(Photo: Chaplains Alliance for Religious Liberty)
A national chaplain alliance group "strongly condemns" the U.S. Department of Defense's decision to celebrate Gay Pride Month and says it is concerned that the Pentagon's next step will be to grant marriage benefits to same-sex couples within the military.
"I find it interesting that in the same week that the decision was announced to no longer allow Bibles to be published using military insignia, the Pentagon announced the celebration of homosexuality – something the Scriptures clearly condemns," said Chaplain (Col.) Ron Crews, USAR retired, executive director for the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty.
In an email exchange with The Christian Post, Crews added, "This action causes me to wonder, 'what is next for our military?' I am concerned that DoD will pursue full 'marriage benefits' for same-sex couples regardless of federal law, another Presidential Executive Order bypassing Congress (similar to the latest immigration law he instituted)."
Although details have yet to be released, the DoD said it will be commemorating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride later this month – a first-of-its-kind event for the Pentagon.
The announcement came during the same week that a group that advocates for the separation of church and state claimed victory after the DoD said it is removing military edition Bibles from its exchange stores. The chaplain alliance group is asking Congress to investigate whether the action taken was religious discrimination.
The chaplain alliance also finds it ironic that "although DoD makes attempts to strengthen traditional families, it has never promoted a 'heterosexual month' to honor the contributions of heterosexual members who make up at least 97 percent of the military.
"By openly affirming bisexual and homosexual behavior, military leadership is coming into direct conflict with the morals and standards held almost universally by chaplains and service members of virtually every major faith group in the military," Crews explained. "This blatant attempt to 'celebrate' a minority view of political correctness will not endear military families to the military."
When asked about what his group hopes to accomplish by its announcement, he told CP, "I want the American public to see just where the current administration is leading our military. They have turned our armed forces into a social experiment at the cost of military readiness. I do not see how this action will encourage moms and dads to allow their sons and daughters to enlist."
Crews said he hopes that Congress will take note and that the Senate will agree to the House language in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13 NDAA) that includes the amendments to protect chaplains in "this new environment" and forbids the use of military chapels for same-sex ceremonies.
The Pentagon's celebration comes nearly a year after the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" legislation that banned open homosexuals from the military. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that he felt it is important to recognize the service of gays in the armed forces, according to a statement from U.S. officials last Thursday.
The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty states that it is an organization of chaplain endorsers, the faith groups that provide chaplains for the U.S. military. The endorsers in the Chaplain Alliance speak for more than 2,000 chaplains serving the armed forces.