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So what if Congress forces the military to make homosexual behavior normal?  Isn’t that just a military issue?  Why should average Americans care at all?

Because this change will change America.

Why is that?  For at least two reasons.  First, the military is a repository of American culture—it reflects, in a single institution, many of the highest values our society respects.  Honor.  Duty.  Sacrifice.  Fidelity.  Strength.  Courage.  Ingenuity.  Perseverance.  Victory.  Thus, forcing the military to affirm homosexual conduct will cram that conduct into the pantheon of American values.  As Al Mohler pointed out recently, the homosexual movement’s goal in repealing the military’s current policy has little to do military personnel policy and everything to do with changing American culture.  And by making this change to the way America perceives itself by changing the lens of the military, the homosexual movement will be able to grease the skids for other societal changes.  Like forcing Christian businesses—daycares, bookstores, para-church ministries—to employ individuals who openly and unrepentantly engage in immoral sexual behavior.  This will be accomplished by the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (“ENDA”), a leftist effort to normalize homosexual behavior nationwide.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi directly admitted as much, saying her strategic approach to passing ENDA hinges on first repealing DADT.

And this leads to the second point: perhaps the only institution more deeply respected and widely recognized as the training ground for inculcating societal values than the military is marriage.  And normalizing homosexual conduct in the military will not only—as an ACLU attorney recently stated—be a cultural precursor to normalizing homosexual “marriage,” it will actually create the perfect storm for destroying the primary federal law protecting marriage—the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”).

Basically, it will go like this: a same-sex couple will get “married” in a state like Massachusetts.  One or both members of the couple will be in the military, and will press for married couples’ benefits, like housing and medical coverage, arguing that the military cannot discriminate against homosexual “marriages.”  And when the military denies the request based on DOMA, that Service member will sue in a sympathetic federal court to get DOMA declared unconstitutional.  And, quite possibly, the only federal bulwark against a nationwide redefinition of marriage will be breached.  Sound far fetched?  The first part of the strategy is already happening: a soldier in a homosexual relationship applied for married housing just after Defense Secretary Gates announced the goal of repealing current policy.  

So, other than the simple reason that we should protect the military because we respect it, why should we civilians care about what happens to the military?  Because we value our culture.  Because we value marriage.  Because we’re next.

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If you’re a military chaplain, active or retired, and are interested in becoming involved in this issue or signing the Chaplains Letter, please contact us with your information.

Please leave a comment below to share your thoughts or follow us on Facebook to join the conversation. http://www.facebook.com/SpeakUpChurch

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ADF Litigation Counsel - Church Project

As we’ve discussed repeatedly here (and I really mean repeatedly), repealing the law against open homosexual behavior in the military will almost certainly harm religious liberty for chaplains and service members, especially since Congress has refused to include an exemption for religious liberty in any of its repeal efforts.

But, as the Catholic Archbishop for the Military Diocese, Timothy Broglio, recently pointed out, other fundamental concerns are also at stake.  Namely, the moral voice of the military is in danger of being silenced at a time when its guidance is most in need to an institution which—because it must daily make life-or-death decisions—requires a trustworthy moral compass.

Shutting the mouths of chaplains—who not only provide religious services and counseling, but also regularly teach courses in ethics to military leaders and are specially tasked to provide ethical gudiance to commanders of their units—sends a message that their guidance isn’t trustworthy in the real world of the military.  As a fighter pilot I was talking to recently pointed out, this will be extremely difficult for young Service members trying to come to grips with the morality of war and their place in it.

Even in a best-case scenario following repeal, where chaplains are allowed some small freedom to, for instance, preach about their beliefs on sexual ethics within the confines of a chapel, reliance on the military’s most-sought moral guide—the chaplaincy—will still be irreparably damaged.  A soldier listening to his spiritual chain of command in chapel services will hear one thing, but outside the chapel will to be ordered by his military chain of command to do the opposite.  This cannot help but to create a deep impression in such a soldier’s mind: religion is a curiousity for non-serious matters, but has no application to how the job is done. 

This bleak best-case scenario would not last long.  The military cannot become divided against itself and remain an effective fighting force.  And there’s no question who will lose the battle between chaplains and military command.  Thus, chaplains who believe in something more permanent than the whims of shifting political majorities will find themselves increasingly marginalized and, ultimately, discharged.

And then a huge swath of Service members will find themselves without chaplains who share their faith to turn to for moral guidance in these war-torn days which try soldiers’ souls. 

Is that a sacrifice worth making for political correctness?

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If you’re a military chaplain, active or retired, and are interested in becoming involved in this issue or signing the Chaplains Letter, please contact us with your information.

Please leave a comment below to share your thoughts or follow us on Facebook to join the conversation. http://www.facebook.com/SpeakUpChurch

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ADF Litigation Counsel - Church Project

My generation (I graduated high school in 1984) seems to get the biblical teaching about mercy and forgiveness. After all, we willingly forgave Bill Clinton’s sexual indiscretions in the Oval Office with very few questions asked. But we often miss the fact that Christ also taught observance of the law and justice. For instance, He admonished religious leaders to consider their own sin before stoning the woman caught in the very act of adultery, but instructed the woman to go and sin no more.

Perhaps this inability to balance justice and mercy, as Micah 6:8 instructs, explains the failure of many church-going Christians (at least one survey says “most”) to understand why normalizing homosexual behavior in the military is unwise. But even if we put aside the direct effect this rejection of biblical morality will have on our nation’s moral health, the indirect effects on religious freedom are alarming.

In a series of blogs, ADF attorney Daniel Blomberg is doing an excellent job of pointing out how the repeal of the current so called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law (often referred to as “DADT”) is going to muzzle our military chaplains. Forcing the military to condone homosexual behavior will necessarily restrict religious freedom by limiting the ability of military chaplains to preach and provide counsel to service members about the dangers of this sin.

If you think this restraint on religious freedom will be confined to the military, you’re wrong. We’re already seeing the conflict between the radical homosexual agenda and religious freedom in the civilian context. An April 28, 2010 letter from numerous chaplains opposed to repealing the ban on homosexual behavior in the military catalogues numerous examples: prison chaplains disciplined for not permiting homosexuals to lead their services, religious student groups restricted for not allowing homosexual leaders, businesses fined for not participating in same-sex “marriage” ceremonies, and churches penalized for not making their facilities available for a same-sex relationship commitment ceremony. More importantly, giving ground on DADT will make it extremely difficult to hold the line protecting marriage. Repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act will undoubtedly be next.

If we don’t rein in this mad dash for mandated acceptance of homosexual behavior, it’s just a matter of time before government officials come after pastors for disseminating “hate speech,” when all they’re doing is preaching biblical morality. It’s already occurring in Europe and evidence of it heading our way can be seen in Canada.

As Dave Welch recently pointed out in his article, pastors have long had the right and obligation to speak up on things like repeal of DADT. Exercising this right is the best way to avoid a future where protection for it is weakened, or eliminated altogether.

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ADF Senior Counsel - Church Project

Already, veteran chaplains from numerous denominations–including Lutherans, Southern Baptists, and Presbyterians–have spoken out to express their concern that repealing the current law that protects the military from open homosexual behavior will, among other things, harm religious liberty.  Just yesterday, another major voice in the chaplaincy community, Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Catholic Church’s Military Diocese, added his voice in defense of the military’s current law.

His argument was made on two grounds: First, repeal cannot be allowed to limit the First Amendment rights and duties of chaplains in their ministry to Service members.  While those who practice homosexual behavior should receive “respect and treatment worthy of their human dignity,” “no restrictions or limitations on the teaching of Catholic morality can be accepted.  First Amendment rights regarding the free exercise of religion must be respected.”  Similarly, “Catholic chaplains must show compassion for persons with a homosexual orientation, but can never condone–even silently–homosexual behavior.”

Second, in what Archbishop Broglio describes as “a more fundamental” issue, repeal would harm the ability of the military to be an effective fighting force.  He reasons–correctly–that morality and “corresponding good moral decisions” are integral to “unit cohesion and the overall morale of troops and effectiveness of the mission.”  Thus, normalizing immoral behavior, like homosexuality, through military policy potentially would have an “enormous and overwhelming” effect on military readiness.  ”Sacrificing the moral beliefs of individuals or their living conditions to respond to merely political considerations is neither just nor prudent, especially for the armed forces at a time of war.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Stay tuned for more news of other religious leaders speaking out against repeal.

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If you’re a military chaplain, active or retired, and are interested in becoming involved in this issue or signing the Chaplains Letter, please contact us with your information.

Please leave a comment below to share your thoughts or follow us on Facebook to join the conversation. http://www.facebook.com/SpeakUpChurch

Author

ADF Litigation Counsel - Church Project

The battle over whether chaplains’ and Service members’ First Amendment rights to religious liberty will be sacrificed to make room for normalized homosexuality in the military is reaching a critical phase this week.  Despite strong warnings by the Pentagon that a premature rush for repeal should be rejected, the White House and some Congressional leaders are pushing forward with a “compromise” measure that will restrict religious liberty for soldiers in a way that no other federal law affects any other American.  The Senate Armed Services Committee is entering a closed session Wednesday morning to consider whether to sneak repeal of the current prohibition on homosexual behavior in the military into the yearly appropriations bill that funds the Armed Forces.  And the day after that, the House will be trying to do the same in open floor debate.  (An attempt to slide repeal into the appropriations bill while still in the House Armed Services Committee was firmly rejected by Committee Chair Ike Skelton, forcing proponents of repeal into some tricky maneuvering to get it heard on the House floor).

Thankfully, chaplaincy organizations are keeping up the fight.  Many of these organizations, which supply the brave men who make up the chaplaincy corps and provide them official endorsement so they can serve as military chaplains, have released strong statements against repeal.  The organizations that oppose repeal include the North American Mission Board (which is the endorsing organization for the Southern Baptist Convention), the Evangelical Free Church of America, Grace Church International, and the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference.  While certain political leaders may be willing to saddle the military with this social experiment (while fighting two wars and facing the rising prospect of one in the Korean Peninsula), the veteran chaplains in these organizations who have spent decades counseling soldiers in need are not.  And they’re making their voices heard.

UPDATE 1: Chaplains across the country are speaking up today—and getting published in newspapers that serve large military communities.  Check out Col. Ron Crews’ op-ed in the Fayetteville Observer that was posted just this morning.

UPDATE 2: Veteran chaplains aren’t the only ones speaking out against the rush to repeal: the Chiefs of the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines have just issued letters stating that premature repeal would harm the Armed Forces.  And a just-released poll shows that the majority of Americans agree this political push that ignores military input should be stopped.

___________________________________________________________

If you’re a military chaplain, active or retired, and are interested in becoming involved in this issue or signing the Chaplains Letter, please contact us with your information.

Please leave a comment below to share your thoughts or follow us on Facebook to join the conversation. http://www.facebook.com/SpeakUpChurch

Author

ADF Litigation Counsel - Church Project

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