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Retired Chaplains Oppose Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell Repeal

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON (RNS) More than 40 retired military chaplains warned President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates that allowing gays to serve openly in the military will force current chaplains to choose between obeying God or men.
“This forced choice must be faced, since orthodox Christianity — which represents a significant percentage of religious belief in the armed forces– does not affirm homosexual behavior,” the chaplains wrote in their Wednesday (April 28) letter.
The retired chaplains — affiliated with denominations including the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Presbyterian Church in America and the Southern Baptist Convention — said the change could force chaplains to water down their teachings, or force them to preach or counsel views that conflict with official military policies.
In February, Gates said the Pentagon would spend a year studying the ramifications of repealing the 17-year-old Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell policy.
The letter was spearheaded by the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defense Fund. ADF lawyers sent a letter with similar concerns to Obama and Gates in February.
Also on Wednesday, the executive director of the International Conference of Evangelical Chaplain Endorsers asked members to contact the Armed Forces Chaplains Board, which is seeking information from chaplains groups about how the repeal of the policy would affect chaplains.
The Rev. Welton Gaddy, president of Interfaith Alliance, criticized the retired chaplains’ letter, saying it is “fraught with illogical reasoning” about issues such as counseling.
“By this logic, we also should ban all service members whose gambling habits, treatment of spouses, and views on abortion, politics or the economy are not in line with those of the chaplains,” he said.
– Adelle M. Banks
Copyright 2010 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.



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nnmns

posted April 29, 2010 at 7:51 pm


Rev. Gaddy disposed of the letter very well.
And why do the aggrieved chaplains need to talk about homosexuality anyway? Aren’t there better things for them to talk about to troops who might go into battle, like reassuring them they’ll live forever and such.
I sure don’t want my tax money to go to preachers who don’t have anything more important than homosexuality to talk about to the troops.
This has to be one of the supremely stupid attempts to influence policy.



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cknuck

posted April 29, 2010 at 8:07 pm


Of course chaplains will have to affirm homosexuality and counsel pro-homosexuality and yes their are better things they could be talking about but homosexuality will indeed come up often.



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Gwyddion9

posted April 29, 2010 at 8:08 pm


“The letter was spearheaded by the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defense Fund. ADF lawyers sent a letter with similar concerns to Obama and Gates in February.”
I honestly wonder how many chaplains are against the removal of don’t ask; don’t tell (da, dt). Lets face it; these two organizations would gladly shove gays back into the closet if not try to burn them at the stake. They are against anything that would treat homosexuals as an average citizen. In looking at their past, anytime something could come out with gay men and women being treated equally, they’ve fought it.
Da,dt makes forces people to live a stinking lie. Where’s the integrity in this?
These men and women simply want to serve their country but are told to lie and hide a part of themselves because of others insecurities.
Many countries already have gay men and women openly serving and DO NOT have the issues that group like these always argue about. Their arguments, Family Research Council and the ADF, are lame, without fact, completely subjective.
I know some will automatically scream persecution for being a religious bigot, but honey, you are what you are. Don’t delude yourself.



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pagansister

posted April 29, 2010 at 8:14 pm


Maybe those military chaplins who can’t honestly accept a human being for who they are, are in the wrong business…and should get the heck out of the military, and be in a safe civilian church so they can preach against homosexuality, and not have to accept our homosexual service members…who are putting their lives on the line just like their heterosexal comrades in arms.
You raise a good point, nnmns…why should a chaplin be “talking” about homosexuality?
Good for the Rev. Gaddy!



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JohnQ

posted April 29, 2010 at 8:22 pm


cknuck-
Why would homosexuality come up often?
Peace!



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Cassie Cole

posted April 29, 2010 at 10:02 pm


Oh, ridiculous. Typical fearmongering. I don’t see how a chaplain would have to preach or counsel differently. Don’t they still have religious freedom?
I have received pastoral counseling when in the depths of despair, and the issue of my sexuality came up. If my priest had handled it in any other way besides treating it as normal and OK, it would have been emotional abuse. But I wouldn’t have tried to sue him. Any minister has the right to express his or her beliefs; any parishioner has the right to walk out of a minister’s office (or church, for that matter) if he doesn’t like what he’s telling him. How is this any different?
It isn’t.



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cknuck

posted April 29, 2010 at 11:53 pm


JohnQ do you not think it would come up when talking to a homosexual in a chaplain relationship? I would think that in a intense setting like the military a person would talk about all areas of their life.



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Grumpy Old Person

posted April 30, 2010 at 11:14 am


Oooooo, the Souther Baptists oppose equal treatment before the law!!!
So what else is new? Aren’t they the denomination that supported (came into existence BECAUSE OF their support for) slavery?
I’m sure Jesus is as impressed as I am. Which is to say not at all.



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Grumpy Old Person

posted April 30, 2010 at 11:15 am


“The letter was spearheaded by the Family Research Council”
WHY doesn’t this surprise me?



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Grumpy Old Person

posted April 30, 2010 at 11:22 am


“The letter was spearheaded by the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defense Fund.”
I don’t think either of these two organizations (nor their founders/leaders) fall under the category (cited in the headling) “retired chaplains”.
More like sh!t-disturbers if you ask me.



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Rob the Rev

posted April 30, 2010 at 12:59 pm


As a closeted gay man, I served as a Lutheran chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserves for five years. And, no, I was not discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell but received an Honorable Discharge because I was well closeted.
What these fundi chaplains are running scared of is that the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” will allow the possibility of openly gay chaplains serving in the Chaplaincy which shall challenged their anti-gay legitimacy stance and require that they work with them as colleagues. They also had the same complaints with working with non-Christian chaplains.



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Gwyddion9

posted April 30, 2010 at 1:44 pm


Rob the Rev,
Thanks for your input. I’ve pretty much wondered the same thing. Fundi chaplains have never impressed me as a group of people who want to work with anyone that doesn’t meet their religious views, so I’m not surprised, it’s simply a reflection of the denominations view as a whole. Some may say i’m making a broad paint stroke but from all the personal experiences I’ve had with people from this sect, it’s been completely true all the time. I’m gay and Wiccan.



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Henrietta22

posted April 30, 2010 at 2:10 pm


More on the subject from another article. A formation of a coalition of other leaders of a range of faiths are in agreement that DADT be repealed. Capt. John F. Gundlach, a retired U.S. Navy Chaplain said, “It’s 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.” The rest of the military chaplains in this coalition say the idea that repeal DADT will infringe on our religion liberty is insulting to all the service chaplains who professionly minister to and with people of diverse beliefs everyday. There is always the other side to listen to.



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nnmns

posted April 30, 2010 at 4:06 pm


And a much better, more professional and more honorable side it is.



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cknuck

posted April 30, 2010 at 4:09 pm


the whole “fundi” name-calling thing is a way to insult people, but if we did go back to name-calling as many homosexuals can remember the pain, those who fling names like “fundi” if called names like — would be crying like babies.
Anyway my point as a “closeted” homosexual Rob the Rev, (ironic handle)how honest were you to those who sought counsel? I would want to know if I were pouring our my situations and private matters to a homosexual pretending to be something straight.



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Gwyddion9

posted April 30, 2010 at 4:16 pm


cknuck,
Perhaps you’re right however, my personal experience with conservative Christians or fundi’s has never been great. Even when minding my own business, those i’ve spoke with feel the need to tell me about my religion, etc. All I can honestly say is, being gay is not for the weak.



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nnmns

posted April 30, 2010 at 6:26 pm


cknuck would you be as concerned about pouring out your this and that to say an uncaught murderer? A tax cheat? Someone who cheats on his spouse? Someone who doesn’t listen to Rush?
I’m just wondering because you haven’t expressed concern about any of those things while you’re constantly expressing concern about homosexuality.



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cknuck

posted April 30, 2010 at 6:41 pm


nnmns if the issue of the article was about uncaught murders or tax cheats then I would certainly comment on those concerns but it is not and it’s odd that you would put homosexuality in the same categories, but that’s just you I guess.



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Mordred08

posted April 30, 2010 at 7:59 pm


cknuck: “the whole ‘fundi’ name-calling thing is a way to insult people, but if we did go back to name-calling as many homosexuals can remember the pain”
1. Going back to name-calling would require you guys to have actually stopped the name-calling at some point.
2. Did you just acknowledge that gays are capable of feeling pain? Clearly you’re spending too much time around us liberals.



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nnmns

posted April 30, 2010 at 8:40 pm


No cknuck, that’s you. I don’t put homosexuals in a class with any of those but based on your regular comments I was confident you do, though you’ll deny it now.



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My Name

posted April 30, 2010 at 8:43 pm


People, just stop feeding the troll.



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cknuck

posted May 1, 2010 at 12:09 am


MN your limitations are showing. quite frankly so are yours nnmns.



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cknuck

posted May 1, 2010 at 12:12 am


mordred homosexuals are human and do experience pain do I really needs to go further? Are you admiting that “liberals” as you define them actually have no argument other than name calling?



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Mordred08

posted May 1, 2010 at 1:18 am


cknuck: “mordred homosexuals are human and do experience pain do I really needs to go further?”
Honestly, I’m still shocked that you’d admit that much.
“Are you admiting that ‘liberals’ as you define them actually have no argument other than name calling?”
No. As a matter of fact, if name calling were the worst thing Christians had done to LGBT people, I probably wouldn’t give you such a hard time.



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cknuck

posted May 1, 2010 at 2:24 am


Right!



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Rob the Rev

posted May 1, 2010 at 10:19 am


cknuck on April 30, 2010 4:09 PM wrote: “Anyway my point as a “closeted” homosexual Rob the Rev, (ironic handle)how honest were you to those who sought counsel? I would want to know if I were pouring our my situations and private matters to a homosexual pretending to be something straight.”
Unfortunatly the confidentiality of the confessonal only works one way from the confessor to the confessee. However, it was irrelevant for the anyone whom I counseled to know my sexual orientation, just as it would be for you. And BTW who made it necessary for gay persons to stay in the closet in order to serve their country in the military anyway? Hmmmmmmmm….!
Would you want to know if you were being treated by a gay physician or dentist, having your hair cut by a gay barber, being flown in a plane by a gay pilot, being served by a gay flight attendant, having your hymn singing accompanied by a gay organist, being waited on by a gay waitperson, having your house painted by a gay painter, being driven by a gay cabbie, talking on the phone to a gay operator, etc? I think I already know the answer to my question. If you do you suffer from homophobia at the least and bigotry at the worst.



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Rob the Rev

posted May 1, 2010 at 10:32 am


BTW Cknuck, I served in the U.S. Army twice as a closeted gay man. As a chaplain, from 1985 to 1991, and as a drafted enlisted man back in 1969 to 1975, receiving Honorable discharges for both. Have you served in the U.S. military, I’d like to know?



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pagansister

posted May 1, 2010 at 11:38 am


cknuck can answer for himself, obviously, Rob, but he has said in the past that he was in Nam.



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Henrietta22

posted May 1, 2010 at 12:35 pm


Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for a moratorium on discharges of Gay members of military immediately, while the DOD Policy is being reviewed by the Defense Dept. Today Gates says he doesn’t think that will be legal. Of course you would expect this from him and the nay sayers. This move would show good faith by our President, who in answer to Gates, was that he intends to repeal DOD when the study of how best to implement the repeal is completed. This administration was helped into office by the GLBT, their families, and friends because of the promises our President made in his campaign. To instill a moratorium at this time is appropriate if DADT is indeed going “thata way”.



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Rob the Rev

posted May 1, 2010 at 1:52 pm


When DADT is repealed all those who were fired under DADT should be apologized too and given the opportunity to resume their military careers at the point where they were dismissed.



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pagansister

posted May 1, 2010 at 3:55 pm


Rob, I agree with you that those who were discharged unfairly should be apologized to and given the opportunity to resume their careers …however I wonder how many would actually want to do so. I don’t think it will happen (the apology and opportunity) but wouldn’t it be nice if it had a chance to happen?



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Henrietta22

posted May 1, 2010 at 4:59 pm


If you want to know what the Gay pop. thinks PS, read Advocate.com. It is very interesting. Yes, many said they would join again in a heartbeat! The apology won’t probably happen, but who cares? The people that were robbed of their rank and the years at West Point, Annapolis, and an elisted person should definitely be given the chance to go back, and they should be started where they left off. The Gay are thankful for Nancy Pelosi’s work on their behalf, at least most of them. If you want to know how people think, go where they are, and listen to the comments. Most of the comments on Gates were against him and they were from straight people, today.



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cknuck

posted May 1, 2010 at 7:20 pm


Rob the Rev, “Would you want to know if you were being treated by a gay physician or dentist,YES having your hair cut by a gay barber,MAYBE being flown in a plane by a gay pilot, YESbeing served by a gay flight attendantNO, having your hymn singing accompanied by a gay organistYES, being waited on by a gay waitperson,NO having your house painted by a gay painterNO, being driven by a gay cabbie NO, talking on the phone to a gay operatorNO, etc? I think I already know the answer to my question. If you do you suffer from homophobia at the least and bigotry at the worst.”
Rob there may be such thing as homophobia but it is way overly diagnosed by nonprofessionals to the point you make yourself laughable, and one does not have to be a bigot to be opposed to the unnatural, unusual, sin, ect.



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Mordred08

posted May 2, 2010 at 3:13 pm


cknuck, I probably shouldn’t even ask this question because I know I won’t like the answer, but why the hell would a gay dentist bother you?
“one does not have to be a bigot to be opposed to the unnatural, unusual, sin, ect.”
But one is almost certainly a bigot if one is afraid of flying with a gay pilot…which is another weird response I’m curious about. And again, I suspect I know what the answer will be, but I want to give you the benefit of the doubt.



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cknuck

posted May 2, 2010 at 6:57 pm


Mordred, my dentist is a personal choice and being in my personal space is my choice. The polit thing in which you made the silly leap to fear (a justification no doubt) the question was “would I want to know” and out of curiousity yes I would.



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JohnQ

posted May 2, 2010 at 8:37 pm


I find it interesting that anyone would care who beyond their spouse is gay/lesbian/straight. Okay, yes….when my children get older….I would like to know.
But why would anyone care if their dentist, doctor, attorney, pilot, etc is gay/lesbian/straight. My concern is/would be are they qualified. What does an individual’s sexuality have to do with qualifications for the above listed professions/jobs?
Peace!



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pagansister

posted May 2, 2010 at 9:18 pm


I agree, JohnQ. Why should I care if my dentist, doctor, pilot etc , is gay/lesbian/straight? I certainly would be more concerned if they are qualified.



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cknuck

posted May 3, 2010 at 1:15 pm


you shouldn’t, I do.



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Grumpy Old Person

posted May 3, 2010 at 1:25 pm


So how come he shouldn’t and you should, ck? That’s just irrational.



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cknuck

posted May 3, 2010 at 8:52 pm


GOP see if you can follow this, he shouldn’t because he has no concern, I do care because I have concerns.



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JohnQ

posted May 3, 2010 at 9:26 pm


I am still not finding the connection between sexuality and an individual’s ability to perform their job in the areas of: aviation, medical practice, dentistry, restaurant service, etc.
If an individual suggested that it mattered to them the race of their: doctor, dentist, pilot, flight attendant, restaurant server, etc…..many people might suggest that individual is prejudiced/bigoted.
Peace!



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Rob the Rev

posted May 3, 2010 at 9:29 pm


There are retired chaplains who SUPPORT the repeal of DADT
http://www.hrcbackstory.org/2010/04/religious-organizations-support-%E2%80%9Cdon%E2%80%99t-ask-don%E2%80%99t-tell%E2%80%9D-repeal/
Religious Organizations Support “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal
By Michael Cole
April 28th, 2010 at 10:32 am
A broad coalition of faith voices spoke out today against the discriminatory “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell” law that prevents some of the best and brightest women and men from serving their country….
“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.”
Signatories to the letter are as follows:
Alliance of Baptists
American Conference of Cantors
American Friends Service Committee
Central Conference of American Rabbis
DignityUSA
Disciples Justice Action Network (Disciples of Christ)
The Episcopal Church
Equal Partners in Faith
The Fellowship
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Interfaith Alliance
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Lutherans Concerned/North America
Metropolitan Community Churches
More Light Presbyterians
National Black Justice Coalition
National Council of Jewish Women
Other Sheep: Multicultural Ministries with Sexual Minorities
Rabbinical Assembly
Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International
The Sikh Coalition
Union for Reform Judaism
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
United Church of Christ, Wider Church Ministries
United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Unity Fellowship Church Movement
Women of Reform Judaism



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Rob the Rev

posted May 3, 2010 at 9:33 pm


Go to this site to read the full press release
http://www.votevets.org/news?id=0263
Chaplains Back Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
By VoteVets.org | Press Release
PUBLISHED: November 16, 2009
CHAPLAINS BACK REPEAL OF DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL
Retired Military Chaplains Also Examine Questions About How To Implement A Repeal



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Darren E

posted May 27, 2010 at 10:42 am


“By this logic, we also should ban all service members whose gambling habits, treatment of spouses, and views on abortion, politics or the economy are not in line with those of the chaplains,” he said.
Gaddy’s criticism is a false argument. The issue is not whether people should be banned on the basis of disagreement with a chaplain’s views, but rather whether a chaplain is free to speak his mind according to conscience and creed without disciplinary action. Repealing DADT is only acceptable if the free speech and right of conscience of chaplains is protected.



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