Public releases have reported that President Trump will be the graduation speaker at the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, while the US Air Force Academy will host Secretary of Defense James Mattis for the Class of 2018.
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While the issue of transgenders in the US military has been at a low simmer for more than a year, it continues to be a source of consternation and angst within the military itself, just as any unresolved policy matter would be. While it seems transgenders would ultimately contribute little in the form of military readiness (some public reports indicate actual transgenders in the military number in the high-two digits), the manner in which to address this demographic continues to substantially draw on senior leader time and every troops’ moral conscience.
In an apparent effort to establish their argument as one beyond Donald Trump, the LGBT community Read more
Update: In an interesting take, Patrick Hornbeck, a department chair of theology at Fordham University and an open homosexual, admitted that Chaplain Squires was “mistreated,” but attributed it to the natural consequences of “bureacracy” and a “well-meaning if somewhat confused investigator.”
The world waited with bated breath for Michael “Mikey” Weinstein — self-declared savior of military religious freedom — to speak on the case of Chaplain (Maj) Scott Squires. Chaplain Squires had been investigated and recommended for reprimand after he re-scheduled a Strong Bonds event just so a homosexual could attend, hosted by a different chaplain whose endorsing agency apparently is not morally opposed to homosexual “marriage.” Given the affront to his faith, and his efforts to accommodate the homosexual couple in an a different affirming event, naturally a defender of religious freedom would rally to Chaplain Squires’ side.
Noting that Chaplain Squires was following his endorsing agency’s guidance, as both the agency and the US Army requires, this was Weinstein’s response:
Our argument is [Defense Secretary Jim Mattis] ought to disqualify that particular entity as a chaplain endorsing agency.
Weinstein Read more
Though it isn’t being reported this way, last Friday President Trump actually rescinded the ban he previously implemented on transgenders in the military last August. The new memorandum (PDF) explicitly withdrew his prior policy:
I hereby revoke my memorandum of August 25, 2017, “Military Service by Transgender Individuals,” and any other directive I may have made with respect to military service by transgender individuals.
The new memo did not institute a new presidential directive. Rather, the President deferred to the Department of Defense — that is, the “independent judgment” of the DoD — with regard to its policies. He said [emphasis added]:
These [DoD-produced] documents set forth the policies on this issue that the Secretary of Defense, in the exercise of his independent judgment, has concluded should be adopted by the Department of Defense.
It’s a clever move. Lawsuits and Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, ever the publicity seeker, recently put out a statement opposing the appointment of Mike Pompeo to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.
The reason Weinstein doesn’t think Pompeo should be allowed to serve as SecState? Pompeo is a Christian — but not the right kind of Christian, according to Mikey, who said [emphasis added]:
I am disgusted…by [Trump] for picking Mike Pompeo, an unabashedly fundamentalist evangelical to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State…
Pompeo is explicitly Islamophobic. He sees the war on terrorism as akin to a holy war and remarked that terrorists will “continue to press against us until we make sure that we pray and stand and fight and make sure that we know that Jesus Christ is our savior [sic] is truly the only solution for our world.” Pompeo appears a proponent of the biblical apocalyptic “rapture,” and MRFF’s fear is that his appointment is yet a closer step towards allowing dominionist fundamentalist elements the opportunity to invoke biblical ideology as a means to initiate a “holy war” with the middle east.
Note that Weinstein provides no context or support for labeling Read more
Chris Rodda, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s research assistant at the MRFF, fancies herself a distinguished, if somewhat self-styled, author. On Friday, though, her failures in basic grammar and research made her boss look like an idiot.
Late on Friday Chris Rodda published a blog entitled “Trump Cites “Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day” Law to Order Flags Flown at Half-Staff for Billy Graham.”
It doesn’t sound particularly egregious, but it does sound stupid. Presidents don’t even write those things, so some staff weenie really messed up and made President Trump look bad, didn’t they?
Except they didn’t.
President Trump’s message was actually published more than a week prior, and it made no reference to any law. Rodda hand-waved the apparent contradiction of her argument with a mysterious [emphasis added]
Trump also issued an extra special version of this order to the military.
As is standard Chris Rodda practice, she Read more
Last week, the US Air Force Academy hosted its annual National Character and Leadership Symposium. Superintendent LtGen Jay Silveria — fresh off his “diversity” Op-Ed — noted that diversity was a large part of this year’s NCLS as well:
[Silveria said] the Air Force Academy’s appreciation for diversity and its willingness to respectfully address controversy make the school stronger…
The theme of the event is “Ethics and Respect for Human Dignity, a topic Silveria called “timely and pertinent.”
Vice President Mike Pence made waves a few months ago when word got around that, as a rule, he would not spend time alone with a woman who was not his wife. It was almost immediately coined “The Mike Pence Rule,” though it was actually “the Billy Graham rule” for the preceding few decades, and it has been a fairly common “rule” in the Christian community just as long.
As was pointed out several months ago, many in media and society strained to portray the “Pence rule” as a bad thing. Katelyn Beatynov wrote an OpEd at the NYTimes on “A Christian Case Against the Pence Rule,” essentially saying the rule was an admission that men were uncontrollable “beasts”:
The Pence rule arises from a broken view of the sexes: Men are lustful beasts that must be contained, while women are objects of desire that must be hidden away. Offering the Pence rule as a solution to male predation is like saying, “I can’t meet with you one on one, otherwise I might eventually assault you.”
Awkwardly, Beatynov is unable to square her takedown with her own comments in that same article saying “there’s wisdom” in the rule. David French did a more than adequate rebuttal of Beatynov’s Read more