Kirsten Powers excoriated Gov. Mike Huckabee on the pages of USA Today this week for not treating transgender people “with respect and love.” She then accused him of “mocking” these sexually confused individuals.
She is wrong.
(It’s worth noting, by the way, that after calling out the Governor for his supposed mockery, she immediately commits the same sin by calling his view “ridiculous” and “sad.”)
Gov. Huckabee did not in fact mock transgenders. He told a joke at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention, in which he poked fun at bizarrely misguided bathroom policies that require females to share shower facilities with mentally disturbed and sexually confused males.
Quoth the governor:
"Now I wish that someone told me that when I was in high school that I could have felt like a woman when it came time to take showers in PE. I'm pretty sure that I would have found my feminine side and said, 'Coach, I think I'd rather shower with the girls today’....You're laughing because it sounds so ridiculous, doesn't it?”
Not only are such policies scientifically, medically, and biologically wrongheaded, they are in fact ridiculous. And they are dangerous for the sexual integrity and privacy of young females, about which Ms. Powers, to her shame, seems indifferent.
If Huckabee was “mocking” anyone, it would be school administrators and city officials who are so mindlessly captive to a deviant worldview that they think such policies represent the height of enlightened leadership.
Ms. Powers, who I’m sure would be among the first to quote Jesus’ statement about how wrong it is to judge others, spends the bulk of her column violating that very principle in her unseemly attack on Mr. Huckabee.
And she does it by cherry-picking her facts, conveniently ignoring the research that is fatal to her view. While transgenders do report higher levels of harassment, what Ms. Powers fails to report is that a staggering 41% of all transgenders try to kill themselves at some point in their lives.
And lest someone make the mistake of blaming society for causing such self-destructive behavior through stigma, rates of suicide attempts are just as high in Scandinavian societies where transgenderism has been celebrated, promoted and affirmed for decades. No, the problem transgenders have is not found in society but in themselves.
Any lifestyle that eventually prompts two in five practitioners to attempt self-murder calls for a compassion that appeals to transgenders to get help, the help they need to re-orient their view of their own gender. This is not a lifestyle that should be embraced or celebrated by any sane culture.
Walt Heyer, just like Bruce Jenner, was born a male and will be one until the day he dies.
Heyer reminds us that gender cannot change. All hormone treatments, surgical amputations, and surgical additions have absolutely no effect on an individual’s DNA. The change from “male” to “female” is purely cosmetic, and simply adds a second set of problems to the first.
Heyer, first introduced as a young boy to transgenderism by a grandmother who dressed him in purple chiffon, eventually lived as a transgender woman for eight years before making his escape. He was among the 65% of sex-reassignment patients who live to regret the surgical mutilation of their own bodies and among the sad cohort of transgenders who attempt suicide.
Since finding help and release, Heyer has now been happily married - to a woman - for 18 years, and serves as clear and living proof that reordering your mind rather than mutilating your body is the path to healing.
Johns Hopkins University was once a worldwide leader in sex change surgery, but stopped the practice altogether in 1979 because doctors there discovered over time that it did not help a single solitary soul.
No, the sane approach for the church and our entire society to take is to recognize that transgenderism is indeed a “mental disorder,” as the American Psychiatric Association called it until 2012, and offer all the help we can to the confused and often tormented souls who suffer with this malady.
The church is intended by God to be a hospital for sinners, not a day spa. A hospital can’t help anyone who doesn’t admit he’s sick. The church can only help those who are willing to admit they need it.
Helping an alcoholic often involves an intervention in which the people who love him the most sit him down and lovingly insist he get help before his condition destroys him and everyone he cares about. The church can - and should - offer the same kind of tough love for the sexually confused. That’s what “respect and love” look like.
The calling of the church is not to accommodate sexual perversion but rather to proclaim and defend God’s standards for human sexuality with clarity, conviction, and compassion. This is exactly what Gov. Huckabee has done.
At the end of her column, Kirsten Powers calls on Gov. Huckabee to apologize. But maybe the apologizing instead needs to be done by Ms. Powers. Perhaps it is she and not the governor who is failing to do her duty as a Christian.