A Presbyterian Church in America commission sent a letter to President Joe Biden and other U.S. government leaders Sunday asking them not to promote sex-change surgeries and puberty interventions for trans-identified minors.
“It is more important than ever to protect children from the harms that come from rejecting biological sex,” a PCA spokesperson told The Christian Post. “God created humanity male and female; persons who try to change their biological sex are attempting the impossible.”
“Children, above all, must be protected and given time to progress through natural puberty. The PCA’s letter affirms the Bible’s care for children as a reflection of God’s love and asks leaders of the United States government to protect the lives and welfare of the most vulnerable among us,” the spokesperson added.
The letter from a commission appointed by the PCA General Assembly sent to Biden, congressional leaders and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts coincided with the 50th National Sanctity of Human Life Day.
The PCA is the largest body of confessional Presbyterian and Reformed churches in North America, consisting of more than 1,500 congregations and 374,000 members in the U.S. and Canada.
The letter is the result of an overture the conservative denomination passed last June by a vote of 1,089-793 that formed a commission to draft a formal petition urging the government to “renounce the sin” of transgender procedures for minors.
The commission “humbly petition[ed]” the leaders to “protect the lives and welfare of minor children from the physical, mental, and emotional harms associated with medical and surgical interventions for the purpose of gender reassignment.”
The authors stressed that medical attempts to change a person’s gender through surgeries or hormonal intervention are physically impossible and can lead to more suffering.
“Persons who try to change their biological sex through the process of transitioning —including psychotherapy, lifelong hormonal treatments, and extensive nongenital and genital surgeries — are attempting the impossible,” the letter states.
Such interventions are in opposition to God’s design of male and female, the commission said, possibly leading to “sterility, infertility, cancer, cardiovascular disease, strokes, blood clots, pituitary apoplexy, pseudotumor cerebri, and diminished bone density.”
The letter called on leaders to “use your positions to promote the health, bodily integrity, and wellbeing of minors who are suffering from gender dysphoria and related conditions.”
The commission acknowledged the “complexities” around such issues but predicated the appeal on the doctrine that all human beings are created in God’s image, which they described as a “unique status” that “accords all human beings with inherent dignity, a dignity that extends to both soul and body.”
The letter states that throughout its entire history, “the Christian Church in all her branches” has affirmed that the human body’s value emerges from its creation by God and that surgical interventions to change a child’s gender fly in the face of that.
“We believe current gender reassignment interventions for children are not in keeping with the high value of human bodies — a value determined not by circumstance, ability, or human judgment, but by the determination of our wise Creator who constituted each person a body-soul unity,” the commission said in an apparent repudiation of the Gnostic teaching that the physical and spiritual natures of human beings are separate.
The commission grounded its petition in the teaching that God has special care for children, noting when Jesus Christ warned strongly against scandalizing children when he urged his disciples in Mark 10:14: “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”
God has established the authority of parents and civil magistrates for the protection of children, especially, the commission noted, which it contends is an obligation widely acknowledged in Western society “until recently.”
Gender dysphoria, the commission said, is a phenomenon that causes intense psychological suffering and has seeped into churches as it sweeps through the culture. Medical professionals disagree agree on the causes of gender dysphoria, and many advise a wait-and-see approach for minors who are struggling with it, the commission adds.
Proponents of such interventions contend that medical organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics support “gender-affirming care.” The AAP clarified its stance in August, saying that while gender-affirming care can be “life-saving,” the organization “doesn’t push medical treatments or surgery; for the vast majority of children, it recommends the opposite.”
The conservative American College of Pediatricians has long warned about sterilizing sex-change surgeries and hormone interventions for minors.
The PCA commission said children are uniquely vulnerable, exacerbated by social media and the alienation caused by the government’s COVID-19 policies.
“While these vulnerabilities can be preyed upon by powerful external forces, they are also susceptible to the internal confusions and instabilities often accompanying childhood,” the letter states.
Evidence shows that teenage girls especially are susceptible to rapid-onset gender dysphoria as a consequence of social contagion, the letter says, suggesting medical professionals who push such procedures on minors are violating their Hippocratic Oath.
“Children whose minds and personalities are still developing do not yet possess the perspective or maturity to make these irreversible decisions; they should be given time to accept their biological sex, which occurs in the majority of teens allowed to progress through natural puberty,” the letter adds.
“Providing medical intervention for the purposes of transitioning does irreversible harm and injustice to all people, but especially minor children,” the commission concluded. “For these reasons, we condemn the practice of surgical and medical gender reassignment, especially of minors, and we humbly petition you to protect the lives and welfare of minor children.”
Petitioning the government is an unusual act in the denomination that adheres to the 17th-century Westminster Confession of Faith, which advises churches “not to intermeddle with civil affairs which concern the commonwealth, unless by way of humble petition in cases extraordinary.” Supporters of the measure believe the Biden administration’s support for such interventions fits the definition of “cases extraordinary.”
The conservative Presbyterian denomination made national headlines in March when transgender-identifying Audrey Hale, 28, murdered three adults and three children at the Covenant School in Nashville. The school was affiliated with Covenant Presbyterian Church (PCA).
The PCA was formed in 1973 when 260 congregations, primarily from Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina, departed the mainline Presbyterian Church in the United States in response to what they saw as encroaching theological liberalism. The PCA has since swelled to include more than 375,000 members and more than 1,540 churches, according to its website.
Jon Brown is a reporter for The Christian Post. Send news tips to email@example.com
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