When Trump attempted to set Department of Defense policy in a tweet, it most certainly took military leaders at the Pentagon by surprise despite the fact that the pathological liar said he had “conferred with the generals;” a claim that was immediately debunked by those same generals. However, Trump did not come up with the idea of his own accord and he did, in fact, confer with someone but it wasn’t anyone in the military – it was aspiring preacher-in-chief Mike Pence and alt-right hate-monger Steve Bannon.
As this column noted a couple of days ago, it is highly likely that preacher Pence was instrumental in “Jesus Jeff” (Sessions) decision to interfere in a private labor dispute to bolster the argument of a nasty evangelical bigot employer. Pence is well-known as one of, if not the most, aggressive anti-LGBTQ evangelical Republicans in the nation and he’s brought that bible-inspired hatred to his leadership post as head of Trump’s domestic and foreign policy.
Since taking over running the country in January, preacher Pence has been working tirelessly to abolish protections for the LGBTQ community and he began making transgender soldiers serving in defense of the nation a major target since day one. Foreign Policy reported that Pence and his evangelical staff were pushing Republicans in the House to insert language in defense spending bills prohibiting “federal dollars from being used to enable gender transitions.” That’s how badly Pence and his evangelical cohorts want to purge transgender soldiers laying their lives on the line serving in the military.
Bannon too, has been working tirelessly behind the scenes, but for a complete ban on transgenders serving their country and “defending Americans’ freedom.” In fact, it was the concerted effort of preacher Pence and barbaric Bannon that gave them the idea to take their case to Trump and convince him that those transgender service members were the only thing preventing federal dollars from funding Trump’s wonderful border wall. Naturally, Trump took the bait and limbered up his tiny little hands to tweet some presidential defense policy to the generals running the Pentagon.
The evangelical hater class has been violating the Ninth Commandment by lying about the projected costs for transgender soldiers claiming it would exceed $3.7 billion over 10 years. However, according to a pair of independent studies from the New England Journal of Medicine and the Rand Corporation, the real projected costs would more likely fall between $24 million and $84 million over that same 10 year period.
Even at the top of that range, the price tag is still less than one-tenth of the cost to the Pentagon to provide boner pills (Viagra) for male soldiers in need of a “lift” during sex. And for a different perspective, the costs of Trump’s taxpayer funded golfing trips to his Florida resort exceed the cost of transgender troops’ medical costs. Democratic Underground (DU) reported:
“Transgender troops’ medical care: $2.4-$8.4 million/year. Trump trips to Mar-A-Lago: $20 million in first 80 days.”
Obviously the evangelicals’ transgender ban has nothing whatsoever to do with cost or the Department of Defense would have weighed in and joined the evangelicals’ claim that the military readiness and “lethality of force” is weakened by allowing transgenders to fight and die for their country. It is a claim that opponents of Pence’s spending amendments rightly say is not an issue and will not be affected by continuing the current policy.
According to the executive director of OutServe-SLDN, Matt Thorn:
“The Department of Defense does not want these [anti-transgender] amendments, and neither do we. Transgender service members have been serving, openly and authentically, with no impact on readiness or lethality of the force.”
And, according to a real military leader, and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen; any attempt to stop military treatment for service members would be “unprecedented.” Admiral Mullen said:
“The military conducted a thorough research process on this issue and concluded that inclusive policy for transgender troops promotes readiness. I urge the Congress to respect the military’s judgment and not to breach the faith of service members who defend our freedoms.” (author bold)
To further bolster the argument that this hateful attack on dedicated transgender service personnel is driven purely by preacher Pence’s evangelical hate, there was an immediate round of celebratory praise for Trump from every Christian hate organization after his official military policy tweet.
As Michael Stone at Patheos noted, “conservative Christians took delight in Trump’s transgender troop ban and celebrated the president’s cruel bigotry.” For example, the president of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, released a statement praising Trump. Perkins wrote:
“I applaud President Trump for keeping his promise to return to military priorities – and not continue the social experimentation that has crippled our nation’s military. The military can now focus its efforts on preparing to fight and win wars rather than being used to advance the Obama social agenda.”
Another evangelical hater, Bryan Fischer tweeted remarks near and dear to preacher Pence’s evil evangelical heart:
“A huge, huge win for sexual normalcy in public and military policy. And a win for national security.”
And, RightWingWatch reported on a reaction that likely made preacher Pence wet his evangelical underpants just thinking about how vile and deadly barbaric some of his closest evangelical cohorts and counselors can be towards the entire gay community. The purely evil anti-gay extremist Theodore Shoebat used Trump’s “official defense policy tweet” to advance his belief that banning transgenders from the military is not nearly harsh enough to meet his, and likely preacher Pence’s, biblical belief that “gay people should be exterminated.” Shoebat said directly after Trump’s tweet that, “While this is great news, what really needs to be done is the death penalty for sodomites.”
This past week should be proof enough even for the skeptic that with a cabal of Christian theocrats running the government, there is going to be an unrelenting assault on what evangelicals believe are “sinners worthy of death.” Besides Trump’s absurd tweet banning transgender people from serving their country, Sessions butted in to a private labor dispute claiming the 14th Amendment and 53-year-old Civil Rights Act do not apply to the LGBTQ community. And, in order to spread the evangelical hatred for gays across the planet, Trump appointed Kansas governor Sam Brownback, an acclaimed anti-gay evangelical bigot as America’s “religious freedom ambassador;” Brownback is renowned, as the New York Times noted, for being a very “vocal opponent of gay rights.”
Some Americans might believe that since they are not gay, or transgender, or do not serve in the military, that preacher Pence will not affect their lives; that would be a monumental mistake. These aspiring theocrats, led by the likes of the man in charge of domestic policy, preacher Pence, will not be sated with banning transgender people from serving their country or legalizing discrimination by employers.
History shows that the “faithful” will not be satisfied until they have absolute control over every aspect of Americans’ lives. If they don’t believe it they can peruse the policies and barbarism being imposed by ISIS or the Taliban. It is precisely where America is headed with cruel evangelicals like preacher Pence and his allies running the government.