The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), of which I am the Founder and President, has long been engaged in a war with fundamentalist Christian Dominionism and the pervasive and pernicious national security threat it poses to our military, our nation, and the world.
You should know by now that our disgraceful Caligula in Chief, the pathetically petulant and entitled Trump, took to Twitter (again) this week to blast transgender members of the military.
The same sorts of radical extremists MRFF has been fighting for longer than 12 years, have become supremely confident under the cowardly and craven Trump Administration. As we always have, MRFF stands by LGBTQ armed forces members and will continue to do everything we can to enforce, guarantee and protect their civil rights in the military.
Trump’s ignorant “twitter fingers,” went to work producing the following filth:
“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow...... ....Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming..... ....victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”
The uproar among party members on both sides of the aisle was immediate and overwhelming. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, apparently on vacation when impulsive Trump’s tweets went live, was reportedly appalled. Furthermore, in stark contrast with lying Trump’s claims above, the military asserts they were not consulted by Trump and were dismissively relegated to finding out about his tweets through the news, just like all the rest of us.
So it’s obvious that Trump’s ignorant statements appeared to come out of the blue for many, including people on the Hill, who most definitely should have been involved.
Where did this all come from then? The stench is noticeable from miles away; and there’s a rotten trail of breadcrumbs which incriminates the all too familiar Dominionist Christian “deep state” enemy within our government. Earlier this week, Trump’s “evangelical advisors” sent him a signed letter, imploring him to reverse his predecessor’s policy which allowed transgender people to openly serve in the United States armed forces..
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain issued a press release, saying, “The Department of Defense has already decided to allow currently-serving transgender individuals to stay in the military, and many are serving honorably today.”
Other Republicans quickly fell behind McCain’s lead. “I don’t think we should be discriminating against anyone. Transgender people are people, and deserve the best we can do for them,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R, - Utah) said in his official statement.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) also protested: “You ought to treat everybody fairly, and you ought to give everybody a chance to serve.”
Response from active transgender service members swiftly followed: “I would like to see them try to kick me out of my military,” shot back Air Force Staff Sgt. and transgender airman Logan Ireland.
Ireland’s sentiment was echoed by former Marine Corpsman and Army Reservist, Sgt. Jack Schuler, a chemical operations specialist who is also transgender: “I’m not going to just go quietly, I’m going to fight for the right to serve my country.”
Retired 20 year veteran and transgender Navy SEAL Team 6 hero, Kristen Beck had her own message for Trump: “Let’s meet face to face and you tell me I’m not worthy. Transgender doesn’t matter. Do your service.”
VoteVets.org issued a petition to support the rights of transgender servicemen and women, saying, “There are up to 7,000 openly transgender service members on active duty, with thousands more in the reserves — all of whom wake up having served with more distinction than Donald Trump could ever dream of.”
Is it even about gender identity? Many say no, noting that Trump’s border wall was threatened by an ongoing internal House Republican fight over a proposed Pentagon ban on sex reassignment surgery funding. GOP leadership – backed by Secretary of Defense James Mattis - wasn’t willing to support the ban, so Trump decided to get around the issue by Twitter fiat.
Supporters of the proposed ban suggested that the cost of supporting transgender service members through transition would be crippling to the Pentagon’s budget. However, a study by RAND concluded that the Military Health System would only see an increase in $2.4 million and $8.4 million per year. (To put that in perspective, the DOD spends ten times that, or $84 million, annually on erectile dysfunction drugs).
At the core of the backlash against these brave men and women who serve our country is the rotten, fetid upswell of fundamentalist Christian hatred against diversity and equality.
“Now, thanks to Trump, the military can finally focus its efforts on fighting something other than the culture wars!” gloated an article from the designated hate group known as the Family Research Council.
“The United States Department of Defense must devote itself to the business of defending our country and preparing our troops for combat, not dealing with members’ misguided confusion over their God-given chromosomes!” bleated former Judge Roy Moore. This is the very same Roy Moore who, earlier this year, was ignominiously removed as Chief Judge of the Alabama Supreme Court.
“We don’t need people in the military who are confused about their gender… Pray for him [Trump] as he faces critics and opposition!” exhorted the raging fundamentalist Christian supremacist, homophobe and Islamophobe Rev. Franklin Graham.
Trump is shamelessly pandering. His announcement of the ban on Twitter was quickly followed by another repulsive tweet designed to throw luscious red meat to his fascistic/fundamentalist Christian conservative base:
No, Trump. Many don’t. And of those who do worship a god, most worship one who bears not even remote resemblance to the one you apparently speak of.
Americans “worship” the rule of law as founded upon the principles of our United States Constitution.
Hey (Russia’s Poster Child for President) Trump, you might want to stop using it as toilet paper and maybe have Ivanka read it to you sometime.