Religious, Political, Military Opposition to Transgender Service Quietly Grows
As the Trump Department of Defense reconsiders the decision by the Obama Administration to allow “transgender” individuals to serve in the US military, indications of growing opposition even within the Armed Services are undercutting claims that transgenders in the military would be a “non-event.”
US Rep Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2018 that would have prohibited the military from accepting those who describe themselves as transgender. Representative Hunter agreed with her:
“This (policy) doesn’t make (troops) more effective or efficient or deadly. What it does is distract everybody,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who served with the Marine Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I couldn’t imagine having to share showers with somebody that was a girl and didn’t have a surgery to become a man but kept the girl stuff and now she’s with a bunch of guys.”
Hunter’s comments were criticized by his political opponents:
Democrats blasted those comments as inflammatory and ignorant.
Apparently “thinking something through” is now “ignorant.”
The military has delayed the decision to allow transgender troops to enlist by six months to determine if it actually improves “readiness and lethality” of the force — a move somewhat ironically decried by LGBT activists who claim readiness is also their concern. But given the problems the military has had so far, a delay may be the minimum to avoid substantial problems.
Sonny Hernandez reported that a Soldier at the 304 Military Police Battalion in Tennessee was forced to attend “transgender training” even after requesting a religious accommodation. A similar complaint arose at Fort Benning, Georgia, in which Liberty Counsel issued a statement to military leaders demanding they grant accommodation requests to religious objections to transgender training.
The LC announcement explains why there are religious objections to the training:
The “transgender training” requires personnel to accept false statements about the nature of sex, gender, biology and morality.
Based on released copies of the training, this appears to be an accurate assessment. For example, the training asserts as fact that sex is “assigned” at birth (rather than a product of biology) — and attempts to “train” troops to accept these facts. As explained by the Liberty Counsel,
The Directive’s “training” requires Soldiers and civilians to affirm their agreement with numerous false ideas with fake “definitions” invented by LGBT radicals intent on normalizing behavior that is the result of gender confusion or a sexual fetish. The online training requires personnel to affirm statements which they know are objectively false. This is inconsistent with their religious beliefs, but also with Army values such as integrity and courage, and commitment to truth itself.
In other words, the “training” is not a mere explanation of how the Army is going to handle transgenders, it is an attempt by the institutional Army to tell troops how to think and what to believe — even when such beliefs are contrary to sincerely held religious beliefs. (This goes beyond even the acceptance of homosexuality, which the military defended by saying no troops would have to alter their beliefs.)
That is a clear example of what religious liberty policies were instituted to protect.
The LC announcement also notes there are other issues with the policy which haven’t been adequately addressed with regard to religious liberty objections:
This directive includes requiring officers to approve medically-unnecessary surgeries and harmful, unproven hormone replacement, all at taxpayer expense; addressing gender-confused officers and soldiers “identifying” as the opposite sex by false gender pronouns and false gender titles; and requiring female soldiers (and vice versa) to sleep, shower and perform private bodily functions in the presence of the opposite biological sex. Female soldiers supervising drug testing would also be required to observe the male genitals (and vice versa) of “transgender” males who claim to be “female,” because of the male’s false “gender marker,” and personnel would have to comply with fictions like “pregnant male soldiers.”
At no point does the training or any published policy address sincerely held religious or moral objections to the forced acceptance of “transgender” ideology. For example, Christian troops have already objected to being required to use the wrong pronoun for an individual — that is, to use a male pronoun for a biologically female individual — when to do so would require them to acknowledge a lie and participate in a sin.
LGBT activists have claimed homosexuals and transgenders shouldn’t be forced to “live a lie,” and yet they are now in the position of forcing others to do precisely that.
Even those who disagree with these objections cannot ignore the fact that such objections exist — meaning that policy makers and military leadership need to address these concerns before they institute a policy that will immediately infringe on the rights of other troops.
The pre-training is already demonstrating the problems of unilaterally declaring the virtue of being “transgender.” Military-wide implementation of yet another progressive social policy could further hinder the “readiness and lethality” of the force — and trample the religious and civil rights of the vast majority of US troops.