One of the critical consequences of the elimination of the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT) policy and the open inclusion of practicing homosexuals in military service will be the assault upon the military Chaplain Corps. According to Department of the Navy (DON) doctrine, SecNavInst 1730.7d provides this purpose for Navy Chaplains and religious ministry:
As advocates of spiritual, moral, and ethical maturity and resiliency, Navy Chaplains are essential to the Department of the Navy's (DON'S) effort to assist Service members, their families, and other authorized personnel in coping with military life.
Contained within this same directive are instructions to the Chaplain:
[As] a condition of appointment, every RMP (Religious Ministry Professional) must be willing to function in the diverse and pluralistic environment of the military, with tolerance for diverse religious traditions and respect for the rights of individuals to determine their own religious convictions. Chaplains must be willing to support the free exercise of religion by all Service members, their families, and other authorized persons. Chaplains are trained and expected to cooperate with other chaplains and RMPs and work within the specialized environment of the military while not compromising the tenets of their own religious traditions.
The following instruction is given to Commanders:
Commanders shall not compel chaplains to act in a way that is inconsistent with the tenets of their faith.
There are already those who regularly assault the presence of military Chaplains on the basis of "separation of church and state." I have no doubt that they will use the open service of homosexuals in the military as an additional wedge to force their way upon the military. The sequence of events is fairly straightforward: (1) Find the inevitable situation in which one or more Chaplains express opposition to homosexual behavior and lifestyle. This will probably not be difficult, since each of the major faith groups that maintain endorsed Chaplains in military service - Christian, Jewish, and Muslim - are guided by scripture that refers to homosexual behavior as sinful. (2) They will argue that such teaching contradicts with Department of Defense (DOD) policy that accepts active homosexuals as full members of the Armed Forces. (3) Any expression that active and open homosexuality is not completely accepted must be eradicated. (4) All military Chaplains must accept active homosexuals and homosexuality as a completely compatible and equal lifestyle and will not teach otherwise. (5) If unable to agree to such a doctrine, then the Chaplain must not be allowed to serve.
As advocates of homosexual behavior impose their will upon everyone, they will conveniently ignore an inherent fallacy of their arguments. Chaplains already serve in environments in which the moral imperatives of scripture are at odds with what has become acceptable behavior. One example is adultery. The scriptural teaching of adultery has not changed over the years, but its open acceptance within society at large and its subsequent acceptance within the military has changed. Yet, Chaplains continue to preach and teach the negative consequences of such behavior. At the same time, they work with members of the military who are open about their adultery.
Even though some tension would exist, the same would be true concerning the homosexual issue. Nevertheless, I have no doubt that advocates of homosexual behavior will demand complete and full acceptance with no room for any dissent.
Once again, I hope that this is a consequence that military and civilian leadership are considering. Should the elimination of the DADT policy result in the elimination of military Chaplains, it will be a significant blow to unit morale and cohesion.
My brief series on the DADT issue represent what I consider the significant impact of the elimination of the policy. There are no doubt other consequences that have not crossed my mind. If you think of any, or feel that I'm off base, feel free to add your comments to the discussion.