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. June

    You write, and I quote:
    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.

    Consider this rewrite of that:
    For no other offense than loving differently, 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.

    That's how it has been for gay people for decades...

    June 1, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  2. LukeO

    Hey, religion... Guess what.. I served just 5 years and knew a few gay guys. Worked harder than most of the straight ones.
    Quit being retarded. Progress past your bronze age hysterics and join the 21st century.

    June 1, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  3. Airman

    GOD DID NOT CREATE YOU GAY, YOU CHOSE TO BE GAY, not stfu and get out of my military

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

      Your military?? It's yours alone, and you do all the work and fight all the wars all by your self...You need help.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
    • Andy

      You have not a clue about life or other people.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
    • Roger in Atlanta

      gee tell me when exactly was it you "chose" to be straight? please...i want the detailed account of when and where the choice was offered to you and you picked "B" over "A"?

      June 1, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
    • bucpimpin

      Agreed, as much as people try to pass this born gay myth off as fact, it is not. No matter how many gay scientists you get to say it is tue and that climate change is real, it wont make it true.. The silent MAJORITY will only let you people go so far before we make a correction.

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

      Son, I wish you were one of my Airmen. I'd make sure you got a one-way ticket out of "your military". Crawl back under your rock, do your job and shut up. Grown-ups are talking.

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

      "Your military"?????? Really? YOU own it? Try reading the New Testament, and practicing "Love one another as I have loved you." This is the Great Commandment! Airman, IT IS NOT YOUR PLACE TO JUDGE NOR CONDEMN ANOTHER PERSON. OR ARE YOU THAT PERFECT?!1

      June 1, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
    • BC659

      YOUR military?!?!?! Who IS "your" military? God help us if it's the US military! We have a wingnut that needs his wings clipped!

      June 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm |


      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 - you. If gay people can "CHOOSE" to be gay, then why do you CHOOSE to be an ignorant cretin?

      June 1, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  4. Raj

    Now does his argument include his "rent boys"?

    June 1, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  5. Rob

    I guess Mr. Perkins is unaware that many other countries have gays openly serving in the military and have avoided a complete meltdown. I don't recall any gay military parades in Canada or Norway. Times change. Deal with it.

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

      times may change but i will not, enough with this change brings nothing more then more spending done by this disfunctional gov

      June 1, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
    • Rob

      Airman, then you will be left in the dust. Progress happens with or without you.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  6. William

    This guy's in the closet.

    June 1, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  7. George B

    Allowing gays to serve in the military is just fine with me but whatever they do please stop the military from serving pork in their commissaries. Many religions ban the use of pork and pork products and the presence of bacon, ham, BBQ pork ribs and other tasty foods is an attack on Jews, Muslims and vegetarian Buddhists. While they're at it, please remove all blended fabrics (including the unholy 50/50 poly/cotton blend) from military uniforms as Leviticus clearly forbids the wearing of blended cloth. As a matter of fact, the Ten Commandments pretty clearly state "Thou Shalt Not Kill" so the military had better get rid of all guns, tanks, bombs and missiles as well.

    I could continue but those that get it already get it and those that don't get it never will...

    June 1, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  8. maybegay

    I have a question..... where, exactly, where will we take showers? Which restrooms will we use?

    June 1, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  9. Ted

    Tony, you're an idiot! This will have no impact on the military's function. Did allowing women to serve reduce the number of males that wanted to enlist because they didn't want to be seen serving next to women? Did it make serving less macho? I am always amazed at how people can bring God and war into the same picture as though the two go hand in hand. On one hand you say it's ok to kill in the name of war. On the other you say that God will not approve of gays in the military. As though God cares. Let's not pretend that God approves of war but does not approve gays in the military. This sir, makes you an idiot.

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

      so, anyone that disagrees with the GLBT agenda is a Bigot? Religon will not be put into the corner and banished to only be practiced in homes.. It is in the air, and will continue to grow.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  10. Jerry Phillips

    Two questions...
    #1 Why are strong military people afraid of gays?
    #2 Why are some religious people threatened by gays?
    Both of these would seem illogical to me.

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

      1) because when the shiite hits the fan, noone wants a coward next to them in their fox, hole...ALL gay dudes are cowards
      2) Now GLBT will be chanting descrimination every time they are on lead humvee or not given a promotion.. It will turn the military into the clusterfuk that Americas corporations have become with these token diversity initiatives.

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

      bucpimpin, I sense that you are an idiot. Am I right?

      Gay men and women already serve in the military. They are not cowards.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  11. Charlene Lauderdale

    I dont share your religious hatred towards gays and lesbians serving in our nations military....

    June 1, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  12. Don

    OH P.S MR PERKINS I'LL SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE your in for an eye opener

    June 1, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  13. Jacob

    What this article is basically saying is "Prejudice is part of my religion, and you have to allow me to practice my religion."

    June 1, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  14. bucpimpin

    LOL at the tards that are in here.. Raise your hand if you watch Bill Maher? you guys are the MINORITY.. And are laughed at by the majority.

    June 1, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Funny but all the polls i see say the vast majority want an end to dadt.
      Are you sure they arent laughing at you?

      June 1, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  15. Marty

    The greatest threat to war is and has always been religion. The insane belief that my god is better than your god and if you don't agree I'll kill you.

    June 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  16. Frank

    The only "Myths" in this story are Tony Perkins beliefs. If he spills enough hate in this world an all loving God will reward him. Good luck with that buddy!

    June 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  17. gus

    one day your children and your grandchildren will be ashmed of your spite, hate and ignorance. i cannot wait for that day.

    June 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  18. Don

    Having served in the military and And just to let the holey Tony Perkins would be surprise to learn that the military is full of Gays already and they are severing side by side and MR PERKINS your a fool if you think they don't already know that,

    Oh and look the MILITARY IS STILL THE BEST ON THE PLANET, It's not the gays that are a treat to this country it the FOOLS THAT SPREAD HATE LIKE YOU MAYBE YOU SHOULD SIT DOWN AND READ YOUR SO CALLED BOOK FROM GOD please ??

    June 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  19. BeckFastPaws

    So, if God is so anti-gay, why do male dogs try to mate with other male dogs? Did God make a mistake, or is Man not the only life form on this planet with God-Given Freedom of Choice?

    June 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  20. bob

    The Family Research Council is the modern day KKK.

    June 1, 2010 at 3:28 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.