top of page

How Did We Get Here? The Evolution of Transgender Ideology

Many Catholics are puzzled by the embrace of incoherent ideas and straightforwardly bizarre practices advanced by the cultural elites in contemporary American society.  How can young men claiming to be women seriously expect to compete in women’s athletics?  But they do.  And they are competing.  How can women in their final weeks of pregnancy discredit the fact that they are carrying a human child and then murder it?  But they do.  And some of them celebrate with abortion parties.  How can state governments having convicted men of felonies incarcerate them in women’s prisons when those men start taking hormones?  But they do.  And the predictable results of sexual assault are now becoming apparent.  It seems to many that we aren’t living in the same world anymore.  And that sentiment isn’t far from the truth of the matter, so let’s look at how we got here, because radical rejection of human nature doesn’t just happen.

If you look back to the Greek and Roman philosophers, you will find everywhere present an idea that is now called Realism.  Realists believe that there is a real world, a world that is the way that it is regardless of how you or I think about it.  It doesn’t change if we don’t like it.  If we become enraged at some of its features, still, that world is what it is.  Our thoughts about the real world can accordingly be quite different from the way that the world really is.  Our thoughts don’t cause the world, because the world came first.  All of this bundle of Realist ideas continued on into and through the Christian medieval philosophical era and on into the Christian renaissance philosophical period.  It also continued into the Enlightenment.  Many enlightenment thinkers took issue with some of the specific doctrines advanced by Plato and Aristotle or by St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas.  But for all of their disagreements, these thinkers thought that they were disagreeing about how reality worked.  If there wasn’t a real world—a world independent of how they thought about it—then what “on earth” could they have been disagreeing about?

But this all changed when a German philosopher named Immanuel Kant started writing in the late 1700’s and into the early 1800’s.  Kant said that what we call “reality” is actually constituted by consciousness, rather than being independent of thought.  Philosophers like Aristotle might have thought that they were laying out the fundamental conditions of reality in their metaphysics, but they were all mistaken, said Kant.  What they were actually doing was laying out the structure of the human mind, and that mind—consciousness—was projecting reality from itself rather than perceiving reality from an independent real world.  Thus, space and time, to take two of Kant’s examples, are not features of the world that we eventually discovered and mathematically modelled.  No.  Space and time, said Kant, are only the way that we perceive reality.  We cannot think in non-spatial or non-temporal terms not because we inhabit a world set in time and space, but because time and space are the fundamental conditions of human consciousness.  (Keep in mind that what Kant meant by “consciousness” isn’t what you or I mean by it, namely our conscious awareness of our mental experience, but rather some sort of universal mental structure—whatever that is supposed to mean!)

Now, rather than subjecting Kant’s thought to the withering critique it justly received, let’s see how Kant’s idea gradually shifted to bring us to the ideological insanity that we now experience.  Kant believed that human consciousness was fixed, meaning it never changed, for if it did, then nothing we knew would prove truly reliable.  But subsequent German thinkers like Hegel suggested that maybe it did change, maybe it was itself moving through time and altering as it went along.  But Hegel still insisted that consciousness was one unified thing, even if it was changing.

But if consciousness does change, how could Hegel be so confident that those changes couldn’t split into multiple strains?  Darwin’s idea about evolutionary trees could be applied to human thought too, couldn’t it?  Maybe different forms of human consciousness are emerging through time!

Marx said that moral laws are merely the products of bourgeois modes of production and thinking and, therefore, do not apply to Communists.

We see this idea of emergent bifurcated strains of consciousness explode into the philosophical world when Karl Marx—yes, another German thinker—argued that there are two fundamental forms of human consciousness, his economic consciousness categories of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.  The bourgeoisie, he said, control the means of production, while the proletariat are the means of production.  Thus, the bourgeoisie—the factory owners, the railroad creators, the shipping magnates—are all of them inherently slavers, because they own everyone else.  And they remind the people who have jobs in their plants, on their railroads, and on their shipping routes that they had best not steal, because everyone knows that stealing is wrong.  But where did the rule that stealing is wrong come from, asked Marx?  Isn’t it just bourgeois thinking?  A mere result of bourgeois consciousness?  Why would someone of a wholly different kind of thinking, a different state of reality—the working classes of the Proletariat, in other words—ever accept such a rule?  Marx said that they should not, for all moral rules are merely the products of bourgeois modes of production and thinking.  Thus, he called for the violent overthrow of the economic system, the mass murder of the people he called the bourgeoisie and the mass theft of their properties.

When critics pointed out that regardless of how much money one has or where one works, we are still all human beings, still in families, still in states, and still accountable to God, he rejected the fundamental premise, insisting that there are no “human beings,” there is only the bourgeoisie and the proletariat!  Thus, Marx is one of the first thinkers in human history to philosophically deny that we are all commonly human beings—with thought and experience and morality also in common.  Marx rejected the idea that there was a real world out there to which we could all appeal in resolving issues with one another.  There were two worlds—one bourgeois and one proletariat—and bourgeois necessarily saw the world one way and proletariat the other way.  Hence, no moral controversies could ever be settled rationally, because rationality itself had bifurcated.  Thus, all that remained was power.

For the Marxists the role of evolving consciousness is the “historical dialectic” that is inevitably moving all things toward his classless utopia.  Thus, even though it might seem that Marxists are physicalists or materialists who wholly discount consciousness, in fact, it is a version of Hegel’s consciousness that is driving his whole enterprise.  It explains why Marxists are so passionate about their cause; they have a mystical post-revolutionary objective that “history”—the “consciousness” factor for Marx—is driving them toward.  (It is for this reason that many Catholic critics have pointed out the irony that Marxism requires an unjustified faith.)  For original Marxism as well as its many newer neo-Marxist class conflict incarnations, the same pattern is evident with an arbitrary conceptual order being imposed on reality to reconstruct it as they see fit—all in keeping with the original ideas found in Kant and Hegel.

While there were and are many admirably devastating critiques of Marx’s thought—not the least being how exactly he is able to write this account of how thought is mere by-product of economic class without himself standing outside the very system he is insisting binds the rest of us—some of his critics were actually taking his ideas even further, still committed to the rejection of realism that Kant founded, the change of consciousness that Hegel advanced, and the evolutionary development of multiple strains of human rationality that Marx offered.  They wondered why the fundamental categories to which all other human thought and action were to be reduced had to be economic!  Couldn’t what defines and separates human beings into perpetually warring classes be something else?

Why couldn’t the fundamental category of what causes the strains of thought be race?  Maybe “whiteness” is an evil consciousness that cannot but seek to enslave and dominate others.  It would follow that non-whites could not themselves be racist, since racism would now be defined not as hating someone of a different skin pigmentation, but instead by belonging to the rejected white class.  We see this all the time in our world, don’t we?  How is it that black comedians and musicians can routinely use the N-word without it being hateful and wrong, but white comedians cannot?  Now you have your answer: on this race-based class account, there is no independent standard of right and wrong that applies to all human beings equally, because in reality, there are no human beings, there are just racially oppressive classes.  Thus, our academic community began to regard white pigmentation as entailing hatred and evil in students, subjecting such students to condemnation and unequal treatment.  When some of those students objected that they didn’t hate anybody of any race, but on the contrary thought that we should love all persons regardless of race, our intellectuals concocted yet another novel theory.  Hate and aggression do not need to be intentional features of someone’s mind or action to be present—a requirement of the original definition of racism—but instead on this new theory, they exist on a sub-conscious level that purportedly constitutes that person’s whole being.  In effect, they are born that way.  Thus, even if those white students intend no ill will toward non-whites nor are remotely aggressive, they are still committing “micro-aggressions” and may accordingly be condemned and treated in a discriminatory fashion.  Thus, on this neo-Marxist theory, the category of race becomes the alternative context to Marx’s original economic classes.

On this alternative class category, sexual behavior becomes justified relative to fundamentally different forms of human sexual consciousness, to who the person “really is.”

Or again, why couldn’t the fundamental category of human consciousness be sexual desire, or “orientation” as it has now been re-classified, so that people are just born one way or the other way and there is no possible moral evaluation possible, because our moral consciousness is itself either heterosexual or homosexual?  If people cannot think or do otherwise, it is argued, how can they be held morally accountable to change their behavior?  Thus, on this alternative class category, sexual behavior becomes justified relative to fundamentally different forms of human sexual consciousness, to who the person “really is.”

Or again, why couldn’t the fundamental category of human consciousness be gender, so that men and women are fundamentally different consciousnesses.  On this thinking it would be ludicrous for a man to opine on the question of the morality of abortion, since it’s not his body and he could not ever experience what women experience.  If you review women’s studies or gender studies from the 1980’s and 1990’s, you will find reams of academic articles related to alleged incommensurability between male and female consciousnesses, of fundamentally opposed feminine logics and epistemologies.  Of course, these ideas are now academically regarded as heterodox because they contradict the currently vogue transgender doctrines.

This class consciousness, contextual thinking even found its way into the sciences, as a philosopher of science named Thomas Kuhn advanced the idea that scientific theories are not rationally engaging one another as time and evidence slowly teach us how the world really is.  No, for according to Kuhn, each scientific era (he coined the term “paradigm” to describe these eras) possesses its own internal rationality that literally defines what the world is, so that no “real” world evidence could possibly intrude on and enable the rational rejection of the old paradigm in favor of the new one.  Instead, said Kuhn, scientific paradigms undergo sudden sociologically motivated “shifts” (yes, this is the actual origin and meaning of the term “paradigm shift”) in which a revolution (yes, you can see the comparison to Marxist revolution!) occurs and scientists as a group suddenly reject the old paradigm in favor of the new one.  But because all standards of scientific rationality are defined relative to each scientific paradigm, Kuhn insists that there is no theory-neutral way to justify one paradigm over another.  There is no scientific theory superiority, because we aren’t actually comparing our theories to a real world at all!

The wave of enraged identity politics that swept first into academics, then politics, and now even into our businesses and elementary schools finds its origin in these contextualist modes of thinking that deny the reality of human beings.

So, Marx’s thinking generated some two hundred years of what we might loosely call Neo-Marxist thinking of contextualizing rationality and morality into fundamentally competing classes whose disputes cannot be rationally adjudicated since rationality itself is defined by those classes!  The wave of enraged identity politics that swept first into academics, then politics, and now even into our businesses and elementary schools finds its origin in these contextualist modes of thinking that deny the reality of human beings.  This is why most American universities now forbid talking about the “human race,” a term that used to be common.  Why?  Because they don’t want us to think about human beings per se, as though we share a common experience and rational order in relation to a real world and would thereby be bound by a common morality.  The irony is that we actually are a race, and we are at war with another hostile one—the demonic!  It is the demonic that wishes to convince us to turn against one another on such flimsy reasons as skin-pigmentation discrimination!

Now, all of this would be bad enough were it not for the curious turn contextualist theories of class conflict encountered when they ran into American students’ tendency toward individualism.  When you discuss morality in a college freshman class, for example, you’ll seldom hear students appeal to class contexts to justify their answers (though they do employ them to pound their critics).  Instead, all moral arguments are reduced to what the individual student feels.  Thus, the individual rather than any class of individuals dominates.  The projection of consciousness on reality shifts from social class contexts and sinks all the way down to the deification of the individual will (a view advanced by yet another of these 19th century German thinkers, Nietzsche!)  Hence, my students will constantly talk about their truth vs. some other person’s truth, as though reality is literally shifting from person to person.  Reality has thus become what each individual person projects onto the world.  Or even better, the “world” is whatever each person wishes it to be, a clear claim to divine status, for only God can think things into being.

This individualization of consciousness projection can be seen especially in the new gender identity context, where young people are convinced that sexual identity and, with it, sexual warrant are fully a function of individual desire and choice.  Thus, if a thirteen-year-old girl feels at odds with her body, she might conclude that she was born into the wrong body and is “in reality” a boy.  Her self-“identification” as a boy becomes a metaphysical basis for her claim that she really is a boy trapped in a girl’s body, a body that now may justly be altered with hormones and surgeries.  Hence, the new individualistic projection of consciousness is granted the moral authority to supplant the wisdom and will of historic society, medical science, and her parents, so much so that some states are currently in the process of crafting laws to “protect” her from her parents in order to “affirm” her consciousness-projected “true” identity.  Not even biology can be raised as an objection to the reality of her gender consciousness projection.  Thus, we find again an urgent demand by the political radicals pushing this doctrine to replace the protections provided for in law for “sex”—a biological reality—to new protections based on consciousness-projected “gender.”  While these legal advocates may claim that they are merely adding the gender-discriminated to the already protected sexual classes, the reality is that those very additions are possible only by invading the protections of those historically protected classes.  Thus, we find men claiming to be women and insisting on being permitted to enter women’s and girl’s private changing, bathroom, and living areas, as well as increasingly being permitted to compete in every form and on every level of women’s sports.  If men can consciousness projectedly transform themselves into women, then the protections created for women against men will have been invaded by men.  You cannot have it both ways.  Consciousness projection sexual transformation is one of the most significant forms of science denial that America has ever seen.  And yet it is advanced by people with signs in their yards that read: “Science is real”!  For these people the only thing that is real is their will, yet another doctrine advanced by that German philosopher, Nietzsche.

Because morality is redefined relative to the individual’s consciousness, it follows that there are no moral limits to the use of power by these people to effect their will!

Realism is thus upended wholly by the deification of the individual consciousness to do and become whatever it wishes, with no barriers by what hitherto was considered reality, since reality is nothing but what we wish it to be.  Because morality is redefined relative to the individual’s consciousness, it follows that there are no moral limits to the use of power by these people to effect their will, a principle first advanced by Marx.

None of us are gods.  We have never been successful in bending reality to our desires, no matter how many people we berate, cancel, violate, imprison, or murder!

But realism is actually true.  None of us are gods.  We have never been successful in bending reality to our desires, no matter how many people we berate, cancel, violate, imprison, or murder.  When we operate outside the norms governing the real world, the violation of those norms eventually bites.  We cannot escape Darwin.  We can accordingly expect these latest gender identity violations of human nature to sow the seeds of misery for tens of thousands of young people who are being aided by our legal and medical communities in subjecting their bodies to violent modification.

The long-term reality of German consciousness projection doctrines reducing human beings to cogs of an economic class machine led to the greatest mass murders in human history as first Russia, then China, and then Cambodia slaughtered tens if not hundreds of millions of their own peoples or those they conquered.

We Americans ought to know better than to fall for such hubris and arrogance against realism.  America began with a deeply practical character, tied to the land and the rules that farming set for how human beings must live.  We fought a revolution against Great Britain on the basis of rights common to all human beings, becoming the famed light set on a hill, a light of liberty to all who would look.  We fought a civil war against racial consciousness and any justification for using race to enslave, harm, or belittle any of our neighbors.  And we fought two world wars against Germany, the country whose philosophy caused this mess.  You would think that we would be aware of the dangers of her anti-human ideology.  During World War II German race consciousness projection enabled the Nazis to convince their countrymen to annihilate whole “races” of people that they disregarded as fellow human beings.  But it didn’t start there, for during World War I the Germans smuggled Lenin into Russia in order to infect Russia with Marxist thought, an experiment that proved successful in the short term as Russia collapsed in the Bolshevik revolution and sued for peace with Germany.  But the long-term reality of German consciousness projection doctrines reducing human beings to cogs of an economic class machine led to the greatest mass murders in human history as first Russia, then China, and then Cambodia slaughtered tens if not hundreds of millions of their own peoples or those they conquered.  Again, Americans should have known better, because we fought a fifty-year Cold War against this post-World War II Communist scourge, a war which ended without nuclear war thanks in no small part to the moral realism teaching of the Catholic Church in reminding Eastern Europeans of the liberties due to all human beings, regardless of what Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and others had to say about their economic class identities!  Yet here we are, succumbing still to this German philosophical infection in our universities, in our politics, in our legal structures, and now in our athletics, our doctor’s offices, and our families.

Enough is enough!  Let us return to realism about the world around us.  Let us admit who we are, that God created us in his own image, that we owe him our thanksgiving, and that we are morally indebted not only to God but to one another to treat one another as neighbors without reference to economics, race, blood, sex, or gender.  Let us remember that being human is a composite of both spirit and matter, so that we restore the dignity due the body.  And let us abandon the pretense of rage against God for creating us as male or female and instead glory in the wonder of our biological sexual reality and the incredible familial love that it makes possible, a love that illuminates our Creator and alone permits our participation in the giving of personal life.  Gender identity theory tears human bodies apart and sterilizes their life-giving capacity, something that definitively reveals this horrific ideology as the gnostic demonic contrivance that it truly is.  We are not mere spirits, mere consciousnesses imprisoned in our bodies.  Our humanity is defined as the composite of our soul-spirit and body together, so it is nonsensical for me to war against my own body, because my body is me and I am my body.  Even though the human soul-spirit can be separated from the body at death, death is a horrific impact on our complete human selves.  Jesus accordingly promises to fully restore our complete human selves—body and soul—in the final resurrection of the dead.  Thus, who I am as a human person necessitates both my mind and my body.  My body is not a mistake; it is a gift from God.  I ought therefore to glory in the magnificence of my creation in God’s image, rejecting the current culture of rage in favor of humble gratitude to my maker.

Having said all of the above, people in the throes of transgender ideology should not be subjected to violence by opponents of the ideology.  Our Faith calls for compassion and love for all persons regardless of what ideas they happen to hold.  The means of ideological liberation for the Church is not the power of the sword but the power of the Spirit, namely truth and love for neighbor.  Nor should any of the aforementioned argument be employed or misconstrued as an endorsement of violence against German nationals, people of Germanic descent, German business or cultural interests, or the Federal Republic of Germany.  Catholics are to love all persons regardless of ethnicity or nationality.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page