Writing at the Washington Post, columnist Philip Bump called out what he believed was a contradiction between President Trump’s praise for military unity and his prior decision to renew the ban on transgender service:
“We must love each other, show affection for each other, and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry and violence,” [Trump] said then. “We must discover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans.”
Standing in front of an audience of members of the military, he cited their service as exemplary in that regard.
It was hard, though, to ignore an asterisk that seemed to be lingering over Trump’s words: His tweets last month about his plan to ban transgender troops from serving.
From President Trump’s statement, Bump draws an incorrect conclusion [emphasis added]: Read more
In an OpEd at the Los Angeles Times, Phil Zuckerman (a professor of “secular studies”) bemoaned the fact President Donald Trump’s administration is overrun by Christians — while simultaneously accusing them of being bad Christians.
First, the list — with his continuous parentheticals mocking their beliefs:
Betsy DeVos, who leads the Department of Education, has stated that her goal as a public servant is to “advance God’s kingdom.” Secretary of Energy Rick Perry employed mass prayer as a means of addressing social problems when he was governor of Texas. Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, believes that the theory of evolution was encouraged by the devil…
Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions has said Read more
Kevin Johnson is the pastor of Bloom in the Desert Ministries United Church of Christ, a small congregation that meets in the local community center in Palm Springs, CA. Johnson is an “out gay man” who, though admitting no connection with the military, took religious issue with President Trump’s tweeted ban on transgenders in the US military:
The trans ban rewards religious prejudice. It does not enhance military readiness. The skills and success of trans military personnel currently serving prove the ban will squander investments in training and cumulative years of service…
Arguably, a ban on a group of individuals does have the potential to “enhance military readiness” if, by Read more
The US Naval Academy has an interesting arrangement in which a civilian pastor is officially part of the chapel staff to minister to faculty and midshipmen. That position is now filled by Bart Physioc:
Physioc fills a unique position in a congregation that encompasses active duty and retired military, civilians and staff. Because Navy chaplains have responsibilities that limit their ability to pastor the whole church, Physioc helps cover visitations and ministers to and disciples the members.
He isn’t new to the military, however. It turns out Pastor Physioc is actually retired US Army Chaplain (Col) Physioc, with 25 years of service that ended just in 2014.
Chaplain Physioc wasn’t Read more
In an interesting deviation from its prior statements on accommodating religion, the US Military Academy at West Point has apparently required two observant Sikh cadets to wear their ceremonial uniform cover — known as the “tar bucket” — “over or in place of” their turban. The cadets, Gurijuwan Singh Chahal and Arjan Singh Ghotra, maintain this “would desecrate their religious values” and have filed a lawsuit in response:
“Forcing New Cadet Chahal and New Cadet Ghotra to choose between their country and their God in this manner violates the Army’s own regulations, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, and the First and Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution,” the complaint states.
(Arjan Singh Ghotra previously enlisted Read more
US Air Force LtGen Jay Silveria took command of the US Air Force Academy from outgoing Superintendent LtGen Michelle Johnson last Friday.
Silveria, a 1985 graduate, is a command pilot with nearly 4,000 hours of flight-time in various aircraft, including T-37 and T-38 trainer aircraft, the F-15E Strike Eagle, the HH-60 helicopter and F-35 Lightning II. He’s flown combat sorties over the Balkans and Iraq and served as vice commander at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.
A few days earlier, the local Colorado Springs Gazette (repeated at the Stars and Stripes) covered LtGen Johnson’s four-year tenure in a summative article: Read more
Bangladesh native and legal US resident Nelash Das is the latest to be accused of plotting an attack on the US military in support of ISIS:
Federal authorities accuse Das of supporting terrorist activity by planning to kill a member of the U.S. military who was also a special agent with the FBI, the government said…
The two men got as far as the fake address of the targeted soldier’s home before federal agents moved on him and arrested him.
Das makes 15 civilians — along with multiple US troops Read more
Ashley Broadway-Mack of the LGBT-activist AMPA has been at the forefront of claiming US military leadership has “opposed” President Trump’s ban on transgenders in the military. In a recent press release, she repeated the most common refrains — which are the AMPA’s conveniently twisted interpretations of what was actually said:
Military commanders have already gone on the record as being opposed to this move.
That statement is outright false. She does not cite a single “military commander” who is “on the record” opposing the President, and not one has. To do so would have been national news, as a uniformed military officer opposing his Commander-in-Chief is a significant — and potentially criminal — offense. It hasn’t happened, yet Broadway portrays it as foregone. Further: Read more