In the Catholic Church it is believed that at the consecration the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. Although they remain so in appearance, they are no longer bread and wine. The Catechism of the Council of Trent explains that:
the whole substance of the bread is changed by the power of God into the whole substance of the body of Christ, and the whole substance of the wine into the whole substance of His blood, and this, without any change in our Lord Himself.
Therefore when you receive communion, you are quite literally receiving Christ into your body. This is why traditionally the rules for worthy reception have been so strict. Until the rules became lax, you had to be a Catholic, in a state of grace (no grave sins to confess) and to have fasted from midnight before reception. When you received, it could only be received directly from the priests hands to your tongue with a few rare exceptions. Even today, you are required to not eat anything at least one hour prior to reception and most of the traditional rules remain in the books and are just forgotten or ignored.
The Church believes, as Saint Paul states that:
he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.
1 Corinthians 11:29
So while proper reception will help you, improper reception can only hurt you.
Though the fundamental aspect of this belief is shared by the Orthodox Church, it is not commonly believed by many of the ever splintering branches of Protestants. It is a belief that is met with confusion if not mockery and I doubt whether the average Catholic is any different.
I can fully understand why someone might find this hard to believe. With the exception of reported miracles, it does not appear to change at all. I began believing in transubstantiation when I began attending Catholic Church. From my perspective, once you accept that Christ has risen from the dead, it is not hard to believe that his body and blood is present at the Mass. I’m not going to get anywhere trying to argue this point with most people but something that happened on my journey to the church may be instructive.
Some time in 2015, a man standing over six feet tall who was a gold medal winning Olympian decided he wanted to be a woman. He was soon given plenty of media attention promoting this change along with a carefully edited yet still grotesque appearance on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. At the time, I had began thinking seriously about my Faith though I was still searching and stumbling. I remember thinking at the time that this was the proverbial straw that would break the camels back and that nobody could possibly believe this. I was wrong. I posted an article written at the time to my Facebook account (when I still had one). The reaction I got from people who I thought were sane was sobering to say the least.
Speaking in purely material terms, there is overwhelming evidence against a man being able to become a woman and vice versa. Whether it is bone structure, muscle mass or every cell in their body indicating the opposite, it is not an unreasonable belief. The snippets I have learned about the process for this “change” make me not only more skeptical but ferociously hostile to the very idea. Yet, four years after this, you can get yourself in increasingly serious trouble for questioning this.
Despite all the data indicating the contrary, we are close to being required to believe that someone’s personal disposition overrides biological reality.
Below is a video I came across last year by someone named Jaclyn Glenn. I have not watched it since I saw it but have posted the video for reference. From what I can gather, Miss Glenn seems to be a poorly catechised apostate Catholic that I’m guessing has found success as a “skeptic” or atheist YouTuber. The hair colour and her general appearance indicate she is starting to lose the looks that she owes most of her success to.
Sitting either side of Miss Glenn are two mutilated men in miniskirts and make-up. I imagine the lighting is a blessing to all three characters in the video. In the video, the host has acquired some unconsecrated sacramental bread and cheap red wine which she uses in a mock Eucharist. Despite the title, they did not eat Jesus because she is not only not a priest but a woman; the latter of which makes the former impossible in the first place.
This is supposed to be offensive to Catholics and would likely offend many but I found myself thinking more about the two people either side of her. This video is almost a perfect picture of the incoherence of the modern world. I’m sure Miss Glenn would claim to be rational, skeptical, reasonable etc. while at the same time believing that the two large men either side of her are women; when any honest application of the aforementioned adjectives would require her to conclude the opposite.
I believe in a God I can not see with my eyes or feel with my hands. I am learning to know him through, religious observance, prayer and his recorded revelation among other ways. I can believe all this while accepting the realities of the physical world around me. I do not claim what I can see, smell, hear, touch and taste is false. My religion doesn’t require others to either. Believing in transgenderism though requires exactly this and unlike believing in transubstantiation, will not invite any mockery from those currently holding temporal power. One might deny, dismiss or mock transubstantiation but its truth does not depend on forcing others to accept it.
UPDATE (14/04/21): Richard Dawkins helps the case I’ve made here below.