex attraction can be a heavy cross for people to carry. Likewise, gender dysphoria—the feeling that a person was born as the wrong sex—can be a heavy cross.

When we encounter people with same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria, we must become like Simon of Cyrene and help them carry their cross. That means we acknowledge that it’s heavy and we allow compassion and love for our fellow human beings to guide us as we walk with them. We must never treat anyone with hatred or disgust, we must speak kindly and with conviction, and we must uphold their dignity as human beings and as beloved children of God. We must, as Atticus Finch taught, “climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Remember, these people are someone’s children.

However, we cannot let misguided compassion change our beliefs or alter the truth that males are males and females are females. We cannot alter our teachings on chastity and morality, and we cannot lie to people and tell them they should surgically or chemically alter their bodies and live as the opposite sex.

God created us as male and female. Barring chromosomal abnormalities, we human beings are one or the other. Our bodies reveal whether we are male or female. But this is not only shown through our external genitalia; our bones, our muscles, and every part of our DNA confirm which sex we are.

Think about it this way: Gender dysphoria is the only body dysmorphia diagnosis where the body is encouraged to conform to what the mind believes. This is not the case for those suffering from diagnoses such as bulimia, anorexia, or body integrity identity disorder—a “mental health condition where you feel that a limb or healthy body part shouldn’t be part of your body.” Doctors don’t encourage increased vomiting. Doctors don’t affirm the 90-pound woman’s belief that she’s fat. Doctors don’t amputate a leg when its owner feels it doesn’t belong. Doctors treat the condition so that the person learns to love him/herself.

They should do the same with those suffering from gender dysphoria.

This is love, for love is wanting what is best for another person. Helping someone—especially a child—to live as the opposite sex is profoundly wicked and unloving. Getting that person help so they feel an inherent pride in their natural body is love.

Our all-knowing, all-loving Father created us out of pure love. He makes no mistakes. And He wants what is best for us. Where things get messy is when we put our wants before His and where we allow ourselves to identify as only a sexual being.

Today, many in society see sexuality as the most important thing. But it is only part of who we are.

What about marriage?

As Catholics, we believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman and that it should be a lifetime commitment. Human sexuality is ordered to be between a man and a woman, as male and female bodies are complementary. Only when the two unite sexually can a new life be created (yes, a new human being can be created via IVF, but that still requires the union of the sperm and the egg). The uterus—found only in a female—is the only organ not made for the person it is inside. It is made for the baby.

Catholics also believe that two people should engage in intercourse only when married. This is because sexuality has both a unitive and procreative aspect. It allows the couple to express their love, and it sometimes creates a child. Outside of marriage, sex is considered a sin. That holds true for those who are heterosexual and those who are homosexual.

This is one of the many reasons that it is sinful for couples to live together outside of marriage. Not only do these couples have higher rates of divorce and usually use artificial contraception (which is also a sin), but they enter into the relationship as a mere convenience or as a trial, holding part of themselves back from the other, which belies the sacred commitment the two could only have when married.

Marriage is a sacrament, and it should be a lifetime commitment where the couple works together through the good and the bad. Each person is charged with helping the other—and any future children—get to heaven. There is just not this same level of commitment when people are living together.

So as we go through Pride Month, let us remember our pride as children of God. Let us reflect on the dignity of all people, and let us never refrain from teaching the sanctity and beauty of a sacramental marriage.

The Culture of Life Studies Program’s lesson on marriage—entitled Marriage and Family—addresses threats to marriage today and teaches middle school students that God created marriage between one man and one woman. Through the lives of saints and saintly couples, students learn how they can stand up and defend marriage and the family in our society.

We need morally strong young people today. More and more couples are choosing to live together before marriage. Many do not see the importance of raising their children Catholic. And people are forgetting that marriage is the foundation of society and that children need both a mother and a father to thrive. These threats to marriage and the family are devastating and will only be overcome when we as a society stand up for the sanctity of marriage.

Marriage and Family is on sale for just 1/3 of the normal price. Order today!