An organization representing more than 2,000 of the nation’s 5,000 military chaplains announced Wednesday they would join forces with Catholic Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for Military Service, saying they will not perform same-sex ceremonies.
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos, right, accompanied by Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Marine Corps Gen. James Cartwright, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington Friday, Dec. 3, 2010, before the Senate Armed Service Committee hearing on the military Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.
The 2,000 members of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, a group of evangelical clergy, are concerned about the Pentagon’s memorandum – issued 10 days after the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal took effect – that authorizes chaplains to officiate “any private ceremony.”
While the memorandum acknowledged a chaplain’s right to not participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies the new policy makes it clear that the Pentagon has placed the military in the midst of a deeply controversial issue during a time of ongoing war.
Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty and a retired Army chaplain said, “By dishonestly sanctioning the use of federal facilities for ‘marriage counterfeits’ that federal law and the vast majority of Americans have rejected, the Pentagon has launched a direct assault on the fundamental unit of society – husband and wife.”
The Department of Defense memo authorizes military chaplains to conduct same-sex ceremonies on or off military bases and make military property, such as a chapel, available on a “neutral-to-sexual-orientation” basis. However, the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and has increasingly been under attack since President Obama took office in 2009.
Although the military’s memorandum acknowledging a chaplain’s right to refuse to perform a same-sex marriage was outlined in the memo, Crews is still concerned that some chaplains will be discriminated against by holding true to their biblical principles of considering homosexuality a sin and not in God’s will.
Source: Christian Post | Paul Stanley