Weasel Zippers » Blog Archive » Pelosi: No To Provision Protecting Military Chaplains From Being Ordered To Perform Gay Marriages…

While we’re on the subject of military chaplains…  I can’t say I’m surprised at this, considering previous attacks on doctors, nurses, and pharmacists that refuse to take part in abortions.  It’s an easy enough provision – the chaplains have permission to perform same-sex marriages but can’t be forced to do so.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she stands with the White House in opposing a provision in the House defense authorization bill that would prohibit anyone in the military from ordering a chaplain to act against his or her “conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs” or against the religious beliefs of the denomination to which he or she belongs….The provision is broadly written to deny anyone in the armed forces the authority to “direct, order, or require a chaplain to perform any duty, rite, ritual, ceremony, or function” that is contrary to his or her conscience, moral principles or religious beliefs or the principles or beliefs of his or her religious denomination.

Weasel Zippers » Blog Archive » Pelosi: No To Provision Protecting Military Chaplains From Being Ordered To Perform Gay Marriages….

7 thoughts on “Weasel Zippers » Blog Archive » Pelosi: No To Provision Protecting Military Chaplains From Being Ordered To Perform Gay Marriages…”

  1. I think the reasoning might be that a chaplain could refuse to perform, perhaps, a Muslim ritual, as being against their beliefs. I think that chaplains try to meet the religious needs of all service members, regardless of their religion (thinking of the jeep-side service in “Battleground”). For a wedding, I find it hard to believe that a chaplain wouldn’t be available from whatever background that is willing to do one. Of course, it would be interesting if all members of a fire team decided to get married during combat….

    1. Why should a chaplain be punished for not performing a ceremony/ritual/whatever that is against his beliefs? Pelosi is saying that “find someone else who is willing to do that” is not a valid answer, and the chaplain can be disciplined for it.

    2. David does have a valid point. As I understand it, and if Padre Harvey could correct me that would be excellent, a Catholic chaplain is required to minister even to Protestants (and vice versa). I don’t know that everyone would be all warm and fuzzy about a Muslim chaplain who refused to minister to a dying soldier who wasn’t Muslim. Though a case could be made that it would be “against his beliefs”.

    3. Agreed. She is saying that finding someone else is not an option. I disagree with her and think it would be easy. That is, unless members of a fire team decided to pair off during combat, which I think every chaplain would discourage anyway (since they don’t want it to be a decision taken lightly).

      I think Pelosi is a moron.

  2. I’ve learned from the NDAA and SOPA/PIPA fights not to trust reporters when it comes to legislation. I’m not too sure how THOMAS works, but this is the applicable part of what I think is the most recent version of the bill:


    In my opinion, Pelosi is having a painted clock moment. This section is a dog’s breakfast. Never mind the chaplains, it looks like it completely strips leaders of any tools short of NJP to fix a servicemember whose anti-gay bigotry threatens good order and discipline. I’m also not a big fan of the section banning gay marriage on military property. This whole thing looks like a blatant pander to the Anti-gay lobby.

    As for the chaplains, it seems to me that the services they provide fall into two broad categories. The first are ones that have to take place at a more or less fixed point in time; things like weekly services, counseling, and Last Rites. I don’t think chaplains should be able to deny these. The other group consists of things that can be fairly flexibly scheduled; things like baptisms and weddings. I don’t think in those cases it’s out of line to expect the people involved to find clergy who are willing to officiate.

    1. Looks like the link is bad. The applicable parts are sections 536 and 537 of H.R. 4310.

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