In the continuing search for eventful news about the “non-event” of homosexuality in the US military, a few news outlets were quick to ping Hill Air Force Base after Utah’s ban on homosexual “marriage” was overturned:
With same-sex marriage legal in Utah, Hill Air Force Base has become one of the few U.S. military installations where such unions can be performed.
It would seem the press was steps ahead even of those who were interested:
As of Thursday, no same-sex marriages had occurred at Hill, said base spokesman Richard Essary…
The base may yet see a whiplash, as the entire Read more
Several news reports over the past few months note that faced with growing concerns from its chaplains, the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board — which sends chaplains to the US military — has updated its guidance in light of the repeal of DADT and the open service of homosexuals in the US military:
“Our chaplains want to uphold the authority and relevancy of Scripture while continuing to serve in a very diverse setting,” said Doug Carver, the retired Army major general who leads NAMB’s chaplaincy efforts. “We believe these updated guidelines will help them do that while still sharing the love and the hope of Christ with everyone.”
In short, SBC chaplains must conduct every part of their ministry in accordance with the Christian faith — which reflects the “historic, natural and biblical view of marriage…” The specificity and clarity was praised by retired Chaplain (Col) Ron Crews of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty.
The guidelines also seem to specifically call out marriage retreats, like the US Army’s Strong Bonds: Read more
A US Army article from Fort Carson, Colorado, discusses a marriage enrichment seminar led by the chaplaincy which emphasized the value the Army places on strengthening and protecting the marriages of its troops:
Chap. (Maj.) John Jensen, brigade chaplain, 3rd ABCT, said the purpose of the seminar was to help strengthen each couple’s marriage.
“These marriage seminars encourage Read more
The LA Times, repeated in the Stars and Stripes, reports that some homosexuals in the US military have complained they were denied access to the leave to which they were entitled.
The special leave — subsequently renamed an “administrative absence” — for homosexuals to travel to areas they can obtain a marriage license was ordered by the DoD to “level the playing field” with heterosexuals who, presumably, were allowed to marry in the immediate locale of a military facility.
While the repeal of DADT was previously described as a “non-event,” the LA Times now (dramatically) describes the military as struggling with the changes: Read more
Samaritan’s Purse has been hosting retreats called Operation Heal our Patriots in Alaska’s wilderness (first noted here):
Operation Heal Our Patriots, the Samaritan’s Purse outreach to military couples with a spouse wounded or injured in combat or combat-related activities after 9/11…challenges and encourages them from three angles critical to their recovery process. Their spouses are Read more
In the face of the “sexual assault” scandal in the US military, Department of Defense leaders fanned out across graduation ceremonies to call on new and graduating officers to live out moral courage. From Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, speaking to the graduating class of 2013 at West Point [ellipses original]:
When you are faced with difficult decisions, you will always know that the right thing to do…is the right thing to do. Do it. Listen to yourself and be guided by what you believe is right.
Standing against the crowd and choosing the harder right instead of the easier wrong, as the Cadet Prayer prescribes, can be very lonely and frightening at times. And it requires immense moral courage.
It is an interesting position to assert that every officer knows the right thing to do — meaning many in the current controversies have been knowingly choosing to do the “wrong thing.” Of course, the “moral courage” to which Secretary Hagel refers presupposes a knowledge of right and wrong; normally, that is defined outside of “listening to yourself,” unless one includes a moral and religious upbringing in one’s character.
Secretary Hagel is Read more
The US military has long recognized the value of the family, even as it applies directly to the military mission. For that reason the military services have had a variety of programs to not only counter divorce, but also to help make marriages and families stronger. An Air Force Times article notes budget cuts have apparently not eliminated the marriage enrichment programs in the Air Force.
The Army’s long-running program is Strong Bonds, a chaplain-led retreat which gets husbands and wives away from the day-to-day toils to focus on their relationship:
It’s a chance to really look at marriage with Read more
Dr. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has a lengthy but fascinating article on the argument against “homosexual marriage” from a perspective outside of morality. Importantly, he brings up an interesting discussion on the “revisionist” view of marriage which
is vitally important, even essential, to any conversation about marriage in our modern context, for it points far beyond the issue of same-sex marriage to the prior assaults on conjugal marriage brought by no-fault divorce and the replacement of personal responsibility with mere personal autonomy. Sadly, the revisionist view of marriage is embraced by millions of heterosexual couples, married and unmarried, but it is essential to the very idea of same-sex marriage.
He also notes what has been said here several times before (much to one or two people’s chagrin), and was first intimated by Justice Antonin Scalia: Read more