Saturday, May 19, 2012

No Freedom of Religion for Chaplains, Say Obama & Dems

President Obama says he will veto the defense authorization bill passed in the House because of a freedom of conscience provision for military chaplains to ensure, among other things, that they are not discriminated against for not performing same-sex "marriage" ceremonies. Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco calls the provision, advocated by the Chaplain Alliance For Religious Liberty, "a fraud."
"Liberals may have successfully ended 'don't ask, don't tell,' but they should not be allowed to force members of our military to give up their religious beliefs. That is simply unacceptable and unconstitutional."
-- Congressman Todd Akin (R-Mo.)
For background, read Gay Soldiers Battle American Society via Chaplains and also read Congress Duped on Don't Ask Don't Tell Repeal as well as Democrat Senate Legalizes Bestiality in Military

UPDATE 5/21/12: Bishop says Pelosi is illogical and doesn't understand military

-- From "U.S. House Defies Obama With $554 Billion Defense Bill" by Roxana Tiron, Bloomberg 5/18/12

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $554 billion defense bill that rejects Pentagon proposals to curtail or slow weapons programs, bans same-sex marriages on military bases and backs indefinite detention without trial of terrorism suspects.

The Republican-controlled House today passed on a vote of 299-120 the defense authorization measure setting spending targets and policy for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "House Republicans add gay marriage measure to defense bill" by Ian Duncan and Lisa Mascaro, Los Angeles Times, Washington Bureau 5/19/12

The annual National Defense Authorization Act, approved 299 to 120 on Friday, is a traditionally bipartisan effort that can prove difficult for lawmakers to oppose. The bill includes a 1.7% annual pay raise for the troops but also is loaded with politically charged extras.

The bill addresses gay marriage with two provisions. One would ban performing gay marriages on any facility owned by the military. Another would protect military chaplains from punishment if they declined to marry a gay couple.

The Department of Defense had opened the door to gay weddings on bases in a memo last September after Congress repealed the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which barred gays from openly serving in the military. The policy change said chaplains were allowed to perform same-sex marriages but noted they could not be required to. It is not clear whether any ceremonies have yet been performed in military chapels.

The Pentagon memos noted that the ceremonies must not be prohibited by "applicable state and local law."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Congressman: There is a War on Religious Belief in Military" by Todd Starnes, Fox News 5/17/12

[Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance,] is one of 19 individuals to write a letter to the House Armed Services Committee urging lawmakers to protect the religious liberties of chaplains and service members.

“Until Congress acts decisively, efforts to silence the voices of our military chaplains of all faiths and backgrounds will likely continue well into the future,” the letter read. “It is time that Congress secures the rights of all chaplains, once and for all, instead of allowing those that do not subscribe to the orthodoxy of the day to be unconstitutionally silenced.”

Crews said they know of dozens of instances where military personnel have come under fire. He said one chaplain was told that if he could not support DADT he should resign his commission.

“Some of these chaplains have in fact had their careers impacted,” he told Fox News. “They’ve been punished. Right now, if you are opposed to this policy you’re not seen as a team player.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Pelosi Calls Chaplain 'Conscience Clause' a 'Fraud'" by Paul Stanley , Christian Post Reporter 5/19/12

"I do not support that provision in the bill, that part of the bill," [House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi] said. "I agree with the administration. And there's nothing that says that chaplains act against their faith."

Arguing that the issue was moot, she added, "Because it's a fraud. It's a – Welcome to the world of manufactured crises. Here's one."

Former Navy Chaplain James Klingenschmitt was lobbying all 26 members of the Senate Armed Services Committee Friday on Capitol Hill and took exception to the minority leader's comments.

"I disagree with Rep. Pelosi. There are dozens of active duty chaplains who have been pressured to not speak against homosexuality," Klingenschmitt told The Christian Post. "I know of one Army and one Navy chaplain who have already resigned. Another active duty chaplain has been silenced, threatened and punished against speaking against 'don't ask, don't tell.' What they are saying is simply false."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "White House 'Strongly Objects' to Legislation Protecting Military Chaplains from Doing Same-Sex Weddings or Being Forced to Act Against Conscience" by Patrick Goodenough, 5/16/12

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 act against their consciences, as, for example, in being ordered to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony.

In a policy statement released Wednesday, the White House Office of Management and Budget outlined numerous objections to aspects of the fiscal year 2013 National Defense Authorization Bill (H.R. 4310).

The memo said the two [religious liberty] provisions “adopt unnecessary and ill-advised policies that would inhibit the ability of same-sex couples to marry or enter a recognized relationship under State law.”

The OMB complained that, “in its overbroad terms,” section 536 “is potentially harmful to good order and discipline.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.