In a lot of ways, the Vatican’s rejection of transgender people demonstrates the fundamental need to escape traditional religions in order to move forward on this planet. And the reasoning can be seen in the Pope’s pronouncement when he said that trans people “annihilated the concept of nature.”
We can criticize Jehovah’s witnesses and other strict religions for going to war against medical science, a war where the collateral damage is virtually always children, whose parents make dogmatically themed decisions for them, turning their beds into deathbeds. Every religion on this planet has been at odds, at one time or another, with the simple fact that we human beings have every right to reject the bad news that nature often has to give us in favor of the kinds of relief we can get from science, reason, medicine, logic, and an empirical view of the universe.
We forget that we are people who invented shoes so we could walk on hard surfaces, eyeglasses so we could see when we couldn’t, artificial hearts, livers, kidneys, transplants, transfusions, surgical separations for conjoined twins to let them live the kinds of lives they want to live, even cosmetic surgeries that shape faces and bodies and give people hope.
If we want to expand into a future where human happiness is the ideal—overriding infirmity and natural disease, natural dysfunction, natural hegemonies of stronger predators,even—then the mental inertias of the past have to fall away. We can’t put the word “natural” on a pedestal and worship it like a troop of monkeys dancing around a tree that used to house bananas. We have to test and confirm and learn rather than believe. We have to commit to change ourselves if it makes us fundamentally happier, stronger, better.
We have to put god away now, like you put away comforting and relaxing blankets, kept since infancy, the things we can hide our heads in. Because I promise you this. What gender we are is not going to be the biggest obstacle of the human condition.
We are going to have to fight to transform ourselves and be better. Then, one day, if we fight hard enough, we will be superheroes with connections in our heads many times faster than our organic brains, pieces of technology in our limbs that help us do more easier faster, even chips and mechanics that let us do things that might look like magic today.
If we do, it will be because we stopped thinking of these bodies as things that belong to ephemeral gods and started realizing that they are ours, the one thing we have the purest of rights to, the one thing we can make better without fail to make our lives better.
I’m not a religious person. To me, the holiest sound in the world is the sound of children playing, and if I have learned one thing is that religion is the enemy of that. Today, the head of ostensibly the biggest religion in the world opened his mouth and said something that is potentially suicide triggering to every transgender person in his congregation.
That is evil. That is religion.
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