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He or She – What’s Your True Identity?

Do you remember what your priorities were when you were eight years old? When I was that age (1965), I was in third grade. One of my jobs at home was to make breakfast on certain weekday mornings for my younger brothers and sisters. At that age, my primary goal was to figure out ways to get out of work around the house, so I could go outside to our family neighborhood and play with my cousins.

By the time I was eight years old, I had received my first communion. Once a month, I was required to go with my Saint Mark Catholic School classmates to the church so we could all line up and go to confession. In preparation for my first communion, I had learned several prayers, including the Act of Contrition, Act of Faith, Act of Hope, and Act of Love. I knew the mysteries of the rosary by memory because my mom insisted that we pray the rosary together every day as a family.

I had already learned and accepted as true that I was a child of God and that I was created by Him to know, love, and serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him in Heaven for eternity.

My memories of being eight years old were triggered on Friday (August 4) when I read an article on the internet about a discrimination lawsuit that had been filed against Heritage Oak, a secular private grade school in California.

The lawsuit was filed by the parents of an 8-year-old child who was born as a boy, but shortly before turning seven years old, decided that he wanted to be a girl. When he announced the news to his parents, he said, “I am a girl. I want to be called a girl.” He then requested that his name be changed to Nicole (Nikki) Brar. The boy’s parents went along with his newly declared identity and enrolled him in Heritage Oak, for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year.

The lawsuit claims that the school rejected the child’s request to wear a girl’s uniform and rejected a request that he be referred to with pronouns that would indicate that he was a girl. The lawsuit further claims that the school failed to address issues that related to him being bullied in the classroom, and that the school required that he use an individual staff restroom instead of the girls’ restroom.

It wasn’t that long ago when this particular child would have been diagnosed as having a serious mental health problem. But his parents saw nothing wrong with his behavior and hired a therapist who is a specialist in gender identity for children. According to the lawsuit, the therapist “encouraged Nikki’s parents to let her buy girls’ clothes if that is what she was asking for. When Nikki was able to wear girls’ clothes, she was happier and liked the way she looked.”

One explanation for the child’s behavior is that his mother previously taught college courses in gender and transgender theory. The lawsuit stated that she was sensitive to her child’s “transition” because one of her students who identified as a transgender had committed suicide.

In my opinion, it is safe to assume that when the boy was two years old, playing with a toy on the floor of the living room, he heard, absorbed, and accepted as true his mom’s explanation to her husband or her friend on the phone why it was perfectly acceptable for a boy or girl to decide that they would be happier about themselves if they changed genders. And there’s a strong likelihood that during the following five years of his life, while he was engaging in normal activities around the house, he heard, absorbed, and accepted as true similar opinions and beliefs.

I wonder how many college students at universities throughout the U.S. have taken gender and transgender theory classes over the past 20 years.

In addition to the colleges and universities promoting perverted behavior, our public high schools have also been spreading the transgender message for several years. More recently, our public grade schools have also come on board and started indoctrinating students and encouraging them to be more tolerant, accepting, and approving of this type of behavior.

Last year, a Catholic mother and client of mine told me that her teenage daughter who attends a public high school was struggling with gender identity issues.

We now have numerous children in our country who are having gender identity issues. While we can attribute part of the problem to our schools, the root of the problem lies in the way many children are now being raised by their parents.

Many of our young children are now being raised in homes that are managed by parents who have no belief in or need for God. These children have no sense of what their true purpose in life is and no clear understanding of why they were created. In other words, they have no real identity. Without an understanding of who they are and where they came from, they can easily be led to believe that their identity is fluid and can change on a whim.

Like other Catholics who grew up in devout Catholic homes, I grew up with a very clear identity of who I was. I was taught that God had planned my existence from all eternity and that I was created in His image and likeness. I was also taught that He had a plan for my life and that if I did my best to discern and follow His plan, at the end of my life, I would be welcomed into His Heavenly Kingdom for all eternity.

Last week, I wrote about the importance of hope and the prayer that I say every morning while I’m in the shower. Two of the other prayers that I say every morning while I’m in the shower are the Act of Faith and Act of Love.

Here’s the Act of Faith that I learned when I was seven years old:

O my God, I believe that Thou art one God in Three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I believe that you sent your only Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sins, and that He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths of the Holy Catholic Church, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.

And the Act of Love:

O my God, I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all my love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Thee and I ask forgiveness for all whom I have injured, and I forgive all who have injured me.

Although God created each one of our children in His image and likeness, He gave us the responsibility to assist Him in developing the identities of our children so that they would have the predisposition and desire to know, love, and serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him in Heaven for eternity.

By the way, every crisis of faith is preceded by a misinterpretation or rejection of a person’s true identity.

2 Responses to “He or She – What’s Your True Identity?”

  1. Sister Roberta Houlihan, CSJ Says:

    Dear Georgette and Harry –
    Thank you for your weekly write-up! There is always a lesson to be learned! My parents, and I’m sure other parents of the 20’s and 30’s, were careful to teach us truth, and in doing so, they helped us to know who we are – our true identity. I am where I am today because of their love for God and their loving care for me (and my brothers and sister). We have been wonderfully blessed! Part of their teaching came through watching what we read, what movies we saw, etc. The lives of the Saints gave us examples to follow. (I think of St. Francis of Assisi, who spoke of ALL created beings as his “Brothers and Sisters”. We learned that we are all equals, males/females/persons/animals/plants/sun/moon/stars – and even the planets! God created every part of every one of us! What a wonderful world if this lesson could come alive for each of us!

  2. Harry Says:

    Hello Sister Roberta – Thanks for your comments last week on the importance of your parents and your brothers and sister and the way that you were raised by your parents. I think you’ll identify with this week’s article, “A Valuable Lesson from a Love Coach.” I thought of you while I was writing the article because you’re a “we-centric” person. You have the ability to maintain and nourish multiple relationships at the same time, which is why you have been able to help so many people over the years. Keep up the good and holy work that you do. I’m honored to have you as a friend and supporter. Love, Harry

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