Despite the fact that homosexual “marriage” is not recognized by the federal government, America’s military chaplains are being forced to put aside their religious beliefs and perform same-sex ceremonies on U.S. bases.
Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., is demanding an end to such coercion and blames President Obama for the attack on chaplains’ religious beliefs.
Inhofe is the second highest ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He admits that some chaplains have opted out, but only with the understanding that their refusal to follow orders will mean the end of their careers. The senator considers the Navy the most hostile to the religious freedom of chaplains.
Inhofe told WND’s Greg Corombos further frustration flows from the inability of active duty military to publicly disagree with their orders.
“You won’t find many active chaplains who will tell you the truth about this because you know what will happen to them if we do,” Inhofe said. “But you get the retired chaplains, I don’t know of one exception that isn’t outraged by this and saying that government can’t come along and dictate the moral principles that they have always had – both before their current career and up to the present time.”
So who is demanding that chaplains check their scriptural bearings at the chapel door? Inhofe said top military brass and civilian leaders at the Pentagon may be enforcing these policies, but he said responsibility lies in just one place.
“It’s the president,” said Inhofe. “I keep hearing Democrats say, ‘Well, this isn’t what the Pentagon wants.’ The Pentagon answers to the commander in chief. The commander in chief if the president of the United States. So he’s the one responsible.”
In response to this pressure on the chaplains, Inhofe and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., are introducing the Military Religious Freedom Protection Act.
“It stipulates and states specifically that chaplains shall not be ordered or required to perform any ceremony that is contrary to the moral principles or religious beliefs of the chaplain’s faith group,” Inhofe explained. “It further says that property under the jurisdiction of (the Defense Department) shall not be used to perform a marriage or involving anything other than the union of one man and one woman.”
Inhofe said he knows for a fact that military brass don’t like the way the military culture is trending, but they don’t speak out publicly because of the chain of command. Inhofe concedes that following orders is a vital part of what makes our armed forces work effectively, but he also advocates protection of their speech rights.
“What I’d prefer is for these generals and high ranking officials to say publicly what they really feel and have the courage to do that,” Inhofe said. “Then go ahead and do what they’re commanded to do.”
Inhofe said the best way to change the orders from the top is to change the commanders in chief.