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Character Takes A Mulligan

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When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. Billy Graham, who is soooo yesterdays news.Heres todays news:

Tony Perkins, the president of the conservative Family Research Council, contended Tuesday that the evangelical community has given President Donald Trump a mulligan when it comes to his personal behavior.

Yes, evangelicals, conservatives, they gave him a mulligan. They let him have a do-over. They said well start afresh with you and well give you a second chance. Perkins said in a interview on CNNs Erin Burnett OutFront.

However, Perkins noted that he doesnt think that evangelical support is unconditional.

That support is not unconditional. If the president for some reason stopped keeping campaign promises and then engaged in that behavior now, the supports gone, he said.

Write down that last quote. Trump has to break campaign promises AND cheat on his wife to lose Evangelical support today, according to the president of the Family Research Council. And the president is like,

Meanwhile,another American Augustine speaks:

These alleged affairs, theyre alleged with Trump, didnt happen while he was in office, Franklin Graham told CNNs Don Lemon on CNN Tonight on Tuesday.

Grahams remarks come after a Wall Street Journal report that Trumps lawyer, Michael Cohen, formed a private LLC to pay a former porn star in exchange for not speaking publicly about an alleged sexual encounter with the then-candidate.

CNN has not independently confirmed The Wall Street Journals reporting, and in response to the initial Wall Street Journal report about the affair, Cohen said the rumors had circulated since 2011 and that Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence.

Lemon questioned why evangelicals were so willing to call out, say Bill Clintons behavior but not President Trumps?

Graham argued that theres a difference between Clintons extramarital affair and Trumps alleged affairs.

This happened 11, 12, 13, 14 years ago, he said. And so, I think there is a big difference and not that we give anybody a pass, but we have to look at the timeline and that was before he was in office.

Rabbi Baruch Korffcalled and offered the use of his kippah.

I can understand voting for Trump for reasons of self-interest. His policies have been  good for conservative Christians. But do you have to explicitly blow your moral credibility sky-high at the same time? Nobodys making you go on TV to say these things. And nobody is going to give you guys a mulligan on this.

UPDATE:Check out the words of former RNC chair Michael Steele, starting at the 1:40 point. Says it all, really:

Posted inChristianity,Politics,All Things Trump.Taggedcharacter,adultery,Billy Graham,Tony Perkins,Franklin Graham.

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82 Responses to Character Takes A Mulligan

Which lefties are significantly bothered by the Stormy Daniels scandal? I am sure there is a few out there but not many.

Most I read and know of are more snickering at the Trumps shark fears or using a Forbes magazine. Or they may debate if this hurts Stormys earning potential at strip club and websites. (I predicted incorrectly here and it appears she is making bucks on the scandal.)

Or we are laughing at Michael Cohen, Trumps lawyer, name is all over the Delware LLC documents! (I believe this is how the scandal was discovered.) Or how Fox News did not report on it before election.

Or we are laughing at Grahams Mulligan comments.

In truth, the biggest issue I have with the scandal, is that the payoff may have come from campaign donations to Trump campaign.

Otherwise, this scandal is Twitter joke time for Democrats!

Do Christian values matter at all when it comes to economic policy? Id like to understand how money being the be all and end all is the main tenet of Christianity because that is certainly the main focus of the GOP. They can pass that tax cut with 1.5 trillion unpaid for and then not pass CHIP for months because they want to argue over how to pay for it? There are really sick kids who havent been getting the care they need and parents who havent been able to sleep for worry over it. If I were a Republican, I would find the CHIP debacle more embarrassing than Stormy Daniels because it involves the whole party instead of just the President. There are plenty of other policies that are similar Trump makes the rich richer and the rest of us, well, we are just the fodder for the money machine.

78 on the list of their grievances against Trump.

Well, yeah. The intended audience isnt liberals, its a cohort of Trump supporters its desired to split off from him to make a coup against democracy more possible.

Look, its like this. Your house is burning down, but when the fire truck arrives you notice that the captain in charge is a guy you had heard was credibly morally challenged in his personal life. Why, he had been divorced, was rumored to have been with foreign prostitutes, even if he didnt drink or smoke. So as you see him unreeling the fire hose and lugging it towards your house, you get in his way and interrupt him about these accusations. Couldnt they send a fire chief who isnt so morally damaged as you? you implore. The chief inclines his stubby forefinger towards your house and points out it is burning down, which isnt great, and that only he can save it, which under the circumstances happens to be true. Deplorable that you are, you let him pass and he proceeds to turn on the hydrant. But then you think some resistant second thoughts, maybe you should call City Hall and have some of the politicos who cut infrastructure funding and hate his guts for complaining about it recall him from the field, instead. Talk about a Pyrrhic moral victory. Burn, baby, burn.

Good luck getting the next generation into the pews. These leaders have thrown the future of their own religion under the bus.

The left being the heirs to the sexual revolution proclaimed loudly their freedom to have sex when they wanted where they wanted, and why should Clinton or Monica be blamed for having a bit of fun. Marriage was an archaic institution anyway, the oppression of the patriarchy, unless of course it was gays who wanted to get married, in which case it was a tender expression of love.

Then Trump comes along expressing the same freedom and they shriek in horror, how dare he betray his wife, he made a solemn oath to her. How dare he seek pleasure for the sake of pleasure. Only the guys we deem cool are allowed to do so, no one else is.

This all happened only in your imagination. I followed the Lewinsky scandal closely; it was the dominant political news story of 1998. Certainly Clinton had many defenders, but their argument was that the Ken Starr investigation was partisan and out of control, and that Republican leaders some of them exposed as adulterers themselves were plainly hypocrites and cynical opportunists. It was never that adultery was good or that there was nothing wrong with Clintons treatment of Hillary.

Similarly, theyre not shrieking in horror over Trumps indifference to his marriage. Some feel sorry for Melania, but as I said to @kgasmart above, mostly they find the whole business of Trump bragging to a conquest about his picture on the cover of Forbes, then having her spank him with it, a condensed symbol (if you will) of the total, laughable package of never-ending ridiculousness that is Donald J. Trump.

Funny thing about mulligans your second shot is almost always worse than your first.

I reach into English history and see him as an American Ethelred the Unready a vain, stubborn, small-minded ruler who suspected anyone of giving him actual advice (as opposed to yes-man sycophancy) of being a traitor and whose grand ideas usually turned out to be very bad. Ethelred even hated immigrants he proclaimed a general massacre of the Danes living in England, which luckily was only carried out in a very limited area (but unluckily the sister of the King of Denmark was one of the victims). His reign ended with his older sons in rebellion, his wife fled back to her relatives in Normandy, a Danish army controlling half his territory and nobody much minded to mourn his passing. Alas for us, there is neither a Canute the Great nor an Emma of Normandy on the scene here to fix Trumps mess.

Saint MLK told Ralph Abernathy to mind his own business when confronted about his cheating.

But its fine to slay *Trump* for an affair over ten years old, prior to his hitting the White House, simply because he is Trump, even if it means shaming a current wife and son? Not to mention taking the word of a porn star as gospel truth?

And all the commenters think they have the moral high ground? LOL.

I used to think Europeans and liberals were wrong to scoff at American moralists as they insisted a leaders personal life was his own business. Now those voices loudly claim otherwise and now I think their original position was to a degree probably the right one. Go figure.

People support Trump, or still prefer him to alternatives, because they trust his basic intuitions more than those of vocal liberals. Its pretty easy to understand unless you hate him.

After telling me how to live my life, who to love, what to believe, what not to believe, what to do and what not to do and now you sit back and the prostitutes dont matter? The grabbing the you-know-what doesnt matter? The outright behavior and lies dont matter? Just shut up.

So Trump likes to come on to women and cheats on his wife? So what? Did anyone not already know that?

It all happened ten years ago, and Trump won despite whats pretty obvious, not due to denials.

Jefferson abused his female slave and fathered a child with her. All while claiming to be religious! Does that matter?

Its odd that he felt the need to buy her silence. After all, he has quite the history of enthusiastically advertising his prior indiscretions, and his supporters either refuse to know dont care or actually think its pretty awesome.

Really, it only makes his critics curious about what other secrets hes paid people to keep.

Rod, Rod, Rod. How many times do I have to say that character does not count. Elections are binary.

Completely missing Rods point.

As a whole slew of others already pointed out:

It is hard for me to see how they have not thrown away their credibility. Say that Trump was a choice of the lesser of two evils, say that you are disappointed with his character but see his administration as less damaging than Clinton, but dont pretend he has been born again or is a man of high integrity.

I do not know why they are incapable of admitting between two lousy choices they felt Trump was the less lousy choice, yes hes morally compromised, no were not defending his conduct

And I wish Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden would stop pontificating (pun intentional) on what Catholic doctrine about X really is, and simply say yes, Im Catholic, no, I dont vote my faith, and there are some doctrines I dont believe make good law under the U.S. constitution.

I pray for Donald Trump. No one is beyond the reach of Gods grace.

Ive heard many prayers for Donald Trump offered by Church of God in Christ pastors and ministers. The wording would not please Trump, or his most devoted fans, but they are in the same spirit as Aubrey Maturin.

Its the ones who DONT hold their noses that I cannot understand.

Amen. No matter who each of us voted for.

Rod while you are now a very good general-topic writer, and maybe no longer a journalist who has an obligation to know the facts underlying every word of praise or dispraise he publishes let me ask you something. Do you know that for years Billy Graham has allowed to be published, under his name, incontestably sinful advice about abortion?

Are you sure that Billy Graham ever allowed Jesus into his heart, fully? Double check your facts. Trust me when I say I am not sure. I have no doubt that Franklin Graham, Billy Grahams son, is a sincere Christian. But we need to pray for Billy a speaker with great gifts, and a popular preacher, but I am not truly convinced that his enthusiasm for Christianity was not, at its heart, a desire for worldly success.

Do a little research, if you want, on Billy Graham and abortion. He is just as important a person to do research on as anyone else! Pray for him: if I am correct in believing that he, a very very rich man, has allowed the promotion of abortion (in limited circumstances, he would say, in his sad defense), which is always violence against the most helpless, to be a part of his far-flung and profitable ministry, he needs your prayers, Rod. If I am wrong I would rejoice to be wrong! Sadly, I dont think I am.

Knowing the mistakes the Southern Baptists have made over the years on the abortion issue, and knowing how much so many of them have done to show their love for the Lord: all one can do is wish it were otherwise, and pray, and ask for forgiveness for all of us, who are so tempted to have so little love in our hearts, for those we have not met.

Rod, you might find this interesting:

[NFR: All white Evangelicals are to be held responsible by this ultra-righteous guy for the words and deeds of some? How is that fair? RD]

I find their hypocrisy amusing and pune for every moment they prostrate themselves before Trumps altar of hedonism. Sure, they are getting their thirty pieces of silver but every time the Perkins, Grahams, and Fallwells in America do this they prove to be more like the Parisees of the Bible than the disciples they claim to be.

I watch Chris Matthews religiously and was astonished when Steele got in a word (there are days when Chris interrupts his guests so much I wonder why he has them on the show) but found myself nodding my head when Steele said these hypocrites who are willing to let Trump slide are in no position to tell us what to do.

What, partisans are giving the leader of their party a pass? Pass me the smelling salts!

That comment seems to hit the root of it while Perkins, Falwell Jr, Jeffress and the others pretend to be religious leaders, what theyve actually turned into is just Republican operatives who also have second jobs involving religion.

Perhaps we just just understand all their comments in that context.

The funny thing about all of this is, we already know whos going to win the culture wars. 8% of 18-29 y.o.s are white evangelicals, 38% are unaffiliated. Im 33. I have no doubt that at some point, yall are going to come us begging for mercy. Youre going to get a boot. Because of the Tea Party, because of McConnell, because of Gorsuch, because of Trump. Pat yourselves on the back.

[NFR: The boot, huh? You gonna curb us? RD]

Add Bill Clinton to JFK, LBJ, and MLK in the lack of character in the sexual arena Yet, they are revered

What about Bill Clinton and Juanita Broderick, Jennifer Flowers, Katherine Willey and others and this very same media made and oh so holies made nary a peep ?

Also, what about Hillary Clinton ? Four men died in Libya under her watch

Thats far more evil than Trumps dalliances !

And turning the State Department into Pay to play What happened to the $ MILLIONS raised by the Clinton Initiative for Haiti ? Thats putrescent !

And what about the weaponizing of the government by Obama and his and to our enemies ?

Meanwhile, we worry about Trump and what he did with other consenting adults over a decade ago

As for the so-called Evangelical Leaders They arent MY leaders Jesus is !

Also, they dont speak for me !

And my faith is in Him and not them or anyone else

[NFR: All white Evangelicals are to be held responsible by this ultra-righteous guy for the words and deeds of some? How is that fair? RD]

Rod, you need to understand how the notion of collective blame works for the left.

There can be no collective blaming of, say, blacks or Latinos or Jews because that is (correctly) deemed to be racism.

As per your sh*thole threads, any attempt to assign blame to the residents of the sh*thole is resisted fiercely.

But when it comes to, say, sexual harassment, you will notice that the left holds all men to be culpable.

Similarly, above, all white evangelicals are culpable in the sins of a few.

Actually, some on the left will tell you that ALL white people are guilty, at least implicitly, of racism.

So collective guilt is just fine, so long as were only pointing fingers at the correct targets.

Re: Also, what about Hillary Clinton ? Four men died in Libya under her watch

Um, by that standard FDR and Lincoln are mass murderers. And lets not forget the marines killed in Beirut under Reagans watch and the deaths of 9-11 under Bush 43.

But in any rational mortal universe all those deaths are due to the actual killers and those who abetted them, nit to whoever happened to be in power in Washington at the time.

Re: Jefferson abused his female slave and fathered a child with her. All while claiming to be religious!

While Jefferson no doubt considered himself a morally upright person, he was not at all religious. He was a Deist who occasionally said nasty things about organized religion meddling in politics. In the modern world he would be the sort of well-to-so leftist who underpays the help and occasionally gets a bit handy with his secretary.

Back in the day when Bill Clinton was in the hot seat for his relationship with Monica I told all those that had an opinion that I did not care EXCEPT for his vulnerability to blackmail. I always thought that was the most damaging element of the whole affair. I could care less about the sex. That was HRCs issue to resolve, not mine nor the American publics.

Now we have Trump in office and its clear that he has many secrets he wants kept secret. I suspect they are:

1). His cheating on Melania (and the probable wrecking of his marriage and the loss of custody of his son Baron),

2). Illegal Russian oligarch money laundering via the purchases of his properties in the United States

3). Hundreds of millions of Loans from Deutsche Bank that financed his investments, possibly co-signed or sold to Russian oligarchs. The leverage this would create over the POTUS cannot be under stated

4). Potential collusion with Russian state actors by his son and campaign regarding targeting social media propaganda based upon data provided by Cambridge Analytics and given to the Russians

I will never understand the hubris Trump must have to think it was a good idea for him to run for president, given his real estate business. I have always thought he got caught up in the moment and compulsively decided to run for president, never thinking he would win. It was all a game for him, one that would generate hundreds of millions of dollars of media coverage that he could use to further his business interests. After losing he could blame illegal immigrants voting and market himself as the man that should be president except for those votes.

But, against long odds, he won. So here we are. We have a man that is intellectually and tempermentally unfit for office. A man that probably would not have won if his relationship with Russian oligarchs was made public. A man that is now ready to destroy all institutions, norms, and allies if it keeps him in office as POTUS. For what? Just so he wont lose what he cannot manage and what he should have never obtained in the first place.

And the most incredible thing is how The Republicans and evangelicals continue to prostitute themselves for this guy. He will throw them under the bus as soon as it is in his interests to do so.

You can defend Trump or condemn him but the simple fact is that there have been more media articles and blog posts about the hypocrisy of the religious right since Trump got elected than in the previous I-have-no-idea-how-many-but-a-whole-lot of years. If you seriously believe that this is not damaging the Christian Church especially among young people then you are delusional.

yes, Im Catholic, no, I dont vote my faith

Who are you to put words like that into their mouths? There are plenty of Christians who have issues with the GOP on economic, environmental, health and other policies.

All right Sara, Ill given you the long version. Ive gone into this in more detail before, and I didnt want to take up space here all over again, but maybe youre new here.

Im not Catholic. I dont have a position on what Catholic doctrine should be. I have a position on why Im not Catholic, because I dont accept the doctrine the church officially espouses, including the primacy of the Bishop of Rome and his extensive bureaucracy.

Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden are Catholic. I take that at face value, because they say they are Catholic, and Pelosi at least has said that taking communion is very important to her. Some of their fellow Catholics say they are not real Catholics, but I dont have a dog in that fight. What I do have an interest in is upholding the First Amendment of our common constitution.

I am fine with an American citizen who espouses the Roman Catholic faith running for office. I am fine with an office holder who is Roman Catholic voting for something their constituents support, which is opposed by the Roman Catholic Conference of Bishops. I believe that Roman Catholic prelates who try to coerce an elected officials conduct in office by blackmail should be charged with treason, e.g. Bishop Burke. I am fine with a Roman Catholic prelate saying in public I dont think Roman Catholics should vote for anyone who votes like this. Its a secret ballot, and each Roman Catholic gets one vote, just like each Protestant, Jew, Muslim, atheist, Buddhist, Hindu, etc. I think any priest who asks in the confessional And how did you vote in the last election my child? should be prosecuted for treason.

But, when an elected official responds to a criticism that a person of their faith should not vote a certain way, it is not helpful to upholding constitutional principles for them to pontificate about what the doctrine of their church really is. The Roman Catholic Church is a hierarchical in organization and doctrine. It is a top-down organization. Roman Catholic doctrine is NOT what Nancy Pelosi says it is. It is what the magesterium says it is.

So, I would prefer that Pelosi and Biden not pontificate about what the doctrine of their church really is, when they are not competent, by the doctrine of their church, to do that. Perhaps if they were Quakers, or Presbyterians, or even Baptists, they would be in a better position to do that. Ive been told by an American Baptist minister that if you have two Baptists in the room, you have three opinions.

What would have integrity would be if Pelosi and Biden said, yes, I know what my churchs position on abortion is, and I fully support my churchs position on abortion. I do not believe it is an appropriate use of the office I have been elected to, to vote as the bishops direct. I have doubts that the best way to reduce the number of abortions, to a smaller number or zero, is to adopt draconian criminal statutes. I have a sense that a majority of my constituents do not support such legislation, and they re-elect me in part because I dont either. It would be a betrayal of my oath of office to change my vote from what I promised my constituents merely because my bishop says I should. Finally, whether it is consistent with Roman Catholic doctrine or not, I accept Roe v. Wade as a sound expoundment of our federal constitution, essentially reserving this decision to the pregnant woman concerned, and her physician, not authorizing the police and the district attorney to intervene. Women remain entirely free to choose life.

Do I make myself clear? I am not putting words in anyones mouth, I am explaining what would have more integrity in my eyes, if they or politicians similarly situated said it, than the words they actually did say. I am explaining why, as a pro-choice Protestant, I do not see integrity in the manner Pelosi and Biden have handled this question.

And yes, I know there are plenty of Christians who are all over the map on every issue under the sun. Christians dont even have a consensus on the death penalty, for Gods sake.

The funny thing about all of this is, we already know whos going to win the culture wars. 8% of 18-29 y.o.s are white evangelicals, 38% are unaffiliated.

You dont really see the future. I remember when a significant number of hippies became Jesus freaks, which was part of the foundation of the later Megachurch presence in America. Nothing is less reliable than projecting present trends indefinitely into the future. As Muhammad Ali said, if you believe the same thing when youre fifty as when youre twenty, youve wasted thirty years of your life.

There have been comments here in the past about Soviet leaders expecting the older generation of Christians to die off, leaving a population of enlightened atheists. Except, as the years passed, people who got older joined the church, so there were the same number of older people going faithfully to church as ever.

Commenting on Sara Who are you to put words like that into their mouths? There are plenty of Christians who have issues with the GOP on economic, environmental, health and other policies.

A few articles ago I was challenged when I stated being a registered Republican that now longer votes that way. Somebody claimed, given my postings, this cannot possibly be true. Let me change one word in Saras quote. Christians == Republicans.

Who are you to put words like that into their mouths? There are plenty of Republicans who have issues with the GOP on economic, environmental, health and other policies. Now, Sara said it better and more concisely than I.

I feel sorry for Billy Graham for having spawned such a hypocrite.

Yuo have said this in the past, but I wish you would circumstantially expound it further:

I believe that Roman Catholic prelates who try to coerce an elected officials conduct in office by blackmail should be charged with treason, e.g. Bishop Burke.

Senator AB is a Catholic who professes that his faith is important to him, and has been photographed and observed receiving communion frequently in a Catholic church. He is also unqualifiedly pro-choice and while he may once or twice, in the past, taken the Im personally opposed to abortion, but line, he is firmly pro-choice and makes his stance on this issue a major issue in his political campaigns when his opponent id pro-life; and he occasionally insists, without explanation, that he regards his stance as perfectly compatible with his Catholic faith.

Why would it be treason for his Catholic bishop to threaten to excommunicate him for his stance, or, subsequently, actually to do so? That is to say, for asserting that it is perfectly compatible for a Catholic communicant, who in theory accepts the binding authority of the Church in all matters of Faith and Morals, to reject the view of the Catholic Church (if it be the view of the Catholic Church) that to be pro-choice (either in theory or in practice) is to be pro-abortion (whatever disclaimers said politician may make), and that to be pro-abortion in in itself to depart from the Catholic Faith, as well, perhaps more seriously, to mislead the faithful that a stance such as his is a legitimate one for a Catholic to take?

Why would it be treason for the bishops to excommunicate any or all professedly Catholic politicians or elected officials who takes such a stance? After all, such Catholic politicians, officials, public figures, or the like would be perfectly free to react by becoming Episcopalians, Unitarians, or anything else as I have long wishes such Catholics would do; they would not suffer in any way, save perhaps in the opinions of their former fellow-Catholics, as a result of doing so? Or if being Catholics-in-good-standing is significant for such officials, they could alter their political stances to remain good Catholics, and (a) face repudiation by their constituents, which, however sad for their careers, would bring integrity to their lives and consciences, or (b) resign from serving in any position which presents them with such a conflict between their political or official duties, and the religious beliefs which they profess, or at least profess to adhere.

Furthermore, since those public Catholics who find themselves in such positions can change their religion or denomination if they face spiritual discipline for upholding positions, or taking actions (including voting a certain way), which their Churchs magisterium regards as incompatible with sincere profession of the faith and practice incumbent upon its members, or can simply choose to ignore any attempt to discipline them, are you arguing that elected officials have a legal or constitutional right (while in office?) to be exempt from th

Opinion Human Rights Group Addresses Opioid Issue

This past week I was so happy to find that a Human Rights group called Human Rights Watch has taken an interest in our cause. Someone has finally noticed that ignoring a large group of citizens who live with chronic pain and who are being largely untreated or under-treated, is inhumane! This Human rights group has reported on other forms of torture throughout the third world countries as well. They are based in New York and at last, they are looking towards helping the people at home, in the USA. They were doing research on cancer patients and were shocked to find that so many had lost their pain control/relief. This is considered torture in many other countries. Before this Opioid issue began, I never would have believed that the USA would , in essence, torture their most fragile citizens. Hopefully this advocacy group can help this cause.

The best case is hope is that their scrutiny could help start a trend toward reversing the effects of the CDC guidelines and keeping the government (and politics) out of practicing medicine. One example of politics mixing with medicine is the Lifeboat tax. A group of Senators want patients who are taking Opioids, to pay for addiction treatments centers by forcing a tax of .01 cent per milligram of Opioids prescribed daily. But the majority of people who are legitimately prescribed Opioids are not addicted. This is wrong and someone has to take a stand, be brave and help those who truly cannot always fight for themselves. Living with untreated and under-treated chronic pain is definitely a human rights issue because people can and do die from it! They pass away because increased amounts of pain can cause very high blood pressure, high glucose level, stroke and a heart attack. But its the living without pain relief that is the torturous part.

Honestly, removing Opioids from the bigger picture of high pain illnesses, is inhumane. I hope this Human Rights Watch group will help the chronic pain community, curb the fear in our physicians and stop the Government from creeping into our patient/Dr. Relationship and exam room. This group found that nobody has been paying attention to those suffering because their physicians jumped ship and abandoned them. They found that the testimonies given by some patients who have lost access to appropriate medications for pain relief, were similar to those who were victims of police torture.

If you want to help the chronic pain community and/or if you have a story of your own, you might want to share your story in just a few lines. They have asked for people to send these stories to:  Human Rights Watch, email researcher Laura Mills at . They also have a Facebook page:and they have a Twitter feed @HumanRightsWatch.

The more real stories about increased pain and loss of treatment that can be sent to them, the better. The more real human faces that they can connect with this cause, the more it might help to stop the continued torture of Americans who rely on Opioid therapy for relief of chronic pain.

Suzanne has lived with a Systemic CRPS & several other chronic pain illnesses since a MVA in 2002. Prior to being disabled from chronic pain, she was an Interpreter for the Deaf at a hospital & worked with Deaf children. Since 2005, Suzannes been a patient Health advocate, support group leader & Mentor. She continues doing these things today, but also does public speaking, awareness events and shes a Writer/blogger & an Ambassador for the U.S. Pain Foundation. The statements and opinions that she provides are her own.

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Ive been disabled due to a long list since 2007, altho pain started long before, Ive been on different opiids since 2000.after a study med to kill hep c in 2000 my skin felt as if it was being ripped from my legs and arms, I swore I cud feel the blood, yet not even a mark. Since then Ive tried everything, spinal blocks, cortisone from head to toe every kind of medication there was other than opioids but nothing worked except for a combination of opioids I spent years suicidal from the pain until they finally got it to a level that I could deal with now thats not to say I didnt just spend a week with a flair that left me vomiting for days with a migraine that I wanted to die from I am praying for a cure everyday because even now my life is not close to what one would want but at least its and a pain level I can deal with. Everyone who knows me knows that I will not be able to live without my pain meds, and the fact that the state wont pay for our massages or anything that would help alleviate the muscle scarring Etc they just want to take our meds and leave us to what? They know it will be a mass suicide. You know Ive known a lot of addicts in my life, Ive never known them to commit suicide over pain yet you have pain patients doing that now,. The other crazy thing is that the government is lumping us with all of the heroin addicts on the street all the numbers I see of the o ds are drug addicts on the street theyre not being patience yet every person I talk to from church Etc thinks its us dying accidentally because were taking too many of our pills, so much misinformation and I have to believe its because they want their money they want are disability checks back they I want all the cost that we cost now and housing and Social Security benefits back the government has been known to borrow and borrow and never pay back in this is a source of money that they would not have to pay back and Im sure that theres something else going on because this just does not make sense we have been using opioid medications to help people since the turn of time it is not caused all of us to be addicts, yes addicts do steal our pills and buy them off the street Etc but theres easy remedies from children getting our pills Ive always kept mine and a little safe so my grandkids cant get a hold of them if theyre in my bedroom Etc simple solution to no children finding our meds so thats not an excuse for taking them thank you for listening thank God

As a nurse of 37 years, I went into nursing because in the 60s my grandmother died mid-scream.the doctor refused to give her any more pain medicine because shell become addicted. And now were nearly right back there. STOP this insanity! Many with chronic, severe pain are now suicidal. People are asking about post-op pain relief and putting off surgeries when theyre told no opiates! This is crazy!

OK, I was hit by a car in 1977broke my back, skull, both legs and pelvis. Ive had numerous surgeries since, and plenty of oxycodone, which works well for me. My doctor dumped me for zero reason, Im forced to take either methadone or suboxone, both of which I have all horrible side effects. Nobody cares it seems. Not good, they dont care, then I dont care. You really dont want thattoo late, and now you are going to pay for it in a very, very bad way. You [edit] badly, and karma in on its nasty way.

The other danger here is that the goal is to remove needed pain meds from the market altogether. Meaning this will become a mute discussion because the pain medications we need will not be there at all. And their barbaric, dangerous torturous failed invasive surgeries and procedures will be taught as the new norm for pain treatment and so the whole culture of what constitutes pain management will change and not for the better. Understand there is an overwhelming profit incentive here that no one is bringing up. Health care is a business and there is big money in doing procedures and surgeries on people. Big money in recovery centers and the big health care business is all too happy to push this as all they offer now. They are thrilled that the DEA has helped them justify all these dangerous torturous things they are subjecting us to. Epidurals, cortisone shots, surgeries. As they do more and invasive procedures the chances of things going wrong go up exponentially. I am a victim of their procedures. I went in with one pain issue and their shot made me so much worse and now in addition to the problem I had I am now left to live with even more pain without help. And while in the hospital for a surgery I was promised pain management because the doctor knew how painful the surgery would be and I awakened to find that because they felt my respirations were low I would get no pain medication at all. Not even a Tylenol. It really was torture. My blood pressure went so high that I almost had a stroke. High blood pressure from untreated pain causes extra pressure on the veins to include the surgical site which can cause stroke and hemorrhaging. This is not just a matter of humane treatment. This kind of treatment is endangering lives of innocent patients. I have heard of several people around me allude to having a plan to kill themselves because of their untreated pain. Also now they are steering us all to OTC meds like ibuprofen and Tylenol. These are now their solution to long term pain. These can be dangerous too taken long term. No doctor supervision. Pain patients are slandered, abused and abandoned. Where are our rights?

Hello,Iam a 61 year old man disabled since 1998.I had 3 failed back surgeries,severe nerve damage,chronic pain syndrome,degeneration of spine etc.I have been taking opioid pain medication since 1998,no failed urine tests,no crying to pain doctor I lost my Meds to get early refill everything was fine till 2012 with Guidelines.From the bottom of my heart❤️I want to thank the Human Rights Group looking into this inhumane treatment,torture and bordering on genicide of all us young and elderly disabled chronic pain patients.We just bombed Syria for using Nerve Gas on its people but the U.S.,CDC/DEA has abandoned our veterans wounded and fighting for our freedom.So many of our Veterans and us have committed Suicide because they cant take the pain they are in.I myself have been hurt by these inhumane Guidelines started by Dr.Kodony and PROP with all the false statistics on opioid deaths.My Pain Meds like all of us have been decreased by more then half.Now PM wants to give me ESI in lower back.No *****n way,ESI arent even approved by the FDA for your neck or back,they are for joints,knee or elbow.Some people get fungal meningitis and paralyzed and even die from ESI.I am so angry and pissed off we are all being treated so inhumanly.This really has to end now.I will march or sign any and all lawsuits.There has to be a Lawyer who has a SET of ****s and not afraid to help millions of our citizens.We live in the US not North Korea or Syria.Enough is Enough,to many people have died.God Bless all our suffering Brothers and Sisters.I pray to my Dear God that this Human Rights Group helps us,Now.🙏

Hello to all those suffering from chronic pain issues. This hysteria has to have begun at government and corporate top levels.

For this dyer situation to be ignored is unbelievable.

It is obvious that this hysteria is political but to what ends??

Ive sent emails to state and federal reps with nothing more than a thank you for contacting our offices, we will be glad to look over your requestsomething is very wrong here. I know numerous cpp are in contact with their reps yet not a word is being brought to public awareness.

Why such ignorance is my simple question.

Especially when losing pain medication/analgesics that address and moderate these specific issues.

Much more trivial matters get front page attention.

Thank you Suzanne for writing this article. I hope through help from the HRC people with debilitating chronic pain can return to getting the help and the relief they need. Our Drs shouldnt have the gov limiting their ability to help patients living in chronic pain because of not able to or being scared to prescribe the medications necesary treat these conditions. Whether its people with cancer or people like myself with chronic spinal problems, we shouldnt have to live in pain 24/7, especially when there are medications available to help us.

Doug from Wisconsin: dont miss the pain rally in Madison and at all capitals across the country April 7 @ 11a EST.

Its our time to stand up for ourselves!! See info dont punish pain patients facebook and pharmacist Steve has info on his site as well.

Letter sent to Laura. Thank you for sharing

My pain Dr took me off of my pain meds I whet to him for 13 years and gave me one month of meds and there is no Dr that will take me ! for no reason of mine .He is the one that injected me with the Poison the ESI and my life has got real bad ! I passed all of my drug test ! I never had one bad word whit anyone in that office! So now my blood pressure is 210/100 I am having bad headaches my pain is so bad I do not no what I am going to to I need help really bad! My neck is stiff and I have no life please help me. Thanks my phone is

Oregon Lawyer wants your edical Mal practice against medical boards & Insurance co. Her name is Kay Teague. If u have Video include.

I am not bashing opioids by any means, I believe people are suffereing in pain being taken off their opioids. Many need them to survive. My doctors here knew my pain was worse after back surgery and took me off Norco which I used for years and put me on tramadol. Well it didnt work. Pain patients are suffering for this countries addiction problem. They are going about this the wrong way. I have heard peers when I was working say oh so and so is here for her fix again. So much stigma attached to pain patients.. so darn sad. They do have an option. Kratom

Deborah Withrow Chief executive officer at Retired

Hi, Im an RN with intractable pain from adhesive Arachnoiditis caused by steroid epidural into my spine for pain. I have taken Kratom for five years and it literally has saved my life. I was on opioids for years that didnt touch my pain. I had to retire because due to pain I couldnt even work a desk job. I filed for disability and won my case. I nearly died after discharged from the hospital after back surgery. I was given 4 different opioids. I had an 8 hour drive home. I had no idea what I was taking because the pain was so horrible. By the time I got home, I could barely walk, the guy that drove me home helped me in the House. I fell between the toilet and the wall and my daughter helped me up. When I got upstairs, she helped me to bed. Awhile later I woke up to the paramedics being there. My daughter called due to my respirations being only 4 a minute. My daughter took care of administering my meds. If I would have brought Kratom with me it would have not only helped my pain but I would have known what I was doing. I stopped the opioids and took Kratom. My pain was controlled! Opioids change you but Kratom doesnt. Kratom is safe and I have had no drug interactions Kratom has allowed me to live as normal life as I can having adhesive arachnoiditis. The pain is the worst I have ever felt and it is daily. I take Kratom twice daily and Im ok it doesnt completely take my pain away, but its tolerable. Please keep Kratom legal this plant has helped me so much. I will not use opioids every again. Kratom saved my life.

Thank you, Thank you! I will share my story later but as a retired health care professional, this is inhumane, cruel, dangerous, insulting depressing and painful! We need a movement and we need some lawsuits. That is all that gets attention. Class action suits for malpractice.

Done dealletter writtenmaybe too long..I hope it gets read..thanks Suzanne

Suzanne thank you for sharing this important information. Every person who has ever had to take an opiate for any kind of pain should speak out for themselves and for the people who are going to suffer needlessly because there meds are being taken away. Not only is it wrong to leave people to suffer in pain, there are other consequences. I will cover some here. Doctors are pushing for patients to go into treatment, our friend came home today so upset after going to see an Anesthegiologist. She recieved a letter from her primary Doctor dropping her from care after getting pain care for more then 10 years, the Anesthesiologist, did not care how much pain she has or why she was in pain. No pain medication, only meditation after inpatient or out patient treatment. Our friend told the doctor she was a pain patient not a drug addict, he did not care. There are always people wanting to make money off of other peoples suffering. Right now all the big money is in treatment and or you can pay a $1,000.00 a month for meds like Suboxone. Desperate families will pay with false hope that there loved one will get better on this drug. Figure that what genius came up with that? You think drug addicts are going to pay that much on something that they cant get high on? When the Nazi party came into power they would do things like round up all the disabled people, gays, Jews and Gypsies. Throw them in prison and eventually dispose of them, when there wasnt any back lash or outrage they new they could push the boundaries even further. Next was the final solution. Would you let a wounded animal suffer or leave it to learn to deal with its injuries and suck up the pain. People with pain , and crippling disease, We are treated worse then animals and it is an outrage! It is a basic human right to be pain free, Our rights and freedom are being trampled on, when you have the powers that be blaming honest, caring, hard working doctors that are trying to help patients stop suffering. The doctors that try to help people in pain remember the oath they took when they became a doctor. What could be worse then this? Oh yeah having the meds but not giving them to the patient because you would rather they suffer. The ignorance is appalling. The truth has been lost and it should matter to everyone. How many more lives will be destroyed and lost to this destructive Guidlines? Please share your story it is time to speak up , no one can help if they dont know what your going thru.

Im so angry, bitter and disappointed! A system that not 4 years ago was embracing PAIN as a vital sign has made a 180 degree turn and now its a crime. Not just as a patient but soon doctors? Sounds more like abandonment? Neglect? This is a multifaceted issue- no easy solution, but this is extreme. Wheres the line? Alcoholism still out there, kills many, rehab costs, pharmaceutical costs. Are we bannin all alcohol? No cause people would loose their minds. But the media and news had conviently lumped Chronic Pain opiate prescrptions with heroin and carfentanyl use.

Addiction is a disease and needs better treatment- maybe the billionaires in the pharmaceutical business should give 1 cent per mg toward new drug programs?

If were blaming scripts- what about the companies? How about their responsibility?

I pay enough for insurances and cooays, more copays, out of pocket treatments, and the insurance covers less and less. You cant afford to get sick. You cant get all the newest and greatest alternative therapy unless you can afford it. Chronic pain is the new leporsy-

Why on earth are people blaming Trump for the war on opioids? All of this started with the forced implementation of Obamacare under the Obama administration. Since government was going to be paying for health care, they wanted to lower or get rid of the price tag for pain medication. Around 2011-12 they started rolling out new guidelines, warning drs what was coming, producing these fake statistics, raiding clinics

etc.. Trump also did not say he was seeking the death penalty for users but for dealers. One thing I have seen, is them beginning to acknowledge the difference in the struggle of pain patients. But confronting these prescribing guidelines definitely needs to be addressed and attacks on drs stopped. They basically are carrying on with a policy, started before their arrival, based on flawed statistics! We must keep fighting BOTH parties and insist they leave drs & patients to decide treatments together, with no government interference!

Thank you Suzanne for writing this article. I have already given my chronic pain story to the Human Rights group. However, I fear that Opioids are being looked at differently. Right now, there is a shortage of Opioid meds in the acute care hospital setting. Some major drug companies, are stopping production of much needed pain medication,. Donald Trump is wanting to decrease Opioid production by 1/3 over the next 3 years. I wish at present-that Pain patients ( long term-who have been stable on their pain meds for more than 5 years, and have not abused their meds), to contact their State Senator, and let them know how their quality of life has been negatively affected with this CDC limit of 90 MMDS per day. Already, on my local news channel-I saw a commercial on pain meds-not for pain patients-but of course, it showed a man stating that he got hooked on pain meds( meaning he is a drug addict!). This is the LAST thing we Pain patients need, right? I have NO idea why pain patients and pain Physicians are being ignored-because our quality of life is now in jeopardy! Sincerely, Kathleen Clark,RN ( retired).

I just posted on their site. Everyone please! All who suffer, let them know! Doctors and Nurse Practitioners should be up in arms too, as their practices are being manipulated by government!

All of this [edit] was going down a long time before Trump got elected. Ought to blame Obama, who STARTED THIS HYSTERIA before you start calling people Hitler. I was run out of Florida in 2014 because the pharmacies would no longer fill my prescription that I had been getting for several years. Same doctor, same dose. The pharmacies are corrupt, CVS and Walgreens made internal checklists that would eliminate patients one by one as they went down the list. And of course they would also tell you that they had run out of it, AND WOULD NOT TELL YOU WHEN THE NEXT SHIPMENT WAS COMING! Thats because they had a rule against it because druggies might try to ambush the delivery! And if you missed the day of the next delivery, they usually ran out within 24 hours because Pam Bondi (Florida AD) mandated that only a set amount could be delivered to each pharmacy regardless!! All she would say is that she was sorry people were in pain, but the rules wouldnt change. So I moved to Nevada because of the weather, and have to listen to PAs complain that theyll get arrested if they treat me a certain way. These laws are mainly suggestions by CDC, as it is stated clearly. Why then are the opioid dosing limits treated as laws then?? Will someone explain that one??

Mono Two Cats Romero- Congratulations to the pastor for overcoming his Heroin

addiction! But he is not a repressentative of the overwhelming majority of Chronic pain patients who DO NOT ABUSE their pain medications. HEROIN is not a medically prescribed medication by a legitimate pain Dr. once again, Im happy for him but we are talking in this article about millions of Chronic pain patients who are/were doing well in Opioids for debilitating pain Illnesses and none of them get High; theyre not abusing them nor are they addicted! The true Chronic pain patients we are discussing here are refugees of this opioid crisis! Theyve done nothing wrong. They didnt turn to street drugs or heroin, they just

want some semblance of a life with pain relief.

Human Right Watch, was supposedly looking into this topic years ago. They used the same tortured, biased statistics the media is using, in order to promote treatment for drug addiction. The American media has been using these fear based statistics to mislead the public. Perhaps we need a clear set of facts, in order to define the problem. The Administration is calling for the death of drug dealers, here in America that is loosely defined, and Pain Patients will no doubt be affected.

I will email the Human RIghts rep as soon as I type my comment. Thank God they have seen the need to help us. I thought no one was hearing us. I have written many times to my representatives in DC and have not heard one word back from them. Maybe a group such as this one will get their attention. I dont think anyone is really listening to what we are saying. What happens when Senator John Doe needs pain medication for cancer and his doctor says, sorry, but here are 2 pills for the week. Or President Jane Doe needs pain medication for her son and the doctor says, sorry, but I dont prescribe them any longer. I think they would listen then. I do not think that DC is hearing us or thinking about what are they going to do if they were ever in this situation. Just very glad someone is listening now.

Please write to my local Paper, the Bakersfield Californian, which supports our local crackdown on opiates and write stories like the following every day almost.

Its affecting everyone, its affecting soccer moms, its affecting guys on the street, guys that are homeless, and people are dying, said Louie Wright, Pastor of Revive Church. Wright talking about the consequences of Opioid addiction.

He started using Oxycontin while recovering from a back injury. Once taken off the medication, he was introduced to heroin. According to the Center for Disease Control, more that 11 million people abuse prescription opioids, and opiod abuse is a gateway to heroin.

Wrights heroin use caused him to hit rock bottom before a friend offered free treatment at at recovery center in Malibu. I ended up going to treatment, I was presented the 12 steps program and ended up really throwing myself into itfinding freedom from addiction.

Wright says many people dont have the resources to go into treatment due of high costs. According to Wright those costs could range from 10,000 and 60,000 thousand dollars.

After treatment, Wright turned his life and credits his faith in God. He and his wife Jarris are now doing their part in the fight against opioid abuse in Bakersfield.

Wright and his wife started non-profit called One Door. Its mission is to rescue those gripped by addiction while restoring families and transforming lives.

We want to help anyone regardless of their financial system and the way were going to do that is through community support, said Wright.

The non profit will open an outpatient clinic this summer focused on bridging the gap of high costs involved in rehabilitation services. The clinic will house a full medical staff as well as counselors and therapists helping anyone in the grips of addiction.

Wright and One Door are currently raising support for the clinic. One way to donate is through GIVE BIG KERN.

It took awhile and did get a email sent andthis is the address I used and it got sent

I am not very good at sending emails and such

I myself have also been a Chronic Pain sufferer for many years now.Day by day I am in pain just waiting until my meds can kick in. I have been reduced to as low as possible due to government restrictions on opioids. My pain is much stronger now then ever and I don;t know when or if ever relief is going to come. I live with pain and some days I just dont want to live with it anymore.I take my pills when I am due I do not go out and seek other illegal forms of relief I am a good person and I feel like there has been a label put on me because I take pain pills. I know that there are thousands of others who are just like me. We wonder day by day if or when we are going to be cut off completely due to government policies. I use to take anti anxiety pills as well but was cut off from them because people were dying due to taking to much. With the way things are going my anxiety level is through the roof. Why is it that we as Chronic Pain sufferers, have to live with others mistakes? It is incredibly confusing. I just wish that there was a little more compassion for people like me who are doing what we have to do to have a some what Normal life. We are not the bad guys here we are the good guys who are suffering for what others have done illegally in the past. I am so happy that the Human Rights have taken on this endeavor and standing up for us all that literally can not stand up for ourselves.

Thank you so so much for informing me and us, all the people reading the National Pain Report, which I am new to, but so grateful to have found.

I will write my story, to the email provided. I am in pain from lumbar disk tears, which finally after 7 years were diagnosed by an annulagram, (diskogram). oxycodone has been very effective in helping me, but I cant work, because it hurts to sit long. Or stand long. I have been ok with getting meds, cause only 40 to 50 mg a day but I just went back to Kaiser in California. Oh my!! Changes that are effecting me now. Obligatory limit of 40 mg a day, and only despensed in 5 mg tabs. That means if you have a reaction of nausea to a filler in the generic, (cause the tabs are bigger, with filler), my only option I was told was: take with it a antiemetic.. or take percoset. Can you imagine?

Antiemetics are very strong very terrible side effects, I got a bowel impaction with trying one tab. percoset, evern 40 mg a day oxycodone, leave me taking 2600 mg of Tylenol a DAY. Im only 105 pounds. Im in so muc pain to sit, its hard to fight this. Its so crazy. My case, and those of thousands of pain sufferers, are not in danger of addi

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1.) ACLJ has raised nearly $75 million in the past five years to fight for anti-LGBT causes, despite not meeting 10 out of 20 of the Better Business Bureaus standards for charity accountability.

ACLJ Has Had Raised Over $74 Million In The Past Five Years.According to IRS reports, ACLJ brought in $74,772,224 between fiscal year 2008 to fiscal year 2012 and had expenditures of $75,021,348. [American Center for Law and Justice IRS Form 990,2012,2011,2010,2009,2008]

2012: The ACLJ Has An Annual Budget Of Over $15 Million.According to IRS reports for Fiscal Year 2012, the ACLJ brought in $ 15,684.893 in contributions and had expenditures of $15,579,134. [American Center for Law and Justice IRS Form 990,2012]

2011: The ACLJ Has An Annual Budget Of More Than $17 Million.According to IRS reports for Fiscal Year 2011, the ACLJ brought in $ 17,164,568 in contributions and had expenditures of $17,416,278. [American Center for Law and Justice IRS Form 990,2011]

2010: The ACLJ Has An Annual Budget Of More Than $16 Million.According to IRS reports for Fiscal Year 2010, the ACLJ brought in $16,629,586 in contributions and had expenditures of $16,746,496. [American Center for Law and Justice IRS Form 990,2010]

2009: The ACLJ Has An Annual Budget Of More Than $13 Million.According to IRS reports for Fiscal Year 2009, the ACLJ brought in $ 13,291,865 in contributions and had expenditures of $13,420,518. [American Center for Law and Justice IRS Form 990,2009]

2008: The ACLJ Has An Annual Budget Of More Than $12 Million.According to IRS reports for Fiscal Year 2008, the ACLJ brought in $ 12,001,312 in contributions and had expenditures of $11,858,922. [American Center for Law and Justice IRS Form 990,2008]

According To The Better Business Bureau, The ACLJ Does Not Meet Ten Out Of Twenty Standards For Charity Accountability.The Better Business Bureau reported that the ACLJ does not meet standards for board oversight, board size, board meetings, board compensation, effectiveness policies and reporting, accurate expense reporting, annual reports, website disclosures and cause marketing disclosures. [American Center for Law and Justice Charity Review, Better Business Bureau,March 2012]

Since 1998, ACLJ And Another Charity Have Paid More Than $33 Million To Members OF Jay Sekulows Family.Sekulow is the principal officer of Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism and the American Center for Law and Justice. Since 1998, the two legal charities have paid more than $33 million to members of Sekulows family and businesses they own or co-own, according to the charities federal tax returns. [Associated Press,9/6/11]

The ACLJ Obfuscates How Much Jay Sekulow Earns From The Organization.The IRS requires nonprofits to disclose the compensation of their leaders. But a donor to ACLJ wouldnt know how much Sekulow is earning from his work with the organization, even though he is described as CEO, chief counsel and board member on its tax forms. ACLJ reports that Sekulow has taken no salary since 2002 However, ACLJs 2009 tax form shows it paid $2,382,770 to the law firm 50 percent owned by Sekulow –(AT) Constitutional Litigation and Advocacy Group. [USA Today,9/5/11]

2.) ACLJ suggests the sin of homosexuality might be to blame for the death of Tyler Clementi and the rash of teen suicides connected to anti-LGBT bullying.

ACLJs David French Said Concerns A Tennessee Law Would Lead To Anti-LGBT Bullying Were Bad Faith Because Compared To All The Complaints Against Christians I Can Probably Count On The Fingers Of One Hand The Times That Involved Any Conflict With LGBT Students.According to the Atlantic, Bloggers at The Gaily Grind and The New Civil Rights Movement have claimed the [Tennessee] law [protecting religious speech in schools] would protect anti-gay bullies. I think that criticism is in bad faith and absurd, said David French, a senior counselor at the American Center for Law and Justice. I have not seen any evidence whatsoever that there is a desire to use religion as a thinly-veiled pretext to bully anybody. .With this particular bill, it seems like LGBT bullying is a bit of a distraction. Of all the religious discrimination claims hes represented, very few have had to do with homosexuality, French said. I have been on the receiving end of complaint after complaint: Teachers telling students, dont bring your Bible to recess, you cant discuss your faith or invite someone to church at school, you cant form a club, you cant pray. In all of that time, I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the times that involved any conflict with LGBT students. [The Atlantic,4/15/2014]

ACLJs David French Said Universities Advance Values By Conducting Orientation Indoctrination Sessions And Diversity Training That Leaves No Space For Traditionally Christian Beliefs.In an article lamenting the Supreme Courts decision in CLS v. Martinez holding that a Christian club had to open itself to leadership from other religions on a public university campus, French said, As universities have grown in size, they have also grown in ambition. Most students are now aware of the concept of university values, an all-encompassing worldview that tells us men and women are exactly the same, that diversity is a paramount goal, and that one should tolerate everything except intolerance. Universities advance those values energetically by conducting orientation indoctrination sessions and diversity training, enforcing expansive rules governing student speech, and creating an alphabet soup of programs and centers serving different identity groups but pushing the same agenda. The message is clear: Out with the old (your parents influence, your traditional religion, your intellectual independence); in with the new (sexual experimentation, group identification, and statist dependence). In other words, the rule isnt Christians need not apply but Christians are welcome so long as their beliefs are not traditionally Christian. ,Schools That Used To Favor Openness Are Becoming Closed And Dogmatic When It Comes To Traditional Religious Groups, Accessed10/23/2014]

ACLJs French Said It Is Absurd To Suggest That Christian Opposition To Homosexual Behavior Creates A Climate Conducive To Suicide.In a post on National Review, David French said, First, the argument that comes largely from external (typically Leftist) critics of Christianity is that Christian opposition to homosexual behavior creates a climate conducive to suicide. I think this is frankly absurd. Of course individually targeted bullying certainly can lead a person down that dark path (but lets never forget that the suicide itself is an act of independent will), theres no allegation to my knowledge in any of the recent suicides that some sort of Christian thug was taunting anyone. Nor is there any evidence that any serious Christian endorses bullying and other kinds of thuggish behavior. Lacking this evidence, what is the Lefts argument? That the mere existence of people who think homosexual behavior is wrong makes it more likely that a person who identifies as gay will kill himself? In a vibrant democracy, debates are often intense, and religious debates can be the most intense. Yet do we see a connection in other communities between intense religious debate and suicide? Lots of communities are publicly criticized for many reasons, but Im not aware of any spike in the suicide rate accompanying public debate even intense debate. [National Review,10/25/2010]

French Said Recent LGBT Teen Suicides When The Problem Is Sin, De-Stigmatizing Sin Doesnt Actually Heal The Human Heart And That Anti-Bullying Laws Are Often Grotesquely Unconstitutional.In a column in Patheos addressing the suicide of Tyler Clemanti, French said, We dont know Tylers roommates motive for taping Tyler. Was he homophobic? Was it merely a malicious prank — one that he would have played regardless of the sex of the person in the room with Tyler? We certainly dont have any evidence that Tylers roommate taped Tyler because of any religious objection to Tylers behavior (that would be a curious thing indeed). Nor do we have any evidence that other recent gay teen suicides have been caused by any religiously-motivated actions. But that hasnt stopped the finger-pointing. According to some, the fundamentalist or evangelical (those terms are often used interchangeably) Christian community has created a cultural climate that stigmatizes gay people. Allegedly, this stigma contribute[s] to the atmosphere that makes suicide more likely. Christian opposition to same-sex marriage, Christian disapproval of homosexual behavior, and even Christian opposition to so-called anti-bullying laws (which are often grotesquely unconstitutional) harm gays emotionally..As we de-stigmatize homosexuality, the human toll continues to mount. Why? Perhaps because the fundamental problem wasnt stigma in the first place. Perhaps when the problem is sin, de-stigmatizing sin doesnt actually heal the human heart. Celebrating sin doesnt ultimately soothe the conscience. And in celebrating sin, we often stigmatize the one Truth that can offer light in the darkness of the soul. [Patheos,10/19/2010]

Sekulow Said School Policies Protecting LGBT Students From Harassment Went Too Far, There Is A Line Between Sensitivity And Indoctrination.The Los Angeles Times, in an article about school districts improving their anti-gay harassment programs, reported, Others say school districts are going too far. There is a line between sensitivity and indoctrination, said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, which was founded by conservative evangelist Pat Robertson. Sekulow said schools should treat all students with dignity and respect, but they shouldnt promote one lifestyle over another. If districts are going to offer extra protections for gay and lesbian students, they should do the same for students who want to express their religious beliefs, he said. [LA Times, 9/11/00]

3.) ACLJ goes after cities and municipalities, simply for protecting employees against anti-LGBT discrimination.They even call workplace diversity training offensive.

ACLJ Filed Suit Against The City Of Louisville Challenging Non-Discrimination Employment Policy Including Gender Identity And Sexual Orientation.In 1999, according to a press release from ACLJ, The American Center for Law and Justice, an international public interest law firm, today filed suit in U.S. District Court in Louisville challenging the Citys ordinance that extends protected status in employment to the categories of sexual orientation and gender identity. The ACLJ filed suit against the City of Louisville, the Mayor and other officials on behalf of J. Barrett Hyman, M.D., a medical practitioner, who contends that his Biblically-based Christian beliefs prevent him from complying with the Citys ordinance. The lawsuit contends that because of his sincerely held religious beliefs, Hyman is compelled to deny employment and discharge from employment any person whom he learns is living a homosexual, bisexual, transgendered, or transsexual lifestyle. By forcing employers who object to homosexuality and transgenderism to hire people who practice those lifestyles, the City of Louisville is attempting to legislate its own view of morality at the expense of the fundamental rights of its citizens, said Francis J. Manion, Senior Regional Counsel of the ACLJ-Midwest, who is representing Hyman in the suit. [American Center For Law and Justice, Press Release, 11/6/1999]

ACLJ Filed Lawsuit Against City Of Henderson, Kentuckys Non-Discrimination Ordinance In Employment And Housing Protecting Sexual Orientation.According to a press release from ACLJ, The American Center for Law and Justice, an international public interest law firm, today filed suit in Henderson Circuit Court for the Commonwealth of Kentucky challenging the City of Hendersons ordinance that extends protected status in employment, housing, and public accommodation to the categories of sexual orientation. The ACLJ filed suit against the City of Henderson, its Mayor, and the Henderson Human Rights Commission on behalf of Rick and Connie Hile, who own three rental properties in Henderson.The suit contends that the Hiles believe the ordinance requires them to abandon and act contrary to beliefs which are central to their Christian faith. At the same time, the suit contends the Hiles believe they are compelled to act in accordance with their faith and the complaint says they have concrete plans to deny rental of their property to individuals who are homosexual or bisexual. On October 5, 1999, the City of Henderson amended its ordinances to extend anti-discrimination provisions to include sexual orientation, which the City defines as a persons actual heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality, or the supposed heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality of a person as perceived by another person. At the same time, the ordinance states that it shall be unlawful for a person to discriminate against another person in any real estate transaction because of a persons sexual orientation. Those who violate the ordinance are subject to fines of up to $250.00. [American Center for Law and Justice, Press Release, 11/23/1999]

ACLJ Represented Mother Who Sued High School After Being Excluded From Assembly Supportive Of LGBT Student Rights.According to the Associated Press, A St. Louis mother who filed a civil lawsuit after she was asked to leave a high school assembly about tolerance for gay students has reached a settlement with public school officials. The American Center for Law and Justice said Wednesday that St. Louis school officials have agreed to revise their policy, clarifying the right of parents to observe school-sponsored events. The ACLJ represented the mother, Debra Loveless. Lovelesss daughter attends Metro High School. The suit contended that in October 2001, Loveless decided not to allow her daughter to attend an assembly featuring a group that supports gay student rights. Loveless tried to attend herself but was asked to leave. In the suit, Loveless charged that her exclusion violated her rights of free speech, equal protection, and parental liberty. As part of the settlement, school officials can still exclude parents if they disrupt the event. [Associated Press, 5/22/2003]

ACLJs Website Says Workplace Diversity Training Can Be Offensive Because Of the Subtle But Often Times Open Hostility Towards Racial, Ethnic, And Religious Majorities.According to the ACLJ website, A religious discrimination claim can arise in the context of a mandatory diversity training program. Over the past twenty years or so, public and private employers have glommed onto the concept of promoting diversity in the workforce. As a result, most employers have instituted mandatory programs in Diversity Training. Often, the content of these mandatory training sessions can be offensive because of the subtle but often times open hostility towards racial, ethnic and religious majorities. Additionally, employees should have the right to opt out of objectionable diversity training if it violates their sincerely held religious beliefs. [ACLJ.org,Accessed 8/6/14]

ACLJ Filed Suit In Minnesota Defending Employees Who Read Bible At State-Mandated Training Called Gays And Lesbians In The Workplace.According to a report by Focus on the Family, The ACLJ filed suit in April 1998 against the Minnesota Department of Corrections on behalf of Thomas Altman and Ken Yackly to force their employer to rescind the reprimands they received in 1997 after they silently read their Bibles at a state-mandated training session called Gays and Lesbians in the Workplace. The employees contended that the training session was little more than a state-sponsored indoctrination aimed at changing their religious beliefs about homosexuality. Four years later, and several appeals later, the employees were finally vindicated. ,Focus On the Family, How Sexual Orientation Nondiscrimination Laws Harm Businesses & Employees, 9/2009, Accessed10/23/2014]

ACLJ Defended Right Of Parents Opposed To California Public Schools Pro-Homosexual Indoctrination Program To Homeschool Children.According the the ACLJ website, The case came out of a juvenile court situation in which family members told WND they objected to the public schools pro-homosexual indoctrination program in California. In fact, just yesterday, California lawmakers decided to mandate a day of celebration and honor for Harvey Milk, the late San Francisco supervisor who was an activist for homosexuality. The ACLJ, along with many other organizations, had filed an amicus brief in the case which had been interpreted as threatening the very practice of homeschooling in California. Jay Sekulow said ACLJ was pleased with the courts decision affirming the rights of parents to homeschool. [ACLJ.org,8/09/2008]

4.)ACLJ defended the Boy Scouts of America in their fight to prevent LGBT scouts and scout leaders, with the groups founder warning of predators as Boy Scouts, pedophiles who will come in as Scoutmasters.

Pat Robertson Said Boy Scouts of America Welcoming LGBT Scouts Would Open Scouts To Predators And Pedophiles.According to Right Wing Watch, Pat Robertson appeared rather confused about the upcoming vote by the Boy Scouts of America board to end the national ban on gay membership, telling 700 Club viewers today that Congress is trying to change the organizations ban on gay Scouts. After misrepresenting the looming decision by the board, Robertson warned that if the sweeping prohibition on gay members is lifted then there will be predators as Boy Scouts, pedophiles who will come in as Scoutmasters.Our prayers are with them that they will do what they feel is right for them, not what the political correct crowd thinks is right for them, Robertson said. [Right Wing Watch,2/5/2013]

Sekulow Warned That Allowing Gay Boy Scout Leaders Would Lead To Targeting Of Religious Schools.The Star-Ledger reported on a challenge in New Jersey to the Boy Scouts of America policy banning gay scout leaders. The religious groups argue the New Jersey ruling could have serious consequences for them beyond their Boy Scouts troops. In a fund-raising letter sent out by the Center for Law and Justice, the legal organization of Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson, attorney Jay Alan Sekulow warned that a decision allowing gay Boy Scouts leaders would be just the beginning. Churches will be the next target. Homosexuals will then set their sights on religious schools, wrote Sekulow, who has filed a legal brief with the court, the Star-Ledger reported. [Star-Ledger, 4/25/2000]

Sekulow Called 1999 New Jersey Ruling That LGBT Scout Leaders Must Be Accepted A Very Dangerous Precedent And Vowed To Continue Fight Supreme Court.According to The Baltimore Sun, following a court ruling in New Jersey that Boy Scouts of America must accept gay scouts, Jay Alan Sekulow, a lawyer who took part in the case in support of the Boy Scouts, called the ruling a very dangerous precedent. He predicted that the U.S. Supreme Court will be very interested in a case involving the Boy Scouts because of the threat to their rights to choose their members and leaders and to project their own moral message. If they can crack the Boy Scouts, it is an important precedent on gay rights, said Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice. Scouting, he said, is Americana, its mom, its apple pie. [Baltimore Sun,8/05/1999]

ACLJ Defended Boy Scouts Of America From Claim That DOD Sponsorship of Jamborees Violated Establishment Clause Due To BSAs Religious Content.On ACLJs website, Jay Sekulow writes, Tomorrow the ACLJ will file an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on behalf of 88 members of the House and Senate. Since 1937, the United States military has provided supplies and services in support of the National Scout Jamboree held every four years by the Boy Scouts of America (the BSA). Congress formally recognized this tradition in 1972 by passing the Jamboree statute, authorizing the Department of Defense to provide such support for the Jamborees. The militarys support of Jamborees came into question when Eugene Winkler and other federal taxpayers brought the current lawsuit. Winkler sought to enjoin the enforcement of the Jamboree statute and other programs under which the BSA is eligible to receive some form of federal aid. The plaintiffs claimed that the Jamboree and other statutes were laws respecting an establishment of religion in violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution because the BSA has a religious component to its activities and beliefs. The District Court denied most of the plaintiffs claims. The court sustained the challenge to the Jamboree statute, holding that it violated the Establishment Clause because it had the primary effect of advancing religion. [ACLJ.org,Defending the Boy Scouts, Accessed10/23/2014]

ACLJ Amicus Brief To Supreme Court On Behalf Of Boy Scouts Of America Said Men Who By Word Or Deed Condone Homosexuality Cannot, Therefore, Be Good Role Models.According to Political Research, Sekulow has championed the Boy Scouts of Americas ban on openly gay scoutmasters for years, telling donors in March 2000 that the Scouts have come under attack from homosexual activistswho may well set their sights on your church next. In an amicus brief to the Supreme Court, the ACLJ defended the Boy Scouts finding that homosexuals are not morally clean, writing, Men who by word or deed condone homosexuality cannot, therefore, be good role models. [Political Research,11/5/2012]

5.) ACLJ defends criminal punishments for consensual, adult same-sex behavior, saying homosexuality is destructive to society.

Sekulow Said Lawrence v. Texas Ruling Reflect A Political Approach To The Law That We Deplore.According to the Albany Times Union, In another closely watched case involving gay rights, the Supreme Court struck down the Texas sodomy law, ruling that the government has no right to control the private lives of homosexuals. The 6-3 decision overturned a court ruling 17 years ago that states could punish gays and lesbians for what such laws historically called deviant sex. The courts decision infuriated conservatives. Both the affirmative action and the gay rights decision reflect a political approach to the law that we deplore, Jay A. Sekulow, the legal director of the American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative legal advocacy group, said following the decisions. [Albany Times Union, 6/19/03]

Sekulow Said Sumpreme Court Ruling in Lawrence v. Texas Strikes A Damaging Blow For the Traditional Family.According to the Chicago Tribune, in response to a Texas sodomy law being struck down by the Supreme Court, Sekulow said, By providing constitutional protection to same-sex sodomy, the Supreme Court strikes a damaging blow for the traditional family that will only intensify the legal battle to protect marriage and the traditional family. [Chicago Tribune, 6/27/03]

Sekulow Defended Rick Santorums Controversial Comments Saying Sodomy Protections Could Cover Bigamy, Polygamy, Incest, And Adultery As Out Of Context.U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum said last week that if homosexual sodomy was protected as a private act, then the same protection could also cover bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery. He made the comments to the Associated Press while discussing a Texas anti-sodomy law being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court. All this tumult over Santorums comments really were out of context, said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice. They were simply repeating a legal theory that if you declare that activity (same-sex sodomy) as a fundamental right simply because it is consensual, you would thereby eviscerate regulations on sex crimes. [Birmingham News, 5/2/03]

Sekulow Called Reaction To Alabama Attorney General And Rick Santorums Equating Homosexual Acts To Necrophilia, Bestiality, And Pedophilia Overblown.According to the Assoicated Press, A nominee for a federal judgeship filed a Supreme Court brief that compares homosexual acts to prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography and even incest and pedophilia. The brief by Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor, nominated by President Bush to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, resembles comments about the same Texas sodomy case by Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Pryor declined comment Thursday and referred questions about the case to Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, a Washington firm specializing in constitutional law. Sekulow said the reaction to Santorums comments and Pryors brief was overblown because Supreme Court Justice Byron White used similar language in a 1986 Supreme Court case when the court ruled 5-4 that Georgias criminal penalties against homosexual sodomy were constitutional. [Associated Press, 5/01/03]

ACLJ: The State Has A Compelling Interest To Ban The Act Of Homosexuality.Simply put, just as we have laws banning polygamy and incest because those sexual acts undermine society, likewise the state has a compelling interest to ban the act of homosexuality. And certainly, there is no duty to promote the act that society deems destructive! In fact, it could be argued that society has a responsibility to discourage such acts. [American Center For Law And Justice Chief Counsels Confidential Report On The Homosexual Agenda,1997]

The ACLJ Argued That Banning Same Sex Intimacy Furthers Public Morality And Protects Public Health In An Amicus Brief InLawrence v. Texas.There are at least three, independently adequate, rational bases for the statute. First, a ban on same-sex sodomy permissibly furthers public morality. Second, the extensively documented health risks of same-sex sodomy supply a strong public health rationale for the statute. [American Center for Law and Justice Amicus Brief,Lawrence v. Texas]

6.) ACLJ literally helped write the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), parts of which were deemed unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court last year inUnited States v. Windsor.

ACLJ Helped Draft Language For the Defense Of Marriage Act And Jay Sekulow Testified For Its Passage.According to Jay Sekulow on ACLJs website, There were also concerns among many that the same-sex marriage proponents would be successful in having declared the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. Our office helped draft DOMA and I even testified before the United States House of Representatives for its passage almost ten years ago. Initially, a district court in Nebraska did hold Nebraskas constitutional DOMA as violative of the federal Equal Protection Clause. But just a few weeks ago, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court. That court found that the states asserted interest in steering procreation into marriage and encouraging procreation to take place within the socially recognized unit that is best situated for raising children was a sufficient basis, together with the states responsible procreation theory. The Court of Appeals further held that the same-sex advocates possessed no fundamental right to be free of the political barrier a validly enacted constitutional amendment erects. [ACLJ.org,A Legal Grand Slam,Accessed10/22/2014]

ACLJ Gathered Signatures For Petition To Preserve Marriage In Support Of Federal Marriage Amendment.The American Center for Law and Justice, specializing in constitutional law, today notified the U.S. Senate that nearly 415,000 people have signed petitions in support of a Federal Marriage Amendment – just days before the Senate is expected to debate the issue and vote on an amendment. The response has been very strong from people nationwide who want to see marriage remain an institution between one man and one woman, said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. We have heard from people in every state and the message is clear: marriage must not be redefined. It is important for members of Congress to understand that most Americans oppose same-sex marriage and that there continues to be growing support for an amendment to protect the institution of marriage. As the Senate prepares to take up this issue, we are hopeful that Senators will get the message.For months, the American Center for Law and Justice has been gathering signatures on its Petition to Preserve Marriage in support of a federal marriage amendment. [Press Release, ACLJ, 7/09/04]

Sekulow Called Massachusetts Decision Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Troubling And Called For Federal Marriage Amendment.The ACLJ said in response to the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, It is troubling that an activist court in Massachusetts has succeeded in overturning hundreds of years of tradition by redefining marriage to include same-sex couples, said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. With Massachusetts now the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, it is clear that the need for a Federal Marriage Amendment is greater than ever. We call on Congress to act without delay and pass an amendment – and send it to the states for ratification – to protect the institution of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. [Press Release, ACLJ, 5/17/04]

Talent management Developing world-class sustainmprofessionals

By Maj. Gen. Darrell K. Williams and Capt. Austin L. Franklin

New York Army National Guard recruiters set up new Soldiers for success by going over military basics on Nov. 5, 2016, at Camp Smith, New York, during an event for members of the Recruit Sustainment Program.

(Photo Credit: Spc. Jonathan Pietrantoni)

In recent years, the term talent management has gained considerable traction as a way to describe how the Army meets its vast human capital requirements. Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chief of staff of the Army, said about the Armys priorities, Readiness is number one, and there is no other number one. Without question, talent management is a key component of personnel readiness and essential to the Armys ability to win in a complex world.

Unlike many areas of commercial industry, the Army grows its talent from within. Mastery of the profession requires years, often decades, of schooling, operational assignments, and self-study. Few civilian professions can fully prepare someone for service in the military, especially at the midgrade through executive levels.

The military profession is unique, and thus certain skills can be honed only through experience within the military context. It is impossible, for example, to hire someone directly from the private sector to replace the leadership and experience of a sergeant first class with 10 years of service and combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Attempting to replicate the technical expertise of our warrant officers (WOs) would be equally daunting. The old saying leaders dont grow on trees is really true for the Army. Talent management is paramount to maintaining Army readiness and to producing the right leader for the right position at the right time.

The chief of staff of the Army directed everyone to focus on the total force (active Army, Army Reserve [USAR], and Army National Guard [ARNG]), not just on the active component. Total force integration and talent management within the sustainment community are critical given the diversity and complexity of the quartermaster, ordnance, transportation, human resources, and financial management missions across the components.

Collectively, the sustainment warfighting function manages 51 enlisted military occupational specialties (MOSs) and 23 officer specialties that include more than 300,000 Soldiers, noncommissioned officers (NCOs), and officers. Sustainment branch schools and the Army Logistics University train more than 100,000 students at 78 different locations throughout the continental United States and overseas.

The Human Resources Command (HRC) Sustainment Branch, along with USAR and ARNG human resources professionals, manage more than 6,000 sustainment officers. At the tactical level, these processes must account for an officers progression through an array of functional and multifunctional companies, battalions, brigades, and developmental staff positions.

Sustainment leaders also serve in key assignments at the operational level within expeditionary sustainment commands, theater sustainment commands, Army service component commands, and combatant commands. At the strategic level, talent is managed to position leaders at the Army Materiel Command, the Department of the Army headquarters, the Joint Staff, the Defense Logistics Agency, the Financial Management Command, interagency organizations, and other nominative positions.

While talent management of the officer corps is challenging, officers represent only 8 percent of the force sustainment population. Management of the enlisted force, which accounts for 92 percent of force sustainment, is significantly more complex.

Talent management within the USAR and ARNG presents a high degree of difficulty as well. Of the more than 300,000 sustainment troops, approximately 25 percent serve in the active component and 75 percent serve in the reserve component. Although the components personnel management systems differ, their training is becoming more integrated.

The One Army School System initiative standardizes training at Fort Lee, Virginia; Fort Jackson, South Carolina; and remote training locations. This initiative dramatically improves the professional military education aspect of talent management. Talent across the total force is the only way the sustainment force of the future can keep pace with the demands of global unified land operations.

The Army also manages the critical skill requirements of more than 65,000 civilian sustainers. These professionals provide depth, talent, and experience to the operating and generating forces. The Army has made tremendous progress in civilian leader development and talent management.

So what qualities and attributes must our professionals possess? What competencies must sustainers have? And how do we provide the right combination of education, training, and experience at the right points in their careers? Having the right systems in place to address these challenges is central to meeting Army requirements and readiness goals. Fortunately, some answers already exist.

Institutionally, the Army has already defined the overarching skills and attributes all leaders must possess. The leadership requirements model found in Army Doctrine Publication 6-22, Army Leadership, establishes the foundation for leadership using a core set of requirements and the expectations for what a leader should be, know, and do.

All Army leaders must possess the three fundamental attributes of character, presence, and intellect and display the three Army leader competencies of leads, develops, and achieves. According to Army Doctrine Publication 6-22, talent management must also account for an individuals talents, skills, behaviors, and potential.

The Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) recently published the Sustainment Leader Development Implementation Plan, which describes the specific competencies sustainment leaders must possess. There are six core sustainment competencies.

UNDERSTANDING JOINT COMBINED ARMS MANEUVER. Understanding combined arms maneuver allows the sustainment leader to assist in shaping operations by enabling the maneuver commander to consider sustainment estimation within the overall concept of operations.

TOTAL FORCE SUSTAINMENT INTEGRATION. Sustainment leaders must know how to integrate all components of total force sustainment during all phases of planning and execution. Expeditionary sustainment. Leaders must prepare themselves and their units to maintain readiness for deployment. Once operations commence, they must be able to perform their roles in an expeditionary environment.

UNIFIED ACTION PARTNER INTEGRATION. In order to provide effective and efficient sustainment to the force, sustainment leaders must understand how Army sustainment fits into the context of unified land operations.

STRATEGIC SUSTAINMENT ENTERPRISE OPERATIONS. Sustainment leaders must understand strategic capabilities and how the links work across the three levels of war.

SUSTAINMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS. Army sustainers should understand what enterprise resource planning systems are, why the Army is moving toward them, what kinds the Army has, and how they are integrated.

In addition to understanding these core competencies, the Army must manage talent to build competence in several areas highlighted in the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, Logistics Strategic Planning Guidance. The Army defines some of these skills as follows.

FORCE PROJECTION. The ability to project the military instrument of national power from the United States or another theater, in response to requirements for military operations. It is a demonstrated ability to alert, mobilize, rapidly deploy, and operate effectively anywhere in the world.

FORCE RECEPTION. The initial step in introducing combat power, force reception can determine success or failure of the reception, staging, onward movement, and integration operation. Reception from strategic lift is implemented at or near designated air and seaports of debarkation, normally under the control of the geographic combatant commander.

ONWARD MOVEMENT. A joint and multinational effort that uses the capabilities and organizational structures of other services, allies, host nations, and other governmental entities. It is an iterative activity in which units advance from one line of communication node to another. Onward movement occurs when units move from ports to theater staging bases or forward to the tactical assembly area. Three primary factors affecting onward movement are movement control, transportation infrastructure, and security.

DISTRIBUTION MANAGEMENT. The function of synchronizing and coordinating a complex system of networks (physical, communications, information, and finance) and sustainment functions (logistics, personnel services, and health service support) to achieve responsive support for operational requirements.

MATERIEL MANAGEMENT. Directing, integrating, synchronizing, prioritizing, and optimizing the function of supply, to include maintenance and transportation functions that support supply, to provide uninterrupted support to the deployed force.

Talent management actually begins before a Soldier begins his or her career. The number and variety of MOSs, officer specialties, and WO specialties within the sustainment branches provide a wide range of opportunities for prospective officers and enlisted Soldiers. Each specialty, however, requires a great deal of continuous talent management.

For officers who receive their commissions through the Reserve Officers Training Corps, the talent management process starts with the Cadet Commands Cadet Talent Management Program. The Cadet Command provides a web-based platform for cadets to explore potential career opportunities within the active Army, ARNG, and USAR. Cadets can research various branches and specialties to assess how their individual talents and interests match the needs of the Army.

At the United States Military Academy, officers are assessed over a four-year period and assigned branches based on overall performance and talent. The Army Officer Candidate School assesses candidates based on their previous military experience, their performance during the course, and the needs of the Army. Talent management continues for all lieutenants when they arrive at their respective basic officer leader courses. Talent management starts early and continues throughout an officers career.

Talent management for the enlisted force is equally active. Initial efforts begin through the Army Recruiting Command. Recruiters match the talents and desires of prospective Soldiers with specific MOSs. The MOS that a Soldier qualifies for is based largely on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.

One important aspect of talent management that sustainment professionals should understand is the relationship between HRC and TRADOC. Most people are aware that HRC executes the assignments process. HRC interfaces with officers, NCOs, and Soldiers and assigns them to positions at various posts, camps, and stations. HRC also orchestrates the numerous promotion and selection boards for the Army.

What is not commonly understood is that the centers of excellence and branches under TRADOC actually write the doctrine and establish the requirements for each enlisted MOS and officer specialty. The Combined Arms Support Command (CASCOM) is the center of excellence that represents the sustainment community.

The CASCOM Logistics Branch Proponency Office and quartermaster, ordnance, transportation, adjutant general (AG), and financial management (FM) representatives work with HRC to marry the needs of the Army with the professional and technical development needs of individual Soldiers.

CASCOM and the branches, in conjunction with Army staff proponents (G-1, G-4, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management and Comptroller) and HRC, write the sustainment-related chapters of Department of Army Pamphlet (DA PAM) 600-3, Commissioned Officer Career Management. The Army staff sections are a critical link in the policy chain for sustainment talent management and career development. They write the policies that govern career management for sustainment professionals.

DA PAM 600-3 applies to officers and WOs in both the active and reserve components. Under Force Sustainment, Chapter 35 covers career development for each of the logistics branches, and Chapters 36 and 37 address career development for AG and FM officers, respectively. It is impossible to discuss talent management of officers without an understanding of the contents of this foundational document.

The enlisted branches are governed by DA PAM 600-25, NCO Professional Development Guide. The requirements for each career management field are described and updated through a continual dialogue between the HRC Enlisted Personnel Management Directorate and representatives from each branch.

In both examples, talent managers align each individuals needs and talents with the strategic objectives of the Army. The relationship between CASCOM and HRC for sustainment professionals is critical.

While the active and reserve components are governed by the same DA PAMs, USAR and ARNG talent management processes differ somewhat from the active component. Geographic and organizational constraints, as well as limited available training days, dictate different approaches to talent management.

For sustainers, it is common for elements of a single command to reside in five or more states. At the expeditionary sustainment command and theater sustainment command levels, the span of control can easily touch 20 states.

Sustainment professionals in the reserve component must routinely balance the demands of a civilian profession with the professional development and talent management requirements of an Army career. Many Soldiers travel vast distances for key developmental opportunities. It is quite common for reserve component Soldiers to reside in Georgia and report to a headquarters in Louisiana, New York, or California. This is particularly true at higher level commands.

Further, ARNG Soldiers must also train to meet missions mandated by the states to which their units are assigned. These conditions affect talent management and pose challenges to maintaining personnel readiness. Although they are different than active component processes in several ways, both the USAR and ARNG systems consistently produce strong sustainment professionals capable of supporting the full range of military operations.

As important as the institutional aspects of talent management are, assignments within the operational Army are more decisive to the success of overall talent management efforts. During a typical 20-year career, a sustainment officer will likely spend 60 to 75 percent of his or her time in operational assignments.

Successful NCOs and WOs will trend closer to spending 75 percent in these assignments, serving 12 to 15 years in tactical and operational units and two to three years in military schools. The remaining time will likely be served in career broadening assignments away from the operational Army. Thus, talent management within the operational force will continue to play the dominant role in growing the types of sustainment leaders the Army demands.

Presently, HRC assigns Soldiers and leaders directly to brigades. It is imperative that sustainment leaders take an active and coordinated role in managing talent within their organizations. Yes, this pertains to all officers, WOs, and NCOs.

The process begins with understanding the developmental needs of the Soldiers assigned to the unit. For final position determinations, leaders must use DA PAM 600-3 and DA PAM 600-25, their informed knowledge of Soldiers past assignments and performance, and an understanding of career paths for future developmental requirements. This goes beyond merely placing a round peg in a round hole; it requires knowledge of the Soldiers and their developmental needs.

For example, a brigade support battalion commander must make deliberate decisions about the placement of captains arriving from a captains career course. Leaders must work closely with the brigade S-1 and brigade commander to influence this process as much as possible for AG captains as well. Within the FM community, leaders must work closely with the division G-8 to ensure proper placement and use of brigade S-8s.

This same level of engagement is required for enlisted talent management by first sergeants and command sergeants major across the sustainment community. WO talent management is equally important. Senior warrant advisors in particular must take an active role in advising commanders on the placement and developmental needs of WOs across the force.

Another area of intense discussion is low-density MOSs and specialty talent management. Often low-density populations are not managed, trained, or coached as well as the more common specialties.

Sergeants time training for low-density officers and enlisted MOSs is one effective method of addressing the specific training and talent management needs of these specialties. This constant process of talent management better ensures that a leader will be in the right position at the right time.

In addition to proper assignment management, sustainment leaders at all levels must coach and mentor junior leaders by providing routine formal counseling and accurate evaluations that will continue to build future talent within the sustainment community. It is the responsibility of all leaders to grow the bench of the Army and groom junior leaders to become the best sustainers and leaders.

Leader professional development sessions should include not only the basic tenets of Army leadership; for sustainers, they should also include the sustainment core competencies outlined in the Sustainment Leader Development Implementation Plan. A deliberate mentorship, counseling, and development program will create holistic, successful sustainment leaders for the future Army.

Leaders should use the talent management process to identify sustainers for career broadening positions after their key developmental positions. Understanding the sustainment career timeline in DA PAM 600-3 and DA PAM 600-25 is a must for all leaders to nominate the right Soldier for a broadening or nominative assignment, such as at a combat training center, as a small-group instructor for professional military education courses, and for Training With Industry, Advanced Civil Schooling, and fellowship and internship opportunities.

Assignments as recruiters, drill sergeants, advanced individual training platoon sergeants, and division and corps-level staff members are also considered broadening assignments. One common myth is that broadening assignments are inherently away from troops. This simply is not true; fellowships and internships are not the only way to achieve a broadening experience.

Combat training center assignments, for example, are equally valuable and provide Soldiers with the doctrinal knowledge required to mentor other leaders and the lessons learned of each rotating unit. It is through these various broadening assignments, in addition to key developmental assignments, that we will continue to grow our leaders to be the best trained, most knowledgeable, and most effective sustainers in our force.

Talent management is key to the readiness of our force. The size and complexity of this task for the sustainment community is enormous. The challenges are numerous in both the active and reserve components for enlisted and officer specialties across our force. The fact is that we will continue to require a dedicated and consistent effort to achieve success. The only way to collectively achieve Army personnel readiness objectives is through leader engagement at every level in the process.

Sound institutional processes are in place. However, the talent management battle will be won or lost at the individual leader level, such as when squad leaders take care of Soldiers in the squads and when commanders and senior enlisted leaders take the time to teach, coach, and mentor. Sustainment leaders are up to the challenge. We always have been, and we always will be. We must maximize the potential of our greatest asset: our people.

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Maj. Gen. Darrell K. Williams is the commanding general of CASCOM and the Sustainment Center of Excellence at Fort Lee, Virginia.

Capt. Austin L. Franklin is a personnel proponent officer in the CASCOM Logistics Branch Proponency Office. He has a bachelors degree in sociology from Alabama A&M University and an MBA. He is a graduate of the Army Basic Officer Leader Course II, the Ordnance Basic Officer Leader Course, and the Logistics Captains Career Course. He completed a tenure with Orbital Alliant Techsystems Incorporated through the Armys Training With Industry program.

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This article was published in the January-February 2017 issue of Army Sustainment magazine.

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