Selected Article Excerpt:
Denominational executives and endorsers have become mission distracters, and are undermining the quality of care chaplains are sworn to provide for our service members. Those same religious leaders who opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), and who supported the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), have now engineered an artificial“crisis “in the military chaplaincy, one which threatens to subvert good order and discipline. They have employed a strategic diversion designed to derail the peaceful and successful implementation of open service.
A quick Internet search of the terms “military chaplains” and “wedding” brings up such articles as, “Southern Baptists Say No to Gay Weddings for Military Chaplains“, “SBC Chaplains Won’t Perform Gay Weddings.” One would think the supporters of marriage equality in the military were demanding chaplains be forced to conduct same-gender marriages, even if to do so would be against the tenets of their faith traditions. Nothing could be further from the truth.
After the repeal of DADT, and during the implementation of open service, the Pentagon announced that chaplains who were welcoming and affirming of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) service members would be allowed to conduct same gender weddings on military installations. Immediately, denominational leaders opposed to repeal launched a carefully orchestrated smokescreen. Ominous and fearful warnings were broadcast, from conservative media, lobbyists and pulpits around the country, that chaplains were being forced to conduct same gender weddings and relationship counseling. Of course, such fear tactics were intended to rile up religious conservatives, and to a large degree, the deception has been successful. Most Americans cherish their 1st Amendment Right of religious liberty, and will protect it at all costs. And, well they should! No clergy, in or out of uniform, should be compelled to conduct a religious rite that is against his or her sincerely held beliefs.