PCUSA Official Compares Transgender Ban to Racial Discrimination


(By Peter Johnson, Juicy Ecumenism). The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert NelsonStated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (USA), released a statement criticizing President Donald Trump’s recent decision to ban transgender people from serving in the military. In it, he compared the transgender ban to the racial discrimination practiced by the military prior to 1948.

The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson

Many civil rights advocates have been reluctant to compare the struggle for racial justice to modern transgender activism—not only because there are obvious differences between the two movements, but also because some civil rights leaders have said the comparison diminishes their own struggle for racial equity. Rev. Nelson, who is the first African-American head of the PCUSA, demonstrates a conspicuous divergence from these civil rights leaders.

By comparing the fight for racial justice to transgender activism, Rev. Nelson invokes the darling of the postmodern academy, intersectionality, which aims to conflate social categorizations, like race, class and gender, in order to foster solidarity among marginalized peoples. In addition to the practical benefit of unifying various aggrieved parties, intersectionality also serves to reduce unique, often unrelated social movements to pieces of a broader tapestry of Marxist historicism.

Rev. Nelson, who is often described in PCUSA literature as a “prophetic voice for justice,” describes the famous verse from Micah as a clarion call to Presbyterians to “stand firmly” with transgender activists. According to Nelson, inclusion in military service is a way to affirm marginalized groups’ “citizenship and humanity.” It is unclear why Rev. Nelson, who is often an outspoken critic of the U.S. military, believes that this same institution is also “a bell tolling the advance of justice.”

Furthermore, in order to inject some statistical evidence into his case, Rev. Nelson cites a study, recently debunked by Politifact, which exaggerates the actual number of transgender service members.

Overall, he characterizes the transgender ban as “cruel” and that it is a “demonization” of transgender people.


Read Nelson’s statement: Stated Clerk Speaks Out on Trump’s Proposed Ban on Transgender Personnel in the Military



  1. REPLY
    Alan Foutz says

    JUst another reason why all PCUSA members should be moving to a different denomination

  2. REPLY
    Jake AU says

    And you wonder why PCUSA has members and churches fleeing the denomination. Look how your membership has declined the past 10 years. It’s alarming but you all keep doing the same old thing.

    Churches in the ECO are thriving and membership rapidly growing. Wonder why? Because they talk about Jesus and spreading His word!

  3. REPLY
    Anonymous says

    Does this guy ever talk about religion (Christian literature, beliefs, practices) or is it all political?

  4. REPLY
    Andrew Jarabak says

    Why don’t you worry about people who are leaving pcusa instead of this trivia. Please resign before you become the laughing stock of this denomination.

  5. REPLY
    James H says

    I know many African Americans who resent being lumped in with the whole gay rights movment, again our stated clerk acts like he speaks for all of us, and I resent very very much, and if he’s reading this (I doubt it however) stop using your position to layout DNC talking points, it’s because of people like you why members are bolting the pcusa!

  6. REPLY
    peter gregory says

    24 years active duty as a military Chaplain endorsed by the PCUSA. Now retired for a number of years. Let me say up front I have served with transgender, I have served with LGBTQ in combat zones and in the most demanding situations. In close quarters we really have no secrets. We all knew who was who, and what their orientations were, never a problem in either combat effectiveness or mission accomplishment. We took care of one another and we had all our backs. We were all brothers and sisters in combat arms. And given a chance I would serve with them again, with honor. That said.

    Rev. Nelson is not the Commander in Chief. Though I think in his alt-reality, socialist delusional echo chamber he exists in I am sure he wished he were.

    The only time Rev Nelson has had a passing thought of the military, or those who serve has been either to conceptualize them as tools of aggression against some aggrieved or oppressed groups, or in some other terms of degradation of their service to the nation. The only times he may have been close to a military base has been to protest this or that, or some other event where arrest was per-arraigned for publicity purposes. That said.

    One must parse this statement, as one would on any other matter that emanates from his Office or the OGA/PMA/GA/Office of Public Witness. All are done speak to, and communicate to their partisan, ideological base. And that base is centered in tenured academia, theological education, careerist bureaucrats in Louisville, and the so-called social activists of the various tribal, identity groups and causes. Any other audiences, intended recipients are secondary to the primary aim of reinforcing P.C., Leftist doctrines of Group-Think, thought conformity, and ideological purity within the group.

    Once viewed from that perspective, this and all other “pronouncements” from his office or anything PCUSA makes much more sense and falls into a well expected and well anticipated path . North Korea could nuke Guam or San Diego tomorrow, and the first pronouncement from his office would blame the current President for his aggression and the military for their overly aggressive response to such provocations. Again, to be expected.

    • REPLY
      JakeAu says

      Amen brother!

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