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Stories From The Frontlines: Letters To President Barack Obama: A Military Chaplain

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“Stories from the Frontlines: Letters to President Barack Obama” is a new media campaign launched to underscore the urgent need for congressional action and presidential leadership at this critical point in the fight to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT).  Every weekday morning as we approach the markup of the Defense Authorization bill in the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, SLDN and a coalition of voices supporting repeal, will share an open letter to the President from a person impacted by this discriminatory law.  We are urging the President to include repeal in the Administration’s defense budget recommendations, but also to voice his support as we work to muster the 15 critical votes needed on the Senate Armed Services Committee to include repeal.  The Defense Authorization bill represents the best legislative vehicle to bring repeal to the president’s desk.  It also was the same vehicle used to pass DADT in 1993.  By working together, we can help build momentum to get the votes!  We ask that you forward and post these personal stories.

April 29, 2010

President Barack H. Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

As an active-duty military chaplain who just returned from a 15-month deployment in Iraq, this is my appeal for justice:

Over the years some of us have buried our closest friends — officers and enlisted, African American, Latinos, Native Americans, Asians, Whites, rich, poor, Protestants, Catholics, Muslims and Jews.  They had the courage to make the supreme sacrifice in order for us to reap the bounties of freedom.  We owe them a debt of gratitude which can never be repaid.

What is remarkable about these Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Coastguardsmen is they understood the personal risk when they answered the highest calling of our nation.  What could be a nobler act then to give one’s life to one’s country, knowing that in their lives many freedoms would be denied them?

And when their story is told a significant piece of their life would be missing.

As they sleep under the crosses, the stars of David and the crescents there is no bigotry.  There is no prejudice.  There is no hatred.  And within the sacred confines of their resting place there is no law of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”  There is only purest democracy.

When the final cross has been placed in the last cemetery, will it only be then that we as a nation acknowledge our gay brothers and sisters who took the risks of life and truth to answer their nation’s highest calling?  How many of these brave men and women lie in military graves and still hide in death?

They are among the unknown soldiers.

There are only a few who know the truth of those who lie in these graves.  There are only a few who know the suffering and sorrow of those who mourn them in silence and fear.  The nation remains silent and owes no allegiance to who they truly were nor does it honor their loved ones.  What does that say of our sacred values?

If one gay person was killed in defense of America, issues such as the destruction of unit morale or the fear of people not wanting to join the military devalue their sacrifice.  This is not about appeasing the uncomfortable feelings of a minority; this is a universal and transcendent matter of justice.  America was built on the common Jewish and Christian heritage of justice when the Bible commands: “Justice, justice you shall pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20).

It is easy for those who do not live in fear of being ‘outed’ to say: ‘We must wait and examine this law further.’  But when you have to watch what you say, where you go, and who you talk to, this erodes the human person.  When you live in fear that the wrong pronoun slips through your lips, or a co-worker see you in public with your life long partner and you respond ‘this is just a friend’, this degrades your human self worth.

Gays and lesbians wait not for justice, for them justice is denied, but they wait for the ‘knock on the door.’  They are haunted daily waiting ‘to be found out.’

We went to foreign lands to wage war to liberate people so they would not have to live in the fear of waiting.  But citizens of our own land who served nobly, who died to secure freedoms which they would never profit from, must live in fear waiting for justice.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is an unjust law.  It degrades the human soul because it forces those who willingly serve to live in shameful humiliation because of deceit and fear.  It undermines the very principles and values of what it means to be an American.  Living the façade of a life goes against the Core Values of every Armed Service. How much longer is justice going to be denied?  There comes a time when despair and fear must end.

Mr. President, we depend on your sense of justice and fairness to help end this gross injustice so we, as a nation, do not have to wait for the final marker to be placed in the last cemetery.

We ask you to lead the way in repealing this unjust law and replace it with a policy of non-discrimination that advances open and honest service.  A law that is consistent with true American values and honors the sacrifices of so many who have served – and died — in silence.

With deepest respect,

A military chaplain

(The writer is currently serving and unable to identify himself publicly.)

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Tuberville: Secure the Border Because Immigrants ‘Know Nothing About God’

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U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville says America must put God back into the country and the government, and right now the government isn’t honoring our “Judo” Christian values. The Alabama freshman Republican, a Christian nationalist, also says God cannot be put back into this nation currently because immigrants, who “know nothing about God,” are crossing the southern border illegally.

Sen. Tuberville is also calling for massive cuts to the federal government, saying only the “mentally unhealthy,” “elderly,” “veterans,” and “farmers” should be eligible for financial support from the government.

Tuberville told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo that “the federal government is not here to take care of every person in this country. We have to take care of the mentally healthy, mentally – mentally unhealthy. We have to take care of our elderly, our veterans. Everybody else needs to go get a job. They need to get off that couch. We’re paying so many people. Maria, we have turned into so much of a socialist country headed to communism.”

He insisted there is no “free speech” in America. “They’re taking all of our rights away.”

READ MORE: Bartiromo Blasts Biden Administration for Encouraging Americans to Register to Vote

“We need to ask God for help, our country needs help,” Tuberville said in a separate interview. “We’re in a tough situation right now. I’m right here in the middle of it. I get to see it every day.”

“We live in a constitutional republic that’s trying to do things without our Judo-Christian [sic] values. And that’s how this country was built. And we got to get back to that. If we don’t, we won’t make it,” Tuberville claimed.

“The biggest thing right now I will tell you is what’s going on at our southern border. When you’ve got a country without borders, you don’t have a country. And it goes back to one thing: God is not in this building. We’ve got to get God back in this building and we’re gonna get God back in our country. We’ve got to get the God back in the nuclear family. We have to get moral values back into our country. And you can’t do that when you have a million people every couple of months come into this country that know nothing about God, that know nothing about our laws and constitution.”

Back in October, Tuberville said European countries have been “lost” to “immigration” as he praised Christian nationalist authoritarian Viktor Orbán of Hungary. Tuberville has a history of promoting white nationalism and has said he sees a white nationalist as a “Trump Republican.” The Senator also declared immigrants “don’t assimilate,” and are “globalists” who “don’t go by the laws.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Jaw Dropping’: Democratic Senator Slams Tuberville’s ‘Open’ Talk About ‘White Supremacy’

Image via Shutterstock

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Bartiromo Blasts Biden Administration for Encouraging Americans to Register to Vote

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Fox News Business anchor Maria Bartiromo is attacking the Biden administration’s efforts to encourage American citizens to register to vote. In interviews with several Republicans on Friday she claimed the federal government outreach only helps elect Democrats.

“Okay, so what are you all doing about it on the Republican side?” Bartiromo asked House Republican Majority Leader Steve Scalise Friday morning. “As the government, Biden’s government, Biden’s administration seems to be using a whole on government approach to get people to vote Democrat?”

Sticking to GOP talking points, Scalise suggested it is “the weaponization of government.”

Bartiromo had cited an article on the right-wing website The Federalist, “9 Ways The Feds Are Using ‘Bidenbucks’ To Rig The 2024 Election,” that details ways the administration is helping or encouraging Americans to register to vote. There is no such thing as “Bidenbucks.”

READ MORE: Republicans Kill Bill to Protect IVF After Claiming They Fully Support It

The article points to several instances where the administration is encouraging voter registration, like at colleges, or by outreach to Native Americans, and to new Americans.

“U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an agency within DHS, announced an update to its Policy Manual in August, which included provisions directing agency employees to ‘increase awareness and expand access to voter registration during naturalization ceremonies,’ in which eligible immigrants officially become U.S. citizens.”

It also claims, “Studies have indicated a voting preference among legal immigrants for Democrat candidates over Republican ones.”

The Federalist reports other federal agencies are encouraging voter registration. The include: The Treasury Dept., the Department of the Interior, Veterans Affairs, Labor, Homeland Security, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, and Education.

Bartiromo also pummeled U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL): “What are the Republicans doing?”

Waltz replied the House has passed legislation to “defund” efforts to encourage American citizens to vote.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Injustice’: Experts Condemn Supreme Court’s ‘Fundamentally Corrupt’ Trump Decision

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Republicans Kill Bill to Protect IVF After Claiming They Fully Support It

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After the Alabama Supreme Court ruled two weeks ago that frozen embryos are “children,” causing several medical facilities to pause their in-vitro fertilization services, Republicans rushed to get ahead of the growing national outrage.

Many Republicans insisted that although they oppose abortion and support the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, they did not think it would have effects this far-reaching. And they insisted, repeatedly, on-camera, they absolutely support in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

“Once you pass a law or accept the view that life begins at conception, IVF & some forms of birth control are at risk, along with abortion. It was never ‘just’ about abortion & women pay the price for all of it,” wrote professor of law and MSNBC legal contributor Joyce Vance on February 23. Three days later she added, “It’s pretty simple. If life begins at conception, IVF is off the table. If you make an exception for IVF then we’re just having a conversation about who you’re willing to make exceptions for.”

Republicans insisted they were willing to make an exception for IVF.

RELATED: Nikki Haley: Frozen Embryos Are ‘Babies’

For years, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who has given birth to two children with the help of IVF, has tried to pass legislation to protect IVF.

Republicans each time have killed the bills.

Her latest attempt was Wednesday.

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) on Wednesday spoke against the bill.

Sen. Duckworth stamped out Hyde-Smith’s claims, saying, “She said at one point the bill would allow for chimeras — human-animal hybrids — it does nothing of the sort. All the bill says if you want to seek reproductive technology you can …”

Sen. Hyde-Smith then killed the bill by formally objecting to Duckworth’s bill on Wednesday, which the Illinois Democrat tried to pass via unanimous consent.

It was the second time in two years Sen. Hyde-Smith has killed that bill.

They’re hanging this on Hyde-Smith. But the entire senate gop has now united to block a federal law to keep ivf legal,” observed Talking Points Memo publisher Josh Marshall. “They’re all coming out saying that frozen embryos are equal to living children.”

READ MORE: Democrats Discredit GOP Claims on IVF as Republicans Try to Regain Ground After Fallout

Also on Wednesday, the lone House Republican supporting legislation to protect IVF withdrew her sponsorship of that bill.

The Biden campaign on Thursday blasted Republicans for claiming to support IVF then killing the bill that would have protected it.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

 

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