Pope Francis is on the left of the political spectrum on economic and environmental issues, but he remains a conservative on moral issues. His defense of the rights of the unborn is as strong as his two predecessors, and there is nothing heterodox about his comments on marriage, the family, and sexuality: he is a defender of traditional moral values.
In his apostolic exhortation responding to the Amazon synod's call for the ordination of married men and a reconsideration of the Church's position on women deacons, he gave the so-called progressives nothing. In fact, he didn't even answer their plea—they were summarily dismissed. Worse, as far as the dissidents are concerned, was his embrace of complementarity, that is, the commonsensical observation that men and women are not identical but are indeed complementary.
The Holy Father goes beyond his two predecessors by strongly condemning gender theory. He was recently asked where he notices evil at work nowadays.
"One place is 'gender theory.'"
He went on to say that gender theory is "dangerous" because it seeks to destroy basic differences between the sexes.
"It would make everything homogeneous, neutral. It is an attack on difference, on the creativity of God and on men and women."
These remarks are nothing new for the pope. In 2014, he said, "Gender ideology is demonic."
Such comments would be enough to get Pope Francis banned from speaking in England—Franklin Graham was just banned for voicing similar comments—and from most colleges and universities in the United States. Many Catholic ones would like to deny him the right to speak the truth about this subject as well, though they wouldn't have the nerve to do so.
If this madness about men and women being interchangeable were just a theory confined to the asylum and the academy (increasingly indistinguishable), no one would care. But unfortunately, it has been operationalized.
Connecticut allows men to compete in women's sports providing the guys consider themselves to be girls. They call such people transgender athletes. But real girls keep losing to these guys in girls' sports and so three real girls have sued, claiming that they are being discriminated against under Title IX, a federal law that bars discrimination on the basis of sex.
The ACLU, which worked hard to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment for women for 50 years, is defending the discrimination against the girls.
"The truth is," it says, "transgender women and girls [meaning men and boys who think they are not men and boys] have been competing in sports at all levels for years, and there is no research supporting the claim that they maintain a competitive advantage."
That's right, the lawyers at the ACLU need to see the research. We don't. That argument implodes by considering the Olympics. The reason why the Olympics is a showcase of sex segregation is precisely because men are stronger and faster than women. If there were not a competitive advantage enjoyed by men, the Olympics would be unisex. It never will be. That is because men have more testosterone than women, and even the ACLU can't do anything about that.
Why is this subject even a matter of debate? Because of the geniuses who populate the academy. It all comes down to the postmodern assault on truth, nature, and nature's God.
Once that is done, a man can consider himself to be a dog and compete in a dog show. He can even be walked by a professor of sociology and access a hydrant. Wonders never cease.
Bill Donohue is President and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of eight books and many articles.