Twenty Second Sunday In Ordinary Time

August 27, 2016 Column Father De Celles

“Gender” Wars. A lot of news this week on the continuing assault against women and children, liberty and common sense by “gender” ideologues.


August 17 Meeting. A huge crowd of 270, mostly concerned parents, attended the hastily called meeting on Wednesday the 17th, at which attorney Mary McAlister of “Liberty Counsel” spoke about the rights of parents to resist the Fairfax County Public School Board’s efforts to impose its abusive transgender policy on our children. I was amazed because we only scheduled the meeting one week before and struggled to get the word out. The large attendance was particularly interesting because a good number of the folks present were not Catholic—maybe half were from Protestant communities in the area.

To me, this goes to show there is a widespread and deep opposition to this policy, and that parents are eager to act to protect their kids.

Among other things, McAlister explained that Virginia law does not permit local school boards to create new “protected classes” beyond those provided in the state’s nondiscrimination laws, as the FCPS Board is attempting to do. The law also does not impose a penalty upon parents for not signing the Student Rights & Responsibilities form (SR&R) required by FCPS, acknowledging the school districts disciplinary policies, including the new transgender policy.

One actionable item that came out of the meeting was McAlister’s encouragement to FCPS parents to signify their opposition by refusing to sign the SR&R, and instead, either attach (or print on the opposite side of the unsigned SR&R signature page) Liberty Counsel’s Legal Memo, which explains why the parents are not signing the FCPS form. Parents can sign that Memo page, and return the two pages (SR&R and Memo) to their child’s school by October 7, 2016. (This form and memo are available on our parish website, or from parishioner Mychele Brickner (former school board member) at

Another actionable item proposed, as I have strongly argued in the past, is that all parents should read their child’s Family Life Education (FLE) lessons and OPT-OUT of FLE.



Texas Federal Judge. You may remember that the Fairfax School Board argues that their policy springs from a letter from the Obama administration ordering public schools across the nation to consider transgenders a “protected class” under “Title IX” or face loss of billions of dollars in federal assistance.

Last Monday, however, a federal district judge in Texas, in a case filed by 13 states, ruled that that federal order was illegal, since the administration failed to comply with federal rule-making procedures under the Administrative Procedures Act. The judge also found that the Obama mandate misinterpreted Title IX, which bars discrimination in schools due to sex. He held that the administration’s interpretation of the law also flew in the face of the plain meaning of the statutes, ignoring the fact, for example, that Title IX’s implementation regulation explicitly authorizes separate restrooms based on biological sex.

The Judge applied his decision on a nationwide basis, including FCPS—so the FCPS Board now has no one to blame but its own ideological driven members and staff, and finds itself trying to implement a policy that it would seem is illegal.

Of course, the district judge’s order may (probably will) be appealed by the Obama administration. But the appeal will go to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the most conservative appellate court in the nation which, I think, would probably uphold the district judge.

After that, it could be appealed to the Supreme Court. This highlights the importance of the upcoming election for president, since the next president will be responsible for nominating not only Judge Antonin Scalia’s successor, but also successors to 2 to 3 more retiring justices over the next 4 years. But I digress…


Science Speaks. You may have heard of an important scientific study published last week in the journal, The New Atlantis, which debunks almost every supposed argument of the pro-LGBT agenda. Then again, because of media censorship, you might not have heard it. So let me quote at length from an article by Ryan Anderson (a recent speaker at our parish) on

“Co-authored by two of the nation’s leading scholars on mental health and sexuality, the 143-page report discusses over 200 peer-reviewed studies in the biological, psychological, and social sciences, painstakingly documenting what scientific research shows and does not show about sexuality and gender.

“The major takeaway…is that “some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence.”

“Here are four of the report’s most important conclusions:

   “– The belief that sexual orientation is an innate, biologically fixed human property—that people are ‘born that way’—is not supported by scientific evidence.

   “– …the belief that gender identity is an innate, fixed human property independent of biological sex—so that a person might be a ‘man trapped in a woman’s body’ …—is not supported by scientific evidence.

   “– Only a minority of children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood. There is no evidence that all such children should be encouraged to become transgender, much less subjected to hormone treatments or surgery.

   “– Non-heterosexual and transgender people have higher rates of mental health problems (anxiety, depression, suicide), as well as behavioral and social problems (substance abuse, intimate partner violence), than the general population. Discrimination alone does not account for the entire disparity.

  “The report, “Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences,” is co-authored by Dr. Lawrence Mayer and Dr. Paul McHugh. Mayer is a scholar-in-residence in the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University and a professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University. …McHugh, …“arguably the most important American psychiatrist of the last half-century,” is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and was for 25 years the psychiatrist-in-chief at the Johns Hopkins Hospital….”


Protect Our Children: Teaching the Truth. What can we do? Frankly, my first advice is to encourage all parents of children enrolled in FCPS to take them out of the public schools and enroll them in Catholic schools. Tuition assistance is available, including from the parish.

But if you keep your kids in FCPS you must forcefully show your objection to its policies about transgender and sexuality in general. So, sign yourself up for the email updates from Mychele Brickner (see above) and consider Liberty Counsel’s advice about the SR&R, and my strong advice to opt your kids out of the FLE—it’s poison.

And if your kids are in FCPS make sure that you’re teaching the truth about things, both at home and by enrolling them in Religious Education (“CCD”) at St. Raymond. This is a moral imperative for you as parents. Call to register today, or sign up online at!

Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles