Donald Trump was roundly criticized for his continued war against a Gold Star widow when she gave her account of his words on a condolence call. Her husband recently died in an ambush in Niger, the details of which are still hazy. However, what stunned more people that week than Trump's behavior was the behavior of General John Kelly, Trump's Chief of Staff.

Kelly lies about Congresswoman Frederica Wilson

When Congresswoman Frederica Wilson gave her account of the condolence call, Donald Trump called her a liar.

In many ways, this is what has come to be expected. What is not expected is his Chief of Staff defending him. Senator Bob Corker has credited Kelly with "separating our country from chaos." Incidents like this indicate otherwise.

It was widely reported that Kelly's speech on Congresswoman Wilson contained objective, factual errors. He falsely claimed that she had taken credit for the funding for an FBI building made for two fallen agents. Videos from the Florida Sun Sentinel repudiate that claim heavily.

One of the less covered aspects of Kelly's speech was his view of the military and its place in society. The New York Times recently ran a video examining Kelly's language. It emphasizes not only the valor of fallen heroes, but consolidates groups into military members and not — with a clear hierarchy.

Military worship gone wrong

Military worship in America has gone awry because of a deliberate effort to connect ideas that are meant to be separate. By connecting the idea of patriotism (or "love of country") to the idea of "supporting the military," conservatives have transformed the landscape surrounding the discussion.

In this landscape, football players protesting injustices in their country do not love their country.

In this landscape, those who oppose military action do not properly honor the memories of fallen soldiers. In this landscape, words of critique for the causes of a war are words of injustice against those fighting in one. (Historical examples include the swift and steady condemnation Martin Luther King, Jr. received for his denunciation of the Vietnam War.)

The problem with military worship to this degree is fundamental — a military exists to protect the furthering of society, not the other way around.

It is not the responsibility of citizens to justify their protests of a government or military action — it is the responsibility of governments and militaries to justify their actions to the people.

Society is not simply a cash cow for the military, despite what a recent $1 trillion omnibus bill would have us believe. Nor is it up to citizens to simply accept without question whatever the military chooses to do, under the guise of patriotism.

To have someone in one of the highest positions in government with that mentality is dangerous.