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Chaplains: DADT repeal no big deal to ministry

Timothy Kincaid

February 17th, 2011

From the Christian Post:

Army Chaplain Lt. Col. Carleton Birch said Wednesday that chaplains already have experience in counseling homosexual soldiers and will likely be able to adjust easily to an openly homosexual military.

“I’ve counseled homosexual soldiers when if I told anyone else that, they would get kicked out,” shared Birch, an evangelical.

When asked if chaplains would be limited in their ability to serve soldiers following the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal, he said that no changes were necessary to protect chaplains’ rights.

He maintained, “We’ve always been able to preach and teach” and anticipate little change in the future.

Lt. Col. Lisa H. Tice, a Reformed chaplain who serves in the personnel, budget and readiness division of the Air Force Office of the Chief of Chaplains, said that Tier 1, the first phase of the military training, is geared towards chaplains.

Tice said of counseling gays, “We don’t see this as a big deal.”

So all the hype about the religious rights of chaplains was just… ummm…. let’s see… well, a less than strictly honest diversion.



February 17th, 2011 | LINK

When I was in the service I didn’t trust the chaplains and there wasn’t a chance in heck I would have told them I was gay – this goes especially for the “Evangelical” ones. Those SOBs were nothing more than the “eyes and ears” of the CO and considered it their duty before God to turn in gays. I’m really glad that DADT is going away so no one else in the service has to go through that crap or even worse. It’s not right when you have to view the chaplains and even NIS (pre-NCIS) as the “enemy” because you are forced into that position by them.

Rob San Diego
February 17th, 2011 | LINK

Should we really be surprised? I mean their whole argument being that they couldn’t comfort a gay soldier before battle and death because just before battle they would tell soldiers just how evil homosexuals are. Wait a minute, aren’t Chaplains Catholic? So aren’t most of them gay anyways?

February 18th, 2011 | LINK

Rightn on (as we used to say), Mr. San Diego!

Richard Lewis
February 18th, 2011 | LINK

I am a VietNam era Vet – 4 years in the USCG. My best friend is a Sgt.USArmy about to retire. We are both hetero. He tells me of the “problems” of implementing this new law. And I asked him, “Instead of ‘Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell’ just ask yourself “Who gives a shit?” It only makes a difference to Homophobes and We’re much better of people than Homophobes. He agreed, but admitted he HAD to “sound” that way to hold a strong position and keep a race of rank proceeding (until retirement). There you go. We had some of the greatest guys with me in the Coast Guard. NEVER did I not include them in anything or any job I was told. They were my friends. And I was their friend. We didn’t give a damn. I am hopeful this DADT crap just dissipates over time and molds into the 21st Century without a hitch. I’m hoping we don’t worry or think or fear what others do beyond me. As a VietNam era vet – 50,000 + killed in action? And they imagine Non of them were gay? That’s just crazy talk.

Reed B
February 18th, 2011 | LINK

San Diego –

Chaplains come from all faiths, and there are Jewish and Wiccan chaplains, as well as the many varieties of Christians. And, clearly, from Col. Birch’s account, even “evangelicals” take the concept of “confessional information” seriously.

The specious fuss over implementation of DADT by “chaplains” came from a group of retired chaplains and senior officers whose actual influence on the DADT appeal process was approximately zilch. Zero. Zip. Nada. “Sound and fury, signifying . . . bupkiss.”

Regan DuCasse
February 18th, 2011 | LINK

Amazing, that a contract of privacy between a soldier and their spiritual advisor is breached if that soldier reveals they are gay.

That this is considered something worthy of breaking, more than revealing a soldier is an adulterer, a murderer, a thief, just shows the conflicting perception on who are the most harmful people and who is doing harm.
Privilege is invoked for all the OTHER so called sins, except homosexuality.

That’s so disgusting and patently dangerous it can take one’s breath away how the military can function at all with such BS influencing what happens to soldiers and who they can confide in.

February 18th, 2011 | LINK

As a Retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer who is gay I am greatly relieved that the DADT era is ending.

I am writing this because some of you seem to have a misconception about the role and requirements of Military Chaplains as it applies to “confession” of sins.

The Chaplain services are required by military law a.k.a. the UCMJ, to report any “confessed” breaking of the law, military or civilian, to the appropriate military authority.

This caveat is built into their standing orders and is part of their agreement to be able to “minister” to members of the military.

That said, like anywhere else or any other group, some will not completely obey that agreement in certain matters. That unequal behavior/decision making is part of the problem with a “free” society concept. (I am not saying we should not be a free society, just pointing it out.) Some of these chaplains have steadfastly refused to report gay military members, others refuse to report adulterers or child rapists or thieves. The free society thing is a blade that swings both ways.

As another poster pointed out, most of the most vocal opponents of DADT repeal came from retired personnel and otherwise discharged/discredited individuals who demand as a right, the ability to be bigots.

What the LGBT community has failed to do in this aspect, and other areas of hate legislation from the fundies, is focus on getting out the message that YOUR RELIGION IS A CHOICE YOU MAKE!

Great that you chose one, but YOURS cannot be used as a sledge hammer against ME! Your “choice” does not give you the RIGHT to make me a second class citizen.

Take note next time one you hear one of the rabid anti-gay religious types speak. You will NEVER hear them say their religion is a choice, they will say they choose to obey their gods law (as interpreted through bigotry).

They want you to assume (and agree) that not following THEIR god is the choice, not that religion is a choice.

RELIGION IS A CHOICE and YOUR choice of religion cannot be allowed to run MY LIFE!

FSM preserve us!

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