Training Army chaplains for the end of DADT (or departure)
Adelle M. Banks of Religion News Service seems to think the message is clear:
“The Chaplains Corps’ First Amendment freedoms and its duty to care for all will not change,” reads a slide in the PowerPoint presentation, released to Religion News Service Thursday. “Soldiers will continue to respect and serve with others who may hold different views and beliefs.”
Critics familiar with the Army presentation, however, say the military is essentially telling chaplains who are theologically conservative that they are not welcome.
“U.S. Army now warning chaplains: If you don’t like the homosexual agenda, get out!” reads a headline on the website of Mass Resistance, an anti-gay group based in Waltham, Mass.
The Army doesn’t see it in such stark terms:
Lt. Col. Carleton Birch, a spokesman for the Army chief of chaplains, said about half of the military service’s 2,900 chaplains have received the training, which started in February and is likely to conclude in April.
“Our training is an opportunity for our senior chaplains to have an honest and open conversation about the repeal policy, its effects on them and their ministry,” Birch said. “And it’s going very well. … In no way are we giving the message, shape up or ship out.”
Birch said only one Army chaplain has left the service over the pending repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell.
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