On Friday, Mark Green, a religious Christian West Point graduate who served as an Army infantry officer and flight surgeon and had been nominated to become Secretary of the Army by President Trump, withdrew his name from nomination after being viciously attacked by Democrats and leftists for his religious beliefs.
Green released a statement that read:
It is with deep regret today I am withdrawing my nomination to be the Secretary of the Army. I am honored that President Trump nominated me for this position. I appreciate his support and confidence in me, as well as that of Secretary [of Defense Jim] Mattis and many others.
But to meet these challenges, there should be no distractions. And unfortunately, due to false and misleading attacks against me, this nomination has become a distraction. Tragically, my life of public service and my Christian beliefs have been mischaracterized and attacked by a few on the other side of the aisle for political gain. While these false attacks have no bearing on the needs of the Army or my qualifications to serve, I believe it is critical to give the president the ability to move forward with his vision to restore our military to its rightful place in the world.
Green had championed the rights of businesses to practice their religious beliefs and been outspoken that transgenderism was a mental illness, having said, “If you poll the psychiatrists, they’re going to tell you transgender is a disease.” Green also urged the state of Tennessee to reject the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage and was opposed to teaching Islam in public schools.
He also supported creationism, asserting:
Irreducible complexity is important in the argument for the creationist because of this: Evolution assumes a series of minuscule changes over time, and each change has to give a survival advantage to the organism. If it doesn't, and it causes a disadvantage the organism dies and evolution ends … The question is, did all of this happen by chance operating inside the laws of chemistry and physics? Or is this unbelievable engineering, and is the scientific mind going to look at it and make the conclusion, observation, and conclusion that it was created and not that it evolved. Again, remember time is not the hero of the plot. Time is the villain, because over time things break down, they don't assemble themselves together.
In late April, House Democrats sent a letter to Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, the committee’s top Democrat, writing, “LGBT soldiers are willing to make tremendous sacrifices to protect our rights and freedoms. It would be deeply disrespectful to their service to appoint a secretary of the Army whose history of homophobia and transphobia makes it clear that he is not willing to do the same for them.”
Green had responded that his critics were "cutting and splicing my words to paint me as a hater."
Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer celebrated Green’s withdrawal:
Ashley Broadway Mack, president of the American Military Partner Association, was delighted with Green’s withdrawal, issuing a statement in which she said, “Mark Green should never have even been considered for Secretary of the Army. His vicious attacks on LGBT people should have been disqualifying from the very beginning. It took an overwhelming chorus of voices speaking out in outrage over the nomination, but we are pleased that in the end, what is best for our military families has prevailed.”