The Bad Theology of Gender Ideology
In relation to gender ideology itself, the ideologues champion exactly this kind of reversal—that the interior is real and the exterior is unreal. “Gender identity,” when its proponents deign to try to define it, is described as an inner knowing or a strongly held belief or feeling. This turns into not only a decreased focus on the physical (and hence absurdities like men on women’s sports teams) but often a downright hatred of it (via barbaric surgical procedures).
The “perfect realm of abstract ideals” in gender ideology is the realm of soul-like “gender identities” that supersede the sensual and the material. These gender identities are supposed to override people’s sexual orientations, our sense of fairness and safety, and even our very eyes. The actual physical bodies of others are not supposed to matter in any way whatsoever.
If you think that physical bodies do matter, then you are accused of hatred. It can be shocking the first time one encounters this histrionic accusation, but it makes perfect sense when you see it as projection. The people who ascribe reality only to their subjective internal reality have contempt, as Merton says, for the external world. Because you acknowledge and live in the external world, they hate you too.
Gender ideologues and the woke have no right to force this religious stance on us and act like we are bad people if we don’t accept it. No, I don’t accept it. The external, physical world matters, whether you want to look at it from a spiritual, realistic, or purely practical lens.
At its core, this elevation of the internal over the external is Gnosticism, whether the attitude is displayed by monks or trans activists. It is a rejection of reality and life in favor of an idealized world that isn’t actually real. It is a rejection of reality that has the potential to leave devastation in its wake.
At least with the wayward monk, this error stops on a personal level. The postmodern Gnostics, however, want to hasten the destruction of this world to make way for the new, perfect world created in their highly disordered internal image.