Monday 20th November 2017

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Transgenders In The Military

August 16, 2017 Frontpage No Comments

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

Here we go again: Seemingly rational and good people are rushing to the microphones to say things they would have thought preposterous just ten years ago. President Trump’s order to prohibit transgendered people from serving in the military set them off. It could have been a Saturday Night Live skit, with characters representing conservative members of Congress falling all over themselves to protect the right of someone like Caitlin Jenner to live in the barracks.
The media sought out military veterans among members of Congress to highlight the case: John McCain said it was an “insult to these patriotic individuals who only want to serve their country”; Joni Ernst, the Republican senator from Iowa, protested that “anyone who can fulfill the physical requirements deserves the right to serve.”
You can see why politicians take these positions. They feel trapped, thinking that to argue otherwise would force them to make the case that our society holds it abnormal, unnatural, immoral, aberrant, deviant, or some combination thereof, for a man or woman to disfigure their bodies by giving them the characteristics of the opposite sex, as all the world’s major religions instructed us until very recently, including mainstream Christian groups.
Which is, of course, the problem for people like McCain and Ernst. They are willing to say things about LGBT issues that they would have thought preposterous just a few years ago, rather than challenge the new understanding of the separation of church and state that prevails in politically correct circles.
But aren’t they correct? Our military cannot impose Christian standards about right and wrong upon its members…right? Wrong. This timid bowing by Christians to the secular left’s interpretation of the First Amendment and the separation of church and state is unnecessary; it has no historical roots.
Look: If you think it would be good for the country to permit transgendered people to serve in the military, that it will not impair unit cohesion or readiness, fine. Argue the case. The military may be able to deal with the presence of a number of transgendered individuals within the ranks. But it does not violate the Constitution to argue that societal moral norms can be applied in making this decision, even if a Christian understanding of sex is the norm being applied.
A relevant comparison: How would you feel if one of your children or grandchildren were required to have a transgendered individual as a college roommate? If you are tempted to be open-minded and say yes, think about it for a while. Remember, members of the military are often the same age as college students, and they are required to live in even closer proximity to each other than college students.
Simply put, rooting public policy in Christian beliefs is as American as apple pie. Those roots are where most Americans get their ideas about the brotherhood of man, the worth of the individual, the need to care for the poor and the downtrodden, and equal justice under law.
We should not permit the secular left to rewrite history: The First Amendment did not set up a barrier to prevent Americans from acting upon their deeply held moral beliefs in the public square. The First Amendment states only that there shall be no “establishment of religion” in the United States. All that meant is that there was to be no national church in this country.
The reasoning was obvious: The Founding Fathers did not want the religious strife between Christians of different denominations — such as that which was taking place in Europe at the time — to occur in the newly established United States.
What must be kept in mind is that most of the original 13 states had “established churches,” official churches with positions of privilege in regard to holding office and the lawmaking process of the state. (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Rhode Island were the exceptions.) The Church of England was the established church in New York, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia; the Congregational Church in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. The First Amendment’s “no establishment clause” was designed to prevent any one of these Protestant churches from seeking to become the established church for the country as a whole, and avoid the strife that would result from such an attempt.
But the First Amendment did not deny America’s Christians the right to influence laws and public policy. That was understood by everyone. We had “blue laws” that closed down businesses on Sunday when I was a boy. Pornography could be found only “in plain brown wrappers” “under the counter” during those years. Abortion was illegal everywhere until the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.
Indeed, many of the Founding Fathers stated explicitly that they hoped that Christians would act energetically to shape public policy.
James Madison wrote, “To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty of happiness without any virtue in the people is a chimerical idea.”
Benjamin Franklin maintained that “only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
Patrick Henry made the same point: “[B]ad men cannot make good citizens. . . . No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue.”
George Washington wrote, “Virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.”
Perhaps John Adams made the point most effectively: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, and revenge would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
The famous Jesuit theologian and political theorist John Courtney Murray put it all in a nutshell in his 1960 book We Hold These Truths: “It is not an American belief that free government is inevitable, only that it is possible, and that its possibility can be realized only when the people as a whole are inwardly governed by the recognized imperatives of the universal moral law.”
The First Amendment forbids us from interfering with our fellow citizens’ free exercise of religion. We are not free to require that they go to Confession or make the stations of the cross. Orthodox Jews are not permitted to demand that the rest of us wear yarmulkes. Fundamentalist Protestants are not free to make laws requiring us all to submit to Baptism by full immersion. Acting in this manner would be a violation of our neighbors’ religious freedom.
But Catholics — and members of other churches and religions — are not violating anyone’s freedom of religion when they enter the political arena to express their views on matters of public policy that affect how our society will be organized, on the rights of the unborn, for example, or on whether our centuries old understanding of marriage will be upheld — or how to deal with transgendered individuals.
It is only by muddying the waters that secularists are able to make this issue unclear. We are entitled to oppose murder, libel, and theft, even though we learned that these things are wrong in the Ten Commandments. We are entitled to support orphanages and food stamps, even though our motivation for doing so is rooted in the Sermon on the Mount.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Bannon Discusses Growing Up in ‘a Very Observant Catholic Family’ in the South Where the KKK ‘Tarred and Feathered’ Priests

In a freewheeling new interview with author Keith Koffler, Steve Bannon recounted his upbringing in a “very observant Catholic family” in the 1950s and 1960s and how that molded who he is now. Koffler, author of Bannon: Always the Rebel, asked Mr. Bannon—Breitbart…Continue Reading

Bishop McElroy decries extremism on religious freedom, calls for solidarity in American politics

WASHINGTON (RNS) — In an address at Georgetown University, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego criticized both extremes in the fight over religious freedom and called for public consensus based on solidarity to heal our nation in this hyper-partisan age. McElroy…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke makes ‘final plea’ for clarity to Pope Francis on dubia anniversary

ROME, November 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – One year to the day after the dubia were made public, Cardinal Raymond Burke today is turning again to Pope Francis and to the whole Church in an urgent and final plea for clarity.…Continue Reading

Giving bishops final word on Mass translations would ‘destroy’ Church unity: Cardinal Muller

November 10, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The unity of the Church would be “destroyed” if bishops’ conferences, not the Vatican, had the final word over translations of liturgical texts, said Cardinal Gerhard Müller in a recent interview. The former prefect of…Continue Reading

Notre Dame reverses decision to end coverage of birth control in university insurance plans

notredame

In a reversal of school policy, the University of Notre Dame announced this week that it would continue to cover contraceptives for its employees, according to a report in the South Bend Tribune. The news marked a departure from Notre Dame’s announcement…Continue Reading

House Tax Reform Bill “Unacceptable” As Written, Say U.S. Bishops Chairmen

WASHINGTON—In a letter of November 9, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Bishop George V. Murry, SJ of Youngstown, Ohio called for amendments to the current draft of the House…Continue Reading

Truck honoring Dubia Cardinal stopped by police while circling Vatican

ROME, November 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Today in Rome, a publicity truck carrying billboard-size images of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, the dubia Cardinal who passed away three months ago, and Pope John Paul II made its way through the streets of…Continue Reading

Trump admin asks Supreme Court to ‘discipline’ lawyers for rushing teen’s abortion

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Department of Justice (DOJ) is petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to punish the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for lying to the government about the timeline of an underage illegal immigrant’s abortion.…Continue Reading

Christian nurse sues hospital for requiring her to assist abortions

DURHAM, North Carolina, November 3, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic nurse is suing Duke University Hospital, claiming that the university discriminated against her religious and pro-life beliefs by requiring her to assist in abortions. Sara T. Pedro was told during her employee…Continue Reading

It’s ‘impossible’ to change Catholic teaching against contraception: Cardinal

ROME, October 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Church’s teaching against contraception as expressed in Humanae Vitae is an “extraordinary example” of how the “truth of faith” deepens and develops while “continuing to be identical to itself,” Cardinal Walter Brandmüller stated at a…Continue Reading

Thousands sign online petition to remove Madison’s bishop

MADISON (WKOW) — There’s an online petition being circulated to remove the Bishop of the Diocese of Madison. Bishop Robert Morlino is being criticized for his attitude about the LGTBQ community.  Earlier this week, an email was sent to priests in the…Continue Reading

Pontifical Academy of Sciences welcomes leftist California Governor Jerry Brown to keynote

ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) – The Pontifical Academy of Sciences is again throwing open its doors to abortion and population control activists. From November 2–4, the Vatican’s scientific academy will host a conference on the environment that will feature, among others, far-left…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Progressives hate everything old, including the elderly

November 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Earlier this year, Maclean’s Magazinepublished an article asking a question that seemed to capture the prevailing mood on the Left: “Should older people lose the right to vote?” Because old people are practically dead, the author explained, there are some today who feel that they vote with only a short-term vision in mind, and thus should be barred from interfering with the Progress that would be brought about should young people be allowed…Continue Reading

Venerable Solanus Casey: the priest who answered the doorbell.

Vatican City, Nov 17, 2017 / 06:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Venerable Solanus Casey, a Capuchin priest from Wisconsin, was humble before all else, said the postulator of his cause for sainthood. The life of Venerable Solanus Casey is the story of his “humility, his simplicity, as well as his acceptance of whatever life gave him,” Franciscan-Capuchin Fr. Carlo Calloni told CNA Nov. 15. Fr. Solanus Casey is an American-born Capuchin priest who died in 1957.…Continue Reading

Swiss Planned Parenthood president invited to speak at Vatican

November 18, 2017 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life co-hosted a conference on the topic of end of life issues that included several speakers who oppose the Catholic Church’s teachings on the right to life, including the president the board of Switzerland’s Planned Parenthood affiliate, and the president of the pro-euthanasia Royal Dutch Medical Association. The conference, entitled the “WMA Europ

Catholic priests, activists to stand trial for pro-life witness inside abortion facility

November 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – On Monday, November 20, six pro-lifers will stand trial in a State of Virginia courtroom for their defense of the unborn—facing a possible jail term of up to 90 days. On Friday, September 15, 2017 in three different cities across the United States, pro-lifers entered abortion centers to talk to women scheduled for abortions. By refusing to leave the clinics when told to do so by law enforcement, they offered…Continue Reading

The story of an underground Catholic priest in China

Madrid, Spain, Nov 17, 2017 / 12:15 am (ACI Prensa).- Fr. Joseph of Jesus is a Chinese priest, faithful to the Catholic Church. Life is not easy for Catholics in China. Those who adhere to Rome are persecuted by the Chinese government, which only grants freedom of worship to those belonging to the state-controlled Patriotic Church. Fr. Joseph recently shared his story on the “In the Footsteps of the Nazarene” program by the EUK Mamie…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… Questions In The Aftermath Of The Las Vegas Tragedy

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

A Movie Review… “The Star” Shines For Christmas

By REY FLORES As children, many of us grew up watching television, particularly memorable special broadcasts of The Wizard of Oz, Rankin and Bass’ Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and of course, all the holiday-themed Peanuts animated specials. My favorite was A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving where Snoopy and his little bird friend Woodstock fix a Thanksgiving…Continue Reading

Saints Francisco And Jacinta Of Fatima

By FR. SEAN CONNOLLY (Editor’s Note: This is the tenth in a series of articles on the one hundredth anniversary of our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima. Fr. Connolly is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York.) + + + So far in this series of articles published in commemoration the centenary of our Lady’s…Continue Reading

Mary Ann Glendon… A Voice For The Voiceless

By DONALD DeMARCO Mary Ann Glendon was born on October 7, 1938, in Dalton, Mass., a small town nestled in the Berkshire Hills. Her father was an Irish Catholic, her mother a Yankee Congregationalist. She learned a great deal from her mother’s religion about social organization and from her father, how Catholicism “enlarged the spirit,…Continue Reading

A Summary Of The Events… Centenary Renews Fatima Prophecies

By JOHN BURKE (Editor’s Note: John Burke, a journalist in England, has followed Fatima’s centenary events since his mid-May visit there.) + + + The shrine at Fatima begins its pastoral year with Advent, so the centennial celebrations of the six Marian events in 1917 can now be reviewed. What will remain for Catholics the…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… The Kingmakers Reject A Papal Favorite

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The approval of one’s peers is a highly prized trophy in the complicated world of adult professional relationships. Many work for years in obscurity with little acknowledgment. The opportunity to be championed and appreciated is a blessing not to be taken askance when other forms of promotion are no longer possible for those already at…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ… The Cisterns Of Grace

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 3 In the last article, I finished the text with a prayer for the bishops of Malta, who now allow people living in adultery to receive Holy Communion. May our Lady guide them to repentance, and to correct their wrong teaching, lest they answer before God our Lord for leading people into committing a…Continue Reading

The Recipient, Minister, And Celebration Of Holy Orders

By DON FIER A significant reform of Vatican Council II, as we saw last week, was the restoration of the permanent diaconate in the Western Church “as a proper and permanent rank of the hierarchy” (Lumen Gentium, n. 29 § 2). An ordained ministry that has always been retained by the Churches of the East, it can be conferred on…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Asked in the past whether we will know family and friends in Heaven, we have responded in the affirmative. We would now like to call your attention to a book that provides additional confirmation of this belief. It is called In Heaven We’ll Meet Again: The Saints and Scripture on Our Heavenly Reunion, and was written by Francois…Continue Reading

King And Shepherd

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER The Solemnity Of Christ The King (YR A) Readings: Ezek. 34:11-12, 15-17 1 Cor. 15: 20-26, 28 Matt. 25:31-46 In the first reading today we hear God speaking through the Prophet Ezekiel saying that He will tend His sheep as a shepherd tends his sheep. This might strike us as strange since the feast is about…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Margaret Of Scotland

By CAROLE BRESLIN Quite frequently saints have left their home country and died in another country, but most of them died in a foreign land because they left to serve as missionaries to Asia, Africa, or America. The land of Hungary, however, has seen a few saints depart because they were of royal families, including St. Elizabeth of Hungary, who…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blesseds Kamen Vitchev, Pavel Djidjov, And Josaphat Chichkov

By CAROLE BRESLIN At the end of World War II, the USSR took control of countries in Eastern Europe. The governments were led by Communists who were great enemies of organized religion, especially the Catholic Church. As conditions worsened, the persecution and suppression of the Catholic Church increased in its severity. In November 1952, the Bulgarian government, after a puppet…Continue Reading