ADF Senior VP; Senior Counsel Gary McCaleb writes:
Last September, sixty-six veteran military chaplains wrote to President Obama, telling him in plain terms that his plan to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy would “threaten the religious liberty of chaplains and Service members.”
These are sixty-six remarkable men—representing centuries of experience. Many had attained high rank; some served in combat; and several bear the scars of combat wounds. All knew that the mission-critical chaplaincy, which provides faith leaders for fellow believers and serves as counselors and friends to all service members, was in peril.
Specifically, the chaplains knew that if the President succeeded in forcing bisexual and homosexual behavior into the military—where it would be treated as an official moral norm—that chaplains would “confront a profoundly moral choice: whether they are to obey God or to obey men.”
The good news is that, even after a smiling President signed the law in December, it cannot be fully effective until several steps are taken—including a certification by senior military leaders that endorsing bisexual and homosexual behavior will have no impact on military readiness. And that won’t happen before the newly elected House of Representatives can hold hearings on the impacts of eliminating DADT.
We don’t know how that will play out—but it may be that the legislative effort may fail to win the day for the homosexual activists. But, they have a plan B—sue in federal court to strike down the DADT policy.
That is why ADF and its allied attorneys just filed a “friend of the court” brief in the Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America case, to inform the court that changing the law will risk the religious freedom of chaplains and service members. This case, which is now before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, is a direct attack on the law which prohibits open homosexual behavior in the military.
Quoting from the Manhattan Declaration, the brief pointed out that many military chaplains have affirmed that they will not “bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships…or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family.”
That stark statement foreshadows open conflict: a military that endorses open homosexual and bisexual behavior can scarcely tolerate chapels on base where homosexual and bisexual behavior revealed to be a grave moral disorder.
Perhaps that is why military trainers are already telling active duty chaplains that “if they are “unable to reconcile repeal of DADT” with their Christian faith, then they “may request voluntary separation….” Christians, go home.
Of course, the trainers also talk about how religious liberty will be protected—but that is a flimsy defense, when we see how Christian prison chaplains have been forced to use worship leaders who openly practiced homosexual behavior, and how Christian counselors have been disciplined when they expressed moral reservations about affirming a same-sex relationship.
The moral conflict which was only a warning a few months ago is, unfortunately, becoming reality. If it does come to pass that DADT fully falls, the conflict will intensify. But so, too, will the resolve of ADF, its allies, and the chaplains it represents, to defend the God-given, constitutionally guaranteed right of a Christian chaplain to be both a chaplain…and a Christian.
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