Why no matter how hard they try, DADT cannot be brought back

Its been said by many of the Republican candidates for president that one of their first acts will be to re-enact DADT, possibly by executive order. For some its playing to the homophobic republican base, for others its their heartfelt bigotry.

President Obama Signing the Repeal

Repeal for good?

However one thing we have to ask, is whether it is practical once repeal has been enacted for DADT to be re-enacted. By re-enacting the law, the bill’s signer, would be kicking out of the military, every single soldier, pilot, and sailor who’s been honest about who they are, so lets look at some numbers to think about what that would mean.

There are currently 1,445,000 active duty service members and 833,616 reserve troops which gives a grand total of 2,278,616 persons who would be affected by this policy. So assuming the conservative figure of 3.5% of the population identifies as LGB, that  would say that there approximately at least 80,000 LGB service members. Lets assume that half that group comes out in the next few days (another conservative figure), so potentially by the stroke of a pen, the Commander in Chief will dismiss 40,000 highly qualified and trained troops at a time when the US military cannot afford to loose anyone.

Republican CNN Tea Party Debate Candidates

Promising repeal of the repeal?

In the time of DADT, there has been horrific outcry by everyone from Queer Rights Activists, to Devout  Defence Hawks have protested the senseless loss of 13,650 service members. Now repealing the repeal, would cause the loss of 3 times that number in 1 day.

While many of these candidates lack any common sense,  when faced with those numbers, alone they would have to realise the catastrophic damage to the US military by the instantaneous loss of 40,000 troops.

They can promise all they want to bring back DADT, but the last day to prevent the repeal of DADT, was yesterday, before the “Great Revelation”.

Why Military Chaplains need to either Shut-Up or get out of the Service

Chaplain Administers Mass

Government funded religion

So if you’ve been listening to the right wing blogosphere, a lot of the military chaplains have been complaining that they will be unable to minister effectively to their “flocks” if open LGB personel are around.

Now there are several levels on which this is inappropriate, and so I’m going to talk about each one that I see.

Firstly and most obviously, the Chaplain Corps are a US Government institution, and enforcing the precepts of their faith on the troops in their care is a violation of the separation of church and state. Personally I object to chaplains in the military, both as a devout agnostic who thinks that its wrong to have religious figures on government payrolls, but also because I feel that its utter hypocrisy for the so called “Religions of Peace” (Christianity and Islam) to openly support warfare.

Secondly the US chaplain’s corp was meant to reflect the makeup of the troops within the military, so if you had 30% catholic 30% evangelical and 40% Lutheran, you should have 30% Catholic chaplains, 30% Evangelical chaplains and 40% Lutheran Chaplains. Up until the 1980s this was the case, but under the influence of the religious right flexing its new political muscles, the composition began shifting until today the Chaplaincy Corp is infested with a massive overabundance of fundamentalist evangelical chaplains. 14% of the Military is Evangelical, 60% of the chaplains are evangelical.

A chaplain administering sacrament

Literal or Figurative Sacrament?

Thirdly chaplains already have to deal with many “abominations” in their day to day lives, after all if they are an anti-ecumenical protestant chaplain, then surely any catholic soldier in their care is akin to a servant of satan. If chaplains are so fragile, how can they deal with the numerous variations and conflicts to their doctrine. Soldiers of every stripe from Buddhists, Atheists, Hindus, Sanataria, Wicca and Shinto are  represented in the US military, but apparently despite never threatening to resign over any of these massive conflicts, the idea of LGB service members is somehow a step too far.

Finally we all have differences of opinion, but priests and chaplains are meant to put the needs of their flock above their own petty concerns, so if a chaplain resigns rather than support their flock under new and potentially challenging circumstances, what worth are they?

So a good chaplain should put up with the new situation or get the hell out of the US military they are utterly unsuited for.