Tuesday 17th July 2018

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.

Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter Elects New Superior General

LINCOLN, Neb. — The general chapter of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, a society of apostolic life that celebrates the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, Monday elected Father Andrzej Komorowski as its next superior general. The July 9…Continue Reading

Catholic-heavy Supreme Court moves right as the church moves left

(RNS) — With his nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, President Trump has succeeded in doing for the judicial branch what he has often failed or neglected to do in his administration: acting efficiently…Continue Reading

Election of the Superior General . . . Society of Saint Pius X

Election of the Superior General On July 11, 2018, Father Davide Pagliarani was elected Superior General, for a mandate of 12 years, by the 4th General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X. The new Superior General is 47…Continue Reading

Paradoxes and indicators of Capella’s and McCarrick’s cases

These days we will find out whether Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella, the former advisor to the Washington nunciature that the Vatican sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for possession and distribution of “large quantities” of child pornography, will present an appeal…Continue Reading

Diocese led by pro-gay bishop says it’s ‘up to each parish’ whether to promote homosexuality

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, July 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic church in the heart of Appalachia has attracted media attention for the Gay Pride Month banner stretched across its front lawn. The local ordinary, Bishop John Stowe, has a record of collaborating with a…Continue Reading

Al Gore: Pope Francis a ‘moral force’ for solving climate crisis

(Vatican.news) Nobel Peace Prize Winner and former U.S. Vice President, Al Gore, is one of the world’s most vocal defenders of the environment. His 2007 documentary film, “An Inconvenient Truth”, won an Oscar and his Climate Reality Project recently hosted…Continue Reading

Catholic bishops heading to border to tackle family separation issues

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — A delegation of Catholic bishops from across the country are heading to the border on Monday. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will lead the delegation in its visit to the…Continue Reading

Catholic Church teaching on homosexuality ‘evil’, McAleese says

The Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality is “evil”, former president Mary McAleese has said. Speaking ahead of her inaugural participation in the Dublin Pride event on Saturday, where she will march with her son Justin and his husband, the former…Continue Reading

Senate Will Vote Before Elections on Replacing Pro-Abortion Justice Anthony Kennedy

The United States Senate will vote before the elections this November on a replacement for pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made that announcement today shortly after the surprising but welcome announcement that the longtime abortion…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke, Bishop Schneider respond to Pope Francis’ inflight intercommunion comments

ROME, June 27, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The reception of Holy Communion in the Catholic Church — even in exceptional cases — by a Protestant or other non-Catholic constitutes a “lie” that betrays the Apostolic tradition and the Church’s constant practice…Continue Reading

German Bishops Publish Intercommunion Handout with a Rhetorical Trick

Today, the German bishops have published their very controversial pastoral handout which allows Protestant spouses of Catholics, in certain cases, to receive Holy Communion. Since Pope Francis, on 21 June, objected to a national bishops’ conference publishing such an official text, the…Continue Reading

Vikings host ‘LGBTQ summit’ to promote ‘inclusion’ in sports

EAGAN, Minnesota, June 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Minnesota Vikings are hosting a conference and fundraiser today for “LGBTQ inclusion in sports,” the first of its kind in the National Football League (NFL). The event will include speeches, interviews, and…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

Catechism

Today . . .

British pro-lifers say abortion clinic ‘buffer zones’ harm women and children

London, England, Jul 12, 2018 / 12:49 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After a decision from the United Kingdom’s High Court, two women are attempting to overturn a ban on prayer and public discussion of abortion near a British abortion clinic. On July 2, the High Court of England and Wales upheld a “buffer zone” imposed by Ealing Council, west London, around a Marie Stopes abortion clinic. The zone prevents any pro-life gathering or speech, inc

Calligraphers face jail time for not promoting same-sex ‘weddings’

PHOENIX, Arizona, July 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Two Arizona calligraphy artists faced with fines and jail time for declining to take part in promoting gay “weddings” are asking the state’s Supreme Court to hear their challenge to the city of Phoenix’s law that compels them create artwork that violates their religious beliefs. Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studio, face up to six months in jail, $2,500 in fines, and three

Bishop Paprocki disagrees with US bishops’ support for unions that fund abortion, LGBT

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, July 11, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – Hailed by free speech and religious liberty advocates alike, the United States Supreme Court recently ruled that public sector employees can no longer be required to pay mandatory fees to support unions which promote causes and political activities – including abortion – to which they are opposed. The ruling has also exposed a significant rift among the nation’s Catholic bishops. Despite public sector unions’ unabashe

Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Brett Kavanaugh is Donald Trump’s choice to succeed the pro-abortion, pro-gay Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court, the president announced Monday night. Trump praised Kavanaugh’s committment to “equal justice under the law” and called him a “brilliant jurist with a clear and effective writing style.” He is “universally regarded as…one of the finest legal minds of our time.” Kavanaugh formerly clerked for Kennedy. “Justice Kennedy devoted his career to…Continue Reading

Prof fired by Catholic university for defending marriage has huge court win

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, July 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The professor forced out by a Jesuit-run Catholic university for blogging about an undergrad student being assailed by his teacher for his having voiced defense of marriage has won in court. In a landmark decision Friday the Wisconsin Supreme Court said Marquette University violated John McAdams’ right to free speech when it suspended him for writing the blog post, and it ordered the University to restore McAdams immediately with his full rank,…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

A Book Review… What Man Does Not Reverence, He Will Profane

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN Society and Sanity, by Frank Sheed (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2013), 261 pp. $17.95. Available from www.ignatius.com or at 1-800-651-1531. This new edition of Sheed’s 1953 classic work of apologetics brings to mind the famous myth of Procrustes’ bed. The wicked king captures his victims then tortures them if their legs do…Continue Reading

How Vice Can Absorb Virtue

By DONALD DeMARCO Just as the Devil is at war with God, so too, vices are at war with virtue. The Devil wants people to believe that God does not exist. He also wants people to believe that neither does virtue exist. He would like to demolish virtue. One way of achieving this is to…Continue Reading

Henan, China… New Limits Imposed On The Religious Freedom Of Catholics

BEIJING (AsiaNews) — The Chinese government is approving increasingly restrictive measures against Catholics in the central province of Henan. As Eglises d’Asie reports, five new rules have been imposed which include the requirement of religious working in the province to collect data and information on their faithful. A priest from the Diocese of Zhengzhou reports…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Solzhenitsyn Remembered

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Congdon, Lee. Solzhenitsyn: The Historical-Spiritual Destinies of Russia and the West. DeKalb, Ill.: NIV Press, 2017; 163 pp. This book is descriptive of the prophetic voice of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008), who was convinced that the West has set out on a road similar to that which “led Russia into the abyss.” Solzhenitsyn…Continue Reading

Where’s #MeToo For Women Killed By Botched Abortions?

By REY FLORES Women who die from botched abortions will never have the ability to do anything anymore, let alone use some stupid, trendy #MeToo hashtag on social media. Who speaks out against the abuse and death inflicted on women through abortion? Why aren’t the militant, pro-abortion feminists decrying one of the most heinous of…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World . . . In Death The Church Gives Everything

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Funerals, as many priests have learned, can often be pastorally challenging and problematic episodes. Grieving family members who are not dealing with death on a regular basis by practicing their faith are suddenly confronted with its reality upon the passing of a parent or other family member. Parents who have to bury a child sometimes…Continue Reading

Martin Luther… The Man And The Myth

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 (Editor’s Note: As this October marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Raymond de Souza is taking a break from his usual apologetics to correct the popular image of Luther.) + + + In the last article, I quoted from…Continue Reading

The Anatomy Of A Moral Act

By DON FIER Last week, as we considered the role that human freedom plays in the economy of salvation, it was immediately acknowledged that “man’s freedom is limited and fallible” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 1739). Free will, so wondrously bestowed upon man as an essential element of his great dignity of being created “in the image and…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. What can one say to a teenage daughter or granddaughter who wears skimpy bathing suits? I know that is the “style” these days, but it seems wrong for many reasons. — M.M., Virginia. A. When our five daughters were teens, my wife and I ruled out the wearing of skimpy bathing suits, as well as skin-tight jeans or shorts…Continue Reading

The Fourth Prophecy Of Humanae Vitae… When Self-Mastery Is Rejected

By FR. SHENAN BOQUET (Editor’s Note: Human Life International, which Fr. Shenan Boquet heads, first published this commentary on Humanae Vitae and LifeSiteNews reprinted it on July 2. Visit hli.org to read Fr. Boquet’s full series.) + + + “Birth Control is a name given to a succession of different expedients by which it is possible to filch the pleasure…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Veronica Giuliani

By CAROLE BRESLIN In July, the month of the Precious Blood, the Catholic Church remembers saints by the name of Veronica. On July 12, the memorial of Veronica (meaning “true image”), the saint from the first century who presented her veil to wipe the face of Jesus, is celebrated. Three days before that, on July 9, St. Veronica Giuliani is…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord had a special love for the poor when He walked this earth. At one time He rebuked one of the apostles, saying, “The poor you will always have with you” (Matt. 26:11). Rather than avoiding the destitute or shun the homeless, Christians are called to love them as we love ourselves. At the beginning of…Continue Reading