December 5th, 2010
10:05 PM ET

Military chaplains debate role without 'don't ask'

As Congress debates the repeal of the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, military chaplains are doing their own soul-searching.

About 3,000 chaplains currently serve in the military, endorsed by a multitude of faiths, including Christian, Jewish and Muslim denominations. It's a unique culture where chaplains of various beliefs serve alongside one another counseling and caring for an equally diverse congregation of armed service members.

"Some of the most intense and sharpest divergence of views about Don't Ask, Don't Tell exists among the chaplains," states the Pentagon report, released last week, on the potential impact of repealing the policy. The report concludes that allowing openly gay or lesbian troops to serve in the military would have little lasting impact on the U.S. armed forces.

Among the issues raised by chaplains, according to the report, is whether a change in policy would hinder ministers' religious expression, particularly for those faiths that consider homosexuality immoral.

"Chaplains who aren't able to proclaim what they believe is true about this issue ... means that the soldier then, the airman, the sailor, the guardian, the Marine aren't able to get the full opportunity to hear religious faiths," retired Army Chaplain Brigadier Gen. Douglas Lee tells CNN.

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soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Cesar

    Illll be baughhhhhk

    December 5, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Austin Millbarge

      Why am I here? Why are you here? Why is anybody here? I think it was Jean-Paul Sartre who once said... how do you spell spell Sartre?

      December 6, 2010 at 6:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mmmmm

    Congressional declarations are a mute issue and does not effect a minister expression of religion. God is the minister's boss and God is ministet's teacher. Lifestyle agendas does not deter the minister's mission. To imply that it does is ludicrous and just plain stupid.

    December 5, 2010 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Austin Millbarge

      They do seem to be headed in that general direction.

      December 6, 2010 at 6:52 am | Report abuse |
  3. military lifestyle

    If not for the military lifestyle, these chaplain's would be employed elsewhwere. As long as they are military chaplains, they will tell the military what the military wants to hear. Bible be damned.

    December 6, 2010 at 3:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Austin Millbarge

      For once I'm completely in agreement with my partner. I'm not going down there. Do you know what those things can do? Suck the paint off your house and give your family a permanent orange afro.

      December 6, 2010 at 6:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. ? for chaplain

    Chaplains already tell us if we die serving in Iraq, God will reward us. My question is if I am Muslim, the the Christian God reward me for dying for God&Country? What if I refuse to believe in God. Am I forced to go to heaven if I get killed in Iraq? What if i'd rather have 70 virgins?

    December 6, 2010 at 3:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Austin Millbarge

      Show some balls, man!

      December 6, 2010 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
  5. Sarah Bruce

    The Chaplains that oppose this because of their Religious views already deal with service men and women that do not believe as they do. There are other religious faiths in the military. Why is this any different?

    December 6, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mmmmm

    Give to ceasar what belong to ceasar and give to God what belongs to God...good ministers and priest understand this directive and will proceed as always doing the Will of God only...not the will of men!

    December 6, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dave Harris

    When you believe that your god hates whole categories of people, and you encounter a member of such a category, you must feel obligated to abuse and persecute them. It's ironic that religion becomes the last refuge of discredited and unsavory beliefs and practices like this which have been largely abandoned by general society. Why do we need these disgusting religions and their 'holy' men anyway?

    December 6, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • USMC Ret.

      I go to church and last Sunday we discused 1st John where it says he who says he is in the light but has hate in his heart is in the darkness. I also read parts of the Koran where it teaches about peace and tolorence towards one another. I also had a 1stSgt that was a deacon in his church. He tought us to show restraint and compassion towards the locals where ever we deployed to. This proved usefull to me as I was sent to a commando camp in Kuwait years later. We sat and drank tea with the commandos and developed good relations between our two military units. Both the Bible and the Koran warn us about teaching others about hate. They also state that much punishment and suffering awaits anyone who teaches such things.

      December 7, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |