If Mikey Weinstein, president of the anti-Christian Military Religious Freedom Foundation, has his way, the military will purge all chaplains who oppose gay marriage, WND said Monday, citing an op-ed Weinstein posted at the far-left Daily Kos. In his post, Weinstein said the recent Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage extends to the military. Therefore, he argues, chaplains who disagree with gay marriage are homophobes and must leave the military.
“For the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the only organization devoted solely to fighting the scourge of fundamentalist Christian extremism, the monumental importance of this occasion CANNOT be overstated enough,” he wrote. “Indeed, our LGBTQ client base of over 900 servicemembers has been ecstatic, and I can scarcely write this opinion piece due to the fact that my phone is absolutely ringing off the hook with phone calls from exuberant servicemembers. Expect to hear wedding bells ring joyously across chapels as same-sex couples are joined in matrimony at military installations across the globe!”
According to Weinstein, chaplains who are “maintaining the state of antagonism between their religion and the sexual/gender identities of service members” have no business serving in uniform. He maintains that chaplains can hold their religious views if they wish, they just can’t serve in the military. If they refuse to leave, he adds, then the Pentagon must force them out.
“At this stage, the only honorable thing that these losers can do is to fold up their uniforms, turn in their papers, and get the hell out of the American military chaplaincy,” he said. “If they are unwilling or too cowardly to do so, then the Department of Defense must expeditiously cleanse itself of the intolerant filth that insists on lingering in the ranks of our armed forces.” Not everyone is on board with Weinstein’s call for a Stalinist purge of the military, however.
“His comments are so vitriolic and dividing that they are hardly worth responding to,” said Brig. Gen. Doug Lee, chairman of the executive committee for the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. “He seems to feel the need to push his conspiracy theory about certain chaplains in the military.”
“In addition, I don’t think he understands that the job of chaplain exists in a pluralistic military so that people have religious support, and to do away with a certain group of chaplains in its entirety is just ridiculous,” he added. “It’s like he never learned a thing in law school about the Constitution and about why chaplains exist.”
It’s not the first time Weinstein has made such demands of the military. As we reported in May, he demanded the Air Force court-martial a general for daring to mention God while in uniform.
At the time, Weinstein said a speech given by General Mark A. Welsh III, the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, was “brazenly illicit and wholly unconstitutional.” He also characterized it as a “brutal disgrace to the very uniform he was wearing and the solemn oath he took to support and defend the United States Constitution.”
Gen. Lee told WND that no one — not even Weinstein — can order chaplains to go against their faith. Moreover, he said those who demand chaplains accept or affirm the beliefs of everyone who seeks counseling do not understand the role they play in the military.
“A chaplain cannot do something against his faith tenet such as marrying someone who has different religious beliefs if that is a tenet of their faith,” he said. They cannot be asked to do it, and they cannot be required to do it.”
“The job of a chaplain is to provide religious support or perform religious support,” he explained. “The ‘provide’ part is to help a person find someone who can meet the individual’s spiritual needs. For example, I would not prepare a Passover meal for a Jewish service member, but I will direct them to a rabbi who can address that area. But when I do perform religious support, whether it be to teach, preach or counsel, I do so from my faith perspective.”