The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

Mounting religious liberty concerns in “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” attack grow with new revelations from active-duty chaplain

Photo of Daniel Blomberg
Daniel Blomberg
Legal Counsel, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

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.

Since the beginning of the most recent round of this debate, the militaries of foreign countries that have allowed homosexual behavior to be practiced openly have been touted as proof that the U.S. military can adopt their practices and still be an effective fighting force.  But a recent account from an active-duty U.S. chaplain working with one of those militaries shows religious liberty will not fare well in the face of normalized homosexual conduct.

The U.S. military operates what might best be called an “exchange program” that allows chaplains to become functioning members of foreign military chaplaincies.  One such U.S. chaplain—whose name and the distinctive aspects of his service must be withheld to avoid censure—recently discovered when his faith contradicts the military’s endorsement of homosexuality.

A junior officer approached the chaplain with numerous questions about Christianity, and they talked for hours about a wide range of subjects, including a brief discussion about orthodox Christianity’s stance on homosexual behavior.  The officer left satisfied.  Later, though, a more senior officer berated the chaplain publicly for his religious perspective on homosexual behavior.  This officer threatened him, saying that if the chaplain had not been a U.S. service member, he would certainly have been written up for “harassment.”

Later, a female service member was brought to the chaplain for help regarding relationship issues with her same-sex partner.  The chaplain happily provided emotional support and sought administrative solutions so that she could return to her duties.  After the situation was resolved, she met with the chaplain for follow-up counseling during which she asked how she might have a healthier relationship with her partner.  He explained that, in this instance, since his faith teaches that no homosexual relationship can be healthy because it is innately against the will of God, he would instead help her find another chaplain who could counsel her if she would like.  Her response?  She said she knew of his beliefs and that she was willing to seek counsel from him anyway because she trusted him.

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  • dan1davis

    Granting that there is a clear Biblical injuction against homosexuality and that there is an aggressive, progressive political agenda supported by many, if not the overwhelming majority of homesexuals, I have some questions.

    1. How free is freedom? It seems that everyone has a limit to the amount of liberty that they are willing to tolerate in others. Regardless of personal opinions of homosexuality, and I hear everything from lifestyle choice to mental illness to genetic anomaly to demonic possesion, the fact of homosexuality is that there are those who identify as such and many are American.

    2. Are we going to criminalize this behavior? If not, then we have some issues with that old constitution thing.

    3. If we look to bureaucrats to suppress this behavior can we really be surprised when they try to suppress our own?

    I know many are questioning whether they can live their faith in a world where Christians must co-exist with homosexuals but the better question is this; is it not sufficient to be free to live MY behavior without the possibility of state interference? The power we give bureaucrats to interfere in the normal lives of homosexuals is the same power those bureaucrats turn on Christians in order to interfere with that behavior. The state is the enemy of freedom. Empowering the state to suppress non-criminal behavior is treason against the cause of liberty. Those who betray liberty to the state will eventually be betrayed themselves; so how committed to this are you? Can we destroy the progressive agenda without creating a sub-class of Americans who only enjoy some freedom but not as much as those who behave in the appropriate way?

    We have to have a very serious discussion in this country about freedom. Not politics, but liberty. This debate is about politics.

  • Newly Minted

    Here’s the secret to understand the constant demands of homosexuals. They hate themselves. The behavior stems from and produces more feelings of inadequacy. Young boys who grow up with a feeling that they are less than masculine can end up with homosexual feelings. Acting on these feelings furthers that feeling. The same is true for young girls and feelings of how feminine they are.

    What the gay movement has done is to externalize these feelings, taking them off of the person and placing them onto society. Their self hatred and feeling of inadequacy is not seen to come from themselves, but from society. Society now is far from being condemnatory of homosexuality. In fact it lauds it. Yet homosexuals still act out in ways that show their own self-hatred – drugs, alcohol, mind numbing kinky sex, But they still blame society for all of this. So they will constantly demand more and more change from society in a never ending quest for a clean conscience.

    An ocean of tolerance will not remove the guilt that this behavior does to the soul. This is why no matter society does for homosexuals, it will NEVER be enough. If DADT is repealed the military will the victim of endless, and I mean endless, “sensitivity” classes, presumably lead by Nancy Pelosi’s transgendered cousin.

  • aflciononono

    Violence and confusion will ensue when people of any sexual persuasion, straight or gay, begin to believe that lies are the truth.

    Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

    A mother is a woman. A wife is a woman. A daddy is a man. A husband is a man.

    San Francisco Judge Walker and 100 million gays can try to believe that a man is a woman and a woman is a man but it won’t change what men & women are and it certainly will not change what marriage is. “Is” as in IS.

    Marriage is a supernatural spiritual institution brought into being by God Himself. The institution of “marriage” cannot exist anywhere but between male & female humans. Likewise, homosexual behaviour has no place on the battlefield.

    Ignorance of Truth and Perversion of fact ruins lives. Anyone who thinks it isn’t so is in for a very very big surprise. Stay tuned.

    If you are interested in thinking above the belt please read this:
    http://tinyurl.com/2egzwxo

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Johan-David-Baumeister/770335407 Johan David Baumeister

    “Since homosexual behavior is not a morally or religiously neutral subject (unlike, for instance, race), forcing the military to normalize that behavior will have significant effects on the morality and religion of our service members. If anything, given the military’s unique demands for strict discipline and low threshold for dissent, the assault on service members’ religious liberty will be even worse. That was certainly the experience of the active-duty U.S. chaplain discussed here.”

    Religion is also not a morally neutral subject. Many Christians believe that their particular denomination is the only right belief, and most Christians believe that no other religion is true or holy. Yet we have Muslim and Jewish chaplains serving alongside Christian and even Wiccan chaplains. The existence of religious diversity didn’t destroy the religious freedom of those who believe their religion to be superior to other religions. It does, however, limit the sort of morale-destroying talk about how one religion or denomination is better than another.

    Allowing gay soldiers to be honest about themselves with their chaplains and fellow soldiers doesn’t force those chaplains or fellow soldiers to change their beliefs. To argue otherwise flies in the face of our current experience with a religiously diverse military.

    Further, our military does not have to be run the same way as a foreign military. We can learn from their mistakes. Besides, we already have established rules that protect the spiritual independence of the chaplaincy and its individual members. Assuming that those rules are incompatible with the repeal of DADT is naive, and assuming that those rules would somehow disappear ventures beyond naive into the realm of willful, paranoid, ignorance.

    Conservative Christians may not have endeared themselves to gays and their progressive allies, but we gays aren’t by and large a vengeful community. You’ll notice no churches in any of the six states where gay marriage is or has been legal have been sued for refusing to marry a gay couple. No pastors have been arrested for preaching their beliefs. No chaplains will be demoted or disciplined for sharing theirs, either.

  • Babylonandon

    I wonder if there is a point at which people are going to realize that by opening the doors to the homosexual police in the service, we will be necessity create a massive exodus of ANYONE who has even a slight aversion to rabidly gay conduct – which is going to be thrown deliberately in peoples faces BECAUSE many gay folks will not tolerate anyone around who isn’t properly submissive to their control.

    I rather suspect this is deliberate. If the military can’t get the numbers to keep up its force requirements – especially overseas – they will have to shrink the military. This will not only make us less threatening and offensive to those who want this country diminished, it frees up money they want to spend for social programs.

    Not only that, it will rapidly result in more inwardly focused a military that is far more hostile to rest of the American people – especially the straight, Christian Middle Class who are the most likely to revolt against the Liberal tide. Again, I suspect that this is the point.

    A smaller, gay-er, more loyal to the government and hostile to the citizenry military that is far more effective at and organized for internal policing instead of foreign combat to support Liberal control over the American people and not interfere with the rest of the planet.

    Bitter Clingers and ending the Middle class culture are what the Obama’s have spoken at length about.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Johan-David-Baumeister/770335407 Johan David Baumeister

      There will be no mass exodus, and there will be no “rabily gay conduct” either. The only thing that’s getting repealed is DADT. The UCMJ’s prohibitions on inappropriate sexual conduct, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and such will still be strictly enforced. Probably more strictly, being as straight men don’t much like being made to feel like some of them sometimes make straight women feel.

      I doubt that this “mass exodus” of yours will amount to more than a hundred service members in total. That’s hardly enough to force us to shrink the military. In addition, you’ve clearly never heard of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. That’s the law that forbids the use of the federal military as domestic law enforcement.

      • dukas

        J D Baumeister; you make up numbers to justify your own biasness. I have never seen such intolerance as that which is practiced by the homosexual movement as they demand tolerance of others. Even my own intolerant reply will not measure up to a homosexual’s intolerance. Homosexuals have surrender to a sexual compulsion for whatever reason, and their compulsion finds relief and enjoyment in perverting and destroying moral icons and logic. We have all witnessed the attacks from homosexual groups on those supporting prop 8, of homosexuals inside a churches disrupting services, of public fornication on the streets under the perverse usage of ‘pride’. We have seen the false charges and personal destruction practiced by their viciousness. We witness homosexuals attempting to pervert the minds of young school children, against parental judgment. Like Rosie O’D this morning admitting she married another woman and adopted children only for spite against Bush, many in the homosexual community flaunt their deviant sexual behavior for no other reason then to spite and embarrass their own parents with an ‘accept me for who I am,’ logic which flatters themselves with a false sense of revolutionary freedom. The more homosexuals ‘act up’ the more aware the public becomes that they are only pushing acceptance of a social disease.

        • Newly Minted

          You don’t even know by half how right you are. Part of homosexuality is the need to destroy the normal family. I spent thirty years in the homosexual world. You would not believe how much molestation of children there is. I know or have known so many men – hundreds of men – who admit to me that they have sex with their own sons. Every single homosexual man that I knew who had sole custody of his sons had sex or had sexual feelings for his own son. Every single one.

          When confronted about this, many of these people scream out their hatred of the family, of decency, and of the Christian God especially. The longer a person is into homosexuality, the worse it gets. You won’t hardly meet a homosexual who is over 40 who is not massively promiscuous, massively kinky or massively lonely.

          BTW, don’t believe one word that a professional homosexual tells you about his life when talking in public. Homosexuality is a pagan god and its devotees will protect their god at all costs. Relatives don’t know what their gay family member does. Straight friends don’t know. Your relative or friend may be a great worker, a good friend and may seem normal on the outside. What you don’t know is what that homosexual part of their life is about. It isn’t healthy. It is compulsive and addictive. Above all it is secretive to the outside world.

      • tombt

        Johan:

        With all due respect, I think you are profoundly naive. Homosexuality and orthodox Christianity cannont coexist in the military and, I would argue, in society either. One or the other will prevail. The article was very clear as to why. In the military the state will tell the clergy what it can and cannot believe and what clergy can counsel and preach to others. In time, the same will apply to society – just look at Canada where referring to homosexuality as sinful can get you in trouble. You write:

        “No pastors have been arrested for preaching their beliefs. No chaplains will be demoted or disciplined for sharing theirs”

        Give it time for these things will assuredly happen.