Once again, military chaplains are being used to serve a political agenda.
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is urging supporters to contact their representatives and urge them to keep in the National Defense Authorization Act language that prevents same-sex marriages from being performed on military installations. So far, so fine.
But NOM argues that this action protects “the religious liberty of our military chaplains, who could otherwise be forced to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies as part of their official duties.” Now, really. That is simply untrue. Military chaplains have to follow orders when it comes to their duties as officers, but when it comes to their religious duties they are never required to go against the doctrines of their faith. Nobody can force a Roman Catholic military chaplain to perform a baptism by immersion if he believes this violates his religious beliefs, so you really think he could be forced to unite two men or two women in matrimony? That’s what the “Provide or Perform” policy of the military chaplaincy is all about: to perform for their troops those religious duties they can; and when asked for a ceremony or other religious duty they cannot perform, then they are to provide someone who can.