CHANGE IN MILITARY POLICY WILL CENSOR U.S. CHAPLAINS

March 5, 2010

The Obama Administration may have its heart set on eliminating the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that has guided America’s armed forces since 1993, but that change would bring tremendous conflict between military commanders, chaplains, and devoutly religious service men and women.

If the administration’s proposed changes to current policy take effect, chaplains will no longer be able to freely teach basic Christian doctrines about sexual morality.  In other words, religious liberty will be deliberately set aside in favor of politically correct directives.  That threat to freedom is what inspired the letter that the Alliance Defense Fund sent earlier this month to President Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates sharing our concern over what these proposed changes will mean for chaplains in the nation’s armed forces.

ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot said “Military chaplains who have volunteered to defend the liberties protected in our Constitution shouldn’t be denied those very same liberties.” He went on to add that forcing chaplains to "deny the teachings of their faith in order to serve in the armed forces is a grave threat to their rights protected by the First Amendment and to the spiritual health of the Marines, soldiers, sailors, and airmen who depend on them.”

If the military is forced to promote homosexual behavior, for the first time in American history, there will be open conflict between the virtues and restraints on behavior taught by chaplains and the demands imposed on the military. Theriot notes that if our government puts the demands of homosexual advocates before the First Amendment, it is only a matter of time before the military must censor the religious expression of its chaplains and marginalize Christians and Orthodox Jews who teach the proscriptions of Scripture on homosexual and other harmful sexual behavior.

In effect, the military will have no place for chaplains who adhere to the Bible at all.

The ADF letter urged the President and Congress to reconsider this decision and “avoid this collision with America’s most cherished and fundamental freedom of religious liberty. You have our prayers as you consider this momentous impact on our armed forces.”

We believe that the Constitution of the United States speaks for itself. There is no need to rewrite, change or reinterpret it to suit the fancies of special interest groups or protected classes.