News

Synod, other advocates speak for religious liberty in secularized military

Comments (8)
  1. Avatar Frederick Germann says:

    In lieu of saying “traditional religious beliefs”, the phrase “acknowledgement of God’s will” should be used. This emphasizes the separation that occurs between man and God brought on by practicing that form of secularism that seeks to obliterate God’s will.

  2. Avatar Tim Z. says:

    As a USAF vet and life-long LCMS Member, this continuum of the abolishment of DOMA and a legacy of C-in-C Clinton’s “Don’t ask, dont’ tell” policy, evokes a visceral response in me. I am angered and ashamed at the US Govt’s cowardly response to the 0.01% of Service Members, and their blatant disregard for the US Constitutional Rights of the vast majority. The Military is the last place we need “social experimentation”. Worse, The DoD has lost it’ Moral Compass, and that WILL have a disasturus effect on the overall Warior Spirit, should the USA become involved in a major armed, Boots-on-the-ground, “Death From Above” conflict. It these uncertain times, I find it appropriate to reread Martin Luther’s 1521 Treatise ‘Can Solders to be Saved?’

    1. Avatar Carl Vehse says:

      Martin Luther’s tract, Ob Kriegsleute auch in einem seligen Stande sein können (“Whether Soldiers Too Can Be Saved”) was published in October,1526, following a request in 1525 from Assa von Kram, a counselor of Duke Ernst of Braunschweig-Lüneberg and a professional soldier.

  3. Avatar Stavros says:

    We will hear from Mr. Drinnon precisely the opposite response when an LCMS member of the service hears criticism of his eating meat from his Hindu commanding officer. Like it or not, we now live in a multi-religious society which is reflected in our military. We are no longer all Protestants with only a small minority of Jews or Catholics intermingled and diffidently tolerated. The only rational response to this new diversity is to limit religious speech and writing in the military workplace and on the duty station to utterly non-controversial topics. Speech and writing which divides, stridently advocates or criticizes practitioners of other persuasions should be seen as damaging to the morale and effectiveness of the services. We need to work to keep contentious religious comments to the privacy of one’s sectarian chapels or living rooms and leave the military duty stations free of religious strife and argument.

    1. Avatar LCMS Church Information Center says:

      From Mr. Roger Drinnon: As a retired Air Force veteran having participated in several deployments around the world over the years, I can attest to the importance of faith while serving in the military, as a great percentage of our nation’s troops still believe in God. Your comment that people should “keep contentious religious comments to the privacy of one’s sectarian chapels or living rooms” and not be allowed to live out their faith freely in their vocations represents a disturbing mindset at the heart of the religious liberty debate in America today. It’s absurd to deny the basic constitutional right of free exercise to those who have sworn to support and defend the U.S. Constitution and who risk their lives each day doing so.

  4. Avatar Stavros says:

    I support those who “live out their faith freely in their vocations” but I stop at the line represented by contentious speech and behaviors inimical to order, morale, and unit effectiveness. It is acceptable for a serviceman to hold, for example, that homosexuality is an objective disorder and a moral impediment. But once the Department of Defense has allowed homosexuals to become fellow soldiers, that serviceman’s right to “live [his] faith freely” stops at any derogatory or demeaning remarks about fellow soldiers’ sexual orientation. People have a right to religious liberty but no right, in the context of the military, to destroy unit effectiveness through religiously-motivated remarks about fellow service members. I have seen this dysfunction in action at, among other places, the Air Force Academy where evangelical chaplains and parachurch members of groups such as the Navigators have criticized Lutheran and Catholic cadets for their asserted failure to “accept Jesus in their hearts”. As a school board member, I have had to deal with aggressive religious groups demeaning other students including our own LCMS children. That’s why I assert that while religious liberty is an absolute, religious behavior in the workplace or secular sphere may be sharply and legitimately contained.

  5. Avatar Mary Owens says:

    This is a sad story about the Air Force discriminated against Col. Michael Madrid because of his beliefs that a marriage is the sacred union between a man and woman. Madrid Is one promotion away from the rank of brigadier general and he will never be promoted on account of his belief.. this is stupid !!! Madrid is a well educated man and we want him to get this well deserve promotion !! What can we do to help him? Please advise me accordingly and thank you…

    1. Craig Muehler Craig Muehler says:

      Mary Owens, the best thing that you can do is continue to pray for him and all our leaders. You can also ensure that you stay involved and encourage your political leadership to support legislation that will ensure religious liberty is protected for all who serve our nation in the Armed Forces. Our legislatures need to fully protect our men and women who serve this nation so they can live out their faith without fear of retribution. No American, especially those who wear the uniform, should be denied their God-given, constitutionally protected religious liberties.