Watchmen On the Wall - FRC

Prayer Targets: Military Sex-Change Vote; Obamacare; Human Trafficking; DC Suicide & Abortion; SPLC

July 19, 2017

A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing... (Dt 22:5)

Dear Praying Friends,

Peter Sprigg (see bio) is Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at FRC. His concentrations are marriage and family, human sexuality, the arts and entertainment, and religion in public life. Peter researches, documents, and analyzes facts essential for shaping sane, morally sound, and beneficial public policy. These excerpts are from a recent, very timely Brief he wrote:

On July 1, 2016, without any systematic study of the consequences, the Obama administration reversed longstanding policies that precluded those who identify as transgender from serving in the U.S. military on both psychological and medical grounds. As of October 1, 2016, all branches began providing medical services to aid troops in their "transition" to living as the opposite gender.

Phase 2 of this policy --allowing persons who identify as transgender to join the military -- scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2017, has been delayed for six months. The new administration has done nothing to reverse this policy.

Family Research Council has concerns about the psychological fitness of persons who identify as transgender to serve (because of high levels of psychopathology within that population), and the impact of allowing troops to present themselves as the opposite of their biological sex on good order and discipline, readiness, recruitment, and retention within our military forces. In addition to these concerns, there are specific costs... such as particular medical issues associated with the practices of gender reassignment surgery and hormone replacement therapy...

Since the military pays for the health care of active duty service members directly, it is logical to look at the direct costs of such procedures... FRC has undertaken its own analysis of the potential costs of permitting people who identify as transgender to serve in the military, and has concluded they could total as much as $3.7 billion (not million) over the next ten years. This total includes direct medical costs and the cost of lost time of deployable service. (Note: The additional administrative costs of preparing and overseeing the required individualized care plans for each service member who identifies as transgender, the costs of training the entire force in the new policy, and the loss of time associated with that training, have NOT been included in these estimates.)

Medical Costs -- Under the military's new policy, eligible service members will receive 100 percent of their "necessary" care at no cost to themselves, so the percent seeking such surgery is likely to be higher than in the civilian population... FRC has calculated that a comprehensive package of male-to-female surgical procedures would cost $110,450, and female-to-male procedures would cost $89,050. The military would pay $746.6 million for surgery alone for active duty service members... However, surgery is not the only cost... The cost of counseling the year before surgery can cost $2,400. Adding this to actual surgical costs results in a total expense of over $800 million... After surgery, hormone treatment is required indefinitely, and can cost $200 a month. (Some individuals who identify as transgender seek hormone treatments even if they opt not to have surgery. This paper, however, includes dollar estimates of hormone therapy only for those who also undergo surgery.) If it will be a year before current service members can complete reassignment surgery, the cost of post-surgical hormone treatments for the following nine years would take the total cost of medical interventions for current active duty service members to nearly $1 billion over ten years.

Cost of Time Lost -- The military will also incur indirect costs due to the time lost by service members who are temporarily disabled or unable to be deployed due to preparation for, or recovery from, surgery and/or hormone treatments... A strong argument can be made that persons who have had gender reassignment surgery or who receive ongoing hormone treatment should be considered permanently non-deployable, because they require specialized medical care and drug therapies on an ongoing basis, which may not be available everywhere our armed forces are deployed, in which case the cost of lost time due to non-deployability would be far greater than these calculations.

10-Year Cost for New Recruits Who Identify as Transgender – It is possible that the promise of free medical care, including reassignment surgery, may act as a magnet drawing even more people who identify as transgender to enlist. Assuming a steady flow of about 100,000 total new recruits every year, FRC calculates the medical costs for recruits who identify as transgender will total $276 million over ten years, and the cost of lost time $416 million.

One Year Leave for "Real Life Experience" -- The 2016 policy provided for troops undergoing gender transition to take leave from the military for one full year prior to surgery; to live in their "target gender" before changing their service "gender marker" after surgery. Over ten years the cost of this year of leave for existing service members and new recruits would total nearly $1.8 billion.

Conclusion -- Adding these costs -- for existing service members and those who will join the military in the next ten years -- yields a total estimated cost for the new transgender policy of nearly $2 billion ($1.88 billion) over ten years. If lost time for one year of leave for "real life experience" is included, the total cost rises to $3.7 billion over ten years. (Read Brief in full: Transgender Policy Could Cost Military Billions..., with documentation and footnotes; excerpts edited for space; see also Peter's article on the subject at Townhall.)

House OK's Funding for Military Sex-Change Operations – Secretary of Defense James Mattis delayed for six months plans to implement the Obama DoD generated policy to admit recruits who identify as transgender into all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces beginning July 1, 2017. Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) introduced an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to stop the funding of sex change operations on military personnel and their dependents (Peter Sprigg's analysis did not take into account sex changes for military dependents). Hartzler fought valiantly last week to pass this common-sense amendment, but it failed 209-214 on Thursday night with 24 Republicans joining 190 Democrats to defeat it.

The proposed imposition of transgenderism on our U.S. military troops is fraught with problems well beyond the cost of "gender reassignment surgeries." Even now, U.S. troops are being indoctrinated -- forced to undergo transgender sensitivity training. A year ago, the Obama DoD put in place policy to allow servicemen and women who identify as transgender (who until then had to keep their gender identity private) to express it openly. And the Pentagon, like the other agencies in the administration, were commanded to openly celebrate transgender practice and to promote persons with gender dysphoria as patriots who deserve special treatment and benefits if Secretary Mattis does not rescind the Obama policy. In a shocking glimpse of part of the new policy, senior military commanders will be personally responsible for nursing transgender troops under their command through their life and medical problems, while making certain that they receive proper respect from non-transgender troops and to make sure violations of that rule result in proper punishments. They are required to train men and women to accept mixed genitalia in their showers, restrooms, and other activities as the norm.

The U.S. Armed Forces already struggles with low troop morale and an intractably high suicide rate. Multiple studies show that 41 percent or persons who identify as transgender have attempted suicide, which is 9-12 times the national average. Those who have had sex change surgeries have significantly more health problems than others, and commit suicide at a rate 20 times higher than other Americans. These are seriously troubled people, and others who seek to serve are routinely denied due to much milder blips in their physical or mental health histories. This policy will not only significantly degrade the military as a fighting force, but by ignoring the scientific data, it will do direct harm to those with gender dysphoria by increasing their individual susceptibility to suicide. Moreover, they will be aiding and abetting them in their own gender confusion. In addition, they will be not only approving and rewarding this behavior, they will be setting the standard for the entire nation. The struggle to save our children in schools across America from being subject to this same policy will be over, with gender confusion having prevailed (see GOP Tanks Ban on Military's Gender Surgery;24 in GOP Join 190 Dems to Fund Sex Change Operations; Transgender Surgery Regret is Real; "Policy on Military Service of Transgender Soldiers Training Module: Tier 2: Commanders and Leaders"; Tony Perkins: Remorse Code? GOP Changes Tune on Trans Vote;Churches and Children).

  • Heavenly Father, it is time for you to act, for your law is being broken! This policy must be rejected: it brazenly defies You, God our Creator, and Your fixed, eternal moral laws. We defied your definition of marriage, now we defy the very apex of your created order, mankind created in your own image, male and female. Please forgive us, extend Your mercy to us, and grant us repentance. You who bless nations that obey You, and curse nations that disobey you; You who promise battleground victory to those who obey you, but defeat to all who disobey, have mercy! Grant repentance to President Trump and Secretary Mattis for even considering to keep this wicked policy in place. Grant them understanding, courage, and willpower to stand up to the forces of darkness that gave birth to it and wholly to repeal it. Save our young men and women who are already living under this tyranny. Save our children from the predictable impact of this policy. May Your people not only pray, but rise and use every tool they possess as American citizens to preempt this policy. Please correct the members of Congress who used their votes to enable and fund it. We appeal to You! In Jesus' name, Amen. (Gen 1:27Dt 28: allNeh 4:14Ps 119:126Eze 24:14Mt 1:619:4-61 Tim 2:1-2Eph 6:10-20)

Finally, please add these items to your prayer list: 1) The continuing effort to repeal Obamacare; 2) A strong federal anti-human trafficking bill, having passed the House, is now in the Senate; 3) Bills to repeal D.C. laws legalizing physician-assisted suicide and authorizing taxpayer funding of abortion have passed committee. The full House and Senate must now pass the bill; 4) Some light is finally being shed upon the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Pray for our friend, Matt Staver, and Liberty Counsel. The SPLC is "doubling down" on its assault since Staver and the Counsel stood up to the group by way of a lawsuit in which the SPLC is involved. As always, thank you for praying!