A maligned military minister’s getting some ground support.
In January, I covered the story of Maj. Andrew Calvert.
The U.S. Army chaplain recently perused a military newspaper’s Facebook page, whereupon he asked a question:
“How is rejecting reality (biology) not evidence that a person is mentally unfit (ill), and thus making that person unqualified to serve?”
He drew a connection to a different kind of denial:
“There is little difference in this than over those who believe and argue for a ‘flat earth’ despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.”
And he spoke of mental health:
“The motivation is different, but the argument is the same. This person is a MedBoard for Mental Wellness waiting to happen. What a waste of military resources and funding!”
Some weren’t fans of Andrew’s take; in fact, they believed it was he who wasn’t fit to serve:
So Andrew Calvert is a chaplain on active duty in the @3rdSFAB and he equates trans troops to flat-earthers.
— Naveed Shah 🇺🇸 (@ArmyofNaveed) January 26, 2021
His remarks got the Security Force Assistance Command’s attention, and that led to a statement — it’s “aware of the comments posted to the Army Times Facebook in regard to the ban being removed on transgender service members.”
The Security Force Assistance Command Enterprise fully supports the Commander-in-Chief, Secretary of Defense and all DoD policies. The United States Army has a strict standard against any form of discrimination based on gender identity.
Per SFAC, the incident’s “under investigation.”
— Security Force Assistance Command (@armysfac) January 27, 2021
It’s a changing time — America’s first black Secretary of Defense recently endorsed transgenderism in the military.
The branches are getting a makeover.
For overwhelming proof, look no further than the Army’s new recruitment video:
Andrew’s comments certainly don’t match the new look.
Nonetheless, an advocacy group of U.S. military chaplains has come to his defense.
On Monday, the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty issued a press release.
Its message to the Army was undeniably clear:
While at the time of his post, Chaplain Calvert’s statements were fully consistent with and supportive of existing DOD policy, it is far more concerning to note that his post was also consistent with his sincerely held religious beliefs – the same beliefs held by the overwhelmingly vast majority of faith groups in the United States who believe transgenderism to be immoral. Chaplain Calvert represents a Christian faith tradition, is a highly decorated soldier, and expressed views within his legal right to express.
“The right to ‘freedom of conscience,’ is the most sacred belief held by all Americans and proponents of a free society, and that is why it is our first Constitutional right” said Bishop Derek Jones, Executive Director of Chaplain Alliance. “Chaplain Calvert’s sincerely held beliefs are protected by the First Amendment and our Federal courts have repeatedly ruled in favor of First Amendment protection for religious expression such as Chaplain Calvert’s.”
The group pointed out written Defense Department guidelines:
As stated, at the time of Chaplain Calvert’s posting, DoD Instruction 6130.03-VI clearly stated that “a history of gender dysphoria is disqualifying” unless a licensed health provider certifies that certain criteria are satisfied. Therefore, at the time of the investigation, Chaplain Calvert’s statements were fully consistent with and supportive of existing DoD policy.
Chaplain Alliance, in the strongest terms possible, asks U.S. Army senior leadership to intervene and dismiss the charges and non-judicial punishment against Chaplain Calvert. To allow this travesty to continue will be a first step toward anti-religious bigotry in the Armed Forces and our society.
It seems to me this situation is the tip of a very large iceberg into which the country is aggressively headed.
Increasingly, our cultural revolution is going to collide with religious convention.
The military appears as fitting a place as any for it to play out — because, surely for people on both sides, it’s going to be a battle.
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