Chris Rodda Attacks Military Chaplains for Being Chaplains
In her writing, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s research assistant Chris Rodda has often struggled with both the truth and the ability to convey a clear, coherent, and supported argument — all while under pressure from her sort-of boss to make it sensational enough that people will read it.
Late in December, she tried to overcome those shortcomings in a piece at the Huffington Post.
Her 2,500-word article — short, by Rodda standards — really needs go no further than the headline:
Gay-Bashing Chaplain Endorsers Admit That The Military Chaplaincy Is Disproportionately Anti-LGBT
It would have been more honestly titled
Chris Rodda Admits The Military Chaplaincy Has Lots of Christians
Rodda’s article equates “anti-LGBT” with “gay-bashing,” making her title somewhat redundant. A quick skim of her article reveals she assigns the term “gay-bashing” to
- All chaplains represented within the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty;
- Southern Baptists; and, more vaguely,
- Anyone with “fundamentalist beliefs and opinions regarding homosexuality and LGBT rights” — though she chooses to ignore Jews, Muslims, and Catholics.
While even those definitions are a little nebulous, she has essentially categorized as “gay-bashing” and “anti-LGBT” any Christian denomination that doesn’t publicly affirm homosexuality. Given that Rodda casts her net so wide with her self-defined term, it is really she, not any chaplain endorser, that has “admitted” — or “created” — a “disproportion” of the chaplaincy.
She predicates this “disproportion” upon the number of chaplains to which she’s assigned the “gay-bashing” designator compared to the number of nationwide American adults who, according to a Barna study, have a “biblical worldview.”
What Rodda fails to forthrightly acknowledge — or didn’t bother to look up — was that the “biblical worldview” represented in the Barna study had nothing to do with homosexuality.
Looking past Chris Rodda’s lack of integrity to the topic she was maligning, it’s difficult to say with any certainty how closely the specific tenets of chaplains match the specific tenets of US troops. Even if they don’t precisely match in proportion, though, why does Chris Rodda attempt to blame that “disproportion” on chaplains or the US military? She asks:
Is there nothing that the Department of Defense can do to remedy this perversion of the chaplaincy, or will it become even more perverted under the incoming administration?
(Interesting that Rodda would imply the “incoming administration” will be responsible, because in so doing she’s blaming President Obama for the current “gay-bashing” US military chaplaincy.)
The DoD has long sought to recruit a wide swath of chaplains — even, at one point, specifically and proactively recruiting “LGBT-friendly” chaplains. Ultimately, however, it is up to sending churches and individuals to join the military and represent their faith. Rodda can’t blame the Southern Baptist Convention if the Unitarian Universalists don’t send enough chaplains for her liking.
That’s really the extent of the relevant content of Rodda’s article. It had been a while since we’d heard from her, so Rodda probably had a quota or deadline to meet and whipped together an article trying to sensationalize long-known statistics. Even then, she kind of phoned it in.
However, Rodda then managed to bring in some irrelevant content in an awkward attempt to highlight Sonny Hernandez. She cited and extensively quoted his article “Bible-Believing Military Chaplains Wanted,” apparently believing it would support her gratuitous accusation Hernandez preached “outrageously homophobic, extremist fundamentalist Christian “teachings”.”
However, Chris Rodda did little more than highlight her personal prejudice toward religious beliefs with which she disagrees.
Chris Rodda’s article is little more than a diatribe on “Christians don’t affirm homosexuality, therefore bad.” Perhaps Rodda takes the issue personally as a homosexual, as she really makes no substantive argument about protecting or affirming military religious freedom.
By the way, did you catch Chris Rodda’s turn of phrase? In an era in which “sexuality” is becoming the preeminent qualification, Rodda characterized mainstream, traditional Christianity as a “perversion” of the chaplaincy.
As the kids say these days, “LOL.”