The Pentagon’s newly announced policy of allowing people who identify as transgendered to serve in the military and receive special health care raises serious religious liberty concerns, charges a coalition of military chaplains.
Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, which says it speaks for more than 2,600 chaplains serving the armed forces, noted that in a recent conference call with its associates, a senior Pentagon official outlined implications of the policy change.
Pointing out that anyone in the military who receives a medical statement from a military medical professional certifying that they suffer from gender dysphoria will have all medical resources available for surgical alterations.
On the call, the Pentagon official was asked whether medical professionals who hold a biblical view on human sexuality will be required to violate their consciences.
The official replied that it’s the responsibility of medical professional to serve military persons.
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“It’s an understatement to say that this raises serious religious liberty concerns,” said Chaplain Ron Crews, executive director of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty.
“The Department of Defense must ensure a service member is not forced to violate his or her conscience and that doctors and nurses who hold to a biblical view of human sexuality can serve in today’s military,” he said.
The official on the conference call acknowledged “mixed genitalia” will be present in military bathrooms, showers and barracks because service members will be in various stages of change in their sexual identity.
“Americans need to know the extreme implications of this policy,” Crews said. “Do we want our sons and daughters to be forced to share showers and sleeping spaces in a ‘mixed genitalia’ environment with no recourse for objections of conscience?”
Lifting the ban
Last month, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced the Pentagon was “ending the ban on transgender Americans in the United States military.”
Carter said: “Effective immediately, transgender Americans may serve openly, and they can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military just for being transgender.”
Additionally, Carter said, “I have directed that the gender identity of an otherwise qualified individual will not bar them from military service or from any accession program.”
Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, told WND and Radio America it was a “terrible decision for military readiness.”
“For the Department of Defense to focus on a tiny, tiny, minority and disregard the concerns of the majority of people in the armed forces is more than irresponsible,” Donnelly said. “The secretary of defense is instituting a policy that will encourage indiscipline and sexual tension and a range of problems that have nothing to do with strengthening the Armed Forces. There’s no excuse for it.