May 28th, 2010
12:45 PM ET
10 years ago

Perkins: Repealing 'don't ask, don't tell' threatens military chaplains

(CNN) - Hours before the Senate Armed Services Committee passed a measure Thursday that would repeal "don't ask, don't tell," a group of pastors, priests and rabbis gathered in the Capitol to encourage lawmakers to retain the ban on gays in the military.

The group opened the press conference with prayer, asking for God to bless their efforts and to soften the hearts of senators and congressmen to their position.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who co-sponsored the presser, said repealing "don't ask, don't tell" could undermine the religious liberties of those serving in the military, particularly military chaplains.

“You have over 200 sponsoring organizations that may be prevented from sponsoring chaplains because they hold orthodox Christian views that will be in conflict with what the military says is stated policy,” said Perkins.

Full story on's Belief blog

Filed under: Tony Perkins
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. JB

    Wow, Way to use religion to fuel and defend your own prejudice and hate. I can't say I'm surprised.

    May 28, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  2. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Why don't all the Republican Taliban do what I say – not as I do – while hiring call boys to "handle their luggage" join all the gay activists in San Francisco and learn to get along? Who knows...maybe some more of the self- righteous gay bashers will come out of the closet ? Senator Craig stay out of the airport bathrooms !

    May 28, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. Liz the First

    The US military is not a religious organization. America is not a theocracy! This American taliban leader needs to go live in a true theocracy for about a year. maybe when he comes home, he'll realize the true blessings of freedom of, and from, religion we real Americans treasure. When religious leaders speak out for bigotry, that is a sin! Jesus told us to love one another. He didn't say love one another unless the other is gay! there is so much hate directed toward this segment of society, which begs the question, why do these so-called 'christians' so desperately need someone to hate?

    May 28, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  4. David

    Glad to see the hypocrites that lead are religious orders are still living in the past and hating those that are different. The church breeds and preached hatred and as long as the church exist there will always be hatred and war.

    May 28, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  5. Mountaineer

    Tony Perkins is a total idiot! Gays are more likely to be sexually abused by a heterosexual and abusing a heterosexual, even killed. That's what the statistics show. Tony Perkins is a poor excuse for a Christian and espouses hatred when it meets his needs!

    May 28, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  6. dax

    The fear mongers, bigots and ignorant fantasy merchants have only begun to fight!

    May 28, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. Carmen, Miami FL

    Military policy also includes killing your enemies, while, for example, Jesus said to turn the other cheek. This, like Tony Perkins, is nonsense.

    May 28, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. Bob Of Lompoc

    To the Chaplains, their 200 sponsoring organizations, The Family Research Council, and most of all, Tony Perkins, I say if you can't live with the Military rules, then don't become involved. I have faith that our diverse Nation will find enough well meaning organizations, church groups and just good people to fill the Chaplian roles in the future. After all, these Gay and Lesbian Soldiers and Marines are in the Military of their own choice, are they not? Certainly, the Patriots out there will step forward and provide the Military with it's religious needs. I suggest you start with the Unitarians. They don't seem to have the twisted underwear that plagues some of the other Christian churchs. Listen up people: The Gays and Lesbians in the Military are ENLISTED, they sought out the Military, they joined up, they are VOLUNTEERS. Stand with THEM, not with the bigots.

    May 28, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. AJ

    Perkins is a hate filled bigot (self loathing maybe?) who will come up with every doomsday scenario possible to advance his wrongheaded agenda. If he wants to hate gay people, thats up to him but it shouldn't be national policy. Actually, one wonders when a "wide stance" story will come out about Perkins. He's way to fixated an what gay men do in bed.

    May 28, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  10. Richard Larson

    This notion is so patently false it is pathetic. The military forces aren't suddenly going to transform themselves into non-church-going, pagan organizations just because a relatively small minority who just happen to be gay, or lesbians, choose to serve, or to continue serving.

    These alarmists are using scare tactics to save their own final bastions of bigotry. I served in the late 60's, and again in the late 70's to mid 80's and personally knew, and served with gays. Their sexual orientation had absolutely no bearing on their patriotism, their quality of service, or their quality as persons. I chose to not associate with them, but that didn't make it impossible for me to work side-by-side with them.

    The change in policy will have zero effect on the quality of soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines who are serving on active duty, period.

    May 28, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. awaitingmoderationby CNN

    Common sense, morals and ethics or the good of the country and our military do not matter to these liberals, as evidenced by their overwhelming support of Obozocare. Keeping themselves in office, not the good of the country is their motive.

    May 28, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  12. Crying with Shame

    So being a Christian chaplain comes with a list of those worthy of care? What would Jesus say? I believe it went something like this: Love everyone, care for those in need, and judge not lest ye be judge. Just in case you forgot...

    May 28, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  13. BB

    Tony Perkins is a joke, he's a liar and he hides the true rotten disgusting vile evil he is behind his so called "religion"!!!!!

    God loves all his children, God does not judge his children and God certainly doesn't need the likes of Tony Perkins spewing his hatefilled lies or thoughts!

    Tony Perkins....GO AWAY!!!!!!!

    May 28, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I wonder if Tony Perkins ever considered the possibility, which is very likely, that those over 200 sponsoring organizations that hold orthodox Christian views have gays/lesbians among them or have family members who are gay/lesbian. Perhaps they have a "don't ask, don't tell" law within. Think about it Mr. Perkins before telling the Military what to do.

    May 28, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  15. Cecilia

    BULL BULL BULL – it is about time the armed services did the right thing

    May 28, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Are chaplins not going to comfort someone because they are a homosexual? How is this going to affect their liberties? I can't figure on that? Do they feel that their liberties are infringed in the civilian communities because there are "gay bars?"

    May 28, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. CPO Discreet

    Repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" may cause morale turmoil in today's military ranks, if policies does not dictate acceptable behavior for our service men and women.

    May 28, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  18. Tulsa

    for too long we've let these so called "values" "Christians" set the agenda.
    Awww, too bad the priests, or rabbis, or ministers, or whatever they call themselves have to put up with men and women who don't believe thier claptrap but want to put their lives on the line for our Country.
    To them I say, "GROW UP!"
    That goes for Perkins and the rest of those so-called religious fools.
    Get lost. I'd rather have gays in the military than hypocrits.

    May 28, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  19. Kelcy

    Actually this could be good for the military then. Get rid of those ultra conservative christians that have done more harm than good for our military. Get church out of the foxholes and allow faith to bloom.

    May 28, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  20. Stephen Matthews

    That's BS from a homophobe phundamentalist. I served in the military and grant it, there are soldiers who are homophobic and don't want to serve with gays. However, based on my experience the majority don't really care.

    May 28, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  21. richard in montana

    These people are a bunch of the biggest hypocrites in the country.

    May 28, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The group opened the press conference with prayer, asking for God to bless their efforts and to soften the hearts of senators and congressmen to their position.

    Okay here we go!!!!

    The PRIESTS are asking God to HELP them continue to have these people discriminated against. To have them continue to serve their country in fear of being ousted. This is what they are asking MY God to help them do. That is not the God I serve and know; you know, the merciful, and loving God.

    It is the height of hypocrisy with everything that is going on AND HAS BEEN going on in the Catholic Church since times inmemorial, for these priests to gather together to throw stones. Get rid of the real perverts in YOUR church. The pedophiles. Let the men and women that signed up to defend this country at the risk of losing their lives, do what they joined up to do. Leave God out of it. You are supposed to pray and tend to EVERYONE if you are a TRUE man of the cloth. Are you telling me that you WON'T counsel or administer rites to someone who is gay. Is that what JESUS WOULD HAVE YOU DO?


    May 28, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  23. Adrian Covert

    Here's an idea, why doesn't congress repeal military chaplains?

    May 28, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  24. SDJ

    So there are openly gay people in general society, and religious officials can operate fully within general society. There are openly gay people at colleges and universities, and collegiate chaplains can operate fully in a university setting. But openly gay people in the military – Oh, no, our chaplains can't do their job.

    The "military stated policy"? Please. How about the GENERAL PUBLIC'S stated policy of it OKAY to be out of the closet?

    May 28, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. rob, austin tx

    i really don't care what a person has faith in but this country is suppose to have a policy of separate religion and government. believe what you want, just keep it out of our laws. a large number of people who first came here, way back when, to settle were looking for freedom of religion and escape having others hate them for their faiths. and now today, we have the same thing happening now. people using their religion to try and rule things for the country and its citizens.

    the military is a branch of the government. religion should stay out of making decisions in the military as it should in all government matters. even still, we are in 2 wars. is a servant of their faith really not going to give the final blessings to a solider wounded and about to die? that is pure heartless and they should not be in their positions.

    May 28, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
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