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“Employer is Forcing Me to Support A Male Transitioning to a Female at Work”

I am not suggesting that my response is appropriate for everyone, it all depends a bit on individual situations, but in this particular situation, I am sharing how I responded.

A woman who will remain unnamed wrote and asked me what to do. Here is her situation:

I work as a financial auditor. One of my team members, a biological male for whom I’m the manager, is identifying as a transgender woman and will soon start with hormonal treatments and transitioning. As his manager, I am looped into this and asked to support him. Nothing much is required of me but I need to say to him that I support him. Anything else would be a bad reputation and maybe a potential loss of my job. What do you think I should do?

My response:

       This is a very touchy issue and it’s going to cause a lot of problems for a lot of Christians in the years to come. I suggest that you find a good priest and discuss this with him on a one to one basis.
       But from my own perspective I could never accept transgenderism. LGBT is contrary to nature and nature‘s God.
       However, at the same time, people have free will and we are not in a position to tell people what to do, especially those who are not Catholic or in our family. God did not put you in charge of this person’s moral or family life, but only in charge of their function as an employee.
       We have a similar situation and we are looking at it as a long-term evangelization project. A friendship has formed although the person knows we are opposed to their lifestyle and consider it wrong, but that we also respect the person as made in the image of God.
       There may be a way you can deal with this without committing yourself one way or the other since the his decision is not your decision. You can say some thing about not discriminating against anyone who works under you and that you will never discriminate against anyone, but you will treat this person with respect and recognize the dignity that all employees possess as human beings.
       You can and will affirm and recognize the merits of the the person’s work as an employee of the firm. Any personal choices that any employee makes are their own responsibility and not your’s to approve or disapprove, support or not support. It is your job to treat them fairly and without discrimination. Maybe in this manner, you can avoid saying that you approve or disapprove but still let them know that — because they have their own free choice you will treat them equally with everyone else.
       On the other hand, many people are losing their jobs and will lose their careers and livelihoods because of the LGBT and abortion issues. There’s a thing called “white martyrdom“ for people who suffer but don’t lose their lives because of the truth. This is a specially hitting doctors and nurses and pharmacists. “Red martyrdom“ is when people shed their blood because they stand up for the truth.
      May God give you wisdom and grace and help you know what to do. We will pray for you over the next couple of weeks.

About Fr. James Altman: “Today’s self-styled “John the Baptist” figures sometimes do the opposite of preparing the way of the Lord.”

The Wilderness Crying Out in a Voice

Today’s self-styled “John the Baptist” figures sometimes do the opposite of preparing the way of the Lord.

[Steve Ray here with an opening comment. In the beginning, I supported Fr. Altman with his willingness to speak out against politicians and clergy who promoted abortion and yet claimed to be Catholics in food standing, approaching the altar for the Eucharist. But this recent kind of conduct, accusations and mean-spirited attacks on an archbishop whom I know personally are far from acceptable and not something I can support any longer. I hold no ill-will for Fr. Altman and hope that he reins himself in before he destroys the good reputation started out with but is now losing.]

[Fr. Fox’s article begins here]: “In 1987, when I was ten years-old and a devotee of the World Wrestling Federation, I saw an episode of the WWF talk show, Piper’s Pit, hosted by the Scottish wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper. On this particular episode, a fateful betrayal took place, in which Andre the Giant turned against Hulk Hogan, challenging the Hulkster to what would become one of the most important athletic contests of all-time, a bout for the WWF World Championship at Wrestlemania III.

Andre’s betrayal of Hulk Hogan’s friendship was a moment of emotional pique, to say the least. That it was not an occasion of refined etiquette goes without saying. Andre (incidentally, proven by the film The Princess Bride to be one of the great thespians of the age) even tore off Hogan’s gold crucifix and chain, shocking the sensibilities of Hulkamaniacs like me and priming the pump of our zeal for Hogan’s triumph. Incidentally, that victory took place in front of 93,173 fans, the largest recorded indoor attendance in history, until Pope St. John Paul II celebrated Holy Mass before 104,000 people in St. Louis twelve years later.

What is the point? Only that the wild and wooly, bombastic antagonism of the 1980s-era World Wrestling Federation strikes me as being slightly more civilized than certain sectors of Catholic society these days.

The most recent example brought to my attention was a video by Fr. James Altman, a priest of the Diocese of LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Father Altman has lately become a favorite speaker of many Catholics who perceive him to be a “voice crying out in the wilderness” with courage and directness of speech.

In this particular video, Altman denounces Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit, my own archbishop, with a vehemence that might prompt circumspection and a reticent blush on the part of the professional wrestlers to whom I referred earlier. I do not mind saying that in addition to the video’s violation of my senses of Christian virtue and natural justice, it also stirred my filial loyalty to my bishop, whom I look upon as a true and faithful spiritual father.

Providentially, Archbishop Vigneron himself has recently provided a pastoral document aimed at helping Catholics to engage with just this kind of media communication virtuously and with an appropriately critical eye. In The Beauty of Truth: a Pastoral Note on Communicating Truth and Love in the Digital Age, Vigneron offers an incisive reflection on today’s digital media climate. He highlights some of the dangers of the digital world, and guides the faithful in the virtuous use of these media, as consumers and participants in online discussions.

Altman’s video was published after Vigneron’s pastoral note, so the latter is in no way a direct response to the former. But the note gives several important insights, including five “warning signs” of problematic digital media communication, that help provide an interpretive key for understanding Altman’s video and the ocean of similar media content. The five warning signs are the following:

  1. “any proposition out of harmony with the teachings of Christ and his Church,”
  2. “unsubstantiated claims or allegations,”
  3. “the manipulation of facts to deceive or harm,”
  4. ad hominem attacks,” and,
  5. “the spirit of division.”

Altman’s video does not directly violate the first of these warning signs, as he makes no doctrinal claim. It would perhaps be begging the question to assert that his video is out of harmony with Christ’s teaching on charity.

When it comes to unsubstantiated allegations, Altman seems to have no other kind. He accuses Archbishop Vigneron of persecuting the media company Church Militant, the recording studio of which Altman used to record his video. He also claims to have experienced a taste of such persecution himself, in the lead-up to his June 16 address to the Call to Holiness Conference in the Archdiocese of Detroit. And Altman accuses Vigneron both of persecuting one of his priests and of allowing the Detroit Chancery to persecute this priest as well.

In The Beauty of Truth, Vigneron writes, “Any person who makes a serious allegation has a correspondingly serious obligation to offer compelling evidence of his claim.” Altman offers zero evidence supporting any of his claims.

Altman’s video is also a brutal personal attack on Archbishop Vigneron, whom Altman quickly and repeatedly resorts to calling “Allen.” Dropping the use of an appropriate clerical title is a peculiar tactic from a conservative Catholic. Altman yells much of his message and is animated by what appears to be intense anger.

The word “divisive” is often misused, preempting even legitimate occasions when proclaiming the truth of the Gospel will unavoidably cause division. But Altman’s video, like so many others of its kind, will surely cause division in the vicious sense of the term, as it will further corrode the already damaged and fragile trust in Church authority that exists among so many Catholics today.

The lay faithful have sought long, hard, and too often in vain for clear preaching and teaching of the Catholic Faith. It is no wonder, therefore, that so many Catholics quickly become devoted to figures like Altman and others who speak forthrightly on issues too-long ignored or downplayed in Catholic pulpits and classrooms.

This doctrinal poverty, combined with the many and horrendous scandals to which we have all been exposed in recent years, have created a hunger bordering on starvation for clear voices speaking the truth without dilution or compromise.

This hunger on the part of so many Catholics is understandable. Yet it is neither virtuous nor spiritually safe to absorb uncritically the teachings of every media figure who purports to be a prophet, a rare and courageous voice of truth in a world of falsehoods.

True prophets exist among us, given by God to bring order out of the chaos of our time. But every cleric or layperson proposing that he or she is such a prophet deserves and should welcome holy scrutiny, in the spirit of St. Paul’s teaching in 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22: ‘Test everything; retain what is good. Refrain from every kind of evil.'”

Questions I answered on Catholic Answers Live Q & A for Non-Catholics

  • 04:00 – I have a non-Catholic friend who left the church because he didn’t understand how contraception was wrong but natural family planning was appropriate because both give the adults control over pregnancy. This stirred doubt in my heart, can Steve help explain this and how I can defend this to my friend? 
  • 13:59 – Why are priests important? 
  • 15:33 – What was the significance of Jesus’ sacrifice if as God he knew he would rise again on the third day? 
  • 18:53 – If Mary was free from the consequences from the fall why does Revelations Ch 12 say she experienced the pains of childbirth? 
  • 23:08 – nondenominational Christian church that my non-Catholic friend attends publish the apostle’s creed and Nicene creed on their website nearly exactly to the Catholic Prayers. If they believed in the creed, why are they practicing faith that is misled/against that? 
  • 29:15 – What is the main difference between Catholicism and the Eastern Orthodox church? Why is Catholicism the true faith versus the eastern orthodox church or any for that matter? 
  • 37:45 – What in the bible or in church teachings encourage Catholics to pray to the saints? 
  • 45:50 – When a priest comes into a room do, we stand out of respect, because I noticed others not doing so but I was always taught to. 
  • 47:42 – I am a protestant considering Catholicism so, Is Purgatory real and how do we know it is? (I got his info to send him purgatory is for real) 
  • 52:30 – Pope means Vicar of the son of God then what is the holy spirit? 

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