Al Mohler blasts VA's decision to cover elective cosmetic surgeries for trans-identified veterans

LGBT activists and their supporters rally in support of transgender people on the steps of New York City Hall, October 24, 2018 in New York City.
LGBT activists and their supporters rally in support of transgender people on the steps of New York City Hall, October 24, 2018 in New York City. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A prominent theologian has condemned the Department of Veterans Affairs' decision to offer elective cosmetic surgeries to trans-identified veterans as part of their medical benefits package, calling it "cultural coercion." 

With the adoption of this policy, the medicalization of gender and transgender ideology won't be limited to the U.S. military or the several thousands of people who might be covered with this provision, said Al Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in a Tuesday episode of his podcast, The Briefing, but it will have far-reaching effects. 

“It is clearly coming as a part of the cultural coercion to say that all medical establishments must do the same. Medical insurance companies should do the same. This is putting the clout of the United States government through an organization as central as the Department of Veterans' Affairs behind the sexual revolution in a whole new way,” Mohler said.

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The Christian Post reached out to the Department of Veterans Affairs to ask if elective surgeries would be covered for all veterans or only those who identify as transgender. This article will be updated once a response is received. 

In his podcast, Mohler noted that newspapers like The Washington Post and The New York Times hailed the news and used trans-affirming terminology such as gender “confirmation” surgery in their reporting. 

The reason for this euphemism is the result of the splitting of sex and gender that cultural forces have wrought, a distinction that Christians do not recognize. “Gender confirmation” obscures what was once called “sex reassignment” surgery despite the impossibility of actually reassigning the sex of the body, Mohler explained.

The New York Times report referenced an unnamed Biden administration official who said: "Gender-confirming procedures reconstruct sexual organs to match the gender with which an individual identifies and have proved to mitigate serious health concerns like substance abuse, suicide and suicidal ideation." The person further argued that " ... procedures, which were once considered to be akin to cosmetic surgery, are now widely seen as effective treatment for such issues."

Mohler urged Christians to understand these radical interventions are being defended on psychiatric and political, not physical, grounds and that the reproductive capacity is not mentioned. 

“This is, indeed, more akin to cosmetic surgery,” the SBTS president asserted. 

“The fact that this is a very political decision was made clear in the fact that the Department of Veterans Affairs secretary made the announcement at a PRIDE event in Orlando, Florida. He was clearly choosing the timing of the event and the location, the context in order to make a political point to score political points. That just makes very clear the political nature of all of this,” he said. 

He went on to note that the VA secretary spoke of previous eras of bigotry and discrimination but explained that the policy of not recognizing transgender surgeries dates back to 2013 when Barack Obama was president and Joe Biden was vice president. 

But the way the major newspapers reported the development, readers are led to think that the bigotry was confined to Trump's presidency, he said. 

Commenting further on the language tactics that come with gender ideology, Molher noted that the World Professional Association for Transgender Health organization was cited as authoritative, a group that recommends trans surgeries as vital healthcare.

"We're supposed to assume that has worldwide automatic credibility and authority. The very construction of the word should tell you that the organization exists to justify this kind of surgery and the ideology behind it. Guess what? We've just come full circle," he said. 

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