Posts tagged ‘Cancel Culture’
A U.S. Army chaplain based in Texas faces an investigation after he made a social media post suggesting that transgender individuals are “mentally unfit” to serve in the military.
In a Jan. 26 tweet, the Army’s Security Force Assistance Command announced that “the recent comments posted to the Army Times Facebook page by Maj. Andrew Calvert regarding President Joe Biden’s policy on transgender service members are “under investigation.”
“How is rejecting reality (biology) not evidence that a person is mentally unfit (ill), and thus making that person unqualified to serve?” asked Calvert as he commented on a Facebook post from the Army Times.
A Twitter user flagged Calvert’s posts and argued that Calvert “cannot be trusted to support soldiers for another minute.”
In his post, Calvert argued that there is “little difference” between those who believe in transgenderism and “those who believe and argue for a ‘flat earth’ despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.”
“The motivation is different, but the argument is the same,” the chaplain stated. “This person is a MedBoard for Mental Wellness waiting to happen. What a waste of military resources and funding!”
In his Facebook profile, Calvert describes himself as a “Christian, Husband, Father, Pastor, Army Chaplain.” His profile also notes that he is employed as a brigade chaplain at the 3rd Security Force Assistance Brigade, located in Fort Hood, Texas. In a subsequent Facebook comment, Calvert argued that his position was “not extreme in the slightest.”
“The most nurturing counsel I can give to someone who is under the delusion of transgenderism (gender dysphoria) is to recommend professional counseling to assist in the healing process,” Calvert reportedly wrote in the post. “To not do so, and merely pander to make-believe social whims of the moment, is not only damaging but idiocy.”
Calvert’s Facebook posts came after Biden, who took office on Jan. 20, announced the reversal of President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender troops serving in the military. The former president cited the “tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail” as the justification for his decision. By doing so, Trump reversed an Obama-era policy allowing openly transgender individuals to serve in the Armed Forces.
Additionally, the Security Force Assistance Command’s post instructed members of the Army to “Always remember to ‘Think, Type, Post’ when it comes to engaging in conversation on social media platforms.”
“We are soldiers 24/7 and that means always treating people with dignity and respect,” the tweet reads.
A Christian professor has also faced consequences for his criticism of Biden’s reversal of Trump’s military transgender policy. Professor Robert Gagnon of Houston Baptist University was locked out of his Facebook account for 24 hours after referring to transgender ideology as a “religious cult” and a “pseudo-science” in a comment defending a friend’s satirical commentary about Biden’s reversal of the transgender military ban.
In addition to Calvert and Gagnon, prominent conservative organizations were also quick to criticize Biden’s executive order. Tony Perkins, president of the socially conservative activist organization Family Research Council, asserted that by signing the executive order, Biden was “diverting precious dollars from mission-critical training to something as controversial as gender reassignment surgery.”
Perkins added that “the military cannot focus its efforts on preparing to fight and win wars when it is being used as a vehicle to advance the far-left agenda.”
“After considerable study, the previous administration found gender dysphoric people attempt suicide at about nine times the rate of the general population,” said Lt. Gen. Tom Spoehr, the director of the conservative Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense.
“Service members diagnosed with gender dysphoria are also nine times more likely to have mental health encounters with a professional.”
Spoehr contends that it would be “immoral” to place individuals at higher risk from mental injury in situations “where they are likely to experience extraordinary stress.”
Calvert is hardly the first Army chaplain to face the prospect of punishment for holding to biblical Christian beliefs about marriage and sexuality. Scott Squires, who served as an Army chaplain at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, faced the possibility of “career-ending punishment” in 2018 after telling a lesbian couple that they could not participate in a marriage retreat he was hosting because his religious beliefs taught him that marriage was a union between a man and a woman.
Ultimately, the couple was allowed to attend the retreat after another chaplain was tapped to host the event. While the U.S. Army initially recommended that Squires be charged with dereliction of duty, the chaplain was cleared of all charges a year later.
A Christian university professor has been suspended from Facebook for voicing disagreement with President Joe Biden’s executive order allowing trans-identifying individuals to serve in the U.S. military.
Robert Gagnon, who teaches New Testament theology at Houston Baptist University and is a renowned scholar on the subject of sexuality, was locked out of his Facebook account for 24 hours on Tuesday after he posted a comment in defense of a friend who posted a satirical commentary about Biden’s executive order. Facebook suspended Gagnon’s account for what it deemed as “incitement” to violence.
In his post, Gagnon said the executive order will endanger women, and noted that those who promote transgenderism are allowing males to invade women’s athletics and shelters. He also likened transgender ideology to a “religious cult” and said it “is indeed a pseudo-science,” in that it forces people to reject basic biology. That Facebook suspended his friend for similar comments proves the cult-like dimension, he said.
Facebook subsequently sent Gagnon a notice, informing him that his words violated their “Community Standards on violence and incitement.”
“There was absolutely no incitement to violence on our part. We abhor violence done to any person,” Gagnon told PJ Media on Tuesday. “This is just a thinly veiled and pathetic excuse for censorship of any critical views toward trans-tyranny over our consciences, religion, and reason.”
“Only one point of view is being allowed,” he continued. “Trump was not the great danger to the Republic. Left-wing canceling is.”
After the day-long Facebook suspension was lifted, Gagnon posted on his page Thursday: “We are in the midst of rapidly accelerating public censorship of our views (with compelled speech) but we are not the victims. Neat trick.”
Gagnon’s friend, Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute, who was also banned from Facebook, had expressed her exasperation in a Facebook comment in which she pointed out that women who signed up to serve in the Armed Forces will now have to shower and bunk with males as a result of the executive order. Higgins referred to transgender advocacy as a “cult” whose goal is to spread “alchemical pseudo-science” globally “before the truth can pull up its pants” and continue to accuse Republicans as being “science-deniers.”
Higgins was banned from the social media platform for seven days and remains locked out of her account as of Thursday. The Christian Post reached out to Gagnon for additional comment on this article but did not receive a response by press time.
Conservative critics of Biden’s executive order have said that the change in policy imperils military readiness and that it’s tantamount to “social engineering.” Opposition to the order, however, spans the political spectrum.
In comments sent to CP earlier this week, Miriam Ben-Shalom, the first lesbian to ever be reinstated to the U.S. Army after being dismissed from service on the basis of sexuality, said she would “bet that no one thought to ask military women how they’d feel having an intact [male] in their barracks, showers, etc.”
“Military women already face difficulties when they serve — witness the recent spate of murders and the shocking statistics on rape in the military. Now, men have had the lack-witted brainlessness to add to the burden of military women. And wait until a female to trans wants to serve in the men’s barracks. What will the military do when such a woman is raped or assaulted — or killed?” she said.
Ben-Shalom, who describes herself as a “moderate independent” added that the move is a “slap in the face” to the military.
“This is pandering to a community that has many, many problems in terms of mental health and stability. This is pandering to Big Medicine, Big Pharma, and Big Money,” she said.
The Pentagon has said that approximately 9,000 service members identify as transgender, though independent estimates have put the number at around 16,000, according to The Wall Street Journal. Fewer than 1,000 have received a formal diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
In 2016, the RAND Corporation published a study on Pentagon medical expenditures and found that the costs incurred by U.S. taxpayers to pay for trans-identifying service members’ medical costs fell somewhere between $2.4 million and $8.4 million each year.
If 2020 didn’t already feel enough of a Kafkaesque nightmare, the latest bit of depravity from the “hate has no home here” totalitarian left is a ghoulish scheme announced by three former Barack Obama and Pete Buttigieg staffers on Twitter last week called “The Trump Accountability Project.” Aspiring apparatchiks Emily Abrams, Michael Simon, and Hari Sevugan lauded the website whose stated mission is to “never forget those who furthered the Trump agenda.”
According to the now privatized site, whose internet archives were captured, anyone associated with the Trump administration, including those who elected him, staffed his government, funded him, endorsed him, worked in law firms for him, and who supported him in general, should be “held accountable.”
The site includes a comprehensive list of “known collaborators,” including U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, White House Chief of Staff Mike Meadows, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, campaign advisors Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon, and the 56 federal judges, including U.S. Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, appointed by President Trump. No one is spared: assistants, receptionists, stenographers, calligraphers—our diligent Comrades know how to name names.
The idea of punishing people who have supported Trump also surfaced among media types including Jake Tapper of CNN and Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post. All of them have called for at least social recriminations such as keeping the “guilty” from being able to support themselves and their families through paid employment.
So what exactly are these Trump deplorables going to be “held accountable” for? The reasons cited are the administration’s purported assault on democracy, separation of children from their families, encouragement of racism, and “the country’s failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Is this reasonable? Has the Trump administration, aided and abetted by its staff, supporters, donors, endorsers, and even independent judges, produced so horrific an environment that, even as we enter our glorious post-Trump One Party era, we should implement a program of purges and punishment?
The allegations regarding democracy are preposterous. The Democratic Party’s various policies and tactics since 2016 overwhelmingly surpass the most exaggerated allegations of Trump “authoritarianism,” and the left knows it.
Also questionable are factually selective cries about children being separated from their parents. A border policy of removing children from their rightful parents is wrong and should never have been implemented. But the complicated and grim reality is that some parents are the ones doing the separating, paying human smugglers to traffic their children over the border. Some don’t want their children brought back to their countries of origin.
Furthermore, the moral outrage over this issue is particularly disingenuous considering the left’s support for obscene abortion laws that butcher close to 1 million babies, give or take, each year. And these policies are racially targeted. Almost 80 percent of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion facilities are located within walking distance of black neighborhoods. Roughly a third of all babies aborted each year are black, even though black women represent approximately 7 percent of the U.S. population.
The claim of “antisemitism” is similarly ludicrous. Under Trump, the U.S. embassy was moved to Jerusalem, a promise made under previous presidencies but never delivered. A historic diplomatic accord was recently signed between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and subsequently Bahrain. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the agreement heralded a “new dawn of peace.” It’s no wonder that President Trump is the overwhelmingly preferred presidential candidate for the Israeli Jewish public.
As for the administration’s COVID response, the pandemic took everyone by surprise. Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi were still accusing Trump of fear-mongering and xenophobia weeks after he closed the borders to China. Since then, and despite rapid mobilization efforts under Operation Warp Speed, Democrats and their media allies have consistently slammed Trump for not being able to magically control a new virus.
Yet Biden has not yet been able to articulate what exactly he would do differently, other than imposing a national lockdown. Considering that the most devastating economic impact has been felt in blue states where governors have stubbornly kept their economies shut down, this sort of strategy would be a calamity.
But none of this can get in the way of some good old-fashioned witch hunting. How will these Trump deplorables be held accountable? A consideration of Soviet communist tactics offers some interesting possibilities. Farcical show trials were held to liquidate perceived national traitors and thereby eliminate political opposition.
In Czechoslovakia, the children of shopkeepers, professionals, and intellectuals were barred from higher education. As for the judiciary, Communists resolved the problem of ideologically suspect pre-war appointed judges by issuing decrees that subordinated the judiciary to state ministries of “justice.”
Proponents of Trump purges have proposed their own ideas. Comrade Sevugan tweeted on Friday that CNN’s Kaitlan Collins “reported WH staff are starting to look for jobs” and warned that “employers considering them should know there are consequences for hiring anyone who helped Trump attack American values.” So-called “pro-democracy” commentator Rubin tweeted that those questioning the election results and making claims of voter fraud should “never serve in office, join a corporate board, find a faculty position or be accepted into ‘polite society.’”
As if that perversity wasn’t enough, she appeared on MSNBC’s AM Joy over the weekend and argued that “it’s not only that Trump has to lose, but that all his enablers have to lose.” She added, shockingly, that “we have to collectively in essence burn down the Republican Party” because “if there are survivors… they will do it again.”
Evan McMullin, a budding Stalinist dressed up as a defender of the republic, proposed that “we should keep and publish a list of everyone who assists Trump’s frivolous and dangerous attacks on the election.” For the good of the country, we should “name and shame forever,” he said.
Not surprisingly, socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is totally on board with implementing this “accountability” agenda. She tweeted concern that “Trump sycophants” might “downplay or deny their complicity” by deleting tweets, writings, and photos. Fortunately for her, the lists are already being tabulated.
Had we not just spent the better part of a year battling a host of assaults on individual, religious, and political freedoms, we would not have believed such an outrage possible. Indeed, once upon a time in 2019, sane people on both sides of the political spectrum would have regarded this sort of garbage as a blatant rights and basic decency violation. Now, once presumably normal people are salivating over the prospect of purges and punishment, a tactic that is rooted in communist propaganda: the enemy narrative. According to this pernicious lie, our very existence is under such threat by an evil adversary, that the erosion of human rights and undemocratic seizure of power are justified.
For the Soviets, the villain was capitalism and the parasitical Western imperialists; for today’s Totalitarian Left, the enemy is the Orange Man in the White House and his racist supporters. Comrades Sevugan, Rubin, and McMullin are spewing the same bile that communists have used to poison millions: the evil must be stamped out and its enablers humiliated and exiled to protect our very existence.
We must pray that this roadkill of an election is cleaned up and truth and freedom preserved so the circling vultures find some other carrion to gnaw. Resorting to Soviet-style tactics to intimidate their 70 million fellow Americans who support President Trump is despicable. And it only reinforces the widespread belief that the totalitarian left has officially abandoned any pretense of a commitment to democratic freedoms and rule of law.
Carina Benton is a native Australian living in Washington state. She is a practicing Catholic and has taught for many years in Catholic and Christian schools. She is a mother of two young children.
A person purporting to be a University of California, Berkeley professor has had enough of these ideologies, however, and decided to speak out against them in an anonymous letter. The letter was first shared on Twitter by Tracy Beanz, editor in chief of UncoverDC. Wilfred Reilly, an assistant professor of political science at Kentucky State University, who is referenced in the letter, confirmed to The Western Journal that the letter had been sent out, but could not confirm the identity of the sender.
“I can’t confirm the sender. I was sent the letter, and will note that it contained direct e-mails for me, [economist Thomas Sowell] (via National Review), and what looked like much of the Berkeley History Department,” Reilly told The Western Journal in an email.
The letter began with the alleged professor apologizing for the need to remain anonymous, citing the prevalent nature of cancel culture in modern-day America.
“I am one of your colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley. I have met you both personally but do not know you closely, and am contacting you anonymously, with apologies. I am worried that writing this email publicly might lead to me losing my job, and likely all future jobs in my field,” the anonymous party wrote.
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“In your recent departmental emails you mentioned our pledge to diversity, but I am increasingly alarmed by the absence of diversity of opinion on the topic of the recent protests and our community response to them.”
The letter then went on to explain the illogical reasoning behind critical race theory, the academic theory that played a major role in the popularization of ideas such as white privilege and systemic racism.
“The explanation provided in your documentation, to the near exclusion of all others, is univariate: the problems of the black community are caused by whites, or, when whites are not physically present, by the infiltration of white supremacy and white systemic racism into American brains, souls, and institutions. Many cogent objections to this thesis have been raised by sober voices, including from within the black community itself, such as Thomas Sowell and Wilfred Reilly,” the letter read.
“Black people are not incarcerated at higher rates than their involvement in violent crime would predict. This fact has been demonstrated multiple times across multiple jurisdictions in multiple countries. And yet, I see my department uncritically reproducing a narrative that diminishes black agency in favor of a white-centric explanation that appeals to the department’s apparent desire to shoulder the ‘white man’s burden’ and to promote a narrative of white guilt.”
The purported professor then proceeded to take the Black Lives Matter movement head-on, explaining his rejection of its “problematic view of history.”
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“I personally don’t dare speak out against the BLM narrative, and with this barrage of alleged unity being mass-produced by the administration, tenured professoriat, the UC administration, corporate America, and the media, the punishment for dissent is a clear danger at a time of widespread economic vulnerability. I am certain that if my name were attached to this email, I would lose my job and all future jobs, even though I believe in and can justify every word I type.”
“The vast majority of violence visited on the black community is committed by black people. There are virtually no marches for these invisible victims, no public silences, no heartfelt letters from the UC regents, deans, and departmental heads. The message is clear: Black lives only matter when whites take them. Black violence is expected and insoluble, while white violence requires explanation and demands solution. Please look into your hearts and see how monstrously bigoted this formulation truly is.”
Rather than contending with the many counterpoints that the alleged professor made to the Black Lives Matter narrative, the U.C. Berkeley history department openly condemned the letter as “against our values as a department and our commitment to equity and inclusion.”
An anonymous letter has been circulating, purportedly written by a @UCBHistory professor. We have no evidence that this letter was written by a History faculty member. We condemn this letter: it goes against our values as a department and our commitment to equity and inclusion.
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By dismissing the letter’s arguments out of hand, the department all but proved the writer to be correct in his or her evaluation of U.C. Berkeley and other Black Lives Matter advocates. The least Berkeley’s faculty could have done was put together a thoughtful rebuttal, but even that seemed to be too much to ask of them.
James Lindsay spoke to The Western Journal about the reported professor’s letter and what it meant for the social justice movement at large. Lindsay is a mathematician, political commentator and co-founder of the website New Discourses, an apolitical resource for those opposed to political correctness and the various ideologies of social justice.
When asked if this open condemnation of social justice politics was a trend in the right direction for American colleges, Lindsay seemed unconvinced.
When asked about claims made by the letter, he affirmed the anonymous professor’s assessment of critical race theory.
“I cannot speak to the specific data-driven claims, but the academic theory he cites (Critical Race Theory) is accurately described in terms of how poisonous, anti-intellectual, anti-society, and even intrinsically anti-black it is.”