President Donald Trump shocked the country this morning when he announced transgender people would no longer be able to serve in the military.
The president tweeted: "After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow..........Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming.........victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you."
The policy garnered mixed reactions, some enthused and others offended. Here's what popular Christian leaders had to say.
Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas:
The militant liberal agenda has not only savaged the moral values of our country but has imperiled the defense of our nation by adding needless confusion, complication and expense. Thank God for a president who is willing to say "Enough is enough!" I applaud President Trump for exercising his judgment as commander in chief to make America safer and more secure by allowing our armed forces to concentrate on "decisive and overwhelming victory" rather than serving as a petri dish for social experimentation. People suffering from gender identity confusion should be treated with compassion and counseling, not exploited by the left to further a liberal ideology.
Michael Brown, author, radio host and blogger:
While I appreciate everyone who wants to serve in the military, President Trump's decision is absolutely right and necessary. The idea that the military would pay for sex-change surgery or that the privacy of others would be compromised to allow those who identify as transgender to serve was wrongheaded and impractical. The president has done what is right both practically and morally, and he and his generals should be applauded for it. This decision is a major pushback against an overly aggressive LGBT agenda, and President Trump will face the wrath of LGBT activists and their allies. All the more reason, then, for us to pray for him to stand strong. At the same time, we pray for those who identify as transgender, that they will find wholeness in the bodies and identities God gave them.
James Dobson, founder of Family Talk radio:
For eight years, the Department of Defense under President Obama, went about the systematic and intentional transformation of the U.S. military, unnecessarily disrupting the world's most elite fighting force from their most pressing and urgent requirement—keeping our country and its allies safe. It is heartening to have a commander in chief who puts the expert opinions of his generals and military officials ahead of the destructive forces of political correctness and identity politics. I support the president's decision and commend this administration for having the courage to protect our military from what would only amount to an enormous and costly distraction.
Greg Gordon, founder of SermonIndex.net:
God is the disposer and exalter of kings and rulers. It should not shock us that He is using someone as Donald Trump as a force of righteousness on the national scale. Evil has prevailed for a season and the demonic hordes have been very active, but now God is giving a season of mercy and relief from the very strong downhill slide America has been in morally. Only God through a great revival can shift the entire culture back to Himself. It is a time for believers to prepare, to start to act more like disciples of Jesus, to focus on God like never before. We are living in evil days and they might only get worse.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council:
This is a major victory for conservatives, for our military and it's a milestone from a standpoint of ending and reversing Obama-era social engineering policies that really crippled our nation's military. ... It's not about the individual—it's about the military. President Obama used the military for the advancement of his radical social agenda. This president is saying no. The military is there for one purpose only—to keep America secure.
Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association:
AFA applauds President Trump for his courageous decision to end the usage of our military for social engineering and political correctness. American families deserve a military that is focused solely on readiness and national defense.
Bert Farias, cultural commentator and blogger:
I believe it is a strong and righteous decision because the gross immorality of what one generation tolerates, the next generation celebrates. In order to reverse the confusion and curse that the abominable decisions of prior administrations have released upon our nation it is going to take tremendous conviction and courage—especially where the lines of moral absolutes have been blurred. President Trump has my full support on this matter. It's time to stop the social madness and immoral insanity and quit catering to the entitled unsound minority that would erode our troops' morale and put them in danger. Just as any physical defect, disability or injury prevents one from service in our military, so should a mentally unstable condition and confused identity be a means for disqualification.
Larry Tomczak, cultural commentator and blogger:
President Trump's bold declaration on transgenders is an answer to multitudes who have prayed that God would stop the meltdown in the military! We all need to realize our faithful intercession and fasting has impact on what's happening in the culture today.
When I was in Amsterdam 15 years ago, I was told about gender reassignment surgery, and I didn't even understand what it was. To think that it is now becoming commonplace in our culture is shocking. Thank God for the Family Research Council and other ministries like Intercessors for America that have called people to pray and contact our president and elected officials to stop this absurdity in the military.
May we continue interceding for this administration for God to enable us to recover what has been lost over the past decade in terms of our Judeo-Christian heritage. There is a lot of good news, no matter what the dishonest media portrays daily!
Landon Schott, pastor of REV ministries and author of Gay Awareness:
Our nation is on a fast track to moral decay. The prophet Isaiah spoke of a day where men would call good, evil and evil, good (Is. 5:20). We are living in that day now! What surprises me the most about today is how the president is leading the call for clarity when it comes to sexuality. For years, our last president encouraged and celebrated sexual confusion and immorality. The world praised him for it. The world always celebrates the advancement of immorality. If the world celebrates it, why would God's house and God's people align with it? It's time for the church to take a stand. I want to encourage pastors and spiritual leaders that now is not the time to be timid or fearful of man's opinion but to take a stand of righteousness knowing you will be persecuted (Matt. 5:10) for it, but with the understanding that the people you are taking the stand for are worth it. The future of America is worth it. I'm praying the mercy of God over our nation!
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