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March 26, 2015

Military Rifles Through Transgender Policy

When it comes to his latest military maneuver, the President isn’t asking – but leaders are telling their concerns. Military officials may finally be saying, “enough!” to the President’s radical social policies. Last month, it looked like the commander-in-chief might finally have a partner in his social experiment, new Defense Secretary Ash Carter. Barely four weeks into the job, the Pentagon’s latest boss said he was on board with the President’s last military makeover: lifting the ban on open transgenderism. “I don’t think anything but their suitability for service should preclude them,” Carter told reporters late last month. “I’m very open-minded about (it)…”

When it comes to his latest military maneuver, the President isn’t asking – but leaders are telling their concerns. Military officials may finally be saying, “enough!” to the President’s radical social policies. Last month, it looked like the commander-in-chief might finally have a partner in his social experiment, new Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

Barely four weeks into the job, the Pentagon’s latest boss said he was on board with the President’s last military makeover: lifting the ban on open transgenderism. “I don’t think anything but their suitability for service should preclude them,” Carter told reporters late last month. “I’m very open-minded about (it)…”

Fortunately for Americans, most senior military leaders aren’t. And according to sources, they aren’t shy about saying so. In the days after Carter’s bombshell, “defense officials say several members of his top brass told Carter later that they had serious reservations.” They’re pushing back with a vengeance, the Associated Press explains – but only on the condition of anonymity. And considering what’s happened to Chaplain Wes Modder, Master Sergeant Phillip Monk, Chaplain Joseph Lawhorn, and others, it’s no wonder.

The military is its own cultural landmine these days, as the administration inches closer to its goal of fundamentally transforming the last great bastion of American exceptionalism. Worried it could cost them their careers, most leaders are fighting back quietly for now. Like us, their greatest concerns are a repeat of the distractions that happened after the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” – a top-to-bottom disaster that continues to syphon away resources and attention from the mission at hand.

While morale falls like a brick, sexual assaults and suicides are through the roof. Meanwhile, the one comfort our brave men and women used to have – their faith – is being wrenched from their hands and driven out of the service. And what is the President’s solution to this mess? More chaos. Military leaders are right to be concerned. Apart from their practical concerns – bathrooms, showers, housing, and uniforms – there is also the very legitimate concern about these service members’ instability. Despite how casually the White House seems to treat the matter, these are serious and complex issues that directly affect the national security of the United States. Let’s not forget – transsexualism is at its root a serious mental disorder (one classified as such by the military’s own Defense Department!). If these men and women are confused about their gender, what’s to keep them from being confused about their mission? The battlefield has enough turmoil; our President should know better than to introduce more. Thank goodness for military officials who are willing to stand up and speak out. If their men and women are willing to put their lives on the line for us, the least these leaders can do is put their stars on the line for them.

No Middle Ground in Middle East

There hasn’t been much music and dancing in the mountains of Newroz these days. Like most of the region, these Kurds live under the long, dark shadow of ISIS – a terror that has already stolen several of their sons and fathers. But despite the fear and uncertainty, the villagers in Kurdistan refused to let the nightmare consume them and celebrated, as they had for centuries, the Festival of Light and Hope. Meanwhile, 21 of their own were trapped in cages, which ISIS vows to make their tombs. Like the Jordanian pilot, the radical Muslims are threatening to burn the men alive after two months in custody.

In Syria, the news is just as grim. More than 200 Christians are still in captivity, where ISIS is flaunting the supposed conversion of at least one man in its latest propaganda video. To the relief of families across the region, the militants released some of the Christians, only, sources say, to kidnap others. “It is obvious that the moral and physical violence on persons held hostage is another manifestation of barbarism in which we have fallen,” said a Syrian Archbishop. “We pray that the Lord helps and consoles those who suffer in his name.”

And suffer, they have. Church leaders throughout the Middle East are desperate for help. Ignatius Joseph Yonan is pleading with the West to intervene. “Condemnation is not enough,” he told the British press. “Our destiny is in great danger, the Christians and other minorities in Iraq.”

Meanwhile, 7,000 miles away, these brothers and sisters in Christ weren’t far from our thoughts at FRC’s Southern California banquet. As more than 600 of our strongest allies and supporters gathered in Orange County, we focused a lot on what’s happening to Christians in the Middle East. Lt. Col. Oliver North was a wonderful keynote speaker, who put a fine point on the threats abroad and at home. As I explained [Tuesday] night, FRC is putting a special emphasis on new protections for religious freedom, because we believe this freedom is the linchpin for all the others. It is unalienable. It comes from God’s own hand.

Here in America, we are the people of the Cross. And we need to see, as clearly as we can, the strains of thought that leave so many in both the West and the East seeking the end of Christianity and the destruction of the values and institutions which it has done so much to build and preserve. It’s plain to me that in destroying religious freedom, and targeting Christianity, here at home, our domestic Left is seeking to destroy the only force powerful enough, free enough, tolerant enough, and peaceful enough to defeat the coming catastrophes.

That’s why we must contend for our first freedom, our freedom of religion, the freedom to believe and live our lives according to our beliefs. While others shrink back in silence in the face of the challenge, we must stand and speak with courage and clarity. Because silence only encourages those who work actively to diminish or even destroy this fundamental human freedom.


This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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