Dr. Dobson has asked me, Joe Waresak, President of the Dr. James Dobson Institute, to write this month's letter on a subject that greatly concerns us both—the welfare of children. So much of our secular culture has turned against them, and the fallout is nothing short of devastating. By understanding the extent of this crisis, we can pray and take action to come against it. May God bless you.
There is a dangerous and wicked movement that is spreading like wildfire throughout Western civilization, and it has taken our country by storm, warping the hearts and minds of our children. It is the ideology of transgenderism, and Dr. Dobson and I believe this movement comes straight out of hell. It is an all-out attack against the Imago Dei—God's very imprint upon humankind.
Within just a few years, this ideology has become an all-consuming philosophy that is so culturally and politically charged that many parents and other adults are too afraid to criticize or even question it.
Just this summer, at a gay pride parade in New York City, chants within the marching ranks could be heard, saying, "We're here, we're queer, we're coming for your children." They claimed later they were being sarcastic, but as my trusted colleague, Gary Bauer, senior vice president of public policy at JDFI shared, "There is plenty of evidence, as we have regularly reported, that children are being targeted by LGBTQ+ activists and their political allies. When radical marchers chant, 'We are coming for your children,' it isn't a joke. It is the reality that countless parents are being confronted with every day."1
Sadly, the news surrounding the upsurge of this immoral dogma is constant. Here are examples of what's happening across our country.
• Left-wing politicians in California, Colorado, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, and Washington, have declared their states to be "sanctuary states" for transgender families and youth. Oregon allows 15-year-olds to get taxpayer-funded sex changes.2
• Leftist politicians in California, Massachusetts, and Virginia are pushing to prosecute parents for child abuse if they don't affirm their child's gender delusions.3
• Michigan politicians just advanced legislation making it a felony to "misgender" someone or to call a transgender individual by the wrong pronoun.4
• As a result, over 17,000 schools in more than 1,000 school districts across the country currently have policies that prevent parents from knowing if their children change their gender or "socially transition" in school.5
• These ill-conceived gender identity policies allow biological boys access to girls' bathrooms and have predictably resulted in sexual assaults6 and rapes.7
• Christian teachers have been fired for refusing to lie to students or refer to students by the wrong biological pronoun. Teachers have also been fired for refusing to lie to parents about a child's "gender transition."8
• Last year, the American Library Association elected a "Marxist lesbian" as its new president.9 Libraries increasingly are hotbeds of radical activism, such as "drag queen story hours."10
• Almost a quarter of American high school students identify on the "queer" spectrum, according to government data—a number that has more than doubled since 2015.11
Apart from an attack while a child is still in the womb, this perversion of human sexuality represents one of the greatest dangers facing kids today. This movement's chief agenda is to remove the understanding of God and His order for sexual design from your child's life. If those on the far Left are successful at displacing these foundational truths, as rooted in Genesis 1:27—that we are all created in the image of God as male and female, our nation's young people will struggle through this maze of lies, and worse yet, make life-altering decisions that can't be undone.
Tragically, this evil web of messaging is being spun in every sphere of life—media, big tech and corporations, education, and the prevailing medical establishments. Whether it's the new woke Barbie movie featuring LGBTQ characters,12 or the latest drag queen reading hour at your local library, their goal is to inculcate your kids with their radicalized and anti-God agenda.
In a very revealing article, author Kay S. Hymowitz lays out in detail the insidious indoctrination of children that begins at a very young age within our public school settings. While I may not agree with everything Ms. Hymowitz writes, she is on point concerning this topic.
To nudge kids along, some schools introduce the topic as early as preschool and kindergarten. "[B]y asking students their pronouns starting at a young age," the University of Pennsylvania School of Education explains to prospective teachers, "educators can make room for students who may be exploring their gender identity and show everyone that gender identity should not be assumed." The National Education Association, the nation's largest teachers' union, encourages teachers to "role model" their pronouns and then go around the room so that students can introduce theirs. In addition to the expected he/him, she/her, and they, the organization offers a few "neopronouns"—ze, zim, zir—said to be "nonsexist."
When the pronoun catechism goes over their young heads…a mind-boggling number of children's books on gender identity are available to reinforce the theme. In addition to I Am Jazz, a school or classroom library might have Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl?, The Boy Who Cried Fabulous, or Who Are You? The Kid's Guide to Gender Identity.13
Moms and dads, do you understand that this is taking place in elementary schools across our nation? When little Johnnie and Ashley are still trying to figure out how to tie their shoes or learn their ABCs, parents are told that their young ones are mature enough to grasp developing sexual identity issues within their little bodies. This is as absurd as it is sinful!
Before you know it, a boy or girl is coerced by teachers into a state of confusion over his or her assigned biological sex, which then turns into a life of counseling, puberty-blockers, and gender-mutilating surgeries. In many cases, these once-dubbed transgender kids wake up one day as adults now sterile with mutilated bodies and filled with regret over the decision they made as children. This is child abuse—from the educator that peddles it to the medical professional that "treats" their condition.
Appallingly, this so-called gender-affirming care is being aggressively touted by our own government. While European countries are firmly slamming the brakes on administering "gender-affirming" care, i.e., puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and surgeries on kids due to the lack of scientific and medical evidence, President Joe Biden's administration is racing wildly to expand and normalize it.14
Quoting him again, Gary Bauer recently shared this news in his weekly policy email to our constituents.
Transgender Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services Rachel Levine, speaking at the Connecticut Children's Hospital, said that these (transgender) medical procedures have the "highest support" of the Biden administration. Levine and HHS are pressuring healthcare providers to perform these procedures or be charged with possible discrimination lawsuits. Levine made it clear that the Biden administration is "optimistic and hopeful" that these medical treatments will become routine and not "such a minefield."15
Do you understand what is at stake here? The prevailing institutions of America, including the United States government, are hastily coming after your children with a radical LGBTQ agenda. They want to morally corrupt and groom your kids into their ignoble likeness. It is abominable, and it's time to say, "Enough is enough!" We are not sacrificing a generation of children on this demonic altar of sexual perversion.
Before concluding my letter, I want to pause and address the parent or grandparent who is going through the heartache of having a child question his or her God-given gender. This is a profound spiritual battle, and our Lord hears your cries for help. I encourage you to reach out to your pastor or local Christian counselor to assist you in how to most effectively help your child through his or her struggles.
I appreciate the manner in which my friend, Dr. Del Tackett, describes a person who is entangled by the lies of this world. He refers to them as POWs—prisoners of war. We must never forget this as we purposefully help our children and others who are ensnared by the evil one. They are held captive by an enemy—the Father of Lies—and it is the love of our Lord and His truth that can set them free (2 Timothy 2:26).
I urge mothers and fathers to be unwavering as they pray for their children, as it should always be our first line of defense. We must also pray for the redemption of the individuals and entities pushing this warped ideology. They are also POWs, and the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ can set them free. In God's eternal plan, He graciously permits our prayers to be interwoven with the divine execution of His providence. Understanding this, how can we not pray without ceasing?
What I have written in this letter is not philosophical. Transgenderism, which seeks to warp biological and spiritual reality, is one of the greatest existential threats to our humanity. This evil ideology is aimed directly at your vulnerable kids, and their very souls are at stake. If the cultural mandate to erase biological gender succeeds, what will happen to God's design for marriage and the state of the family? Protecting your children against this wickedness should be one of your highest orders of priority, given by God, Himself. Now is the time we must courageously speak the truth against the enemy's attacks. If not us, who?
I implore you to contact the White House and your legislators to inform them that you oppose this vile and radicalized transgender agenda. Get the word out in your churches and small group gatherings. May this be the year parents take a bolder stance in resecuring the welfare of their children and re-establishing America's moral compass. We will render to Caesar what is Caesar's. However, this does not include the hyper-sexualization and reckless endangerment of children. No, Mr. President—America's kids are not yours. They are under the God-given authority of their parents!
As the school bells begin to ring soon, signaling another year has begun, may this serve as a warning to all parents. If your children are in a public or charter school setting, this is not the time to be "hands-off" in your parenting approach. They are walking into a lion's den as it relates to this topic of human sexuality, and it's time to be intentional in every aspect of their education: get to know the school board members, policies, teachers, curriculum, and peer influences that surround your child. The reality is that many of these influencers could be working in tandem with the corrupt ideologies of the National Education Association (NEA) and the Biden administration. And just because your child attends a Christian school or is homeschooled, don't underestimate the reach of the enemy. Given the ubiquitous nature of this movement, your children will be confronted by the evil one's lies at some point. Now is the time to be the solid rock of biblical and empirical truth your children need you to be.
In at least one of the articles I reviewed, social media platforms are major influencers for kids becoming entangled by the lies of transgenderism. There were also studies directly linking the amount of time spent on social media with increased depression, anxiety and other mental health problems. Parents, it's high time we get rid of smartphones and social media accounts for children. The unfiltered access to the Internet and online communities serve no greater good. I have a simple solution; buy them a dumb phone (one that is not connected to the Internet).
I have one last message I want every mom and dad to hear, and it comes from my heart: you are not alone on this mission front. God has positioned and called you to this awesome task of parenting, and He will see you through it. You are fulfilling one of the highest callings and most worthy undertakings known to mankind—to raise the next generation in the training and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).
The ministry of JDFI is here for you as well. Our team has compiled a number of biblically-based resources to educate and assist you in navigating through this difficult topic. Go to drjamesdobson.org/transgenderism for more information.
In our Lord's grand creative design, children are fearfully and wonderfully made as His image bearers (Psalm 139:14). They need to know this and the tremendous value and dignity that comes from being a child of God. Together, we can love our kids by being voices of truth during an age of lies, and, by God's grace, use our influence to point them in the direction of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Thank you for allowing us to serve alongside you. Our prayers are with you.
In His sovereign hands,
PS: I’ll leave you with some very positive news. I just heard that the state of Louisiana passed legislation that will forbid invasive gender transition treatment being performed on minors. This brings the total to 21 states that now have some form of legislative measures that prohibit these harmful practices. It is largely Republican-controlled states that are leading this effort. We are encouraged by this and pray that the protection of children will become a bipartisan priority.
1 Bauer, Gary (July 5, 2023) "We're Coming for Your Children," Dr. James Dobson Family Institute,
2 Arnold, Joshua (July 20, 2023) Transition Procedures, Family Research Council,
3 Kinnett, Tony (June 9, 2023) California Bill Would Charge Any Parent Who Doesn't Affirm Transgenderism With 'Child Abuse,' The Daily Signal,
4 Wilson, Ben (June 30, 2023) Michigan Residents Could Face 5-Year Prison Sentence, $10,000 Fine for Using Wrong Pronouns, The Washington Free Beacon,
5 List of School District Transgender — Gender Nonconforming Student Policies (July 18, 2023) Parents Defending Education,
6 Chasmar, Jessica (October 13, 2021) Loudoun County responds after dad says school district tried to conceal daughter's bathroom assault, Fox News,
7 Oser, Briana (June 20, 2023) Young girl is raped in school bathroom by transgender peer, Washington Examiner,
8 Farberov, Snejana (February 15, 2023) Christian teacher claims she was fired for refusing to lie about kids' pronouns, New York Post,
9 Phippen, Thomas (July 12, 2023) Montana breaks ties with national library group over 'Marxist lesbian' president, Fox News,
10 Rufo, Christopher F. (Autumn 2022) The Real Story Behind Drag Queen Story Hour, City Journal,
11 Morris, Emma-Jo (April 27, 2023) One-in-Four High School Students Identify on 'LGBQ' Spectrum,
12 MovieGuide Staff (July 10, 2023) Warning: Don't Take Your Daughter to Barbie,
13 Hymowitz, Kay S. (Spring 2023) The Transgender Children's Crusade, City Journal,
14 Sapir, Leor (June 28, 2023) Why Europe and America are going in opposite directions on youth transgender medicine, The Hill,
15 Bauer, Gary (June 24, 2023) The Biden Administration Doubles Down on Pushing Mutilating Surgeries and Sterilizing Drugs on Children, Dr. James Dobson Family Institute,
This letter may be reproduced without change and in its entirety for non-commercial and non-political purposes without prior permission from the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. Copyright, 2023 JDFI. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. Printed in the U.S.
If you’re raising kids right now, you know it’s hard work. Even children who are sweet and compliant come with their own set of challenges. But if your son or daughter is strong-willed and defiant, that child can wear you out emotionally. If you have one or more of these independent youngsters, you know how difficult life can be. Here's the good news: Help is on the way. The Dr. James Dobson Family Institute has developed this new 10-day email series based on Dr. Dobson’s best-selling book, The New Strong-Willed Child. It’s designed to equip you to wisely lead your kids through even the toughest trials.