Friday, May 14, 2010

DADT and Military Chaplains

I know this is old news, but the idea that DADT can't be repealed because it will limit the religious freedom of military chaplains is just ridiculous to me.

From CBS News:
A group of social conservatives and retired military chaplains held a press conference in Washington today to argue that the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy would have an adverse impact on the religious freedom and careers of military chaplains.

Allowing gay men and women to serve openly in the armed forces "steals from the chaplain their religious freedom," according to retired military chaplain Col. Rich Young. He argued that chaplains will be "muzzled" if the policy passes and that "soldiers and families [will] no longer have the benefit of the full council of God."

Participants at the press conference suggested that chaplains who oppose gay marriage and believe homosexuality is immoral might see their careers hurt and lose the ability to honestly counsel service members. Allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly will "create a crisis of conscience for the chaplains," Jordan Lorence of the Alliance Defense Fund said.
First off, isn't the military a secular institution? I'm not going to go as far as some people and say that there shouldn't be chaplains, though I do think the argument has plenty of merit, but I don't understand why these chaplains' religious freedom comes before the welfare of the enlisted (you know, the people the chaplains are there to help). From what little I know about military chaplains, they're responsible for counseling people of all different kinds of faith. I feel like these chaplains complaining about DADT could use a firm, "this isn't about you."

Also, I don't understand how having our service members lie about their sexual orientation so military chaplains can "honestly counsel service members" makes any sense.

Jordan Lorence then goes on to say that repeal of DADT would mean that military policy will for the first time be "at odds with the major tenets of the major religions represented in the armed services." Um, what? I'm pretty sure the whole "thou shall not kill" is more relevant here than what two consenting adults do in their own bedroom.

Luckily not everyone is a raging moron:
The sentiment at the event does not represent the beliefs of all military chaplains: Captain John F. Gundlach, a retired Navy Chaplain, said in a statement that military chaplains "routinely work with service members whose faith traditions and belief systems are different from ours." He is a member of a group of religious organizations backing repeal.

"The idea that repeal of DADT will infringe on our religious liberty is insulting to all the serving chaplains who professionally minister to and with people of diverse beliefs every day," he said. "It is time to realize that bigotry - not one's sexual orientation - is incompatible with military service. It's time for gay Americans to be able to serve our country proudly and openly, with continued courage, honor, and commitment."
Insulting indeed.


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  2. That makes zero sense. Captain Gundlach hit the nail on the head. It is insulting to all chaplains and to the people they are there to serve.

    The idiocy of some people. It hurtz mah brainz.

  3. This is the stupidest argument they could come up with!

    If we use the same tact, we could refuse atheists/agnostics from service as well.

    I'm not gay, but I am a heathen atheist. I served in the Army and was honorably discharged. I can assure you, whether or not my fellow soldiers were homosexual was the least of my concerns.

    But, Colonel Young may be right about one thing. Gays serving openly in the military would infringe on his homophobia. Since when was being homophobic a RIGHT?

    That's mighty christian of him!

  4. "Since when was being homophobic a RIGHT?" My thoughts exactly. I know there's a lot of Christian privilege in this country but give me a break.


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