[UNSIGNED MSG] [Non-DoD Source] Re: Pride Month

MRFF,

I assume since your name contains Religious Freedom that you represent all aspects of the religious spectrum.  What is your position on Christian members being solicited to participate in celebrations they are idealistically opposed to?

For example: DoD Pride Month celebrations. I was sent the attached email from an official source.  What recourse do you suggest?

(Name, rank, branch withheld)

People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. -George Orwell (attributed)


I am interested in the reasoning of USAF member X who claims to engage an argument of “religious objection,” that is, as he says “My objection is to being solicited to support celebrations that I have a religious objection to”.  In order to clarify the matter and perhaps reduce the “heat” of this exchange let’s engage an analogy.

 Let us suppose that I, as a Christian, held a strong objection to the consumption of alcoholic beverages.  Certainly, there is a long history of these specific moral constructions particularly within conservative, and pietistic Christian communities; let us say, that it was my strongly held Christian religious belief that alcohol consumption was morally evil and furthermore that such consumption damaged the relational and spiritual life of individuals, in addition, the consumption of alcohol weakened the cohesion of the armed services and therefore injured our national defense.  I was religiously opposed to the consumption of alcohol and religiously offended by the use of alcohol in military celebrations and ceremonies. 

 Now, are my religious “rights” trampled when my Wing Commander sends out invitations to the Wing Dining In?  After all, this event serves alcoholic beverages, and begins with a whole series of “toasts” which utilize alcohol as a symbolic and celebratory drink.  While, as an attendee I needn’t imbibe alcohol to participate in the Dining In, others around me will be drinking alcohol and my presence would, at the least, indicate my toleration of their consumption of alcohol. In addition, this event is to be held at the base Officers Club, where there is a bar serving alcoholic beverages and where alcoholic drinking is presented as a part of social engagement. I have a strongly held religious belief that the consumption of alcohol is evil, yet my Wing Commander is sending out an invitation to attend this official event and that invitation is sent via official command channels. I am offended that she supports this event where alcohol will be consumed and whether or not I intend to attend, it is offensive to me that she, as my Wing Commander, would send me an official invitation.

 So, here is my answer. No. Your strongly held religious belief that alcohol consumption is immoral is NOT trampled by an official invitation to attend the Wing Dining In. Furthermore, the Wing Commander is NOT promoting a religious perspective when she invites you to the Wing Dining In. You may have attached religious significance to the consumption of alcohol but that does not make the consumption of alcohol in the setting of a Dining In a religious event.

 Just so, the fact that you attach religious significance to the many ways in which people express their sexuality and love for one another does not make a military celebration of LGBT pride and history a religious event. And, an official invitation to observe a celebration of LGBT pride does not promote a particular religious perspective. What it does, I believe, is acknowledge and promote the pride and history of LGBT persons within both a military and civilian context.

Instrumentalizing your religious beliefs in order to claim that an official invitation to a secular event causes you religious offence seems to stretch (pardon the phrase) credulity. The Wing Public Affairs officer is not abusing her/his authority by issuing this invitation because this is NOT an invitation to a sectarian religious event; it is an invitation to an official, military, secular event. You may choose not to attend, you may be disappointed that the military and civilian LGBT community receives such official acknowledgement, and you may continue to believe that the existence of LGBT persons in some way contravenes your “Christian” perspective, but unfortunately your argument that your religious rights are being trampled by your receipt of an official invitation to voluntarily participate in a LGBT pride celebration simply does not hold.

I hope this adds some critical clarity, strengthens your military professionalism and contributes to your practice of the Christian faith. 

M. S. I. Morton, M.Div., J.D., Ph.D.
MRFF Advisory Board Member


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20 Comments

  1. anonymous MRFF supporter

    LGBT events are not religious events at all? LGBT is not a religion?- It is a sexual and/or gender orientation. Besides at the very core of all truly great religions stands the sacred principle of tolerance. After all -who is anyone to judge another? My dear late Mother was correct- Her religion was “The Golden Rule”

  2. Connie

    anonymous MRFF supporter – I am confused by your comment. Can you please clarify?

    My first thoughts are Hetrosexual and LGBTQA folk are more than their sexual identity. Some are very religious, some are not, and some are in the middle. And aside from the letter writer, who is attributing sexual identity with religion?

    I lived by the Golden Rule until I met someone who really did unto others what they wanted done to them – which really freaked me out because… well, just no. No. This is a family site so I’ll stop.

    I found For the Good of All and May it Harm None and it is my guiding principle. Harm and hurt are not the same, by the way. As Shepard Book says in Firefly – the Lord is somewhat fuzzy about the subject of kneecaps. 🙂

  3. Rev Bob

    Dear Mr. Anonymous,
    You are correct, LBGT is not a religion, but it is an abomination of God’s purposes for men and women regarding sex. May I point out that Christianity nor Jesus teaches that we are not to tolerate that which is sin, but we are to overcome it and become delivered from it. Plus, you will never find the “Golden Rule” in the bible!

    This I will throw in for free for Connie, God does not and I do not have to share regarding that which God calls sin and an abomination, but I will seek to help any individual get out of their bondage to sin if they want to, no matter what the law may say.

  4. G

    Running off with the mouth as usual Rev Bob. We are not surprise nor disappointment at your reaction.

  5. Tom O

    This email is a good example of the theocrat attitude: if anybody does something that MY religion considers “sinful,” even if it has NO effect on me, I’m entitled to play God and stop that activity. They don’t want to say that explicitly, so they play the victim game, and try to claim that the “sinful” activity somehow infringes on their religious freedom. Notice how often we hear that same-sex marriage somehow threatens hetero marriage, but NEVER hear how that allegedly happens.
    For example, see the comments for
    http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/04/ap-coverage-kicks-up-media-firestorm-nationwide/
    I asked Rev Bob that question at 4:17PM & 10:36PM 4/18, and (SURPRISE!!!!) no answer yet.

  6. Anon

    Rev Bob is one sick dude. He will go to his grave never knowing God’s glorious gifts of tolerance and love. This saddens me.

  7. Connie

    For me????? Really?///////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    Rev Bob, You won’t answer any of my questions. You spew your garbage about a truly persecuted population. What exactly is it you are giving me, aside from a glowing picture of what humanity has lived with for over two thousand years?

    I am so glad we,
    As humans have moved on from
    Hatred masked as love

    Again Rev Bob thrusts
    His religion in our face
    Insisting it’s law

    Too bad we don’t have
    guidelines to meld together
    many into one 😛

    Good points Tom O – enquiring minds want to know how Rev Bob will answer. He’s already run away, what choices does he have left?

    As for Rev Blob’s claim the Golden Rule is not in his holy book – (…”Plus, you will never find the “Golden Rule” in the bible!”), oh preacher man…. LOL You are so full of nonsense!!!

    Matthew 7:11-12 (the important verse is 12)
    11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

    Or for Rev Bob – the Tree of Life book that he prefers –

    12 So in all things, do to others what you would want them to do to you—for this is the Torah and the Prophets.

    Tell me again preacher man how the golden rule is not in the bible. Go back to school you willfully ignorant person.

  8. Connie

    For anyone who
    Thinks sexuality is
    A choice, change yours first.

  9. Rev Bob

    Dear Anon,

    I know the great gifts of His love, grace, mercy and forgiveness just fine. One of the characteristics of God is tolerance towards sin and unrighteousness. If scripture says that He cannot look upon sin, then how can he be tolerant of it?? He cannot! The New Testament teaches that if you have an immoral brother or sister in your midst, you are to confront him about his sin, first one on one, then take several with you, and if he or she will still not repent, then you are to bring them before the entire congregation and then excommunicate them from the congregation. That does not sound like God tolerates sin does it? Sin or unrighteousness is always a serious issue with God. That is why Christ came to die on a cross to take all our sin upon Him as the sacrificial lamb.

    Connie, it is God’s way or the highway to paraphrase. Jesus could not have said it any clearer when He said “I am the way, the truth and the life, NO man comes to the Father (God) but only through Me.” No other religion will get you to God, Jesus said it Himself. Even Christianity as a religion will not get you to God, only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!!!

    You have a free will to choose what choice you will make, but just remember there are eternal consequences to the choice you make! Jesus said there is only heaven or hell, no in between.

  10. Tom O

    Thanks, Rev Bob, for showing us so quickly how your only response when confronted by questions you can’t answer is to ignore them and rant about how God hates sinners.
    Maybe the reason you didn’t think the Golden Rule is in the Bible is that theocrats have been so politically allied for so long with people whose version of the Golden Rule is “Those who have the gold make the rules.”

  11. Anon

    Rev Bob- You are a sick and stuck person. Your statements come from a brain that was poisoned at a very early age. You really cannot help yourself. So I am wasting my time with you and others who are really unable to ever consider another’s view of Christianity and other great religions. Sorry – I’m done with you.

  12. Connie

    Anon – three comments in and not only do you completely understand the mindset of Rev Bob but you also understand his willful ignorance. You are a very smart person! 🙂

    I have to continue the war against traitors like Rev Bob. I will do my best to continue For the Good of all and may it harm none. If I overstep boundaries in my enthusiasm to make a point I apologize. I’ve said it before, my mother is a Christian of the United Church of Christ. That is the church which launched my explorations into the faith of the world back in the day, and it is the church that welcomes me back for they are inclusive – no matter where you are in life’s journey.

    It offends my sensibilities that Rev Bob claims to represent all Christians. It grumbles my soul when he makes absolute statements as if they are truth only to be exposed as a lie with a bit of critical thought or research. The Golden Rule issue is the just his latest example.

    Perhaps one day his eyes will be open. That’s not my concern though. My primary concern is singing my song of Country/constitution first, faith second even as it is always first in my heart. Möbius logic I know. Grins.

    Oh – also- my late husband was drummed out of the Marine Corps by people like Rev Bob. They took away his reason for living all because he was Viking and not a Domionist. As long as I have internets and a keyboard the lies of people like Rev Bob will not stand unchallenged. Sorry for the history lesson. We just passed what would have been our 19th anniversary had he not been eaten by cancer. I guess my dander is up a bit.

  13. Anon

    Thanks Connie for continuing to battle. The likes of Rev Bob will never change one on one.So we must place our energy into supporting MRFF and similar organizations. Also we must emphasize early childhood healthy education including healthy religious education. Not the mind poison of the past. Very sorry for the loss of your beloved husband

  14. Tom O

    Does Rev Bob really claim to represent all Christians? To me, it seems more like he claims that his brand of Christianity is the only valid one, and that other flavors of Christianity are inferior.

  15. Connie

    Tom O – Fair observation and no, he doesn’t represent everyone, only his own narrow view.

    In reading Rev Bob’s comments I get the feeling he believes he is the only TWUE representative of Christ. I’ve met more than my fair share of TWUE folks – usually they insist their viewpoint is the only true valid one, therefore all others are illegitimate pretenders to the one TWUE view.

    Representative Gohmert is a fine example of TWUE thinking currently in our government. It’s time for “screwy Louie” to take his archaic ideas and fade away. Past time, actually.

  16. G

    “Connie, it is God’s way or the highway to paraphrase. Jesus could not have said it any clearer when He said “I am the way, the truth and the life, NO man comes to the Father (God) but only through Me.” No other religion will get you to God, Jesus said it Himself. Even Christianity as a religion will not get you to God, only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!!!”

    Rev Bob, if no religion will get us to god, then why do we need all these religious organizations in the first place? Why do we read the Koran, Bible, etc., in religious schools if they are not going to get us to god? Why to we go to places of worship if they will not get us to God? Why should we have religious schools if they don’t give us to God?

    As I recall, we were brainwashed go to our religious authorities since they were God’s representatives in order to have a relationship with God. That stupid reason and many others added up to a complete mess which led to the religious wars in Europe. I can’t really believe you are such a dunce despite your “formidable” education. Connie was right. You need to go back to your school and get your money back.

  17. Angela Schweig

    Connie,
    WOW! “I found ‘For the Good of All and May it Harm None,’ and it is my guiding principle.” Those statements come right out of Wicca. The primary guiding principle is “If it harm none, do as you will.” That should make Bob’s head explode into fragments in the stratosphere! The Wiccans I know keep to themselves, don’t bully others into religious arguments, and never, never proselytize, unlike the under-educated “Rev” Bob. And yes, any horse’s arse who thinks sexual orientation is a choice should change his first [eyes on you, hypocrite “Rev” Bob]. I’m very, very sorry for your loss. People say that the longing gets better, but it doesn’t.

  18. DaveG

    http://www.defense.gov/News-Article-View/Article/604758/dods-pride-month-celebration-highlights-lgbt-leadership

    “WASHINGTON, June 1, 2015 — President Barack Obama declared June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month, and the Defense Department is highlighting the importance of leadership as it celebrates the achievements and sacrifices of LGB service members and LGBT civilians.”

    Another example of Special Snowflake syndrome. WTF does one’s sexual orientation [color / religion / etc.] have to do with their ability to do their job?

    I voted for Obama and would do so again but I hate it when he panders to empty social agendas, like he did recently with Loyalty Day.

  19. DaveG

    I want my 15 minutes. When’s cranky, balding, chubby middle aged white guy day?

  20. Mark Sebree

    DaveG,

    In most cases, one’s religion, sexual orientation, color, gender, etc. has nothing to do with a person’s job performance. However, those differences can also be the reason why some people discriminate against and bully others, which creates a toxic work environment. And when someone is at the receiving end of discrimination or bullying, they work performance suffers, as does their physical and mental health. It can also affect relationships outside of work.

    The various Pride and recognition events in this country are supposed to raise awareness of these oppressed and discriminated groups, calling attention to their achievements and contributions to society. This can also help youths that are being discriminated against find role models by learning about the subject and people who have either been oppressed and/or those who have fought back, raised awareness of the discrimination and problem, and help increase the applicability of equal rights to the oppressed and discriminated group.

    Here is an exercise for you. Do some research and find some LBGT people who were prominent and influential in their fields or in the fight for their civil rights. You might be surprised at some of these people, and horrified at what they went through.

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