I’m kidding. What he said was rotten.

The intrepid Camille Beredjick has the story over on Friendly Atheist (as she seems to cover most of the LGBT stories they do), and the pope that’s supposed to be all cool and progressive and whatever seems to not have that extended to those who don’t fit the gender we’re assigned or are not a part of the gender binary. Thanks, pointy-hatted virgin! I know, I know: his hat isn’t pointy.

In a closed-door meeting with a group of Polish bishops last week, Pope Francis said that it’s “terrible” that children are taught about transgender identity and emphasized the importance of society upholding two “opposite” genders.

“Today, children are taught this at school: that everyone can choose their own sex,” Francis said last week, according to the Catholic Herald and other news organizations that read a Vatican transcript of the closed-door meeting. “God created man and woman; God created the world like this and we are doing the exact opposite.”

Teaching children that they can pick their gender, Francis said, is “terrible.”

According to the Associated Press, the Pope referred to society’s gradual acceptance of transgender people as an “annihilation” of traditional God-given values:

The pope said he wanted to conclude his remarks by reflecting on this: “We are living a moment of annihilation of man as image of God.” He added that his predecessor, Benedict XVI, had labelled current times “the epoch of sin against God the Creator”.

He said: “Today, in schools they are teaching this to children – to children! – that everyone can choose their gender.” Without specifying, he blamed this on textbooks supplied by “persons and institutions who donate money”. The pope blamed what he called “ideological colonizing” backed by “very influential countries”, which he did not identify. One such “colonization”, he said — “I’ll say it clearly with its first and last name — is gender.”

It’s not the first time the Pope has used annihilation metaphors to talk about transgender people; last year, he compared trans identity to nuclear weapons because both can “destroy a high number of human beings.” And while he has occasionally made comments supporting LGBT people, he’s not exactly an ally:

Early in his papacy, some in the LGBT community looked to Francis as a source of hope when he said about gay priests, “Who am I to judge?

Since then, however, many have seen their hopes dimmed for change in the Catholic Church’s policies on gender and sexuality. Some thought that Francis’s major paper on family issues, which was completed in April, would offer some movement on gay relationships; it did not.

“There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family,”the document said instead.

Aww. Thanks, elderly god-conduit. We love you too.

Look, I grew up Catholic, so I already harbour some particular feelings towards the faith. But I also don’t find that monotheism works for me—if I haven’t mentioned it before, I consider myself a Theravada Buddhist—and this is just reinforcing that.

What I find useful about religion is the people that it produces. I have a great deal of respect for the LDS community in my area, but not for what they hold as tenets, as I have no use for them. I don’t mean that derisively; I mean literally those tenets are responding to needs I do not have. But they are also some of the consistently most friendly, kind, and giving people I have ever met. That is where I find religion to be a force for good. When not attempting to legislate conservatism, but rather building community.

I don’t think ol’ Franky or many close followers of religion would agree with that. But the fact of the matter is that I am human, a member of my community, compassionate and kind with dreams and goals. I don’t think I’m annihilating anything.

Other than needless orthodoxy, that is.

I think commenter NOGODZ20 should get the last say, though:

Man in dress says what about transgenders?