A prominent figure in the Catholic Church, Cardinal Robert Sarah, has slammed the United States over the country's transgender bathroom debates and argued that the devil himself is behind the destruction of the traditional family unit.
"Nowhere is [religious persecution] clearer than in the threat that societies are visiting on the family through a demonic 'gender ideology,' a deadly impulse that is being experienced in a world increasingly cut off from God through ideological colonialism," Cardinal Sarah said at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast last month.
The religious leader argued that the devil is the driving force behind society's decision to reject the traditional family unit: "The family is a natural preparation and anticipation of the communion that is possible when we are united with God. The family, as it were, is ... written into our nature," he said.
"This is why the devil is so intent on destroying the family. If the family is destroyed, we lose our God-given, anthropological foundations and so find it more difficult to welcome the saving Good News of Jesus Christ: self-giving, fruitful love."
Sarah added that the "rupture of the foundational relationships of someone's life," whether it's through separation, divorce, cohabitation and same sex unions, is a "deep wound that closes the heart to self-giving love unto death, and even leads to cynicism and despair."
Ultimately, these situations damage little children by inflicting on them "deep existential doubt about love."
"They are a scandal-a stumbling block-that prevents the most vulnerable from believing in such love, and a crushing burden that can prevent them from opening to the healing power of the gospel," he said.
Sadly, the advent of artificial reproductive technologies, surrogacy, so-called homosexual "marriage," and other evils of gender ideology will "inflict even more wounds in the midst of the generations we live with," Cardinal Sarah contended.
"This is why it is so important to fight to protect the family, the first cell of the life of the Church and every society," he concluded. "This is not about abstract ideas. It is not an ideological war between competing ideas. This is about defending ourselves, children and future generations from a demonic ideology that says children do not need mothers and fathers. It denies human nature and wants to cut off entire generations from God."
Meanwhile, an online petition started by Family Research Council against the Obama administration's "overreach in bullying parents and local school districts" to allow students to use restrooms and other facilities as per their gender identity and not their biological sex has gained more than 106,000 signatures.
"The Obama administration's overreach in bullying parents and local school districts by threatening loss of federal dollars if they do not follow its guidance in allowing students to use facilities such as restrooms, showers, and locker rooms of the opposite biological sex is both unlawful and dangerous to our children," says the FRC petition to be sent to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education released a directive saying that all federally funded schools must allow students to use restrooms, locker rooms and other facilities and activities according to their self-proclaimed gender identity.
"This has gone too far," the petition adds. "The U.S. Congress is still the voice of the American people. It's past time that Congress stands up to the unlawful actions of this president. If Congress will not resist President Obama's overreach into the bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms of our nation's schools, then who will?"