Catholic League calls out Air Force gender ideology ‘fiction’ for fellowship excluding ‘cisgender’ men

Air Force Academy
Cadets stand near their seats during a graduation ceremony at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. |

The nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization is criticizing the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) for what it calls a “problematic” fellowship offered only to students who belong to a “gender minority.”

In a letter dated Sept. 28 addressed to USAFA Superintendent Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, Catholic League president Bill Donahue expressed concern over the Brooke Owens Fellowship, which Donahue said is targeted at “undergraduate women and gender minorities interested in aerospace.”

An application on the fellowship’s website states that only students who identify with a gender minority such as "agender, bigender, two-spirit, demigender, genderfluid" are eligible to apply.

"If you are a cisgender man, this program isn’t for you,” the fellowship's application reads. 

A "cisgender man" is a term used by transgender activists for a biological male who identifies as a man.

In his letter, which is titled “Air Force Academy Falls For Hoax,” Donahue accused the USAFA of “peddling fiction.”

“Why is the Air Force Academy peddling this fiction? There is no need to call women ‘cisgender women.’ Nature, and nature’s God, have made it crystal clear that there are only two sexes: man and woman,” wrote Donahue, who himself is an Air Force veteran.

The fellowship came to light after Fox News obtained an email from a “concerned cadet” at USAFA that encouraged cadets to apply to the Brooke Owens Fellowship along with another program available exclusively to black cadets studying aerospace.

"It's a little worrying that we have more briefs about [diversity and inclusion] than briefs about foreign adversaries, emerging technologies or current events across the world," Fox News quoted the cadet as saying.

According to the Brooke Owens Fellowship website, the majority of fellows in the program “have been cisgender women and that we expect that will likely continue to be the case.”

The fellowship’s host institutions include Amazon, Boeing, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, according to the site.

But for Donahue, it’s the “postmodern roots of transgenderism” that he says he finds most troubling.

"Transgender women are men who for some psychological reason consider themselves to be a woman. They do not menstruate and they cannot get pregnant. If you have evidence that disputes this, please forward it to me,” he wrote.

“The fiction doesn’t end there. There is no such person — in the history of the world — who is literally non-binary, agender, bigender, two-spirit, demigender, genderfluid, or genderqueer. They are concepts made up by academics. They may exist on the blackboard, but in the real world they do not exist.”

USAFA did not respond to a request for comment by The Christian Post as of Thursday afternoon.

Donahue and the Catholic League are not the first to accuse the U.S. military of becoming more concerned with gender ideology than troop readiness.

In March, former U.S. Marine Col. Mitchell Swan released a campaign ad for his bid to represent Georgia’s 10th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives that warned that the military has misplaced priorities as the Russia-Ukraine conflict represents the “biggest European land war since World War II.”

“Where’s our military focused?” he asked. “Gender dysphoria and woke training. This is insane.”

“[Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s reviewing nuclear options while we assess transgender therapy options,” he lamented. “As a retired colonel who led marines overseas, I know this woke indoctrination in our military.”

The USAFA — which was established in 1954 and is the youngest of the U.S. service academies — serves as both a military organization as well as a university.

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