There is an instructive story about an American hostage who asks his Iranian captors to listen to reason. They agree, but add, “Then we kill you.” Ideologues are not open to dialog.
The diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), now everywhere in our society, is an ideology that repackages René Descartes’ dictum. “I think, therefore I am.” We are “ghosts in a machine.” Our thinking – actually fantasies – determine our reality. But this projection of delusions, disconnected from empirical reality, requires us to deny or distort human and historical experience.
Secularists occasionally ask, for example, “Where is transgenderism forbidden in the Bible?” An informed Catholic, eager to persuade an errant soul, might naively acknowledge that the Bible does not list transgenderism as a sin. But we understand the Bible in the historical context of Church teaching and Tradition.
So let’s stipulate that the moral legacy of Western Civilization identifies many sins and errors that the Bible never mentions:
- Reckless driving.
- Targeting civilians with nuclear bombs.
- Driving on the wrong side of the road.
- Beating your wife.
- Not flossing your teeth.
- Insider trading.
- Blowing up a school lavatory toilet with a cherry bomb.
- Overdosing on drugs.
- Using prisoners of war for medical experimentation purposes.
- Using aborted baby tissue for medical experimentation purposes.
- Harvesting organs for profit from Chinese prisoners.
Broadly construing the end of Saint John’s Gospel (cf. Jn. 21:25), the whole world could not contain the books written on the principles of morality in a civilized world. Natural law – God’s law imprinted on every soul – gives us much to discuss as we wade into the hot-button issues of the day, such as abortion and LGBTQ quagmires.
The precept, “What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder,” (Mt. 19:6) for instance, has implications beyond questions of divorce.
“Diversity, equity, and inclusion” are the new “self-evident truths” governing the nation and the hollowed-out moral shells of many religious denominations (and too many senior members of the Catholic hierarchy).
Questions like, “Where does the Bible condemn transgenderism?” are dishonest. Those who put the question that way have no intention of understanding Biblical teaching, only a desire to undermine confidence in obvious realities. Borrowing Sola Scriptura techniques (“Where do you find purgatory in the Bible?”), DEI interlocutors intend to shame realists: realists are intolerant, mean-spirited, and judgmental. DEI advocates “celebrate diversity.” (The contradictions are glaring, and not lacking a certain irony. All are welcome, except Bible-believing realists, etc.)
DEI advocates accuse Catholics of hate and irrational fears unknown to earlier medical science: “homophobia” and “transphobia.” But they too have “irrational,” non-inclusive fears. Would “inclusivity” accept a drunken pilot in the cockpit or would they “celebrate the diversity” of dangerously chaotic traffic? The inevitable inner contradictions of DEI proponents promise endless controversy governed by emotion-driven power politics. “You will obey the state’s demand to mutilate your confused children, or. . . we kill you – and not only metaphorically!”
Our DEI ideologues assume we must accept transgender ideology because the only real Christian teaching is “all are welcome.” Besides, the Christian faith is an anti-scientific superstition. But realists point out that allowing DEI fantasies to determine reality violates not only morality but scientific facts, e.g., when surgeons remove healthy genitals and doctors prescribe “puberty blockers” to counter naturally-produced hormones.
The DEI religion holds we are “ghosts in a machine.” Our physical bodies do not express who we are. Individual will – disconnected from the body – determines sexuality. But empirical science exposes the folly of the DEI religion. Bizarre surgical procedures justified by transgender fantasies disguise the ugly brutality of genital mutilation.
Christians are realists. We are either male or female. The Bible affirms: “God created man [the community of persons] in his own image. . .male and female he created them.” (Gen. 1:27) The Bible and science agree. We have a soul. And our body – as we observe it – expresses our soul. As Chesterton once remarked, the body even discloses the sin of gluttony.
The Incarnation is the foundation of the Catholic faith. The Word of God – the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity – took flesh and dwelt among us. In Jesus, God and man are reconciled. The reconciliation affirms several fundamental facts of our existence. Human nature is compatible with God. Faith does not contradict reason; faith elevates and purifies reason. The Resurrection is reasonable but beyond scientific grasp. The Cross and Resurrection are historical realities.
Science is the study of the handiwork of God. Christians must not object to legitimate science, but we must object to the abuse of science. Medical experiments that harvest aborted babies are evil. So is the claim that “following the science” obliterates the differences between male and female. We are moral and scientific realists.
Catholics believe the Catholic Church is “the one true Church.” The claim seems arrogant until we ask why anyone belongs to any faith group, including the DEI religion. Even atheists subscribe to their “one true faith,” which includes the unverifiable dogma that death is the end.
Catholic realists are less interested in persuasive compromises than witnessing to objective truth. Not so with the DEI ideologues. As “ghosts in a machine,” they must force their imaginary concoctions on us. Those who disagree with their projections are not merely wrong. They are dangerously “transphobic” and “hateful.” In a word, evil. The power of the state replaces God in the DEI world. DEI (Latin for “of God”) become the latest version of a Communist re-education camp, inflicting politically-correct fantasies on realists.
Good faith arguments will not persuade most DEI religionists of their metaphysical folly. But the power politics forcing compliance with their inherent lies reveals what’s really going on. Christian truth affirms that the Word became flesh. DEI fantasies mutilate human flesh.
Speaking the truth about these matters has already begun to create anti-Christian persecution, for the truth, Christ Himself, provokes unjust suffering. The suffering of the Cross is real and terrible. But the realism of the Resurrection promises final victory.
*Image: Tables of the Law with the Golden Calf by Cosimo Rosselli, 1481-82 [Sistine Chapel (South Wall), Vatican]
You may also enjoy:
David W. Fagerberg’s Our (Not So) Secret Idolatry
Anthony Esolen’s Imagine . . . What We Already Are