[N]o group had such strong - or sharply divergent - views as the military's 3,000 chaplains, who provide spiritual guidance to the men and women in uniform.
The debate highlights the delicate position of the chaplains, who must balance the demands of their faiths with the reality of a diverse military. ...
The authors of the report noted that only three out of the 145 chaplains who participated in focus groups suggested that they would quit or retire if the law were changed. Many chaplains expressed opposition to a repeal, while many others said they would not object, according to the report.
"In the course of our review, we heard some chaplains condemn in the strongest possible terms homosexuality as a sin and an abomination, and inform us that they would refuse to in any way support, comfort, or assist someone they knew to be homosexual," the report stated. "In equally strong terms, other chaplains, including those who also believe homosexuality is a sin, informed us that 'we are all sinners,' and that it is a chaplain's duty to care for all Service members."
Read that again: chaplains stated they would refuse to support or assist a gay person, simply because they are gay. Putative men of God. I find that disgusting.
...The report's authors wrote that the opposition was not insurmountable, arguing that "the reality is that in today's U.S. military, people of sharply different moral values and religious convictions - including those who believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and those who do not - and those who have no religious convictions at all, already co-exist, work, live and fight together on a daily basis."How could they rebuke it? It's TRUE. At this point, it's worth reminding readers that there is a real problem with right-wing Christianity in the military, especially in the Air Force.
The assertion drew a sharp rebuke from Christian groups....
The WaPo article concludes,
Those who advocate in favor of repeal say that the ranks of chaplains are much more conservative than the rank and file and that their opinions should not prevent a change in policy.Too bad this degree of rationality isn't on display in Washington.
"The U.S. military is not a religious institution. It is a civilian government organization," said the Rev. John Gundlach, a retired captain and Navy chaplain. "My position on this is, if they can't handle this change, they're in the wrong ministry setting."
The hearings concluded with a divergent set of views from the military brass, a clear preference for legislative over judicial action, and one statement that they were unanimous on: if the law changes, they'll enforce it.