The Southern Baptists have been doing their best to attack those who minister to America’s soldiers, and the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy is not happy with the attacks. The group, which is led by retired chaplains, have responded to the Southern Baptist Convention’s press release which “corrects” an AP report regarding a chaplain who attended a same-sex ceremony at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
Colonel Paul Dodd, retired Army Chaplain, stated “This attack by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) on a twenty-year military chaplain doing his duty is unconscionable and an insult to service members. Apparently the SBC will not even allow their chaplains to observe from a distance when one of their troops gets married to a same-sex partner.”
According to FMC:
The Associated Press article (http://www.armytimes.com/news/2012/07/ap-military-chaplains-few-issues-dont-ask-dont-tell-repeal-070512/ ) indicated that “Chaplains face few issues after DADT repeal,” in contrast to the dire predictions of some conservative religious organizations. Chaplain Tim Wagoner, an Air Force Chaplain of twenty years, was quoted in the article as “supporting the community” by looking on as one of his airman was wed to a same-sex spouse.
The former Chief of Army Chaplains, Douglas Carver, now head of Southern Baptist endorsed military chaplains, contacted this “offending” chaplain, demanding an explanation.
“The real agenda of these anti-gay groups is becoming clear: pounce on any chaplain willing to support his gay troops, even passively, and whip him back into line,” said Lt Col Henry Roberson, who served 30 years as a Catholic Army Chaplain. “The right of an Air Force Sergeant to honor his family, and the right of his senior chaplain to be present at the ceremony, are apparently less important than toeing the anti-gay line.”
Roberson added, “In compliance with my own faith tradition, I would not have performed the ceremony, but I certainly would have been present as Chaplain Wagoner was.”
“The action of Douglas Carver on behalf of the Southern Baptists is pure intimidation, intended to send a message to all chaplains endorsed by this denomination. We need to call these folks out for their divisive and bullying tactics, ” said Tom Carpenter, a former Marine, Elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the co-chair of the Forum. “They’re trying to drive a wedge between service members, and that’s unacceptable.”