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Navy halts move to allow chaplains to perform gay unions

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One big problem we've been seeing in the military regarding any controversial social issue is its insistence on actually having a whole cadre of officers whose actual designator, or jobs, are tied to religious duties -- rather than using the separation of church and state to make those positions entirely voluntary or make them lay readers. I wrote about it earlier here. Needless to say, another controversy has erupted over religion and the lack of clarity between the separation of church and state in our military.

Under pressure from more than five dozen House lawmakers, the Navy late Tuesday abruptly reversed its decision that would have allowed chaplains to perform same-sex unions if the Pentagon decides to recognize openly gay military service later this year.

In a one-sentence memo obtained by The Associated Press, Rear Adm. Mark Tidd, chief of Navy chaplains, said his earlier decision has been "suspended until further notice pending additional legal and policy review and interdepartmental coordination."

The Navy said its lawyers wanted to do a more thorough review of the legal decision that allowed Navy chaplains to receive training to perform civil unions on military bases, but only in states where same-sex unions are legal.
This is the kind of thing that occurs when your nation claims it honors the separation of church and state, but it is only mouthing those words. The separation of church and state protects the state from the church, and the church from the state. Mixing the two of them always causes problems. The best way to resolve issues like this is to continue to allow our nation to evolve into a more perfect union, and honor the very progressive idea that was ahead of its time when it was suggested and actually included in our constitution. Separating church and state is meant to protect both institutions. Honor it!

In the meantime, we are still waiting for the integration of openly gay servicemen and women in our military. Nothing, including any confusion over gay civil unions and whether or not a chaplain should perform one, should be allowed to delay the implementation of that policy. Those questions can be more fully answered after open service is allowed, and every day that ticks by while patriotic and brave gay and lesbian troops have to serve in silence for fear their careers will be destroyed is one day too many.

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