Civil Commotion looks at the SBC's growing batshitery. Here are excerpts:
I pointed last week toward new guidelines adopted by the SBC’s North American Mission Board, drawing especial attention to the compulsory separatism which proscribes even cooperation with chaplains who are differently-minded in the matter of same-sex marriage. Now comes a Presbyterian elder to say that the guidelines are so out-of-step with military requirements for cooperative activity that SBC chaplains should resign the service outright.While these restrictions are consistent with Southern Baptist beliefs that hold marriage to be “God’s lifelong gift ‘of uniting one man and one woman in covenant commitment for lifetime,’” in their present form, the “guidelines” are incompatible with military ethics and regulations.If these Southern Baptist chaplains were civilian pastors, there would be no problem. As civilians, they undisputedly have an absolute First Amendment right to believe, preach and counsel in accordance with their denominational tenets. But they are not civilians, and have a duty to not only God, but also country. It is instructive that they are not salaried by the NAMB but by the American taxpayer.
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It is likely some NAMB-endorsed chaplains do not agree with the position taken by the NAMB. For them, rather than resigning, an alternative would be to seek the endorsement of another denomination or faith group, one that truly endorses inclusion, collegiality and pluralism.
For those chaplains who do support the guidelines and feel compelled to follow them, the only honorable course is to resign from the military chaplaincy and return to civilian ministry.This is strong language, but I see no defect in his reasoning. It cannot possibly serve the military well for SBC chaplains to refuse to even cooperate with chaplains who think differently in matters of shared interest. What is more, it can only serve to divide service members — a course which makes the SBC the instigator of the very evil it warned against when objecting to open service by gays and lesbians.Do we want a military divided on religious grounds even as we fight a global war against religious nutcases?