There were a number of times I considered becoming a Chaplain in the United States Marine Corps. I actually loved being a part of “Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children.” At the same time I knew I loved the Lord and wanted to share His grace and salvation with fellow Marines. What better “marriage” could there be? Christ and the Chaplaincy?
Most civilians do not know the pressure chaplains are under while in the military. The same freedoms that apply to civilians don’t always apply to those under the yoke of the Federal Government. Military chaplains are “strongly suggested,” which is a pure euphemism for “this is an order,” to be “all things to all men.” Now that sounds good on the surface. For a military chaplain who is a true born again believer it spells disaster. A chaplain must be able to perform various denominational services and be able to address a troop (Marine, Soldier, Airman, or Seaman) in accordance with the troop’s background.
Now we see Presidential Policies placing even more pressure on our military chaplains. Apparently, in an anticipatory directive regarding the elimination of the military ban on homosexuality, the Chaplain Corps is revising their Training Manuals.
The Office of the Chief of Navy Chaplains has determined that same-sex, homosexual couples in the United States Navy will be able to marry in Naval Chapels and that Navy Chaplains will perform the services.
A memo issued to all Chaplains on April 13 by Chief of Navy Chaplains, Admiral Michael Tidd, called for chaplains to comply with service-wide efforts to be accepting of homosexuality and same-sex marriages. The Admiral said at this point chaplains are permitted to perform marriage ceremonies for homosexuals but at this point they (chaplains) are not forced to do so. How long before that changes?
What is the issue here, or what is at stake? First of all, the Obama Administration seems “hell-bent” on challenging the DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) by violating it. He does not support it as it stands; that marriage is between one man and one woman.
Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee stated that “to hustle-in homosexuality,” the Navy may be violating federal law-DOMA.”
Steve Taylor, communications director for Akin told CNSNews.com, “Offering up federal facilities and federal employees for same-sex marriages violates DOMA, which is still the law of the land and is bound to the duties of our military, including chaplains.”
Taylor further added, “The administration and various states may be operating as if DOMA doesn’t exist, but the Navy and Marine Corps, and all the Armed Services are sworn to obey the law, which this new instruction violates.”
Tom McClusky, senior vice president of government relations at the Family Research Council warned the Navy is totally ignoring DOMA. He previously warned conservatives that the push to repeal the military ban on homosexuality would lead to efforts to introduce same-sex marriage. This warning was dismissed and rejected at that time.
McClusky said, “This is what we thought was going to happen, and unfortunately now it’s happening. Unfortunately, the military is getting out in front of this issue and when you have a president who doesn’t believe the DOMA is a law that he needs to follow, it’s no surprise that the military would follow his lead.”
I did not become a military chaplain for Uncle Sam. I had been advised that I would probably at some point undergo a Court Martial. Having mellowed and matured in these last several years as I have come to understand that a pastor or a shepherd must be gentle, gentle as a nursing mother, I would have definitely been Court-Martialed back then. I was less gentle, less tender, quicker to speak, and slower to think.
I wonder in the months to come, especially if this despicable administration is re-elected, how many good men and good military chaplains will the Armed Forces lose?