Chaplains Group: Make the Military Great Again

Update: Now covered at the Stars and Stripes.

The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty is calling on the new Acting Secretary of the Army, the Honorable Robert Speer, to reverse a last minute policy by outgoing Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning directing the Army to conduct “training on implicit or unconscious bias”:

“The military exists to protect our nation, not to be used as a laboratory for social engineering — and especially not from an outgoing official’s 11th hour order,” said Chaplain (COL) Ron Crews, USA (Retired)…“This directive does nothing to increase military readiness but wastes valuable training time just to promote a political agenda.”

The letter (PDF) notes that “implicit or unconscious bias” isn’t even defined by the Army — but there’s at least one strong possibility:

We believe this is a direct assault on those Army personnel who hold traditional Biblical beliefs concerning sexual ethics.

Given society’s view on sexuality and religion — a view likely repeated in that society’s military — it doesn’t seem like an unreasonable conclusion.

At a practical level, the Chaplain Alliance notes Soldiers don’t need yet one more training event to force them to focus on something besides combat readiness.

Given that Secretary Speer is a holdover from the Obama administration, the letter was also copied to Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

The letter is signed by more than a dozen chaplain endorsers representing more than 50% of chaplains in the US military.

Read the press release here.  Also at OneNewsNow.



  • Bravo Chaplain Crews, the military is no place to conduct social experiments.

  • CARL is almost always in the right, but they’re off base this time. Which is unfortunate because it plays into the hands of the PC police who claim CARL is little more than a bastion of backwoods bigots. Seeing harm where none exists damages their credibility when they speak on issues of actual concern.

    One can debate whether unconscious bias training is either necessary or effective, but such training typically has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Rather, it generally deals with race, ethnicity, gender, and the like. It might be possible that this Army training will be an exception to the rule, but there’s nothing from what has been presented that would lead a reasonable person to that conclusion.

    Acknowledging the possible existence of unconscious bias relative to those who appear “different” can help open the door to more accurately hearing inputs from everyone seated at the table. In this vein, it’s not a stretch to see parallels in Scripture’s discussion of diversity in the Body (1 Cor 12).

    Ignorantly suggesting that such training is an apparent attack on biblical convictions regarding sexual orientation, etc, is an unreasonable stretch. CARL would do well not to rip such unhelpful plays from MRFF’s tired playbook.

    • @Jacob Wright
      Appreciate the reasoned comment. Two thoughts for your consideration:

      it generally deals with race, ethnicity, gender, and the like

      Two things the Army was very focused on under Secretary Fanning were gender and sexuality. It isn’t too far a stretch to think the Army would consider religious tenets to be the source of “implicit bias” by those who disagreed with post modern social mores. The identification of such beliefs as “bias” might empower the Army to “train them out.”

      Also, it is possible — even likely — that CALL has some “insight” into the conversations that occurred around the publication of this policy — and its unstated intent.

      That said, those two points are largely speculation — and even two-steps, rather than one, from the facts at hand. With that in mind, your perspective is understood.