The Transgender (Homosexual) Lifestyle: A Military Chaplain’s Perspective

On June 30, 2016, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that transgender service members in the US military can now openly serve their country without fear of retribution.  If transgender service members can openly serve without fear of retribution, are military chaplains allowed to “openly” serve with biblical conviction without fear of retribution (see National Defense Authorization Act)? According to the Constitution, yes, but according to opponents of religious liberty for Christians, no!

The transgender, homosexual propaganda that is manifesting itself within society is hostile towards Christians. The Armed Forces ultimately reflect the culture from which they are drawn. Nevertheless, Christians should expect hostility (2 Timothy 3:12). Around the world, proponents of Islam are beheading Christians who will not accept their vile religion, while in the US, Christians who decry sexual immorality (bestiality, fornication, homosexuality, and transgender) as a sinful practice are ostracized and publicly vilified as unloving bigots who are infused with hate. This can be concurred as recently an Army base abruptly cancelled a prayer breakfast that highlighted retired General Jerry Boykin due to complaints that his Christian beliefs were not accepting of a gay lifestyle, while shortly after the US Army published an article about homosexual Army Chaplain Aaron Oliver who was allowed to articulate his gay lifestyle by stating: “I think I’ve always known that I’ve been attracted to members of the same sex.” This is why military chaplains do not need to be silent when Christians are restricted from expressing their beliefs about Scripture, while homosexuals are allowed to boast about their sexuality.

There are several reasons why the transgender, homosexual lifestyle should never be lauded as heroic. First, proponents of the transgender, homosexual lifestyle cannot justify moral absolutes because they have no justification for absolutes of any kind. When the Bible is rejected, the appeal to absolute knowledge is vacated (Proverbs 1:7). Therefore, nothing could be absolutely wrong, which includes: rape, incest, pedophilia, murder, and sexual immorality. Not only does the Bible provide the only source of hope for salvation (repentance & faith) to those who practice a sexually immoral lifestyle, but it also provides the only present intellectual hope as well (Colossians 2:3). The Christian worldview provides the necessary pre-conditions for intelligibility (knowledge, science, logic, and reason). This is why it is impossible to make any claims of knowledge without first borrowing from the Christian worldview.

Second, the transgender, homosexual lifestyle is a transgression of God’s law because it is not pure and contrite, but rather perverse and corrupt. The transgender, homosexual lifestyle adamantly rejects God’s Word about creation (Genesis 1:27) and perverts God’s design for marriage (Genesis 2:24-25): family, and procreation. Living a transgender, homosexual lifestyle is an abomination (Leviticus 20:13), is contrary to sound doctrine (1 Timothy 1:9-10), and those who practice such a lifestyle will not inherit the everlasting inheritance of heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). One of the reasons Sodom was incinerated into smoke and ashes was because of its unrepentant, sexually immoral practices (Genesis 19:5), which is why proponents of the transgender, homosexual lifestyle need to be careful when they believe it is acceptable to abandon God’s laws to determine their own gender, or embrace matrimony with someone of the same sex because it makes them happy. They need to be careful what they wish for, because Romans 1:26-28 tells us what God’s response will be to a wicked culture that disregards His law:

“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”

Third, there are several implications to the transgender, homosexual lifestyle. Transgender theology teaches that “God makes mistakes” which means that God is not sovereign, loving or any other attribute ascribed to Him, and His Word is wrong. Christian chaplains must remain faithful to uphold the sovereignty of God and His Word. Another implication is that the government is adopting an official theological position that nullifies Scripture. Conflict between the new normal and those who agree with God’s Word is inevitable. The rule of law has been replaced by the rule of man which has troubling implications for our whole society, being governed by those who could have reprobate minds.

How should conservative, Bible-believing military chaplains respond to the transgender, homosexual proponents? Respond with love, and with boldness! Christians have the right to exercise their faith convictions. The Constitution is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty that safeguards the freedom to speak without being deprived or abridged. As a military chaplain that is endorsed by ecclesiastical endorsing agency that affirms the Bible as the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge that constitutes salvation, I stand firm that the transgender lifestyle is not Christian, but corrupt. In addition, I will continue to remain faithful to my ecclesiastical endorsing agency by preaching the whole counsel of Scripture, heralding the Gospel, evangelizing the lost, distributing voluminous Bibles, and loving those who embrace a transgender, homosexual lifestyle, by telling them the truth that there is hope of salvation if they repent and believe in the Gospel:

“And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11)


BIO:
Chaplain (Capt) Sonny Hernandez is a US Air Force Reserve Chaplain assigned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. In April 2015, he was selected as the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Individual Mobilization Augmentee Company Grade Officer of the Year, and in May 2016, he was selected as 445th Airlift Wing CGO of the Quarter, first quarter. Hernandez earned a Doctorate from Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The opinions expressed here are solely his and do not necessarily represent the views of any government, military, or religious organization. Sonny Hernandez wrote this article as a civilian on his own time on an issue of public interest.

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58 comments

  • Thank you Chaplain Hernandez for reinforcing the truth that not even “God” loves me. I’ve tried to play by your “God’s” rules, and received nothing but misery as a result.
    It’s nice to think that even those who should provide succour believe I should suicide…

    • Aubrey, I believe God is loving, because He sent His Son to be marred beyond human semblance, and then trampled Him so sinners can be forgiven, that includes homosexuality.

      If you are in misery, then pray that God would give you a new heart, grant you repentance and faith, and deliver you out of your domain of darkness, and transfer you into the kingdom of His beloved Son

    • Chaps, God may be loving, but you are just a judgemental [redacted]. In an armed forces uniform no less. I am never going to visit a chaplain, because obviously you are all just Westboro Baptist converts.

      I want nothing to do with your “God” because his followers, people like you, are hypocritical and generally worse people that atheists. You believe God justifies your every hatred and so you sow hate. Atheists, at least, believe that the only judgement we receive is from the people we interact with.

      Your words have affected me deeply. I am angered, because a person who claims to follow an ethos of love can’t find it within himself to be loving. I am disappointed, because the level of education you require to be an officer didn’t give you better critical reasoning skills. I am saddened, because the military allowed a fundamentalist bible-thumping semi-literate like yourself to be a leader of people.

      Mostly, I am disgusted that men like you refuse to take any responsibility for your behavior just because “only God can judge me”, and because I need spiritual leadership and I am presented with people like you…

    • Aubrey,

      Your second to last paragraph ends with an insult that makes a startling statement. Specifically, you state that you are “saddened, because the military allowed a fundamentalist…to be a leader.” Setting aside your personal insults, for a moment, it would seem that your emotive response is based in the conviction that the military should, in some way, make one’s religious convictions a discriminating factor in commissioning/enlistment. Is this what you truly believe? If so, why? Which religions should be allowed, and which ones banned? Who should make that decision?

      Returning to your personal insults (i.e. the quip that the chaplain is “semi-literate”), is it hateful and/or judgemental to call names? Did the chaplain use name calling in his article or his response to you? Why is it okay for you to do so?

  • Freedom of religion means you can worship as you choose…
    It does not, by any stretch of the imagination, mean you get to impose your rules on me.

    • Who said it did?

    • Freedom of religion also means I can preach the Gospel (Romans 1:16), evangelize the lost (Matthew 28:18-20), and pray that God would grant you repentance leading to the knowledge of truth (2 Timothy 2:25).

  • Lindsey Muller

    Very sickening perspective of a diluted individuals mindset. This article only hopes to achieve fear and instill segregation amongst the LGBT community and the religious communities. If you choose to hide behind a particular religions archaic ideology and pick and choose which religious practices and values to abide or treat others by at your convenience, please refrain from enlisting in the military service.

    Religion is the most dangerous weapon ever created and has caused more pain, suffering and conflict than anything ever imagined.

    • You’re making a pretty odd demand. What difference is it to you how well a person adheres to their religion? And why do you believe religious fidelity should be relevant to military service?

    • Lindsey, does my article contradict itself? Or does it contradict you or someone you know? The truth of God’s Word can only offend those who are living a lie.

      Also, I will not refrain from military service. I have a Constitutional right to express my convictions, because I love the LGBT community enough to warn them of hell and to educate the about their only hope (Christ), where you are committing the worst hate crime ever: condoning wickedness and allowing others to go to hell without warning them (Isaiah 66:24).

    • Lindsey,

      You make the claim that “religion is the most dangerous weapon ever created,” citing that it [religion] “has caused more pain, suffering and conflict than anything else.” Is this true? How do you know?

      I realize that this rhetoric is used often in discussions like this, but I am not sure that it is rooted in fact. Numerically, your claim is just not true. In fact, the greatest mass killings of recent history have been carried out by institutionalized atheism: 66 million were killed by Lenin, Stalin, and Khruschev; as many as 60 million Chinese have been killed under communist regimes since 1949; 2.7 million Khmers under the communist Khmer Rouge, and so on.

      Now, I cannot and will not deny that some autrocities are commited in the name of religion. Yet , the actual data do not seem to support your claim.

      Still more, blaiming religion for the evils done by the religious is not a strong arguement. To be specific, you cannot blame Christ, the Gospel, or God for the misbehavior of those who claim his name. Causing pain and conflict are not religious duties for Christians nor are they logical manifestations of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the misbehavior of the generic religious cannot be laid at Christ’s door. At best, the conduct of those commiting the things you allege tells you something about those people doing those things; however, their action tells you nothing of the True God or His Gospel.

  • Respectfully, Sir, you are entitled to your opinion as a private citizen. You may even publish as a private citizen. However, you cannot affiliate yourself with the military when doing so. Even having your disclaimer does not absolve you of this duty. By stating that you are a Chaplain currently serving, you are tying these comments to the Air Force. This is essentially speaking at a rally or protest, while wearing the uniform, but trying to tell everyone that you don’t speak for the Air Force.

    I do not agree with your opinions, but I believe you are entitled to have them and voice them, in appropriate forums. I would kindly ask that you remove your current military affiliation.

    • @Jason Trumble,
      The Joint Ethics Regulations (DoD 5500.7-R para 2-207) appears to contradict you. Further, the Air Force Social Media Guide encourages Airmen to “tell their stories” — even if in uniform. Neither the AFI on “protests” nor the one on political activities prohibits this activity.

      If you don’t have a citation to support your position, your “concern” is appreciated, but unfounded.

    • Thank you for kindly asking, but I am kindly telling you no. As JD posted: The Joint Ethics Regulations (DoD 5500.7-R para 2-207) appears to contradict you.

      Respectfully,

  • Please allow me to respectfully address a few of your points, in no particular order.

    Firstly, Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed because of homosexuality. As Eccliastes 16:49-50 states, “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.” (NIV) While some have argued that “detestable practices” or “abomination” refers to homsexuality, there is no evidence that it means that. The evidence leans towards it meaning rape and/or pedophilia. The Christian worldview is not the source for knowledge, science, or logic. For much of its history, these very virtues were hindered by the Church. These existed before the Church, and have, and still, existed outside the Church. One need not be Christian to have knowledge, to be logical, or to be a scientist.

    Simply being homosexual, transgender, or even non-Christian does not mean that they are in cable of having or understanding morality or moral absolutes. The Bible is not the only source for morality. Laws of a just society, society in general, and common decency all have morality determined independent of religious dogma. Further, the morality of the Bible is abhorrent, in any respects, to current society, and even to the majority of the Christian world. Violent deaths for minor transgressions, rape, slavery, etc, are all condoned by the Bible.

    I do not believe that most homosexuals or transgendered individuals believe that God makes mistakes. Rather, they believe that God made them as they are. I can assure you that I, as a gay man, do not believe that God made a mistake with me. And I have a personal testimony that God loves me as I am, and cares not one whit that I’m gay. He made me gay, or rather allowed me to be born gay.

    Lastly, Christians, of all denominations, are allowed their opinions, and are allowed to voice them. Chaplains, priests, ministers, reverends, etc are allowed to preach as they wish from the pulpit. However, their beliefs should not be allowed to force others to live or believe as they do. As a Chaplain, you are called to serve, and obligated to help all under your care, regardless of their gender identy, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. As such, you should not allow your personal religious beliefs to prevent you from conducting yourself as a military chaplain, which asks for more than just to preach your denominations dogma. Your guidance and counseling go beyond dogma.

    The issue is that Christians, in many respects, are uncomfortable with the idea that their beliefs are no longer being forced on others. It is not morally wrong to be Christian. It is a wrong, however, to force others to allow them special privilege to force others to follow their dogma. The Church is entitled to its definition of religious marriage. It is not, however, entitled to force others not belonging to the Church to abide by that definition. Religious law and civil law are two separate entites; the State, being a non-religious civil institution, defines marriage for recognition by the State and for its legal requirements.

    I humbly suggest that Christianity is not under attack. Rather, the rest of us have decided that Christianity will no longer define our lives.

    • Jason,

      Help me understand your convictions. You appeal to being born gay as justification for the behavior and evidence of God’s approval. Is being born with a certain way always evidence that a given disposition is allowable and to be celebrated? If one is born a certain way, is it then wrong or disingenuous for one to act contrary to that nature?

      Do you see any logical contradiction with an appeal to nature when talking about sexual practice, but an appeal to choice when talking about gender identity? While the one appeals to nature as justification for behavior, the other appeals to choice and preference. Which carries more weight – nature or choice? How do we know which to follow when?

  • Heather Thomason

    Sonny, When you and I were in chaplain candidate training together prior to the repeal of DADT, I felt safe and respected enough to share my story with you. I’m wondering what happened in the last 5 years? This article is so different than my experience of you.

    • Heather, my convictions have never changed. When you first told me, I prayed for you, and I have wept for your soul and for the souls of others.

      Recently, when you tried to connect with me on Facebook, I explained to you (April 28, 2016) in a private message why I could not accept your request, and I also pleaded with you to turn to Christ by repenting of your sin.

      In the last five years, my faith and love for others has grown stronger, so much that I am pleading with those with impenitent hearts to flee from the wrath that will come.

  • Jason,

    First, in my initial post, I stated that “one of the reasons” Sodom was destroyed was because of sexually immoral practices (Gen 19:5). I never said it was the only reason.

    Second, God did not make you homosexual. If you believe God made you to be homosexual, then you are calling God a liar. You are suffering the consequences of the Fall (Genesis 3). No one is forcing you to be gay, it is a choice. If you truly believe that God is accepting of your gay lifestyle, then you are deceiving yourself with temporal comfort that will lead you to everlasting judgment (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). You are rejecting the Scripture, not because His Word contradicts itself, but because God’s Word contradicts you. This is why you must repent (Luke 13:3), and stop being wise in your own eyes (Isaiah 5:20).

    Finally, I notice you keep using the word “force.” I am not forcing anyone to do anything. I am simply doing what Christ did, when He said: Repent and believe (Mark 1:15). If a doctor did not tell a patient that they had a disease, because they were worried about offending someone, then that doctor would be the most unloving and corrupt doctor because he or she would be the stumbling block from the patient receiving treatment to get better. The same goes for a faithful preacher. I would much rather tell you the truth and be hated by you, than to be liked by you for telling you lies. This is true love, that rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6).

    If you do not believe I have the right to do espouse my faith convictions that I mentioned in this article, then I would suggest you read the Bible (Matthew 28:18-20), and also the Constitution (Free Exercise Clause). Military chaplains have ecclesiastical endorsing agencies that military policy supports. I would kindly ask you to consider researching this, as you will find that Chaplains are allowed to preach boldly, evangelize, and espouse their faith convictions that will certainly contradict yours.

    Respectfully,

  • Wasn’t there an option to get our with an honorable discharge when DADT was repealed? I am pretty sure that was offered to all Chaplains of faiths and religions. Why did you not take it? We do not need chaplains like you in our Armed Forces, and your commissioning should be revoked and I hope it is. You have no place in today’s military. You should be someone that we can turn to in a time of need and not be judged of criticized about our life choices and lifestyle. Shame on you “chaps”. I’ll make it my duty to be sure you are removed from the military I so greatly serve out and proud in.

    Signed,
    Your fellow christian brother

    • @MB,
      No, there was no such option — even though some concerned troops asked if there would be.

      I’ll make it my duty to be sure you are removed from the military I so greatly serve out and proud in.

      You apparently don’t see the irony…or is it hypocrisy? Why do you think he should be kicked out of the military just because of who he loves? Where’s your support — your celebration, even — of “diversity” within the military? Or does tolerance only work one way? Are you so filled with hate and so unfamiliar with liberty that you would have the government restrict someone’s rights just because you don’t like their religious beliefs?

      If you serve “out and proud,” you might want to re-check that US Constitution you swore to support and defend. The First Amendment has some relevant words for you.

    • #MB,

      Your argument seems hypocritical. You believe that I should be someone who you can go to without being judged or criticized, yet you are being judgmental and criticizing me for a Constitutional right to express my faith. Also, if you are going to make it your duty to have me kicked out, I want you to know that if I could poignantly turn you and others to Christ, I would gladly accept any persecution that comes and rejoice (Acts 5:41). That’s because the person that loves you the most, will tell you the most truth.

      Also, why do you call me brother in Christ? If you disagree with my letter, than you will certainly disagree with the apostle Paul’s. In the early church, Paul reminded the church in Corinth to not associate with sexually immoral people (1 Cor 5:9), and that the church had the responsibility to judge righteously by expelling the wicked (1 Cor 5:12-13). Since you are you going to make it your duty to get rid of me from the military, are you going to make it your duty to get rid of Bible’s now?

    • JD, when your “beliefs” and “opinions” threaten lives, then yes I for one am intolerant.

      If you and Chaps Hernandez do not see how your words and actions are harmful… your “God” will judge you.

      For now, thank you for the fantastic job you are doing in driving a wedge between man and God… or do you actually believe the LGBT folks are undeserving of the love of God?

      Personally, if I had to choose a deity out of the Judeo-Christian mythos, I choose Lucifer. If God loves YOU and condones YOUR actions, then I really don’t want his “love” or any other part of him… Children are not good role models for adults.

      I had a step-father that was abusive like that…

    • @Aubrey Shay
      Just because you disagree with beliefs does not mean they “threaten lives.”

      You seem angry, and you also appear confused, as you presuppose the truth of Christianity while simultaneously denying it.

      With sincerity, I hope you get the help you need.

    • MB,

      What is your justification for making it your personal mission to have the Chaplain removed from service? Do you believe that only individuals with convictions agreeable to yours should be allowed to serve? Is it your conviction that the DoD’s embrace of pluralism only extend to those who accept your convictions? Are you unwilling to serve with those to disagree with you? How did you arrive at your conclusions?

  • Transgender is a seperate thing to homosexuality. Learn the difference BEFORE you rant about something.

  • Sir,

    While I’m glad of your conviction to your god (it’s nice to believe and have faith in something). I’ll ask you to please NEVER warn an LGBT of going to hell and if an LGBT person comes to you, please direct them to an LGBT friendly Chaplin. They are there because they want your help, not a warning.

    V/r,
    A transgender sailor

    • #TransgenderSailor

      I have the Holy scripture to direct my conduct on how I counsel. You are entitled to your opinion, but my authority rests on the testimony of Scripture, not the opinions of others. This is the role of the conservative, military chaplain.

      Respectfully,

  • Out of interest, where can I read your writings on the sinful and immoral nature of the Hindu lifestyle?

  • Please also enlighten us on how Muslims are agents of Satan as well…

    And don’t forget the “Christ Killers”… how are they anathema?

  • @Donalbain

    Transgender is something different than homosexuality, but it is still a mocking of God and how He has created them. God does not make mistakes, He makes us either male or female and not homosexual.

  • Freedom Fighter

    Growing up, I often heard the refrain, “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” No more? And if not, why?

    You cannot, with any shred of intellectual honesty, say “because his beliefs and words are dangerous.” Read the competing views of our founders about matters of religion, government, revolution, and tell me they did not tolerate a far greater degree of “dangerous beliefs.” What has changed? Religion–be it Judaism, Islam, Christianity, etc.–has not changed. It is the degree of intolerance and insensitivity by those who disagree with perceived “conservative” values and beliefs that have changed.

    Beliefs and words are not dangerous. Unless you’re a communist/fascist/totalitarian.

  • When my 14 year old son came out as gay…I was shocked and didn’t know what to say or do, but I knew mother might….

    My mom, a methodist, explained it like this: GOD created EVERYTHING, including LGBT’s. It is likely MAN who wrote in the scriptures the part about LGBT’s acting in sin, not god, because only men can be so obnoxious to believe it.

    I’m not exactly sure how the story goes, but supposedly, back in the darker ages, the bible or books that make up the bible were something only preachers could read, understand and interrupt what god wanted from his creations and the instructions we must live by. One day a group of preachers got together to decide what books would be combined to form the actual bible and somehow during the translations these men messed it all up; these fellas even wrote in what they “believed” god wanted.

    Mother is always right. :-)

    So, given how things are turning out over the past 10 years or so, it seems logical for our LGBT’s to defend the way they have been created and want to be accepted. I have discovered myself that 9 out of 10 people don’t care as long as the adult versions of the LGBT’s keep it private amongst themselves. No weird-O pedophiles (like the RCC preachers for example).

    It makes perfect sense–not to mention we live in a very messed up world!

    • Glen,

      In what way is your mother right? You claim that additions were made to the Scriptures, specifically additions in regard to sexuality. Does the textual evidence back this up?

      Similarly, you (or mom) suggest that men added in teaching they wanted regarding the nature and character of God. Are you sure of this? How did you and mom arrive at this conclusion? Would you mind sharing the manuscript evidence to support this?

      Finally, you appeal to a story (albeit one you admittedly do not accurately recall) about men deciding what to include and exclude from their bible. How do you know this story is true? What evidence supports this belief?

  • Well Josh, that is the problem; there is no truly 100% believable evidence (textual/manuscript) to support any of our positions at all. If the bible is the true word of god, then where is this god? Why can’t we see, touch or hear this god for ourselves? All we can really do is read stories about this god or hear men “preach” what they imagine what this god said, did or wants. Then [we] must decide what is really true or not.

    Mother being right or not, her explanation is just as plausible as any other we can imagine to be true; and given my 14 year was created to like boys over girls (he doesn’t know this god at all) we have to believe that is how he was made and that is OK. How’s that for evidence?

    • Glen, to directly answer your question, “how is that for evidence,” quite frankly what you appeal to is not evidence at all, but merely an appeal to possibilities. Frankly, it seems to be a dodge aimed at not explaining your previous statements. You seemed to suggest before, with a measure of certainty, that the Scriptures were corrupt by your summarizing statement, “mother is always right”. Now you are saying that we can’t really know. An appeal to potentiality is not an argument for actuality.

      You suggest that there is no believable textual evidence. How do you know? Have you looked at the manuscript evidence and studied the history of Scripture? How did you arrive at your conclusion that it cannot be trusted or true?

      Second, you appeal to one’s nature as justification for behavior, specifically, that your son (who does not know God) as being born gay as evidence for (by implication) that 1) he was created that way and 2) that the disposition is okay.

      Allow me to ask a follow-up question so that I can understand your convictions better. It seems you are suggesting that if one has a certain disposition by nature, that such a disposition is, by its very existence, acceptable. Is this an accurate reflection of your belief? If so, how did you arrive at that conclusion? Is it true only in matters of sexual attraction, or is it true in all matters?

  • Cathrine Schmid

    It seems you’ve lost sight of the purpose of the Chaplain Corps. You seem to believe the free exercise of religion as guaranteed by the 1st Amendment is your exclusive and absolute right without regard to the constitutional rights and liberties of the troops whom you are called to serve.

    You are claiming, with apparent sincerity, that your own free exercise of religion supersedes anti-discrimination laws. Under such a theory, President Truman would have been unable to racially integrate the armed forces, for many chaplains then believed that integration was sinful and against God’s wishes. The military would not have been permitted to recognize interracial marriage, which many believed violated scripture. Or, what if another group of chaplains adhere to the scriptural punishment of death by stoning for children who talk back to their parents? Does their sincere religious belief shield them from criminal responsibility for throwing stones at a stubborn and disrespectful child?

    The Constitution’s free-exercise clause extends religious freedom until it interferes with another’s right to practice their religion and conscientious beliefs, or until it violates the law. Simply put, in matters of civil, criminal and military law, the Bible does not trump the Constitution. If federal law bars discrimination against gay or transgender people in the military, then all servicemembers, regardless of their faith, must abide by the rule of law.

    The chaplain corps exists but for one purpose and one purpose alone: to secure the free exercise of religion for all of America’s service members. Chaplains cannot proselytize, nor can they put their own beliefs above those of others. And, they most certainly cannot castigate, ridicule or repress others in the free exercise of their values and beliefs.

    • Freedom Fighter

      You are correct that the chaplain corpse exists to provide for the free exercise of religion in the military. But what about chaplains’ free exercise? You are incorrect that they cannot proselytize or place their own beliefs first. In fact, federal law protects their right to do so.

  • @Cathrine

    God’s laws always supercede men’s laws when they conflict. The Bible always trumps the Constitution whenever the two conflict. God’s laws are always above the laws of man or nations. When Christ returns to set up His earthly kingdom, there will just be one law that every nation will have to abide by or face the consequences.

    Chaplains can share their faith when given the opportunity is there. Are you going to tell me that a Muslim chaplain will not try to win converts to Islam since everyone is an infidel to them according to the Koran that they teach and practice?

  • Josh, come on now, you know we always say mother is always right in jest. I don’t want to get slapped ya know! In “other matters” are subjects that need to be taken one at a time, e.g. did man and dino’s co-exist or is earth only 6000 years old? If JD blogs about the subjects I may join in, but I doubt he will.

    I do not have evidence per se, just facts really. The fact is one of 3 boys and 2 girls likes boys. As far as we know the 2 brothers and sisters are straight, or at least they haven’t said otherwise. My 20 year old son has a girl friend and my 2 daughters have boy friends (well, kinda), they hang around anyway. My 18 year old son is into motorbikes and other dangerous stuff and doesn’t appear to have time for anyone but those of the same fearlessness.

    We (the fam) believe we haven’t given our 14 yo any reason to be gay, other than the occasional chat at the table we are free to chose who or what we want to be. I doubt that equated to “hey son, its ok to be gay”. He did admit he saw famous people come out as gay, including a young country singer and I guess he decided it was time to let us know.

    Now we all know we can’t shield our kids from everything, and I don’t know if my son knows much about the birds and the bees. We assume he’s had an “encounter” with another boy, but he hasn’t said. So what influence(s) did he have? We don’t know for sure, but we believe that is how he was made.

    I don’t require nor desire proof from anyone on earth about a deity and I might believe in one when I see one. Words in a book, manuscript or ancient text does not equal proof. We can imagine its true, but we cannot confirm it is true without empirical evidence. If my gay son “finds god” and decides someday he was/may have been persuaded into believing he wasn’t made the way he is, then we will accept him either way. Some may not like it, but I will also accept the Chaplain the way he is too, because its the right thing to do—he was made that way. ;-)

  • @ Glenn

    If your son is gay it is not because he was made that way, it is his sin nature that is directing him to be that way. It is a choice to be gay, just as much as it is a choice to be a pedophile, or a murderer or a thief or an adulterer or we can choose to obey God!

    • Sorry BF, son doesn’t know sin (in the biblical sense), but he does know right from wrong. I disagree that gay is in the same category as the others, but agree they are choices. Having sex with children, shooting or stabbing someone, taking something not yours or cheating on your spouse are totally different things. If you believe everything is a choice (your words “choose to obey god”), then we choose—he was made that way—GAY!

  • Glen,

    For God to make someone gay, would be a contradiction of His character since it is God who calls homosexuality an abomination in Leviticus as well as in Romans 1 and 1 Cor. 6!

    • I can read BF, in Galatians Paul says we are no longer under the Law. Paul said Leviticus is the yoke of slavery, Galatians 5:1. There is no clear statement in I Corinthians 6:9 regarding homosexuality for the simple reason that homosexuality did not exist as a concept in the first century C.E. The word “homosexuality” didn’t even appear in print until 1869, just after the American civil war.

    • Glen, your statement that homosexuality did not exist as a concept in the first century is simply wrong. For an excellent discussion of homosexuality and the Ancient Near East, might I suggest picking up a copy of Robert Gagnon’s “The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics”. His excellent discussions will also clear up any confusion regarding homosexuality and its treatment by Paul.

      That aside, allow me to return to your direct comment to me. Your comments seem to suggest that you only believe in what you can see or directly observe. Is this an accurate summation of your position? If so, how did you arrive at that conclusion, that only what can be directly observed can be true? Can such a position be proved empirically?

      You suggest the fact that because one of your five children identifies as gay proves that being gay is a product of nature, not nurture. However, that really doesn’t address the question I asked. The question I asked was this, “It seems you are suggesting that if one has a certain disposition by nature, that such a disposition is, by its very existence, acceptable. Is this an accurate reflection of your belief? If so, how did you arrive at that conclusion? Is it true only in matters of sexual attraction, or is it true in all matters?”

      Answering these will better allow me to understand where you are coming from. That said, I do appreciate your interaction.

    • Do you know what Leviticus was for? Lol it’s not for you and me. It’s a book of rules for the Levites, the people who were to be the religious leaders in the Jewish community. It also says you cant wear mixed material clothing, get any piercings, and no tattoos amongst other rules.

      It’s also old testament, which does not apply. Before Christ you had to make sacrifices, Christ was the ultimate sacrifice.

      Please study

  • Sorry Josh, your choice for clearing up any confusion with a book written by the anti-gay professor Gagnon in no way proves that my on was not created the way he is. Gagnon is a christian/theologist and it is his chosen profession to try to prove wrong with anything he doesn’t understand. Regarding what I may believe in all matters is an entirely different discussion, as I replied to BF.

    Until you have a gay child, you can never understand. I understand people want something to prove their position, as I do. But if the bible stories, scriptures or manuscripts are true that being gay is not gods creation, then explain to me how a 14 year old boy, who doesn’t know anything about god or much about the world, or life itself be gay? And don’t for a minute say because he is a sinner, that is also a concept we do not “nurture” either, and never will.

    Is it in a child’s nature to be born with cancer, disfigurement or other horrible disease? Did god create them this way? If, not, what other plausible explanation would your superior being have for such cruelty?

    In the end what we have is a book passed down from generation to generation, transcribe and re-transcribe over and over again with what now most people believe is a good bunch of stories (preached) coupled with a good imagination and desire to “believe” it must be gods word, provide hope and make everyone conform to a way [they] believe. This is why we have laws, for one, to prevent ones imagination from ruling the world.

    • Glen,

      It seems you don’t want to answer my question. Instead, you differ to an attack on Gagnon’s character. You are smart enough to know that an ad hominem says and proves nothing about the quality of the man’s scholoarship. Of course, it is always easier to resort to personal retorts than to compete in the arena of ideas.

      You suggest that I cannot know because I have not experienced. How did you arrive at that conclusion? Do you apply that logic concisrently in all arenas, or just this one? For yourself, can you not know without experiencing first hand?

      Similarly, you say that your son cannot be a sinner because you haven’t taught him about sin. Again, you are intelligent enough to know that if something is true, it is true regardless of acknowledgement. As such, if you want o disprove human sinfulness, you need a better argument.

      All that aside, it would seem by your avoidance that you are not much interested in edifying dialogue. As such, I bid you good day, and leave that last word to you.

      Cheers

  • Josh – I have no last words and your question cannot be answered properly in a blog. Some edifying dialogue with your question: “It seems you are suggesting that if one has a certain disposition by nature, that such a disposition is, by its very existence, acceptable. Answer: not everything. For example, a catholic preacher having sex with his alter boy is not a disposition by nature; how do I know, well because the preacher knows the bible says it is wrong, not to mention against the law.

    This may also help answer your question to me: I read a book by Simon LeVay, Ph.D., the author of Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation (Oxford University Press, 2011).

    I also do not retort, it is a fact Gagnon is anti-gay, and believes what he writes is above reproach, and apparently so do you. And for the record, I don’t believe what LeVay wrote is above reproach either. I also did not mean to say “you” personally cannot know without experience, so I’l change that to “someone” if that makes you feel better.

    I’m also smart enough to notice you are intelligent and your play on words is almost as good as JD’s. No offense, truth is in the eye of the beholder, if the source of such truth can also be trusted. I do not trust that the bible is true, but I won’t hold that against someone that does. As much as you wish it, the bible cannot be argued and human sinfulness is also a concept unarguable if one doesn’t believe them.

    One can only imagine (biblical faith without absolute knowledge) there is a god. I choose to believe (because I have no faith) that god made my son gay because it is a plausible explanation and no proof otherwise. Maybe someday he won’t be because he decided for himself.

    • @Glen McIntosh

      the preacher knows the bible says it is wrong…

      Followed by:

      I do not trust that the bible is true…

      You’re playing both sides of the fence, which isn’t intellectually honest.

      …not to mention against the law.

      But laws can change. It was against the law just a few years ago to behave homosexually. Does that mean you believe disposition by nature has changed since then, since the law has changed?

      You have your aphorisms confused. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Truth is absolute.

  • JD- it is not both ways for me nor do I have a fence. It is one way for the preacher and one way for me. The preacher accepted the word of god (his nature maybe a lie) and knew it was biblically unacceptable, by education and training (and against the law) to perform such an act, I, nor my son, believe being gay is unacceptable. Homosexuality has been around since the world was flat and no one [I know of] broke any law for being gay. Now no one can be prosecuted/persecuted for being gay, especially a military person. Truth is not absolute, (but is often accepted as absolute) until proven. I don’t believe in a god, but you may, proof or not–hence truth in the eye of the beholder, despite the aphorism.

    I get its your blog and you may do and say as you wish, but you may want to relook at the definition of intellectual honesty before you accuse someone of not being so. If you didn’t understand a position, then simply asking for clarification would have been a much nicer approach.

    • @Glen McIntosh,

      You made a claim that, for it to be valid, requires the Bible to be true. You then said the Bible isn’t true, which invalidated your own claim. To have two opposing positions be true is to try to have it both ways. It’s a convenient position to hold, because it allows you to criticize others without being criticized yourself — but it is not intellectually honest. Perhaps you would be more receptive to the phrase “intellectually inconsistent.” That may actually be more accurate, because I’m not sure you realize what you’re saying.

      Consider: You have essentially said, perhaps unintentionally so, that the only things that make molesting children wrong are the Bible and the law. The Bible isn’t true (to you), and the law can be changed (something some people advocate). Since your two standards aren’t absolute, you have essentially said there may be times when it is “right” for children to be molested. You can’t seriously believe that, but your argument allows it.

      Perhaps you consider that an affront, but it is not intended that way. You seem to be confused and not realize the contradictions in your position. Hopefully, some day you will come to see the [absolute] truth.

    • Sir, how does it feel to make a lot of truth claims without any justification? When you say “truth is not absolute,” my question to you is: “Are you absolutely certain?” This is evidence of absurdity, and that is what you will always receive when you suppress the truth. When you deny God, you have no intellectual hope, which is why I would submit to you to stop suppressing the truth (Scripture) just because it contradicts you or someone you love. When you deny God, your conclusion will always be a reinstatement of the premise, which makes your argument viciously circular, and why the Bible calls this type of person a fool (Psalm 14:1) for obstinately denying God.

      I agree with JD that you are intellectually dishonest. In addition to JD’s argument, when you deny the existence of God, you are not being truthful as your arguments are contradicting and haphazard. You know God exists, no matter how hard you may run, hide, or suppress the truth, because you cannot efface yourself from his invisible attributes (Romans 1:22), and also because it is intrinsically recessed in your heart (Romans 2:15). You see, He is round and about you, which is why I would plead with you to love your son, love yourself, and flee from the wrath that will come upon those who are storing up wrath for themselves because of their impenitent hearts (Romans 2:5).

      If you truly love you son, you will do the right thing and find a church to articulate a meta-narrative Gospel to him, and pray that he will be called out of darkness. If you do not, then you are basically condoning him to hell, and that millstone may be tied around your neck. You and your son are loved, which is why I must tell you this truth, that you must repent (Luke 13:3) and believe in Christ (John 3:16).

      Respectfully,

  • Well, I guess my attempt at articulating my position here is hopeless. I feel like I’m being stuffed into a box and some of you are debating that I believe only one way and not they way some want.

    Lastly SH, you do not know me, haven’t a clue whats in my heart and your attempt to imply my arguments are contradicting and haphazard is a deflection, and just as intellectually dishonest as I’m being accused of, because I do not live or believe by your standard.

    Peace, and long life. GM.

  • Glen, out of the abundance of your heart your mouth has spoken (Luke 6:45), so I am able to see what is in your heart. Your problem is that you are trusting in your heart (Jer 17:9). If you have not been born again, then you are following a heart that is deceiving you. You must follow Christ, if you are ever going to be intellectually honest (Col 2:2-3), and if there is any hope for your son, or you (Mark 1:15).

    Respectfully,

  • Well spoken SH, amen!

  • This has to be, hands down, the largest misunderstanding of several topics I have seen in one article. I feel like you should receive an award for this. You have a talent for not comprehending that is rare.

    Just out of curiosity, author, how do you feel about someone who is born with both male and female genitalia?

    • Not sure what the posters misunderstand GD, but I think there is plenty of understanding, just not a lot of acceptance. I get Glen’s position and why he gave up on this blog. For one, JD has a Christian blog here and by design it’s to spread the gospel according to [their] faith and beliefs. Second, there is a bible verse to cover anything not in compliance and finally, it’s the internet, and a lot of folks have an opinion.

      I can also understand the authors position; the hostility between the religious right the the LGBT is troublesome. I also believe there is no solution and we must endeavor to ensure that no laws are passed to solve this problem one way or another. To be clear, its not against the law anymore to be LGBT, in the Military or for everyone else. The chaplain has a right to preach what he/she must, and no one has to listen nor comply. I do believe there is a place and a purpose for the chaplaincy in the military, they represent hope for those that need it.

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