LOUISVILLE, Ky. (September 6, 2013) - The Southern Baptist Convention, which provides the largest share of active-duty military chaplains, has barred members from taking part in weddings, counseling sessions and couples retreats for same-sex couples.There are folks out there who are wondering why the SBC – among other Christian groups – thought it had to go so far as to actually ban its military chaplains from participation in activities which run counter to Scripture; after all, DD spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen has already promised that ‘a chaplain is not required to participate in or officiate a private ceremony if doing so would be in variance with the tenets of his or her religion or personal beliefs[.]", and Congress passed protections for military members ‘which allows them to express their personal beliefs without fear of punishment.’
Consider the following:
Air Force Cracking Down on Christians - 19-year Air Force veteran who was relieved of his duties because he disagreed with his openly gay commander over gay marriage is now facing a formal investigation after he told me his story.
Pentagon Classifies Evangelical Christians, Catholics as “Extremists” – The Department of Defense classified Catholics and Evangelical Christians as religious extremists similar to Al-Qaeda, according to training materials obtained by the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty.
Airman Punished for Objecting to Gay Marriage in Military Chapel – A 27-year veteran of the Utah Air National Guard said he was reprimanded after he wrote an email objecting to a gay wedding in the West Point chapel and was later told to prepare for retirement because his personal beliefs about homosexuality were not compatible with the military’s policies.
Air Force Removes Video that Mentions God – The Pentagon directed an Air Force Base to remove a video tribute to First Sergeants because it mentioned the word ‘God’ and might be offensive to atheists or Muslims, Fox News has learned.
Army Punishes Soldier who Served Chick-fil-A – An Army master sergeant was punished after he hosted a promotion party and served Chick-fil-A sandwiches in honor of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Artist Accuses Air Force of Censoring Christian Art – The artist whose inspirational painting was removed from an Air Force dining hall because it violated military standards is accusing the Pentagon of censoring Christian art.
Air Force Officer Told to Remove Bible from Desk – An Air Force spokesperson said personnel are not allowed to proselytize but are free to express their personal religious beliefs so long as it “does not make others uncomfortable,” but a critic pointed out at an Air Force officer was told to remove a Bible that was on his desk.
Pentagon Blocks Access To Southern Baptist Website – The U.S. Military has blocked access to the Southern Baptist Convention’s website on an unknown number of military bases because it contains “hostile content” — just weeks after an Army briefing labeled Evangelical Christians and Roman Catholics as examples of religious extremism, Fox News has learned.
White House 'Strongly Objects' to Legislation Protecting Military Chaplains from Doing Same-Sex Weddings or Being Forced to Act Against Conscience – The Obama administration “strongly objects” to provisions in a House defense authorization bill that would prohibit the use of military property for same-sex “marriage or marriage-like” ceremonies, and protect military chaplains from negative repercussions for refusing to act against their consciences, as, for example, in being ordered to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony.
Apparently, some folks in the Administration and the Pentagon didn’t get Congress’ memo, did they? And the SBC, again, among others, knows that if you give up an inch, you’re going it be giving up a mile – sometimes sooner than later.
And it may seem surprising that Jason Torpy, president of the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers, is bothered by the SBC’s order, fearing it ‘could have wide repercussions, and the military could restrict chaplains to only faith-based duties’. Except, of course, that Mr. Torpy and his organization, MAAF, have worked so hard to get the military to accept atheist chaplains. I think Mr. Torpy is seeing the handwriting on the wall: an atheist chaplain – who pretty much by definition doesn’t do the whole ‘faith-based’ thing – wouldn’t have a whole lot to do if he or she were restricted to ‘faith-based duties’ only. Unless, of course, atheism was considered – at least by the military – as a ‘faith’.
Darn those double-edged swords, eh?