Military chaplains must perform gay weddings?

So says the Obama administration.  Rod Dreher  comments:

Remember how no clergy member will be forced to perform same-sex marriages against their will. If the Obama administration has its way, all US military chaplains will have to do so. Excerpt:

“The Obama administration “strongly objects” to provisions in a House defense authorization bill that would prohibit the use of military property for same-sex “marriage or marriage-like” ceremonies, and protect military chaplains from negative repercussions for refusing to perform ceremonies that conflict with their beliefs, according to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).”

If this goes through, the Catholic and the Orthodox chaplains will have to be withdrawn from the US military. Many Evangelical chaplains will choose to leave. If same-sex marriage is constitutionalized by Supreme Court ruling, then I don’t see how even a legislative exemption would be possible. This is another one of the answers to the question, “How does my gay neighbor’s marriage to his partner affect me?”

via Goodbye, Military Chaplains | The American Conservative.

I suppose the large contingent of chaplains who belong to the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod would also have to leave.  That would leave liberal  mainline Protestants to minister to the troops, though many of them are anti-war.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • SKPeterson

    Why not immediately go the WELS route and assign civilian chaplains that are outside the military command structure?

  • SKPeterson

    Why not immediately go the WELS route and assign civilian chaplains that are outside the military command structure?

  • Robert Herring

    If you dig a little deeper in the article, the conjecture raised is that clergy who oppose same sex marriage will not be able to participate in the civil licensing of marriages which means you can have a wedding in your church but without the license it is not legal. Will that happen? In our country these days, who knows?

  • Robert Herring

    If you dig a little deeper in the article, the conjecture raised is that clergy who oppose same sex marriage will not be able to participate in the civil licensing of marriages which means you can have a wedding in your church but without the license it is not legal. Will that happen? In our country these days, who knows?

  • Dan Kempin

    Bob Herring . . . as in formerly of Fort Smith?

  • Dan Kempin

    Bob Herring . . . as in formerly of Fort Smith?

  • Tressa

    Do the faith groups have the strength to remove their ecclesiastical endorsements? That is he question. They should. How many will walk away? The military is already very short in Catholic Chaplains. It would be a major blow to the military to lose so many chaplains. With all the talk of reductions in the military maybe it is being orchestrated this way? Who knows. The health of the Chaplian Corps depends greatly on those in the leadership roles. Do they value their chaplains and see the necessity of the chaplains? Sadly, not everyone
    does.

  • Tressa

    Do the faith groups have the strength to remove their ecclesiastical endorsements? That is he question. They should. How many will walk away? The military is already very short in Catholic Chaplains. It would be a major blow to the military to lose so many chaplains. With all the talk of reductions in the military maybe it is being orchestrated this way? Who knows. The health of the Chaplian Corps depends greatly on those in the leadership roles. Do they value their chaplains and see the necessity of the chaplains? Sadly, not everyone
    does.

  • Bill Cork

    Completely bogus claim. Military regulations emphatically protect the obligations of chaplains to follow the guidelines set by their endorsing agents, and the freedom to act accordingly. No chaplain can be forced to participate in any religious ceremony contrary to his faith. AR 165-1 is very clear for the Army–why don’t any commentators on this subject in the press ever mention it?

  • Bill Cork

    Completely bogus claim. Military regulations emphatically protect the obligations of chaplains to follow the guidelines set by their endorsing agents, and the freedom to act accordingly. No chaplain can be forced to participate in any religious ceremony contrary to his faith. AR 165-1 is very clear for the Army–why don’t any commentators on this subject in the press ever mention it?

  • Stephanie

    Bill Cork- I think the media probably fail to mention AR165-1 because so few of them have served in the military.

  • Stephanie

    Bill Cork- I think the media probably fail to mention AR165-1 because so few of them have served in the military.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    It’s starting, folks…. the intrusion of the state into the Church. While Obama’s rhetoric holds no real sway on the matter at this point in time, you can expect hostility towards the church to increase, as churches (I hope) will rise up en masse and state in no uncertain terms that they will not conduct these abominations called gay “marriages.”

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    It’s starting, folks…. the intrusion of the state into the Church. While Obama’s rhetoric holds no real sway on the matter at this point in time, you can expect hostility towards the church to increase, as churches (I hope) will rise up en masse and state in no uncertain terms that they will not conduct these abominations called gay “marriages.”

  • Jon

    Bill, are you saying that the Army Regulation can’t be changed? Impossible? Inconceivable?

    The Commander in Chief got rid of DADT, and that was deeply entrenched in the regulations, too.

    Is the quote above inaccurate that says that the administration is opposed to the part of the bill that outlaws negative repercussions on chaplains?

    Or do you know for fact that the administration is only opposed to that part of the bill that prohibits use of military installations for same-sex weddings?

    Congress, holding the power of the purse, ultimately will have to be convinced like DADT to make such a move.

    However, that the administration is opposed to the bill should make chaplains leery.

    It has begun indeed.

  • Jon

    Bill, are you saying that the Army Regulation can’t be changed? Impossible? Inconceivable?

    The Commander in Chief got rid of DADT, and that was deeply entrenched in the regulations, too.

    Is the quote above inaccurate that says that the administration is opposed to the part of the bill that outlaws negative repercussions on chaplains?

    Or do you know for fact that the administration is only opposed to that part of the bill that prohibits use of military installations for same-sex weddings?

    Congress, holding the power of the purse, ultimately will have to be convinced like DADT to make such a move.

    However, that the administration is opposed to the bill should make chaplains leery.

    It has begun indeed.

  • Norman Teigen

    You may not have the facts straight on this issue. Let the reader beware.

    Norman Teigen, Layman
    Evangelical Lutheran Synod

  • Norman Teigen

    You may not have the facts straight on this issue. Let the reader beware.

    Norman Teigen, Layman
    Evangelical Lutheran Synod

  • Jonathan

    Mr. Teigan, thanks, but that this story isn’t true doesn’t matter a whit. You recall that old hymn, “They shall know we are Christians by our hysteria and gullibility, They shall know we our Christians by our hysteria…” ?

  • Jonathan

    Mr. Teigan, thanks, but that this story isn’t true doesn’t matter a whit. You recall that old hymn, “They shall know we are Christians by our hysteria and gullibility, They shall know we our Christians by our hysteria…” ?

  • Jon

    What part of the story isn’t true?

    Does the administration oppose the House bill? Which part of it?

  • Jon

    What part of the story isn’t true?

    Does the administration oppose the House bill? Which part of it?

  • DonS

    As best I can tell, the administration is not at present threatening to change AR 165-1, the Army regulation protecting chaplains from acting against conscience and the tenets of their faith, or its equivalents in the other service branches. But both the Obama administration and Nancy Pelosi are objecting to HR 4310 and its provision to make this regulatory protection a statutory one. Now that may just be caught up in the related prohibition, in that same bill, against gay marriages being performed on military property. The House leadership should strip just this chaplain protection issue out of that bill and pass it separately, and see whether the administration and the Democrats have any objection to that. If they do, then this is a real issue.

  • DonS

    As best I can tell, the administration is not at present threatening to change AR 165-1, the Army regulation protecting chaplains from acting against conscience and the tenets of their faith, or its equivalents in the other service branches. But both the Obama administration and Nancy Pelosi are objecting to HR 4310 and its provision to make this regulatory protection a statutory one. Now that may just be caught up in the related prohibition, in that same bill, against gay marriages being performed on military property. The House leadership should strip just this chaplain protection issue out of that bill and pass it separately, and see whether the administration and the Democrats have any objection to that. If they do, then this is a real issue.

  • helen

    Obama’s HHS has been trying to make abortifacients (not contraceptives) “free” (i.e., no copay) and demanded that they be included in religious bodies’ insurance plans.
    Trying to force Chaplains into performing gay weddings would only be one step along the way to requiring that all religious bodies perform gay weddings,

    If one abomination, why not another?

  • helen

    Obama’s HHS has been trying to make abortifacients (not contraceptives) “free” (i.e., no copay) and demanded that they be included in religious bodies’ insurance plans.
    Trying to force Chaplains into performing gay weddings would only be one step along the way to requiring that all religious bodies perform gay weddings,

    If one abomination, why not another?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    This will destroy the military a whole lot faster than defunding. What is that about a famine of God’s word?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    This will destroy the military a whole lot faster than defunding. What is that about a famine of God’s word?

  • mikeb

    If Obama and future administrations force Chaplains out of the military, via voluntary leave by the individual or by the sponsoring agencies to pull of the tent stakes, the military will be losing not only religious servants but their primary way of delivering social support. Chaplains don’t just hold Sunday services.

  • mikeb

    If Obama and future administrations force Chaplains out of the military, via voluntary leave by the individual or by the sponsoring agencies to pull of the tent stakes, the military will be losing not only religious servants but their primary way of delivering social support. Chaplains don’t just hold Sunday services.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    SK Peterson,
    Back in the 80′s the whole chaplain program almost went under because people thought it should be done the way WELS do it. That was until they found out that WELS chaplains not being military are often denied access to those areas where they are needed most, and lacking military training become more of a liability than an asset.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    SK Peterson,
    Back in the 80′s the whole chaplain program almost went under because people thought it should be done the way WELS do it. That was until they found out that WELS chaplains not being military are often denied access to those areas where they are needed most, and lacking military training become more of a liability than an asset.

  • SKPeterson

    Bror @ 16 – That conforms to my understanding as well. WELS has a non-uniformed chaplaincy, but also gives up being with the troops on deployments, etc. where their presence may be most urgently needed. It makes for a difficult problem if you are faced with a choice of ministering to a needful congregation who happens to be in uniform, when adherence to the rules under which those so uniformed operate directly contradicts the theology and orthopraxy of the church.

  • SKPeterson

    Bror @ 16 – That conforms to my understanding as well. WELS has a non-uniformed chaplaincy, but also gives up being with the troops on deployments, etc. where their presence may be most urgently needed. It makes for a difficult problem if you are faced with a choice of ministering to a needful congregation who happens to be in uniform, when adherence to the rules under which those so uniformed operate directly contradicts the theology and orthopraxy of the church.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Whatever happened to freedom of religion?

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Whatever happened to freedom of religion?

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

  • Grace

    1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

    2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

    3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 2 Thessalonians 2

    “falling away first – that’s the key. We are seeing the “falling away” – The LORD made it clear, we must stand strong, painful as it is. I would be ashamed, and weeping, if any pastor I respected, caved in and performed a marriage to homosexuals.

    There is a way for pastors and congregants to stave off the current tide, which is coming into, and in many cases sits in the pews waiting to disrupt the church. Weddings don’t have to be in the church, as sad as that would be. They can be in homes.

    The military and government can do what they like, this country can make all the un-Scriptural laws they wish, (abortion) that doesn’t mean we have to take part in any way.

    We can/have seen the “falling away” for a long time. It’s taking up speed as the weeks, months and a few years have proven.

    The most pressing problem I see is; those who are chaplins needing to minister to our military leaving because of this great sin which will be thrust upon them (homosexual marriage) What will our military do without the men of God being there for them? The only solution I can see is; laymen who are Christian Believers stepping up to the plate without being clergy, but knowing the Word of God all the same – not being put in a position of performing a marriage.

  • Grace

    1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

    2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

    3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 2 Thessalonians 2

    “falling away first – that’s the key. We are seeing the “falling away” – The LORD made it clear, we must stand strong, painful as it is. I would be ashamed, and weeping, if any pastor I respected, caved in and performed a marriage to homosexuals.

    There is a way for pastors and congregants to stave off the current tide, which is coming into, and in many cases sits in the pews waiting to disrupt the church. Weddings don’t have to be in the church, as sad as that would be. They can be in homes.

    The military and government can do what they like, this country can make all the un-Scriptural laws they wish, (abortion) that doesn’t mean we have to take part in any way.

    We can/have seen the “falling away” for a long time. It’s taking up speed as the weeks, months and a few years have proven.

    The most pressing problem I see is; those who are chaplins needing to minister to our military leaving because of this great sin which will be thrust upon them (homosexual marriage) What will our military do without the men of God being there for them? The only solution I can see is; laymen who are Christian Believers stepping up to the plate without being clergy, but knowing the Word of God all the same – not being put in a position of performing a marriage.

  • Robert Hering

    Dan, one and the same.

  • Robert Hering

    Dan, one and the same.

  • Dan Kempin

    Robert, #20,

    Charlie and Sharon’s son-in-law. Hope you are well.

  • Dan Kempin

    Robert, #20,

    Charlie and Sharon’s son-in-law. Hope you are well.

  • Michael B.

    Military chaplains are paid for by the state, and thus the state tells them what they can and can’t do. They have limits on criticizing Islam. They can’t criticize the war. Soon they won’t be able to criticize gays. It’s basically the state funding a state religion.

  • Michael B.

    Military chaplains are paid for by the state, and thus the state tells them what they can and can’t do. They have limits on criticizing Islam. They can’t criticize the war. Soon they won’t be able to criticize gays. It’s basically the state funding a state religion.

  • Robert Herring

    Dan,

    By God’s grace I am doing well here in New Jersey and your in-laws keep me informed of your grace filled activities in Michigan. To Dr. Veith and the others: sorry we’re using the comments for a chance to catch up with each other, but these things do happen!

  • Robert Herring

    Dan,

    By God’s grace I am doing well here in New Jersey and your in-laws keep me informed of your grace filled activities in Michigan. To Dr. Veith and the others: sorry we’re using the comments for a chance to catch up with each other, but these things do happen!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Michael B.
    It isn’t quite as simple as all that. The chaplains are there to guarantee the freedom of religion and the free exercise there of. Now i have run into chaplains who seem to think that they can do this best by squashing that freedom in a fellow chaplain. But given the nature of the job, and its relation to the first amendment, there are limits as to what the state can and cannot tell a chaplain to do. The first amendment is not a right that goes by the way side in the military. The military understands that their soldiers, airmen and so forth perform better and are better equipped when the services of a chaplain are offered to them. They don’t want to lose chaplains, or recruitment and retention not to mention job performance for lack of chaplains.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Michael B.
    It isn’t quite as simple as all that. The chaplains are there to guarantee the freedom of religion and the free exercise there of. Now i have run into chaplains who seem to think that they can do this best by squashing that freedom in a fellow chaplain. But given the nature of the job, and its relation to the first amendment, there are limits as to what the state can and cannot tell a chaplain to do. The first amendment is not a right that goes by the way side in the military. The military understands that their soldiers, airmen and so forth perform better and are better equipped when the services of a chaplain are offered to them. They don’t want to lose chaplains, or recruitment and retention not to mention job performance for lack of chaplains.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick

    From my limited military experience (6 years so far), let me tell you what type of ‘spiritual guidance’ I’ve had from chaplains. It was off to a bang in basic training where I went to chapel for the first time for the Good Friday service and got to see a female pastor do an interpretive dance of the crucifixion. In my other units, I’ve had the privilege of receiving spiritual direction (and awesome non-sectarian prayers) from southern baptist dispensationalists and a number of mainline libs, females included. More important than the CINC’s progressive ideas is the question of whether confessional Lutheran denoms should even have chaplains. The chaplaincy, after all, is just a throw back to our British heritage with the official Anglican church. Makes perfect sense in that context, but not in a pluralistic society. Is this a violation of the two kingdoms doctrine? What does it mean for a man to be in the ‘office of the ministry’ when he can actually only commune a few dudes in his unit (if that, and if he’s even being faithful to the BoC)? Can a man be considered a pastor apart from a flock? I say we scrap the chaplaincy altogether or let the mainliners and baptists have it. If we want spiritual direction, we can get it off post. Oh but what about deployments? If I deploy, what are the chances that I’d actually end up with a confessional Lutheran pastor over there? Not very high.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick

    From my limited military experience (6 years so far), let me tell you what type of ‘spiritual guidance’ I’ve had from chaplains. It was off to a bang in basic training where I went to chapel for the first time for the Good Friday service and got to see a female pastor do an interpretive dance of the crucifixion. In my other units, I’ve had the privilege of receiving spiritual direction (and awesome non-sectarian prayers) from southern baptist dispensationalists and a number of mainline libs, females included. More important than the CINC’s progressive ideas is the question of whether confessional Lutheran denoms should even have chaplains. The chaplaincy, after all, is just a throw back to our British heritage with the official Anglican church. Makes perfect sense in that context, but not in a pluralistic society. Is this a violation of the two kingdoms doctrine? What does it mean for a man to be in the ‘office of the ministry’ when he can actually only commune a few dudes in his unit (if that, and if he’s even being faithful to the BoC)? Can a man be considered a pastor apart from a flock? I say we scrap the chaplaincy altogether or let the mainliners and baptists have it. If we want spiritual direction, we can get it off post. Oh but what about deployments? If I deploy, what are the chances that I’d actually end up with a confessional Lutheran pastor over there? Not very high.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @25 It sounds like the chaplaincy is so debased at this point that it is nearly de facto eliminated for many soldiers already.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @25 It sounds like the chaplaincy is so debased at this point that it is nearly de facto eliminated for many soldiers already.

  • Grace

    Military Chaplins have been a great comfort to many. There will always be the nay sayers, who ridicule the chaplancy. You will always find those of the clergy who don’t preach the Gospel, but there are many who do.

    God works in mysterious ways, HIS Gospel to the wounded, broken hearted will always take place, in spite of those who ridicule those who comfort the lost, and dying.

  • Grace

    Military Chaplins have been a great comfort to many. There will always be the nay sayers, who ridicule the chaplancy. You will always find those of the clergy who don’t preach the Gospel, but there are many who do.

    God works in mysterious ways, HIS Gospel to the wounded, broken hearted will always take place, in spite of those who ridicule those who comfort the lost, and dying.

  • Michael B.

    @Bror Erickson@24

    “The first amendment is not a right that goes by the way side in the military. ”

    Actually, in a way it does:
    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/marines-discharge-sergeant-criticized-president-obama-facebook-195117687.html

    This is a theme that seems to be repeated on here quite often. Repeat until it sets in: “What the government funds, the government controls.” These chaplains are all on the payroll of the US government.

  • Michael B.

    @Bror Erickson@24

    “The first amendment is not a right that goes by the way side in the military. ”

    Actually, in a way it does:
    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/marines-discharge-sergeant-criticized-president-obama-facebook-195117687.html

    This is a theme that seems to be repeated on here quite often. Repeat until it sets in: “What the government funds, the government controls.” These chaplains are all on the payroll of the US government.

  • Grace

    Michael, we see it in our classrooms as well.

    N.C. Teacher Tells Student He Could Be Arrested for Talking Badly About Obama

    May 20, 2012 at 2:39pm by Mike Opelka

    “Last Monday, a high school student in North Carolina engaged his social studies teacher in a heated debate about politics and the two leading presidential candidates. During the exchange, the teacher (an obvious Obama supporter) got very angry with the student and accused him of disrespecting the president. She even went so far as to tell the boy that he could be jailed for speaking ill of Obama.”

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/n-c-teacher-tells-student-he-could-be-arrested-for-talking-badly-about-obama/

  • Grace

    Michael, we see it in our classrooms as well.

    N.C. Teacher Tells Student He Could Be Arrested for Talking Badly About Obama

    May 20, 2012 at 2:39pm by Mike Opelka

    “Last Monday, a high school student in North Carolina engaged his social studies teacher in a heated debate about politics and the two leading presidential candidates. During the exchange, the teacher (an obvious Obama supporter) got very angry with the student and accused him of disrespecting the president. She even went so far as to tell the boy that he could be jailed for speaking ill of Obama.”

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/n-c-teacher-tells-student-he-could-be-arrested-for-talking-badly-about-obama/

  • Nick

    Grace @27 There are naysayers because for every chaplain who preaches a pure gospel, there are ten who preach heterodox and false ones (and that may be generous). Based on your previous comments, would you want a Lutheran chaplain assuring you of your faith by telling you to look to your baptism? What we are doing here is financing the propagation of faiths we do not believe in. Sure, it’s wonderful if you faith has a monopoly, just as it was great for evangelicals in the public school system until the secularists gained the upper hand. The government should not be funding the any faith, even if it claims to be ‘equal’. Now I understand that people think they should have a piece of the pie and use the opportunity for evangelism or whatever, but people need to realize, despite the positive story here or there, is that taxpayers are funding a group of highly paid pastors, most of whom are unorthodox.

  • Nick

    Grace @27 There are naysayers because for every chaplain who preaches a pure gospel, there are ten who preach heterodox and false ones (and that may be generous). Based on your previous comments, would you want a Lutheran chaplain assuring you of your faith by telling you to look to your baptism? What we are doing here is financing the propagation of faiths we do not believe in. Sure, it’s wonderful if you faith has a monopoly, just as it was great for evangelicals in the public school system until the secularists gained the upper hand. The government should not be funding the any faith, even if it claims to be ‘equal’. Now I understand that people think they should have a piece of the pie and use the opportunity for evangelism or whatever, but people need to realize, despite the positive story here or there, is that taxpayers are funding a group of highly paid pastors, most of whom are unorthodox.

  • Grace

    Nick,

    YOU WROTE: “Now I understand that people think they should have a piece of the pie and use the opportunity for evangelism or whatever, but people need to realize, despite the positive story here or there, is that taxpayers are funding a group of highly paid pastors, most of whom are unorthodox.”

    “UNORTHODOX” ?

    My father was a pastor all of his adult life, he also was a “chaplain” – He spend many hours with those who were hurting, as did are pastors just like him. You can’t put all “chaplains” in the same group. There is no way you could have, even in 6 years met all the dedicated pastors in the military, and those who serve at V.A. Hospitals. My father would often have dinner, and then go straight to the V.A. Hospital to comfort those in need, to pray with them, to offer support. My dad often returned around 11PM.

    You’re worried about how much money chaplains make? You might take that same concern within our public schools. It’s all paid for by tax dollars.

    The military has a right to pastors from all faiths and denominations. Anyone can choose not to speak to a chaplain, or attend services. It’s a choice.

    Your’ complains are selfish, they are also false. Chaplains have been denied the right to mention Jesus name, even at military funerals. There are a large group of atheists, who would chime right in with your ideas, and clap for hours, if they could accomplish a program of NO CHAPLAINS.

  • Grace

    Nick,

    YOU WROTE: “Now I understand that people think they should have a piece of the pie and use the opportunity for evangelism or whatever, but people need to realize, despite the positive story here or there, is that taxpayers are funding a group of highly paid pastors, most of whom are unorthodox.”

    “UNORTHODOX” ?

    My father was a pastor all of his adult life, he also was a “chaplain” – He spend many hours with those who were hurting, as did are pastors just like him. You can’t put all “chaplains” in the same group. There is no way you could have, even in 6 years met all the dedicated pastors in the military, and those who serve at V.A. Hospitals. My father would often have dinner, and then go straight to the V.A. Hospital to comfort those in need, to pray with them, to offer support. My dad often returned around 11PM.

    You’re worried about how much money chaplains make? You might take that same concern within our public schools. It’s all paid for by tax dollars.

    The military has a right to pastors from all faiths and denominations. Anyone can choose not to speak to a chaplain, or attend services. It’s a choice.

    Your’ complains are selfish, they are also false. Chaplains have been denied the right to mention Jesus name, even at military funerals. There are a large group of atheists, who would chime right in with your ideas, and clap for hours, if they could accomplish a program of NO CHAPLAINS.

  • Grace

    Nick,

    If I were in the military, I would decline anyone who offered false doctrine.

    I believe in Jesus Christ my Savior, I am Baptized, but do not agree with all Lutheran doctrine. Having said that, and all the exchanges I’ve had on this blog regarding Baptism, I’ll leave it at that.

  • Grace

    Nick,

    If I were in the military, I would decline anyone who offered false doctrine.

    I believe in Jesus Christ my Savior, I am Baptized, but do not agree with all Lutheran doctrine. Having said that, and all the exchanges I’ve had on this blog regarding Baptism, I’ll leave it at that.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick

    http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/faith-and-values/article_19c66ee6-82b8-59f7-b3d5-fd3cc05bc538.html

    Only 3% of the military claim to be evangelical Christians and yet, according to Pentagon statistics, 33% of military chaplains are evangelicals. Air Force data indicates that 87% of those seeking to become chaplains are enrolled at evangelical divinity schools. Now if it is selfish to not want to fund the spread of the ‘Evangelical’ faith, not to mention mainline faiths, then call me selfish.

    I’m not calling into question the sincerity of anyone; all I am saying is that it is not right (Actually I think it violates my religious liberty) for the government to fund ANY religion, even if it were Lutheranism.

    What you’re going to have is the same thing that happened in the public schools. It was all fine and dandy for evangelicals while the schools supported their cause, but once the secularists gained the upper hand in the opinion polls or the leadership, there is a giant outcry about ‘lack of prayer in schools’, ‘no bibles’, etc, etc. Evangelicals were trying to force their beliefs on the Catholics (using the public school system….which is why we have the Catholic parochial school system, btw), and now the tables are turned. Are we not going to head down the same road in the military? Both evangelicals and liberals are trying to use the government to coerce their views on the rest of society. I don’t want either. And I don’t want to pay for it.

  • http://hunnius.blogspot.com Nick

    http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/faith-and-values/article_19c66ee6-82b8-59f7-b3d5-fd3cc05bc538.html

    Only 3% of the military claim to be evangelical Christians and yet, according to Pentagon statistics, 33% of military chaplains are evangelicals. Air Force data indicates that 87% of those seeking to become chaplains are enrolled at evangelical divinity schools. Now if it is selfish to not want to fund the spread of the ‘Evangelical’ faith, not to mention mainline faiths, then call me selfish.

    I’m not calling into question the sincerity of anyone; all I am saying is that it is not right (Actually I think it violates my religious liberty) for the government to fund ANY religion, even if it were Lutheranism.

    What you’re going to have is the same thing that happened in the public schools. It was all fine and dandy for evangelicals while the schools supported their cause, but once the secularists gained the upper hand in the opinion polls or the leadership, there is a giant outcry about ‘lack of prayer in schools’, ‘no bibles’, etc, etc. Evangelicals were trying to force their beliefs on the Catholics (using the public school system….which is why we have the Catholic parochial school system, btw), and now the tables are turned. Are we not going to head down the same road in the military? Both evangelicals and liberals are trying to use the government to coerce their views on the rest of society. I don’t want either. And I don’t want to pay for it.

  • Grace

    Nick,

    If you’re concerned about this, why not encourage Lutheran pastors to join the military, that way there would be more Lutheran’s represented.

    Those who write these articles lump all Christians who are not Catholic, Lutheran or a few others, including cults into the Evangelical group. In so doing, thet misrepresent very different views of all Evangelicals. It would be no different, if everyone lumped all Lutherans together with the ELCA, their homosexual acceptance, etc., etc., see how that works?

    The Lutheran denomination is widely divided, just like Evangelicals.

  • Grace

    Nick,

    If you’re concerned about this, why not encourage Lutheran pastors to join the military, that way there would be more Lutheran’s represented.

    Those who write these articles lump all Christians who are not Catholic, Lutheran or a few others, including cults into the Evangelical group. In so doing, thet misrepresent very different views of all Evangelicals. It would be no different, if everyone lumped all Lutherans together with the ELCA, their homosexual acceptance, etc., etc., see how that works?

    The Lutheran denomination is widely divided, just like Evangelicals.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    My Command has a chaplain, from what I can tell his role is primarily to counsel folks, and to do the training for suicide prevention.

    He does the touchy feely stuff that typical soldiers won’t desire to do.

    I’d rather the military do away with the chaplaincy as its an institution our society can no longer put to good use.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    My Command has a chaplain, from what I can tell his role is primarily to counsel folks, and to do the training for suicide prevention.

    He does the touchy feely stuff that typical soldiers won’t desire to do.

    I’d rather the military do away with the chaplaincy as its an institution our society can no longer put to good use.

  • Grace

    Sal @ 35

    YOU WROTE: “He does the touchy feely stuff that typical soldiers won’t desire to do.”

    You can find that anywhere, including the most liberal churches.

    Taking away chaplins, anytime is a bad idea. Men and women who are wounded, depressed, need people to talk to …. and I don’t mean medical staff. Pastors fill this position. Stop throwing all chaplins into a ‘bad room.

  • Grace

    Sal @ 35

    YOU WROTE: “He does the touchy feely stuff that typical soldiers won’t desire to do.”

    You can find that anywhere, including the most liberal churches.

    Taking away chaplins, anytime is a bad idea. Men and women who are wounded, depressed, need people to talk to …. and I don’t mean medical staff. Pastors fill this position. Stop throwing all chaplins into a ‘bad room.

  • mikeb

    Let’s not forget about the atheist military chaplain movement:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/us/27atheists.html?pagewanted=all

  • mikeb

    Let’s not forget about the atheist military chaplain movement:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/us/27atheists.html?pagewanted=all

  • Joanne

    I was in the WELS during Vietnam and got the impression that they made extreme effort to keep up with all their members and where they were. They had civilian chaplains on the ground there. They do get some cooperation from the military and they focus tightly on their own members especially bringing the sacrament to them.

    Since I’m back in Missouri for the past 2 wars, I’ve lost track with how well the WELS has been handling them. Must be a webpage somewhere.

    http://www.wels.net/military-services/about-us

    Well, shut my mouth. They seem stretched pretty thin and are rare on the ground in the mid-east/Afganistan it seems. But this is really putting their money where their mouth is. They are walking the talk of Confessionalism and non-unionism/syncretism.

    I have to ask, how is the government chaplaincy different from the Brooklyn All-Gods Prayer service? If I had a confessional friend contemplating going to the Good Friday service that was mentioned above, I’d say to him, don’t go; it would be a sin to pray with them and don’t even consider the sacrament.

    How do Confessional Lutheran government chaplains keep their sheep away from unionism and syncretism and prosylization in moments of crisis? How are you protecting your sheep?

  • Joanne

    I was in the WELS during Vietnam and got the impression that they made extreme effort to keep up with all their members and where they were. They had civilian chaplains on the ground there. They do get some cooperation from the military and they focus tightly on their own members especially bringing the sacrament to them.

    Since I’m back in Missouri for the past 2 wars, I’ve lost track with how well the WELS has been handling them. Must be a webpage somewhere.

    http://www.wels.net/military-services/about-us

    Well, shut my mouth. They seem stretched pretty thin and are rare on the ground in the mid-east/Afganistan it seems. But this is really putting their money where their mouth is. They are walking the talk of Confessionalism and non-unionism/syncretism.

    I have to ask, how is the government chaplaincy different from the Brooklyn All-Gods Prayer service? If I had a confessional friend contemplating going to the Good Friday service that was mentioned above, I’d say to him, don’t go; it would be a sin to pray with them and don’t even consider the sacrament.

    How do Confessional Lutheran government chaplains keep their sheep away from unionism and syncretism and prosylization in moments of crisis? How are you protecting your sheep?

  • fws

    veith: “This [forcing chaplains to perform gay marriages] is another one of the answers to the question, “How does my gay neighbor’s marriage to his partner affect me?”

    sk @ 1
    Why not immediately go the WELS route and assign civilian chaplains that are outside the military command structure?
    ANSWER: Hipocracy. Lack of funding and lack of principle masked by indignation.

    robert herring @ 2
    the conjecture raised is that clergy who oppose same sex marriage will not be able to participate in the civil licensing of marriages which means you can have a wedding in your church but without the license it is not legal. Will that happen? In our country these days, who knows?
    ANSWER: Let’s HOPE this happens! You get married in church and that has NO legal effect. And you go to the county clerk to get a marriage license, which legally marries you.

    The civil definition of “marriage” then is clear. It is what it has always been in the USA. Marriage=possession of a marriage license. Nothing more!
    In that case who qualifies to get a license? Two persons who are qualified to enter into any other kind of contract. This is called, legally, “contractual capacity”. “contractual capacity”, excludes, among other things, minors and non-humans.
    If a the marriage contract demands exclusivity between two parties then that would exclude polygamy.
    There would be nothing that would stop society modifying this contractual schema to allow for polygamy. Contractual capacity would remain unchanged in that case.

    What is then the definition of “marriage” in church? That depends upon the church in that case! This is what religious freedom looks like in a religiously pluralistic culture.

  • fws

    veith: “This [forcing chaplains to perform gay marriages] is another one of the answers to the question, “How does my gay neighbor’s marriage to his partner affect me?”

    sk @ 1
    Why not immediately go the WELS route and assign civilian chaplains that are outside the military command structure?
    ANSWER: Hipocracy. Lack of funding and lack of principle masked by indignation.

    robert herring @ 2
    the conjecture raised is that clergy who oppose same sex marriage will not be able to participate in the civil licensing of marriages which means you can have a wedding in your church but without the license it is not legal. Will that happen? In our country these days, who knows?
    ANSWER: Let’s HOPE this happens! You get married in church and that has NO legal effect. And you go to the county clerk to get a marriage license, which legally marries you.

    The civil definition of “marriage” then is clear. It is what it has always been in the USA. Marriage=possession of a marriage license. Nothing more!
    In that case who qualifies to get a license? Two persons who are qualified to enter into any other kind of contract. This is called, legally, “contractual capacity”. “contractual capacity”, excludes, among other things, minors and non-humans.
    If a the marriage contract demands exclusivity between two parties then that would exclude polygamy.
    There would be nothing that would stop society modifying this contractual schema to allow for polygamy. Contractual capacity would remain unchanged in that case.

    What is then the definition of “marriage” in church? That depends upon the church in that case! This is what religious freedom looks like in a religiously pluralistic culture.

  • wcwirla

    There seems to be a bit of confusion here regarding the role of the State and religious groups with regard to “marriage.” Neither the state nor religious groups, be they churches, mosques, synagogues, or whatever, establish a marriage covenant. This is established by the parties involved. “Church” and “State” recognize the covenant as a “marriage” and accord it whatever blessings and benefits, but they do not establish the covenant. Marriage is, at its legal heart, a binding domestic partnership contract between two parties. In the cultures of the bible, marriage contracts were negotiated between families and were essentially property covenants. In fact, I would say that the “State’s” vested interest in marriage historically has not been the welfare of the children or the morality of the society but the protection of land and inheritance.

    To the point regarding military chaplains, there is no legal reason why an official from a religious group is needed to perform a “marriage ceremony” in order for the domestic partnership to be recognized by the State. Nor more can the State force the Church to bless an arrangement which the Church does not recognize as a proper marriage than it can force the Church to commune someone.

    Before we can achieve any measure of clarity on this issue, we need to identify specifically what the State’s vested interest in “marriage” actually is and why it needs to be “licensed.”

  • wcwirla

    There seems to be a bit of confusion here regarding the role of the State and religious groups with regard to “marriage.” Neither the state nor religious groups, be they churches, mosques, synagogues, or whatever, establish a marriage covenant. This is established by the parties involved. “Church” and “State” recognize the covenant as a “marriage” and accord it whatever blessings and benefits, but they do not establish the covenant. Marriage is, at its legal heart, a binding domestic partnership contract between two parties. In the cultures of the bible, marriage contracts were negotiated between families and were essentially property covenants. In fact, I would say that the “State’s” vested interest in marriage historically has not been the welfare of the children or the morality of the society but the protection of land and inheritance.

    To the point regarding military chaplains, there is no legal reason why an official from a religious group is needed to perform a “marriage ceremony” in order for the domestic partnership to be recognized by the State. Nor more can the State force the Church to bless an arrangement which the Church does not recognize as a proper marriage than it can force the Church to commune someone.

    Before we can achieve any measure of clarity on this issue, we need to identify specifically what the State’s vested interest in “marriage” actually is and why it needs to be “licensed.”

  • fws

    wdcwirla @ 40

    ” In fact, I would say that the “State’s” vested interest in marriage historically has not been the welfare of the children or the morality of the society but the protection of land and inheritance.”

    I think I am reading that you DO fully agree that the welfare of children and morality of society are the God-desired “fruit” or “fatherly goodness and mercy” that are supposed to result from matrimony. You are not discarding that at all.

    That is what the Large Catechism in the 4th and 6th commandment say specifically after all.

    You seem to be saying that “welfare of children and morality” are things are “fruits of” or benefits of marriage, and therefore…….not “essense of” or ” definition of” marriage as to how society has defined marriage, and also, as to how the Large Catechism defines marriage. In this same category we can add that your being married protects the marriage of others in that you have your own “stuff” and so are less likely to go after theirs. And vica versa. Coveteousness is about discontent after all.

    But, as you say, the governmental essence is contract Law. The proof:
    Have the license? Married! Don’t have one? NOT. married. This is a definition. It is the one that matters to government. A legal definition. And it differs from the religious one in important, even essential, ways.

    Am I reading you right here?

  • fws

    wdcwirla @ 40

    ” In fact, I would say that the “State’s” vested interest in marriage historically has not been the welfare of the children or the morality of the society but the protection of land and inheritance.”

    I think I am reading that you DO fully agree that the welfare of children and morality of society are the God-desired “fruit” or “fatherly goodness and mercy” that are supposed to result from matrimony. You are not discarding that at all.

    That is what the Large Catechism in the 4th and 6th commandment say specifically after all.

    You seem to be saying that “welfare of children and morality” are things are “fruits of” or benefits of marriage, and therefore…….not “essense of” or ” definition of” marriage as to how society has defined marriage, and also, as to how the Large Catechism defines marriage. In this same category we can add that your being married protects the marriage of others in that you have your own “stuff” and so are less likely to go after theirs. And vica versa. Coveteousness is about discontent after all.

    But, as you say, the governmental essence is contract Law. The proof:
    Have the license? Married! Don’t have one? NOT. married. This is a definition. It is the one that matters to government. A legal definition. And it differs from the religious one in important, even essential, ways.

    Am I reading you right here?

  • fws

    bror @ 16
    “SK Peterson,
    Back in the 80′s the whole chaplain program almost went under because people thought it should be done the way WELS do it. That was until they found out that WELS chaplains not being military are often denied access to those areas where they are needed most, and lacking military training become more of a liability than an asset.”

    that had never occurred to me. Makes perfect sense. What would you suggest as the ideal ,or rather, best, solution Bror?

  • fws

    bror @ 16
    “SK Peterson,
    Back in the 80′s the whole chaplain program almost went under because people thought it should be done the way WELS do it. That was until they found out that WELS chaplains not being military are often denied access to those areas where they are needed most, and lacking military training become more of a liability than an asset.”

    that had never occurred to me. Makes perfect sense. What would you suggest as the ideal ,or rather, best, solution Bror?


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