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Expert: Military’s Pride Posts ‘Prioritize the Trivial to the Detriment of the Significant’

June 5, 2024

In honor of Pride Month, the U.S. Navy SEALs and Naval Special Warfare Command’s Facebook page shared a post that read, with the words spread out across a rainbow background, “NSW. Dignity. Service. Respect. Equality. Pride.” The Navy SEALs, which are often regarded as one of the U.S. military’s leading and most respected fighting forces, was not able to walk away from the post free of backlash. It “brought a tsunami of criticism and ridicule,” LifeSite News reported. They added, “The message was hugely ratioed, eliciting 7,000 mostly negative comments to just 1,500 ‘likes.’”

One comment, which received significant attention, said, “This is a slap in the face of every special warfare operator that has put their lives on the line for our nation.” Adding to the criticism, the conservative Libs of TikTok, wrote, “The Navy Seals have gone woke. Our elite special forces. This is terrifying.” But it would seem the Navy SEALs were not alone in their promotion of Pride, as the Department of Defense shared a similar post. It stated, “Pride Month is a time to come together to honor the contributions of LGBTQ+ service members. We are committed to ensuring and promoting an atmosphere of dignity and respect for all civilian and military personnel.”

Followers weren’t pleased with that either, as users said things like, “You have purposely made a mockery of our country and my grandfather who died defending it.” Another commented, “Your account is a disgrace to our country. Delete it.” Additionally, someone pointed out, “This is NOT the Department of Defense’s mission. Stay out of the American people’s politics.”

In addition to this backlash, some have acknowledged the fact that June is also Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month — which was also recognized by the Navy after the Pride post. And while other U.S. military social media accounts did not initially share posts related to Pride Month, the Air Force, Navy, Space Force, Coast Guard, and the Pentagon Force Protection Agency now have. Those accounts also received overwhelming backlash.

Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. Boykin, Family Research Council’s executive vice president, wasn’t surprised by the military’s Pride Month posts. He shared with The Washington Stand, “The negative comments regarding the support for Pride Month reflect the deep-seated sentiments of these sailors and other military personnel regarding the value of this woke program that exists in all the services.”

Boykin continued, “In a world like the one that we live in today, war is inevitable — and being ready for war is the responsibility of all our military leaders. I have not found anyone who can explain how this focus on the LGBT agenda is going to enhance the readiness of our armed forces.” The general added, “I personally applaud those that have the courage to say what they believe, as their expressions reflect the sentiments of the majority of people serving in our military today.”

According to Joseph Backholm, FRC’s senior fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement, the posts reveal a lot about the priorities of the military’s leadership. “This is yet another reminder that our current national leadership prioritizes the trivial to the detriment of the significant,” he shared with TWS.

“In theory,” he continued, “you can maintain military readiness while also posting silly and false things on social media. But we’ve seen plenty of other evidence that politics have caused our military to take their eye off the ball.” Ultimately, Backholm emphasized, “They make these statements because they believe in the cause” they’re representing. He went on to explain how, in their eyes, “negative responses” serve as fuel that “simply affirms how important it is for them to continue on the path.”

While some of the users that left negative comments wondered why the military supports an agenda many people reject, Backholm noted that, at the end of the day, it’s because the branches promoting it “don’t care that most of the country finds it bothersome and that most of the world finds it offensive.” Rather, he observed, “They have no doubt they are correct” in backing it. Backholm concluded, “They believe they are defending the oppressed and anyone who disagrees with them are one of the oppressors.”

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.