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Donnelly backs the right to serve (up unfettered religious condemnations)

by Jeremy Hooper

200901091342Elaine Donnelly, whose primary career consists of speaking ill of gays and lesbians in camouflage, has hauled out lots of novel justifications for her biased, militarized views. But this, an attempt to inject the far-right's "religious freedom" hysterics into the Don't Ask Don't Tell conversation, is certainly one of the most desperate we've come across:

"Military chaplains, for the most part, do not favor homosexuality or do not consider it to be a normal alternative lifestyle," [Donnelly] notes. "If their beliefs are running contrary to the new zero-tolerance policy, that would pretty well destroy the chaplain corps in the military in only a few years because their promotions would be denied. They could be subjected to other forms of discipline."

The chaplain corps, according to Donnelly, would be relegated to a certain type of individual. "Would we only be able to have chaplains who are completely enthusiastic about the new policy -- forced co-habitation with homosexuals regardless of the impact on discipline, regardless of the effect on recruiting-retention?" she wonders. "See what a dilemma we are creating here? None of this is necessary."

Homosexual soldiers could spell trouble for military chaplains [ONN]

Our one word response: "Atheists." We're pretty sure a few of them have found themselves in the ranks of the U.S. armed forces. Oh, and we're pretty sure that most military chaplains are less-than-fond of the idea that there is no God. But do the the chaplains stop serving the faith needs of their fellow soldiers because of the non-believers? Or, for that matter, do evangelical Christian chaplains try to force soldiers of other faiths to accept Jesus as their one and only true savior? No, hopefully not. Hopefully anyone who has taken on the chaplain role within our armed forces knows how to operate amongst people who do not think like they do!

The truth is that the U.S. chaplain corps is already a diverse group of individuals who see the world in all sorts of different ways. However, since "gays = threat to religion" is the far-right's (stale) bread and (bitter) butter, Elaine is making it sound as if they are all anti-gay Christians with a penchant for inequality. Because to folks like Elaine, it doesn't matter that opinions are varied. It doesn't matter that even under Don't Ask Don't Tell, there are already soldiers who are staunchly against anti-gay religious teachings. It doesn't matter that we live in a church-state separated country. What matters is denying tax-paying gays the right to serve and possibly die for their country, all out of fear that an inclusive armed forces might lead a faith leader to ease off on his or her Levitical condemnations. UNREAL.

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Your thoughts

Those chaplains are serving in an armed forces which currently does have gays and lesbians, but the policy requires that they (effectively) lie about it. Last time that I checked, lying was one of those ten supremest of commandments. They can overlook the religious laws that were supposedly written in stone, but are too delicate to be confronted with other supposed theocratic malfeasance.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jan 9, 2009 4:41:10 PM

She's getting desperate!

Posted by: Piper | Jan 9, 2009 4:41:20 PM

Good point, Dick.

Yes she is, Piper.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jan 9, 2009 4:53:49 PM

"do evangelical Christian chaplains try to force soldiers of other faiths to accept Jesus as their one and only true savior? No, hopefully not."

Sadly the answer in many cases is "Yes". Look into the story of SPC Jeremy Hall, who is suing the Army because he was verbally and even physically harassed over his atheism and refusal to bow to persistent evangelism. There have been many other cases where atheists and other non-Christians have been targets of evangelism and harassment from "Christian Soldiers". The Military Religious Freedom Foundation has been investigating and filing suits on behalf of such individuals for some time now.

Posted by: Buffy | Jan 9, 2009 4:53:49 PM

So I guess Elaine doesn't want to talk about those in the Chaplain Corps that have no problems with gay soldiers. You know, chaplains like say from the UCC:


Posted by: John | Jan 9, 2009 7:39:36 PM

I love Elaine Donnelly...

She makes such a fool out of herself and the anti-gay side with her "arguments" and "reasoning"

I hope she doesnt stop talking anytime soon.
It can only work in our favour

Posted by: Kamikapse | Jan 11, 2009 10:47:03 AM

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