TWO FORMER TRANS MEN EXPLAIN THE LIES OF TRANSGENDERISM
Today’s culture has seen the denial of biology’s concept of sex and gender, with California even passing a law to punish caregivers who use incorrect pronouns. There are those who have suffered through hormone treatment, lied to in the name of access to what their doctors saw as “care.” Two men, who are named in the Federalist as Paul and Taylor, recently shared their stories in the aptly titled “What Two Former Trans Men Want You To Know About All The Lies.” Paul, who is 38, worries about if he will even live to old age, and says that he’s “been forced into celibacy.” His detransition, which doctors told him he could not actually do, was full of physical and emotional pain. It was in high school when Paul learned about transgenderism and thought it was his answer. At that time he described having “girlish” interests that made him feel ashamed, while also struggling with isolation and confusion.
Paul is not the only young person to have experienced gender dysphoria, which he has officially now been diagnosed with. As professionals and those with prior experience with transgenderism and gender dysphoria themselves have explained, hormone therapy, drugs, and surgery are not what is needed. They need counselling and support, especially with the mental health issues that follow, as they did with Paul, and seem to have been worsened. For children considering transitioning, Paul cautions them to “don’t.” The rest of his story should be a reason why. After his move to San Francisco, “in search of a community of acceptance,” as the Federalist describes it, Paul found a community health clinic. At his very first visit he was given hormones to transition from male-to-female and given very little information about something so life changing. Even when he asked, Paul was told “not to worry.”
Paul would be misled and taken advantage of in other ways. He was recommended surgery, so as to not suffer through hormones and medication. When he tried to stop it, he was anesthetized. Paul describes having experienced constant groin pain, and bleeding a year later. Again, his request to be informed seemed to be dismissed. “I was told to wait it out, see a specialist, and not to get a lawyer.” After confronting his doctor, he learned he had been lied to. He couldn’t stop hormones after all. It was finally after attempting suicide that Paul sought out help, and began to go back living as a man. Taylor found himself in a similar situation at 23, when “all it took was self-declaration,” as Taylor began living as a woman. A year later, he sought the transition process with hormones, and just like Paul, was not given the true care and attention he ought to have been given for something so serious:
I went to an endocrinologist, who gave me a prescription on the first visit, before my blood work results even came back. “The doctor should’ve challenged me.” he said. He detransitioned a year later, after expressing disappointment in the system. The issue of suicide came up for both men, which is tragically high in the transgender community. Walt Heyer, who himself experienced time living as a woman, says he has heard from many who were disappointed in the system, just like Taylor was, and warns against surgery which could lead to confusion and disappointment, and thus suicide. He also described advocating for sex change procedures as “false hope,” which may serve to confuse transgender individuals even more. This is especially the case when doctors mislead and lie to their patients, rather than provide them with true care. When it comes to transgender rights, perhaps that of properly informing and caring for these individuals ought to take first priority.
US VICE PRESIDENT PENCE VOWS AID FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS
Vice President Mike Pence recently delivered the keynote address at the In Defense of Christians (IDC) annual summit, and brought a message of solidarity and hope for the persecuted Christians of the Middle East. “The Bible tells us that all who desire to live a godly life through Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” Pence said. “Sadly, today, Christianity is under unprecedented assault in the ancient land where it first grew. Tonight, I came to tell you, help is on the way. President Trump and I and our entire administration are working tirelessly to protect these ancient communities,” he added. Christians and religious minorities have endured ongoing torture in the Middle East, actions the Trump administration calls by name: genocide. “It is genocide. They are crimes against humanity and we will call them what they are,” Pence said.
The vice president also didn’t shy away calling the force behind the violence by name. “President Trump and I see these crimes for what they are: vile acts of persecution animated by hatred for Christians and the Gospel of Christ. And so, too, does this president know who and what has perpetrated these crimes and he calls them by name: radical Islamic terrorism,” Pence said. Pence also brought some good news, saying ISIS has troubled days ahead. “Thanks to the courage of the American armed forces and the resolve of the commander in chief, I’m pleased to report that ISIS is on the run,” he said. “Three years ago those barbarians celebrated in the streets in their self-declared capital of Raqqa. They proclaimed the start of a thousand-year caliphate and they raised their black flags against the region. But those black flags no longer fly in Raqqa.”
Recently US-backed forces helped liberate Raqqa, taking back one of the last strongholds of the crumbling caliphate. While many applaud the near destruction of the Islamic State, Pence says it is time to help the victims of genocide rebuild. “As we begin to see the tides of terror recede, I can assure you that President Trump is committed to help persecuted peoples reclaim their land, return to their homes, rebuild the lives, and replant the roots in their ancient home,” he said. However, the vice president said this administration isn’t helping persecuted Christians the same way the Obama administration did. “The last administration devoted well over a billion dollars in humanitarian aid to the Middle East, but routed it mainly through programs run by the United Nations. Yet the UN has too often failed to help the most vulnerable communities – especially religious minorities,” Pence said.
“While faith-based groups with deep roots in the region are willing to assist, the United Nations continues to deny their funding requests.” “It is my privilege to announce that President Trump has ordered the State Department to stop funding the ineffective relief efforts of the United Nations and from today, America will provide support directly to persecuted communities through USAID,” he said. While the road towards safety and security may seem a far off, Pence has faith that God will do a miracle in the Middle East. “I have faith because I am a Believer,” he told the audience. “I believe He who said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’ never will.” “He will stand with His people wherever they are in all the countries that are in our hearts this night, the vice president said. “He Himself will breathe new life in the community of Christ in that corner of the world where it all began.”
ALGERIA STILL DENYING CHURCHES THEIR RIGHT TO WORSHIP
Churches in northern Algeria continue to clash with the authorities over permission to hold services in non-religious buildings. Authorities in Tizi Ouzou province, 100km east of the capital, Algiers, have said a 2006 law that regulates non-Muslim worship is breached by churches meeting in houses meant only for accommodation or commercial purposes. But the churches have cited the 2016 constitution, which states that religious freedom is guaranteed if in compliance with the law. They have said that they are complying with the law because of their formal affiliation with the Protestant Church of Algeria (EPA), which has been officially recognised by the government since 1974 and is accredited with both the ministry of the interior and the local government.
One of the churches, in the commune of Ait Bouadou, uses a house that was leased on behalf of the EPA. It opened in December 2015 and, two months later, following complaints from locals, was ordered to close. In September the church received a letter from the mayor, again stating that the church is “not permitted” and demanding its closure because the house was intended initially for “dwelling or commercial use”. The church of more than 200 people continues to meet while its leader seeks legal advice. A second church, in the centre of Tizi Ouzou, was summoned by the authorities on 18 October and asked to “comply with the provisions of the 2006 law”. The pastor of the 100-strong church in Boghni, which has been active “for several years”, said it was “explained to the chief of the local government that we are a community affiliated to the EPA and that we meet in accordance with the law”.
The church has submitted documents to the authorities, showing its affiliation to the EPA, and continues to meet. Earlier in 2017 summonses were issued to churches in Ait Djima and Maatkas, also in Tizi Ouzou. In April 2016 Algerian churches faced intimidation and harassment because of the 2006 law, including the EPA-affiliated churches in Maatkas and Ait Djima. At the time, a pastor of a Protestant church in the capital, Algiers, said the 2006 law is used as a tool of persecution by the authorities. “It is an unjust law against Christians, who are denied their right to worship and the opportunity to share the Gospel freely,” Rev. Haddad said, adding that “the situation of Christians in Algeria will not improve until the outright law, which is no longer justified, is repealed”.
Because of the long-standing difficulty faced by Algerian churches, it has become standard practice to rent premises and inform the local authorities they have done so. Despite this, the authorities fail to respond to almost all applications from churches, including EPA affiliates. Several Christians have received fines and suspended prison sentences under the 2006 law, including Christian teacher Habiba Kouider, who was charged in 2008 for the illegal possession of bibles.
COMMIT TO FREE SPEECH UK GOVERNMENT TELLS UNIVERSITIES
The UK Government plans to exercise new powers to fine, suspend or deregister universities if they do not meet a statutory duty to commit to free speech in their governance documents. Jo Johnson, the universities minister, outlined his plans for the new regulator and said young people and students need to “accept the legitimacy of healthy vigorous debate”. In this new move, the practice of preventing someone holding views regarded as unacceptable or offensive from contributing to a public debate or meeting, known as “no-platforming”, will end. Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF) Director, Rev Richard Cunningham said. “I welcome Jo Johnson’s announcement that the Office for Students (OfS) is to be given powers to enforce freedom of speech in our universities. For students to truly flourish and form a robust world view, they need to be in a stimulating environment in which they can encounter new and difficult views.
“Prospective employers do not want a future workforce of graduates who are thin skinned, humourless and brittle, but rather one that is composed of well-rounded people who have learned to challenge, reject or embrace new and difficult ideas they encountered as students. “The university Christian Unions (CU) have, despite all this, managed to attract tens of thousands of students in the past few months to one of their mission events. CUs are essentially a safe, creative and kind space in which all students can consider a radical and challenging message.” The head of public policy for campaign group Christian Concern, Tim Dieppe encouraged people to have healthy arguments. “We shouldn’t be afraid of ideas we disagree with. “The truth will win out, and we should listen to other points of view, work out what’s wrong with them, and if there is something wrong, refute them as they need to be refuted and that’s the way a free society works.”
A conference was held in Belfast recently to tackle the effect pornography has on society. Christian Action Research & Education (CARE) put on the P Word Conference in partnership with the Naked Truth Project and it took place at Belfast Bible College. Prominent church leaders and leading experts gathered to discuss, pray and tackle the issue of pornography. There were presentations and pre-recorded contributions and delegates were offered practical tools to feel equipped to address pornography in their churches and communities. There was also a prayer space, set up by 24-7 Prayer for those who wanted to intercede and pray for the issue. CARE’s Churches Development Officer for Northern Ireland, Tim Houston, said: “Pornography has never been more accessible, affordable, anonymous or addictive.”
“Pornography use is widespread in our communities, including in our Churches, and we need to address it due to the damaging impact it can have on those who watch it and those who are in the industry. “Christians have a long reputation of standing up against harmful norms that have become commonplace in society today. This is another issue that we will not only speak out on, but partner with church leaders to equip them to talk about why we should tackle pornography addiction and pastor people through it. “P Word resources the church to understand the social costs of pornography and gives leaders the tools needed to address the issue back in their churches and communities, leading to long term, positive change.”
HOW THE GREEK CHURCH IS PROTESTING COUNTRY’S NEW TRANSGENDER LAW
The clergy of Greece are ringing their church bells every day at noon for three minutes in opposition to a bill passed by the Greek Parliament that grants legal recognition to sex changes without any requirement other than the desire of the applicant, allowing anyone age 15 or older to legally change gender. “It is outrageous and so contrary to God’s gift to humanity for someone to change his gender in a few minutes, with a simple declaration. “Whoever has ‘gender dysphoria’ is mentally ill” a Church spokesman said. Historically, church bells ring in joy before services, in mourning before funerals, to alert the community to important news, or as a warning before an attack. “We are very uneasy as to what the future is preparing for us,” the monks of Mount Athos wrote to the Ministers of Education and Justice of the Greek Republic. Is it permissible in our Orthodox fatherland to legally and blatantly defy Divine law? ‘God created man in His own image, male and female He created them’ (Gen. 1:27).”