Military chaplains opposing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ told to “get out” if they don’t like it

Here is a disturbing story from CNA:

Chaplains opposed to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal coming under pressure

Washington D.C., Nov 3, 2010 / 06:13 am (CNA).- A federal court has again reinstated the U.S. military’s policy against open homosexuals in service. While military chaplains are “hopeful” the policy will stay in place, some have been told they should “just get out” if the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is repealed. [That is a deeply disturbing message.  Anyone who has exercised command in the military over a significant number will confirm how important the chaplain can be.  And then there is the issue of chaplains for the wounded.  The US military is desperately short of chaplains as it is.]

On Monday two of the three judges on the panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals halted a judge’s order which forbade the enforcement of the U.S. military’s policy against open homosexuals in the armed forces.

The judges in the majority said they agreed with the U.S. Department of Justice that a federal district court judge’s global injunction against the policy “will seriously disrupt ongoing and determined efforts by the Administration to devise an orderly change” if such a change will happen.

The case will be “moot” if the administration persuades Congress to eliminate the policy, the two judges added. They said four other federal appeals courts’ decisions cast doubt on whether the lower court judge exceeded her authority and ignored existing legal precedents.

District Court Judge Virginia Phillips had ruled that homosexuals could not serve in the military without having their First Amendment Rights breached.

President Barack Obama has opposed the policy and has worked to end it legislatively. The Log Cabin Republicans, a homosexual group, has been trying to overturn the policy through the federal judiciary.


“One chaplain stood up in a high-level meeting created precisely for the purpose of getting service members’ thoughts on the repeal of the policy. And he asked ‘What should chaplains do? What should people of faith do if this policy changes and we have problems of conscience with how it’s going to affect us?’” Blomberg said.

“That individual was told by a high-ranking member of the panel that they should just get out of the military.”  [And then what?  Would they be “replaced” with chaplains who are themselves homosexual or at least pro-homosexual?  “Tolerant”?]


Archbishop for the Military Services Timothy J. Broglio has opposed repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” In an interview with CNA last month, he warned of a “latent” danger to religious liberty in the agenda advanced by some people in the name of tolerance.

(T)here is an agenda to force everyone to accept as normal and positive behavior that is contrary to the moral norms of many religions, including the Catholic Church,” he commented, voicing concern that teaching morality or forming young people in their faith could be misconstrued as intolerance.

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  1. EXCHIEF says:

    Not only are chaplains critical to the military but so too is a policy prohibiting homosexuals from serving. This is an all voluntary military and surveys have shown that the vast majority of those currently in the military oppose having homosexuals in the service. Allowing open homosexuals to serve is detrimental to morale and the good order of the service.

  2. SonofMonica says:

    I thought a big argument for doing away with DADT was the fact that we were dismissing too many otherwise-talented servicemen and women for something that had nothing to do with their ability to perform the task, thereby creating a deficit in needed areas. I suppose this demonstrates how at least some in the military view chaplains: unneeded.

    Make no mistake, folks. The homosexualist agenda is not tolerance, and never has been. It is to annihilate our worldview. We must not only accept, but promote their promiscuous agenda or they will be happy to rid the (military; public square; adoption agencies; world) of us: Case in Point…

  3. TJerome says:

    This is just one of the “joys” of liberal fascism. Hope and Change!

  4. restoration says:

    As a naval officer, I regret to report that most Catholic chaplains I have met in the service have either been gay or extremely liberal and seems far more motivated by the officer salary and benefits than any desire to actually minister to the military. In my opinion, Catholic chaplains should have withdrawn from the military when women were added to ships and other combat roles. These priests now support the same feminism that is undermining our entire military. In addition, there is virtually no accountability for Catholic chaplains. The Archdiocese for the Military Services has been unable/unwilling to crack down on heterodox preaching of its priests and left-wing liturgies.

    It is a huge waste of money to pay these men officer salaries and honestly, taxpayer dollars should not be spent supporting Wiccan chaplains, so we may as well just scrap the entire idea. The rest of the Chaplain Corps is a joke with lady ministers who promote of witchcraft and other bizarre theologies. The entire corps should be abolished. This isn’t WWII folks. Chaplains played an important role in the past, but in recent years this has not been the case. There is too much “diversity” in the Chaplain Corps that is undeserving of taxpayer support. DADT is just another reminder that Catholic priests should not be a part of the Chaplain Corps.

  5. traditionalorganist says:

    I don’t know about the other services, but the Marine Corps will have to completely adjust their boot camp if DADT is revoked. There is absolutely no privacy at all. Of course, we always joked that the Marine Corps itself was gay. But the fact is, the chaplains aren’t the only service members who criticize the idea of gays in the military. But because they are associated with religion, they will be criticized the heaviest for “imposing” their religious views on a secular organization.

  6. TrueLiturgy says:

    I don’t know that there is a chance of a repeal now that the GOP controls the House.

  7. traditionalorganist says:


    I agree with you that there are lots of problems with the Chaplain Corps, but I don’t think it should be gotten rid of. At least one positive aspect of the existence of a chaplaincy: It is an admission that we are also spiritual beings. Currently, it is being used for far too secular purposes, though, and is commonly associated with mere psychiatric care. And liturgically, you are correct that there have been tons of abuses. When I was in boot camp, I was denied communion on the tongue. The issue was sorted out by a letter home, wherein my dad called the archdiocese. In the fleet, i found the officer’s wives were typically allowed too much say in the liturgy too, lending towards a guitar-happy music “ministry.” Nonetheless, having the chapel there on base was really nice. I was never on ship, so I can’t vouch for that end of things. But i have heard from a Navy Chaplain that his main dealing while on ship was with the pregnant females. We shouldn’t get rid of chaplains, we should get rid of females in the military. As every service member knows (deep down), no one really ever works unless there’s fighting to do. So, females “being capable of doing the job” has nothing to do with it. Being a gungho war-machine does.

  8. Supertradmum says:

    Anti-Catholicism and Anti-Evangelicalism are rife in our society. Is it any wonder that these hatreds should seep into the military? Oddly enough, the vast majority of the officers of military personnel are conservative, both religiously and politically, according to polls, while the enlisted men reflect the same liberal values as many Americans. Here is a link

    As to chaplains, the United States acceptance of “world religions” has complicated the problem, as one commentator mentioned above. But, the military on the ground want chaplains none-the-less. We need Catholic priests in the military ranks. They will be persecuted.

  9. Fr. Basil says:

    \\This is an all voluntary military and surveys have shown that the vast majority of those currently in the military oppose having homosexuals in the service.\\

    There are other surveys that says a vast majority of those in the service don’t really care if their colleagues are homosexual or heterosexual; neither would bother them.

    Is Corporal Joe Smith being a homosexual the problem–or is it some of these chaplains KNOWING about it a problem? If so, it’s only those chaplains (or others) who know that have the problem. (BTW–I wonder how many Catholic and Orthodox chaplains learn admissions of homosexuality in the confessional?)

    May I also point out that the first sexual scandal after passing of DADT involved egregious HETEROSEXUAL misconduct in the Tailhook scandal?

  10. j says:

    Issue isn’t (or rather, shouldn’t be) Catholic Church’s position on homosexuality of enlistees. Chaplains counsel but they do not dismiss their flock from the military. Sin is not court-martial issue. The conflict with DADT comes when the Church from which the Chaplain comes (Catholic or otherwise) decides a gay Priest or other Chaplain shouldn’t be in the Chaplains Core.

  11. Steve K. says:

    J – some kinds of sin actually are court-martial issues: adultery, for example.

    When I was in the Army (I got out 15 years ago), depended on what sort of unit you were in. All-male combat arms units, being gay and being found out meant getting beaten by your fellow soldiers. Later in my military career when I was in support units, which had women, there was some level of acceptance. I think the presence of women and the attitudes towards gay correlate strongly, in my experience.

  12. jflare says:

    J, Fr Basil,
    I don’t think the issue at hand can precisely be limited to whether the chaplain corps will be hampered in their beliefs or mission. I would contend, in fact, that EVERY person involved will be looking closely at what happens.
    If DADT goes, we may see a rapid growth in the number of active, open homosexuals serving in the military. It’ll get plenty of publicity. The part that WON’T get much publicity will many people decide to remain in the military over the next 5-10 years.
    I, for one, entered the Air Force as an officer, and often wondered what I’d do should I be given a choice of giving an order that I considered illegal or immoral. Would I stick to my moral principles and risk court-martial–simply for being politically incorrect? Or would I compromise for the moment, but spend the rest of my life wishing I hadn’t?

    DADT is only one of MANY policies that I personally found objectionable. How much baloney will we force troops to tolerate before we start seeing people leaving in large numbers due to moral reservations?

    In my experience, whether the nation seeks moral dignity or not will make a large difference with regard to how well staffed our military services CAN be.

  13. S. Murphy says:

    They’re going to get rid of DADT. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs wants to; the SecDef wants to.
    A professional chaplain can balance his religious duty to his faith group, and to the Truth, with his obligations to the individuals in his unit, and to the commanding officer. We need to make sure DOD has a policy that recognizes that fact, recognizes that religious objections are to homosex, not to people who feel same-sex lust, and guarantees freedom of religion for all military members (not just chaplains).
    Anyway, we don’t know who that panel member was, how the chaplain’s question was phrased, etc. Some chaplains don’t do a very good job of separating their professional from their religious obligations. Some (usually some sort of evangelical) insist on praying ‘in Jesus’ name,’ at some official function, where a vague ‘Everlasting Father’ or ‘Almighty God’ would have done just as well without drawing undue attention, not to the chaplain’s ‘witness,’ but, given current expectations and sensibilities in our pluralist/secular society, to himself, and his stubbornness, and the posture-correcting device in the lower end of his alimentary canal. The same mindset brings Pashto Bibles into the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, ON CAESAR’S DIME, and then is surprised when Caesar burns the contraband.

  14. Nathan says:

    I retired from the Army a couple of years ago after 23 years service. What worries me (and I hope good orthodox priest chaplains) is that, if DADT is repealed, the military will force officers to engage in pro-sodomy “re-training.”

    When the military, as a policy, decided to make driving while intoxicated unacceptable, the entire chain of command (including chaplains) were expected to buy in to the idea that drinking a lot was professionally unacceptable and adapt training schedules to include alcohol awareness. In implementing the laudable law and regulations on racial equality, all officers were (and are) expected to participate in programs and ceremonies honoring African Americans in the service. Supporting equal opportunity is an explicit element of all leader evaluation reports. If one does not behave in a way consistent with the values associated with the policies, the individual is quite efficiently separated from military service.

    What would prevent a similar approach to sodomites if the military suddenly had to enforce the “sodomy represents the highest pinnacle of human achievement” baloney that passes for public policy today? Would not only chaplains, but officers who hold religious beliefs that sodomy is morally wrong, be forced to go along and compromise their religion or get out? What would it mean for accessions from the traditional sources of military officers–the socially conservative cultures from the Midwest and South?

    It’s not just a matter of having sodomy occur in units. It has a lot to do with forcing those who have moral reservations about this behavior to publicly support such behavior.

    In Christ,

  15. If the Muslim servicemen and their chaplains complain about the repeal of DADT, it will be retained.

  16. S. Murphy says:

    Nathan – you said it better than I could. I’m concerned that we’ll all be expected to positively show ‘tolerance,’ meaning approval, instead of simple professionalism and fairness to all personnel, regardless of their political opinions, religious views, or personal lives, as we are currently. If it comes to that – if we can’t get a policy in place that DOESN’T ratify the analogy with civil rights for racial/ethnic minorities – then we could see increasing pressure on chaplains to softpedal or keep silent about the Church’s teachings.
    The pressure will be made worse by those chaplains who take the opportunity to grandstand about sexuality, to the neglect of any other moral issue, and prove that any gay service member who comes to them about counseling for combat stress, etc, will be subjected to lectures on the virtues of ‘ex-gay’ therapy. Mikey Weinstein can always point to these guys as typical of religious personnel.
    Political AND religious fundamentalism- one from the Left, the other from the Right – will blow up in our faces; but the end result could easily be that we’ll lose our chaplains.

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