necessary legislation or political posturing?

Back in 2007 there wasn’t much talk about DADT — but that doesn’t mean chaplains didn’t have to negotiate what sacraments they could or could not perform.  Baptism was one that came up a lot.  Some troops want to be baptized by immersion — and some chaplains simply don’t do that; they sprinkle.  So chaplains talked about finding another chaplain who could give the troop the kind of baptism he wanted.  We never heard of a chaplain being forced to perform a sacrament under duress.  So it is rather puzzling to hear about a bill Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi has put forward “to protect chaplains from being forced to perform marriage ceremonies if the chaplain objects for reasons of conscience.”  This is geared toward making sure chaplains are not forced to perform a same-sex marriage if they believe it is immoral.  Does anyone know whether, say, a Roman Catholic chaplain has ever been forced to perform a marriage where one or both were divorced?  We never heard of any such situation so can’t help but think that this bit of legislation is unnecessary.  But we don’t claim to be omniscience — so please let us know what you know.

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Filed under chaplains, chaplains, Church-State, DADT, guidelines, military, religion

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