The government is punishing U.S. military chaplains and Christian service members for their beliefs on traditional marriage, says the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty.
The group provided written testimony Tuesday about the impact of recent Department of Defense policies on religious liberty for service members, including chaplains.
“No American, especially those who wear our nation’s military uniforms, should be denied their God-given, constitutionally protected religious freedoms,” says retired Chaplain Col. Ron Crews, executive director for Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty.
“While there is no question chaplains will continue to serve all service members, there is increasing reason to be concerned that the government will not allow them the freedom to do that job as the Constitution requires,” Crews continues. “And that diminished liberty will, in turn, harm those whom chaplains exist to serve: service members.”
The testimony explains, “Our nation has a history ... of working hard to protect and accommodate military religious liberty, a tradition which has limited restrictions on service members’ ability to live their faiths. ... But our government has been retreating from that history of accommodation, enacting new policies without considering the harm to religious liberty and occasionally even taking affirmatively hostile actions toward faith. The vast majority of these blows to religious expression have come in the context of matters of sexual ethics, specifically homosexuality."
“The Obama administration has quietly but steadily created a type of sexual orientation non-discrimination requirement for the military,” the testimony continues. “Further, the administration has vocally adopted a pro-homosexuality position. Both broad developments have created conflicts with service members and chaplains who hold traditional religious views on marriage and sexuality: that sex is meant for marriage, and marriage means a union between a man and a woman.
“The military is duty-bound to take steps to remedy the current unfavorable climate for religious liberty. We ask the House Armed Services Committee to continue to advocate for religious liberty protections for chaplains and those they serve.”