We heard the bigots declare endlessly that if Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was lifted, chaplains — not to mention regular soldiers — would leave the military in droves. Now that they’re actually training chaplains for the change in policy, guess what? No one is leaving.
But “at this time no endorser has said they’re going to withdraw their endorsement and pull all their chaplains,” Lt. Col. Carlton Birch, a spokesman for the Army Chief of Chaplains office, told CNN.
“Chaplains have always been trained to treat all soldiers with dignity and respect,” he said.
“There’s no change for the chaplain corps. We’ll continue representing our endorsing groups and balance that with our role as officers and soldiers serving all,” he continued. “Both counseling and worship are voluntary in the military so soldiers are not going to be put in a situation where chaplains are forcing their personal beliefs against a soldier’s will.” …
Birch, the Army chaplains office spokesman, said that before the training began, one chaplain did ask for a voluntary separation because of the change in the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
But he added, “Since we began this training with our over 2,900 chaplains in the active, guard and reserves, no chaplains have made the decision to go forward with a voluntary separation.”
I’m sure there will ultimately be a handful of them that do take a voluntary separation. I fully expect the Gordon Klingenschmitt clones, the ones likely endorsed by Jim Ammerman’s Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches, to go out of their way to provoke a fight over this by going after openly gay soldiers in some manner. But the military would only improve without such people.