Magazine article The Christian Century

Ex-Chaplains Reject Change for Gays in the Military

Magazine article The Christian Century

Ex-Chaplains Reject Change for Gays in the Military

Article excerpt

More than 40 retired military chaplains have warned President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates that allowing gays to serve openly in the military will force current chaplains to choose between obeying God or men.

"This forced choice must be faced, since orthodox Christianity--which represents a significant percentage of religious belief in the armed forces--does not affirm homosexual behavior," the chaplains wrote in an April 28 letter spearheaded by the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defense Fund.

The retired chaplains--affiliated with conservative denominations such as the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Presbyterian Church in America and the Southern Baptist Convention--said the change could force chaplains to water down their teachings or force them to counsel views that conflict with official military policies.

In February, Gates said the Pentagon would spend a year studying the ramifications of repealing the 17-year-old don't ask/don't tell policy.

Welton Gaddy, a Baptist pastor who is president of the Interfaith Alliance, criticized the retired chaplains' letter, saying it is "fraught with illogical reasoning" about issues such as counseling. …

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