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June 1st, 2010
03:22 AM ET

My Take: Ending 'don't ask, don't tell' would undermine religious liberty

Editor's Note: Tony Perkins is President of the Family Research Council and a Marine veteran.

By Tony Perkins, Special to CNN

Some people think allowing open homosexuality in the military means nothing more than opening a door that was previously closed. It means much more than that. It would mean simultaneously ushering out the back door anyone who disapproves of homosexual conduct, whether because of legitimate privacy and health concerns or because of moral or religious convictions.

This outcome is almost inevitable, because pro-homosexual activists have made it clear that merely lifting the “ban” on openly homosexual military personnel will not satisfy them.


The stand-alone bills that have been introduced to overturn the 1993 law, such as S. 3065, call explicitly for:

Revision of all equal opportunity and human relations regulations, directives, and instructions to add sexual orientation nondiscrimination to the Department of Defense Equal Opportunity policy and to related human relations training programs.

While not in the defense authorization bill amendment approved by the House of Representatives and a Senate committee last week, this goal will undoubtedly be accomplished administratively as part of the “necessary policies and regulations” mandated by that amendment.

This means that all 1.4 million members of the U.S. military will be subject to sensitivity training intended to indoctrinate them into the myths of the homosexual movement: that people are born “gay” and cannot change and that homosexual conduct does no harm to the individual or to society.

Anyone who points to the mountain of evidence to the contrary - or merely expresses the personal conviction that sex should be reserved for marriage between one man and one woman - runs the risk of receiving a negative performance evaluation for failing to support the military’s “equal opportunity policy” regarding “sexual orientation.”

For no other offense than believing what all the great monotheistic religions have believed for all of history, some service members will be denied promotion, will be forced out of the service altogether, or will simply choose not to reenlist. Other citizens will choose not to join the military in the first place. The numbers lost will dwarf the numbers gained by opening the ranks to practicing homosexuals.

This pro-homosexual political correctness has already begun to infect the military.

As an ordained minister and a Marine Corps veteran, I was invited to speak at a prayer event at Andrews Air Force Base earlier this year. I had every intention of delivering a spiritual message, not a political one.

But the invitation was withdrawn after I criticized President Barack Obama’s call to open the military to homosexuality in his State of the Union address. The base chaplain told me they had received some complaints - about a dozen. I pointed out that orchestrating a handful of calls was a simple task for homosexual activist groups.

If I was blacklisted merely for supporting existing law, what will happen to those who oppose the new, politically correct law?

Those most likely to suffer are military chaplains. While some in the ranks will simply choose not to exercise their First Amendment rights in order to preserve their careers, this is not an option for chaplains. Their ministry is to proclaim the moral and theological teachings of their faith.

But under the new regulations, will they be free to preach from the entire Bible? Or will they be forced to excise the many passages declaring homosexual conduct to be a sin?

In their counseling role, military chaplains assist all service members who come to them, even if they are of other faith traditions. But if a homosexual seeks counseling regarding his personal relationships, will the chaplain be free to recommend therapy to overcome homosexual attractions? Or will he be forced to affirm a lifestyle that his faith condemns?

While chaplains are members of the military, they must be “endorsed” by a sponsoring religious body. Denominations that are unequivocal in holding to a biblical standard of sexual morality may stop endorsing military chaplains rather than allow them to compromise their principles.

This may result in a chaplain corps that has plenty of Unitarian ministers and homosexual Episcopal priests, but a shortage of clergy to minister to the largest religious groups in America, such as Roman Catholics (whose catechism declares that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered”) or Southern Baptists (whose Baptist Faith and Message declares that “Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography”).

It was religious liberty that drew the Pilgrims to America and it is religious liberty that leads off our Bill of Rights. But overturning the American military’s centuries-old ban on homosexual conduct, codified in a 1993 law, would mean placing sexual libertinism - a destructive left-wing social dogma found nowhere in the Constitution - above religious liberty, our nation’s first freedom.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Tony Perkins.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Culture & Science • Homosexuality • Military • Opinion

soundoff (1,287 Responses)
  1. Jim Royal

    How unfortunate for you, Mr. Perkins, that society requires that you share the world with people who are not exactly like you.

    June 1, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  2. SSG White

    Chaplains are useless and archaic. Trust more in a certified therapist to assist you with your issues, more than a priest.

    June 1, 2010 at 10:21 am |
    • GuestGirl

      I'm guessing that you are not a veteran of our armed forces. Maybe you should take the time to speak with some about the role of the Chaplin in the militaty, the good they do (regardless of faith).

      June 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • tracer22

      Chaplains are often sought out when a Soldier does not know where else to turn. Do you expect the Catholic Church to endorse an organization that teaches a view fervently opposed by the church? I read a statistic today that said 40 percent of Army Officers are Catholic. Do you expect that 40% to turn to Chaplains that do not support the same beliefs they have? Additionally, how can you expect them to held true to their values when those values conflict with what the Army will require when DADT is lifted? I'm all for equality, I just hate to see this repeal rushed without being thought through fully...

      June 1, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  3. steven from GA

    It saddens me to see this kind of writing passed off as a representation of modern christianity. I wish these radicals would chose to focus on the new testament which preaches love instead of the vengeful old testament. Radicals like this are the scariest part of every religion, and bring a bad name to all the religious of the world.

    June 1, 2010 at 10:09 am |
  4. Andre

    Listening to this people talk is comedy. Mr. Perkins you are so wrong bout reality, law and human beings that you're literally an example of how not to think and act in the 21st century. Thanks for reminding us why reason, science and free inquiry is so good for society, and what religion does to the brain.

    June 1, 2010 at 10:08 am |
    • Carl

      Science flies you to the moon.

      Religion flies you into buildings.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
    • navyboy

      Carl, That is the best thing I have read here all day. Outstanding!
      You need to re=post that 10 more times. =)

      June 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  5. Brendan

    Religious liberty includes liberty FROM religion. And people are born gay, this is beyond obvious at this point.

    June 1, 2010 at 10:06 am |
    • SHAIARRA

      GENESIS 1:11-12, 29-31, 2:5-9 AS THE RASTA SAYS "THE HERB IS GOOD AND BLESSED BY"GOD"HIMSELF FOR FOOD , MEAT, AND MEDICINE." (BUT WHY DOES "GOD" INCLUDE ESTROGEN IN MOST KNOWN VEGAN FOOD SOURCES IF ITS CALLED "UNNATURAL" BY AN HERMAPHRODITE YHVH "GOD" and the FOODS that dont have great amounts (ESTROGEN INHIBITING FOODS) have enzymes,minerals and other chemistries that both activate and enhance the activity of the enzyme Aromatase (an ENZYME IN MALES LIVER THAT CONVERTS TESTOSTERONE INTO ESTROGEN) WHY WOULD "GOD" DO THIS? ITS "UNNATURAL")

      SIN INVOLVES A CHOICE, NATURAL "GOD"ESTROGEN FOOD BASE IS NOT A CHOICE, AND ESTROGEN IN FOOD IS NATURAL FOR MALE TO DEVELOP BY IT, "GOD YHVH" PUTTING IT IN THEIR THEN BLESSING IT, ITS ORDAINED BY "GOD YHVH" FOR MALES TO EAT ESTROGEN (MIND AND BODY DEVELOPMENT) IS CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE BY "GOD YHVH"

      June 1, 2010 at 11:31 am |
    • John

      Even if you were born that way, it wouldn't make it right.

      June 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • Candid One

      John, that's the ultimate bigotry! When anyone is born not to your standards, it's wrong? Dude, you need help that's not available within religion.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
    • navyboy

      You're so right. These religious D-bags what to control every one. No one is forcing any one to be gay, act gay, or even be friends with a gay person. Just don't fire them for being a little different from strait people.
      The military loses good qualified people for something that is silly.
      Would you fire your accountant because he was gay even if he was great and saved you thousands of dollars in taxes every year? That would just be bad business. Its the same for the military.

      June 1, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  6. Michael Giannella

    Religion is the root of all evil. Maybe we need to educate people on what tolerance means. Religion also says that we shouldn't eat shellfish.

    June 1, 2010 at 9:58 am |
    • Allison

      ...and not cut the hair around the temples, and to have slaves ... etc. Divorce seems to be tolerable in the modern world too.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:35 am |
    • SAMfw

      Bravo! I truly believe that religion could be the downfall of this country.

      June 1, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
    • Doug

      Sure, relgion can be evil but how do you explain America? In the so called bible belt exists people who are extremely kind, giving, thoughtful, careful, and full of love. In the NorthEast and other "blue" areas, people are filled with hate, selfishness, they are mean spirited, and do not think twice about risking other people lives with their actions behind the wheel of a 2 ton automobile.

      We show who we are when we drive, we don't have to face these other people so we expose what is truly in our hearts. A simple look at car insurance rates in blue vs red America sure shows who the better people are. The better people are always the religious ones, although atheist conservatives are just as kind. It would seem that liberalism is the true evil, not a religion.

      June 1, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
    • Hoo Hah Man

      All southerners are kind and loving, huh Doug? Nice to see you're divorced from reality.

      June 1, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • Seamus

      Doug thats retarded go be more of a buzzkill

      June 1, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
    • Not Doug

      Doug, that is one of the most illogical rationals I've ever heard. Liberals are evil as proven by car insurance? Do you even bother to learn about politics and candidates or do you just agree blindly with whatever republicans say? I'm not a democrat by any means but you embarass conservatives with crazy statements like that.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
    • Not Doug Either

      Doug-hate to rock your redneck world but Louisiana has the 4th or 5th highest rate in the country depending on whose information you use, and Kentucky, Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma are in the top third as well. Do you inform yourself on any issues, or do your opinions always come out of your backside?

      June 1, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
    • E

      really Doug, you base your ideas on morals solely on an opinion and car insurance rates? How about looking at divorce and teen pregnancy rates that are lower in blue states, or Welfare rates that are higher in Red states as most recipients are white and live in rural areas. And here is the kicker, everyone is different! Morals are subjective, statistics are bendable, and most of all, if you are a good Christian, you should NEVER judge others. Judge not lest ye be judged.

      June 1, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • Michael Giannella

      Doug,

      You obviously haven't driven in Atlanta. Your point is "us vs. them" and that's never a good argument in my opinion. Religion can be right for some people, but it should never be taken so literal. Religious people from a historical prospective are nothing like how you describe, do a Google search on stuff like "Muslim Conquests, the French Wars of Religion, the Crusades, etc".

      My problem with most people is that they take their opinion as fact without the need to validate their claim. I also find it amusing that we still read a book that tells us stories of the burning bush and talking snakes and think any of it is real. I'm not against religions; I hope there is something out there. I can tell you one thing though, my god wouldn't care who I was sleeping with.

      June 1, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  7. James Davis

    As a gay man and a member of a religion supporting and affirming being gay/lesbian, I am insulted that a chaplain would not assist me because of my faith.

    Is this really about religious freedom? Or is it about the freedom to force me into your religion?

    June 1, 2010 at 9:58 am |
    • Matt

      It's about Christian dominance, and a last ditch effort to maintain their control over the world. I dunno if you've seen the facts lately, but almost 40% of Americans now have disowned organized religion. Probably thanks to nut cases like this. A step in the right direction I say, religion is just a cop-out to be a draconian asshat. Especially Christianity. No Christian I know is even remotely Christ-like in how they live their lives, I think it just helps them to sleep at night knowing that 'God' endorses their hate via a page in a very old and mistranslated book.

      June 1, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
  8. Honesty

    Christians regularly have pre-maritial relations, live in "sin" together, get divorced, "covet" their neighbors and treat their parents horribly- yet, openly gay soldiers is an attack to their seemingly convenient religious beliefs. Clean up your own backyards before you poke around in someone elses.

    June 1, 2010 at 9:52 am |
    • SHAIARRA

      THEY CANT CLEAN UP ,ITS A IRS 501 CORPORATION WITH SUB CONTRACTORS MINISTRES

      June 1, 2010 at 11:55 am |
    • Matt

      Right on haha.... but you can't clean something that's made of dirt!

      June 1, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
  9. Nicole

    Weak. This is the best argument this guy has? His paranoid argument is supported by unproven hypotheticals and supposes that our military (unlike other countries) cannot handle this. What lack of confidence!

    June 1, 2010 at 9:51 am |
    • eddieVroom

      I'll bet dollars to donuts this will be the next guy found blowing a male escort.

      June 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  10. Open Minded

    I wonder if Mr Perkins would agree that if there was a military draft that gay people would be allowed to be exempt from the draft since Mr Perkinds believes gay people should not serve in the military?

    June 1, 2010 at 9:48 am |
    • Kurt from Canada

      If I were in the military, I wouldn't care if my fellow soldier were gay or not. As long as he could shoot straight that's as straight as I need him to be.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
    • Darren

      It isn't that he would say that they should be exempt, he would demand it. I'm sorry, but if you are willing to die to defend this or any country, the question of whether or not you are going to be writing a gay lover while away has no need to enter conversation. This country was settled in the name of freedom from religious persecution, and founded on the belief that the government wouldn't endorse one religion over another. Laws like the DADT law are nothing more than thinly veiled endorsements of religious ideals. If DADT stays in practice, then a law should be created to keep atheist/agnostics from serving to prevent moral clashes. There have been many cases of soldiers chastising feloow soliers that don't practice a religion. America's army is not God's army...

      June 1, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
    • kozynferg

      They were. But there was a stigma. James Dean apparently opted out on that basis.

      June 1, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  11. BassOMatic

    Wow, I haven't heard anyone this fervently anti gay since Ted Haggard, Larry Craig, and George Rekers. I think somebody ought to check Mr. Perkins' internet favorites for the Rentboy site.

    June 1, 2010 at 9:48 am |
    • Matt

      Heh.... have you seen the Westboro Bapstist Church (ie the nutcases that picket dead soldiers and blame the war deaths on gays?)

      June 1, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
    • Mike in NJ

      Just goes to show ya, "Stupid is, as" ... this guy.

      June 1, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
    • Rich

      this is George Reker's outfit isn't it?

      June 1, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
    • LB Colorado

      I don't think this is "anti-gay", my views is that this will be a basic open season in a war zone. I don't believe this is the time or the place for this venue at this time. If I were gay, I would be very nervous about this type of stuff in a war zone, where there is not so "friendly" fire. Just saying, maybe you may want to address this down the road. I believe people will be put in danger.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  12. Reality

    Is this more about what group gave more to the Obama campaign? From guidestar.org, The Human Rights Campaign has assets over $22 million dollars and The Family Research Council has assets of ~$4 million. It is doubtful Obama's campaign received any support from the latter group. For added interest, Mr. Perkins makes $220,000/yr for hyping Christianity. Mr. Knox makes $100,000/yr hyping the LGBT message.

    June 1, 2010 at 9:33 am |
    • SHAIARRA

      IRS 501 CHRUCHES ARE CORPORATIONS DUDE

      June 1, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
    • notfooledbydistractions

      UnReality – this has nothing to do with campaign contributions. It has to do with what's right and fair. Only the most ridiculously narrow minded would think that views as archaic as Mr. Perkins were not accepted because of the lack of campaign contributions.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  13. Grant

    Right on. Tony Perkins, and an unfortunately small number like him, are fighting for the future of this country. Kudos, brother.

    June 1, 2010 at 9:08 am |
    • Matt

      Yep, a future where if you don't agree with the masses, you are chastised and shunned until you either kill yourself, or some religious nut kills you in the name of god. Wake up dude, you're better than that (I hope).

      June 1, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
    • David in DC

      Aren't you late for goose-stepping drill practice?

      June 1, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
    • Scott

      "unfortunately a small number" Exactly. However, I do not find it unfortunate; I find it very telling of the will of the people.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
    • Wess

      Matt, it's pretty clear that all the media, the administration, and the government out there fights for the unsung minority, so much so that it's willing to make the majority feel just as unwelcome and miserable as any religious tyrant. Everyone here is such a hypocrite. The hateful and illogical garbage you use to disrespect someone's core beliefs truly shows how much more liberated, educated, and "open-minded" you really are. Some people believe in religion because it speaks to them, because they look at the order in the universe and think it's too organized not to be created by God, and so he has set rules for us to follow. How do you explain that to someone who believes in nothing? How do you explain that to generations who think freedom means doing whatever you want whenever you want just because it's legal and it feels good. Well this stupid, closed-minded, religious zealot will pray for you all...and when you're on your deathbed I'm sure most of you will change your tune.

      June 1, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
    • Steve88

      @ wess, just because someone has beliefs that doesn't mean they should be instantly dis-respected out of hate. HOWEVER, having said that, beliefs of any kind should not be immune to all criticism as well. Also even if there is a god, -religions all of em, are still more likely made by man, as they always have been. Why would he/she/they negatively judge a nonbeliever for not believing in the right religion's "holy dogma" or not believing at all? Perhaps those who do not form their morality from ideas which are likely wrong, improbable, and unfair shall be rewarded for not being brainwashed by such memes.

      June 2, 2010 at 1:25 am |
  14. jeff

    They came with a bible and their religion, stole our land, crushed our spirt and now tell us we should be thankful to the Lord for being saved." – Chief Pontiac

    June 1, 2010 at 8:56 am |
    • BassOMatic

      Great quote.

      June 1, 2010 at 9:43 am |
    • Bear

      Beautiful.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  15. Sgstuck

    If a minister isn't comfortable dealing with those of other faiths or who don't follow their exact morals than they shouldn't be there in the first place.

    Also, ministers already excise certain aspects of the Bible from their teachings or else they'd be stoning women and all other sorts of archaic practice endorsed by the Bible.

    You have the right to follow the Bible however you see fit(within the law anyway) but discrimination is not a religious liberty.

    June 1, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  16. Raytheist

    "whether because of legitimate privacy and health concerns or because of moral or religious convictions."

    So you admit that moral/religious convictions are NOT legitimate?

    June 1, 2010 at 6:59 am |
  17. TomChicago

    "Religious liberty" has also been infringed upon in the areas of civil rights for black people and women. The cloak of religion should not be allowed to shield from view the fact of mere prejudice, and doctrine–often defended in no better terms than "traditional"–should face the same scrutiny.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:48 am |
    • Capt'n John

      I couldn't agree with you more. I sincerely hope that the ideas you express will eventually be be extended to those "godless" atheists who, at this stage have no place, even at the local level in American politics.

      June 1, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  18. William Butler

    Absolutely correct. The supporters of the new law will keep very quiet about this aspect (suppressing other's ability to express and practice traditional religious beliefs in the military) until the election cycle has passed, but rest assured this is what will ultimately happen. Secular liberals are very hostile to Christianity. The thing is their politicians just can't come out and openly admit this.

    June 1, 2010 at 6:35 am |
    • Thomas murphy

      Im gay, so if I want to hold a job Im hostile to Christianity but if you want to deprive me of my livelihood your are expressing your freedom of religion. Would you support a "gay welfare system" for those of us who lose our jobs or would you just prefer us to starve under bridges?

      June 1, 2010 at 9:33 am |
    • Army Vet

      If non-discrimination policies in government functions violate your religion than your problem lies in the fact that you live in the USofA. Might I recommend a move to someplace more in line with your views, Iran maybe?

      June 1, 2010 at 10:24 am |
    • SHAIARRA

      DUDE CHRISTIANITY IS VERY HOSTILE AND VIOLENT, YOU PICKET FUNERALS ETC , BELIEVE IN A BOOK BIBLE THE ENDORSES SLAVERY , NO MORALS GOOGLE "BIBLE SLAVERY" FOR BOTH QUOTES IN THE BIBLE AND HISTORY, NEVER DID THE BIBLE TELL THE SLAVE OWNERS TO FREE THEIR SLAVES, IT ALSO PERMIT A MAN TO SELL HIS FAMILY INTO SLAVERY TO PAY OFF HIS DEBTS, NOW THAT THE ABOMINATION, SLAVERY

      June 1, 2010 at 11:39 am |
    • michael

      I agree with you, what the hell does religiion have to do with human rights. These people are the ones foricing their brand of exclusion religion on all the rest of us!

      June 1, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
    • Ronald Harper

      Under your logic, ultimately you would have all gay people hanged or killed at birth. What exactly does the right expect to do with 10% of the American population after they have completely neutered them of all their rights and access to society? Your religious freedom does not trump my right to exist.

      June 1, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
    • Candid One

      Dude, secular liberals and secular conservatives simply ignore Christianity unless it's foisted at them. During my time on active duty, I was not accosted by any religious person for any religious reasons. Why should such religious passivity change?

      June 1, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
    • Felicia

      Christians are some of the most negative, hateful, judgmental, hypocritical groups of people I have ever met. You Christians are so unlike your Christ.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
    • Chris R

      Hey there, I'm a Christian and I'm very hostile to your brand of Christianity.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
    • JohnM

      If "Christians" could get along with anybody on the planet, there would be only one denomination of them – yet there are thousands because they simply cannot agree on what to do, believe, control and dictate for others to follow.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
    • john diaz

      this is a fundemental change in the original contract current military signed up with. does this not equal a breech of contract?
      does not the current miltary have to be asked to re-sign under the new rules? many would not be serving under this fundemental shift of rules. is this a legal and contractual breech of contract?

      June 1, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
    • kb

      Isn't one of your commandments " Thou shalt not kill "?

      June 1, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
    • Johnathan

      They hate the idea of being accountable. Liberalism has become nothing more than libertenism incognito.

      June 1, 2010 at 9:07 pm |
  19. Paula Brooks

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

    I see with the repeal of DADT we are addressing that first freedom Mr Perkins is talking about... we are addressing my right to be free from his brand of religion ... as it stand now that religious view codified into the law...

    June 1, 2010 at 5:24 am |
    • Kevin Foytik

      Amen.

      June 1, 2010 at 8:04 am |
    • Mike in NJ

      Well put. This is right on point. "...no law respecting an establishment of religion..." NONE. Meaning DADT has no defense in religious terms – that would be 'respecting an establishment of religion' – there are many religions that specifically decry discrimination of LGBT people.

      Thank you for identifying yourself as a purveyor of Hate. Let's hear from the rest of you – "Sunshine is the best disinfectant."

      June 1, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
    • Gerbear

      This mans God is so small as to hardly hold his own church .
      Great post Paula Brooks...
      thank god the universe expands .. even if some refuse to accept it.. they are coming along anyway.Could be thiat today is the future God created; yesterday." There is more god in science n art then many many churches "albert E.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
    • gldsoul

      The article focused on the fear that Christians would not be able to freely express and practice their religion id DADT is repealed. Why all the comments about Christianity not being the only religion. What does that have to do with the article. Those comments merely expose an intolerance towards Christianity. All other beliefs are accepted as long as they do not condemn sinful behavior. No one is saying Christianity is the only religion, but it is the only religion that can not be openly practiced in the Unuted States with out wide spread ridicule.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
    • CSM

      Perkins didn't get the memo I guess regarding the SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!

      June 1, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
    • Urziel

      I guess this guy forgot that freedom of religion also means freedom from religion.

      June 1, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  20. jeff

    Religion is the problem, not the solution.

    June 1, 2010 at 4:17 am |
    • Zeke

      This is going to happen whether the military wants it too or not. I just question why it is happening in a year when defense spending is being cut and foreshaping (reducing amount of troops) is going on. This is going to cost more money than what is being saved in the defense cuts.

      June 1, 2010 at 7:57 am |
    • Reality

      In reality, it could be a lot about troop morale.

      June 1, 2010 at 9:17 am |
    • jc

      Yup!!

      June 1, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
    • torqueflite

      I'd like to remind Mr. Perkins and the FRC that the same sort of arguments were made in a futile attempt to keep interracial marriages illegal. The Virginia judge who sentenced the Lovings to jail for marrying declared that "Almighty God" meant the races to be kept separate. Today most Americans find this position to be bigoted and downright bizarre. Mr. Perkins and others may maintain their discriminatory faiths since our First Amendment permits them to segregate themselves, but the military and all secular aspects of American life are open to all citizens in good standing. This development is a natural one as part of the process of the welcoming of gay people into full citizenship after centuries of wrongheaded criminalization. Open military service has been extended to people of all races and to women as they have gained the rights that white men have always enjoyed. Gay people are fighting and dying for your rights as an American citizen, Mr. Perkins, so please cease hounding and marginalizing them.

      June 1, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
    • Logan9773

      Lol, the man used religion and liberty in the same sentence.

      June 1, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
    • Chad (gay veteran)

      amen to that brother

      June 1, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
    • David

      Jeff... you got that right!

      June 1, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
    • manicmarkus

      apparently this guy has never seen a gay animal. Also, i'm pretty sure the bill of rights was written in the name of individual liberty...not just religious liberty. Also, "religious liberty" just seems sort of strange. If we have the liberty to be religious why shouldnt we have the same liberty to be, not or unreligious.

      June 1, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
    • bientot1

      once again, another village has lost an idiot!

      June 1, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
    • Jamie

      This article is disgustingly bigoted. You should be ashamed of yourself, Tony.

      How long must discrimination persist, under the cloak of "religion"?

      Your arguments that if DADT is repealed, then many religious people will not join the military is laughable, when the alternative is to join the regular workforce, where gays already work in abundance.

      The reasoning throughout this piece is nothing more than elementary and childish.

      June 1, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
    • boltwoodite

      torqueflite - Very well said!

      June 1, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
    • Denny Gieck

      Ugh... Your religion has no bearing on someone serving in the military. Go take your religion and shove it you ignorant fool. Because your just a victim of indoctrination and nothing more.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
    • Ritz

      If I may quote the great Colonel Sanders "Shut up Tony Perkins."

      June 1, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
    • Frustrated Tabby

      Terry,
      You seem to think that Christianity is the main religion, but you forget that there are others out there. And if you don't like it to bad for you stay in your little world and Praise the Lord. We all have our beliefs and our religion that what makes this the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, land of the FREE. You seem to forget that you have that right,in any other country you word would not mean a damn thing cause you are told what to think , so really who is stupid you who are taking for granted you rights or those who just want the same rights as you. Those people who are gay serving in all of our law enforements are protecting YOU AND YOUR FAMILY as well. So that you can talk out of your ass.
      You seem to think

      June 1, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
    • Mark

      Exactly!

      June 1, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
    • Harry

      The last I heard it was a volunteer force. If you don't like the standards, don't volunteer.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
    • john copeland

      I agre with your post. Religions are the major cause of many of the worlds problems. Religious fanatics (i.e. Tony Perkins) get paid to pander to the religious fanatics and enfluence out elected with dogma using tax free money.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
    • Ryan

      @ Terry, above.

      Religion is a crutch for the weak. Also, it's a statistical FACT that Christianity is on the decline in the U.S - To state otherwise evidences your blind ignorance.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
    • Bill

      This is comical. I think that Mr. Perkins' inability to create an argument which includes any sort of intelligence or logic (clearly this article does not), may actually demonstrate how archaic his way of thinking is. Thank you Mr. Perkins!!

      June 1, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
    • OtherNick

      Sheetiron! Jesus did condemn her sin, but, as the story goes, he was perfect and without sin himself. What qualifies anyone besides Jesus to call someone out on their sinful lifestyle?

      June 1, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
    • MyMotoMike

      torqueflite – yes, well put.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
    • Felicia

      Religion is most definitely the problem! The founding fathers of this country understood the importance of separation of Church and State. The 1796 treaty with Tripoli states that the United States was "in no sense founded on the Christian religion." This treaty was written under the presidency of George Washington and signed under the presidency of John Adams. Religion is just a vehicle for hate and prejudice. It allows people to feel they have the right to judge others and look down on them. Religion needs to go before it destroys this world.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
    • Doug

      Jeff,

      To your comment, Religion is the problem, not the solution. What do you mean by religion? Also, if it is the problem, what is the solution?

      June 1, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
    • Navy-Vet

      100% Agree the problem is religion.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
    • Craig

      What happened to separation of church and state? It bothers me that this is even an issue they are bringing to the forefront. If you are a citizen of this great country, you should be able to fight! As Jeff stated, religion is the problem here not the solution.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
    • ghaste

      @ RYAN, above......Religion is a crutch for the weak.....

      Sorry to burst your bubble, friend, but everyone is weak. Some are just willing tio admit it! If you don't see weakness in your life, then you are the most annoying, disrespectful, immature person. A key to a respectful person is recognizing you are weak, and then you'll be less judgemental! And YES, you are VERY judgemental! And annoying,...you are no different than a lot of conservatives that judge others! You're prejudiced,....you put all people of a specific belief system in the same category....your prejudiced! Get the mirror out, and look in it to see someone that needs to change!

      June 1, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
    • Chris Dargie

      **AGREE**

      Lets look to the history books and see how much blood has been shed and how many lives have been lost in the name of 'religion'..

      Dogmatism = Encultured Ignorance = a central tenet of religion

      June 1, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
    • sheetiron

      @OTHERNICK Knowing Gods moral standard

      June 1, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
    • KWCRLA

      "While some in the ranks will simply choose not to exercise their First Amendment rights in order to preserve their careers, this is not an option for chaplains."

      ....Ironic this is exactly what gays in the military have been forced to do forever and are simply asking to do away with. So sad that some people just don't look in the mirror more often and honestly see that they value their own rights more than the next person's. The whole thing reeks of hypocrisy...but then again that's what formal religion is all about these days... operating above the law (and taxes by the way) and telling everyone else what is right and what is not...sad

      June 1, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
    • Joe

      This guy IS gay

      June 1, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
    • CHRISEZ

      If "Airman" is on active duty right now, we have found a missing link. I guess he CHOSE his parents, his height and skin color.

      Did you chose to be a cretin, Airman, or did God create you that way? (I'll have to explain CRETIN for you: It means someone who is very ignorant. Why do you choose to be an ignorant cretin?

      June 1, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
    • Mike

      I guess that since there are Jewish and Muslim soldiers, the entire military should be prohibited from eating pork. In fact, since there are surely Hindus in the miltary, perhaps that should just be meat.

      This is simply the usual use of religion to justify bigotry and hate.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
    • Airborne83

      It appears most of the people responding to this article were never in the military. Its also apparent gays and lesbians will do or say anything to push their agenda or to sway opinion. I applaud Tony Perkins for standing up. His article is 100% on target.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
    • wilson

      Using religion to justify bigotry, oh if their is a god, I have a feeling Mr. Perkins is in for a long afterlife.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
    • 13yrs

      Religion isn't a problem. It's all the idiots out there who don't apprecitate what they've been given. God gave his son so we could have another chance. Jesus can save anyone who asks for forgiveness. He can do everything you can't. Unless you can prove me wrong.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
    • Brian

      "For no other offense than believing what all the great monotheistic religions have believed for all of history"? Excuse me Mr. Perkins, religions do not have beliefs, people do.
      What an absurd pile of egotistic rubbish.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
    • Brett

      You are so right, Jeff.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
    • kath

      >For no other offense than believing what all the great monotheistic religions have believed for all of history, some service members will be denied promotion

      Most great monotheistic religions throughout history also believed that slavery was ok, that women are inferior, and that the earth was flat.

      If those of religious persuasion really *did* hold their relgious doctrine in high regard, they'd take note of the commandment "thou shall not kill" and realize that for many that alone would clearly conflict with their military service.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
    • Randon Lund

      I totally agree. The Christian right is one of America's worst problems they want to legislate their way of thinking and force it on the rest of us. I see them as no different than the Iranian Islamist's

      June 1, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
    • Steve *

      /Agree jeff.

      Tony Perkins, religious liberty, in no sense at all, allows you to impose your religious views, especially through legislation, on others. In fact, the primary purpose of the 1st Amendment was to prevent persecution of a religious minority by a religious majority, which is what you would have us allow.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
    • todd

      exactly

      June 1, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
    • ghaste

      ...just remember, there are extremists in everything: Atheism, Islam, Christainity, anything......the problem is hatred? People hate out of there own insecurity, plain and simple. Is it really that difficult to understand this? I mean really.....

      The people that state religion is the problem are prejudiced and have a shallow understanding of people. Religion has done great things in peoples lives, changing them. But, there are a lot of annoying religious people out there, but so what,....that speaks about the person and not the religion.

      I believe in the seperation of church and state!.....religion is not politics, it's as easy as that. I also believe in basic laws of the land,..no murder, no stealing. If a person demands that politics should line up with religion, they why don't they have politicians speaking on sunday mornings in church! Politics IS NOT religion. If a person thinks it is, they're faith is not desireable.

      For you Christians out there:....if you are so into politics, then why did Jesus constantly leave and hide when the people wanted to make him King?.....He didn't want to be a political leader, but a savior....there's a difference. Jesus even said to 'not get get involved in civilian affairs'? There's a difference. Don't judge others, leave it to God.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
    • GG

      The day religion came into play with politics was the happiest day for politicians. It keeps people focused off of the real issues. Where is my job? Why will my grandchildren owe $100,000 each? Why is their oil in my backyard. These social issues are a way of keeping the public pinned against each other so that we don't notice our government has sold us out to the banking, oil and pharmaceutical lobbyist. Isn't it great to interfere in each others business? When the government does it we call it BIG brother. what should we call it when our neighbour?

      June 1, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
    • Ryan T

      This is an absolute joke – my disappointment only deepens with CNN. This is something I would have expected from FOX News. This man is a lunatic, period. Perkins is grabbing at air to try to justify anti-LGBT initiatives and legislation to further his Religious Right agenda. If CNN continues to give this man an outlet for his hate, I will 'pull the plug' on CNN permanently, and watch MSNBC full-time.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
    • gregory

      Amen

      June 1, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
    • George

      I do not care what an individual professes to be nor will I judge him/her for It -BUT- if they so choose to enter the any U.S. military service then whatever happens to them is of their own doing. In other words, to HELL with political correctness. This country was not established to condone to minorities nor to create any law to favor them and their desires.

      June 1, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
    • TK

      We don't force male soldiers to shower with female soldiers. Why would we force straight soldiers to shower with gays? The soldiers will now know that the man in the shower with them or in the bunk next to them is attracted to male body parts. This is good for our national protection?

      June 1, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
    • Love thy neighbor

      I can't wait until his male escort comes forward. . .

      June 1, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
    • Paul

      Seperation of church and state. What ever happened to that? The religous nuts are the ones with the problems. The bigots have it backwards. Peoples ARE born gay and god in NOT real. Come back to reality nuts!! But watch out for the talking snakes!!!!!!

      June 1, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
    • Kevin

      Fine with me. I don't want intolerant religious whackjobs in our military.

      June 1, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
    • DB

      AMEN – sort of...

      June 1, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
    • denissr

      I am a full time active Church attending Christian. Perkins is just plain wrong, Freedom of Religion gives you as much right to be an atheist or any thing else you want as it does me to attend Church. Perkins is just another fear mongering, the sky is falling power monger using religion to get power. A free will or free agency is a major part of Christianity. The armed forces fight for these freedoms, what better place than there to practice, the freedom to be what you want to be.

      June 1, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
    • CRUSADES

      KEEP YOUR RELIGION OUT OF MY FACE. this ain't Medieval times where you can force your beliefs on people anymore, People are MUCH smarter than back then albeit there are still numerous morons out there......

      June 1, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
    • Ron Nospam

      100% right! If Christians do not want to be stereotyped as bigots, then they need to tell their zealot brethren to stop forcing their beliefs on the rest of us.

      June 1, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
    • MrBo

      Religion is not the problem, the misuse of religion is the problem.

      Even people who say they are not religious subscribe to the religion of non-religion, and can be as extremist as any "religious" person.

      "Non-religious" people constantly criticize religious people of close-mindedness, but they don't realize they are practicing what they criticize because they don't want to accept the simple fact that religion, or rather belief in a greater being, is something powerful enough to give many many people strength to beat or weather adversity.

      In the case of this piece Tony Perkins uses FEAR, not religion, so try and scare people into not repealing the ridiculous don't-ask-don't-tell rule. He HIDES behind his religion and uses it as an excuse to express his obvious bigotry.

      But, my friend, look in the mirror. You seem equally prejudiced against religious people.

      Don't judge everyone who calls himself religious, and practices civility and kindness on his/her fellow neighbors, by the actions of a vociferous few who hide behind God, Allah, Buddha, Mother Nature, etc to exact their hateful practices.

      June 1, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
    • CH

      Why should any serviceman or servicewoman potentially be subjected to a gay person's unwanted advances? Why should one have to accept this by legitimizing it and having to go through sensitivity training for it?

      June 1, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
    • Roger

      I disagree with Jeff and many others who echo his myopic statement that religion is "the problem." Obviously, over the course of human history many people have committed many bad acts in the name of religion. No sensible person would dispute that. But religion is also the solution. How many billions of dollars have been spent in humanitarian aid in the name of religion? How many billions of people have been more charitable, rendered more service, and acted more generously than they would have otherwise because of the influence of religion in their lives. The influence of religion does a tremendous amount of good in the United States and in the world. Open-minded people (whether religious or not) will agree on that principle.

      June 1, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
    • BJ

      I thought Jesus taught tolerance, not hate and discrimination. Amen, to the fact that religion is the problem, not the solution. I am a devout Christian, but our Christian history does not show much love and tolerance, but rather, power and opressing the "underlings."

      June 1, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
    • kyle

      should we ban everyone who has relations outside of marriage as well? how about those with other sins like "thoughts" of such activites? get real – we can't keep people from serving our country because someone thinks being gay is sinful....

      June 1, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
    • Davis

      @ Jeff, Lack of morals is the problem, not religion

      June 1, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
    • Chuck

      I agree.
      The last thing we need is the Christian Taliban to add to the Muslim Taliban problem

      June 1, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
    • Adam

      Your a bad person Tony. Its about time religions caught up with societies standard morals. Your lagging behind by hundreds of years. Churches throughout history are usually way behind with the ethical treatment of people. Religions teach you to be an evil person. 😦

      June 1, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
    • cj

      the pilgrims came to america in search of a land where they could be, live, and believe how they wanted......that is all Gays are asking for. the right to work a job they want to without fear of being fired for who they sleep with.

      June 1, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
    • Steve

      The military is a volunteer organization, anyone that feels offended or does not like an "open" military need not enlist.

      June 1, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
    • C.K.

      I agree with you Jeff, right on.

      June 1, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
    • Kristin

      Remember, that many of the greatest warriors ever actually were gay. Alexander the Great for example. Gay does not equal sissy!

      June 1, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
    • AreaMan

      Amen, Jeff. There are two great evils in this world... politics and religion. Human stupidity and ignorance don't count.

      June 1, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
    • Jonny T

      Please stop pandering to the liberal agenda. That being said, Gays should be allowed to serve openly, and members of the Army should be able to worship god in any manner that is not contray to good order and disipline. But, until you have devoted most of you your adult life to military service, i'm not sure your opinion is valid or even worth noting. Stellar christians serve in the Army and so do stellar gays. The liberal media is right for the wrong reasons, and the conservitve media is wrong for the right reasons. Allow gays to serve openly because it is the right thing to do, not as some liberal attempt to get back at the military industrail complex. Conservitives allow a group who is biologically programed by god to act a certain way the abilty to serve proudly. It's not like gays are asking for free money or rights when they are not citizens, they are asking to sacrifice their time and energy to serve in the military.

      June 1, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
    • GodIsForImbeciles

      This is what religion gives you: stone age bigots like Tony Perkins. Hey Tony...I hear Al-Qaeda is hiring. Why don't you go throw in with Al-Qaeda. You'd fit right in!

      June 1, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
    • Christopher de Haan

      Seriously, this opinion piece reads like something originally written for "The Onion." I'm glad CNN keeps him on as a "Special" and that we get to see him on TV every now and then. It's very entertaining to watch him make these arguments live on television and, invariably - as is the case with his piece above - his looney toon opinions both remind us just how nuts the extreme fringe is and end up making those of us in the left-center seem totally rationale. Which we are.

      June 1, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
    • DMR

      It is time for the Christian Taliban to give it up. Perkins and his band of followers and their ilk among other similar organizations cannot get it clear we are a nation of LAW, not a nation of a specific theology. Mr. Perkins fails to acknowledge that not all religions believe his way, or even believe in his ideas. I seem to recall in The Bible it speaks of "judge yea not, lest yea be judged". Mr. Perkins is issuing a judgement on others, in order to promote his religious views.

      June 1, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
    • Andrew

      This country's lack of serious religion, and by that I mean love but also disciplining those who go astray, are the reason everything in this country is messing up. Look at history. Through the ages we have become more and more morally corrupt as a whole, and our country has been on the brink of completely falling apart for the majority of the last 20 years. Coincidence? I think not.

      June 1, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • Babs

      Can I get an Amen!

      June 1, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
    • Mike Adams

      And to follow up from my previous reply, isn't there SUPPOSED to be a seperation between church and state? Wake up people!!

      June 1, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
    • tbone skywalker

      Religion has been the cause of all war not only with other countries but obviously still among ourselves. This is a sad world we live in full of hate,greed, and polluted minds that are influencing our young minds that will be our future. If you really are "religious" then I think you might think about the reality of your actions and what your God might think about them. I agree with Jeff, man has made religion poison.

      June 1, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
    • Jason

      Jeff is 100% correct. Religion is the root of ALL that ill's the world. They are intolerant of anyone who doesn't think like them, act like them or believe in their lies. The military needs to be 100% religion free!! The military is not for holy-rollers or people with extreme christian views and want to fight Muslims. I don't care if a person is gay or not. They aren't going to hit on straight people in or out of the military. The people this will affect the most are those gays & lesbians who want to serve their country. I guess in the religious one's mind being gay is also un-American? Un-Patriotic? I am sick of religions. Its all a sham and a lie to control the masses!

      June 1, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
    • Vanessa

      What happened to separation between church and state? Get a grip. People should not have to hide what they are because others do not approve.

      June 1, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
    • Greg

      Thank Goodness doesn't read the true message of Christ! I think Christ would be dreadfully ashamed of this man and would distance himself from hypocrites of the same ilk. Please remember gays in the military are in Israel, Germany, England, Sweden and the list grows longer every day. My suggestion is that maybe the military shouldn't allow religion to be practiced either. These conservatives are barnacles on the ship of progressive social change. Conservatives, like Tony, cloak themselves in as many comfort zones with walls around them everywhere. They no doubt were saying the same thing when women were allowed to vote, when people were allowed to drink after prohibition, when Blacks and other minorities were allowed to vote or serve openly in the military with their white anglo-saxon commrades. You know what Tony, you and those who prescribe to your unfortunately narrow branch of Christianity need to become a part of history. Remember Christ's message "Love one another as I loved you". That's the maundatuum he gave us. He also was trying desparately to have people in his time get over the drudgery of the Old Testament which oppressed people more than it did to help them. My friend...I love you...but you need to get a life and change your thought pattern. This country can never go back to this puritanical tyranny that you would like people to belly up to. We need to progress forward to the future not continue to oppress people and keep women barefoot and pregnant the way many would have people believe. Because there are so many people like yourself in the Republican Party, I have changed my affiliation with that party and hope to never let the house or senate and white house ever go back to your narrow minded and biggoted ways.

      June 1, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
    • MIMBELA

      It still sends a chill up my spine when people like you still use religion as a tool to intimidate minorities. No policy will force you or any other person in the military to accept a different lifestyle. This policy is intended to correct a long stand of discrimination for a group of people who have are putting their lifes on the line everyday. Now doesnt Christianity teach us to to judge since no one is free of sin?

      June 1, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
    • William

      If you have 'morale issues' from serving in the military with someone who's gay, then you're not a real soldier. We don't need children in the military who are playing soldier. We need men and women who take their jobs seriously.

      June 1, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
    • CSM

      Unbelievable.... now it's going to undermine religion, eh?... Ok.. and I have a bridge to sell! This man is such a bigot.

      June 1, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
    • mike

      Im speaking as an Infantryman in the military. If gays are to be allowed in the military then I believe they must be treated as women and seperated from the males they could be potentailly attracted to. It would raise more problems then it would fix. Its exaclty the same if a racial extremist were allowed to openly be racist. Take in consideration the needs of the many not the few, its not always about "me!".

      June 1, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
    • Robin

      Completely agree. Religion is the great divider, very rarely a uniter.

      June 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
    • Teressa

      I COMPLETELY agree with you. How come everyone else gets their rights (freedom, religion, discrimination, right to bear arms, speech) at least gays are not burning the american flag for which they fight for others peoples right to do so.

      June 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
    • David

      Why is it "ok" to be gay, and all is good. But if you believe that being gay is wrong and immoral, your the one who is a racist? Your are the one who has to give up your freedoms of religion. If i decided to start a religion to worship rocks, that would be ok, but if i decide to worship GOD, i'm the one in the wrong, i'm the one who can't pray, or use the word GOD. GET A LIFE

      June 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
    • Mary Rational

      Is war a religious threat?

      June 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
    • Duketer56

      Jesus, protect me from your followers.

      June 1, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
    • Herb

      Religion is not the problem. The problem is people like Mr. Perkins who try, in his case as a full-time lobbyist, to impose their private religious opinions in matters of public policy, to the detriment of the civil rights of their fellow citizens.
      As for his argument that chaplains of some denominations may feel obliged to leave their positions, it seems far fetched. Chaplains have an established place in our military, ministering to soldiers of all faiths, and of none. I think most of them will find it appropriate to continue, whatever personal problems they may have with policy decisions. In any case, the issue cannot justify something as unjust as DADT.

      June 1, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
    • Most of you people are idiots

      Openly gays in the military... we don't fight wars with roses!!!
      God... Country... Corps !!

      June 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
    • Steve G

      So Capitalist Republican Jesus doesn't want gays in the military, huh Tony? We think thou doth protesteth too much! Do you take a rather wide stance in the mens room Tony?

      June 1, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
    • Dan Jeffers

      So, if your religion believed that, say, white people are superior to other races, you'd consider the integration of the military to be a form of religious intolerance? Or that if the military, through "sensitivity training" taught service people to respect the religious beliefs of others, then any religion that considers itself to be the one true way would be the victim of religious intolerance?

      By your logic, any belief that sets one group above another, if it is incorporated into a religion, should not be challenged in the community of the military because that would violate the religious beliefs of those members.

      In fact, the US military is often very good at teaching people to live among, and get along with people who have beliefs, ideas, or cultural values different than their own. You can even do that without giving up your own values, at least if your values actually have any strength. (I served, I know.)

      June 1, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
    • kevin

      amen

      June 1, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
    • Dennis Fried

      In my opinion, all the armies of the world should be composed of nothing but gays. There'd never be another friggin' war.

      June 1, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
    • evolvingalways

      Your bigoted lies our all part of your brain washed indoctrination into a religion that hates gays, nonbelievers or any one who stands for science and reason. Your four thousand year old sand book is useless in the present day of a secular society who respects equality for all including your delusional religion.

      June 1, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
    • Jeff

      First off,
      The Pilgrim's reason for coming here had nothing to do with religious liberty. They would have burned anyone at the stake for espousing a version of Christianity different from their own interpretation.

      One has to wonder what would have happened if Apartheid South Africa kept their wits about them and claimed that segregation was part of their religion. About half the opposition would have backed away out of respect for religion.

      June 1, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
    • Samantha

      Ha,ha... religious liberty. My favorite is when people start to preach how our country is based on religious freedom yet they do not understand the full concept of religious freedom. A few of our founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln among others were in fact atheists. So everyone has the freedom to practice their religion or non at all. So it is hypocritical for anyone to suggest that our country, which includes our military, must all follow the same biblical laws. If you want to live your life under religious law then you can live in the Middle East where "god" is the law.

      June 2, 2010 at 12:38 am |
    • Chris

      Religion is the problem...the practice of freedom of religion applies to everyone, however, evidence that cannot be refuted shows that the religious movements believe that everyone must be religious, if not you should suffer the penalty of death. I found it distasteful personally that the bible doesn't condemn slavery or torture, humanity has experienced the dogma and PURE EVIL (no splinter groups) of religion when forcibly practiced. I want the members of the military to have the same freedoms as everyone else, but while on duty, I expect them to perform with honor and integrity.

      June 2, 2010 at 12:39 am |
    • Derrick

      Zeke, eliminating slavery cost a lot of people money. It was just the right thing to do 🙂

      June 2, 2010 at 5:35 am |
    • Derrick

      David, gay isn't a race. If you believe that epilepsy is caused by witchcraft, you should not be allowed to burn "witches" because you are plain wrong and you religious beliefs adversely effect other people. You are on ground that lacks morals. Without the bible there is no problem with people being gay. To religious folk raise such a ruckus when others eat pork or work on sunday? No. Stop cherry picking your holy book.

      June 2, 2010 at 5:42 am |
    • Stephan

      You're an idiot. I don't have an educated rebuttal because this was not an educated article.

      June 2, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
    • X Army

      As I got older I started realizing one thing about church... My pastor was driving a hummer, his wife an escalade, his son a BMW. He nor she did nothing else but preach. The first thing we did when we got to church every sunday was drop money in the bucket. My parents time and time again would put money in that bucket when we had no power or no electricity. You tell me the problem with this? "God" didn't put food in my stomache. My parents working 2 jobs did. The catholic church...The riches company in the world...Their employees in many ways still rule the world. Read your history books about the church. Go to college and educate yourself.
      As far as gays in the military, it is simple as I fought for my country. I signed up in a time of war. Why should I have to lie about who i am. I know a gay soldier who had his legs blown off. Does the American people really care if he is gay? As far as gays living with straight people...THEY ALREADY DO. This is 2010. Get with the program. When you are in the army you are taught everyone is one religion, one color, one creed...and that is green.

      June 11, 2010 at 1:31 am |
    • Jesse

      I don't have a problem with the linear rationale in this blog. I don't agree with it, but it has some roots in logic. The most emcompassing issue is that it lies under the umbrella of religious truth value. How can we discuss this topic if we cannot see the plain, pragmatic, and scientifically supported denial of Biblical truth value? Yes, "gays" can be born as such! Its like discussing the taste of steak with a vegetarian...there are no grounds on which we can have this conversation.

      June 15, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
    • Historical Wolf

      Irony: The Pilgrims didn't come to America to find religious freedom; they went to the Netherlands for that, first, and then went to America to ESCAPE everyone ELSE'S religious freedoms!

      October 10, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
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About this blog

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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.