(CNSNews.com) -- In a Dec. 15 open letter entitled "Created Male and Female," religious leaders of various denominations in the United States denounced "gender ideology" as a rejection of reason and science, which "harms individuals and socieities," especially children.
It is a "false idea" that "a man can be or become a woman or vice versa," reads the letter, and in rejecting reason it compels people to reject what is "true" about themselves and the physical world.
The open letter is posted on the website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), but some of the signers include the archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, the bishop of the North American Lutheran Chruch, Church of God in Christ Director Rev.Eugene Rivers III, Rev. Nathanael Symeonides with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Rev. L. Roy Taylor with the Presbyterian Church in America, and Imam Faixal Khan with the Islamic Society of the Washington Area.
"[H]uman beings are male or female and that the socio-cultural reality of gender cannot be separated from one's sex as male or female," states the letter.
"We acknowledge and affirm that all human beings are created by God and thereby have an inherent dignity," reads the letter. "We also believe that God created each person male or female; therefore, sexual difference is not an accident or a flaw—it is a gift from God that helps draw us closer to each other and to God."
"What God has created is good," say the religious leaders. "'God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them'" (Gen 1:27).
"A person's discomfort with his or her sex, or the desire to be identified as the other sex, is a complicated reality that needs to be addressed with sensitivity and truth," reads the letter, adding that persons with same-sex disorders must be treated with "compassion, mercy and honesty."
"Children especially are harmed when they are told that they can 'change' their sex or, further, given hormones that will affect their development and possibly render them infertile as adults," states the letter. "Parents deserve better guidance on these important decisions, and we urge our medical institutions to honor the basic medical principle of 'first, do no harm.'"
The letter continues, "Gender ideology harms individuals and societies by sowing confusion and self-doubt. The state itself has a compelling interest, therefore, in maintaining policies that uphold the scientific fact of human biology and supporting the social institutions and norms that surround it."
"The movement today to enforce the false idea—that a man can be or become a woman or vice versa—is deeply troubling," state the religious leaders. "It compels people to either go against reason—that is, to agree with something that is not true—or face ridicule, marginalization, and other forms of retaliation."
"We desire the health and happiness of all men, women, and children," reads the letter. "Therefore, we call for policies that uphold the truth of a person's sexual identity as male or female, and the privacy and safety of all."
Commenting on how sex outside the natural order of one man and one woman united in marriage goes against reason, St. Bernardine of Siena wrote, "No sin in the world grips the soul as the accursed sodomy.... Deviant passion is close to madness; this vice disturbs the intellect, destroys elevation and generosity of soul, brings the mind down from great thoughts to the lowliest."
"They become blind and, when their thoughts should soar to high and great things, they are broken down and reduced to vile and useless and putrid things, which could never make them happy," writes the saint.
In Matthew 19, Jesus Christ discusses the the two sexes and marriage. Starting at verse three, the chapter states, "Some Pharisees came to him to test him [Jesus]. They asked, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?’
“’Haven’t you read,’ he [Jesus]replied, “’that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’
“’Why then,’” they asked, “’did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?’”
Jesus replied, “’Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.’”