Biden Calls Transgender Bans ‘Close to Sinful.’ Pope Francis Calls Gender Ideology ‘Dangerous, Colonial’ Ideology.
In a pair of contrasting interviews over the weekend, Pope Francis called extreme transgender ideology “one of the most dangerous” ideas in the world which reminds him of a dystopian novel about an evil world government, while President Joe Biden said he found legislation that bans transgender surgeries for minors or teaching gender ideology to young children “close to sinful.”
The dueling comments set up a rare clash between Biden, who frequently describes himself as a “devout Catholic,” and the progressive pope.
“Gender ideology, today, is one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations,” an export from the West largely resisted by the developing world, said Pope Francis in an interview published last Friday by La Nación newspaper in his native Argentina. Gender ideology — which teaches someone may change gender from male to female, or identify as “nonbinary” — “goes against the human vocation,” he said.
“It blurs differences and the value of men and women,” the pope continued. It is “extremely dangerous, because it eliminates differences, and that erases humanity, the richness of humanity — personal, cultural, and social diversities, and the tensions that [come from these] differences.”
Pope Francis said the promotion of transgenderism reminded him of the 1908 novel “Lord of the World” by Robert Hugh Benson, which presents “a future in which differences are disappearing and everything is the same, everything is uniform — a single leader of the whole world. A futuristic prophet.”
Despite the totalitarian implications of transgender advocacy, “there are some naive people who believe that it is the path of progress,” Pope Francis told the interviewer.
On Monday, Pope Francis’s tenth anniversary as pontiff, video from “The Daily Show” captured President Biden calling those who share the pope’s views as “close to sinful.”
Biden, who voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 and once called public employees engaging in homosexuality “security risks,” claimed his father taught him a socially liberal view of homosexuality during his childhood.
“Transgender kids is a really harder thing,” Biden pivoted. “What’s going on in Florida is, as my mother would say, close to sinful.”
Last month, the state of Florida protected minors from being subjected to costly surgeries that remove healthy organs or beginning lifelong cross-hormone injections. The Florida Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine banned “sex reassignment surgeries, or any other surgical procedures, that alter primary or secondary sexual characteristics,” as well as “puberty blocking, hormone, and hormone antagonist therapies” for teenagers or children.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) previously signed a parental rights in education bill, which states a “school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender” ideology in kindergarten through third grade — with children between five and nine years old. The bill’s popularity propelled DeSantis to a double-digit reelection last November and as a likely 2024 Republican presidential hopeful.
The legislation incensed Biden, who called on Congress to pass a new federal law quashing measures that block the transgender industry’s access to minors’ bodies and LGBT activists’ access to their minds. Lawmakers must “make sure we pass legislation like we passed on same-sex marriage — you mess with that, you’re breaking the law, and you’re going to be held accountable,” Biden told “Daily Show” host Kal Penn.
In office, Biden has proven a leading exponent of Western gender ideology to an unreceptive world.
“To further repair our moral leadership, I’m also issuing a presidential memo to agencies to reinvigorate our leadership on the LGBTQI issues and do it internationally,” said Biden during his first major foreign policy speech in February 2021. During Biden’s first full month in office, he signed a “Memorandum on Advancing the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Persons Around the World” and allocated $10 million for a “Global Equality Fund” to promote pro-LGBTQ views, including extreme gender ideology, worldwide. For instance, $300,000 in U.S. taxpayer funds went to increase “social acceptance” of homosexuality and transgenderism in Botswana.
The memo promises to use “the full range of diplomatic and assistance tools,” including “financial sanctions,” against nations deemed insufficiently pro-LGBT.
More than 30 of Africa’s 54 nations have laws against engaging in homosexual relations, according to the Associated Press — largely due to broadly shared religious convictions. That list includes Nigeria, which the Biden administration removed as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) despite intensifying persecution of Christians.
The State Department held a tense confrontation with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni about his country’s LGBTQ laws last December 14, one day after Biden signed the so-called Respect for Marriage Act. But the Biden administration’s diplomatic pressure seemed to bear little fruit.
“We are not going to follow people who are lost,” said President Museveni, referring to Americans and others in the West, during a rally in Uganda last month. “These Europeans are not normal. They don’t listen.” He added that Western leaders “don’t respect other people’s views; and they want to turn the abnormal into normal and force it on others. We shall not agree.”
His remarks came as Uganda’s parliament introduced a bill banning the promotion, recruitment, and funding of LGBTQ actions and advocacy. “You are either with us or you’re with the Western world,” said the Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda, Anita Among.
Other African leaders have sided more with Pope Francis’s views than President Biden’s.
“We do not support gay and lesbian rights as a country,” said Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, who is widely regarded as harboring more positive views of LGBTQ ideology. “Zambia is a Christian nation, it’s clear!” he added.
Last Friday, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops slammed a decision by that nation’s Supreme Court to allow LGBTQ groups to register as NGOs, which they called “an effort towards the promotion of the LGBTQ ideology, which seeks to destroy life. It is an attack on humanity.”
“This ideology is an attempt to undermine the family and cultural values which are rooted in the very nature of humankind,” the Kenyan bishops added.
In Nigeria, constitutional lawyer Dayo Akinlaja said the threat of Western “sanctions should not deter us from abhoring what we consider to be immoral or sinful,” because the law should “reflect our culture and values. We cannot repeal our law to reflect the American way of life.”
Yet the Biden administration is expected to continue its pressure for the global LGBTQ agenda when Vice President Kamala Harris visits Africa from March 25 to April 2. She is scheduled to meet with the presidents of Ghana, Tanzania, and Zambia.
Biden’s foreign LGBTQ advocacy also affects everyday Americans. Biden committed the U.S. immigration system “to protecting vulnerable LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers” worldwide, boosting the number of refugees able to resettle in the U.S. from 15,000 to 125,000. The Biden administration has also touted the fact that 14% of Biden’s appointees identify as LGBTQ+, making them radically overrepresented in U.S. government compared to their numbers in the general population (7%).
Biden’s missionary work on behalf of gender ideology continues even as some European nations have stepped back from transgenderism’s most extreme claims. “The knowledge base, especially research-based knowledge for gender-affirming treatment (hormonal and surgical), is deficient and the long-term effects are little known,” the Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board (NHIB/UKOM) concluded last Thursday. “This is particularly true for the teenage population where the stability of their gender incongruence is also not known.”
A February 2021 Pew poll found that 50% of respondents expected evangelical Christians to lose influence during the Biden administration, while 60% of Americans expected the LGBT movement to gain power.
Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.