No place to experiment

armyI never served in the military.  So, it is possible I have this all wrong.  But I doubt it.

My late father and late father-in-law both served, as did several of my other relatives.  In conversations with them, paying attention to the news and watching probably every movie John Wayne ever made, I got the impression the military isn’t the place for social experimentation.

The military experiments, but more along the lines of how to keep its members safe and eliminate the enemy most effectively.  Sorting out issues related to human sexuality shouldn’t be a priority for people getting prepared for war.

Thus, I was a bit dismayed last week when I read news articles about life in the US Army.  (Kudos for Lifesite for reporting.)

First, it seems the Army has informed its female soldiers that they should show dignity and respect for transgender soldier who are in the process of transitioning from male to female.  These transitioning folk will be using the female barracks and showers even though they are still anatomically male.

In other words, if you are a female soldier and you encounter someone with a penis in your showers, don’t worry; they aren’t really a guy, but an uncompleted woman.

I’m not sure (nor do I want to speculate on this too much) how you know the difference between a transitioning person and a guy who just decided to ogle the women in the bath, but the situation must lead to some interesting conversations for military recruiters…

SARGEANT RECRUITER:  So, tell me about yourself.

AMORPHOUS RECRUIT:  Well, I’m called William Smith on my birth certificate.  Most of my life, people have called me Bill.  But in the past couple years I have started to sense that I should have been Gertrude.  So, my close friends now call me Gert.

SARGE:  That is really interesting.  As you know, the military is open to people of all gender persuasions. Would you like to be assigned to male or female quarters?

BILL/GERT:  Gee, that is a tough one.  Some days I feel like a boy and some days I feel like a girl.  Do I really have to choose?

SARGE:  I hope it doesn’t seem unsympathetic or in any way, threatening to your fluid personhood, but you do have to select one.  However, the Army will do everything to make you feel comfortable and if you decide to be a man now and decide later you would rather be a woman, we’ll pay for whatever treatments and surgeries are involved.

I probably should have mentioned this earlier; the military pays for its members to have sex-change operations. That means we are paying for the operations.  And I don’t think this is a wise investment in the defense of our nation.

You don’t have to be a genius or have won an Olympic medal to join the Army.  But there are entrance exams and fitness tests.  Not everyone gets in.  And if it were up to me, recruits would have to be a demonstrable member of one gender, without the option of changing later on.

The Army isn’t the place to work out sexual identity.

Charlie Gard will die

Lilium_longiflorum_(Easter_Lily)Charlie Gard came into this world on August 4, 2016.  His parents love him and want him to have as much of life as God wills for him.  He may be dead by the time you read this.

Charlie has a rare genetic disorder and brain damage.  Doctors in the UK say his condition is terminal and there is nothing more to be done.

Charlie’s parents don’t accept that opinion.  Parents tend to resist such news.  I know.  I’m a parent and no medical situation, no matter how dire, no matter how terrifying, could remove hope from my heart for a sick child.

As you probably have read, Charlie’s case has been the subject of lawsuits, court rulings, opinions from doctors and medical ethicists, countless news reports and the tears of parents around the world.  Even Pope Francis  and President Trump weighed in.

Medical authorities in the UK won’t let Charlie go home, won’t let his parents take him to the United States for treatment and won’t like his parents take him to Italy for treatment.

I suppose they figure if they can’t heal him, he can’t be healed.  They likely are right, but why fight someone else who is willing to try – and the scores of people willing to pay for trying?

Charlie’s parents are a bump in the road of state-controlled medicine.  They didn’t fall in line with the “system.”  The European Court of Human Rights rejected their final appear.  I guess Charlie has run out of human rights.  When you can’t get help from a court of “human rights”, the Pope or the President, you probably have reached the end of the road.

But it is only an earthly road.  Charlie’s situation moves millions of people around the world.  His parents love him.  God loves him.  He was the definition of innocent victim.

Charlie Gard will die. So will you.  So will I.  Everyone dies.

You and I pray we’ll get to heaven.  I’m pretty sure St. Peter already has a place reserved for Charlie.