Military Atheists, Sexual Activists Torn over Mattis as SecDef

Military and veteran atheists, transgenders, and homosexuals are in conflict over President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to nominate retired Gen James Mattis for Secretary of Defense.

Military atheists have been generally supportive of Gen Mattis, noting he was wildly popular as a leader and, speaking to their primary concern, never gave them reason to worry over issues of religion.  (As an example of the conduct that helped his subordinates respect him, consider how he reacted when his pilots landed at the wrong airport.)

This has put some atheists at odds with their sometimes allies in the LGBT movement, who see Mattis as a potential means for Trump to undo their “progress” over the past few years — though they can’t directly connect it to a religious issue over which to complain.

That said, Don Branum, a former US Air Force Academy Public Affairs staffer who has implied he was improperly treated for speaking his views against Christians, still managed to claim Mattis is 

no better than retired Army Lt. Gen. Jerry “Our God is Bigger Than Their God” Boykin.

For his part, Gen Boykin supports Mattis’ nomination [emphasis added]:

“The selection of Mattis is a strong indication that President-elect Trump is serious about restoring the nation’s military to where it needs to be. The services are struggling to meet their goals because of the declining morale of service members and the social experiments that have become pervasive…

“General Mattis will be a great secretary of defense,” concluded Boykin.

The Tribune News Service let slip why Gen Mattis’ views may be an issue in this post-modern progressive world [emphasis added]:

Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis…has ruffled feathers within the Obama administration with his controversial opinions on women in combat and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Contrary to what the reporter states as fact, Gen Mattis’ opinion on women in combat isn’t controversial. The topic of women in combat is controversial. Gen Mattis simply has an opinion (one likely held by many others). The opinion that women should serve in combat is no less “controversial.”  The reporter has presupposed the belief that women should serve in combat is not controversial.

As to his words on PTSD, Gen Mattis is liked because he is a straight talker. His attitudes about PTSD and other issues are widely known — and they have not diminished his popularity.  Mattis has basically said if we keep telling veterans there’s something wrong with them, they’ll eventually believe it. While not necessarily a popular opinion among some, it is certainly a valid comment that needs to be considered.

(This is not unlike the discussion on criminalizing suicide, which would stigmatize and de-incentivize it — adding one more obstacle to those who would consider taking their own lives. That’s not a popular idea to raise, but one that certainly deserves consideration.)

Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning — himself a homosexual — commented that it would be “hard” for President Trump to undo the social experimentation within the US military. Secretary Fanning, seemingly unaware of his status as the top leader of the entire US Army, said issues of gender within the military weren’t an issue when he asked troops about them:

Fanning senses a different reaction among troops when he asks them whether they are ready to serve in mixed-gender combat units.

“When I go out into the field and ask these questions, I get looked out like I’m crazy for asking because it shouldn’t be a big deal,” he said.

If the homosexual, top-ranking member of the entire Service Department asks a question about integrating women in combat units, does anyone really believe he’s going to hear some Private disagree? US troops have already been told to shut up and color, and any person who has expressed a contrarian view is either shot down or proclaimed a bigot — which doesn’t help their career that much.

Disagreement absolutely exists (just ask the US Marine Corps), but those who disagree are smartly keeping their thoughts to themselves when asked by officials what their official position is.

Of course, Secretary Fanning also said this:

“We’re not allowing gays and transgender troops to serve,” said Fanning, the first openly gay Army secretary. “We are catching up with the fact that they already serve.”

That’s very awkward.  After all, racists, child molesters, murderers, and Tom Brady fans also “already serve” in the US military.  Should the law and policy be changed to “catch up with the fact” of them serving?  After all, if inclusiveness and retention is the goal…

As previously noted, LGBT advocates are suddenly more concerned about National Defense than sex [emphasis added]:

Sue Fulton, a [homosexual] former Army captain and member of the first West Point class that admitted women, said Trump should focus on defeating the Islamic State rather than re-erecting barriers to service…

“My belief is that military leadership will focus on the difficult national security issues facing us,” she said. “…I can’t imagine that a leader wouldn’t make that his or her priority.”

Funny that the Islamic State is the most important issue now that the Commander in Chief may not ideologically agree with her. In fact, she’s now upset about potential social changes being “disruptive” to the force [emphasis added]:

It would cause problems to the commanders in the field who are moving forward” if Trump reinstates a ban on women in combat or takes action against transgender military service members…

Says someone representing an activist group that pushed for that very disruption when it matched her agenda.

General Mattis was once viewed as the leading contender for Commandant of the Marine Corps.  He was “passed over,” some believe, for the very reasons he has now been chosen: his straight-talking and his principles, which may or may not include conservative positions on social issues within the US military.

Homosexuals and some atheists seem concerned about a potential Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Under President Trump, Gen Mattis may indeed restore some aspects of honor to the US military. He may not. It is certainly not a given.

But there is hope.



  • Anonymous Patriot

    Both LGBTs and atheists continue to prove themselves to be whiney overprivleged brats (the former in particular). If I were in Trump’s shoes, not only would I role back the social experimentation, I’d also fire Fanning and replace him with LtGen. Herbert McMaster.

  • What privilege would you take away from either gay or atheist people?

    • @Donalbain
      How about this: Let’s eliminate the ability to have the government run a private business into the ground if their religious beliefs preclude them from celebrating someone else’s particular ideology.

      It’s a capitalist free market. If you don’t want to do business there, don’t. If you want to call for a boycott, fine. If you want the government to drive them out of business, though, you’ll have to explain why you think the government is able to infringe on rights protected by the First Amendment.

  • So, you would repeal the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Interesting.

  • “It’s a capitalist free market”

    Not if there is a Civil Rights Act. The Civil Rights Act prohibits business owners from making certain choices about who they serve. So, to achieve your stated aim, the Civil Rights Act must be repealed.

    • Please explain to the class, using original citations, how the Civil Rights Act has anything to do with this.

      You may find that difficult, given that even the US government has explicitly disagreed with that assertion.

    • Not true. The Civil Rights Act provides exceptions for certain religious employers. Thus, the Civil Rights Act actually supports JD’s argument. But the Act hasn’t been applied (yet) to govt contractors.

    • The point was about businesses. Not government employees.


      So bigots can run rampant and discriminated on everyone based on their chosen religious prejudice? Should we also allow members of the local Moose Lodge to discriminate against the Elks because their don’t like their logo? That’s what members of a religion are, members of a private club, a club they’ve CHOSEN to join. That’s why the Constitution bars the government from promoting religion, people CHOOSE to join religions, and no one else should be forced to follow the edicts of a private club they have not chosen to join. I choose not to join any religion and I don’t appreciate members of a religion trying to impose their rules and regulations and prejudices on me. You have no right. If I owned a bakery I would happily bake a cake for zealots getting married and I would wish them all the happiness in the world, but it in no way means I agree with their religion. That is a ridiculous and paranoid assumption.

  • The Civil Rights Act makes it illegal for businesses to refuse to serve people based on certain attributes. You want a business to be free make their own choices about who they serve.

    • Anonymous Patriot

      So not only did you fail to cite any sources (while hypocritically asking me to cite mine in a previous article, I might add), you also parroted back your original answer; Furthermore, you are completely unaware that the Supreme Court already ruled that businesses can deny service to anybody for the sake of their reputation. For example, a bar can absolutely refuse to serve drinks to members of an outlaw motorcycle gang, based on the fact that doing so would cause many current-and-potential patrons to believe that the bar is a hub for outlaw gangs. Therefore, a Christian business can refuse to serve non-heterosexuals to maintain there reputation as a Christ-centered business.

  • Not in states where sexuality is considered a protected class they can’t.

  • And I notice you haven’t yet said a single priviledge you would take away from gay people so that they are no longer over priviledged”

    • Anonymous Patriot

      “Can you tell by looking at someone if they are an Evangelical Christian? Because discrimination of Evangelical Christians is also against the Civil Rights Act.”

      Oh ye of great ignorance. Discrimination of Evangelical Christians is almost a civic duty in today’s society. There are no Evangelicals teaching in public colleges because administrators and faculty hate “bible-thumpers”, and countless Evangelicals have been denied basic human rights because bigoted atheist groups don’t like their face.

      Furthermore about the Civil Rights Act, most of the (current) Justice Department thinks it is okay to discriminate against majorities. In the paraphrased words of a DOJ official who spoke during the New Black Panther voter-intimidation case, “[Those laws] were passed because people like Bull Connor were hitting people like John Lewis, not the other way around.”

  • Donalbain, the Civil Rights Act was intended for those who were physical minorities like blacks, Hispanics, Asians, etc, it was never intended to refer to those of a particular sexual orientation. I can look at a black person and see that they are black, or a Hispanic person and know they are Hispanic, or Asian and know they are Asian, but you cannot tell by just looking at a person and know if they are heterosexual or homosexual, or bi-sexual.

    A city or state where sexuality is a privileged class, that is a situation where I must choose to obey God rather than man, and that is my freedom of religion to do that.

    • Can you look at someone and see if they are Evangelical? Because discrimination against Evangelical Christians is also banned by the Civil Rights Act.

  • @Donalbain,

    The Civil Rights Act was written with no specific sexual orientation in mind, it pertained to actual racial minorities. You may want to read this again – The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88–352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) is a landmark piece of civil rights and US labor law legislation in the United States[5] that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.[ The mention of sex there did not pertain to sexual orientation, but only to man or woman!!

    Homosexuals or transgenders are only allowed the rights already given to them by this Civil Rights Act!


      It’s sad that there needs to be any act to guarantee equality in the United States.


    Homophobia is based on religious bigotry. Unlike sexual orientation, religion is a choice. The government is constitutionally barred from promoting any religion, and that includes prejudices against any group or individual based on religion. There is no good reason and no constitutional to bar LGBT individuals from service in the military. They’ve been serving openly and honorably for several years now. It is immortal to ruin countless lives and careers based on religious intolerance. And talk about wasting money, the military spent millions of dollars a year on LGBT witch hunts. Barring LGBT Americans from serving won’t stop them from serving their country, it will just force those who want to serve from being open and vulnerable to blackmail. It promotes dishonesty and shame where there is nothing to be ashamed about. The bigots who want to oppress fellow Americans and keep them from their pursuit of happiness are the ones who should be ashamed, like the anonymous and cowardly hate-mongers who’ve commented on this story.

    • Anonymous Patriot

      The tone of your post sounds like your the only one spewing hate here.

    • Anonymous Patriot

      Furthermore, Mr. Sellers, you are a liar. You would never bake a cake for “bigots”, so shut your noise-tube and go bury your head in a safe-space. Fascists like you are the reason why noble websites like exist.