A group of conservative military chaplains represented by the Family Research Council (FRC) held a press conference this afternoon to complain that lifting the Don’t Ask, Don’t’ Tell policy would lead to a max exodus of “Orthodox Christian chaplains” and jeopardize their hiring and advancement opportunities. “If chaplains are forced to council same sex couples or are limited in the moral teachings that they can present, you can look for Orthodox Christian chaplains to exit the military, leaving an insurmountable void in the fostering of an environment that ensures that the man and women who wear the uniform are in their best mental, emotional and spiritual condition necessary to defend the nation and the ideals that they represent,” Perkins explained.
You get that? Anti-gay theology is so central to these chaplains’ daily work and function, that they would rather abandon the service than operate in an environment where gays and lesbians are openly recognized. In fact, without daily reminders of how sinful homosexuality really is, our men and women won’t be able to “defend the nation” and its ideals. Internal military policy and regulations must now receive the approval of Orthodox Christian chaplains before it can be adopted:
JORDAN LORENCE, Alliance Defense Fund: They will be in conflict with military policy if this law is changed by congress. It is going to create a crisis of conscience for the chaplains, the people that they serve and how that’s all going to shake out it’s not clear, but it’s not going to be good. Will people leave, will they muzzle themselves? Will the military take action against them? It’s not clear. [...]
COL. RICK YOUNG, Retired Chaplain US Army: Am I going to be forced or pressured into hiring a homosexual to be my director of religious organization, or maybe my youth worker? So I think the threatening and where the chaplains can really run risks is in several different areas of ministry.
Watch the highlights:
Fortunately, not all faith leaders agree and some military chaplains actually support repealing the policy. “As military chaplains, we routinely work with service members whose faith traditions and belief systems are different from ours. 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,” said Captain John F. Gundlach, a retired Chaplain of the U.S. Navy. HRC has more on the broad coalition of faith leaders who support repeal here.