Children suffer when their parents struggle with one another. A tragic case in point is unfolding in Dallas, Texas, where a jury this week denied a father sole custody of his 7-year-old son. What's uncommon about this custody battle is that the boy's mother is seeking ultimately to start the child on drug treatments that would block him from beginning puberty because, she claims, he now identifies as a girl. As LifeSite News reports:
"A jury in Dallas, Texas has ruled against Jeffrey Younger, the father who is trying to protect his 7-year-old son, James, from chemical castration via a gender "transition." This means James' mother, Dr. Anne Georgulas, will be able to continue "transitioning" him into "Luna," and now has full authority to start him on puberty blockers and eventually cross-sex hormones."
On the Washington Watch program this week, I asked Peter Sprigg, FRC's Senior Fellow for Policy Studies, just how you determine that a 7-year-old might have gender dysphoria. Peter observed:
"[T]his is a claim that's being made by the mother. And as in so many very sad divorce cases and child custody cases that result from divorce, there's very much of a he said/she said aspect to this. But the mother claims that the child identifies as female that wishes to be called a girl named 'Luna.' But the father says exactly the opposite, that this child, when he is with the father, because up until now, they have had joint custody or shared custody. When he's with the father, he's perfectly happy to identify as a boy and wear boy clothes. The thing that this suggests to me, though, is that ... this by definition means that the child does not meet the diagnostic criteria for gender dysphoria, because to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a child is supposed to be consistent, insistent and persistent in asserting their gender identity that's different from their biological sex. If they only assert it in one house and not the other. That means they don't meet the criteria for gender dysphoria."
Obviously, this is a case that's about more than just who stays where on a given weekend. A child's future is at stake because one parent is deciding that a child needs to transition to another sex. There are health implications, spiritual implications, and so much more on the line. As Peter noted, "... when children are being raised by a married couple, it's up to the couple to negotiate the differences between them and raise the children. When there's a divorce, then it becomes up to the child to negotiate the differences between the parents. That's something they shouldn't have to do."
Just to be clear, we're not talking here about a mother allowing a child to cross dress, or act as a girl. We're talking about beginning a process which could essentially chemically castrate her son.
This case is a perfect example of how our actions as adults affect our children. This troubled 7-year-old boy is now in danger of becoming the product of a radical ideology that fails to regard his physical health. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident; seeds of sexual confusion are being sown throughout the culture with the intent of ensnaring children.
How should we as Christians respond to this direct assault on biblical truth and scientific fact? Yesterday I asked FRC's David Closson that very question as we discussed a Missouri church who came under fire about speaking up about this very issue. Closson noted how one pastor wasn't afraid to engage on tough issues:
"I really like what this pastor did ... in Missouri. He asked honest questions. These are questions I think all of us need to ask. Love in truth, he says. He just asked the trans[gender] activists: Are we sure this is best following the transgender ideology? It's good for women? Is it really good to give puberty blockers to children? And he asked a question at the end of the sermon that I think is profound, he asked the question: 'Do we really want people's subjective, internal feelings to define reality?' And he makes the point that we don't do this on other issues. If someone's mind telling them a lie, we try to counteract that. We point them to objective truth. And that really is the most loving thing to do."
David is right. We're living in a day and time in which Christians are going to have to either be true to Scripture or cave to the culture. There's no middle ground. Join me in praying that this boy in Texas and other children like him around the country will find people who will stand up for them when others melt in the face of culture.