DADT: Training, Chaplains, Religious Freedom, and Mike Huckabee

Points below:

  • US Army training on DADT repeal begins
  • Washington Times describes military effort as “indoctrinating on gays kissing”
  • General Casey meets on DADT at Fort Riley
  • Homosexual advocates complain about the pace of repeal
  • Mike Huckabee on future outlook for DADT
  • The Alliance Defense Fund on religious freedom and conflict

The US Army has reportedly been training Chaplains for the past month on the upcoming changes in the military’s policy on what was most commonly known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

For the past month the Army chaplain corps has been training its 2,900 members on what the policy changes will mean for them. The training stresses that not much will be different for chaplains, but that those who cannot “reconcile” the change in policy are able to seek a voluntary separation from the service.

LtCol Carlton Birch, a spokesman for the Army Chief of Chaplains office, had an interesting analogy for life as a Chaplain in the US military:

“Military chaplains are a little bit of an anomaly,” Birch said. “Representing our faith group faithfully and being soldiers full time, some people ask, ‘How can you do both?’ Sometimes I think of it as a demilitarized zone. You’ve got church on one side and state on the other. We live in the middle of that. Anytime you pop your head up you get shot at from both sides.”

The Washington Times described this as “Military indoctrinat[ion] on gays kissing, behavior,” and included the note that

“Marines are expected to obey lawful orders and could be subject to discipline or adverse administrative action if they refuse orders, even if such refusal is based on strong, sincerely held, moral or religious beliefs,” the briefing states.


“Free exercise of religious expression, with law and policy, remains unchanged,” says one Army slide.

Army Chief of Staff General George Casey met with leaders at Fort Riley to speak with them on the topic of DADT.

Advocates for homosexuals have complained the process is taking too long and should be completed, in their estimation, within the next month and a half.

Mike Huckabee has indicated he would support re-instating the ban on open homosexual service, “because that’s what the military wants.”  Governor Tim Pawlenty has indicated a similar position; both are potential Presidential candidates.

The Alliance Defense Fund has indicated that despite reassurances, it expects that religious liberty will eventually come into conflict with, and lose to, sexual liberty in the military (as government officials have previously admitted).  Should that time come, the ADF promises to defend Chaplains’ “constitutionally guaranteed right[s].”

The trainers also talk about how religious liberty will be protected — but that is a flimsy defense, when we see how Christian prison chaplains have been forced to use worship leaders who openly practiced homosexual behavior, and how Christian counselors have been disciplined when they expressed moral reservations about affirming a same-sex relationship.

The moral conflict which was only a warning a few months ago is, unfortunately, becoming reality.  If it does come to pass that DADT fully falls, the conflict will intensify.  But so, too, will the resolve of ADF, its allies, and the chaplains it represents, to defend the God-given, constitutionally guaranteed right of a Christian chaplain to be both a chaplain…and a Christian.

With reference to the ADF.


  • Mountains out of mole hills!

    There should be NO accommodations for gay persons to serve openly, in the big scheme of things the repeal only allows them to serve they way they are…gay!

    Scenario 1: In the unlikely event Lt Jones see Corporal Smith and Johnson kissing in the mall food court the Lt should just move on about his business.

    Scenario 2: In the unlikely event that Sgt Betty and Sgt Karen are roomies in the dorm, one is straight the other not. One of them has a beef about the others sexual orientation then too bad; the dorms are not for anyone’s sexual pleasures…or the lack thereof.

    There will be no problem with the Chaplaincy if they make them all civilians…they are non-combatants!

  • watchtower,

    there may be some exaggerated talk about the DADT repeal, but your two scenarios are ridiculously over simplified, as is your idea to contract out the Chaplain corp. I would try to explain it as it relates to your job and professional career, but you seem afraid to let that information out.

    Come downrange sometime and talk to a Chaplain; or come to a base and see real operations. When people are different, they are treated differently.

  • @watchtower

    It is well documented that Chaplains do far more than merely lead church services. Doctors are non-combatants, too; should we contract them out as well?

  • Dealer — we are a country of laws and the Military has many more rules, and some more restrictive then our civilian world in many cases. Being DADT has been repealed, but unfortunately slow-rolled out the door, there are other regs, rules and policies already in place to control (in most cases) behavior in or out of uniform. It is extremely doubtful anyone will see 2 gay troops at the mall flaunting their gayness for all to see, no more so than anyone else…it’s just not the norm, for most. It seems the more I read about what everyone “thinks” will happen the more I’m convinced that it won’t. The only thing I will expect is the extreme from the gay hatters, in so far as, they will do everything in their power to root-out or make a known gay person’s life as miserable as possible.

    As far as my professional career goes, I served 20 years active duty AF, and now 12 years as a government contractor. I’ve worked with straight, gay, Bi, Trans and a few not operating on all thrusters through-out my career and no one, not one has ever not been a top professional in everything they do/did, including a gay O-6 (yes, probably very rare).

    JD — YES, all non combatants should not wear the uniform, make them deployable GS employees. Preachers should be civilians and NEVER get involved with Military operations at all. The only thing the uniform does is “control” them to do things like deploy, or other things you can’t make civilians do (exceptions of course of deployable GS positions). I read the short blurb “that Chaplains do far more than merely lead church services” but what does that have to do with anything…is it because they are wearing the uniform, as preachers, and does this somehow present the false image that the United States [Military] does not separate by church and state? What is it [they] will tell a preacher in a Military uniform they won’t/can’t tell others? I’ve heard Military preachers throughout my career divulge what I considered privileged/personal information and they knew better too. Don’t see any reason they can’t talk the talk in civilian clothing, or religious robes if you will.

    There are plenty of lay people that will voluntarily go to astaire locations to preach the gospel, so don’t tell me they can’t deploy civilians, they just choose not to. They need a small army to go around with the noncombatant chaplains…no difference, and the civilian will probably listen and do what they are told better.

  • watchtower,

    thanks for opening up those details. I disagree with you on many subjects, and most of them deal with what the culture in the military in general and the AF in particular should be. I’m not saying that I won’t be able to work with a gay military member, and I know statistically I already have. I’m saying I disagree with you that open acceptance of that lifestyle is good for the military. I have been overruled by legitimate powers that be. I’ll fulfill my promise and follow orders, but I don’t have to agree with it; just obey it.

  • @watchtower
    GS employees in theatre do wear the uniform when deployed; also, GS employees are generally treated in a manner similar to their equivalent military rank. In the end, your distinction would be academic. In general, the only “civilians” the government can’t force to deploy are contractors whose contracts don’t cover such contingencies.

    While its an interesting thought, there are many implications to consider. For example, the Geneva Conventions largely assume that Chaplains and medical personnel are members of the military in which they serve.

  • Dealer — I respect your position. I hope that if you do actually find that you were or are working with or around an openly gay person that it will not affect any professional relationships that you have.

    The culture in the AF is changing, seems more Army-ish lately with an extreme focus on fitness and being inspection ready at all times. Not saying its a bad thing, just not sure what the future holds. I think the next SECDEF will make some significant changes, just hope the AF doesn’t become the Army-Air Corps…that would be bad.

  • watchtower,

    I doubt we will go to the extreme of Army-style focus on PT. I’m more concerned about the ISR role taking over the culture. That role is way more subordinate to Army concerns than counter-air or interdiction. RUMINT reports that the generals have had meetings discussing the future culture of the AF, but I don’t have any clues on what they came up with.

  • This blog is a trip, dude. I think you’ve been suckin’ down a touch too much Jeremiah Weed. So you’re a Christian “and” a fighter pilot, and that makes you someone people should want to read about? I’m an atheist “and” a fighter pilot. Does that mean I should write a book? I’m a damn sight rarer than you are. EVERYONE in my squadron is a Christian. No one thinks it’s an oxymoron to be a Christian “and” a fighter pilot. Talk about the easiest possible genre to get published in, holy crap, literally. And what business is it of yours whether homosexuals are allowed to serve openly? I wish I could go back to the time before I stumbled on your narrow minded, narcissistic I love me blog.

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