By Susan Ciancio
The opening line of a recent article reads: “A 12-year-old student was allegedly sent home from school after he refused to change his T-shirt that said, ‘There are only two genders.’”
Apparently this young man—Liam Morrison—was pulled out of class and told by school staff that “people” reported that his shirt made them feel “unsafe.” They told him he would have to take it off. He politely declined, saying wearing it fell under his First Amendment rights.
Young Liam exhibited a courage that few adults have. In April, he spoke in front of the school board to tell his story and to draw their attention to this matter.
Liam explained that he was told that his shirt was “targeting a protected class” and created a “disruption to learning.”
In his speech, Liam said, “Who is this protected class? Are their feelings more important than my rights? I don’t complain when I see Pride flags and diversity posters hung throughout the school. Do you know why? Because others have a right to their beliefs, just as I do.”
I was told that the shirt was a disruption to learning. No one got up and stormed out of class. No one burst into tears. I’m sure I would have noticed if they had. I experience disruptions to my learning every day. Kids acting out in class are a disruption, yet nothing is done. Why do the rules apply to one yet not another?
He is exactly right. Why do the rules apply to one and not the other? This is a fundamental problem that we see today—a small percentage of people are forcing the world to cater to their beliefs and their agenda under the guise of tolerance. This small percentage of people want the world—including our language and science—to change based on what they think.
Yet, according to science, there are only two sexes. Barring a chromosomal abnormality, there are males and there are females.
Let me offer some perspective on this. Less than .6% of the US population (ages 13 and older) identify as transgender.
Though this is an incredibly small number, it must nevertheless be terribly difficult for the people who feel unhappy or uncomfortable in their own bodies. We should never chastise them or act hateful. But neither should we encourage them to take action to change their gender. They don’t need a world telling them it’s okay to take hormones or maim their bodies in surgery.
What they do need is support, love, and help to see that they are beautiful just as they are.
But those who dare to speak this truth out loud are called haters or bigots. They’re told to let people do what they want.
Young Liam had the moral courage to stand up and speak the truth. We can all learn a lesson from him. And it’s a lesson we must teach our children.
Kids today are taught one fundamental concept: “You do you.” More times than I can count, I have heard it said that people should be able to do whatever they want unless it hurts someone else. That’s not only apathetic, but it’s shortsighted. And quite frankly it’s a pathetic point of view.
How did we get to be a society where we don’t care about individual human beings and only care about how their actions affect us?
Telling people that they can do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t affect us or anyone else is akin to telling them “I don’t care about you.” “You don’t matter. You only matter when your actions affect me. Until then, you’re invisible.”
Is it any wonder that we have a mental health crisis in this country?
We see so many young people who feel lost and alone because no one has taken the time to love them, to teach them fundamental truths, and to show them their inherent value.
This crisis will only worsen unless we all stand up and do something. Apathy just allows this mentality to grow and fester.
And so we need the moral courage exhibited by people like Liam Morrison. We need the moral courage exhibited by the countless saints who have come before us.
Our Church has a rich history of many men and women who have faced their fears and stood up for the truth. We must learn from them, and we must teach our children to follow their lead.
A great place to start teaching your kids is with lessons from the Culture of Life Studies Program. We not only offer many lessons on saints, but we offer lessons that teach the dignity and worth of all human beings and explain how we can all make a positive difference in the world. CLSP lessons are invaluable in these troubled times.
So let us not feel discouraged by the state of our country. Let us be resolved—resolved to effect change, to speak the truth, to never waver in our beliefs, and to lovingly teach not only the truths of science but the truths of our faith.