A Little Discrimination Can Go a Long Way

Title IX
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One month after Uvalde, as people debate (especially on Capitol Hill) how we can keep our children safe in school, Joe Biden is planning a different kind of assault on school children’s well-being: one that targets their minds and souls instead of their bodies. 

The Biden administration has put forward a proposal to broaden the terms and rules of Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments—the non-discrimination law that aims to prevent unjust prejudice in federally-funded schools—and that expansion would make the word “sex,” as a thing that is not discriminated against, include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”

This would extend legal protection to those who desire to deny reality and legal prosecution to those who would deny their denial—especially in the realms of admissions, bathroom choice, athletic participation, and pronoun use.

In short, the federal government is proposing a mandate to not discriminate against—that is, to accept—aberrant and unnatural behaviors and emotions, whether in adults or children; and it is looking to start propaganda efforts in schools, where young minds and opinions are formed. It is here that Catholics must acknowledge the absurdity of discrimination when it approaches becoming all-inclusive and resolve to practice that sense of discrimination that is appropriate and just for thinking beings.

Largely because of Title IX and the institutional terror it has engendered over the past 50 years, the word “discrimination” is high on the list of bad buzz words, to the point that inclusivity has become practically a free-for-all. But the word has two meanings, which should both be considered when considering its place in society. Firstly, to “discriminate” means to give prejudicial or unjust treatment to a person or group of people. Such biases and actions are reprehensible when they are truly unjust, that is, not giving a person their due.

“Discriminate” also means to simply recognize a distinction and differentiate—which describes the act of judging reality as everyone must do as a rational creature. And this is a discrimination that Americans (and Catholics) should exercise. The discrimination that is discernment between truth and falsehood, between right and wrong, is the discernment that keeps prudent people from allowing wolves and foxes into sheepfolds and henhouses.

There are certainly lies and lifestyles that discerning Catholics should discriminate, insofar as they are unhealthy and not conducive to human happiness and fulfillment. But to do so is not bias—they cannot exactly be discriminated against because it is just and good that they be excluded and even condemned. Discrimination as a bias is only wrong when it is unjust. But it takes a discerning—or a discriminating—mind to discern this and to be willing to do the just thing and resist such displays and affirmations.

This push from the White House is hardly surprising given the history of Title IX, which has posed a slippery slope that has grown more slippery for decades with interpretations and implementations that have gone far beyond simple and unjust discrimination based on sex. Today, Title IX is cited to control a wide array of issues from sexual harassment at schools to women’s participation in athletic programs. 

The way Title IX has morphed, it stands today as something that threatens academic freedom and institutional integrity in contradiction to the legislation’s original intention, which was to protect educational and professional opportunities for women. In many cases, however, the effect of Title IX has been to exacerbate prejudice and institutional injustice while forcing schools to enter into a compromising and unnatural legalism.

Part of the reason for this expansive deterioration is the emphasis that Title IX has been given regarding sexual harassment, which has resulted in a bureaucratic and corporate restriction by conflating sexual misconduct with sexual harassment based on speech. We are all more or less familiar with the Title IX eggshells that now lie scattered around the issue of “hostile environments” and the noise of the #MeToo movement. Such issues have arisen, in part, from unclear and imprecise definitions of sexual harassment and discrimination within the law—but that imprecise region is precisely what the liberal agenda lives for. When it comes to corruption, better to keep things vague.

Gender is as vague as the “values” people ascribe to themselves, and sex is far too straightforward a thing to foist upon those who are “brave” enough to transgress nature. The solution for the Biden administration is to make sex less defined by expanding its definition into that which it has never been before. And the educational legislation protecting against discrimination is the very tool to allow these mental illnesses the presence and the power to continue the indoctrination apace.

What Title IX has become is not simply a duel over equal opportunity for women, or who can use which bathroom, or the gender identity or sexual preference of students. People’s comfort is the euphemism in this debate. This is a battle over cultural identity itself, and the Biden administration’s directive to make Title IX wrap its protective arms around the Pronoun People is to help ensure that these types of people and their maladies will enjoy a supportive and nondiscriminatory school and, therefore, a supportive and nondiscriminatory society.

This is an attack on truth, and transgenderism especially is the newest territory in the culture war—hence this heavy-handed, unconstitutional validation effort into the environment of education.

Joe Biden is taking Title IX down the same illogical direction. Without a little moral discrimination, Americans will soon face a reinvention of student privacy rights, education records and programs, and sex-segregated athletics. This expansion would force the topic of homosexuality and transgenderism into the school as it has never been before; and that is where the federal government has gone too far, as we recently applauded Ron DeSantis for defending against in Florida.

Acceptance of gender fluidity and deviant sexuality, however loving, is simply contrary to the truth and, therefore, contrary to the happy life. Title IX has bred the fear of passing negative pronouncements even though negative pronouncements are called for. But given the woke brainwashing that is descending on the government, American legislators, and the Left-leaning populace, it may soon behoove any Catholic school that is serious about the Catholic Faith to cut all ties with federal money in order to be free to discriminate between what is good and evil, what is true and false, and what belongs in a wholesome school and what does not.

Biden’s proposal is currently being presented for public feedback, and Catholics should give their feedback on his intention that, next year, a new version of Title IX “will achieve full equality, inclusion, and dignity for women and girls, LGBTQI+ Americans.” Catholics should never stand for unjust discrimination, but they should be comfortable with and committed to the other sense of that word and apply just discrimination against sin and sickness.

Of course, many condemnations of sin or the sinful have been branded as discriminatory. And the tolerance of a whole host of backward tendencies and mental diseases are on the docket for approval in schools that receive federal funds, where no one could gainsay them, their pronouns, or their proclivities by law. 

While Catholics joyfully believe that all may be saved, that is by no means a catechism of blind “inclusiveness.” Catholics should be welcoming and loving to all, but they must still discriminate, as Our Lord does, especially when morals become involved in the societal sphere. We must have the courage to discriminate, even if it’s controversial; for discrimination is necessary in the moral and spiritual life.

It is doubtful that anyone will ever find inscribed above the Pearly Gates, “No person shall, on the basis of sex, race, color, national or ethnic origin be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity herein.” But there are other gates where I can imagine such language appearing as an all-too-familiar, fine-print disclaimer under the words, “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.” Let us judge wisely. A little discrimination can go a long way.

[Photo: Nancy Pelosi and Billie Jean King attend event celebrates women athletes to honor the 50th Anniversary of the passage of Title IX. (Credit: Getty Images)]

Sean Fitzpatrick

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Sean Fitzpatrick is a senior contributor to Crisis and serves on the faculty of Gregory the Great Academy, a Catholic boarding school for boys in Pennsylvania.

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