Oprah Winfrey: Agent of Moral Insanity
By R. Albert Mohler Jr. | Tuesday, August 31, 2004
(BP)--Oprah Winfrey, widely cited as one of the most influential and
admired women in America, showed herself to be an agent of moral insanity
when she featured a program celebrating young children seeking sex-change
procedures and transgender identities. In one episode of "The Oprah
Winfrey Show," the true nature of our modern sexual confusion was made
clear, and the broadcast should long be remembered as one of the most
frightening hours in television history.
The program, broadcast on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2004, began with Oprah introducing
the children seeking a sex change. "This is going to be a very fascinating
show, OK?" Oprah began. She then introduced her first young guest: "He is
an 11-year-old child. He likes skateboarding and PlayStation. He listens
to rap, studies hard, gets good grades and wears those trendy baggy pants.
He was also born a girl."
Oprah then moved to the broader theme of her program. "And right now
according to experts, there are thousands of children who are living what
appear to be very normal lives but deep inside they know something is
terribly wrong or they feel that something is terribly wrong, and these
children are saying that they were born in the wrong bodies. Their parents
have to decide whether or not to let their children live as the opposite
sex. Eleven-year-old Kayla lived for years with this secret."
According to a video broadcast on the program, Kayla was born a girl in
1992, but her mother reported that "Kayla never played with girls' toys,
never played with dolls. About two years of age on, Kayla was more into
dirt and bikes.... She would pick out baggy pants, boxer underwear. She
didn't like girls' underpants."
At some point, Kayla saw an episode of the Oprah show and was prompted to
declare that she was now a boy. She told her mother that she believed she
was a boy born into a girl's body. Her mother, Angelina, responded in a
way that left Oprah nodding in approval. "My first reaction was basically
blowing it off. A few days later, I said, 'OK, let's find out more about
it.'" As the show unfolded, the audience was told that Kayla, now "Kaden,"
was facing struggles at school. Early puberty presented additional
challenges, so Angelina put her 11-year-old daughter on Depo-Provera.
Kaden told Oprah's audience, "When I'm old enough to, I want to get
testosterone and my surgery."
The next child featured on Oprah was Dylan, a boy who at age 4 declared
that he wanted to become a girl. Now, a couple of years later, Dylan is
even more certain that he wants to be a girl. Dylan's mom shared that this
has become something of a stress point in the family. "Dylan's dad has a
real hard time accepting this. He'll reprimand him." As Oprah continued
the questioning, it turned out that Dylan's mom has been buying him dolls
and painting his fingernails. Dylan's dad, Derek, is indeed having "a real
hard time accepting this."
After a conversation with a "transgender therapist," Winfrey then
confronted Derek with his refusal to go along with his son's desire for a
sex change. Coming out of a commercial break, Oprah told her audience:
"And as I -- I was saying to Derek during the commercial break, I was
saying that this is your holiest hour. This will be your holiest hour as a
parent, being able to allow your son to be himself and to love him as he
is. Whatever that turns out to be, you know, that's where, where you will
be challenged emotionally, spiritually and otherwise, I think."
Oprah's third young guest was Halle, a young girl who at age 6 announced
that she wanted to be a boy. As Karen, the child's mother, explained,
"When Halle turned 3, she said she wanted to be a boy. My husband, Eric,
and I thought Halle was just a tomboy, maybe she'd grow out of this, maybe
she'd just be a lesbian. Then Halle began to act out. She became verbally
abusive and was extremely depressed. At one point, Halle said to me, 'I'm
not meant to be here, Mama. It would be easier if I were in heaven.' Halle
was 6 at the time. We started to see a therapist. She told us Halle was
transgendered. When we discovered what transgendered meant, we were
devastated. We felt like we were losing our little girl. Halle told us to
call her Hal. When Halle turned 7, we began to let her live full time as a
boy. At school, he told his friends that he had a boy's heart and a girl's
body. Even though I miss my daughter, I am so lucky to see my son happy."
"Hal's" parents are very broad-minded about their child's sexual and
gender exploration. Looking to the future, "Hal's" mother commented: "He
knows his options. He knows about blockers and he knows about the
hormones, but those are things that he absolutely has to come to terms
with and he has to make those decisions. We support him whichever way he
chooses to go. And we've always supported that. We've always said, you
know, 'We understand you are a boy inside. You feel like a boy, but if you
ever change your mind, you just tell us and we will support you,' because
we don't want him to feel like he's got to be one way or the other."
After all this, Winfrey celebrated what she called an "evolution" in
social tolerance and cultural acceptance of the idea of a sex change, even
among children. "I have seen such a change in the way parents parent, you
know," Oprah declared, "even in the years that we've been here, 18 years,
seeing such a -- a difference -- this generation, your generation, is so
much more open to accepting children as they are instead of trying to --
forcing whatever your own idea was."
This isn't "evolution," this is insanity. Oprah and her guests were
involved in an absurd and horrific exercise in moral insanity. What
culture can survive such a rebellion against the moral order? What
devastation and destruction will be brought into the lives of young
children before some level of sanity is re-established?
The ideology of the homosexual movement has been subverting the reality of
gender for decades. The very fact that human beings are created as male
and female flies in the face of the utter rebellion against and rejection
of the moral order that stands at the very center of the homosexual
Instead of helping these young children to grow into maturity as the boys
and girls they were meant to be, growing into womanhood and manhood with
the assistance and moral direction of parents and other authorities in
society, these children are encouraged to "explore" their gender and
sexuality in order to determine who they really are. The very idea that we
"discover" our gender as a matter of interiority is itself an act of
aggression against the moral order and a demonstration of human arrogance
against the divine design of creation.
The postmodern enablers of the homosexual movement and its transgender
wing have convinced the cultural elite that gender is merely a matter of
social construction and biological accident. Sexual and gender "identity,"
we are now told, is simply a matter of coming to terms with the self and
its own orientation. Gender is now a plastic reality, moldable and
changeable throughout one's lifetime.
Oprah, joining the insanity as an agent of moral revolution, brought on a
guest introduced as a gender therapist to clarify the issues. Explaining
Dylan's situation to his father, therapist Jana Ekdahl told Derek, "Dylan
feels that he's in the wrong body. Dylan wants to be a little girl. And
there's really nothing that you can do to change that nor is there
anything that you've done to cause that. Frequently parents, especially
mothers, feel that they've done something to cause it, but that's just not
Oprah Winfrey, ever the scientific expert, asked, "It occurs in the womb,
does it not?" Ekdahl responded with assurance that gender orientation
"does occur in the womb." She went on to suggest, "The research so -- so
far shows that it occurs in the first trimester." As she explained,
"Something happens, whereas the brain develops in one direction and the
body develops in another. For instance, for Dylan, it might be that his
body was developing as a boy, whereas his brain was developing as a girl.
Then he comes out, and he looks like a boy. So it's much easier to change
the body. We can't change the brain."
But this isn't medicine at all -- it's more like therapeutic voodoo. Jana
L. Ekdahl, the therapist featured on the Oprah program is, according to
her own website, a psychotherapist who "welcomes the transgender
population." As she explains, "The youth of today are indeed our future. I
have had the rare privilege of meeting and working with gender-variant
youth. They are changing the face of gender for us all. I sometimes view
them as archetypal warriors on the cutting edge of that space between the
two polarities that we hold onto so tightly. Perhaps it would serve us all
to go to that place ... that special space between genders ... and see
what we find there."
What we find there is an absolute moral meltdown. The very notion that we
should see young children suffering this level of sexual confusion as
"archetypal warriors on the cutting edge" of gender development is
insidious, tragic, and should be scandalous. Ms. Ekdahl's agenda is made
clear when she suggests that it would "serve us all to go to that place."
Oprah interviewed Ms. Ekdahl as if she represented the medical
establishment, but her own website identifies her education as including
baccalaureate and master's degrees in psychology, and certification from
the State of Washington as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a
Certified Sexual Minority Specialist -- whatever that is. As she shares
with her perspective clients, "I embrace the philosophy of Carl Jung and
Depth Psychology. The union of East and West is essential to my work, as I
have studied to learn about the modalities of each. Buddhist thought and
Native American spirituality are interwoven into the fabric of my psyche.
I have access to this wisdom to share with my clients, either directly or
Is this where we are headed? Oprah Winfrey did not merely feature the
subject of children struggling with their identities, she chided the
parents who would not go along with this "evolution" in moral
consciousness and, as she warned one parent, "And what do you think will
happen if you remain as closed as you are? What damage will be done by you
not opening up to who he really is?"
In reality, that father was the only adult to appear on that program with
the slightest degree of common sense and moral wisdom. Yet, he was the one
blamed for wanting to limit his child's self-exploration and gender
America learned a lot from Oprah’s sex-change program. We learned that we
are in much deeper trouble than most Americans could ever have conceived.
We learned that the moral revolution pushing a complete transformation of
the sexual order has now progressed to the point that our children are
being told they should explore their gender identity and, if inclined to
do so, change genders. We also learned that Oprah Winfrey has taken sides
in this revolution. After this show, there can remain little doubt that
she is an agent of moral insanity.
R. Albert Mohler Jr. is president of
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.