When I was in Iraq, I watched as chaplains would emerge from seminars that were geared toward making sure that they were more “sensitive to the diverse needs of the troops.” These types of sessions were invariably a platform for political correctness, and referred to by their attendees (in a tone that could never be mistaken for affectionate), as “EO think tanks.” “EO” in Armyspeak refers to “Equal Opportunity,” and it is anything but.
The very concept of “Equal Opportunity” means that there should be an equal opportunity for all, which is good. The problem is that these days it has come to mean that if you are a Christian, you do not have an “equal opportunity” to believe your beliefs, let alone express them.
The latest “fodder” for the “EO Cannon” is a chaplain by the name of Lt. Commander Wes Modder, who has been suspended for counseling a soldier struggling with homosexuality. Modder had the audacity to suggest that homosexuality may not be such a good idea, and is in big trouble with the brass.
OK, let’s take a look at this from two standpoints, the first being health risks for men, and I am not confining those risks to the standard HIV/AIDS examples. It is inarguable that when male reproductive fluid enters the blood stream, the body looks upon it as an invader, and goes on autoimmune response. Not a good thing, by anyone’s estimation. That is a scientific fact, and if you want to call me a hater for being a Messianic Christian mother bear that wants soldiers to be protected from anything that could hurt them, (including risky behaviors,) knock yourself out.
As self-evident as the risky behavior argument would be to a reasonable person, there is the pesky fact that a soldier gets to, in exercise of his or her 1st Amendment rights, seek out the counsel of a chaplain whose spiritual beliefs are deemed personally helpful, and are consistent with whatever has been chosen to be embossed on one’s dog tags. “Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Wiccan, Buddhist and Muslim” are examples of what I am talking about.
But here is the rub: the “politically correct” requirements to not question or challenge other’s spiritual beliefs, sexual behaviors or practices do not apply to the Koranic instructions for beating your wife or how to self martyr. They don’t apply to the beliefs of some Satanists that endorse human sacrifice, or some Native American rituals that utilize hallucinogens. You may not, as a soldier, be allowed to do it as part of your expression of faith, but God help the person who suggests that it could harm you or others, and that’s the reason why God does not want you to do it.
Lt. Commander Modder has done what people of faith (and of the cloth) have always done: stand up for what they believe is right, and let the hearer decide. He is a decorated officer who has served honorably for 19 years, and could lose it all if the “EO Think Tankers” have their way. If you want to help him, you can contact Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus at www.frc.org, and respectfully request that Chaplain Modder’s 1st Amendment rights to believe and serve according to his conscience be upheld.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner