On June 30, 2016 Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter announced that transgendered individuals were granted the opportunity to serve openly in the military. He stated, “They can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military just for being transgendered.”
While repealing the longstanding ban on transgender men and women serving in the U.S. military, Carter gave the services one year to determine and implement many of the changes that would be necessary for transgender service members – ranging from policies on communal shower facilities to physical fitness standards.
Carter also explained that the Pentagon would cover the medical costs of those in uniform who wished to undergo gender transition, and that it would begin a yearlong training program for service members on the changes.
According to Military.com, the Department of Defense would provide transgendered service members all “medically necessary” treatment, including behavioral health care, hormone therapy, and in some cases gender reassignment surgery all of which would be funded through the Defense Health Program appropriation.
For example Chelsea Manning, a transgendered soldier, was imprisoned in Kansas in 2010 for leaking more than 700,000 secret military and State Department documents to WikiLeaks. Manning, who was arrested as Bradley Manning, was serving a 35-year sentence in Fort Leavenworth military prison. She started a hunger strike and the Army agreed to allow her to receive medical treatment for her gender dysphoria. The treatment started with sex reassignment surgery recommended by her psychologist.
In his final days in office, Barack Obama granted the release of Manning, who was freed in 2016 instead of her scheduled 2045 release. Incidentally, President Obama granted 212 pardons and 1,715 commutations, the most since Harry S. Truman in 1953.
On Wednesday President Donald Trump tweeted that “transgendered individuals” should not be allowed to serve in “any capacity” in the U.S. military. What the president actually wrote was: “After consulting with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and a Marine veteran, stated, “I applaud President Trump for keeping his promise to return to military priorities – and not continue the social experimentation of the Obama era that has crippled our nation’s military.”
I would add that the military can now focus its efforts on preparing to fight and win wars rather than being used to further political correctness and engage in social engineering.
Those who believe the Bible understand that God created us male and female and that each of us bears the image of God. It is an image marred and scarred by sin, but an image nevertheless. We also believe that our bodies, minds, and spirits are integrated and ought not to be divorced from one another.
The Bible places an emphasis on the body. Otherwise, Jesus would not have left the glories of heaven to come to earth and take upon Himself the form of a man. Our body is the temple of the living God. Jesus went about healing broken bodies. Christians believe their bodies will be raised up immortal and incorruptible at the rapture of the church. The body is important.
Psychologists have historically recognized transgender identity as a disorder. It has been called gender dysphoria. The World Health Organization referred to being transgender as a mental illness.
There are other disorders and mental illnesses: schizophrenia, substance abuse, bipolar disorders, panic disorders, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder. Do we treat disorders by endorsing them, by facilitating them, or by counseling them and helping them overcome their disorder or illness? You wouldn’t help a gluttonous person by treating him to mountains of food on a daily basis. You wouldn’t help someone with a panic disorder by constantly putting him in emotionally volatile situations. Then why would you help someone with a transgender identity by providing sex reassignment surgery rather than helping him discover his God-given identity?
According to The Federalist, many transgender persons “remained severely distressed and even suicidal after the gender change operation. Suicide and regret remain the dark side of transgender life.”
Walt Heyer, writing for The Witherspoon Institute, explains, “We have been told sex reassignment surgery is successful. The advocates say that regret is rare, and that 98 percent of surgeries are successful. While that figure might be true for surgical complications, before we accept a narrative of surgical success we should consider the evidence. To evaluate success or failure, we need to go beyond the mechanical skill of the surgeon to examine the emotional and psychological wholeness of the patient afterwards – and not just in the first few months, but also in the years to come.
“Transgender advocates have worked to create a false narrative, hoodwinking the world into believing that no one ever has regrets from a surgical change of gender. They say the transgender ideology they promote is harmless, safe, and even beneficial. But what happens when we dismiss the rhetoric, look at the research, and apply basic critical thinking? We see the reports of success fade and those of regret rise.
“Shortly after undergoing sex change surgery, most people report feeling better. Over time, however, the initial euphoria wears off. The distress returns, but this time it is exacerbated by having a body that is irrevocably molded to look like the opposite gender.”
Numerous news outlets have been reporting that Caitlin Jenner, formerly the Olympic decathlon champion Bruce Jenner, has been regretting her transition to a woman and giving serious thought to de-transitioning back a male.
While it may seem charitable and kind to place transgendered individuals into the U.S. military, it would in essence put people with emotional and mental disorders in harms way and that is no way to treat people who need our love and care.