US President Donald Trump’s decision to ban so-called transgender persons from the military makes perfect sense: the armed forces exist to win wars—they are not a laboratory for social or sexual engineers. There is an underlying issue, however, that is much more serious. It’s time for some straight talk.
No one doubts that there are men who have, and want to, transition to the other sex, and vice versa, but it is not generally understood that transgender persons are a fiction—they do not exist. These people are more properly known as transsexuals—they are attempting to change their sex. I say attempting because they cannot succeed. To wit: Bruce Jenner will never be able to menstruate.
Gender refers to socially learned roles that are appropriate for the sexes, for males and females. Those roles are universally the same in every society in the history of the world: women are nurturers and men are warriors. Why? Because women give birth and men do not. Moreover, men have more testosterone than women, making them more aggressive. Neither sex is better than the other; rather, as the Catholic Church informs, they complement each other.
This is what biology and anthropology affirm, and what the Catholic Church teaches. In other words, gender roles take their cues from nature, and ultimately from nature’s God, which explains why the LGBT segment of the population—it is not a “community”—is railing against it. They find support, of course, among cultural elites, many of whom deny the reality of nature and nature’s God.
Trans persons should not be bullied, or subjected to what the Catholic Church calls “unjust discrimination.” But there are plenty of good reasons, especially for the military, to practice just discrimination against any person or group of persons who may logically compromise winning in the battlefield.
To cite one example, the reason why Type 1 diabetics are barred from the military is because of their need for regular injections; accommodating them is not practical. Trans persons need regular injections as well. So if anything, allowing trans persons to serve, but not Type 1 diabetics, is not fair—it is an expression of unjust discrimination. The answer is not to allow these diabetics to serve, but to ban both groups.
When I was undergoing a physical at a military base in Brooklyn during the Vietnam war—it was part of the filtering program of prospective airmen—the fellow in front of me was rejected for being underweight, and the guy behind me was rejected for being overweight. I was declared to be just right.
That’s life—inequality exists. But it is important to concede that not all manifestations of it are inequitable. Hence, the difference between just discrimination and unjust discrimination.