Pentagon Can't Camouflage True Vaccine Agenda

Pentagon Can't Camouflage True Vaccine Agenda

September 22, 2021

"Woke, broke, or both?" It's a question the U.S. military can't avoid these days. Trapped in a sinkhole of Left-wing radicalism, our troops are so busy fighting climate change, white supremacy, conservative "extremism," and COVID to deal with America's real enemies. Now, as if the embarrassment of Afghanistan, a feeble commander-in-chief, and their top brass's betrayals weren't enough, the president says he's ready to fire anyone who won't get the vaccine.

It doesn't matter whether they have natural immunity or not, Fox News's Tucker Carlson pointed out. Or whether they have deeply-held moral or religious objections. This is about power. "The point was to bow before his authority and the authority of the Democratic Party. No excuses or exceptions." What's the scientific justification, he asks? "Well, of course, there isn't any. The fighting strength of the military is young, healthy people, virtually all of them at extremely low risk of dying from COVID." Believe it or not, he argues, three times as many troops have died of suicide over the last year and a half than the virus.

So is this really about public health -- or a more sinister agenda? Can America really afford to lose hundreds -- if not thousands -- of dedicated, experienced service members in a dangerous global climate like this one? And over a mandate that is almost certain to be found unconstitutional at the highest courts? The simple answer is no. But if the motivation is to "cleanse" the military of conservative men and women of faith, then it all makes sense. "The point of mandatory vaccination is to identify the sincere Christians in the ranks, the free thinkers, the men with high testosterone levels, and anyone else who doesn't love Joe Biden, and make them leave immediately." It is, Carlson said frankly, "a takeover of the U.S. military."

A takeover, House and Senate Republicans have vowed, they will never allow. While the president moves forward with the force-wide coercion, Congressman Mark Green (R-Tenn.) and Senators Roger Marshall (R-Kans.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) are doing everything they can to protect the conscientious objectors. If the military resorts to booting service members over the vaccine, then at the very least, the Republicans argue, they deserve an honorable discharge. "No American who raises their hand to serve our nation should be punished for making a highly personal medical decision." As a doctor and veteran, Green has been adamant that our brave men and women shouldn't lose their benefits over Biden's inflexible mandate.

"As a physician, I've weighed the pros and cons of the COVID-19 vaccine and have chosen to get the shot," Green explained. "As a former Army officer, I also understand the need to vaccinate service members on deployment against a highly infectious virus. For years, the military has possessed the authority to compel service members to be vaccinated. However, those vaccines underwent years of research with ample longitudinal safety data. In the case of the coronavirus vaccine, that longitudinal data is not yet possible. Therefore, I believe service members who make the personal medical decision to refuse the vaccine, and are subsequently separated from the service for their refusal, should not receive anything other than an honorable discharge for refusing to take the vaccine. Period."

Making this choice a career-killer is un-American, the senators agree. Our heroes "should not be treated as felons," Marshall argued, pointing out that dishonorable discharges are usually reserved for soldiers who are guilty of assault, treason, sexual abuse, and other crimes. If the Biden administration refuses to see that, the next president should do what this president has done with the so-called Don't Ask, Don't Tell "victims" and reinstate whatever veterans' benefits they lost as a result of this mandate (which, unlike Don't Ask, Don't Tell, was an undemocratic, highly-politicized government overreach).

Meanwhile, First Liberty Institute's Mike Berry says he's been inundated with calls from service members who say the military's promise of a religious exemption is virtually non-existent. They've been told that requesting an accommodation, even for a personally-held belief, is "an exercise in futility," he writes. "Or worse," that even trying to get an exemption would result in "blacklisting" or having their travel and holiday privileges revoked. "Nearly every service member with whom I've spoken tells me that, if given an ultimatum, they would rather leave the service than violate their religious beliefs. Some are willing to be court-martialed. Let that sink in..."

And yet, the Leftist media is only egging the Pentagon on -- mocking the mere idea of a religious objection. "There is no Church of Moderna Disbelievers," the Los Angeles Times scoffed. "Shame on them," the paper said of Christians and others who have religious convictions about everything from the fetal lines used for the vaccines to the legitimacy of a government mandate. "[The jobs of public servants] call for them to protect the public, and that shouldn't just mean from crime and fire. They have an obligation to avoid harming the people they serve... Religious [beliefs] -- whether newly found as a convenient excuse or long held by sincere believers -- cannot trump the importance of bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control."

Of course, no one is surprised that a woke group like the Times editorial board would want to "dump COVID vaccine religious exemptions." These types of arguments are only going to become more common the more society becomes secularized. "Increasingly," FRC's David Closson points out, "the beliefs and convictions of people of faith are not only perceived as outdated or bizarre but as subversive and dangerous. This is certainly the attitude reflected in the LA Times editorial, which derides and belittles religious beliefs. But in our pluralistic age, it is in the best interest of all Americans--religious and non-religious--to respect the sincerely held beliefs of our fellow citizens. We may not always agree with our friends and neighbors on important matters, but we should follow Jesus's command to treat others the same way we want to be treated. In this case, it seems appropriate to respect those who have legitimate, morally-informed reasons for not receiving a vaccine."

Blinded by their anti-religious dogma, the Left fails to see how their line of reasoning (or lack thereof) exposes their motives. If the vaccine protects you from the virus, then the only ones who are unprotected or at risk are the unvaccinated. How are the unvaccinated harming the vaccinated public? They aren't -- unless, of course, the vaccine doesn't really provide the protection they claim.

For more on the debate, check out David Closson's new post, "How Should Christians Think about Biden's Vaccine Mandate?"

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Biden's U.N. Speech Falls Flat

September 22, 2021

In the wake of multiple international crises of his own making, President Biden arrived on the scenes at the United Nations General Assembly this week to deliver his first address as president. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on "Washington Watch" described Biden's speech as "walking into the United Nations and slapping a giant kick me sign on Uncle Sam's back." That's not exactly the image that the leader of the free world wants to convey.

Perhaps most glaringly, Biden neglected to robustly address the recent disaster he unleashed in Afghanistan -- a debacle that affects many of our allies, including NATO members. He did, however, talk about a U.N. Security Council resolution "laying out the expectations to which we will hold the Taliban when it comes to respecting universal human rights." Unfortunately, U.N. statements don't mean much to the Afghan girls now prevented from going to school or the Christians in hiding for their lives.

Instead of Afghanistan -- a global crisis for which he bears responsibility -- Biden opted instead to focus on global climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, he failed to even say the word "China" while promising that America is "not seeking a new Cold War." America might not be seeking a cold war, but Cotton points out that we may not have a choice.

"Xi Jinping and communist leaders in Beijing are laughing at Joe Biden and America now because they have in fact been waging a Cold War on America and America's interest and principles for years," Cotton said.

Neglecting to mention China is no small omission. China is not just an economic competitor; its leaders are also hostile to democracy and many of the values that Americans hold dear. The Chinese Communist Party's successful squelching of democracy in Hong Kong and growing threats against Taiwan prove this.

Though Biden says he cares about democratic values, these threats to democracy were ignored throughout his speech. Cotton said Biden is returning America to the "days when America's leaders stuck their heads in the sands. They didn't confront China and didn't stand up for America's interest." This is not only unfortunate for America, but for the entire free world.

Though Biden made several mentions of human rights, he made no mention of religious freedom, even as this basic right is under increasing attack all around the world. One need look no further than Biden's State Department's annual report to see that. Furthermore, no concrete policies or initiatives to advance human rights were laid out.

Biden's focus on climate change is especially interesting given that the world's top polluter is not the United States, but China. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo noted that President Biden wants to "subordinate many of America's most pressing challenges to climate change, putting American security at risk and threatening to devastate our economy while imposing no costs on our adversaries, in particular China, whose leaders care little about the climate pandering of internationalist elites."

During his presidential campaign, Biden positioned himself as having extensive foreign policy experience, as someone our European allies would prefer to work with. But the French certainly don't seem to be enjoying Biden's handling of international relations.

In an unprecedented move last week, France recalled its ambassador to the United States. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the United States' deal to build submarines for Australia undermined an already existing deal that Australia had with the French government and was "unacceptable behavior between allies and partners."

It's a shocking step for America's oldest ally. One that occurred because "the Biden administration didn't undertake the most basic aspect of diplomatic outreach when we struck a new deal with the Australians to provide them nuclear powered submarines," according to Cotton. Less than one year into Biden's presidency, his list of foreign policy failures is growing quickly.

What American leaders say on the world stage matters. What American leaders fail to say matters too. Biden's speech before the United Nations this week projected a lack of seriousness given the significance of our international challenges. This will have consequences.

Clueless Administration Flails as Border Crisis Deepens

September 22, 2021

When it comes to the Biden administration's position on immigration enforcement, the message is clear: mixed messaging rules the day.

In response to a crisis-level crush of thousands of mostly Haitian migrants flooding the southern border in hopes of taking advantage of the administration's hands off immigration policies, the White House suddenly appeared to reverse course on Monday. "If you come to the United States illegally, you will be returned, your journey will not succeed, and you will be endangering your life and your family's life," Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said during a press conference.

But by Tuesday, it was clear that Mayorkas was just kidding around. The AP reported that "thousands" of Haitian migrants were being freed into the country as the Biden administration continues to ignore U.S. immigration laws.

Congressman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) joined "Washington Watch" to discuss what he saw at the border. "It is far worse than most people can imagine," he said. "I was getting intelligence reports from my friends on the ground in Del Rio; [it] started off with 2,000 [migrants] grew to 4,000 and eight and 10. And by the next day it was over 14, and the next morning over 15,000 people. There were no sanitation facilities. There was not enough food and not enough water. It was just a disaster. Then you've got the environmental disaster on top of that. There were rapes there. There was violence there. This is absolutely incredible." Biggs went on to note that the Biden administration knew "as early as June that they needed to do something in Del Rio because they were anticipating more. And right now ... there's been testimony saying that they're continuing to watch another 60 to 70,000 folks coming up toward our border as you and I speak."

As Biggs pointed out, it's clear why so many Haitians are at the border: Biden's immigration policies (or lack thereof) are open invitations to cross the border illegally, except when he says they're not, but chances are he probably doesn't mean it. "...Many of the individuals from Haiti ... they were in other places in South America as long ago as 2010 when there were natural disasters in Haiti and they came over to these other nations," he observed. "They will tell you that they came up because they believed President Joe Biden had told them that if they came up, he would let them into the country. That is what they believe. And why wouldn't they believe it? Because this administration has not taken a stance policy wise or even rhetorically wise, telling people to stay away until now. Now [they are] saying, 'Well, don't come.' The problem is, previously, when he said, 'Don't come' -- he said, 'Don't come now.' So everybody believed that they could still come."

Meanwhile, it's getting so bad at the border that Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) has resorted to lining up walls of vehicles to keep migrants from crossing illegally, which has reportedly proven to be effective. It begs the question: what effective solutions are being offered by the Biden White House to handle the crisis? Apparently, the only thing "border czar" Vice President Kamala Harris can manage to offer are criticisms and demotions of Border Patrol agents who are valiantly doing their best to manage a crisis created by the White House.

It's certainly true that Haitian migrants deserve compassion. Their impoverished country has been hit with a seemingly never-ending series of crises over the last decade, with multiple catastrophic earthquakes and hurricanes killing hundreds of thousands and the recent assassination of their president. There's no doubt that many Haitians have compelling reasons to find a better life in a different country, including the U.S. That's why our immigration laws allow for potential migrants to apply for visas in order to obtain permanent residence in America, which can be granted for a variety of reasons. If the Biden administration wants to change our immigration laws, they are welcome to do so by working with Congress. But their current policy of catch and release is not only lawless, it's also a humanitarian disaster and part of an ongoing national security crisis of their own making. It's way past time for Biden to take decisive action and start enforcing the immigration laws of the United States.