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All About Sex — Whatever That Is

June 10, 2019 Frontpage No Comments

By DEACON MIKE MANNO, JD

Over the past few months, I’ve had occasion to write about several issues involving gender-confused individuals and those who wish to protect them from onerous discrimination by those who can’t quite comprehend the new biological reality of sex.
In the April 25 issue, I wrote about a city, South Euclid, Ohio, attempting to challenge a Catholic prep school’s fidelity to Church teaching as sexual discrimination.
Three weeks ago I wrote about a couple of cases headed to the Supreme Court that might answer the question plaguing society: Are the words “sex” and “gender” synonymous? As you recall, progressive secularists and their attorneys have been arguing that the federal ban on sex discrimination also includes discrimination over gender self-identification.
The leading upcoming case involved a funeral home director who told the owner of the home that “he” now considered self to be a “she” and from there on would follow the company’s dress code for female employees. When the transgender employee was terminated, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) stepped in, claiming that this was sex discrimination, sided with the employee, and brought suit against the employer. The case is now scheduled for argument in the Supreme Court.
Ironically, the Supreme Court just denied a review of another transgender case, this one involving the use of locker room facilities by high school students who identify as being something other than their biological sex. That case, Doe v. Boyertown Area School District, left standing a lower court ruling that, apparently, open shower facilities do not violate the privacy rights of school students.
The following week I followed with a column about how transgender rights are affecting religious liberties. These columns evoked a number of e-mails, which perhaps put things better than I can.
In response to the April column about the classical Lyceum school in South Euclid, Ohio, one reader, John Mayr, stated, “I love the part where the city defines gender as ‘actual or perceived sex.’ I’m surprised that they are not wrapped over the knuckles for making the distinction between ‘actual’ and ‘perceived’…this allowed for the conclusion that there is a reality (actual) and a deviation from reality (perceived). I’m old enough to remember when gender was a subject for language class and sex was a subject for biology class.”
Another reader, G. Yarbrough, MD, took pains to explain the difference:
“[Y]ou asked if there is a difference between sex and gender. As a physician trained in biology, and a Catholic steeped in Latin grammar, permit me to answer your question.
“The term sex is a biological word referring to a more advanced method of biological reproduction. Asexual reproduction occurs in bacteria, protozoa, and other primitive live forms. Sexual reproduction refers to the union of male and female organisms of an advanced life species to bring about the next generation of that species. It is based in chromosomal reality, and, with very rare exception, is entirely binary. The term sex is thus a term based upon this physical reality.
“By contrast, the term gender is an artificial construct, used to determine the declension of nouns in languages such as Latin, Spanish, or Italian. The term is applied strictly to nouns (not verbs) and their modifying adjectives based on their masculine, feminine, or neuter declensions. However, much to the consternation of generations of Latin students, the terms masculine and feminine in this regard have no bearing on physical reality like they do when applied to the sexes.
“For instance, unlike what many former Latin students might have thought, the Latin word acies, meaning an army arrayed for battle, is a feminine declension noun, while the Latin word uber, meaning the female breast, something the student would assume to be feminine, is actually a neuter noun!. . . . The confusion for such students again arises from the fact that the term gender is an artificial construct with no true basis in physical reality. Thus sex is based in reality, while gender is a mere intellectual construct of grammar.
“How, then, did this confusion between the terms come about? It was begun largely though the work of Judith Butler, a lesbian and extreme radical fringe feminist, whose 1990 work on ‘gender’ in a non-grammatical sense, started the problem. Ms. Butler was not happy in her role as a woman and tried to come up with a different, non-binary classification of persons. Thanks to her work and that of many others since, we now have people claiming to be the opposite of what they are in reality — males claiming to be females and vice versa.
“To illustrate the ludicrous unreality of this idea, consider for a moment if I told you that I am firmly convinced in my own mind that I am indeed Napoleon Bonaparte. You would rightly conclude that I am mad — mentally ill, as my self-perception is completely divorced from realty. Likewise, against all reality, if I insist I am a woman and I firmly believe that, then ipso facto I am mentally ill also.”
John has a similar observation worth mentioning. “I used to occasionally walk home from school and the walk would take me past Dunning…it was an insane asylum with the red brick house and the iron fenced yard. The poor denizens roamed inside the yard and could interface with the folks going by. I recall there were a lot of folks who ‘perceived’ that they were Jesus or Napoleon or the Kaiser…and they were most emphatic about their assertion. I assume that they were quite sincere (I also assume that this is what made them insane).
“I had a great sympathy for these folks and I have a great sympathy for the ‘gender disoriented’ folks (I’ll pray for them), but I still have to put them into the category of living in an imaginary world.”
I’m sending Mr. Trump both names for the next Supreme Court vacancy.
And for readers who may be interested, the Alliance Defending Freedom provides this update on South Euclid’s challenge to the Lyceum, the Catholic school in question:

+ + +

After months of refusing to say whether an ordinance would force a Catholic classical school to operate contrary to its religious beliefs in employment, admissions, and other policies, the city of South Euclid, faced with a lawsuit, has finally stated that it won’t apply the law to the school.
Although the school made multiple attempts to obtain clarification, the city refused to clarify its vague law. It twice illegally refused to answer the school’s public records request. And when the school directly asked the city whether its ordinance applies to The Lyceum, the city refused to say and suggested the school hire legal counsel and figure it out. Left with no other option, the school’s leaders proceeded to federal court, reasonably fearing that operating their school consistently with their faith would directly violate city law and put them at risk of an up to $500 fine, restitution, or up to 60 days in jail per occurrence. Because the city has finally agreed that the school isn’t subject to the law, ADF attorneys voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit against the city on May 28.
“Religious schools like The Lyceum have the freedom to operate consistently with their faith without fear of unjust government punishment — and we’re glad South Euclid now affirms this reality,” said ADF Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb.
The Lyceum provides its students with a faith-integrated, classical education and seeks to form “lifelong learners in a joyful pursuit of the Truth, who is Christ.” As a faith community, the school seeks to abide by and convey the teachings of the Bible and the doctrine of the Catholic Church, including their teachings on marriage and sexuality. But in 2018, the South Euclid City Council passed a vague, sweeping ordinance that appeared to force the school to hire teachers or enroll students who disagree with its mission and teachings.
(You can reach Mike at: DeaconMike@q.com.)

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