Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Are We Lost?

Dear Friends,

This is embarrassing to say but a certain loved one told me last week that she is coming “out of the closet” and self-identifying as “Feline.” I’ve always known that she was more attached to cats than humans but her announcement that she is now “trans-species” really stunned me. I’d suspected that something was not quite right when I first met her. Every time we’d go for a walk, she’d dart away to chase after and try to catch lizards. I didn’t mind when she grew long, sharp fingernails but I was very upset when she shredded the side of my couch. And I was really grossed out the one time when she invited me over for dinner and dropped that dead mouse on my plate. 

So it was no surprise when she told me that she has become more and more confused about her species identity and feels trapped in her human body. She believes now that God created her to be feline and she has already scheduled her species realignment surgery. She believes that she will feel more like her authentic self after the tail attachment surgery and the facial fur implants. She’s already taking a powerful drug that will alter her hormones and grow the long whiskers that she’s always wanted.

She’s also now having some troubles at work. While her boss is very appreciative of her personal efforts in keeping the building rodent-free, he has balked at allowing her to have a kitty litter box beside her desk. She feels very strongly about this issue of accommodation and has retained attorney, Gloria Allred, to sue the building owner for not having trans-species restrooms that would have a litter box in a private stall and a fire hydrant next to a floor drain to accommodate the needs of all trans-species.

I only ask that you respect her decision to become feline and call her by her new name, “Fluffy.” When you see her at church, please refrain from any insensitive, catty comments but if she jumps up on the hospitality table while we’re eating, please push her off and firmly tell her, “No Fluffy!!

You may be surprised to know that people who believe that they are partially or entirely animals claim to number in the hundreds of thousands. It’s called “species dysphoria” meaning that one has the feeling that their body is the wrong species and they have a strong desire to become an animal. Psychological literature compares “species identity disorder” with “gender identity disorder” and finds that those who suffer from these disorders will describe similar perceptions of being inside a physical body that’s not their own. 

I don’t mean to ridicule or minimize the psychological suffering when people feel uncomfortable with their gender or species, but do wish to point out that much of society today is in agreement that reality is whatever one perceives it to be. We can only comprehend the rapid cultural changes in our Nation when we understand that relativism has replaced reality in the modern worldview. Relativism is the concept that points of view have no absolute truth or validity. There is no longer universal truth or absolutes. That’s why progressive liberal Christians believe that there are no longer absolute truths in the Bible, and why we see non-historic, unorthodox interpretations of scriptures that have been twisted and reshaped to fit more comfortably into the context of today’s culture.

Reality is defined as the state of things as they actually exist. Perception is defined as how you understand something to be, based upon your own feelings, ideas and beliefs. We’ve seen reality and perception collide in recent headline news. Bruce Jenner, Olympic decathlon men's event champion stunned his three ex-wives and six children by announcing that he’s really a woman. Rachel Dolezal was recently fired from her position as the head of a local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) after it was found that she’s a white woman pretending to be black. (Dolezal claims that she is really an African-American woman trapped in a white body.)

What does it mean when a person’s perception does not match reality? In the scientific world of psychology, that’s called a “psychosis” which is a mental disorder characterized by having delusionary perceptions that do not align with reality. Those who suffer from identity mental disorders need psychological and spiritual help, but in our "progressive," relativistic society, their disorder is normalized and celebrated.

There is no hope for the world when we cut ourselves off from God who is the ultimate source of all that is defined as “reality.” When we adhere to the worldview of “relativism” and allow our feelings and perceptions to shape-shift our reality, then we have a cultural mental illness, and have lost our way. We need to return to the divine Truth. Until we do, may God have mercy upon on us all.  Amen?

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