President Donald Trump's decision to ban transgender service in the armed forces drove a wedge through military veterans in Congress, with one camp standing squarely behind the commander in chief and the other decrying his order as an ugly attack on dedicated troops.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., a former Army helicopter pilot who lost her legs and partial use of her right arm during the Iraq war, called Trump's announcement discriminatory.
"When my Black Hawk helicopter was shot down in Iraq, I didn't care if the American troops risking their lives to help save me were gay, straight, transgender or anything else," she said. "All that mattered was they didn't leave me behind."
Duckworth said if a person's willing to risk their life as a member of the armed forces "and you can do the job, you should be able to serve — no matter your gender identity, sexual orientation or race."
But Rep. Steve Russell, R-Okla., applauded Trump for reversing an Obama administration directive issued in 2016 that allowed transgender service members to serve openly in the armed forces.
Russell, a retired Army officer who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Trump prevented the "implementation of a policy that does not enhance readiness, forces all Americans to spend taxes on unnecessary elective surgeries, and would force many military physicians, leaders, and counselors to violate rights of conscience protected under the 1st Amendment."

Russell is wrong.  The First Amendment does not give military personnel a defense to disobeying lawful military orders and regulation.  Nor does it give anyone a defense to failing to follow the law.  The Rule of Law applies no matter what one's conscience says. I wish people, esp. those in government, would learn something about the First Amendment before making pronouncements on it.  Remember, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, not the Bible.

Finally, Trump is a disaster when it comes to pulling Congress together (witness the never-ending repeal and replace fiasco), he is a master at dividing Congress.