Return of the Prodigal Son by Pompeo Batoni - 1773

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

An Intolerable Insult

An Intolerable Insult

One of the greatest sources of pride for our nation is the incredible sacrifices that members of our military and their families have made to defend and promote freedom.  How many men have given their lives for a cause that was greater than themselves?  How many widows have cried over flag-draped caskets as they faced the prospect of raising children on their own? 

We used to honor those sacrifices; now they are being spat upon, by the very military that demanded them.  This week the latest in a series of shameful stories about the values of our military emerged, when it was revealed that the army classified the American Family Association as a domestic hate group, alongside the Ku Klux Klan and the Neo-Nazis.

The AFA is a Christian ministry that defends life, marriage and religious liberty.  When challenged, the army responded that the organization is unfriendly to homosexuals.  Has it ever resorted to threats, violence, intimidation, or hateful speech?  No, but it has taken a position in favor of traditional marriage. 

This is not altogether surprising, since Catholics and Evangelical Christians have previously been so labeled by the army.  What’s worse is that soldiers are prohibited from associating with this Christian ministry under the threat of punishment.

So the freedoms that men once gave their lives to defend are now being persecuted by the very military that once honored those sacrifices.

Recently I heard the story of a military band member who was distressed because he felt he was required to play for a gay pride parade, without respect for his religious beliefs or conscience objections. 

As Americans we want to respect our armed forces.  We want to believe that the values they promote are noble and good.  Can we honestly say that?  Many members of the military themselves would certainly say that we can not.

Please do not misread what I am saying.  I am not questioning the service of any member of our military or intending to lessen the sacrifices they all make.  Quite the opposite.  I wish to honor them, and the only way to do that is through real reform of our armed services.

Christians know that their duty is to God first, well above their duty to country.  Given some of the tragic attitudes our military has in many places adopted, Christian soldiers often have no choice but to disobey the spirit and perhaps even direct orders being handed down to them.

This is a terrible disgrace, an unfair burden on all men of virtue in our military, and an intolerable insult to those that have gone before.  Please pray for our military, especially our Christian servicemen, that with God’s Grace, they can be true examples of honor to those who may need that light to once again find their way.

Update: The Pentagon has said the army’s designation of AFA is not ‘official doctrine,’ and that the ministry is not a hate group.  Praise God!