By Chris Rodda
Ever since the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” there has been a non-stop effort by Christian fundamentalists to undermine the effect of the repeal. Coalitions have been formed to futilely continue to fight this fight that they already lost, members of Congress have introduced legislation aimed at weakening the protections and equality granted to LGB service members by the repeal, and a slew of stories of chaplains and other service members being persecuted for their Christian beliefs regarding homosexuality have been concocted and highly publicized.
One of the most often heard arguments from the anti-gay religious organizations, coalitions, congress members, and media outlets regarding LGB service members being allowed to serve openly, and now being allowed to get married, is that Christian chaplains are being forced to violate their beliefs and promote the so-called “gay agenda.” A particular argument that is constantly made is that in a post-DADT and post-DOMA military, chaplains can’t adhere to the beliefs and guidelines of their endorsing agency.
In order to serve in the military, a chaplain must have an endorsement from a recognized ecclesiastical endorsing agency – the religious organization for their faith or denomination that verifies their credentials, etc., and endorses them as being suitable to serve in the military as a chaplain of their faith or denomination. A military chaplain not only has to follow military regulations, but also whatever rules are imposed upon them by their endorsing agency, which means adhering to the religious beliefs and positions of that endorsing agency.
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