US Military Chaplain Berated, Warned Over Views on Homosexuality
While talking heads continue to declare that the repeal of the policy known as “Don’t ask, don’t tell” will have no impact on military Chaplains or Christians in the military, a US military Chaplain has just experienced evidence undermining that claim.
In an article entitled “Mounting religious liberty concerns in DADT,” the US military Chaplain, whose details are withheld to protect his career, is stationed with a foreign military service that allows homosexuals to openly serve. (The “success” of foreign militaries in integrating homosexuals into the service is often held up as a model for future American service.) Examples were cited that directly contradict the claims of those who support repeal:
He was threatened by a senior officer for talking to a junior officer — who approached him — about Christianity’s view on homosexuality, including being told that were he not an American, he would have been written up for “harassment.”
He was warned to “keep silent” about his views in opposition to homosexuality by a senior Chaplain, because such views would not be tolerated and were in direct opposition to the leadership’s — a point made when the leadership presented briefings in support of homosexuality but none from the theological position in opposition to it.
Importantly, too, was the point that Christian Chaplains would not be unwilling to counsel homosexuals, as some have claimed; only that they would be unwilling to support a lifestyle to which they were morally opposed:
The Chaplain willingly counseled a homosexual on non-relationship issues, and then offered to find her another Chaplain when she wanted help with her relationship. She preferred to stay with the Chaplain, despite his theology.
The ADF author of the article, Daniel Blomberg, summarizes by saying the Chaplain’s experience demonstrates that Christian Chaplains are willing to minister to homosexuals but would face repercussions even from one-on-one counseling sessions or when asked to provide their views, if those theological views were in opposition to homosexuality.
According to the article, the experience of a US Chaplain in a foreign military service — the go-to model to which supporters of repeal refer — seems to predict the potential for significant religious freedom issues should homosexuals be allowed to serve openly in the US military.