Right Opinion

Common Sense: Here Today, Pentagon Tomorrow

Tony Perkins · Jul. 2, 2016

LGBT Pride Month officially ended yesterday, but under this president, it’s never-ending. Members of our military know that all too well, as an entire nation woke up this morning to a future force that no one will recognize. Just days before the Fourth of July, very few people are celebrating Obama’s revolution, an eight-year crusade to radically sexualize and undermine the military and with it the broader culture.

The final piece of that puzzle came [Thursday], as an uncomfortable Secretary Ash Carter announced that the ban on transgenderism had officially ended — and with it, the era of peak military readiness. Despite strong objections from top Pentagon leaders, the president decided to shelve the military’s real mission in favor of his radical objectives.

And the backlash has been fierce. In the House and Senate, both chairmen of the Armed Services Committee were outraged that the administration didn’t have the decency to consult Congress — or at least give the chambers a heads-up that the decision was imminent. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) was especially angry that a policy with such obvious fallout was rammed through without even a courtesy call to elected leaders.

“I will be [contacting] the chiefs of the services, those men and women in uniform who are the heads of the military, and ask them their views, including the cost of implementing. I’m talking about the fiscal costs, of implementing some of these changes, and we’ll be having hearings. Unlike any other administration that I have been associated with, we received no heads up. I happen just to be the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and it’s customary in all the years I’ve been on it to give members, particularly the chairman, a briefing. Something like this will require legislation.”

His House counterpart, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), was equally disgusted. “Our military readiness — and hence, our national security — is dependent on our troops being medically ready and deployable. The administration seems unwilling or unable to assure Congress and the American people that transgender individuals will meet these individual readiness requirements at a time when our Armed Forces are deployed around the world.” In the shadows of two mass casualty terror attacks and 15 years of war, the president should be laser-focused on a strategic battle plan to protect America. Instead, he’s doing the terrorists work for them by providing the single greatest distraction from our military mission ever.

In recent days, I’ve spoken to high-ranking military officers who are extremely concerned about what this will do to our troops. Our own Lt. General Jerry Boykin (U.S. Army-Ret.), along with so many of the Pentagon’s brass, think this is going to have an extremely negative impact on the readiness of a military that continues to struggle with serious problems spanning from record-high military suicides and sexual assaults to low morale and anti-religious hostility. Americans, especially those in these ranks, should brace themselves for even more devastating fallout from this ill-conceived policy. The amount of time that commanders and leaders at all levels will spend trying to sort out the complex issues this creates will unquestionably distract them even further from what should be their primary focus: preparing their subordinates for combat. What’s worse, their performance reports will now (as they have with DADT) largely depend on how well they’ve integrated the gender-confused in their ranks.

If you want to know where these disturbances lead, look no further than the demoralizing report just released by the U.S. Navy. Outlining the critical mistakes of the 10 sailors captured by the Iranians this January, investigators were appalled by the “failed leadership” at all levels. Apart from a “lack of proper mission planning standards,” Navy officials were disturbed to find that in the 24 hours the sailors were in Iranian custody, “some crew provided more information to their Iranian captors than they should have, and that they ate food while being filmed — something they should not have done because it can be and was used as propaganda.” As FRC’s Lt. General Jerry Boykin (U.S. Army-Ret.) argues, that this isn’t entirely their fault. They weren’t prepared for their mission or what happened to them.

“These sailors failed miserably. Why? Primarily because they spent all their training time in classrooms listening to lectures on diversity, tolerance, and inclusion instead of the Military Code of Conduct. Talk to any service member today and you will find that a majority of them will express great frustration with the amount of time that they spend in these lectures at the expense of preparing for war. Now you can add another classroom lecture and more wasted training time, which will further degrade their individual and unit readiness… We must restore the warrior culture and ethos because the enemies of this nation will have no mercy and will not care about how well versed we are on tolerance, inclusion, diversity, or sensitivity. All they will be concerned with is whether we are capable of and willing to kill or capture them on the battlefield.”

Compare these sailors, he went on, to Vietnam-era POWs like Admiral Jerry Denton, who was tortured for months before he would even make a public statement on camera. And when he did, he used the opportunity to send a message to his government, blinking the word T-O-R-T-U-R-E in Morse code during the interview. Now, we have sailors crying after one day while laughing Iranians film them. Decisions like [Thursday’s] will only compound these problems.

Make no mistake. If this administration succeeds in totally neutering the warrior class, the results will be catastrophic for national security. I know that people despise history — including many on the Left — but America is on the path of Rome unless congressional leaders step in and take a stand. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), a Marine veteran of three Middle East combat tours, is more than willing to fight back. But will others? “Members won’t touch [this issue] with a 10-foot pole,” his chief of staff told reporters. “Hunter will, but he can’t get others on board.”

That had better change — and fast. Republicans can either face this issue now or voters in November who are angry that the GOP won’t put national security ahead of their fears of the liberal media and P.C. police. Contact Armed Services Chairmen McCain (committee number: 202-224-3871; office number: 202-224-2235) and Thornberry (committee number: 202-225-4151; office number: 202-225-3706) and ask them to put the brakes on the National Defense Authorization Act conference report until military transgenderism is addressed. America’s safety depends on it.

Originally published here.

Ruling Reeves a Lot to Be Desired

While most Mississippians were getting ready for bed, Judge Carlton Reeves’s office was buzzing. The controversial judge, responsible for striking down the state’s marriage amendment, was busy working on an encore. Under the cloak of darkness, he released a 60-page activist ruling blocking the state’s popular religious freedom bill, less than an hour before it was set to take effect.

The Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act had barely been signed into law when intolerant liberals vowed to file suit. Now with the help of Reeves, the Left has another victory from the courts that it couldn’t achieve legislatively. Under this law, churches wouldn’t be the only ones protected from government punishment for their natural marriage and sexuality beliefs — so would businesses, wedding vendors, and even public officials. Now, thanks to one unelected, activist judge, those protections will have to wait. In his opinion, Reeves claims the law gives preference to certain religions. But, as FRC’s Travis Weber points out, his sloppy, “ends justify the means” ruling is a travesty.

“First, he has to stretch and pull the law like silly string in order to find an actual, real injury to anyone here. In finding a so-called ‘injury’ on the part of the plaintiffs, he has told the many people of conscience who need protection under this law ‘you don’t matter’ and ‘I don’t give a rip about your conscience.’ He can try to dress it up in legalize all he wants, but that’s what this comes down to. He somehow finds HB 1523 to be a violation of the Establishment Clause, despite the fact that it imposes no coercive religious requirement on anybody! He claims that since the law doesn’t protect every type of religious belief out there, it’s somehow invalid. Under this judge’s reason, any tailored conscience or religious rights protections would be invalid. HB 1523 was designed to protect against state-imposed orthodoxy on marriage. How the judge could miss that is baffling.”

Fortunately, Governor Phil Byrant (R), who’s been tough as nails under pressure, didn’t roll over before — and has no plans of doing so now. The winner of FRC’s Samuel Adams Religious Freedom Award is already looking forward “to an aggressive appeal.”

In the meantime, Mississippians aren’t the only ones being trampled upon by unelected and virtually unaccountable judges. In Indiana, a federal judge put a screeching halt to the state’s new law banning abortion solely based on a baby’s disability like Down Syndrome. Planned Parenthood fought the measure, which was only the second in the country protecting children from discrimination based on sex, race, or disability. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt sided with the Left’s request for an injunction against the Dignity for the Unborn Law before it could take effect today.

Thanks to these two rulings, voters have another clear picture of what’s at stake in this fall’s election. Once again, we’re forced to sit and watch as unelected judges overturn laws duly enacted by the people’s elected representatives. If voters are not yet fed up, they should be, and unless they speak up, they won’t have a say in their government much longer.

Originally published here.

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