Army officer goes to battle over ... gender pronouns

An Army medical officer has won a skirmish against the politically correct policy of letting transgenderism activists force their language on proponents of traditional morality.

The officer, who is remaining anonymous to avoid retaliation, was granted a religious exemption from using pronouns that conflict with a person’s biological sex.

The officer had reached out to the religious-rights non-profit First Liberty after the Army instituted a new policy that requires all soldiers to use the pronoun that aligns with a person’s “gender identity.”

The officer spoke with Michael Berry, deputy general counsel for First Liberty, who offered her advice to resolve her concerns.

Berry was a former judge advocate general for the Marine Corps and has been at the forefront of many high-profile religious freedom cases.

Among them are Washington state high-school football coach Joseph Kennedy, who was told he could not pray silently after football games; Chaplain Wes Modder, who faced career-ending punishment when he answered questions about marriage and sexuality according to the tenets of his faith; and Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Oscar Rodriguez, who was forcibly removed from a colleague’s retirement ceremony after the retiree asked him to give a speech that mentioned God.

Berry said he advised the Army officer “that service members in such situations should first submit a written request for religious accommodation, carefully articulating their specific religious beliefs and the Army policies that are in conflict.”

“The officer did as I suggested, and reported back that the command had granted the religious accommodation request,” he said.

It’s noteworthy, Berry said, that the officer did not try to force her views on someone through a lawsuit such as transgenders and other LGBT activists have done.

“Her request for a religious exemption only asked for her to be able to use pronouns in accordance with her religious beliefs. In no way is she attempting to force anyone to change their vocabulary to match what she believes,” Berry said.

Berry explained it’s the way tolerance is supposed to work on both sides.

“Most of the people I know are not interested in imposing their religious views on anybody else. All they ask is that in a pluralistic and diverse organization like our military, we should be valuing everybody’s viewpoint and that of people from different religious backgrounds; and that includes people who hold to traditional Christian views about male and female.”

Berry told WND that the officer’s request was granted without controversy, and he believes one of the keys for it being given was that she made it clear that she in no way was going to be disrespectful of others.

“She made it clear to me and the Army right at the outset that she will treat every soldier, patient or whomever she comes in contact with with respect and human dignity. It’s just that she has sincerely held religious beliefs that she feels also need to be respected, and she is exactly right.”

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision creating same-sex “marriage,” the LGBT community has not been content to celebrate a legal victory. Instead the decision has been used as a launching pad to demand not just tolerance but a positive affirmation of the lifestyle.

The intimidation has taken on various forms such as suing businesses who have no problem serving homosexuals or transgender people but refuse to lend their artistic talents to an event or ceremony with which they disagree.

The latest trend is to punish, sometimes with the threat of jail time, a person who uses the pronouns to identify a person’s sex that have been used for decades. The rationale is that gender is fluid.

The London Daily Mail recently reported on a London attorney who changed his gender three different times.

Sam Kane was born a man, then decided to become Samantha in 1997 before becoming Charles in 2004. He eventually became Samantha again.

With the flexibility of “gender identity,” the idea of fines or jail time for not using an acceptable pronoun becomes even more problematic.

In addition to the standard pronouns, according to an LGBT-support website, a person may wish to be called by any one of the following: fae, faer, faers, faerself, e/ey, em, eir, eirs, eirself, per, pers, perself, ve, ver, vis,verself, xe,xem, xyr, xyrs, xemself, ze/zie, hir, hirs or hirself.

In New York, the Commission on Human Rights can fine employers and landlords up to $250,000 if they use the wrong pronoun from the list, such as calling a person ve who wants to be called ze.

California is attempting to go even further as legislators are set to vote on a bill that would mandate jail time for nursing home workers who “knowingly” use the incorrect pronoun. Free-speech advocates have pointed out the bill does not specify any objective standard for defining “knowingly,” leaving it up to state authorities.

The officer’s accommodation is significant since President Trump recently rolled back Barack Obama’s last-minute lifting of the ban on transgenders enlisting, which had been policy since before the Revolutionary War.

Berry said he didn’t think the president’s decision had anything to do with the granting of the accommodation. But he noted it has been a morale booster for religious believers in the military.

“I think it has created an environment where people of faith who are serving in the military feel that their religious beliefs will at least be tolerated far more so than under the previous administration and commander-in-chief.”

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