Mr. Mathias von Gersdorff is a director of the German Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP). He also directs the campaigns Children in Danger, which deals with the effects of pornography and media upon children, and SOS Life that deals with pro-life issues, both special campaigns of the “German Association for a Christian Culture” (DVCK). He is the author of numerous books.
Interview with Mr. Mathias von Gersdorff on Gender Ideology, its Dangers and Why it Must Be Resisted
TFP: Mr. von Gersdorfff, you have been dedicating your time to socio-political issues for many years. Could you tell us how your activities developed?
Mr. Mathias von Gersdorff: I got active in this range of topics in 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In the unification treaty between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) no agreement had been reached on abortion legislation for the reunited Germany. New legislation was supposed to be determined at a later point by the Bundestag (German Parliament). It was clear that the abortion lobby would try to adapt paragraph 218 of the GDR’s criminal code allowing abortion on demand in the first three months of pregnancy. At that time, West German legislation, at least in theory, was more protective of the life of the unborn. The abortion issue gave rise to a heated parliamentarian debate in which I actively took part through SOS Life, a campaign of the “German Association for a Christian Culture” (DVCK). This ongoing campaign organized many activities to mobilize the Christian base of society in order to influence the legislative process in favor of the unborn. In 1993, DVCK launched “Children in Danger”. To this day I plan and organize their campaigns and revise their texts. It started mainly as an initiative against immorality on television and gradually more issues were added, such as protesting the introduction of registered civil partnerships by the red-green administration of Schröder/Fischer.
TFP: Is the Christian Faith the motivation for your public involvement and publications?
Mr. Mathias von Gersdorff: Yes; I am a practicing Catholic and Faith is the reason for my public commitment. I am convinced that only a Christian Germany can be a true Germany. Only Christian politics can make Germany fit for the future. Applying this to the issues on which I am publicly speaking, means that we must make it possible for children to grow up in a healthy environment free from pornography, blasphemy, hostility to religion, and the glorification of violence. We need to see to it that children can develop in stable and sound marriages and in families that feel recognized and have the financial freedom to decide for themselves — without State intervention — how to organize their own life and the upbringing of their children. Christian politics also means that children in school are protected from exposure to materials that may harm their moral health, such as those provided by sexual education, which destroys their sense of shame. There are many more topics, but I believe these are the most urgent at the moment.
TFP: Why did you do such an intensive research on the gender topic?
Mr. Mathias von Gersdorff: Gender ideology is the latest product of the 1968 sexual Revolution. This revolution has been determining the ideological, social and political big picture for almost 50 years. In the course of the 1968 Revolution many “movements” came into being: the ecological movement, the feminist movement with its demands to decriminalize abortion, the homosexual movement and so on. Some of them achieved enormous successes. They may seem very different, but they have a common thread: an assault on the Christian values and principles which are still respected in our society.
TFP: Could you quickly explain what gender is and what gender ideology means?
Mr. Mathias von Gersdorff: Gender basically means that the male and female sexes are merely cultural and arbitrary constructions. The most extreme gender ideologies postulate that there actually are no men and women but a variation of sexual identities, or rather a gender ‘fluidity’, and that each person hovers between several of these identities. Any specification on the polarity of man and woman is therefore not only arbitrary but also despotic and fundamentalistic. According to them, the purpose of this polarity is to maintain a patriarchal society. And in order to overcome this society, as the gender ideologists would say, the man-woman polarity needs to be dissolved or “deconstructed.” More moderate representatives of gender also exist. In a way, gender is like a bottle of wine onto which different labels can be put, depending on the target audience. Every type of gender theory has two common “denominators”: it is radically egalitarian concerning the male and female sexes and seeks to efface the very concept of man and woman. Since gender ideology does not believe in the uniqueness of terms, it is an egalitarian and relativistic ideology.
TFP: Why, in your opinion, is this path a devastating aberration?
Mr. Mathias von Gersdorff: It is diametrically opposed to God’s order of creation. God created the human being as man and woman and not in any other way. Gender denies this decisive point of our Faith, but also of the natural law. Gender considers nature as undefined or at least not perceptible: Everything depends on the human point of view.
TFP: Which concrete danger lies hidden in the gender ideology?
Mr. Mathias von Gersdorff: Gender is an unreasonable and unnatural ideology. The deeper it infiltrates society, families and individuals, the more destructive its influence becomes. Our whole culture is based on the concept that mankind consists of men and women. Gender theory denies this simple fact, and that has enormous cultural consequences. Since it also denies the Christian order of creation, its spreading would have a profound impact on the dissemination of the Christian Faith. Gender essentially is a gnostic ideology in which nothing is defined, everything is in motion, and existence itself is not clearly defined. Gender is against reason and nature and therefore it can only be established and upheld through dictatorial methods. This has long been visible in the public debate: it is impossible to have a normal discussion as should take place in a democracy. Gender proponents try to smear and gag their opposition with stinging clichés to exclude them from the public debate. Nowhere has gender theory or gender-mainstreaming been introduced through a democratic process or parliamentary decision. In Germany, it was established by a directive of the European Commission. Nor could they do it otherwise, as gender cannot gain acceptance with reasonable arguments. From the moment that people realize what it is really about, situations begin to arise such as those in Baden-Württemberg over the past two years: crowds protest on the streets, sign petitions, send protest cards, and so on.
TFP: What importance does the government’s sexual education curriculum have here?
Mr. Mathias von Gersdorff: Their present strategy is to start with gender education as early as possible, before children have been ‘overly’ molded by their parents. The reason for this is obvious: the later the gender indoctrination begins, the faster the children can see that it is unreasonable and absurd. That is why it is necessary to start before the child’s mentality is definitively formed by the parents.
TFP: What does same-sex marriage mean in this context?
Mr. Mathias von Gersdorff: Same-sex marriage is to the homosexual movement as abortion has been to the feminist movement. It is a political instrument to achieve social and political recognition. Equal recognition for “sexual identity or orientation” was necessary to make further “orientations” acceptable. Facebook already offers more than 60 ways for users to identify their sexuality. Some think that there are many more “sex identities.” Others think that there actually is no sex identity at all, but a fluid gender like a continuum of sex identities. In their opinion, our sex would be in a continuous floating state between different realities.
TFP: What are the future plans of the proponents of gender-mainstreaming?
Mr. Mathias von Gersdorff: Our sex is an essential feature of our identity. When people reach the conviction that sex is not defined or does not exist at all, this causes a tremendous change in their self-understanding. Finally, a relativistic mentality is being formed which does not believe in uniquely defined terms or beings. In this perspective, being and creation are like magma in continuous movement.
It is impossible for someone with this worldview to accept the Christian Faith. Such a person would first have to understand that he would completely have to change his fundamental philosophical views. It might be interesting to mention here that in South America, where naturalist religions still have a certain influence, gender combines relatively easy with these religions, and a pantheistic worldview develops. According to this worldview, all beings are one in one singular being (Pan). This may sound quite radical, but it would be the logical consequence of a creation in which the individual being is not uniquely defined.
As to identity, nowadays they talk about “patchwork identity,” “flexible identity” and so on. A “postmodern identity crisis” is said to be going on as a result of the dissolution of social structures conducive to the formation of identity: sex, family, nation and so forth. According to the perception of modern sociologists, this is due to the breaking open of modern societies, in which an individual lives his life without any bond to a social entity and “tinkers” with his own identity on the basis of impulses received from the media, fashion, and pop culture (music, celebrities, TV series and so on).
TFP: What do you think of the recently launched campaign “For Acceptance and Equal Rights in Baden-Württemberg”?
Mr. Mathias von Gersdorff: Currently, gender advocates try to create facts: they induct educational schemes in the schools which convey the Gender ideology. They develop “action plans” to establish gender in society. It is striking that there are hardly any private initiatives involved in this. The State is being downright invaded by the gender lobby. This goes so far that some ministries hoist the rainbow flag in front of their buildings. Imagine what an outcry there would be if a minister of economy of the Free Democratic Party were to hoist the flag of the Federation of German Industry or the Tax Payers’ Alliance! State media, too, partake in the smear campaigns against opponents of gender ideology. In a broadcast by the North-German television they even were referred to as “homophobic a…holes”. This is outrageous!
TFP: What do you expect from the Church? What could the priests and bishops do? What about Church movements and organizations?
Mr. Mathias von Gersdorff: Recently there have been very good statements from the Church. I am thinking in particular of statements by the Portuguese, Polish, Slovak and Spanish bishops’ conferences, as well as of pastoral letters by Most Rev. Vitus Hounder, Bishop of Chur in Switzerland, and by the bishops of Triveneto. All these pronouncements caution against gender theory and some describe its danger in detail. In my book Gender I recapitulate them briefly.
It would be high time — and heartening — were the German bishops to make a similar statement. Gender increasingly finds access to organizations such as the German Catholic Youth or the German Catholic women.
TFP: Do you see any hopeful signs?
Mr. Mathias von Gersdorff: As a Catholic I am always hopeful, because I believe in God’s mercy and omnipotence. If, though, gender ideology continues to grow and to gain influence, a catastrophe will become inevitable. This has already taken place in the past with other irrational and inhuman ideologies. We remember only too well how great was the high cost to free humanity from Communism and from National Socialism.
TFP: In conclusion, is there anything else you would like to say to our readers?
Mr. Mathias von Gersdorff: Gender ideology can only gain influence when it does not encounter resistance. It is therefore important to participate in some way in initiatives protesting the gender movement. I already mentioned the “Children in Danger” campaign, which I lead. There also is the “Rally for All,” which organized demonstrations against gender in Stuttgart. It is becoming increasingly successful thanks to Baroness Hedwig von Beverfoerde, the alliance’s spokeswoman. Everyone can find a form of action suitable for himself in order to campaign against this danger to our country, our families, and our Faith. Most importantly, always trust in the power of prayer.
TFP: Thank you kindly for this conversation, and may you have a lot of strength to carry forth in your endeavor.