Here's the original article as found on http://radio.foxnews.com;
Military chaplains and service members opposed to same-sex marriage are coming under attack in the military, according to Republican lawmakers and a chaplain advocacy group.
The Chaplain Alliance For Religious Liberty said there is an effort under way to silence, and in some cases punish, those opposed to gay marriage. The allegations surfaced after the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
“If you are supportive of same sex marriage, you can speak boldly,” said Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance. “But if you are opposed, you are silenced.”
Crews is one of 19 individuals to write a letter to the House Armed Services Committee urging lawmakers to protect the religious liberties of chaplains and service members.
“Until Congress acts decisively, efforts to silence the voices of our military chaplains of all faiths and backgrounds will likely continue well into the future,” the letter read. “It is time that Congress secures the rights of all chaplains, once and for all, instead of allowing those that do not subscribe to the orthodoxy of the day to be unconstitutionally silenced.”
The Pentagon disputed those assertions. In a statement to Fox News they said chaplains are not required to participate or officiate in any private ceremony that might conflict with their religious or personal beliefs. They also denied any service members have been punished for opposing gay marriage.
“In general, as we have reinforced in training across the force, DADT Repeal is not about changing attitudes but rather about reinforcing behavior that treats everyone with dignity and respect,” the spokesman said.
George Wright, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon, said in a statement to Fox News “the religious freedoms of Army chaplains are already well protected in Army policy and regulations.”
Crews said they know of dozens of instances where military personnel have come under fire. He said one chaplain was told that if he could not support DADT he should resign his commission.
“Some of these chaplains have in fact had their careers impacted,” he told Fox News. “They’ve been punished. Right now, if you are opposed to this policy you’re not seen as a team player.
An amendment to the 2013 defense authorization bill could change that. The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), protects religious freedom of military chaplains and service members opposed to same-sex marriage.
Akin said he’s received a number of complaints about people of religious faith concerned about what they perceive to be attacks on Christianity.
“There is a war on religious belief in the military,” Akin told Fox News.
Akin said he was aware of chaplains who’ve come under fire for their opposition.
“That’s the point (of the amendment),” he said. “To prevent further reprisals in the future.”
“It’s frightening,” Crews said. “This is just another example of this administration’s push against religious liberty.”
(End of story, my comments follow.)
When speaking about gay marriage and issues associated with it I try to emphasize that a large portion of my disgust comes from giving someone's sexual preferences a position of importance in any routine discussion. It's something that should remain intensely private. Putting it into the public arena for discussion is about as appropriate as discussing techniques of wiping one's rectum after a good greasy dump. FWIW, I feel the same about any public discussion of sexuality be it straight or gay. Some things shouldn't be spoken of outside of the proper venue.
So if theres a push to extol the gay lifestyle, I'm against it. By the same token, I also get disgusted when theres a witch hunt conducted by the hetero portion of our populace. Thats where I put the above article.
Seriously, could the accusations be any more vague? Unless truly objective accounts with easily verifiable facts are presented this whole thing is a story about a lisping, prancing bogey man who lives in the barracks somewhere on some base in some branch of our armed forces.
Do I believe there could be some intimidation being practiced by overly zealous PC commanding officers? You bet I do. It happens. It doesn't require a vast conspiracy trying to push an agenda of wholesale enthusiastic support for the gay lifestyle. It only needs some idiots trying to score brownie points with the Pentagon brass.
In a previous post I mentioned one of my collateral duties in the USN as giving seminars regarding rights and responsibilities. Maybe I wasn't clear about it but that was a big part of the Navy's training on equal opportunity. Since I was in during the 70's, when a lot of racial unrest was prevalent, I know a bit about senior enlisted and commissioned officers practicing a policy of appeasement for special interest groups.
It happened. It still happens.
But unless bonafide cases of harassment due to religious beliefs can be brought forward, stories such as the one above only serve to inflame the passions of the gullible.
Heres a thought that was passed onto me some years back, i.e. most gay men are not looking to "score" with any guy they see any more than most hetero men try doing the same with every female in their lives. Honestly, it makes sense. If someone swings from the other side of the plate isn't it logical they're just as discriminating in their preferences as their straight counterparts? Sure there are probably too many "horn dogs" of the gay variety, just as there are of the hetero kind. But just as it annoys me to be lumped in with some real lowlife males by the feminazis, I'm thinking it's equally insulting to believe every gay man should be placed on the same level of moral irresponsibility.
I'm having trouble articulating my main point here. This post isn't exclusively about gays in the military. The present dust up regarding that particular topic is just part of the larger problem. That problem is the placing of so much emphasis on who is sleeping with who today and forgetting that most folks are searching for the same things in life. Because giving undue importance to our differences is another way we're divided as a people. Not just in terms of nationality or sexuality or religious belief or whatever, but as humans relating to one another.
No, I'm definitely not in favor of the gay way of life. My religion forbids it and any support of it.
That religion also forbids support of two straight people living together out of wedlock. It forbids the active addiction to mind altering substances. It forbids quite a few things actually and any support on my part for them.
If I predicate my contact with the rest of the human race on that list, I'm gonna be one lonely guy. Not even my wife would be completely sinless. By the way, shutting people out based solely on their imperfections is also spoken against by my religion. It ain't easy being a real Catholic, no matter what Sister Mary Tarantula used to say. Hey, look at who Jesus routinely hung out with. Let's face it, the "sinners" know how to really party hearty!
But seriously, we're all screwing up in one fashion or another. We all fall short of perfection and damn it, we should all remember that and try being a bit more understanding of one another.
So if the Hispanic couple across my street are doing something illegal (and there are indications of that) as long as it doesn't impact me or mine and is kept out of the neighborhood I'll mind my own business. If they come to me for help in getting away from whatever illegality they might be involved in, thats when I try to help.
If the guy down the street is passed out drunk on his front lawn every night, I'll still allow my kids to play with his (under my supervision). If the man comes to me for advice on trying to stop drinking, thats when I try to help.
If the house next door is bought up by a gay couple and their kids, my own brood will probably be over there too. Hell, maybe I can get a decent recipe for chocolate chip cookies from one of the happy couple. I dunno but I could sure use it! If one or both come to me for assistance in changing their lives, thats when I help.
Until I'm asked to get involved with someone's personal life, I butt out. If whatever is going on doesn't adversely affect me or mine, I keep my mouth shut while trying to be a good neighbor.
Because I can't look down my fat nose at anyone. When it comes to being less than respectable, I've been there and done that. From personal experience and the experiences of my extended family I know that we should all cut one another some slack. That doesn't mean to go through life with an "I'm okay, you're okay and let's never ever dare to pass judgement upon each other" mentality. We should recognize each other's failings and not let them pass unnoticed.
But at the same time we should keep in mind we're not "all that and a bag of chips" to use an expression of my wife. Or as Mark Twain observed; "There has been only one Christian. They caught him and crucified him--early".
Yes, there are some real jerks in this life trying to push their pet agendas. A good portion of them will emasculate our military under the guise of "sexual equality". It will hopefully be a temporary condition, just as it when it happened in the name of "racial equality" and "gender neutrality" and whatever other PC cause has been used to turn the military into a sociological petri dish. Our troops DID survive it.
But, discounting the jerks, most folks are just trying to get by. I might be as wrong as a football bat but I doubt most gay men & women want everyone marching in the streets in the name of "tolerance". Actually I think they'd rather be left alone, to quietly live out life as happily as possible with minimum intrusion on the lives of others.
I believe that thinking could be applied to a lot of other topics too. For instance I firmly believe we need to take action regarding over ten million illegal aliens in this nation. They got here by breaking the law and that needs to be addressed.
Yet as cut and dry as it might be nice to have, that problem isn't. I realized this when talking to several men of my parish during a weekend retreat a couple of years ago. These guys could barely speak English, so it took real concentration on my part to understand them. But after a while their stories "got me". One poor schmuck had just returned from Mexico where he'd gone to pick up his two young daughters after his estranged wife suddenly died. On the trip back to Texas he'd found himself outrunning some members of the local drug cartel as they shot at him and his kids. Another man, a CPA and married to an Anglo girl (thus he's here legally), asked us all some weeks later for prayers for his sister's godmother. It seems the woman was kidnapped in front of her family for no discernible reason. Thankfully she was released a couple of weeks after that.
But tales like those two have me thinking that just giving "Juan, Jose & Maria" a push across the border isn't going to work. Too many decent people just want to leave that Third World toilet called Mexico and bring their families somewhere safe. It's kind of the same thinking your average man in the street would have, no matter where he lives. Or who he lives with. Or what he worships.
So whats my point, now that I've wandered all over the map in this post?
The best way to phrase it might be to remember that whatever we're up in arms about, it pays to keep in mind those on the other side are just as human as we.
I read a biography of St. Joan of Arc recently. One of the things she routinely did was call on her enemies right before the onset of hostilities and urge their surrender. After leading her troops in the fine art of kicking ass & taking names, she'd go weep and pray over the dead of both sides. She evidently never lost sight of the fact she was dealing with humans just as imperfect as herself.
I admit to admiring that sort of thinking, i.e. go fight for your beliefs when necessary but don't forget you're fighting someone as human as yourself.
And this is a good place to end. Thanks for listening.
Friday, May 18, 2012
Here's the original article as found on http://radio.foxnews.com;