President Obama (White House photo)
A team of top-drawer civil and religious rights lawyers is accusing President Obama of establishing a religion for the U.S. military through his demand to promote open homosexuality in the ranks.
“If chaplains with beliefs that contradict the proposed policy are kept from roles that are likely to generate conflict – like preaching or counseling – then they, the faith groups the represent, and the soldiers whose religious beliefs they serve will all be marginalized,” a letter today from the Alliance Defense Fund to Obama said.
“The military would effectively establish preferred religions or religious beliefs,” the letter said. “That is a constitutional offense that carries a very pragmatic consequence: just what will happen to recruiting efforts if Christians become second-class soldiers, sailors, airmen, or Marines.”
The letter, addressed to President Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, referenced Obama’s campaign to allow open homosexual behavior in the U.S. military. While that behavior is formally forbidden under current law, the military acts under a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy adopted by President Clinton.
The letter was signed by Gary McCaleb, senior vice president and senior counsel; Jordan Lorence, senior vice president and senior counsel; Austin Nimocks, senior legal counsel; and Kevin Theriot; senior counsel.
The White House declined to respond to a WND request for comment.
The ADF is among the premiere civil and religious rights organizations in the U.S. Among other cases, it has taken on responsibility for arguing on behalf of California residents who approved a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman when state officials assigned to the task refused to participate.
“Military chaplains who have volunteered to defend the liberties protected in our Constitution shouldn’t be denied those very same liberties,” said Theriot. “Forcing chaplains to deny the teachings of their faith in order to serve in the armed forces is a grave threat to the First Amendment and to the spiritual health of Marines, soldiers, sailors, and airmen who depend on them.”
He said if the military is forced to promote homosexual behavior, “for the first time in American history there will be open conflict between the virtues taught by chaplains and the moral message delivered by the military.”
“In such a conflict, it’s obvious who will win and who will lose. If the state favors the demands of the homosexual activists over the First Amendment, it is only a matter of time before the military censors the religious expression of its chaplains and marginalizes denominations that teach what the Bible says about homosexual behavior,” he said.
The letter advises Obama that the conflict for chaplains is only one of the many possible ramifications, but it is substantial.
Chaplains, as staff officers, “are subject to the military’s stringent need for order and discipline, which leaves little room for dissent from established policy,” the letter explains. “Yet as religious leaders, they represent ‘specific religious denominations, and are accountable in their ministries to those groups.'”
If Obama’s demands are met, the letter suggested, “chaplains with contrary religious beliefs will be forced to choose ‘to obey God or men.'”
“Orthodox Christianity – which represents the majority of religious belief in the U.S. military – does not affirm homosexual behavior. … An inevitable conflict between military policy and the faith of many military members and chaplains will arise.”
The letter said among the probable points of contention are:
- Can chaplains preach on their own religious doctrines or would they be required to subject their beliefs to the military’s religious mandates?
- Can chaplains providing counseling following their religious beliefs or the “dictates of military policy?”
- Can chaplains make biblically based statements critical of homosexual behavior?
- Can chaplains be required to allow those who engage in open homosexual behavior to lead worship or be in other leadership roles?
“Ominously, supporters of the policy change are already arguing that normalizing homosexual behavior would require chaplains to provide pastoral counsel to individuals engaged in such behavior, and that refusal to do so based on religious objections would be a ‘breach of … duty,'” the letter said.
According to Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness, Obama already has ordered the Pentagon to promote his “gays-in-the-military” cause.
“We have received our orders from the commander in chief and are moving out accordingly,” Gates told a Senate committee earlier this month, she documented.
But Donnelly noted that the military leader said nothing about benefits for the military, instead only referencing efforts to “minimize disruption and polarization.”
In actuality, Donnelly confirmed in a report posted online the sexual behavior agenda established by Obama for the military would give “radical social change” a higher priority than “military necessity.”
It would foster circumstances that would allow those who may be sexually interested in their barracks-mates to have official support for their activities, her report concludes.
Soldiers also would be pressured to adopt the “politically correct” attitude of ambivalent sexuality under threat of military reprisals, and a team of instructors would have to be incorporated into the military to provide such indoctrination, the report reveals.
Her analysis suggests chaplains and soldiers of faith would have to leave the military, and those who are left would lack trust in each other.
“Implementation would result in the voluntary or involuntary loss of thousands of personnel – many in communities, grades, and skills that are not easily replaceable,” her analysis said. “This would cripple the all-volunteer force at a time when we are at war. Personnel remaining would have to face more deployments and potential combat situations with fewer, less-skilled people.”
WND reported earlier this week that a new policy for civilian teachers in schools serving Department of Defense families will allow homosexual duos to be considered for transfers just like married couples.
According to documents posted online by the Federal Education Association, a union representing the teachers, a memorandum of understanding over teachers and their employment has been amended.
The change adopted for the 2010-2011 school year will “include acceptance of requests for joint assignments from DoDEA employees who affirm in accordance with this amendment that they are in a domestic partnership.”
“The parties further agree that if DoDEA employees are in a legally recognized same-sex marriage or civil union, then these DoDEA employees will be eligible to participate in the Transfer Program,” the agreement said