Home/Rod Dreher/James Younger: A Woke Edgardo Mortara

James Younger: A Woke Edgardo Mortara

This is not James Younger, but rather 'Damian' who was born a girl. She had her breasts removed. James Younger is headed down this path (ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)

James Younger is a seven year old boy in Dallas. His father Jeffrey has been waging a court battle to save James from his pediatrician mother, Jeffrey’s ex-wife, who claims James is really a girl named Luna. The mother has been dosing James with puberty-blocking medications, and will eventually start injecting estrogen. [UPDATE: I just learned that the mother has not started the child on medications yet. I apologize for the error. — RD] [UPDATE: According to this 2018 court transcript, the mother is not giving the child any drugs now, but says that she will have the child evaluated at age nine, according to the standard protocol, and if puberty blockers are recommended, she will consent to having them administered — RD]

A jury in Dallas just ruled that the mother, Dr. Anne Georgulas, will have full and sole custody of James. The gender transition will proceed as planned.

The Catholic who tweets as Irenist remarked:

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A note for those who don’t know this language. “Integralism” is a Catholic concept advocating, in general, subordinating the state to Catholic teaching. Edgardo Mortara was a Jewish child living in the Papal States under Pope Pius IX. He was baptized secretly by the family’s Catholic housekeeper. Pius IX sent agents of the state to seize the boy from his Jewish parents so that he could be brought up as a Catholic, in accordance with his baptism. This caused a huge scandal in 19th-century Europe, for obvious reasons, and was cited by liberals of the era as why the Catholic Church must not be allowed to have political power.

Now, according to Irenist, the liberal state has turned little James Younger into an Edgardo Mortara of the Woke.

Note well that this happened in Texas, and was not a decision by a lone judge, but by a jury. We don’t know the details of their deliberations, but it can be assumed that the jury accepted the testimony of medical authorities brought in by Dr. Georgulas. Here is a video from Jeffrey Younger’s website SaveJames.com:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnLwbu4npp4]

Divorces are often quite ugly. Jeffrey Younger’s description of the breakdown of his marriage to Anne Georgulas is, of course, his own side of the story — but if he is telling the truth here, it’s sick, sick stuff. It looks like a vengeful ex-wife using her son to wreak revenge on her ex-husband. Whatever the truth of their failed marriage, there is no good reason at all to compel a seven-year-old child to take hormones that will destroy his normal sexual development. But this is what’s happening [UPDATE: A reader points out that the injections have not yet begun]  — and the father is isolated. As Jeffrey Younger says on his website, all the institutions in which his son is embedded now accept the boy’s female identity, and are

James dresses as a girl at school. Goes by a girl’s name. Uses the girl’s restroom. All his authority figures at school affirm he is a girl — teachers, principals, police officers, peer students, librarian. This child is being lied to by the very institutions that should be protecting him. It’s all being instigated by Ms. Georgulas to get the Father out of the child’s life, because she knows Father will not and cannot affirm his son is a girl. Ms. Georgulas has found the perfect and timely strategy to chisel off the little remaining influence the Father has.

This is a Greek Orthodox family. They attend the Greek parish in Euless, Texas, a Dallas suburb. Jeffrey Younger claims that his ex-wife has turned the parish against him. Could this be true? Have the family’s priest and bishop spoken out to defend this Orthodox father and this Orthodox child James from this grotesque medical intervention? I don’t know. I cannot imagine any case in which Orthodox Christians should affirm this kind of abuse of a child. An Orthodox child too!

I have no idea what happened in this particular parish, and in this particular case. Unless you’re part of the parish, neither do you. Generally, though, in the Orthodox Church and other churches: The silence of the churches about gender ideology and the gender transition of children speaks volumes.

What is the broader lesson for the rest of us? We read on this site’s comments regularly the claim by some readers that we need to have secession in this country, to let the blue states go their way, and the red states go theirs. This is a fallacy — and the James Younger case shows why. This shocking, scandalous, anti-family ruling did not happen in Massachusetts or California; it happened in Texas. There are no safe places. This ideology that is taking over our country is destroying the family and even destroying the very concepts of male and female. Though I do not know the specifics of the James Younger case, it is certainly true that, as Jeffrey Younger says, the institutions of our society are either embracing it (the schools) or remaining silent as this malign ideology advances.

I’m sure it’s impossible, but if I were this father, I would try to kidnap my son and flee to Russia and seek asylum. I can imagine his grief and pain over what his ex-wife is doing to that little boy, with the full power of the state and society’s institutions behind her. What a horror show. What a terrible foretaste of the future of this decadent country.

I might be wrong here, but it seems to me that there is a parallel between what’s going on with little James Younger, and the embrace of pagan fertility idols by the Pope, and its placement in a Roman church by clerical authorities. You saw yesterday that a couple of unidentified people, no doubt faithful Catholics, seized the wooden statues and dumped them in the Tiber. Pachamama sleeps with the fishes. Their act was no doubt illegal, but what they were protesting was so outrageous  — the defilement of a sacred Christian space — that one can understand why they did what they did. Had Orthodox clergy placed these fertility idols in an Orthodox church, I would have done the same thing as these Catholic men.

How much worse is the irreversible defilement of a child’s body and psyche by his mother, deranged by gender ideology! Again: where is the voice of the Orthodox Church in all this? Are Orthodox leaders behaving like the Pope and liberal Catholic bishops and priests, accepting meekly, or even affirming, what ought not to be accepted? To be clear, I allow for the possibility that there is something going on here, in this particular case, that justifies the public silence of the clergy and bishops in the James Younger matter. And it is possible that the clergy and hierarchy has been involved behind the scenes. But the case of James Younger — “Luna” — is a public matter, in the courts, and has now received national media attention. Silence is no longer possible.

I say to every Orthodox bishop and priest, and to all Christian leaders, in all the churches: you are going to have to take a stand, sooner or later. This issue is coming for you. If you are not talking about gender ideology with your congregations, and teaching them, why not? Your silence will be received by some in your congregations as collaboration with Babylon, and by others as capitulation to bigotry. As David Gushee, the pro-LGBT Evangelical theologian, wrote in 2016:

Middle ground is disappearing on the question of whether LGBT persons should be treated as full equals, without any discrimination in society — and on the related question of whether religious institutions should be allowed to continue discriminating due to their doctrinal beliefs.

It turns out that you are either for full and unequivocal social and legal equality for LGBT people, or you are against it, and your answer will at some point be revealed. This is true both for individuals and for institutions.

Neutrality is not an option. Neither is polite half-acceptance. Nor is avoiding the subject. Hide as you might, the issue will come and find you.

If an Orthodox father fighting to save his little boy from being turned into a female can’t count on the full and vocal backing of the church, what does that say about the condition of the church? Christian readers, this is why we have to do the Benedict Option. It’s not about building a “safe space”; it’s about building Christian resilience and Christian resistance, and building the networks needed to support father and sons like the Youngers from persecution by the state and civil society institutions. It’s happening right here in front of our eyes. There’s no escaping to live in Red States. If this can happen to a child and his father in Texas, it could happen anywhere. This is what it means to live in a post-Christian culture; this is how the law is changing. What happened to Jeffrey Younger and his little boy James could happen to you and your family. Who will have your back when it does?

UPDATE: A decade ago, maybe a little more, it would have been clear to most people — that is, most people who sit on juries — that a mother willing to jack a little boy up with hormone blockers and, in time, estrogen, was unfit to care for him. This decision is the fruit of a long and successful propaganda campaign. This is post-Christian society. If you had said back in the early 2000s that it was going to come to this point, you would have been denounced as a fear-mongering bigot. Now it’s just reality. Never, ever, ever trust the progressives on these issues. They say whatever they have to say to disarm the opposition.

UPDATE.2:Here is a more detailed report about testimony in the case. I should have mentioned that this boy’s mother is not biologically related to him. She and Jeffrey Younger conceived James and his twin Jude through IVF, using an egg donor.

UPDATE.3: I am VERY pleased to be told by a reader that the local Orthodox parish has publicly come out against transgenderism, and placed on its website a public statement by the Greek metropolitan explaining why transgenderism cannot be accepted by Orthodox Christians. 

So the parish took a clear stand, it appears. Again, this is good to hear. But you know, the leadership every church — Orthodox, Catholic, and otherwise — had better take a stand, and educate the congregations. This is coming at us all hard and fast!

UPDATE.4: Reader Xenie points out that a deacon in the parish testified on behalf of the father.

UPDATE.5: A reader writes:

If I may add to the parish’s defense (one that I attend with some regularity), around the time that this story hit the public news scene the priest gave a three Sunday-long sermon on the theological and anthropological errors of transgenderism.

According to someone with more knowledge of the situation, the father shot himself in the foot by giving either misstated or misleading answers on the stand regarding several non-transgender-related questions, allowing the wife’s lawyers to destroy his credibility in front of the jury. It was already a hard case, but he didn’t make it any easier.

That’s so sad, but God bless that priest! Sounds like he is a real model for how to deal with this.

UPDATE.6: Steve Sailer raises a question that some readers have in the comments below:

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Here are a number of court documents from the SaveJames website.

UPDATE.7: Sailer reviewed the docs, and:

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about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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