Military Chaplains Call For Keeping DADT
Goaded on by the Family Research Council, a group of 40 retired military chaplains have sent a letter to President Obama calling on him to keep DADT in effect.
The chaplains argue in a letter to the commander in chief and defense secretary, due to go out Wednesday, that allowing gays to serve openly in the military would discriminate against some Christian chaplains. “We are deeply concerned that these changes would threaten the religious liberty of chaplains and service members,” the chaplains said in their letter, circulated Tuesday by the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defense Fund. A change in the military policy would force chaplains into a moral conundrum, they said, “whether they are to obey God or to obey men.” They also cite the recent dis-invitation of Family Research Council President Tony Perkins from an Air Force prayer meeting as evidence that a crackdown on those who oppose repealing “don’t ask don’t tell” is already under way.Countering the above group, the Human Rights Campaign has organized a much larger group of clergy, including some military chaplains, who do support the repeal of DADT.
“As military chaplains, we routinely work with service members whose faith traditions and belief systems are different from ours. The idea that repeal of DADT will infringe on our religious liberty is insulting to all the serving chaplains who professionally minister to and with people of diverse beliefs every day,” said Captain John F. Gundlach, a retired Chaplain of the U.S. Navy. “It is time to realize that bigotry – not one’s sexual orientation – is incompatible with military service. It’s time for gay Americans to be able to serve our country proudly and openly, with continued courage, honor, and commitment.”