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08/10/2015

From Binary to Countless Fragments

In the Republican presidential debate on August 7th, former governor Mike Huckabee was asked about the federal government’s plans for inclusion of transgender people into the military. In a less-than-articulate objection, Huckabee stated, “The purpose of the military is to kill people and break things.” He did in fact then add, “The purpose of it is that we protect every American.”

Indeed, the purpose of the military is to defend the citizens and nation of America by using all necessary force; but the expectation of the American citizen is that its military conduct itself in a manner consistent with the values of the nation. While what those values are precisely could be long debated, it is evident that the notion of character distinguishes Americans who engage in war from those of other groups or nations, such as ISIS, or the Japanese military during World War 2.

This is a difficult standard to keep. To maintain integrity and courage in the most extreme situations requires a level of character beyond what America expects of its average citizen. This is because consequences of failure to do so become intolerable, as we’ve seen in My Lai and Abu Ghraib.

The question then becomes whether the federal government should endorse transgender behavior as neither obtrusive nor burdensome to military functions and operations, including relationships and therefore unit morale and cohesion. This includes all potential intense military situations and relationships of any contingency to which servicemembers may be called. It is a question of whether transgender behavior is perfectly normal.

That the transgender community has achieved a standing in enough minds so as to gain the ultimate political advocate—the President of the United States—is a remarkable success for it. Yet this modern re-definition of what men and women are has been allowed to proceed with a lack of scrutiny that in itself is remarkable…and tragic.

It is tragic because the failure to scrutinize in fact abandonment. First, it is an abandonment of the intellect. The profession of medicine is failing to critically address the phenomenon of gender redefinition, apparently unable to see that its recent explosion indicates it is a sociologic phenomenon, not a biologic one. There is a lack of intellectual scrutiny within the medical community of the psychology, philosophy, and cultural dynamics fueling this trend. Part of the phenomenon is the deliberate alteration of definitions of deviance within modern psychology by those who know that our postmodern society has abandoned other sources of inspiration for proper human conduct. The subsequent conclusion of the secular mind is that if something isn’t defined as a mental illness it is therefore normal and appropriate.

Also unscrutinized is the intentional media and social influence on the pliable mind of America’s youth, who are clearly targeted by proponents of modern transgender theories. This means that we have also abandoned our youth, who are lured by this zeitgeist into decisions that can’t be unmade. Far from being liberating for them, gender mis-identification is terribly restricting, in that it limits one to the confined, pre-occupied, and unstable world of gender re-identification. It increases social isolation by eliminating predictability and increasing uncertainty in interpersonal relationships, causing others to keep a greater distance.

Finally, it’s an abandonment of society itself of its own means for survival. No society can turn a blind eye to the importance of natural gender to its peaceful and capable functioning and yet survive. In fact, I’m hard-pressed to find another issue more important to a society than its interpretation of what a man and woman are. But that is what we’ve thrown to the winds.

Now that we’ve de-normalized heterosexuality and binary gender identity, have we completed our deconstruction of man? I fear not, but lack the imagination to foresee what could possibly be next. Or perhaps the social consequences of abandoning natural gender will become painfully apparent. Perhaps we will see that gender reassignment surgery is the frontal lobotomy of the 21st Century—a procedure hyped with great promise but destined ultimately to fail. However, the rapidity and lack of adequate scrutiny of this latest postmodern cultural phenomenon indicates that, unfortunately, many will pay a heavy price to learn its lessons.

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