As a Catholic talk show host and speaker, I thought I was pretty in tune with what’s happening in our culture. However, learning about the latest attempt by the folks at Facebook to take political correctness to the level of insanity, I discovered apparently I am not as hip or in touch as I thought. After all, who knew there are now 50 — yes, you read correctly, 50 — ways to describe one’s gender? Where in the world have I been?
Facebook told the Associated Press the changes initially cover the social media outlet’s 159 million monthly users here in the United States and are aimed at “giving people more choices in how they describe themselves, such as androgynous, bi-gender, intersex, gender fluid or transsexual.” One Facebook engineer told Fox News that for most users the descriptions won’t mean much but for the few it does affect “it will mean the world.”
It’s probably not a stretch to say there are a lot of folks, regardless of whether they have a strong religious affiliation, who would strongly disagree with the suggestion that this new list “won’t mean much to most users.” We are talking about creating more and more confusion and moving farther and farther away from the reality of how we are created male and female in the image and the likeness of God.
It doesn’t take a brilliant philosopher or cultural commentator to see a vocal minority wants us to tolerate, believe and promote that ultimate control lies in having no control and no common sense. We can call ourselves what we want and see ourselves differently despite the reality of how we were born.
Speaking of brilliant philosophers and commentators, wouldn’t it be helpful to hear the reaction of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to the Facebook foolishness right about now? It wasn’t too long ago that Benedict gave us an idea of where all this gender confusion was going. He discussed the dangers of ignoring and/or twisting our human nature during his 2012 Christmas message to Vatican prelates.
“According to the biblical creation account, being created by God as male and female pertains to the essence of the human creature. This duality is an essential aspect of what being human is all about, as ordained by God. This very duality as something previously given is what is now disputed. The words of the creation account: ‘male and female he created them’ (Gn 1:27) no longer apply. No, what applies now is this: it was not God who created them male and female — hitherto society did this, now we decide for ourselves. Man and woman as created realities, as the nature of the human being, no longer exist.”
This new fascination with gender descriptions, as Benedict stressed, leads to what we already see out there today: doing whatever we want with whomever we choose regardless of the consequences.
“When the freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God, as the image of God at the core of his being,” he said.
I guess you can sum up all of these different and bizarre gender descriptions into one simple word, which takes on new meaning when you think of it as an acronym. The word is ego, which now seems to stand for “Easing God Out,” which doesn’t bode well for the future of humanity. As Pope Benedict said, “The defense of the family is about man himself. And it becomes clear that when God is denied, human dignity also disappears. Whoever defends God is defending man.”
Teresa Tomeo is the host of “Catholic Connection,” produced by Ava Maria Radio and heard daily on EWTN Global Catholic Radio and Sirius Channel 130.