Tim Huelskamp: religious freedom = banning gay marriage ceremonies

Christina here…

Maybe I’m just really stupid, but to me, “freedom” means (in part, and in  political sense) that we have a lack of restrictions on behaviors, actions and thoughts, so long as those behaviors, actions and thoughts do not infringe upon the freedom of others.

So why the blue fuck does this “Military Religious Freedom Protection Act” specifically ban a certain type of marriage or marriage-like ceremony on military property? This seems like exactly not freedom to me.

Introduced by Rep Tim Huelskap, the bill is meant to protect military chaplains from violating their religious consciousnesses. Sounds swell! Nobody wants their consciousness violated!

Except that this is in there:

SEC. 3. USE OF MILITARY INSTALLATIONS AS SITE FOR MARRIAGE CEREMONIES OR MARRIAGE-LIKE CEREMONIES.

A military installation or other property owned, rented, or otherwise under the jurisdiction or control of the Department of Defense shall not be used to officiate, solemnize, or perform a marriage or marriage-like ceremony involving anything other than the union of one man with one woman.

This is the same dude claiming that the radical homosexual agenda will doom liberty.

Rep Huelskap – your bill dooms liberty.  Isn’t “liberty” supposed to be “freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control”?

You are specifically calling for a ban of a certain type of ceremony on military grounds. Clearly, your  interest is in protecting the sincerely held religious beliefs of people who are against same-sex marriage but not in protecting the beliefs of people who support same-sex marriage. You pretend your bill is about religious freedom, but Sec 3. betrays your true intent. You don’t want freedom. You want to deny liberties and freedom to gay people and chaplains who support gay marriage and wish to perform a marriage/marriage-like ceremony.

Let’s say this Act passes. Maybe you’re a chaplain who wishes to perform a handfasting ceremony for a same sex couple on Tuesday morning in your chapel when no one else but supporters are around. Too bad. You can’t, because the Military Religious Freedom Protection Act prohibits this non-man/woman marriage-like ceremony on military grounds. See how Rep Huelskamp protected your freedoms there?

Here’s the rest of the text:

SEC. 2. PROTECTION OF RIGHTS OF CONSCIENCE OF MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES AND CHAPLAINS.

(a) Protection- Chapter 53 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 1034 the following new section:
`Sec. 1034a. Protection of rights of conscience of members of the Armed Forces and chaplains

`(a) Protection of Rights of Conscience- The sincerely held religious or moral beliefs of a member of the Armed Forces concerning the appropriate and inappropriate expression of human sexuality shall be accommodated and shall not be the basis of any adverse personnel action, discrimination, or denial of promotion, schooling, training, or assignment. Nothing in this subsection precludes disciplinary action for conduct that is proscribed by chapter 47 of this title (the Uniform Code of Military Justice).

`(b) Protection of Chaplains- (1) A military chaplain is a certified religious leader or clergy of a faith community who, after satisfying the professional and educational requirements of the commissioning service, is commissioned as an officer in the Chaplains Corps of one of the branches of the Armed Forces. A chaplain is a representative of the chaplain’s faith group, who remains accountable to the sending faith group for the chaplain’s religious ministry to members of the Armed Forces, to–

`(A) provide for the religious and spiritual needs of members of the Armed Forces of that faith group; and

`(B) facilitate the religious needs for other faith groups.

`(2) A military chaplain shall not be directed, ordered, or required to perform any duty, rite, ritual, ceremony, service, or function that is contrary to the conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of the chaplain or contrary to the moral principles or religious beliefs of the chaplain’s faith group. The refusal by a military chaplain to perform a duty, rite, ritual, ceremony, service, or function that is contrary to the conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of the chaplain or contrary to the moral principles or religious beliefs of the chaplain’s faith group shall not be the basis for any adverse personnel action, discrimination, or denial of promotion, schooling, training, or assignment.

`(c) Regulations- The Secretary of Defense shall issue regulations setting forth guidance to implement the protections afforded by this section.’.
(b) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1034 the following new item:
`1034a. Protection of rights of conscience of members of the Armed Forces and chaplains.’.

If one’s essential job duties include facilitating the needs for other faith groups, but you refuse to facilitate the needs of other faith groups based on your own religious beliefs, how are you performing your essential job duties?

Learn more about Christina and follow her @ziztur.

About christinastephens
  • http://faehnri.ch/ faehnrich

    It protects their freedom to force their religious beliefs on others.

  • http://iamaperture.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger

    Please direct all inquiries to the Ministry of Truth.

  • The Lorax

    Ministry of Truth is out of order – please re-direct all inquiries to the Ministry of Silly Walks.

  • J*

    Surely there is a religious group that feels gays should be allowed to marry. My PFLAG chapter meets in a goddamn presbyterian church for crying out loud. Why aren’t these people screaming about their religious liberties being infringed?

  • unbound

    For a brief moment I thought the title was “Tim Heffalump…” which, of course, brought to mind the song lyrics which are eerily relevant to this:

    “…They’re quick and slick and insincere..”

    “…A Heffalump or Woozle is very confusel
    The Heffalump or woosel is very sly
    - sly – sly – sly…”

    “…Beware Beware Be a very wary bear…”

  • Amber

    I have the right to swing my fist. But my right to swing my fist ends where your face begins. This is how freedoms are supposed to work in America but this finer point escapes these religious zealots who assume the privilege of wielding their beliefs like a club with which to bludgeon other people, and they call that their “right to religious freedom”.

  • Synfandel

    If Representative Tim Huelskap actually wanted to protect military chaplains from being forced to perform wedding services that violated their religious beliefs, he should have worded the law simply to say that military chaplains were not required to perform such services.

    If he did that and also wanted to ensure ‘religious freedom’ on military bases, he should also have written into the law that, when a chaplain couldn’t be found who was willing to perform the service because it would violate his religious beliefs, a couple was entitled to bring in an outside clergy person or equivalent to perform the service.

    Obviously these were not his objectives.

  • Randomfactor

    Seems to me like banning ALL religious wedding ceremonies would be the only fair way to accomplish this goal.

    What? They don’t care about fair? No kidding.

  • Steve

    I believe there is already internal regulation to the effect that chaplains aren’t required to perform ceremonies they don’t want. So a law about it is really unnecessary

  • https://twitter.com/#!/Erulora Erulóra Maikalambe
  • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com Ani Sharmin

    If one’s essential job duties include facilitating the needs for other faith groups, but you refuse to facilitate the needs of other faith groups based on your own religious beliefs, how are you performing your essential job duties?

    This! Seriously, it disturbs me that certain conservative Evangelical Christians have started to see the U. S. Military as their personal property.

  • Anteprepro

    It isn’t True Freedom ™ unless you have the freedom to infringe on other people’s freedoms.*

    *True Freedom ™ only available for Whites to use against non-whites, Non-LBGTs to use against lbgts, Men to use against non-men, Christians to use against non-christians, and Conservatives to use against non-conservatives. Not applicable in any other context.

  • Zengaze

    Military intelligence

  • Uncle Glenny

    You are specifically calling for a ban of a certain type of ceremony on military grounds. Clearly, your interest is in protecting the sincerely held religious beliefs of people who are against same-sex marriage but not in protecting the beliefs of people who support same-sex marriage. You pretend your bill is about religious freedom, but Sec 3. betrays your true intent. You don’t want freedom. You want to deny liberties and freedom to gay people and chaplains who support gay marriage and wish to perform a marriage/marriage-like ceremony.

    No no no you don’t get it. This is protecting the religious freedom of the military grounds because we all know all military grounds and property are fundamentalist Christian.


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