Мы следим за фашистами, а они следят за нами.
We watch the fascists, and the fascists watch us.
I’ve compiled an overview of the strange, sad tale of a
conservative far-right academic journal using my personhood as a trans Catholic to become an abstract specimen for their adjudication. Christian Bioethics published a hit-piece about me, authored by a professor at the Catholic University of America, Melissa Moschella.
They avoided gendering me, to the point of some laughably torturous prose so as to omit any third-person singular pronouns. With no courtesy of contact or conversation prior to publication, this recent article attributed to me (and others) spiritual laxity, mental illness, sloppy morals, and dishonest intentions.
Ultimately, the journal’s editors and the author have demonstrated total unwillingness to let me answer academically to these uninformed declamations against the validity of my faith and the morality of my character.
HOW DID IT ALL START?
AFTER READING THE ARTICLE AND ITS UNFAVORABLE PRONOUNCEMENTS ON MY EXISTENCE, I began by writing to the editors of Christian Bioethics, requesting an opportunity to formally respond Tom Moschella’s dubious depiction of spiritual conundrums among trans Catholics, in her appropriation of my testimony to be dissected by some very selective research.
Since the “intellectual dark web” is fond of free speech and open debate, I thus invited the journal and the author to engage with me in such an endeavor. They say they want dialogue …. so what are they afraid of? I’m assuming because it’s easier to besmirch bloggers within their private cloisters, rather than participate in a public space of academic disputation. And you wonder why I quit the oligarchic university system? — because it’s full of such shut-door polemicists.
Christian Bioethics finally got back to me, saying that any self-defence of my personal life that I prepare would have to pass their totally neutral, not at all rigged, surely utmost impartial, veritably unbiased peer-review process. Note the lack of salutation before my name. “Please submit your essay justifying your medical treatment for our anonymous adjudication …”
And then my expansive consternation to the editor’s non-apology, who could not quite understand my distaste for those who deny the legitimacy of my experience before I even speak.
To which Moschella retorts, with reserved candor, that I’m being unfair to Christian Bioethics. Maybe? But no word yet as to whether the journal is being unfair to me — … ah, but you know how overtly sensitive those trans women are …
Yeah … I don’t think you understand my frustration one jot. If you did, you would have communicated with me during the draft phases of your article. rather than judge by observation and excision. You relied on interview snippets as evidence. As if my existential encounter with God has no more value to you than a piece of data.
I am still confused as to why they believe that reply papers are somehow alien and unorthodox genres within the academic philosophical community. They’re not unheard of, as the comments on this post by Brian Leiter indicate. Maybe we need more of them, if academic philosophy is to have any real sense of engagement. And to be forthright once more I only sought this avenue because my personal life was used as a variable-set for someone else’s musings. However — as I said, their journal and their rules; as they control the conduit of discussion and dissemination, I am bereft of any capacity for a platform. I’ll author a formal rebuttal, with refutation of the key theses in Moschella’s article, in the near future …. but hey, enough about me for now.
SHALL WE TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT MAGA-CATHOLICISM AND WHAT MOTIVATIONS AND MACHINATIONS UNDERLIE ITS ALT-RIGHT AGENDA?
Prof Moschella makes the reasonable, at least at first glimpse, proposal that I pitch my disposition to an online political magazine. One of her mates. Her recommended website, Public Discourse, just happens to be the very same one that provided a sizeable bulk of the polemics for her bibliography:
I also here marked in red one of the many strange citations that pepper an article purportedly about ethics and medicines for trans persons — a book concerning theories of nuclear deterrence during the cold war, Uh? Such red herring references proliferate throughout, in lieu of making use of authoritative studies about gender dysphoria and best clinical standards of care. Neglecting to mention the entire body of medical literature in favor of your friends’ websites is a dodgy tactic.
In fact, as Jennifer Haselberger documents in detail, prior rulings by the Roman Rota demonstrated that the “Catholic Church was at one time in the not too distant past willing to be instructed on these issues by doctors, scientists, and the lived experience of transgender and intersex Catholics”.
Why would these professors and their attendant platforms be so unwilling, to the point of negligent scholarship,
overlook ignore well-established findings about transsexuality from decades of scientific literature, as well as prior Vatican documents on the issue?
The big business of conservative hegemony. They only make these targeted attacks on LGBT people and pregnant, unmarried women.
The aforementioned Public Discourse is in fact the (tax exempt) multi-million dollar organ of the Witherspoon Institute, a super-conservative think tank based in Pennsylvania, who are infamous for promoting bogus studies, bigoted agitation, and utterly discredited pseudo-researchers. It’s basically alt-right-lite for the culture crusaders in custom suits crowd. The Witherspoon Institute had a strong fundraising influence on the infamous Regnerus Study, which claimed to provide empirical proof that same-sex parenting produces consistently negative outcome for children. Over 150 sociologists compiled a strong statement of rebuke to Social Science Research, the journal that published Mark Regnerus’ research, for its patently suspicious peer-review protocols. Regnerus’ study has enjoyed a vigorous afterlife, however, being frequently cited by anti-gay activists and providing data to bolster Vladimir Putin’s draconian “gay propaganda law.” Violence against presumed queers is practically systematic in Russia. American right-wing groups have been quite invested in Russia’s promulgation of queer scapegoating, What you won’t find, however, are them decrying the now-proven GRU interference in the 2016 election.
Crazy, is it not? And just who is this editor-friend that Moschella is proposing I contact at Public Discourse/Witherspoon Institute? Ryan T. Anderson, the very same gentleman who appears throughout her paper, and for whose book she has written numerous adulatory reviews. Anderson, who has nil psychological nor psychiatric training whatsoever, has recently decided he’s an expert on all things trans by peddling junk analysis. His preposterously titled book When Harry Became Sally (Ignatius Press, 2018) cited appreciatively by Moschella throughout her article, posits such claims as trans women are predatory by innate inclination, are mentally ill, and perverted by spiritual laziness. Of course, he didn’t actually speak to anyone trans in the composition of the book. Anderson also thinks Trump hasn’t done enough to ‘make America great again‘, if you needed a further stimulus for a shudder to rattle up your spine.
Their absolute objective is to cleanse and eradicate all trans people from society. That’s the desperate fact behind their tactics of cultural annihilation. No exceptions. Just the elimination of all trans as a perverse social contagion.
This is not an exaggeration: see the links in the above paragraph for evidence as to how MAGA seeks to eradicate transgender and trans people out of existence. Now it becomes much clearer as to why Moschella so vociferously rejecting any possible “middle way” or dialogue of compromise.
Ryan T. Anderson is also a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, who are very closely aligned with Trump policies. They also have an office in Moscow, of all places. And on the subject of strange bedfellows — Anderson has held conferences in partnership with radical lesbian feminists — who support free, on-demand abortion — in order to tear down legislation aimed at protecting the rights of trans individuals
Thus, I’d sooner take up skateboarding again in my clumsy middle-age, than provide traffic and revenue to R. T. Anderson and the Witherspoon Institute website.
THERE ARE ONLY TWO (astronomically united) SEXES!
JESUS TAUGHT TRADITION, FAMILY, AND PRIVATE PROPERTY!
THE MAGA-CATHOLIC ALLIANCE
The network of cultural authoritarians proliferate under many names and pseudonyms; but the personages are consistent and intimately linked. Moschella is also a member of another cloyingly named foundation — the Social Trends Institute. STI is, in fact, one of the hundreds of front-operations run by Opus Dei. Their primary purpose is to channel cash from millionaire elite donors and make this dark money resurface as promotional fees to be thrown at academics.
It’s a sort of intellectual mercenary patronage scheme. These bought and sponsored scholars then act as lobbyists on behalf of financial and social agendas that protect the wealthy and appease hardline religious extremists, who tend to be one and the same cadre. The Social Trends Institute is closely aligned with the James Madison Program, which was founded by Robert G McCormick, who the New York Times called “the reigning brain of the Christian Right.” Guess what else McCormick founded? SURPRISE — The Witherspoon Institute! McCormick wrote shiny, happy endorsements to Anderson’s pseudo-scientific trans-bashing book
They conglomerate together in the same self-referential, cast-iron conservative conclave. Follow the money in the far-right and you’ll see the same squad of fascist-adjacent figureheads popping up.
It’s worth noting that Melissa Moschella also was also associated with the now defunct, but quaintly titled, International Children’s Rights Institute. This theocratic lobbying group delighted in hyperbole such as “The LGBT Inquisition will seek to eliminate your freedom of thought.” This organization abruptly disappeared without notice or explanation, and seems to have a pretty shady history of operations.
Another individual associated with ICRI is Austin Ruse, an ardent supporter of Steve Bannon. Austin Ruse deleted and scrubbed his social media accounts around the same time Roger Stone was indicted. Moreover, Ruse stans for the Proud Boys and encourages recruitment to their violent, ethonationalist agenda.
Robert Oscar Lopez, the founder of ICRI — and, of all things, an English professor and gay porn author— has a history of uber inflammatory statements intended to intimidate and silence minorities. Like Ruse, he’s taken to scrubbing his social media, but a lengthy archive of his worst behaviour can be found here.
It’s over six hundred pages!
The “ex-gay” movement plies the lucrative lecture circuit in lockstep proximity with these lobbyists. This includes the once popular speaker Daniel C Mattson — of the pro-conversion therapy organisation Courage International — who swiftly vanished from his keynote speaker itinerary in January, 2019, when serious allegations of sexual interference with a minor became publicised.
Ryan T. Anderson and Daniel C. Mattson share the same publisher. There is no such thing as “anonymous peer-reviewer” when the reviewers all know each other on intimate ideological terms.
Why are they so obsessively concerned about the perceived sexual sins of LGBT Catholics, and yet so unfailingly remiss in addressing the disturbing trends of the most abhorrent vices being conducted openly each day by their colleagues? Could this all just be projection, distraction, and old school scapegoating as ideological fodder for the conservative cannons?
I know what you’re doing.
I see the pattern. (For more information on MAGA-Catholicism as a pseudo-religious psyop for the far-right, see here.) MAGA-Catholics all travel together along the same roundabout of circularity and financial swaps, boosting each other back and forth, trading citations like high-fives, all the while cultivating a clique. Very keen to discuss transgender people, just don’t let any of those freaks into the room! This is hardly what intellectual liberty and freedom should look like. Conveniently selective moral peccadilloes pass for “natural law” to this financially elite integralism. There will always be a zealotry market for blame, and to be sure celibate trans Catholics hiding in the back pews are The Problem. Just make sure you don’t ever speak with them.
Well, at least I don’t advocate for the imprisonment of children where they rot to death in filth, disease, misery, and neglect under the auspices of for-profit concentration camps and call it Catholicism.