Shouldn’t service members just accomplish the mission and leave religion out of it?
All service members—including chaplains—should have the same freedoms they volunteer to defend and are willing to die for. Years of fighting terrorism have taken a toll on our service men and women. They face many battles, from mental health and substance abuse to suicides, not to mention massive layoffs. Many people, including our service men and women, turn to their faith during difficult times. Now more than ever, religious freedom must flourish within the military.
What about the separation of church and state?
Federal courts have recognized that “[t]his extraconstitutional construct has grown tiresome. The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state.”
Do chaplains only care about service members who are of the same faith?
Not at all. Courts, Congress, and the Department of Defense have all recognized that chaplains ensure that all service members can live out their faith. Chaplains have a special calling to provide for every service member regardless of who they are, their faith background, and their sexual orientation.
Doesn’t it violate the Establishment Clause to have military chaplains?
Nope. In fact, courts have recognized that it would violate the Establishment Clause if chaplains were not around to ensure the religious freedom of all service members. Plus, the Supreme Court said the Establishment Clause “affirmatively mandates accommodation, not merely tolerance, of all religions, and forbids hostility towards any.”
As a Christian chaplain, do I have to marry same-sex couples?
No. The law is very clear that chaplains cannot be compelled to act in variance with their faith or violate their conscience.
As a Christian service member, can I talk about my faith while on duty?
Absolutely! Every situation is different, but you have a constitutionally guaranteed right to live out your faith, on and off duty. Contact us to discuss your specific situation.
I’m a Christian service member and my supervisor/commander is saying I can’t do something that I feel is part of my sincerely held religious beliefs. What do I do?
We are here to help. Contact us right away!