Philosopher Backs Trump’s Transgender Ban in Military: ‘Biology Is Not Bigotry’

A U.S. Army Ranger unit goes through its paces during a demonstration of the elite force November 9, 2001 before a graduation ceremony at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. Rangers have been used in the military actions in Afghanistan. (Photo by Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images)
Erik S. Lesser/Getty

A leading American philosopher has thrown his support behind President Donald Trump’s decision to reinstate the ban on transgender individuals in the military, arguing that such a decision clearly serves the best interest of the U.S. military.

Dr. Ryan T. Anderson, author of the forthcoming book When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment, has noted that people who identify as transgender “suffer a host of mental health and social problems—including anxiety, depression, and substance abuse—at higher rates than the general population.”

“Biology isn’t bigotry,” Ryan states, “and we need a sober and honest assessment of the human costs of getting human nature wrong.”

The U.S. military is extremely strict in its requirements for the physical and mental health of enlisting soldiers, and disqualifies individuals for a host of reasons, including ulcers, chronic conjunctivitis, genital herpes, heart arrhythmia, anosmia, Tourett’s, dyslexia, anorexia, agoraphobia, hypochondria, self-mutilation and suicidal behavior.

Regarding that final point, Anderson points out that “41 percent of people who identify as transgender will attempt suicide at some point in their lives, compared to 4.6 percent of the general population. And people who have had transition surgery are 19 times more likely than average to die by suicide.”

The abnormally high suicide risk of transgender individuals alone would seem to advise against having them serving in the military.

The most helpful therapies for gender dysphoria (feeling like a person of the opposite sex), Anderson states, “focus not on achieving the impossible—changing bodies to conform to thoughts and feelings—but on helping people accept and even embrace the truth about their bodies and reality.”

And since the mission of the armed forces is winning wars and protecting the nation, he adds, “any personnel policy must prioritize military readiness and mission-critical purposes first.”

What merits serious questioning, Anderson suggests, is not why President Trump has reinstated the tried-and-true policy of keeping people suffering from gender dysphoria out of the military, which reflects common sense, but rather President Obama’s politically driven attempt to change it.

There were well-justified concerns that “Obama was using the military to advance the latest social justice culture warrior agenda item,” he states, “seeking to mainstream transgender identities and promote controversial therapies for gender dysphoria.”

Obama’s policy change, he said, “ignored the reality that placing individuals who might be at increased risk for suicide or other psychological injury in the most stressful situation imaginable—the battlefield—is reckless.”

Along with these underlying reasons why Trump’s decision was the right one, Anderson also lists five further practical considerations that would advise against admitting those who identify as transgender into the military.

First, the privacy of service members must not be infringed, which is impossible when persons are treated as members of the opposite sex.

Second, all service members remain combat-ready at all times, which would rule out the regular hormone treatments and follow-up visits required after sex-reassignment surgery.

Third, all service members must be held to the same physical fitness standards, and these standards must by based on the reality of biological sex, not the subjective “gender identity.”

Fourth, scarce taxpayer monies should not be spent on costly and controversial sex-reassignment therapies.

And fifth, the medical judgment, conscience rights, and religious liberty of military doctors, chaplains, commanding officers, and fellow service members must be respected.

Despite the evident logic of these arguments for people with common sense, numerous celebrities have become completely hysterical over Trump’s decision.

Which should make the nation grateful that “hysteria” is another condition that disqualifies a potential candidate from enlisting in the U.S. military.

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