Douglas Farrow, a professor of Christian Thought at McGill University, addresses the annual COLF seminar. Photo by Deborah Gyapong

Gender ideologies threaten Christian view, says theologian

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  • April 5, 2017

GATINEAU, Que. – Ideologies that have given rise to gender theory and transgenderism represent “head-on” attacks on the Christian world view, warned a prominent Catholic theologian.

Speaking at a seminar March 30-31 organized by the Catholic Organization for Life and Family, Douglas Farrow said these ideologies are not only incompatible with Catholic thinking but, if they prevail, “the Judeo-Christian view is done within the public square.”

These ideologies leave no room for dissent from those who question concepts such as gender being a subjective choice. Instead, said Farrow, Canada is becoming a society that says “you must agree with what I say, and the government will enforce it.”

“This changes things dramatically,” he said.

Farrow, a professor of Christian Thought at Montreal’s McGill University, was addressing more than 100 clergy and lay pastoral leaders from across Canada. He called the ideology behind sexual orientation and gender identity “an instrument of and for the very powerful,” that is “not of and for the powerless.”

In gender ideology, people not only have a basic human right to see themselves however they wish, but they also have the right to demand other people see them that way. So this becomes not “a matter of my choice,” but “my obligation,” Farrow said.

Basing these matters on subjective notions obliterates the concept of a public sphere, he said.

“You can’t have basic human rights if you can’t say basically what it means to be human,” he said.

Farrow said a version of his talk had been disrupted earlier this year at McGill’s Newman Centre in Montreal by protestors from Queer McGill.

“They I hope will come to understand I am not their enemy,” Farrow said. “The ideology I am describing is their enemy and it will eventually swallow them whole if they allow it.”

Farrow said the ideology behind sexual orientation and gender identity was “clearly established as a global strategy” at the 1995 United Nations 4th World Conference on Women, which endorsed gender equality. Following that conference, the movement for women’s equality “became a gender/queer program” intent on “bending gender boundaries” and “eliminating sexual difference,” he said.

“Within a decade, liberal feminism has been overtaken by a far more radical gender feminism, building on Marxist ideology,” he said.

Farrow cited the 2006 Yogyakarta Principles on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) that have widespread support among a range of international bodies. Its principles can already be seen in various sex education programs in Canadian provinces and elsewhere in the world.

“It is the education of the young that must serve these goals,” he said. “The young are a soft entry point for SOGI and gender mainstreaming theory. Try substituting religion for SOGI and see how far you get. There would be howls of outrage.”

He said it has reached a point where teachers and parents “must accept and act on it.”

“If they don’t, they risk having their children taken from them,” Farrow said.

In this world view, “sex is chiefly for pleasure, self-expression, self-creation and self-recreation,” he said.

“It’s all about cultivating that notion in the heads of young children. Old sexual scruples must be taken down completely and systemically.”

According to Fr. Robert Gauthier, PSS, director of St. Joseph Seminary in Edmonton, the social upheaval we are seeing is an “anthropological crisis.” Christian anthropology — the truth Catholics profess about human beings being made in the image of God — is being set aside by pressure groups, he told conference attendees.

The Catholic understanding of human dignity — the unity of body and soul, and the complementarity of two sexes created by God — is being treated as an injustice, Gauthier said. Instead, the new ideology sees the male and female genders as a result of historical and cultural conditioning in which human freedom is supreme.

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