The faithful in America need a two-pronged approach when it comes to handling transgenderism in society today, according to a South Carolina priest.
The first prong, according to Fr. Jeffrey Kirby, author of the book, “Sanctify Them in Truth: How the Church’s Social Doctrine Addresses the Issues of Our Time,” is the offering of love and dignity to transgender individuals.
The second prong is offering truth — and, importantly, accepting only truth when it comes to one of the thorniest issues of our time, he said.
Kirby offered an impassioned homily at his church, Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Indian Land, South Carolina, on Sunday, April 16. It was posted to YouTube and subsequently was viewed over 5,000 times in one day. (SEE Fr. Kirby deliver his homily in the YouTube link, below.)
“All people of goodwill are called to respect the dignity of each person, especially those that they disagree with and who live differently from them,” Kirby told Fox News Digital via email this week.
For Christians, “our response is always one of love,” he said. “Hate is never an acceptable response. We seek in all things to speak the truth in love.”
He made clear that people are not really loving others when they play along with ideas out of a fear of being disagreeable or unpopular.
“Love is not narcissism,” said Kirby. “It is not selfish. Love speaks the truth, even when it is hard to hear.”
Fr. Kirby also had something to say to younger individuals who hope to find their real identities in the promises of “inclusion.”
There are young people who are “jumping on the bandwagon of transgenderism” because it is a “popular movement” that covers itself “in false messages of tolerance and acceptance,” he said.
In his Sunday homily, Kirby referenced the recent Bud Light beer campaign centered around transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney.
“I would never have imagined that Budweiser would have attempted to use transgenderism to promote its products,” he said.
“The transgender movement has nothing to do with tolerance or acceptance,” he added.
“Tolerance does not mean that I have to agree with everything someone says.” He said that actually, “authentic tolerance establishes an arena for different opinions and views.”
“Most people cannot imagine the hell that is suffered by people with gender dysphoria.”
Kirby offered his thoughts on what true acceptance looks like.
“Acceptance entails affirming a person’s dignity and human rights,” he said. “It does not mean that I have to take on and believe whatever the person asserts.”
He added, “The transgender movement does not believe this. For the transgender movement, tolerance and acceptance means submission and uniformity with its beliefs and views.”
Kirby then unpacked the stark differences between a human being’s true suffering with gender dysphoria versus today’s aggressive transgender ideology.
“We have to make a distinction between the transgender movement and the individual person who suffers from gender dysphoria,” he said.
“As we speak the truth, we honor and respect the freedom and dignity of all people, even those that disagree or mock our beliefs.”
“The transgender movement has taken on an ideological life of its own that is far removed from the interior sufferings of the person who has gender dysphoria,” he emphasized.
“Beyond the activists and those who seek to cause discord, there are real people who are psychologically suffering from gender dysphoria,” he noted.
They are one gender “in reality,” he said — but “intensely feel” that they belong to the opposite gender.
“Most people cannot imagine the hell that is suffered by people with gender dysphoria,” he added. “These people need authentic help.”
That help is not found in “playing along with delusional state of affairs,” or in the “manipulation of sex reassignment surgeries,” he said — but in guiding the person “through therapeutic means” to come to “a greater acceptance of who they truly are and to find peace within themselves.”
Kirby continued, “As Christians, we believe in freedom.”
He also said, “We will speak the truth in love, even as we accept the freedom of all people to live however they choose.”
The Christian faith is “grounded in freedom and personal accountability,” he said.
“We will speak about what is right and wrong, as well as the consequences of following what is wrong.”
He added, “As we speak the truth, we honor and respect the freedom and dignity of all people, even those that disagree or mock our beliefs.”