By R. Neil Farrar
One who is intimate with God will not be intimidated by men.
~ Leonard Ravenhill
The ideology of homosexuality in the military is nothing new; its licentious roots extend back as far as the antiquities. Professor Louis Compton argues that male love and military prowess went hand in hand in classical Greece. Compton further expounds with the account of the Sacred Band of Thebes:
“This force, created by the Theban general Gorgidas in about 378 B.C., was made up, we are told, of 150 pairs of lovers who at first fought interspersed throughout other regiments. Later, under Gorgidas’ successor, Pelopidas, they fought as a separate contingent of shock troops. Their success was to make Thebes for 40 years the most powerful state in Greece, and their fate was in the end the fate of Greece itself.”
Have we learned nothing from history – or must we repeat it?
The greatest travesty of the current administration is the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, the ban on open homosexuals in the U.S. military. When Barack Obama promised “change” during his 2008 election campaign, it seemed the American people forgot to ask, “What kind of change?” Coincidentally, the mainstream liberal media were found sardonically silent on that question. It is apparently clear for the 2012 campaign that it is the systemic breakdown of not only the American family – by Obama’s refusal to defend the Defense of Marriage Act – but the indoctrination and legalization of the gay agenda. The goal here is not only to legalize, but to inflict terror into the hearts and minds of conservatives and Christians who would dare stand in their way. It is more than obvious that tolerance is a one-way street with liberals.
For years now, our government has used the military as a testing ground for social experiments. This latest change is one of the most nefarious to date, and it is certainly an averment of how out of touch our nations leaders are with the American people; perhaps it is simply evidence of how much they no longer care!
The abrogation of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy (DADT) will infinitely impact a chaplain’s capability to provide worship and counseling services to those who are now open with their lifestyle by attenuating effective ministry, muting morality and, finally, creating in them fear of reprisal.
Attenuating effective ministry
One of the primary roles of an evangelical Christian chaplain is to be a prophetic voice to the men and women hie serves with and under, which means to proclaim the truth. The repeal of DADT will greatly neuter the chaplain’s ability and authority to do exactly that concerning homosexuality. The greatest gift that a chaplain has to offer to those he serves is the Scriptures. The repeal of DADT will, in all practical purpose, disarm the chaplain of his sword of the Spirit. Without the full measure of the Holy Bible, the chaplain is nothing more than another secular counselor or philosopher.
Sarah Zylstra quoted University of Virginia professor Doug Laycock as saying, “The chaplain corps is a total anomaly in our system. We’ve got a government running a religious organization.” With the repeal of DADT, the government’s leverage of control and power will be that much more tasking upon chaplains’ freedom to minister according to their faith and tenets. Last weekend, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law legislation prohibiting parents from trying to cure their children if they are attracted to others of the same sex. If such power is removed from a parent or guardian, what kind of influence or effective ministry can a chaplain offer?
The issue of our government turning a blind eye concerning morality is not a new paradigm. Lyle Dorsett documents the following account during World War II in Europe:
A young lieutenant, Cleo W. Buxton … remembered that “in each of those big R&R [rest and recreation] centers that the army provided supervised houses of prostitution, which were certified free of disease.” To this lieutenant’s mind, “the brass seemed to care a lot more about the soldier’s health than they did about their morals. … Those poor women might have sex with 70 or 80 men a day.” (“Serving God and Country: U.S. Military Chaplains in World War II”)
Dorsett then captures the full ramification of this senseless animalistic exhibition by expounding on the fact that chaplains “knew men well enough to understand that their ability to fight well was inextricably interwoven with the health of their souls. And the health of men’s souls seemed closely related to the presence of men sent by God to minister to them.” Once it was all said and done, the chaplains were the ones left to deal with counseling the men and women who were often not only guilt ridden, but many times left with sexually transmitted diseases. Some of those diseases were not discovered until long after the fact.
With the repeal of DADT, the question remains whether or not that the chaplain can offer the same measure of efficacious ministry. How can you counsel a man or a woman who is guilt ridden, diseased, depressed, or even suicidal when you cannot address the root issue? Muting morality for the chaplain will leave them with an empty arsenal to combat a licentious epidemic that will only exacerbate with time. It appears that the patients are now running the asylum.
Fear of reprisal
Many critics are rightly concerned that the full ramifications of the repeal of DADT are not known at this time and most likely will not be fully realized until after the upcoming presidential election. There seems to be a conflicting opinions about whether chaplains are still permitted to speak according to their tenets, or whether there will be a hefty price if they go against the current flow. Mike Ebert, a spokesman for the Native American Mission Board, said, “The military’s bottom line is that no chaplain will be penalized for teaching that gay sex is sinful.” Yet, is that a parapet to hide the truth until a more appropriate time? So much in Washington is nothing more than a façade, especially with this issue.
Paul Vicalvi, chaplains’ commission executive director for the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), clarified, “If a chaplain tells a gay couple that he believes their lifestyle is detrimental to them as human beings, he may be accused of discrimination.” This fear of reprisal and litigation is such that a chaplain need not only be concerned with his career and retirement, but of a court-martial and possibly brig time. The military does not seem to be hiding this reality. As then-active duty Chaplain Ronald Crews reported, a four-star general told him: “If you cannot accept the changes coming, you have one option: You can resign your commission.” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen’s “advice to service members was to ‘vote with your feet’ and resign from the service.” Both men’s counsel is in direct violation of current military regulations and Department of Defense policies; yet, that seems to no longer matter, and is intended to be a clear warning to any chaplain questioning the direction of this current administration.
What is at stake today in our military is the religious freedom of our chaplains to minister in accordance with their faith and tenets. A chaplain is the moral conscience of their command, and this egregious policy will simply ensure that their voices will be squelched. Once that is firmly ensconced, will we find ourselves facing the same consequences of the German citizens in Nazi Germany? Perhaps, a darker agenda is found in the belief of Ernst Roehm, a protégé of Hitler. “What was needed, Roehm believed, was a proud arrogant lot who could brawl, carouse, smash windows, kill and slaughter for the hell of it. Straights, in his eyes, were not as adept in such behavior as practicing homosexuals.” Is this the type of fighting men our nation is now looking for?
The upcoming election will certainly impact the evangelical church and chaplaincy more today than at any other time in our nation’s history. Do we really believe that legalizing same-sex unions and repealing DADT will bring peace and closure? Or is it only the pilings from which a full-fledged attack will begin for the homosexualists’ ultimate objective – our children! Pederasty was the prize for the ancient Greek deviants, and it is their goal today as well.
The Scriptures tell us: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). Could it be said that our nation is in its current state because we no longer fear God? One truth is clear: If the government succeeds in muting military chaplains; their next target will be your minister; and finally, it will be you. Please pray for our chaplains – and please vote!
R. Neil Farrar is an independent writer. He has an A.A. from Christ for the Nations, Inst., a B.A. from Southwestern Assemblies of God and is currently working towards his Master of Divinity: Chaplaincy at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He also pastored a church in Maine for six years and pioneered the Christian radio program “Rock Talk” in Maine and Rhode Island.