Thursday, August 12, 2010

DADT & Military Chaplains

The harm to military religious liberty posed by the possible dismantling of the so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is only recently starting to get the kind of attention it needs. If the military is forced to normalize homosexual conduct, service members’ religious beliefs that such conduct is immoral and harmful will likely be a casualty of the political push to radically alter military personnel policy. This likelihood is demonstrated by the nationwide assaults on religious belief in the civilian world and by new evidence from an active-duty chaplain that is being revealed for the first time here.

Not surprisingly, those who have fought the hardest to protect service members’ religious liberty against the normalized homosexual behavior are the same men who have given decades of their lives to the service of that liberty: chaplains. In April, 41 veteran chaplains—men who have ministered to our troops in battlegrounds ranging from Vietnam to Iraq to Afghanistan—signed a letter outlining the harm to religious liberty. These include censorship of sermons, counseling, and ethical teaching; forced changes to religious services and programs; and the marginalization of chaplains and service members with orthodox religious beliefs. A major vehicle for these harms, they warned, would be discrimination complaints, which would effectively end chaplains’ careers and thus censor their ministry.

And now new evidence has come to light that these concerns are true. Read more...
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