Will Republicans Save Military Chaplains From Court Martials?

On September 30, 2011, the Pentagon issued a directive to all military chaplains to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies and to make military chapels available for any such private ceremonies.

In response to the Pentagon directive, the Catholic Archdiocese for Military Service issued a statement that no Catholic chaplains serving in the military will perform or participate in any same-sex marriage ceremonies at any military chapels.  In conjunction with the Catholic response, members of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty have issued a statement indicating that they will also not participate in performing same-sex ceremonies.

The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty represents over 2,000 military chaplains.  Serving as a military chaplain for 28 years, now retired Col. Ron Crews, executive director of the organization said,

“They made a very strong statement saying that no Catholic chaplains serving in the military will participate in any same-sex ceremonies at any chapels. We appreciate that strong stand.  So we just wanted to let the Department of Defense know that it’s not only the Catholic chaplains, but that some 2,000 chaplains who come from evangelical backgrounds are saying our chaplains will not participate in same-sex ceremonies in the military.”

Then earlier this year, the contraception mandate went into effect.  In all of the news and discussions, no one paid any attention to the effects this was having on our military personnel, especially the chaplains.  The Catholic Church had issued a denomination wide letter in which they informed parishioners that the Church “cannot and will not comply with this unjust law.”

The Army immediately issued orders to all chaplains, especially Catholic chaplains that they are not allowed to read the letter in its entirety and that certain portions of it are to be blacked out and not read aloud.  Former Navy chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt said,

“The secretary of the Army said you have to line out some of the language, or else we’re going to charge the chaplains with sedition and treason for opposing the Obama administration.  Can you believe this? They are actually threatening chaplains with court-martial if they dare to preach against sin in their own church.”

Some Republicans are now taking steps to introduce legislation designed to protect military chaplains from being forced to act against their faith or face a military court martial.  Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has now been joined by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) in introducing the Military Religious Freedom Act.  Their bill specifies that the Defense of Marriage Act, which has never been repealed, should be applied to all military chaplains and facilities.

Sen. Wicker explains:

“We see that the DOD approved in May of this year a same-sex marriage celebration in a military chapel [at] Fort Polk, Louisiana.  DOD also proclaimed June as ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.’ So, this DOD under President Obama is really, really pushing hard on a radical pro-homosexual agenda.”

“This bill would be a way to protect our chaplains and make sure that we don’t run all of them out of the service simply because there’s a group at the top that’s got a radical agenda.”

Both Wicker and Inhofe are aware that getting the bill passed will be an arduous uphill battle, but felt it important to start the effort now.  If for no other reason, the bill will help to define the platforms of both political parties and many of the candidates from both parties running for election in November.

Please write, email and call your U.S. Senator and Congressperson and urge them to join with Senators Inhofe and Wicker to protect our military chaplains.  If they are not protected, the only chaplains that will be left in the military will be flaming homosexual liberals that will only continue to promote what God describes as an abomination.