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The VERY stupidist chaplain excuse for opposing DADT repeal

Timothy Kincaid

December 3rd, 2010

Anti-gay chaplains in the military are all in a dither about whether they will be able to continue to preach their objections to homosexuality if gay soldiers are allowed to serve their country. Rev. Douglas E. Lee, a retired Presbyterian* Air Force chaplain and brigadier general who now counsels and credentials chaplains, had this to say: (WaPo)

“There’s a strong possibility that a chaplain wouldn’t be allowed to proclaim what their own faith believes, and not give people the information they need to be a good Christian or a good Muslim or what have you,” he said. “If there’s no protection for the chaplain to be able to speak according to his faith group, that might affect the number of chaplains we recruit or our ability to do our duty for the troops.”

Seriously, Rev. Lee? You really are worried about not being able to tell a Muslim that homosexuality is a sin, but you have no concerns about “your own faith believes” about Islam? Really? You can bring yourself to give theological advice to a Muslim without having to agree on salvation or the deity of Christ, but can’t find a way to allow for a United Church of Christ member or even a fellow Presbyterian who is gay?

Frankly, Reverend, either you are a liar, a bigot, or an idiot.

*(anti-gay PCA, not pro-gay PCUSA)

Comments

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designing wally
December 3rd, 2010 | LINK

idiot

Regan DuCasse
December 3rd, 2010 | LINK

What would he say to a Jehovah’s Witness soldier about blood donation to another soldier or about receiving it?
This is a case of bigotry trying to find a place where it doesn’t belong.

This chaplain IS all of the above, a liar, bigoted AND stupid.
Being faithful doesn’t mean you get to lose IQ points in the process.

John in the Bay Area
December 3rd, 2010 | LINK

It seems that these sorts of chaplains may be a far greater threat to unit cohesion and good discipline than open service by gay and lesbian servicemembers.

Ben in Atlanta
December 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Since there have always been servicemembers of all sexual orientations, knowing instead of just suspecting won’t make anti-gay chaplains any less effective godless bastards. God is not American and doesn’t even hate the enemies of the USA. The borders that separate us aren’t put there by God. Although the serial numbers may have been filed off and it may be altered beyond recognition the major religion of the USA is stolen.

Edwin
December 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Inever met a chaplin when i was in the service that was worth a damn anyway. The only reason I could see them in there is for the good pay and rank.
If this major doesn’t like the way things ARE going tohappen then get out.

Lindoro Almaviva
December 3rd, 2010 | LINK

I vote for all three

David Foreman
December 3rd, 2010 | LINK

I’ve known enough of these folks that I have serious doubts about calling him a liar. Bigot? Yes. Stupid? Yes. Liar, probably not. At least not in his own eyes.

R
December 3rd, 2010 | LINK

>What would he say to a Jehovah’s Witness soldier about blood donation to another soldier or about receiving it?

JW’s don’t serve in the military, it’s against their religious beliefs.

I’m guessing Jewish and Muslim chaplains don’t go around telling Christian soldiers to not eat pork. Maybe I’m wrong, but I thought that chaplains were there to support the spiritual needs of the soldiers (for prayer, confession, etc), not evangelize their particular faith.

Anna
December 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Jeez Louise…

A chaplain’s “duty to [their] troops” is to accommodate the soldier’s beliefs, not the other way around.

Jafuf
December 4th, 2010 | LINK

No, he’s just obviously a closet queen who has spent most of his sex life in public utilities.

Hunter
December 4th, 2010 | LINK

“Frankly, Reverend, either you are a liar, a bigot, or an idiot.”

I think we have a trifecta here — have you noticed how often the three go together?

Y’know, if hating gays is the only article of his faith, how can he call himself a Christian? I’d love to know how he deals with not being able to preach that “thou shall not suffer a witch to live,” considering that not only are there Wiccan troops, but the chaplain’s handbook has a section on their practices and rituals.

To R and Anna: You haven’t taken a good look at our military lately: officers proselytizing in their commands is part of the gig, as far as they’re concerned.

John
December 4th, 2010 | LINK

Why are these chaplins allowed in the service, anyway. Military chaplins are supposedly there to meet the spiritual needs of service members and not to dictate morality. If these chaplins really cared about morality, why are they there in support for killing people? Isn’t one of the Ten Commandments not to kill?

RWG
December 4th, 2010 | LINK

The objection to repeal now is the looming prospect of the US Armed forces training its soldiers, sailors and air forces in acceptance, tolerance and respect for gays and lesbians. That training, most often given to young, impressionable minds, will seep out of the military and into society at large, increasing the acceptance of gay and lesbian Americans. That would undermine the message of the religious zealots who are trying to impose a Christian theocracy on America, and cost them both money and power. If gay and lesbian Americans are allowed to serve, inevitably, the question will be asked, “if the can serve their country like anyone else, why shouldn’t they have the same rights as everyone else?” That’s a question they haters don’t want to have to answer. Lastly, the prospect of an openly gay Medal of Honor winner is their nightmare.

del
December 4th, 2010 | LINK

It’s amazing how quickly most of these comments jump to juvenile tactics to “respond” to an opposing view. The point Lee was making was that if (for example) a Muslim chaplain was not allowed to preach, teach or counsel a Muslim troop the Islamic doctrine that homosexuality is immoral, then the Muslim troop is short-changed and his constitutional, free exercise right to worship is abridged.

Curt
December 4th, 2010 | LINK

How much do you want to bet that chaplains will comply, because it’s an easy gig for them.

I had always understood that chaplains were non-denominational and did not try to convert the troops to their beliefs anyway.

IamPosterity
December 4th, 2010 | LINK

I am going with idiot on this one! Hello…. http://www.wouldjesusdiscriminate.com we already know the bible is not against us it’s the church itself. UGH!

ZRAinSWVA
December 4th, 2010 | LINK

del, similarly, if a Christian preacher is not allowed to preach, teach or counsel a Christian troop the Christian doctrine that those practicing Islam are immoral, wrong and heathens, then the Christian troop is short-changed and his constitutional, free exercise right to worship is abridged.

Ya think?

Paul J. Stein
December 4th, 2010 | LINK

Lazy egomaniacs should also be added to the list. I only saw one chaplain that was worth a damn, MORMON but with a sense of fairness that pissed off the church ELDERS in SLC with every discussion I ever had with him.

Regan DuCasse
December 4th, 2010 | LINK

Hi R!
That’s my point. JW’s, some of them, cite their religious beliefs that gays shouldn’t serve either.

Well, SOMEBODY has to strap up and serve to protect the nation.
If JW’s don’t want to.
And don’t want gay people to either, then where does that leave anyone?

The very people, who use their religious beliefs as a rationale for discrimination, aren’t too inclined to do the job that a gay person is willing to do.

That’s when we can tell them YOU do it, or STFU.

AdrianT
December 4th, 2010 | LINK

It’s high time non believing military members started evangelizing to chaplains about how Charles Darwin answered life’s questions far better, and bombarded these idiots with books by dawkins and bertrand russell. Chaplains should have NO say on anything, beyond the order of service for the small minority of people who want to attend.

the first amendment, the virginia statute guarantees people freedom from this superstitious tosh.

Timothy Kincaid
December 4th, 2010 | LINK

Del,

The point Lee was making was that if (for example) a Muslim chaplain was not allowed to preach, teach or counsel a Muslim troop the Islamic doctrine that homosexuality is immoral, then the Muslim troop is short-changed and his constitutional, free exercise right to worship is abridged.

Yes, and if he were forced to balance ripe cheese on his head then his hair would stink.

But, of course, there is no threat of either.

Hunter
December 4th, 2010 | LINK

del —

Lee is making the kind of argument so favored by the right, the argument by dire consequences. You can predict almost any result from, for example, allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces, and scare a lot of people, and no one can refute you because there’s no way to do so.

So maybe if he could come up with some evidence supporting this “strong possibility” that chaplains are going to be forbidden to counsel their co-believers on the tenets of their faith — which in this instance seems to amount to “gays are icky” — he might have a little more credibility.

Remember, Elaine Donnelley, who specializes in this kind of argument, got laughed at the last time she was called to testify before a committee on DADT. That’s about the right response.

Amicus
December 4th, 2010 | LINK

I believe it was in the poll of spouses/families that the figure of 12% came up for chaplains, as the number of people who would turn to them if a question about the repeal of DADT came up post repeal.

Just sayin’.

L. Junius Brutus
December 5th, 2010 | LINK

Del: “It’s amazing how quickly most of these comments jump to juvenile tactics to “respond” to an opposing view. The point Lee was making was that if (for example) a Muslim chaplain was not allowed to preach, teach or counsel a Muslim troop the Islamic doctrine that homosexuality is immoral, then the Muslim troop is short-changed and his constitutional, free exercise right to worship is abridged.”

What brilliant logic! I guess Muslim troops would also be short-charged and their constitutional free exercise right to worship abridged if the chaplain failed to tell them the Islamic doctrine that Muslims are obliged to fight against the unbelievers until they are subdued. Who taught you constitutional law? Sarah Palin?

Chaplains are government employees and they have no free speech rights. If they don’t like it, they can get out.

John
December 5th, 2010 | LINK

We had a an a-hole for a chaplain when I was in Basic. I can still recall his using the allegations against 1 dead sailor being gay to blame him, and by extension all “perverts”, for the 1989 explosion on the battleship Iowa. That I was forced to stand at attention listening to this supposed man of God and a-hole slander the reputation of a fellow sailor killed in what by then was widely suspected to be an accident and not some gay love affair gone wrong, really soured me on clerics being given officer rank. This sailor was killed in an accident like the other victims were, not because he was some suicidal gay freak as the Navy was trying to say until forced to retract that asinine theory. I never had anything else to do with chaplains the rest of my time in the service.

Donny D.
December 5th, 2010 | LINK

RWG said,

“The objection to repeal now is the looming prospect of the US Armed forces training its soldiers, sailors and air forces in acceptance, tolerance and respect for gays and lesbians. That training, most often given to young, impressionable minds, will seep out of the military and into society at large, increasing the acceptance of gay and lesbian Americans.”

Yes, and it would directly influence the most politically and culturally conservative sectors of the population, because that’s who tend to be in the military.

Mark F.
December 5th, 2010 | LINK

Exactly why are chaplains even employed by the military? If churches wish to provide ministers/priests/rabbis/whatevers to counsel the troops, that’s fine. But why should this be a paid military position? Churches should do it on their dime.

Aeval
December 6th, 2010 | LINK

“Frankly, Reverend, either you are a liar, a bigot, or an idiot.”

Can I have that as a multiple choice answer?

Talking about idiots, check this out:

“Joe Rehyansky: Allow Lesbians To Serve In Order To Give ‘Straight Male GIs A Fair Shot At Converting’ Them”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/30/joe-rehyansky-dont-ask-dont-tell_n_789106.html

swampfox
December 6th, 2010 | LINK

I am beginning to wonder how many gay and lesbian soldiers have been turned-in by chaplains who were sought out by gays and lesbians for someone to talk to.

John
December 6th, 2010 | LINK

I do not know swampfox, but I can tell you that while I was in I never trusted them. Not at all. They were officers first, chaplains second. I always saw too much of a conflict in interests to give any promise of confidentiality any creedence.

afghanchap
December 9th, 2010 | LINK

I am sorry there are those that have had a negative experience with chaplains. However, every chaplain signs a statement when they come in that they will minister in a pluralistic environment and that means to all servicemembers in every situation in life. Chaplains are REQUIRED by law to keep confidential things said to them in counseling. Most every chaplain has counseled gay service members and while there may be a few horror stories around, (after all, there are over 3,000 chaplains) the vast majority of stories I believe are positive. The blog post below by “Just a Joe” whose story was told in the Washington Post is more representative of chaplain views.
http://repealnow.org/p/362

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