It is critical during Veterans Day that we pause to remember all those who have selflessly volunteered to serve our nation in the military. We are grateful and give thanks to God for each and every one who answered the call to serve and defend our nation as a member of the military.
No American, especially those who wear the uniform, should be denied their religious freedom or be forced to go against their conscience.
The LCMS awaits a reply from the Department of Defense (DoD) after sending a request to the Secretary of Defense Sept. 8 to ensure specific protections for chaplains, service members, medical personnel, DoD civilians and other DoD-affiliated employees in response to DoD’s recently mandated LGBT Pride Month and its new policies for transgender service members which among other things advocate in-service gender transitions while serving in the military.
Our request calls for specific protections for expressing personal religious beliefs to be codified in DoD and service-specific guidance. As of this Veterans Day, it remains unclear if DoD officials will respond.
Read the request >> See the Letter in full below...
Current DoD and service-specific policies and guidance for religious protections do not provide sufficient protections, as they allow for implementation of a wide range of subjective religious restrictions based on what a local commander deems as contrary to “good order and discipline.”
Earlier this year, the Synod in convention adopted Resolution 2-04, which reaffirms LCMS military chaplains’ rights of free exercise of religion in the face of LGBT inclusion in the armed forces, and Resolution 14-01 to encourage intentional leadership in matters of religious freedom.
The men and women in uniform serving on the front lines to defend our nation should not be penalized for exercising the same freedoms they are fighting to protect. On this Veterans Day, let us pause not only to acknowledge the selfless sacrifice of all who have served in our nation’s military, but also how we might best support them in today’s increasingly pluralistic military.
Please pray for all who have served and those currently serving,
Chaplain Craig G. Muehler
CAPT, CHC, USN (Ret.), Director, Ministry to the Armed Forces
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod