administration has publicly stated that it will no longer support and defend DOMA, thisaction has every appearance of selective disregard for the law and raises significantconcerns. Issues which were heretofore clear have now become unnecessarily clouded.Of equally grave concern is the fact that chaplains are instructors of conscience.Chaplains have a tremendous moral responsibility to insure that when they preach, teachor counsel, they do so in accordance with their conscience and in harmony with the faithgroup by which they are endorsed. When guidance, however, is forthcoming from seniorleadership that implies protected status for those who engage in homosexual behavior andnormalizes same-sex unions in base chapels, any outside observer would conclude thatboth homosexuality and homosexual unions officiated as marriages in base chapels arenormative. This creates an environment that is increasingly hostile to the manychaplains
and the service members they serve
whose faith groups and personalconsciences recognize homosexual behavior as immoral and unsafe and do not permitsame-sex unions.For this reason, and particularly in light of the growing confusion regarding how DADTrepeal will play out
indeed, we were told that issues like same-sex weddings were not aconcern because of DOMA just months ago
we strongly encourage the adoption of broad, clear, and strong protections for conscience. No American, especially thoseserving in the armed forces, should be forced to abandon their religious beliefs or bemarginalized for holding to those beliefs. It is not sufficient to posit, as the CRWGreport did, that chaplains and service members remain free to exercise their faith inchapel services.
Service members should know that chaplains’ ministry and their own
rights of conscience remain protected everywhere military necessity has placed them.We hope that you will join us in urging DoD and Congress to adopt such specific andintentional conscience protections.We fervently pray that you stand strong in support of the laws of the land and that Godwould grant you His wisdom for sound moral guidance for the future health andprosperity of the entire chaplain body. In the spirit of
cooperation without compromise,
et us work together, for the good of all, seeking God’s wisdom and guidance for all our
brave men and women in uniform.For God and Country.
Chaplain (BG) Douglas E. Lee, U.S. Army, RetiredEndorsing Agent, Presbyterian & Reformed Joint Commission
Chaplain (COL) Brandon Keith Travis, U.S. Army, RetiredEndorsing Agent, North American Mission Board (Southern Baptist Convention)