Christian Post: Military Chaplians Don’t See DADT Repeal As ‘A Big Deal’

Box Turtle Bulletin’s Timothy Kincaid notes that the Family Research Center (FRC)’s claims that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would undermine religious freedoms and lead to a mass exodus of Christian chaplains were overblown at best and lies at worst. From the Christian Post:

Army Chaplain Lt. Col. Carleton Birch said Wednesday that chaplains already have experience in counseling homosexual soldiers and will likely be able to adjust easily to an openly homosexual military.

“I’ve counseled homosexual soldiers when if I told anyone else that, they would get kicked out,” shared Birch, an evangelical.

When asked if chaplains would be limited in their ability to serve soldiers following the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal, he said that no changes were necessary to protect chaplains’ rights.

He maintained, “We’ve always been able to preach and teach” and anticipate little change in the future. […]

Lt. Col. Lisa H. Tice, a Reformed chaplain who serves in the personnel, budget and readiness division of the Air Force Office of the Chief of Chaplains, said that Tier 1, the first phase of the military training, is geared towards chaplains.Tice said of counseling gays, “We don’t see this as a big deal.”

The Pentagon has maintained that “[t]here will be no changes regarding Service member exercise of religious beliefs, nor are there any changes to policies concerning the Chaplain Corps of the Military Departments and their duties. The Chaplain Corps’ First Amendment freedoms and their duty to care for all will not change.”


During the DADT debate last year, FRC argued that repeal would silence military chaplains and undermine their constitutionally-guaranteed right to freedom of religion. “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,” the FRC President Tony Perkins explained back in April.