(LifeSiteNews) — Early last month, Lance Corporal Catherine Arnett told me about how she was forcibly removed from the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) for refusing to take the COVID jab, citing her Catholic faith and pro-life beliefs in objection to it.
Now on this episode of The John-Henry Westen Show, John Frankman, a former Special Forces officer in the U.S. Army and a convert to the Catholic faith, joins me to discuss his experience on how the Army – even before its vaccine mandate – pushed the COVID jabs and how he discerned not to take it.
In 2020, Frankman served as a captain for the 7th Special Forces Group, leading 12 men. As all in his command already had COVID, discussions about the jab seemed strange to them. They thought they wouldn’t need it. For Frankman specifically, the use of aborted fetal cells also served to give him pause, recalling during time he spent in seminary that to take the jab would be remote cooperation with evil.
The following February, the jab became available for servicemen. Frankman recalls that the jab was “pushed incredibly hard on us.”
“Every single meeting you go to at the company level, battalion level, the first thing you report on is number of fully vaccinated, number of who’s received one dose, how many are sick,” he recounts, adding that everyone made the jab a “readiness issue.”
At one point Frankman told his men that he would neither penalize nor commend them for their decision to get the jab or not during evaluations, as per military policy, though this decision won his detachment the label of “the tinfoil hat team.” He also tells me about a conversation he had with his superiors, who warned him that he was “screwing up [his] career,” that if his team lost a mission, some of his men were going to be removed from the company, and that they would be given “unwanted assignments.”
“The bigger pressure for me was the policies that were in place,” Frankman continues. “So even though the mandate [was] not kicked in till August of 2021, they were making it a requirement for traveling to different training events, for deploying.”
Discussing how he discerned not to take the jab, Frankman says that he was asking God for light regarding what to do with it, at which point he found an article by Fr. Philip Wolfe, FSSP, that helped him to recognize the serious implications of the use of aborted fetal cells in the development of the jabs. He also tells me that he was “extremely blessed” for knowing good priests to guide him on his discernment regarding the jab.
According to Frankman, he was told by one priest that the issue with the jabs is not simply a grave matter regarding abortion, but also a grave matter with regard to prudence. Reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Frankman also found that a sin can be defined as any act that is contrary to reason. “If it’s just not reasonable or prudent to do so and you’re doing that, that’s just an act against reason,” Frankman explains. Upon praying about what he should do, Frankman elected not to take the jab.
As a result, Frankman recounts several things that happened to him and his men, including losing deployments. When the military jab mandate was imposed, he and his men noticed that the COVID jabs did not have U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, but only Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), meaning that they could not be forced to take it.
The following October, Frankman and his men received counseling again. While his men opted to take the jab, Frankman did not. In the meantime, he applied to teach philosophy at West Point, though because he refused the jab, he could not teach there, as he could not get a masters’ degree to fulfill the assignment. He was also waiting for acceptance of a religious exemption for the jab. However, as the request had been pending since the previous October, and facing the strong possibility of its denial and thus the possibility of not getting an honorable discharge, he opted to leave the Army.
What Frankman is attempting to do now is raise awareness that enforcing the jabs was “damaging to the military,” hoping that his work would get people speak to their congressmen and obtain accountability for what happened, punishing those that have “influenced this” and “retraining those who follow these orders kind of blindly.”
Speaking about the jab’s effects on the military, he notes that what has happened hurt morale, retention, and recruitment. He also says that forcing servicemen to do something they didn’t want to do caused “moral damage,” and that it habituated a “yes-man… career mentality” through repeatedly choosing that which is “expedient” out of ignorance, and that it got rid of those with critical thinking in the ranks.
Even so, Frankman is hopeful for the future of the military. Maintaining that while there are good men in the military, he thinks that what has happened is simply because of “a lack of critical thought” rather than simply being a “corruption piece.”
“Maybe there just needs to be a light bulb that goes off for people to kind of pay attention and… use their critical thinking skills,” he speculates.
“But I think that we also need to understand that sin darkens reason. So as much as it’s obviously a legal and medical thing that’s bad for you, there is that sin component.”
Frankman advises those in a situation similar to his to remain faithful to Christ, explaining, “If you are trying to stay close to Him, fulfilling your duties well and making time for mental prayer especially, and just learning to hear His voice, that’s going to help direct you in a number of ways.”
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