Thursday, April 29, 2010
A group of retired military chaplains has written a letter to President Obama objecting to the repeal of the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy. (HT: Friedman) I support the repeal, but I can see how reasonable people can disagree about this issue on the merits. I have a harder time seeing the persuasive power of the chaplains' argument, which is that the repeal will effectively force chaplains to alter their ministries. It seems a bit of a stretch to argue that we should keep kicking out openly gay members of the military in order to avoid making chaplains feel bad about preaching that homosexuality is immoral. If there is a legitimate concern that chaplains will be disciplined or suffer other negative employment consequences for preaching about homosexuality, or for refusing to minister to same-sex couples, then let's argue about the need for a conscience clause. Rarely does the "let's continue mandating government discrimination in order to avoid making my ministry more awkward and difficult" argument prove effective. Am I being too harsh in my evaluation?
UPDATE: As a friend points out, not a single Roman Catholic chaplain signed the letter. Significant?