It is hard to write about the victims of gender ideology, radical feminism, and the sexual revolution. After all, they are victims. But sometimes these victims take public positions that will lead others into the same type of tragic victimhood. And so today I write about two victims.
It is also challenging to write about such victims because it appears that you are, as they say, punching down. And that we should spend our time not criticizing them but praying for them. All of this is true enough, and we should pray for them, but we must also shoot off a flare of warning. Many terrible things are happening in our society these days, and these two stories are among them.
Both of these women write for the Catholic portal at Patheos.com. I doubt that very many people read either one of them at Patheos or any other place. But we must recognize that Patheos has a relatively large readership. According to the measuring service Alexa, Patheos ranks 13,332 out of all websites. By comparison, Catholic News Agency—the country’s largest Catholic news source—ranks at 59,156. (Alas.) Granted, though, we cannot know how many of those actually check into the rather odiferous Catholic portal at Patheos.
Orthodox. Faithful. Free.
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Because these ladies are both victims and minor figures in the larger drama, I won’t reveal their names.
Sometime in June, Lady #1 announced on Facebook: “I’m queer, and it’s not healthy or just for me to be hiding that.” She says she “really wanted the promises of heteronormativity and conservative Christian sexual ethics to be true.” She writes about a lifetime of unhappy sexual experiences, mostly that she never enjoyed sexual relations, or never felt drawn to it. She said, “Marriage and sex still didn’t deliver on any of the promises; they mostly felt like hassles to me.”
She had two children but, she says, was never “enthusiastic about spending time with my babies or husband.” She says the titles “wife and mother” make her skin crawl and that she always felt resentful about having to “perform femininity.” She has the most “energy, joy, insight, contentment, and success when [she] can bridge masculine and feminine belonging with people who share my passions for truth and justice and healing in mixed-gender groups.”
Now she claims to be “nonbinary” and “basically asexual/aromantic.”
Her story is perhaps the sadder of the two, since she has a husband and children, and it is unclear what her plans are for her family. But the story of Lady #2 is sad and bizarre.
In her Patheos column, she announces: “I am a cisgender (she/her), demiromantic, and bisexual femme writer who wrestles continually with mental illness, abused-based [sic] trauma, and the deep pain and grief of true, thorough healing. I am an anarcho-socialist who believes in radical mutual aid. I feel like I am physically and spiritually a 94-year-old woman. And I am a Heterodox Queer and Spitefully Catholic Witch.” And, she adds, “I dare anyone to tell me anything different.”
She says she identifies “with Catholic women and others throughout history who were demeaned and hated for being too loud, too angry, too large, too stubborn, too much. Joan of Arc was burned for witchcraft, for example, for wearing men’s clothes. How many other catholic [sic] female, queer, and POC revolutionaries, visionaries, and all-purpose badasses were similarly burned for facing down the heresy of patriarchal control and oppression?”
She said she was raised with “intense, violently hateful homophobia” in the “heart of an alt-right sect of Catholicism that verbally crucified any Catholic priest who even suggested it was possible to practice and believe in Catholicism fully and faithfully while still welcoming your queer, gay, trans, contracepting family member to holiday dinners, speaking to them, or *gasp* letting them come into spitting distance of your children.” She was raised in and around Steubenville, Ohio, and Franciscan University.
There is an unbelievable amount of anger in her writing. She links to two more pieces that are broadsides against her father, who now lives in rural Virginia trying to rebuild the life that was taken away from him by the demonic furies of our age. She has stopped using his last name and, as a strike against the patriarchy, started using her grandfather’s last name. Go figure.
Lady #1 is equally angry at the Church. She attended my parish for a while and left in anger; she went to another parish, then left that one, too, finally landing at another parish—whereupon she began attacking one of the priests on social media. She is also angry at her parents, whom she says are “deeply broken people… who have never developed the capacity to truly love another person.” She says this even though her mother worked for years as her children’s nanny so Lady #1 could work at a big-time D.C. law firm.
One wonders about the influence of the website Patheos and its Catholic portal. It seems to be poisonous. Only last year, Patheos writer Melinda Selmys (who also identifies as “genderqueer”) formally left the Catholic Church. Yet she still writes for the Catholic portal.
The Catholic portal is run by Rebecca Bratten Weiss, a radical feminist who calls herself a witch, and who was let go by Franciscan University for her quite obvious heterodox views. Something must be deeply wrong at Patheos for it to spawn so much bizarre behavior.
At a recollection the other night, a priest talked about guardian angels. There’s one for every American, you know, whether that American is Catholic or not. That’s a lot of guardian angels, more than 320 million.
We must pray intensely for each of these women. Ask your guardian angel to join hers in battling against whatever it is that binds his charge.
Pray, too, for their families. God willing, none of us will ever know how terribly they suffer.
Image: A woman waves an LGBT pride flag next to a waxwork of pope Francis on a windowsill on Westmoreland Street, Dublin, ahead of the 2018 papal visit to Ireland. (Derick Hudson/Shutterstock.com)