Dear Senator Burr,
I want to begin by thanking you for your service to the people of North Carolina. More specifically, thank you for always being a vocal advocate for the men and women in uniform and the growing number of veterans across the Tar Heel state. Thank you for your service as a ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Being the son of a minister and having graduated from Wake Forest University – a school with strong Baptist roots, many conservative evangelicals have felt they could identify with you. You have never given us any reason to doubt your knowledge concerning military matters or strong moral values.
Nevertheless, your recent vote in favor of the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy that will allow homosexuals to now openly serve in our nation’s military was an incredible shock. I must tell you that we are feeling terribly betrayed. Two members serving on the Governing Board of the Christian Action League (a Christian public-policy organization that represents churches from 16 denominations in North Carolina – has 25,000 people on its mailing list and 31,000 on its email list ) called your office and were told by staff that you were against repeal. But then to our great surprise you voted for it. Senator, we would expect this of Senator Kay Hagan, a Democrat who would vote with her party, but we thought better of you.
As bad as your vote for the repeal of the DADT policy was, the reason you gave for voting the way you did was worse. You stated you believed the policy was “outdated” and that you sensed a “generational transition” taking place. Therefore, repeal was the “right thing to do.” Well, I would suggest there is no “generational transition” taking place in the human anatomy. The human body, male and female, the equipment nature gives to both, is still exclusively designed for heterosexual sex. Homosexuality remains contrary to nature. Moreover, the moral principle behind a policy that was unwilling to affirm homosexual behavior and the negative consequences that it will present, not simply for the nation’s military but for the country as a whole, is hardly “outdated.”
Your vote was a wholesale abandonment of numerous Chaplains and others in the military who consider it a practice of their religion to be able to speak out against homosexuality as sinful behavior. They will now be placed in a most precarious and vulnerable position. The new policy will invite reprisals and litigation against them that will violate their religious liberties. Without question, over time, many will feel they have no choice but to get out of the service. Other people of faith who would legitimately be concerned about personal exposure to those of the same sex who might be sexually attracted to them, in conditions of “forced intimacy” with little or no privacy, will decide not to join the armed forces.
Senator, you said that you believed this was “the right thing to do.” By what standards did you judge “the right” in this case? By the values of the elitist liberals who stand for everything wicked from abortion to gay marriage? By the standards of most of the Marines that were against repeal, many of whom are serving in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina? By the predominantly conservative moral values of your constituency? By the standards of the vast majority of the members of your own party whom you broke away from to vote for repeal? Senator, you would have been safe to have judged “the right,” not by some “generational transition,” but by the standards of an unchangeable and holy God and his design for human sexuality - by the orthodox teachings of the very faith you profess to believe.
Conservative evangelicals would agree with a statement made in a letter by ethicist Dr. Richard Land, who appealed to President Obama concerning the DADT policy on the grounds of his professed faith in Christianity:
“We applaud church efforts to lovingly and redemptively minister to homosexuals so they may find spiritual, sexual, and emotional wholeness in Christ…It remains clear, however, that homosexual behavior cannot be normalized without rejecting God's moral standards (Lev. 18:22; 20:13; 1 Cor. 6:9-10). We believe it to be contrary to Scripture to commend open homosexual relationships in general, including within the military ranks. Our nation has moved from God in so many ways and we are deeply concerned that an increasingly affirming policy toward homosexual behavior will provide further impetus for God's judgment on our nation.”
Your vote, Senator Burr, we fear moves us closer to that judgment.
The irony of this is that Republicans in the forthcoming session of the North Carolina General Assembly are expected to push for an amendment to the state’s Constitution to protect marriage as between one man and one woman. North Carolina remains the only state in the Southeast that does not have this protection for marriage. Conservative evangelicals have been working with Republicans on this matter for eight long years. With a new Republican majority in both the N.C. House and Senate, it appears finally to be within our grasp. Yet, North Carolina’s highest ranking Republican, its U.S. Senator, just gave our detractors the argument that if the military trusts gay men and women with guns, why can’t we trust them with wedding rings?
We can forgive you for your vote on a personal level. But I am not sure that we can forgive you on a political level. The only way you might redeem yourself would be to repent by leading with a bill in Congress to reinstate DADT and then succeed at getting it passed and signed by the President.
It’s too bad we didn’t know this about you before the last election. The timing of this vote worked perfectly with your treachery. In January you will be sworn in for another term of six years – a long time to serve a public which tends to have a short memory. But we will do what we can to help them remember, Senator. Because an immoral principle masked by an appealing face of conservatism with a keen sense of political strategy is just as dangerous as radical liberalism.