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Military weighed religious concerns on DADT report
November 30th, 2010
05:13 PM ET

Military weighed religious concerns on DADT report

By CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor Eric Marrapodi in Washington

The Pentagon's long-awaited study on its policy against gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military found that repeal of the controversial policy would face resistance from some service members on religious grounds, but that repeal would not require anyone to change their personal views or religious beliefs.

"Some feared repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell might limit their individual freedom of expression and free exercise of religion, or require them to change their personal beliefs about the morality of homosexuality," the report says. "The views expressed to us in these terms cannot be downplayed or dismissed."

But, it said, "Service members will not be required to change their personal views and religious beliefs; they must, however, continue to respect and serve with others who hold different views and beliefs."

The same holds true for the military's chaplain service, the report says.

"Chaplains, in the context of their religious ministry, are not required to take actions inconsistent with their religious beliefs, but must still care for all Service members," it says.

The report is not without critics. One of the most vocal has been former Marine Tony Perkins, who is head of the conservative Christian group the Family Research Council.

"Congress should hold extensive hearings on this topic, on both the findings and methodological weaknesses of this report, before taking any action to overturn current law," he said in a statement issued Tuesday. "No level of risk should be acceptable merely to advance a radical social agenda."

While many chaplains opposed changing the law, the study found that of the 145 chaplains surveyed, only three said they would leave the armed services or retire if the law was repealed.

For decades in the United States military, various religious groups have had to co-exist on military bases and on the front lines regardless of theological differences. Even in the sprawling Pentagon headquarters in Washington, D.C, Christians, Muslims, Jews and Hindus all share the same chapel space, a practice that is shared on many military bases around the world.

But the issue of a repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell has been particularly worrisome among chaplains who are ordained by denominations who oppose the practice of homosexuality.

A religious group or denomination that is recognized by the military must endorse a clergy member to serve as a chaplain. The report says they reached out to "approximately 200 ecclesiastical endorsing agencies that endorse military chaplains, to gauge the likelihood of continued endorsement in the event of repeal." If a religious group or denomination pulls its endorsement for a chaplain that individual can no longer serve in the U.S. military.

The report says they received written responses from 77 of the groups they contacted, but those 77 groups represented over 70 percent of the chaplains in the armed forces. They found that "most expressed opposition to a repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, based primarily on theological objections to homosexuality. However, none stated that it would withdraw its endorsements for military chaplains if the law were repealed."

Despite the fact they would not pull their endorsements for chaplains, "A significant portion of the respondents did suggest that a change in policies resulting in chaplains' free exercise of religion or free speech rights being curtailed would lead them to withdraw their endorsement," the report said.

The report authors said dissenting views were taken into consideration.

"Existing regulations state that chaplains 'will not be required to perform a religious role ... in worship services, command ceremonies, or other events, if doing so would be in variance with the tenets or practices of their faith.' At the same time, regulations state that 'Chaplains care for all Service members, including those who claim no religious faith, facilitate the religious requirements of personnel of all faiths, provide faith-specific ministries, and advise the command.'"

According to the report, two chaplains were included on the panel that complied and developed the report. They said they did so because they recognized how challenging an issue this would be for the chaplain corps.

The responses of many of the chaplains consulted for the report mirrored the broader religious population in many ways, specifically in the Christian church.

"In the course of our review, we heard some chaplains condemn in the strongest possible terms homosexuality as a sin and an abomination, and inform us that they would refuse to in any way support, comfort, or assist someone they knew to be homosexual. In equally strong terms, other chaplains, including those who also believe homosexuality is a sin, informed us that 'we are all sinners,' and that it is a chaplain's duty to care for all Service members."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Church and state • Faith Now • Holocaust • Military • United States

soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Argle Bargle

    The chaplains are there for the benefit of ALL the soldiers, not to impose their beliefs on them. If a chaplain cannot offer help or words of comfort and guidance to someone of another faith or of differing beliefs, then he has no place in the military.

    November 5, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  2. Kelly

    As a person directly affected by DADT, I'm pretty certain that LGBT service members will know who they can comfortably approach for help. After surviving for so long in concealment, people tend to develop a sense of who will be antagonistic towards them and who won't be. Just like the vast majority of gay and lesbians do not tell everyone they meet "Hi, I'm gay," they will also not approach for assistance a person they know cannot wholeheartedly assist them. We're not stupid, you know.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:58 am |
  3. ca999

    Trust that if and when gays are permitted to join the service there will be a steady decline in military troops.

    December 2, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  4. Genifore

    Thats Funny. I gotta use that one.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  5. TY

    Atheist: I'm an atheist
    Dude: Really? Youre and atheist?
    Dude: I don't believe you.
    Atheist: I swear to God I am one!

    December 2, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  6. Mr. C

    Here's why I think the repeal of DADT is a bad thing. Looking at it from a completely practical standpoint, it is going to make things a lot more difficult for many Chaplains to meet the religious needs of soldiers while also remaining true to their own convictions. An example that comes to mind is the marriage retreats that Chaplains regularly conduct for their units. These are great tools to help soldiers strengthen their relationships in a relaxed environment. If a Chaplain believes the L G B T lifestyle is wrong, should the Chaplain be required to help them maintain a lifestyle that he/she believes is wrong?

    This is just one example. Basically repeal will make it harder for Chaplains to do their job. I believe that most Chaplains will stay in the military and most endorsers will continue to send in Chaplains because for most the Chaplaincy is more than a job, its a calling to serve and minister to soldiers in a manner consistent with their endorsing faith group. The repeal of DADT will also open the door for certain Chaplains to be discriminated against based on their religious convictions.

    DADT will eventually be repealed. That is simply the direction the culture is heading. The question is whether the military will eventually force Chaplains to make a choice between their religious convictions and their job. I know there are some who think the Chaplaincy should not be a part of the military. Chaplains play a vital role in the readiness of the unit and to handicap them is to take a valuable resource away. Chaplains will continue to serve soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines of all stripes and do it well no matter what happens with DADT. Unfortunately, it will make their job more complicated then it has to be. Which, in the military, is never a good thing.

    December 1, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
    • Mark Anderson

      Mr. C : I'm not religious and I'm not sure I understand what 'services' a military chaplain actually provides. But if L G B T military person feel the need to avail themsleves of those 'services", would they even bother to seek out the "services" of a chaplain who hates them? It's sounds to me like there will be plenty of chaplains available who represent more tolerant denominations. I hope so anyway.

      December 1, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  7. examine the evidence

    Should Christians join the military?

    Jesus: Put the sword down. He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.
    Isaiah: They will beat their swords into plowshares... they will not learn war anymore
    Paul: Return evil for evil to no one... keep conquering the evil with the good... yield place to the wrath, for it is written "Vengeance is mine... I will repay" says the Lord.

    December 1, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  8. Let Us Prey

    @ HotAirAce (by his special request)

    "regulations state that 'Chaplains care for all Service members, including those who claim no religious faith, facilitate the religious requirements of personnel of all faiths, provide faith-specific ministries, and advise the command.'"

    "Chaplains, in the context of their religious ministry, are not required to take actions inconsistent with their religious beliefs, but must still care for all Service members..."

    So the Pentagon is talking out of both sides with respect to a chaplain's duty to service members vrs. a duty to their own beliefs, but clearly stating that 'care for all service members' is mandated. It doesn't specify how, or prohibit adjunct help, ex. help from other chaplains. Think in terms of 'accommodation' for the needs of chaplains. The deeper issue is likely that the Pentagon clearly does not want the responsibility legally defined for gays, as formal precedents acknowledging legal standing could be set affecting the outcome of DADT – which, imho, has more to do with money than it does with morals (as I posted in the "Majority Support Gays Serving Openly" string.)

    Bottom line is this. If the law were repealed, 70 of 77 religious agencies referring chaplain candidates would not pull their referrals, and only 3 of 145 chaplains would leave. That says A LOT, doesn't it? The LGBT community should be encouraged by these findings. They are a good thing, and your negative portrayal of this article is misleading. Or do you demand unanimity? Sorry, but very few things in life are unanimous.

    Thanks for asking.

    December 1, 2010 at 11:47 am |
    • HotAirAce

      I am not disputing military regulations and inconsistent requirements. My comment was solely about the uncaring statement from a group (hopefully small) that one (I!) would hope would have a more compassionate view. Do you support a military chaplain withholding his "services" to gay members of the military?

      December 1, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ HAA

      You a hospital manager..

      A Muslim woman comes to your ED about to birth her child. She demands that only a female OB-GYN attend to her. There are no female doctors available, so you offer her the services of the house MD who is a male non-Muslim, otherwise qualified and credentialed OB physician. She refuses. What do you do?

      December 1, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      well.. silly me. I've been doing this a lot lately..

      * You're a hospital manager...

      sorry.

      December 1, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Not sure how your scenario relates to this article or my question, but I'll play along...

      Once the medical staff has explained what care needs to be provided, why and who is available to provide it, a patient is free to make their own choices about who looks after them. I would try to accomodate the patient by locating an acceptable doctor or have her transported to a faciility that meets her demands/requirements. Of course, being a bureaucrat, I would have conversations witnessed, my legal team would be informed and lots of paper would be signed so that the hospital and staff are protected. In the meantime, I would have the medical staff look after her as best they can, using female nurses under the guidance of the best available MD, regardless of the MD's gender or faith. If her condition deteriorated to where her or the foetus' lives are in danger, I would allow/direct the best available medical resources to take measures to save them, and rely on "Good Samaritin Laws" to hold the hospital and staff harmless if someone puts up a fuss later, or in the extreme, there's a death.

      Now back to a gay military person needing the services of a military chaplian – is it OK for the chaplian to withhold his services because the person needing the services is gay (and the chaplian knows that)?

      December 1, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      Assumption for this purpose a 'Gay Soldier' we'll call "GS." (No offense intended. Just don't know how else to say it without getting long-winded.)

      ------–
      Once the GS has explained what care he needs, and from what chaplaincy he requires it, a chaplain is free to make their own choices about who looks after them, however, the Chaplain must try to accomodate the GS's choice by either providing the requested assistance, or by locating an acceptable clergy to meet GS's requirements. If a chaplain is specifically requested by the GS, and it is objectionable for this chaplain to meet GS's needs as being contradictory to the Chaplain's denominational standards of practice, assistance may be requested from adjunct religious staff. The Chaplain that was specifically requested, must, however, maintain a personal presence during any intervention(s) so as to meet the comfort and assurance of the GS. Only until such time that the GS feels comfortable with the adjunct staff member, and only with the specific approval of the GS, may the primary care Chaplain may disengage from pastoral care services with the assumption of care managed by the adjunct staff member.

      In the absence of requested, competent and consenting chaplains, the available chaplain staff shall look after him as best they can, using other appropriate staff under the guidance of the best and most appropriate available chaplaincy, regardless of the chaplains' gender, faith, or restrictions on practice. If GS's condition deteriorates to where his life is in danger, the chaplaincy staff shall provide the best available supportive resources without regard to denominational restrictions of religious practice and shall take appropriate measures to ensure his safety and well-being.
      ------–

      Gotta say, Ace. You did a very nice job on the setup. Almost like you were in the business... I was expecting to work much harder that this. What do you think?

      December 1, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I think you are quite confused...

      In your scenario, the consumer of the services is placing restrictions on who can provide the services. If the service provider can meet the restrictions, no problem, else the consumer can move on. You can confuse the basic dilemma by locating it in a hospital and suggesting lives might be at risk, but the basic situation remains the same – the one in need is creating the limitation, bit the service provider.

      On the other hand, a GS in need of a chaplain's services is not placing any limits on who may provide services to him. The limitation is the bigotry of the available chaplains. If only one chaplain is available and he has a problem serving gays, then he is unfit to do the job. Or do you want to argue that the GS created a limitation, perhaps by chossing to be gay, or by being gay and joining the military knowing that he might be treated differently simply because he is gay?

      So, I'll ask one more time, and also ask that you simply answer yes or no, is it OK for a chaplain to refuse to provide services to a gay soldier?

      December 2, 2010 at 12:56 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ HotAirAce

      Sadly, I think your reading comprehension skills are not fully developed.

      You know, I thought you were a pretty smart fellow when you completed my hospital scenario. Some things you missed were the effect of family via durable/medical PoA's, physician rights, and primarily, the fact that the example is grounded in religious custom (Islamic Sharia) which the hospital is not legally obligated to service. The short answer is "you can either be shipped to another facility of your choice, or you can allow us to perform the necessary medical services with the understanding that we will provide 'Reasonable Accommodation' for your needs, however we are not under any legal obligation to meet specific religious demands in the performance of routine care." Then the forms come out detailing specific requests and limitations.

      You have to recognize the limitations of service providers. An EENT will not perform cardio-thoracic surgery. A non-Muslim physician, unfamiliar with the demands of the religion, cannot provide 'accurate' care to Islamic standards, only to what they are told by other Muslims who are in attendance at the time. A chaplain, unfamiliar with providing pastoral services to a GS, may feel that he cannot provide the best care for the GS and may ask for assistance from other qualified staff who may be more sensitive to the GS's needs.

      The scenario was designed to be completed as a 'wire-frame' upon which could be hung several different examples of the application of 'rights' and the delivery of services to patients, clients, or, in this case, our GS. My example here recognizes several things.

      1. That the GS has the right to identify his needs and request a service provider of his choice.
      2. That the GS may not have any idea what his needs are, or who he wants to talk to.
      3. The military chaplain is empowered to assess the needs of the GS, and to make appropriate decisions as to how to best meets these needs, and with what resources.
      4. That the chaplain has a moral and ethical consideration to respect the comfort and need of the GS.
      5. That there are circ-umstances which may allow for the availability of adjunct assistance, and there are circ-umstances where the chaplain will not have the discretion of calling for assistance, in which case he must provide for the perceived or voiced needs of everyone.

      If you don't understand this, then you're just fishing for the answer you're looking for – and I'll simply throw you in the 'Troll Bin." I've spent enough time on this. Any reasonable person should 'get it.'

      So.. please check all that are appropriate on our "respondent's poll." We are under no obligation to maintain your privacy.

      From: HotAirAce

      A. [ ] I understand. Thanks for the consideration you've extended in answering my question.
      B. [ ] I don' t understand and I require further explanation, which I understand I must seek elsewhere.
      C. [ ] I don't agree with you. I accept that we have different takes on this.
      D. [ ] You are wrong, and your statements reflect that you are a bigoted, short-sighted fool. If D, then
      1. [ ] I am a troll.
      2. [ ] I am an idiot.

      Good day.

      December 2, 2010 at 10:41 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @Let Us Prey

      Time to stop playing your little game. I too have spent too much time on this...

      You are over complicating the situation to avoid answering a very simple question – is it OK that a military chaplain refuses to provide services to a member of the military because of the chaplain's beliefs, as reported/stated in the article above?

      I'm sure that you will push me to complete your ballot above. My answer would be D: You are wrong. In the interest of complying with your request for atheists to be more respectful, I decline to specify 1 or 2, or hurl other insults.

      December 2, 2010 at 11:09 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ HotAirAce

      " You are over complicating the situation "

      Unfortunately, life is complicated. Don't ask me why... it just is. I've learned that there are no simple answers. Rarely are there answers that are always universally correct. Life is a compromise. Life is... occasionally fair, and always unfair. Life is a Dairy Queen's slightly melted banana split, with too much of the topping that we usually don't like.

      Grow up. It's time.

      December 2, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @Let Us Prey

      One more try...

      We have a chaplain with the absolute best job fitness rating. He has all the background and skills to handle any situation a member of the military might present to him. On a Monday he meets with a member to discuss some personal issue. No issues arise that the chaplain is not perfectly comfortable with, and they agree to a followup meeting on the following Thursday. On Wednesday, the chaplain learns that the member is gay and refuses to provide services to the member. The only thing that has changed is that the chaplain has learned that the member is gay. Is the chaplain's behaviour acceptable?

      December 2, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ HotAirAce

      Here's how it should go down....

      If the offending chaplain had previously signed-off on a military 'job description' detailing his duties, specifically asking him if he had any conflicts or objections to providing pastoral services based on his denominational practice guidelines or personal, ethical, or moral standards, and has signed-off without restriction, then, 'as his supervisor,' I would take the following steps.

      - I would ask the offending chaplain the reason for his behavior. Maintaining he had no justification other than his offense to this client's &exual preference,

      - I would immediately detail another appropriate chaplain to manage the GS case, or, in the absence of another chaplain being available, and presuming that I, as his supervisory chaplain were on-site, immediately step in to assume responsibility.

      - Concurrently, I would suspend the chaplain in question, process a formal written complaint against him, and put him on unpaid leave,

      - Following a formal board of inquiry, I would submit a supervisory recommendation requesting his discharge under the terms specified by the court of inquiry or General Court Martial.

      I have no idea what charge this would fall under in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) but it would likely be considered as 'client/patient abandonment' or 'dereliction of duty' by a commissioned officer acting as a professional human services provider (same as military doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc..) At least that's what I'd charge him with.

      In addition, there would probably be another formal inquiry convened by the chaplain's civilian authority, and he could possibly lose his legal clerical standing and recognition within his denomination or order. If asked to attend a civilian hearing as his military superior I would gladly do so, and I would offer my full and unrestricted endorsement for punitive action being taken against him, up to and including his dismissal from his position with the civilian authority having jurisdiction.

      Ta-Da !

      I withdraw my snarky 'Grow Up' comment. My Pleasure

      December 2, 2010 at 11:35 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @Let Us Prey

      I will translate your most thorough response as "No (that behaviour is not acceptable)."

      Thanks!

      December 3, 2010 at 1:49 am |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ HotAirAce

      Now, wait a minute... I didn't say that....

      *kidding....

      I need to start taking the OCD meds every day like I'm supposed to.... I look at some of these opus's and I scare myself.

      December 3, 2010 at 7:49 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      opuses?

      December 3, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  9. whackey races race coordinator

    chaplin, wasn't he a movie star in the USA

    I think that we need all the help we can get to preserve the peace, we know that it won't come via secular Governments, and anyone who has the courage to become a soldier deserves the chance to help, after all we are all sinners it just depends in what way and we are all given a chance to find God and maybe these new types of soldiers will be led to their salvation via their service to humanity.

    December 1, 2010 at 9:44 am |
  10. Apostle Eric vonAnderseck

    Faith doesn’t make the paradoxes for us, but the struggle of the conscience does.

    http://apostlestoday.net/

    December 1, 2010 at 8:43 am |
  11. Reality

    The general population to include many of the voters in California, rightly or wrongly, find g-ay s-exual activities, married or not, to be "yucky" and unusual and typically as-sociate such activity with the spread of AIDS which is of course wrong. Said AIDS epidemic in the g-ay male community at the start of the AIDS crises will always remain unfortunately a stigma on the ga-y community.

    There is an impressive list of g-ay people who did not let their defect get in the way of being a contribution to society.

    From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, ga-y s-exual activity is still mutual mas-turbation caused by one or more complex s-exual defects. Some defects are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.

    And finally, all "Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    To wit:

    o The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

    December 1, 2010 at 8:00 am |
  12. Linguist

    So a Jewish chaplain who believes that worshiping a human being as a god is blasphemy, but is ok with caring for a fundamentalist Christian who believes that a Jew who doesn't worship Jesus is going to hell...

    and vice versa, of course...

    But it's suddenly a problem for a chaplain to care for someone who doesn't believe that being gay is a sin?

    Riiiiiiiight.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Linguist,

      You said, ‘But it's suddenly a problem for a chaplain to care for someone who doesn't believe that being gay is a sin?’

      That is not how I read it….some chaplains would not treat with loving care a gay person. Other’s beliefs concerning ‘gayness’ did not matter to the chaplain.

      Am I wrong on this? How would a chaplain ever know exactly what each person believes about gays? What if the person was enjured and could not speak? Would he rely on another person's assumptions if he could find one to 'have a conversation with' while the man lay wounded?

      December 1, 2010 at 9:22 am |
  13. civiloutside

    Interestingly enough, most religions have some variation of "don't kill people" in their teachings, but all of the chaplains in the military seem to be able to find it in themselves to minister to an organization for which killing people is part of the job description. What are the priorities?

    November 30, 2010 at 9:07 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      That's a strange view to take, I thought the job of the military was protection, like a sheppard to the flock. Even in the rules of engagement killing is way down on the list. shout shove show shoot

      December 1, 2010 at 8:09 am |
    • Mr. C

      Most religions do indeed have mandates against murder. Christianity, however, is very clear about the authority of the government to enforce laws. Romans 13 is a good example to look at if you are curious about a Scriptural position about government.

      Along the same lines, Jesus was very outspoken when calling out the sins of the religious hypocrites of his day. When he encountered a Centurion who sought his help in healing a child, Jesus did not demand that the Centurion give up his profession as a soldier. Rather Jesus commended the man for his great faith. I would think that if Jesus had a problem with the military he would have had ample opportunity to address the issue since Roman soldiers were a common sight in 1st century Palestine.

      Basically, the position of the Bible is that since the world is fallen and sinful, government has the authority to do violence to those who would harm others. It's worth noting that the New Testament is always very respectful of the government even though Christians faced periods of violent persecution under the Romans. Paul, the man who wrote Romans and much of the New Testament was eventually killed by the very government he told Christians to respect.

      December 1, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  14. Peace2All

    *sigh*... This article is truly disturbing in so many ways. Maybe equality and progress is happening, but just taking longer than some of us would like.

    Peace...

    November 30, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
  15. Muneef

    well guess chaplains maybe could do that but just hope they them selves do not get attracted to become like them since things like that become contagious and spreads like fire on dry grass...

    November 30, 2010 at 8:07 pm |
    • civiloutside

      Please tell me you're being sarcastic.

      November 30, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
    • Muneef

      Say more like Pessimistic...since as it seems only those type are climbing the ladder of ruling faster than those who are not , this even is faced in the third world nations which is not healthy for those nations in the long run resulting in being off the straight path..?!

      December 1, 2010 at 7:38 am |
    • Reality

      Saving Muslims is quite easy!!!

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent seventeen- thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic brainwash.

      December 1, 2010 at 7:54 am |
  16. CatholicMom

    It is hard to imagine there could be a chaplain who ‘would refuse to in any way support, comfort, or as-sist someone they knew to be hom-os3xual.’

    November 30, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  17. Amalia Sheran Sharm

    It sounds like we need to ban chaplains from the military. But they can still serve as long as they don't tell anyone that they're a chaplain.

    November 30, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
    • HeartSong0117

      @ Amalia Sheran Sharm

      ROFLOL You just made my day. Thanks for the comment!!!!

      December 1, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  18. Jessica

    There's no problem with repealing DADT. Conservatives are still against it. Who are the ones against the military? Who are the ones who constantly call themselves patriots?

    November 30, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  19. HotAirAce

    Well, isn't this a caring response: "In the course of our review, we heard some chaplains condemn in the strongest possible terms ho-mos-exuality as a sin and an abomination, and inform us that they would refuse to in any way support, comfort, or assist someone they knew to be ho-mos-exual...

    November 30, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
    • Bob

      The mercy of God clearly.

      November 30, 2010 at 5:35 pm |

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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.