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Army chaplain under investigation over Facebook posts critical of transgender troops

Army chaplain under investigation over Facebook posts critical of transgender troops

U.S. Army soldiers pray on September 11, 2011, during a protestant service at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. Ten years after the 9/11 attacks in the United States and after almost a decade of war in Afghanistan, American soldiers gathered for church services in prayer and solemn observance of the tragic day. | John Moore/Getty Images

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.

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