Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed American Greatness contributor and Marine veteran Josiah Lippincott to the newsmaker line to talk about his latest piece, which received slanderous retaliation by Washington Post columnist Max Boot.
Leahy: On the newsmaker line, Josiah Lippincott, who you may not have heard of, but apparently The Washington Post has heard of. Welcome, Josiah to The Tennessee Star Report.
Lippincott: Hey, awesome. Thank you so much for having me on, Michael.
Leahy: So, Josiah, you are a Marine veteran. When did you start to serve and in what capacity did you serve?
Lippincott: Yeah, I served between 2016 and 2020. I was in the Marine Corps and I served in the artillery, specifically the rocket artillery with HIMARS. So I was a platoon commander and then did liaison work.
So I did a lot of reaching out to other units, deployed to Okinawa, and then traveled around the Pacific working with fires. Integration is what we called it.
Leahy: Well, J.C. Bowman, who’s in-studio with us here, is also a Marine veteran, and I think you probably have two words for him.
Bowman: Semper Fi. (Laughter)
Lippincott: Yes. Exactly right.
Leahy: So now you’re a graduate student at Hillsdale. What are you studying?
Lippincott: Yeah, so I’m interested in foreign policy and war, and that’s largely a byproduct of my time in the Marine Corps and what I saw while I was in, and some of the criticisms I have of the military establishment and wokeness.
But my interest extends to political philosophy in general. I think philosophy means a love of wisdom, and I think we need a lot more wisdom in this country.
There’s a lot of insanity. I thought it was important to take seriously the old books and to think clearly about new ideas.
Leahy: Last year, a major general, I think he was in the Army, Patrick Donahoe, posted a message encouraging soldiers to get vaccinated against COVID-19. This is the same COVID-19 that Pfizer just admitted that, yes, we didn’t have any evidence that it’s going to stop transmission of COVID-19.
And to me, this policy is really more designed to limit the number of people actually in our armed forces. That’s my view, not yours. My view. And it’s all part of the wokeness of the Biden maladministration.
So you wrote in response to that, that, “The lockdowns, liberty restrictions, quarantines, and general disruption of service members’ lives is a way bigger killer than the virus.” Yes, I would agree with that.
But this major general engaged in an online back-and-forth with you, and he ended up really demeaning and insulting you and Hillsdale. He said, hey, Hillsdale, come get your boy.
Lippincott: Yes, General Donahoe and a lot of people are misstating my comments now because it’s in the news, and I’m sure we’re going to talk about that now, why the story is back in the news.
But basically, I pointed out that at the time, there had been 26 COVID deaths in the entire American military. Yet in one quarter of 2020, in the fourth quarter, the increase in suicides – not total suicides – the increase in suicides was 26 across the entire service.
And so what I pointed out was, okay, we have a massive increase in the Delta when it comes to suicidal ideation among service members.
And the most obvious reason is their lives have been upended by these crazed policies that are not backed up by any kind of common sense or scientific evidence. And the general’s response was petulant.
It was snarky, it was offensive and insulting, and it was demeaning to his own rank. But it was par for the course for a group of military officers on Twitter collectively known as Military Twitter.
And they’re extremely liberal, extremely woke, and very much pushing diversity, equity, inclusion, transgenderism feminism, and liberalism; basically acting as open partisan defenders of Joe Biden and the liberal regime.
And so I took issue with that. And so I ended up being one of the most prominent critics of this section of the internet, and that has ended up being a pretty newsworthy item over the last year or so.
Leahy: So this character, Max Boot, who fashions himself a military expert, I don’t believe he’s ever served in the military. I could be wrong about that, but he’s a columnist for The Washington Post, and he wrote a piece last week defending this major general and criticizing you. What’s your reaction to Max Boot?
Lippincott: Well, it was to savage him in my own column at American Greatness. And I pointed out, look, this guy is a noted drag queen show enthusiast, a defender of the Iraq war, a warmonger, and he’s also a Never Trumper. So those things, of course, all go together. Actually, those are far more related than I think a lot of people understand.
What Boot said was that I was a troll who was part of the far-right forces trying to subvert American democracy, which is absolutely ludicrous. What I’m trying to do is make sure we have a military that actually serves our interests, and someone like Max Boot is interested in having the American military serve the interests of literally everyone else in the world.
Someone like Max Boot thinks the most important thing the military does is fight wars in Asia or give money to the Ukrainians. And I think the most important thing our military should do is protect Americans and protect our rights and liberties. And this is a major point of departure between me and Military Twitter, and it’s worth noting, like, why is this story coming up now?
It’s that General Donahoe’s retirement was put on pause because of an army investigation into his activities on social media. He attacked Tucker Carlson. He engaged in improper fraternization with a junior officer, which means favoritism to a young woman within, I think, his chain of command. And the point that the Army made is they’re putting his retirement on pause.
I have no doubt that General Donahoe is going to end up collecting millions of dollars in money and his pension from the American military before all is said and done. But I think it’s damning to look at the ramifications of a career like that of Patrick Donahoe and that of a public columnist like Max Boot, people who are consistently wrong and have overseen failure after failure. So, yes, I guess I’m trying to subvert that kind of failure. But I’m not a troll. I’m a very serious, very serious critic of what I see as gross incompetence by people in power.
Leahy: So here’s the problem as I see it – and I did not serve in our military, but I certainly support all our armed forces. And I think we should have a strong military under the Biden maladministration.
I think we have a weak military and it is led by a bunch of propagandists who are promoting woke ideology. That’s the problem. And the vaccine mandate is pushing veterans or service members out. Our recruitment is down. How do we fix this?
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Max Boot” by U.S. Naval War College. CC BY 2.0.
Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed retired attorney and blog creator of Misrule of Law Mark Pulliam to the newsmakers line to discuss his recent piece at American Greatness entitled Surrendering the Public Square where he sounds the alarm on churches going woke.
Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line now by our very good friend, Mark Pulliam, a California refugee and retired attorney. He moved to town in East Tennessee back in 2019.
He blogs at Law and Liberty. Mark, I am troubled as you are by the disappearance of Christian leaders from the public square. Tell us about your latest column on that.
Pulliam: Well, good morning, Michael. I’m always pleased to be here. What is going on in American churches is the same thing that’s been going on in other institutions in the United States. And that is the left is completing its long march through the institutions.
And this has been a goal of theirs since the mid 20th century. And they have managed to take over the Democratic Party, higher education, Hollywood, the media, Big Tech, and even corporate America.
But now the left is intent on taking over organized religions. And, in fact, many Protestant denominations have gotten woke. This trend has been apparent for some time, with the Episcopals, the Methodists, and the Presbyterians. Many of us in the South at least kind of look to the Southern Baptist denomination as being a refuge.
But even the Southern Baptist Church has gotten woke. And so my town has dozens of Baptist churches and we have visited many of them since we moved here looking for conventional and traditional Christian preaching.
And what we found instead is social justice being advocated and not just middle of the road social justice, but critical race theory, Marxism, left-wing politics, basically. And so I decided to write this piece.
And even as I was writing it, the Southern Baptist Convention was having its annual meeting in Nashville, a meeting that attracted 14,000 delegates. And at that meeting, literally days after this piece got posted a couple of weeks ago, they were going to pick their new President.
And they picked, in a contest between a liberal Ed Linton and a conservative, Mike Stone by a narrow margin, they picked the liberal. So even the Southern Baptist Convention seems to be headed down the wrong road, and it’s something that should be troubling to us all.
Leahy: You know, I’ve noticed the same thing. It is very difficult anywhere in America today to find a Christian Church that is not promoting the heretical critical race theory-social justice view of the world. That’s my opinion. Would you agree or disagree with my statement?
Pulliam: No. And I think many people agree with you. If you look at the numbers, the church attendance is declining, religious affiliations in America are declining. And the Southern Baptist Convention, which has been and continues to be the largest Protestant denomination, it’s declining.
And it peaked about 15 years ago at 17,000,000 members and it has lost 2,000,000 members since then and has lost a million members since 2017. Many people look to churches, that’s the way they were raised, to receive a spiritual message.
Something different than this world. If they wanted to listen to leftist propaganda, they could tune into CNN or MSNBC. And when they go to church and they hear the same table being offered up, they decide, well, either I’m going to stay home on Sunday and sleep in, or I’m going to switch over to a non-denominational mega-church or fundamentalist church.
And in fact, those congregations are growing even as the mainline churches are shrinking. So the expression is get woke, go broke. And I think some of the mainline churches are experiencing exactly that phenomenon.
Leahy: There is. And I’m going to be blunt here, there is cowardice among many Christian leaders today in the country and at the local level. That’s my view.
If you were to go into one of these mainline churches that is promoting hat is promoting critical race theory, and you said, if you tell the preacher, well, you’re a coward and you tell the elders you are cowards and you’re heretical, what kind of response do you think you’d get?
Pulliam: Well, they would deny it, but it’s undeniably true, I think. And I grew up. I’m not ancient. I’m a boomer. But what you expected to hear from faith leaders is opposition to abortion, pornography is immoral, homosexuality is immoral, and drug abuse is wrong.
And now they’re silent. Or if they’re not silent, they are fighting homelessness or racism or promoting social justice and inclusion. It’s like they’ve turned away. What I titled my piece at American Greatness, Surrendering the Public Square.
That it’s not even like the liberals have pushed them out of the public square they have abandoned it voluntarily. And not only abandon it, have taken up the mantle of the left. The faith leaders in my town who have the most prominent public role are leftists.
One of them leads the local chapter of the NAACP. The other is a diversity consultant here. And this is in a county where conservatives outnumber liberals 70 percent to 30 percent or more. So where is our voice? I think a lot of them are sensitive to peer pressure.
They don’t want to be regarded by the voices in the media as intolerant or not being inclusive. And so they have trimmed their sails accordingly. Some of it you can look at as well, the seminaries are loading up younger pastors with this stuff.
But I think a lot of it is just an unwillingness to lead or to go against the current, which is exactly why somebody would choose to be a faith leader in order to go against the current.
Leahy: You put this link in your story to a group run by a pastor called Genesis Diversity Solutions. And I’m looking at this picture of the folks there. They’re about 20 people, two Black people, 18 White people in the picture of this group. They talk about our experience.
Here’s what they talk about. Racial equity and sensitivity. Creating healthy workplace cultures. Understanding our unconscious biases. The importance of diversity in a 2021 world and restorative practices. And now they charge companies to do this it looks like, is that right?
Pulliam: Companies and even worse, local school systems. This fellow, who is a local minister, at least, that’s his part-time gig, I think he might be a diversity consultant full time.
But he works for each of the local school districts providing diversity training to staff members. And one of the school districts formed a diversity task force. And of course, they picked him to be one of the people serving on the task force.
He’s the only faith leader serving. Our county has probably 200 churches. The school district picked the most left-wing clergyman to serve on this. One of the things that he posted this fellow is during last year, during the height of the George Floyd rioting, he posted something on the Genesis Diversity Consulting Facebook page that said, you shouldn’t be objecting to the rioting. You should be objecting to what it is that’s causing the rioting.
Leahy: Nothing says law and order like that.
Pulliam: And it’s nihilistic that if a faith leader cannot even stand up and oppose anarchy, lawlessness, arson, and rioting, then what kind of moral compass is he guided by? This is very troubling. It’s nothing but left-wing politics dressed up in religious clothing. And it’s just one more form of indoctrination.
And we wonder, why do our young people follow this? Well, they’re being told this in every grade from K through 12. They’re being told this in college. And now they’re being told it from the pulpit on Sundays.
Leahy: Reverend Ben Lewis is listed at this Genesis Diversity Solutions. Partnerships with, from his website, Maryville City Schools, Blunt County Schools, and Alcoa City Schools. And they say, ‘We’re greater Nashville’s diversity professional.’
Pulliam: It’s outrageous. And I wonder, when are people going to wake up and look at what’s going on around them and start demanding answers? Why are we permitting this? It’d be one thing if this was happening in Portland or Austin or Minneapolis, but this is happening in the heart of the Bible Belt in one of the most conservative parts of America.
And it’s happening right in front of us. I’ve been accused by my liberal critics of fancying myself as the Paul Revere of East Tennessee. (Leahy laughs)
Leahy: Anytime you report the truth, you are going to being criticized.
Listen to the full first hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Mark Pulliam” by Mark Pulliam and “Town Church” by Ken Gallager CC 4.0.