December 3, 2010
In case you missed yesterday’s Mission Compromised webcast, below is the transcript [PDF version here].
FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL ACTION
HOW THE MILITARY IS BEING USED
TO ADVANCE A RADICAL AGENDA
FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL
SENATOR JIM INHOFE (R-OK)
GENERAL (RET.) CARL MUNDY,
BRIGADIER GENERAL (RET.) DOUGLAS LEE,
SERGEANT (RET.) BRIAN FLEMING,
SENIOR FELLOW, LEGAL STUDIES,
FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL
SENIOR FELLOW FOR POLICY STUDIES,
FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT,
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2010
Federal News Service
TONY PERKINS: Hello, Im Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council here in Washington, D.C. And I want to welcome you to this special FRC Action webcast entitled Mission Compromised.
In the wake of last months historic election when voters rejected the big-government liberal policies of President Obama and his party, most expected the focus here in Washington, D.C., to change. With unemployment hovering at 10 percent and the nations economy still sputtering, you would think that the focus would be on creating fiscal stability and job growth by ensuring that families and small businesses are shielded from one of, if not the largest, tax increase in U.S. history which is just days away.
Now, if youve thought that, you were wrong. The president and the current congressional leadership have made overturning the militarys prohibition against open homosexuality their top priority in this lame-duck session of Congress, a move that could undermine the effectiveness of our military and, as a result, our nations security.
Now, earlier this week, the Pentagon releases its report to Congress on the findings of the potential impact the overturning of this ban would have on our nations armed services. Are these findings in this report valid? Was the process structured to achieve a predetermined outcome? What are military experts saying? And what do the men and women in uniform think?
Well answer these and many other questions from our distinguished list of guests which include General Carl Mundy, the 30th commandant of the Marine Corps; Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, who is on the Senate Armed Services Committee; Brigadier General Douglas Lee, a former head of Army chaplains; and Lieutenant Colonel Bob Maginnis, Cathy Ruse, both senior fellows here at the Family Research Council.
And well also be joined by our own FRC Action vice president, Tom McClusky, and Army Sergeant Brian Fleming, also known as the blown-up guy. Youll want to make sure that you hear his take on the impact of overturning this policy and what it will do for the men and women or to the men and women who serve our nation in uniform.
Well also be taking your questions, which you can send us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, thats address is missioncompromised-dot-frcaction.org (sic). You can also send us a text by texting DADT followed by a space and your question to 24453. Thats 24453. DADT followed by a space and your question.
Well, first, military leaders have expressed continued opposition to this. While you have the presidents political appointees who have said theyre okay with it, you have the service chiefs who have been very clear. Want you to take a look at this.
(Begin video segment.)
NARRATOR: Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Carl Levin and President Obama are pushing votes in Congress to force open homosexuality on the military. Theyre moving forward before listening to military commanders. These politicians are putting their political agenda ahead of the well-being of our troops. President Obama and his political appointees are claiming that military commanders are onboard, but the truth is
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ): You have serious concerns about the impact of the repeal of the law on a force thats fully engaged in two wars and has been at war for eight-and-a-half years.
GENERAL NORTON A. SCHWARTZ: This is not the time to perturb the force that is at the moment stretched by the demands in Iraq and Afghanistan.
GENERAL JAMES T. CONWAY: My best military advice to this committee, to the secretary, to the president would be to keep the law such as it is.
NARRATOR: But the president isnt listening. Call Congress now at 202-224-3121. Tell them to resist those using the military to advance a radical political agenda. Sign the petition at missioncompromised.org.
(End video segment.)
MR. PERKINS: Thanks again for joining us for this special live webcast, Mission Compromised. Joining me now is General Carl Mundy, former commandant of the United States Marine Corps 30th commandant of the Marine Corps. And as a as the commandant, he was a member of the Joint Chiefs. He oversaw the operational forces in the Marine Corps responsible for some 240,000 uniformed men and women who served our nation both on active duty and Reserve in the Marine Corps.
General Mundy, thank you for being here.
GENERAL CARL MUNDY: Good to be here with you, Tony.
MR. PERKINS: And thank you for your service as our commandant.
GEN. MUNDY: No need to thank me. It was my privilege.
MR. PERKINS: Commandant, you wrote a letter that was circulated to members of the Senate on the Hill just this week expressing grave concern about this change in policy, especially being rushed through during a lame-duck session of Congress. But you made one point in that letter which I think most Americans dont understand: When someone enlists or becomes an officer in the military, they give up certain rights. And one of those is to defend their way of life as a member of the military, politically speaking.
GEN. MUNDY: Well, thats true, Tony. The military is a special segment of society. Those are words out of Congress, not mine. Its less than 1 percent of the population of this nation who serve in uniform. They come voluntarily. The draft went out 38 years ago; nobody has to serve. So its voluntary.
And when you do commit to serve, you do so unlike many places in the ordinary society. You sign a contract. You give an oath sworn before God that you will support and defend the Constitution and the laws and the rules and regulations that define this unique segment of society. You are in fact, I like to use the analogy, after you take that oath and sign and come in, you are an individual who operates with one hand tied behind his or her back in terms of your political ability to speak out or to represent your own views, and the other one in a respectful salute of obedience to the nation.
MR. PERKINS: So in this scenario, this is why you hear mostly from retired military leaders and others because theyre the only ones who can really speak to this issue. Those that are currently serving do not have the ability to speak.
GEN. MUNDY: Absolutely you dont. I mean, the service chiefs can give their views when Congress asks them to do that. But those that are in uniform, again, dont have the right to go out and demonstrate on the Mall or to be active in the political matters. They are expected to be obedient and serve.
MR. PERKINS: So thats why its important that we when we understand that over nearly 1100 retired flag and general officers have signed on to a letter that Elaine Donnelly helped circulate and you helped put together that made very clear to the president not to overturn this policy.
Now, let me ask you some specific questions because were often told that, well, look, were losing a lot of qualified individuals because of the dont ask, dont tell policy, which was a compromise policy that Congress adopted because President Clinton, back in the 90s, wanted open homosexuality and Congress said no, its illegal, but heres a policy: We wont ask you, you dont tell. You can serve.
The numbers of men and women who are being discharged because of this policy are miniscule in terms of what we may lose if the policy is changed.
GEN. MUNDY: Tony, thats great hyperbole, the fixation on numbers. I think the argument would be that something like 14,000 have been kicked out because of who they are. Thats just not true.
Let me give you an example. In my own service, the Marine Corps, last year we discharged something over 32,400 Marines, men and women, who had for the most part served honorably and it was time for them to come back to civilian life and do a lot for America as former Marines.
Of that number that was discharged 32,400 78, less than one-quarter of 1 percent, were discharged for reasons that would be associated with dont ask, dont tell, as we euphemistically refer to it. Of that 78, more half were still in entry-level training. These were young people 17, 18, 19, maybe 20 years old who are not even yet qualified in the military, much less skilled. So those are the type losses. And I suspect from my own experience and that of many others that who know that when you get into the fiery forge that is Marine Corps boot camp oftentimes you say anything to get off Parris Island or to get out of San Diego.
So there is a thats a very young population. Again, these are not 30-somethings that are going into law offices uptown or operating out of the New York on the streets or something. These are young, just post-teenage men and women who come into serve their country and require a lot of grooming to do that.
MR. PERKINS: I remember those days.
GEN. MUNDY: Yeah, they were great days.
MR. PERKINS: The point is that a lot of these in fact, I talked to spoke to another former commandant who said that, given the stress thats on the military today, that there are some among those numbers of small numbers that are getting discharged under the dont ask, dont tell, some of it is to avoid another tour of potential duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. And its a no questions asked way out.
So these numbers are even the small numbers are not truly reflective of whats happening in terms of the impact of this law.
GEN. MUNDY: Well, I cant I dont have any insights into that last suggestion. I wouldnt doubt it. But by the same token, the point that you make is so valid, and its one that is not out there in the public form. And that is that this this is really a very small issue. And we are yet focusing the whole nation on it. The troops, to use that term collectively, are fixated on it. There may be some that advocate it, but there are a lot more that have indicated that they have reservations about it.
MR. PERKINS: Whats your greatest concern about the changing of this policy in this narrow window of time in this lame-duck session of Congress at a time when our nation is engaged in two conflicts?
GEN. MUNDY: Impact on the effectiveness of the armed forces. The armed forces are not created to be a social reform institution. They are created to fight this nations wars. And anything that detracts from that and I believe that this would; anything that detracts from that runs a risk of making our forces less effective.
You know, we have yet to hear the question asked, what would repeal do to increase the effectiveness of the armed forces? Thats never a question thats been addressed.
MR. PERKINS: Well, in fact, the focus in fact, the secretary of Defense even acknowledged that and the secretary and not only the secretary of Defense but the chairman of the Joint Chiefs acknowledge that there would be some negative impact by this, especially as it was expressed from the combat forces those in the Marine Corps and the Army in particular.
So I think you put it in a different context, which is the question that I think you have put to the Senate that they should be asking, how does this help our military better accomplish its mission?
GEN. MUNDY: The measure of effectiveness of a military organization is success in combat, and I used to term it and Ive heard others term it bring em back alive. You know, when you dont succeed in a military organization, you leave bodies on the battlefield. It is very important that it be tight, that it be cohesive, that everyone thats in that organization believe that, look, Ive got your six, or hes got my six you have to have that type of confidence and, you know and fidelity, faithfulness to each other.
MR. PERKINS: General Mundy, one last question. And I, again, appreciate you joining us for this webcast. What would you say to the average American who is out there who has not served in the military, doesnt have a family member in the military feel likes feels like maybe they dont have a stake in this. What would you encourage them to, first, think about this issue? And secondly, what would you say suggest they do?
GEN. MUNDY: Well, you know, my suggestion is that we stand firm on the law. Theres great confusion on that. Dont ask, dont tell is not the law. It is a policy, as you pointed out to begin with. It has been carefully spun to be intertwined with the law. The law is very clear; and the 11 findings that support the law after 18 hearings by the Congress 17 years ago when this was created are enormously convincing.
If you read those, you cant walk away without an understanding that this is a law worth supporting because of the reason for which it was created that is, effectiveness of that less-than-1 percent of those who volunteer to go out and defend the rest of us who are back here wearing blue suits and blue shirts here today.
MR. PERKINS: Its an issue of national security.
GEN. MUNDY: To me, its an issue of national security.
MR. PERKINS: Well, General, thank you so much for joining us. I appreciate so much you coming by. And again, thank you for your leadership on this issue very important issue for the future of our nation.
GEN. MUNDY: Thank you for yours, Tony.
MR. PERKINS: Semper fi.
GEN MUNDY: Nice to be with you.
MR. PERKINS: Thank you. Well, coming up in just a moment, Senator Jim Inhofe will be joining us from Capitol Hill fresh out of the first round of hearings with the secretary of Defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Hell give us an update on those hearings today, as well as where he in fact, Im hes now joining us, so I think were going to go straight to Senator Inhofe.
Senator Inhofe, welcome to this live webcast, Mission Compromised.
SENATOR JAMES INHOFE (R-OK): Well, I cant tell you anyone Id rather be with other than you, of course than General Mundy. Hes always been a real hero of mine, and I hope he can hear.
MR. PERKINS: He can hear, and he sends his greetings.
SEN. INHOFE: (Chuckles.)
MR. PERKINS: Well, Senator, I know the first day of hearings have just taken place this morning with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the secretary of Defense. Any insights into the first day of hearings on this report?
SEN. INHOFE: Yeah and theyre going to have the service chiefs tomorrow, I believe. I dont know I concentrated on two things, Tony. One is the fact that at last January, the troops in the field and others throughout the country were told that their input would be involved in this ultimate decision on the repeal of dont ask, dont tell. And I talk to people in the field all the time. In fact, Ill spend New Years Eve in Afghanistan with the troops. Now, I know what Im going to hear when I get there.
The problem is that they went ahead and made this decision in, I believe, it was the March 20 March 17th or something like that both the House Armed Services Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee, almost entirely down party lines, went ahead and advocated the repeal of this.
Now, what did that do? What was the effect did that have on the kids in the field? They said, well, we didnt have any input in this thing. And theyre really quite upset about it. So we pursued this with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and with the secretary and Secretary Gates that how much what is going to happen to our retention and our recruitment.
Right now, were over a hundred percent. Ill bet you General Mundy will probably tell you thats never happened before. And yet, theyre talking about a deterioration of somewhere between 30 and 50 percent. And also, those individuals who are serving in the in the service on the recommendation of others who are in there about half of those that come by that route, they would be gone.
So Im very much concerned about whats going to happen. And look, its I know its always difficult for people who are serving currently, but if you just look what General Amos says the Marine Corps commandant right now he said, now is the wrong time to overturn dont ask, dont tell. This is not a social thing. Its a there is risk involved. The same thing from General Roughead (sic) and in fact, General Casey of the Army got even stronger. He said, repealing the law before completion of the review will be seen by men and women of the Army that their opinion doesnt count. That is a huge thing right now. And these guys I applaud the service chiefs for having the courage to come out and make those statements.
MR. PERKINS: Well, Senator, several points that come up in this survey that was presented to the report on the survey was presented to the to the Congress. Some of the information was leaked in advance. And you and I have talked about this, but this notion that 70 percent of service members are in favor of overturning the law: thats simply without basis.
SEN. INHOFE: No, I in fact, I totally refuted that. Anyone who wants to watch what we talked about this morning we made it very clear that was not the case. Lets keep in mind, though just dont lose sight of the fact that in January, they were told that they would be we would be getting from them, extracting from them this is all the troops over there what their opinion is.
Thats not the question they asked. What they asked then, was, well, weve decided were going to do this anyway, therefore, whats the best way to implement it? And dont let them ever tell you that just because there was not a strong response to this poll the reason there wasnt there was only a 28 percent response to the poll is because they assumed this had already be done.
And that is the real problem with it. And so were dealing with something that they assumed was being done. And I was in the military. I understand this. General Mundy will understand this. If they want a response to a poll, theyll tell them. Theyll give them a sheet and say, fill it out. So we should have had and could have had 100 percent response. Itd be very interesting to know what the results would be if that were the case.
MR. PERKINS: Youre absolutely right. And thats a good point to make that only one out of every four who were randomly sampled in this survey actually filled it out because, as you said, they thought it was a done deal. Why fill it out? So when you see this number of 70 percent, what actually that includes not only those who said it would have a positive effect, but it also included those who said it would have a positive and a negative effect. And they lump them all in one category.
SEN. INHOFE: They put them all in the positive category. And its just dishonest. And I
MR. PERKINS: It absolutely is.
SEN. INHOFE: I pointed that out this morning and I think thats clearly in the record now from those of us on the Republican side what we what we stated to shed light on that poll.
MR. PERKINS: Let me go back for just a moment and make a statement. You commented on the service chiefs and how clear they have been. And you quoted from General Amos, the new commandant of the Marine Corps, who said this is not a social thing, its not this is not ideologically driven. And for the military chiefs, its not.
And in you know, some ask, well, whats the Family Research Council doing involved in this issue of dont ask, dont tell? Well, really for two reasons: one, as a veteran of the Marine Corps myself, I understand the key role that the military plays. And this is an issue of national defense which I think every American should be concerned about.
But there is a social aspect of this. And that came out in the military survey when they when they quizzed family members, where you had 12 percent of spouses said they would encourage their husband or wife to not reenlist because of the impact that this will have on base housing, on the schools that their children go to on base. People dont realize that the military is kind of like a subculture all its own and itll be drastically impacted by the change of this policy.
SEN. INHOFE: Well, Tony, in response to the question, 27.8 percent I believe thats what it was; I thought it was 27-point-something said that they very likely would not either likely or would not reenlist. And then the other figure that was, I think, at 28 percent was those that would say, would you recommend to a friend to join in the in the services? And that was 28 percent of them said no.
Now, if Im correct in the surveys that Ive seen in the past that 50 percent of the people who get into the military do so at the encouragement of those who are already in thats another 14 percent. Im really very, very much concerned over right in the middle of this thing, right in the middle of war that we would we would do this.
And clearly, we have to know why were doing it now. Were doing it now because President Obama has made a commitment to the far-left lobby on a lot of issues lot of environmental issues and others that certainly from the gay and the gay lobby that he would do away with dont ask, dont tell. And he knows itd be much more difficult to do with the new group coming into the House and the Senate.
MR. PERKINS: Well, Senator, I dont know if you heard the exchange that General Mundy and I had about those percentages where were always told that were losing all of these qualified people because of the dont ask, dont tell policy.
According to the DOD statistics, 200,000 servicemen and women are discharged each year. I mean, thats just routine they rotate in and out. About 650 of that number a third of 1 percent are separated for reasons involving homosexuality. A third of 1 percent. But if youre talking about losing of somewhere between 15 (percent) or 50 percent of the military because of the change of this policy, theres no comparison.
SEN. INHOFE: No, no there isnt. And I heard that. And I wish Id had that this morning. Now, were having another hearing tomorrow. If Im still around here, I will be there. And Im going to use that statistic. I think thats really significant; and I had not heard that until I saw it just a few minutes ago.
MR. PERKINS: Well, Ill make sure you get that. And before we let you go, Senator, let me ask you, you know, from your vantage point I know that the Republicans earlier this week, with Senator Kirk now seated from Illinois, 42 all 42 Republicans signed a letter saying until Senator Reed focuses on what the American people want focused on that is, funding the government to do its essential services and, secondly, dealing with this looming tax increase thats just around the corner youre not proceeding to anything else. Where do you think thats going?
SEN. INHOFE: Well, you see well, thats wrong. Of course, you know, the thing we have to do there are a lot of things we can do during this lame-duck session. But the two things we have to do is to continue government going. That can be a continued resolution, an omnibus bill or a number of ways of getting there.
And the other is clearly the tax thing. You know and that will be done. I can assure you that. But were kind of held hostage here. You know, last year it was New Year it was Christmas Eve by the time we were able to start back home. Ive got 20 kids and grandkids who would kind of like to have me there during this time And theres no reason the two things that have to be done we can do in one hour from right now.
MR. PERKINS: Do you see
SEN. INHOFE: But of course what he wants to do is get to the issues like the NDAA where he can deal with and you havent talked about this, but also included in this bill is the hospitals military hospitals being used for abortions, and getting into the other issues that are the social issues to hold us here. So that we that which we have to do will be done.
MR. PERKINS: Now, thats coming up in just a moment. Were going to talk about that. This is its not just the overturning of the ban on open homosexuality, but its turning every military medical facility into an abortion clinic a massive expansion of abortion around the globe.
Senator, thank you so much for joining us. One last question before I let you go do you see this being on the Senate floor next week or is it still up in the air?
SEN. INHOFE: Well, I cannot answer that. And if anyone says they can answer that, dont believe anything else theyd tell you.
MR. PERKINS: (Chuckles.) Well, we know that you youre going to be standing firm on behalf of our men and women who serve, as well as the families of America, and we appreciate your steadfastness. So thanks for being with us, Senator.
SEN. INHOFE: Thank you, Tony, for what youre doing.
MR. PERKINS: All right. Thats Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma. Coming up now, Tom McClusky, senior vice president of FRC actually is going to join me here. And were going to talk just for a few moments about what you can do to help make a difference in this lame-duck session of Congress.
Tom, welcome back to the podium here.
TOM MCCLUSKY: Well, thanks for having me on, Tony.
MR. PERKINS: All right, Tom. We are in this lame-duck session of Congress. The senator mentioned last year they were here until Christmas dealing with health care. Remember, we working on that up till Christmas Eve. I was hoping to take some time off here. But theyre threating to stick around to Christmas to get this through.
MR. MCCLUSKY: Right. And thats why its important that this letter that you referred to before 42 Republicans saying, take care of business beforehand I think there would be there will be a mutiny, at least on the House side, if the Democrats stick around that long.
So as the senator said, if its going to come up, its going to come up next week except nobody can tell you.
MR. PERKINS: Well, lets talk a little bit what people can do to make a difference in this. This is not a done deal. If youll recall, prior to the elections, they tried to get this onto the floor. The key vote here and the vote that were scoring as being for or against this bill is whats called the motion to proceed. And in the Senate, it requires if theres objections it requires 60 votes to proceed to a measure.
Thats why the 42 Republicans saying were not moving to a vote is important because that means they only have 58 votes in the Senate. They need 60. So the when you communicate to your senators Republican, Democrat alike its not to vote to proceed to the bill. Is that correct, Tom?
MR. MCCLUSKY: Thats right. And thats why its very important that people start calling now and continue calling. And a lot of offices even try over the weekends because some of them knowing that theres a tough agenda forward, some of the offices will be open. Or just leave messages so they have a full inbox.
MR. PERKINS: Well, Tom, why dont you go through the action steps so folks will know, kind of, what they can do even here in this Christmas season to make a difference.
MR. MCCLUSKY: Well, first off and fittingly at any time of year, except especially around Christmas, its important that you pray. You need pray for both success pray that our leaders, both in the Senate and our military leaders, that they have the strength to see this rightfully through.
Then next, call your U.S. senators. The phone number is right up there: 202-224-3121 is the direct number. But also call the local offices as well, if you want to. There are a number of states that are very key. You should call every all of your senators even if you know what their position is, just so they know what your position is. If youre in Massachusetts, if youre in Virginia, Arkansas, Nebraska these are a number of states, along with some others, that are even more vitally important that you call. Missouri, Florida also being two of those.
MR. PERKINS: And in particular, Arkansas if you live in Arkansas, I would encourage you to call Senator Pryor and encourage him because he has said he made a statement earlier this week in which he said that he was concerned about the impact of this and his from a religious perspective, that homosexuality was a sin. And of course, the homosexuals have attacked him for making such a statement. Were going to talk more in a moment with General Lee about the implications this policy change could have on religious liberty.
But I want you I want you to I want to encourage you to contact Senator Pryor, thank him for his stand. He has said that he will not vote to change this policy until it has been thoroughly reviewed. And thats going to take more than just two days of hearings with the presidents hand-picked leaders and the operational chiefs. Its going to require some extensive hearings. As you heard from General Mundy earlier, 18 hearings were held in 1993 before this policy was adopted. There ought to be at least as many this time around.
Tom, what should people be, you know, doing? What else can they do to make a difference because a lot of people in this lame-duck session think that, all right, the elections over and were safe now here in Washington? Is it not important that people continue to have their sleeves rolled up going to work? The elections were not the finish line. That was really the starting line.
MR. MCCLUSKY: Right. Well, first off, just for this lame-duck session, the Democrats and the president is trying to push through every single agenda item that they can. As were seeing today, the Democrats in the House forcing a vote on to raise taxes on a number of households and business owners. And even after the president asked everybody to sit down at a table, Nancy Pelosi just ignored that and went forward with her own agenda.
So people need to keep on calling and keep on being invested this Congress. And also, next Congress, the word of the day or the word of the year is going to be accountability.
MR. PERKINS: Absolutely, without question. Well, lets show weve got an ad that we that deals with this issue. You can go to our website and see it as well. But we want to show it for you now. Itd be great to send it around, let your friends know whats at stake in this debate.
(Begin video segment.)
NARRATOR: They fought in trenches, stormed beaches, cut through sweltering jungles, marched over burning deserts. Our military has protected our soil, seas and skies.
But today theyre drawn into a new battle homosexual activists and liberal politicians are attempting to advance their political agenda by overturning dont ask, dont tell.
Our military is for protection, not politics. Call your senators.
Family Research Council is responsible for the content of this advertising.
(End video segment.)
MR. PERKINS: Welcome back to our Mission Compromised, our live webcast on the administrations efforts to overturn the prohibition against open homosexuality in the military. And if youd like to send us a question, you can do so at email@example.com. Thats firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joining me now is Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies here at the Family Research Council. And hes going to be talking about something the administration really doesnt want you to know about. And Peter, thanks for joining us.
PETER SPRIGG: Thank you, Tony.
MR. PERKINS: Now, I know its not quite a year ago, but the military issued a report on sexual assaults in the military.
MR. SPRIGG: Right.
MR. PERKINS: And you did some analysis of that which shows that there is a disproportionate number of those assaults that are perpetrated by those in the homosexual community.
MR. SPRIGG: Thats exactly right. One of the concerns that we have about allowing open homosexuality in the military is that when you have people who are sexually attracted to each other put in those positions of forced intimacy, in a sense, sharing the same sleeping quarters, the same showers and so forth that you are increasing the risk of sexual harassment, sexual tension and even sexual assault.
And so we just decided to go and look at what the Pentagons own sources, their own reports say about that problem already. And every fiscal year for the last several years theres been a report on sexual assaults in each service branch. They list each individual case one by one. This is all available on the web. And we did a statistical analysis and found that 8.2 percent of all the sexual-assault reports in fiscal year 2009 were homosexual in nature, either male-on-male assaults or female-on-female assaults.
Now, that 8.2 percent figure is about three times higher than the rate of homosexual conduct in a year or of gay and lesbian self-identification in the overall population. So it suggests that homosexuals are about three times more likely than heterosexuals to commit sexual assaults in the military.
MR. PERKINS: So thats something that, you know, Congress should take into consideration when changing this policy because certainly changing the policy could only increase that.
MR. SPRIGG: Exactly. It would increase the number of homosexuals in the military. It would reduce the deterrence that is offered by the threat of being kicked out of the military for homosexual conduct. And it has the potential to reduce the incentive of people to actually report these incidents if they fear being accused of discrimination if they do.
Now, I want to emphasize, Tony, that we are not saying that all homosexuals are sexual predators. We are not saying, even, that most homosexuals are sexual predators. What were talking about is an elevated risk. And our position is that there is no level of elevated risk for sexual assault that is acceptable.
MR. PERKINS: Whether itd be homosexual or heterosexual
MR. SPRIGG: Exactly.
MR. PERKINS: no sexual assault. And again, these are numbers that come from the Department of Defense. Its their own numbers.
MR. PERKINS: Its their study. Were not making this up.
MR. SPRIGG: Were not making anything of this up. (Chuckles.)
MR. PERKINS: All right. This is not a new problem, though. In fact, weve got an interview with retired Colonel Dick Black who dealt with this issue back in the 90s, was at the Pentagon. And I want you to watch this for just a second.
And still coming up, the blown-up guy, Sergeant Fleming, is going to be joining us as well as General Lee will be joining us to talk about the implications on religious liberty. So dont go away, but I want you to see this short interview with Colonel Dick Black.
(Begin video segment.)
COLONEL (RET.) DICK BLACK: I served as the chief of the criminal law division in the Pentagon when Bill Clinton attempted to legalize homosexuality in the military. And while the media portrayed the movement as being a very benign one and that there would be no problems, I was seeing reports from all around the world from every point on the globe where homosexuals were attacking their roommates.
It is a serious problem. Its an ongoing one and it one its one that has to be suppressed. If we have homosexuals serving openly in the armed forces, its going to be very damaging.
(End video segment.)
MR. PERKINS: It appears, Peter, that nothing has really changed. The same risks are still there.
MR. SPRIGG: Exactly right. And the second aspect of the report that we issued in May on this problem of homosexual assault in the military was an analysis of certain cases that had actually been prosecuted in the military justice system.
And its shocking to read the accounts of some of these incidents. And they are many of them are like what Colonel Black describes. And they illustrate this risk of the forced intimacy. There are assaults that take place in the sleeping quarters. There are assaults that have taken place in the showers. And these are documented by the again, the militarys own reporting system.
MR. PERKINS: Youre not making that up?
MR. SPRIGG: Not making any of it up. (Chuckles.)
MR. PERKINS: All right, I want to shift gears here now. Lieutenant Colonel Bob Maginnis was not able to join us. And I want to go to some of the question. And I want to talk about this report that the Pentagon delivered to Congress this week.
Heres a question that comes from Kathy (sp): Fox News reported that 90 percent of soldiers actually, I think the number is 70 percent of soldiers in the military did not feel having open gays in the military would be any threat or they did not have a problem with it.
MR. SPRIGG: Right. The way this has been reported is a very subtle distortion of the findings of the survey. Soldiers were asked if they thought there would what they thought the impact of a repeal would be on various aspects of unit effectiveness, morale, performance and so forth.
The 70 percent figure thats been widely quoted lumps together people who thought there would be a positive impact, which was actually quite small, people who thought there would be no effect and people who thought there would be equally positive and negative impacts.
Now, that last category that doesnt fit with what the advocates of repeal have been arguing. The advocates of repeal are not saying that, oh, the positive aspects would be equal to the negative aspects. Theyre saying there would be no negative aspects or the positive would overwhelmingly outweigh the negative.
So that middle category really should be counted against the argument for repeal. And if you do it that way you find that what the survey shows is 62 percent of respondents expected that there would be at least some negative consequences if we repealed the current law. And only 38 percent said that there would be no effect or positive effects.
MR. PERKINS: Let me quote from the report because a lot of the focus has been on what was not asked. And in particular this is quoting from the report. Quote: If the working group were to attempt to numerically divide the sentiments we heard expressed in the IEFs that was the meetings they had online inbox entries, focus groups and confidential online communications between those who were or against repeal of current dont ask, dont tell policy our sense is that the majority of views expressed were against repeal of the current policy. End quote.
MR. SPRIGG: Right. But that statement was only found on page 49 of the report, certainly not highlighted in the press releases the way that 70 percent figure was.
MR. PERKINS: So when you dig down deep in here you see there are a lot of problems that are being expressed by members of the military with the prospects of forcing open homosexuality on the military.
MR. SPRIGG: Exactly. And I think another argument that weve made is the only thing that would really justify making this kind of radical change in overturning an existing law is if the change would improve things in the military. So in that sense, even the even those who say it would have no effect that doesnt support an argument in favor of overturning current law.
If you compare those who think that there would be a negative effect with those who think there would actually be a positive effect, on that survey, the negative effect overwhelms the positive effect, or, outnumbers the positive on virtually every question that was asked, sometimes by four times as high, six times as high in the expectations of negative effects.
MR. PERKINS: Peter Sprigg, senior fellow here at the Family Research Council. One last question before we move on we have Sergeant Brian Fleming, the blown-up guy. Youll want to hear his story. Twice in Afghanistan was blown up, and hell tell his story. But also hell share with how this will impact the men and women who serve our nation in uniform.
Heres a question from Douglas from Colorado. He asks this, Peter: Britain, France and Russia have permitted gays to serve openly for years. They dont have any more problems with gay soldiers than nongay soldiers. Would you please explain why the U.S. military would be different?
MR. SPRIGG: Well, these comparisons with other countries often overlook several facts. First of all, a number of those countries that allow openly gay service members are countries that have compulsory service. They have a draft. They dont have the all-volunteer force that we have here in the United States.
If the advocates of repealing the current law think that we should have a draft in order to make sure we meet our recruiting goals under a military that includes homosexuals, I think they should be upfront and say that.
MR. PERKINS: Well, its maybe what it leads to, based on those survey results.
MR. SPRIGG: Right. And the second thing is that most of the countries that do allow homosexual service members have armed forces that are relatively small. They do not bear the same kind of burden for the national defense and for defensive freedom around the world that the U.S. military bears.
And the top 10 largest military forces in the world do not permit homosexuals to serve.
MR. PERKINS: I think out of the theres over 200 different 240 countries militaries that are out there, were talking about maybe two dozen that do allow open homosexuality.
MR. SPRIGG: Exactly. Its relatively small minority of all the countries in the world will allow
MR. PERKINS: And the two points you made out number one, theyre smaller, they dont bear the global responsibility that America has. And secondly, theyre not all-volunteer forces as America, which weve seen through the survey could have significant impact upon recruitment and retention.
Peter Sprigg, thanks for joining us, appreciate so much your insight on this report and the issue in general. In fact, if youd like more information about Peters actually, Peter has a report on the incidents of the sexual assaults in the military, you can go to frc.org and find that report.
If youd like to be a part of helping FRC keep this message going out, you can do so by donating to missionscompromised.org. Go to that website and make a donation at missioncompromised.org frc.org. Or you can text FRC 20222. Thats 20, 20, 22 (sic). I get that right?
Cathy Ruse, senior fellow here at the Family Research Council. Thank you so much for coming in.
CATHY RUSE: My pleasure.
MR. PERKINS: One aspect of this bill thats not getting any attention in the media is just as far-reaching as the overturning of the dont ask, dont tell policy. And that was an amendment placed in committee, behind closed doors, by former Senator Burris of Illinois, whos now been replaced, that would turn every medical facility on a military base into an abortion clinic.
MS. RUSE: Yup. Its another example of radical social engineering using the military. There are approximately 400 medical facilities in the U.S. military system here and abroad. Each one of them would be conscripted into doing elective abortions. So thats an important point to focus on, too.
There is already under current law a few exceptions that allow in instances of emergency abortions or in cases of rape. Were not talking about those kinds. Were talking about elective abortions on U.S. military facilities.
MR. PERKINS: Big difference.
MS. RUSE: Big difference. And current law allows military women, if they want to get an elective abortion, to go off base and make their own private arrangement, just like any citizen can do. So what the Burris amendment would do would be to overturn that. Thats very radical to force again, force U.S. facilities into the elective abortion business. And frankly, it will put us in competition with Planned Parenthood as the largest abortion provider in the country shocking.
MR. PERKINS: So theres two issues there with that. I mean, multiple issues but two I can think of right away. One is you have military medical professionals who have expressed concern about this. In fact, Ive gotten messages from some saying, Ill get out; I wont serve. Thats not new. That happened back in the 90s when they attempted this.
MS. RUSE: Yes. It did. It did. They refused to do it under Clinton. And this is one of these policies; its like a political football. And its interesting that Roland Burris, who is on his way out, right? This is going to be his mark on history if this is allowed to stand; if he is allowed to overturn this very reasonable policy and force elective abortions into our military facilities by military personnel, as you point out.
And another point here is that this is also, like, a last-ditch effort by the Democrat leadership and President Obama to solidify taxpayer subsidation (ph) of abortion, here again, because its we who will be paying the medical facilities, the personnel time, the locations. I mean, this is all this is federal funding of elective abortion, and this is consistent with President Obamas view that abortion is basic health care that Americans should be forced to pay for.
MR. PERKINS: And we know from recent history where the American people stand on that issue.
MS. RUSE: Yes, very clearly.
MR. PERKINS: Overwhelming. Over 60 percent of Americans are opposed to their tax dollars going to fund abortion, and this is this, actually, is bigger than the health-care bill in many ways in that, as you said, every military facility, not just here in the U.S. but overseas as well.
MS. RUSE: Everyone. Thats right. And its a couple of the arguments for people on the other side who want to overturn our current law are very deceptive, and I just thought Id point this out. One involves this overseas issue. Well, they like to cite Iraq and Afghanistan as places where women would be hampered by their local laws.
If that was really the concern, then why force elective abortion on all the domestic U.S. military locations? It makes no sense. They also like to cite sexual assault, but as I said, current law already takes care of that. Thats just not relevant to this debate. What this is trying to do at bottom is to mainstream abortion. To force the military into the abortion business would give a very ugly business a facelift.
MR. PERKINS: Absolutely.
MS. RUSE: And so thats really the bigger goal, and thats why Planned Parenthood and all the abortion allies are behind this social engineering using the military. Its really its really offensive.
MR. PERKINS: You know, the one problem I experience with public policy is that, especially when things are rushed through, there are always unintended consequences. People dont think through that process.
Is this not a potential foreign-relations problem? I mean, some of these countries in which we have bases, military operations, are very pro-life. In fact, abortion is illegal in those countries. I mean, is this not a potential problem?
MS. RUSE: Well, no question about it. No question about it. To radicalize the military this way in sensitive areas in this particular way, it just is another it just creates another vulnerability, I think, for our military. And just as youve been saying in the whole program, were politicizing something that cant be politicized. It cannot do its job right if you put it under the dirty business of politics, and thats what youre doing here by making them abortion clinics. You cannot do that for that and many reasons morale.
MR. PERKINS: And we have a really bad situation, I think, developing. If you put these abortion clinics onto military facilities, women go through the post-abortion trauma and stress, and many of our chaplains, which were going to talk about in a minute, are going to be leaving the military because of the dont ask, dont tell policy. Many of these women are going to suffer tremendous trauma thats going to affect their lives for years to come.
MS. RUSE: Yeah, so that it puts into it makes very vulnerable our service members, especially these women, and what theyre going to be going through, again, for elective abortions having them done by military hospitals. Elective abortions. So its a big problem. Its going to be huge if it and it actually looks like its going to happen unless we can stop this from moving to the floor for a vote, because its in the bill right now. We werent able to keep it out in committee.
MR. PERKINS: Its there.
MS. RUSE: And apparently its a priority for a lot of the pro-abortion forces in the Democratic leadership.
MR. PERKINS: Cathy Ruse, thank you so much for being with us and for your work on behalf of life.
MS. RUSE: My pleasure.
MR. PERKINS: Well, folks, you can still make a difference. I want to encourage you to take these action steps. As Tom mentioned earlier, we certainly want to be praying this is an issue that needs much prayer but also making your phone calls. Call your United States senator. You can call the switchboard, you can call that number at 202 (audio break). Well get it up there on the screen here in just a moment, thats area (audio break) 224-2131. Thats 202-224-2131 to make a call to the Capitol switchboard.
Joining me now, coming up, Sergeant Brian Fleming will be joining me. Sergeant Fleming, also known as the blown-up guy. He served two tours in Afghanistan or, was blown up twice in Afghanistan. Sergeant Fleming, welcome to the program.
SERGEANT BRIAN FLEMING: Thank you.
MR. PERKINS: Well, lets talk a little bit I want you to give folks your story real quick. You joined us back at the Value Voters Summit back in September, appreciated you being here.
SGT. FLEMING: Thank you.
MR. PERKINS: Youre now working with veterans that are coming back from both Afghanistan and Iraq who themselves have suffered trauma and helping them work through that, and so we appreciate you being here today.
SGT. FLEMING: I appreciate it.
MR. PERKINS: Tell us a little bit about your experience in Afghanistan.
SGT. FLEMING: I served as a team leader in a reconnaissance platoon with the 10th Mountain Division. My official job was infantry, and so I had about three guys underneath me in a very small team, and we operated throughout southeastern Afghanistan. And as you said, I was blown up twice in the five months I was there.
MR. PERKINS: Now, I wasnt
SGT. FLEMING: Nice try, by the way.
MR. PERKINS: Now, Im not making that up about the blown-up guy. You go by that name.
SGT. FLEMING: Yeah, yeah. Ive never been the sharpest knife in the drawer, but my website is blownupguy.com just because I just figured it makes sense.
MR. PERKINS: (Chuckles.) So quickly tell our folks about the two experiences you had.
SGT. FLEMING: April 18th of 2006, was the first time that my vehicle ran over a roadside bomb, also known as an IED. Blew up my vehicle, burned it down, completely destroyed it. Ended up walking away without a scratch on me. Two guys injured, both returned to duty a month later.
And just a few months later, the Taliban wasnt through with me yet and they sent a suicide bomber driving a minivan full of explosives into Kandahar. And I was seated in the front passenger seat. I was a truck commander in the lead vehicle of a convoy. And as this vehicle got in front of us and slowed down, my driver passed him on the left while Im in the passengers seat of this vehicle. So we got right up next to him, and out of nowhere, the entire minivan exploded. And it was a big boom. Kind of hurt.
MR. PERKINS: Yeah. And you were in the hospital for how long?
SGT. FLEMING: I was at Brooke Army Medical Center for 14 months total. Second and third-degree burns, reconstructive surgery, physical therapy
MR. PERKINS: How many surgeries did you have?
SGT. FLEMING: I just had the one reconstructive surgery, and that was for my hands.
MR. PERKINS: And now you are motivational speaker. Youve also written a book. The title of your book?
SGT. FLEMING: Is Yes, You Can, and its about overcoming tragedy and doing something with it.
MR. PERKINS: And they can find that at your website, which is
SGT. FLEMING: Blownupguy.com.
MR. PERKINS: Thats easy to remember, blownupguy.com.
Well, lets talk a little bit about you know, as I was talking with General Mundy earlier, those who are currently serving in the military are not free to speak to this issue. In fact, I spoke to communicated with an active-duty general earlier today who, you know, is not able to communicate. Regardless of the branch of service theyre in, theyre restricted on what they can say.
And I just wanted to give you an opportunity, for those young men and women who are currently serving. There are some strong feelings about this issue, not necessarily, as I talked about earlier, from an ideological standpoint, but from a mission-effectiveness standpoint.
SGT. FLEMING: Yes. Yes, well obviously, like you said, a lot of guys who are in the military, you do what youre told. You dont speak when youre not spoken to. If youre not asked, you dont say. And its tragic, really. I mean, you have guys, you know, 19, 20 years old and over there getting blown up and shot, and they cant even, you know, make these simplest of decisions.
And my mission has always been to help and to protect and serve the American people. I hope my past military service has conveyed that because I love the American people. I love my country. Homosexual, heterosexual, whatever; we have freedom here.
But at the same time, theres a reason there arent car bombs driving through your neighborhood or mine and there arent bombs buried in our roads. And thats, you know, bringing that all to this issue here, like you said earlier and weve already alluded to several times, is the matter of national security, because when that backbone of the military, that front-line unit when you break up that unit cohesion, I mean, your front line I mean, you have breaks in it. Theres no protection there. Theres a thin line between America and our enemies, and its those people; that this policy being repealed is going to start breaking them up.
MR. PERKINS: And so you are if you had the opportunity to speak to the United States Senate as this is trying to be rushed through during a lame-duck session of Congress I dont want to put words in your mouth, but what Im hearing is that no action should be taken until this is thoroughly reviewed to see the impact that this would have upon military effectiveness.
SGT. FLEMING: Absolutely. I mean, were fighting two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan. Soldiers, friends of mine, are on their fifth and sixth tours of duty. Is this something, really, that is pertinent to right now at this time in history? Is it really that important right now, with everything the way its going, you know, and were more focused in Afghanistan now? And quite honestly, the last thing we need is stuff being broken up within the troops. And its not generally accepted among the troops, in my own personal experience.
I dont want you to misquote me on that or anyone to misunderstand that. With the men I served with, the huge majority I cant think of one offhand who would want to push this forward. And its just tragic that some political agenda would get into these troops who are coming back and having all these post-traumatic stress problems and their families are being broken apart, and all of this theyre dealing with, and now they want to get this thrown on top of them with no say whatsoever.
MR. PERKINS: Is there a sense that if you dont know the answer to this, you dont have to ask it, because I didnt ask you this in advance, but is there some sense of those in the military that theyre being used to advance this social agenda?
SGT. FLEMING: You know, I havent spoken to anybody about that directly, so I cant say, but I know if I was in still, if I hadnt been medically put out, I would feel extremely used, and there would be nothing I could do about it. And I would Id be at the mercy of the American people to help do this (chuckles) to make sure this doesnt happen.
MR. PERKINS: Yeah. Im going to ask Tom McClusky to join us. If youll slide over here in just a minute, I may ask Tom to come back up here because I may want to get you to comment on some of this, because we did a poll last week because in the survey, the question was never asked of the men and women who served, should this be overturned?
So we did; we went and asked that question. We polled over 10,000 military families about the issue. And Tom, youve got the results there. You want to run down those results? And Id like to get you know, see if Brian has any thoughts on that.
MR. MCCLUSKY: Well, the overall results was that 63 percent of active-duty and retired military families oppose overturning the current policy. They think that it is working. Thats a good, solid number of telephone polling that we did.
MR. PERKINS: And we kind of it was broken down by military service, so its pretty reflective. Forty-nine percent were Army respondents, which Army is the largest branch, and among the Army, 61 percent said, no, shouldnt overturn it. Among the Navy, which was 26 percent, 62 percent said, no, dont overturn it. Marine Corps, which was only 9 percent of those polled, 68 percent said no to it. Air Force, which was 12 percent, almost 13 percent; of those polled, was 66 percent saying, no, dont overturn it. And the Coast Guard, which was .7 percent; 59 percent said, no, dont overturn it. Does any of that surprise you?
SGT. FLEMING: That doesnt surprise me at all. There has never been any sort of idea or feeling in the military other than that.
MR. PERKINS: Tom, anything else from that survey that stuck out to you of the military families?
MR. MCCLUSKY: I do think that the response from the Marines is very important. It reflects very strongly on the survey, the study that the Pentagon had done, showing that the Marines are very adamant against this. And thats why tomorrow morning, when the service chiefs testify, itll be very interesting, because they will be speaking for their branches, more so than the people we heard in todays hearings, were speaking as you mentioned, many of them political appointees, and many of them were speaking perhaps what they truly believe, but they were parroting the president.
MR. PERKINS: Sergeant Fleming, I want to thank you for coming and being a part of this. And Im going to give you one you touched on something I want to ask you to expand on as kind of the last question I ask you. You said that its up to the American people to stand up for the men and women in uniform who are defending them because they dont have a voice in this debate. What would you say to those Americans out there who, as General Mundy pointed out, only 1 percent of the population is actually serving in the military? Some may feel like they dont have a stake in this, but they really do. And what would you what would you ask them to do?
SGT. FLEMING: Well, Id just say, you know, we have freedom in America because we can enjoy that freedom only up to the point that it begins hurting this country as a whole. And like I said, the military, they just because of how it is, you cant just go out and start saying something. Youll be reprimanded and all this other stuff.
And so the American people, its up to you to start taking a voice and being a voice for these people who are over in the streets of Kandahar, like I was, laying in a ditch on the side of the road bleeding out because they were blown up or shot up. I mean, theyre doing that so theyre doing it over there so it doesnt happen here. We saw 9/11. And this enemy our country faces, you know, theyre not going to stop until theyre dead or we are. Thats just the reality of it. And so weakening our front-line forces is not going to help that a bit.
And so this is like I said, its just something that its very sad that they have to now deal with and put up with and have no say whatsoever. So the American people, your voices are the voices that make the difference now, because the military voices, as we can see, nobody really seems to care otherwise.
MR. PERKINS: Sergeant Fleming, thanks for your service and thanks for being here.
SGT. FLEMING: Appreciate it. Thank you, Tony.
MR. PERKINS: Well, our last segment, Im going to ask General Lee, who has served in the United States Army with the Chaplain Corps. General Douglas Lee is also now working as one of the endorsing with one of the endorsing agencies that endorses chaplains for the United States military. And this is one of the issues that up until just in the last 36 hours, when this report was delivered, was almost completely overlooked.
But there are some startling revelations in terms of concerns in the impact that this could have on the men and women, not only who serve as chaplains, but the religious liberty and freedoms of the men and women who serve in the military. General Lee, welcome back to the Family Research Council.
BRIGADIER GENERAL (RET.) DOUGLAS LEE: Great to be here, thank you for all your work.
MR. PERKINS: Well, let me jump right into this. Any surprises in the report that was delivered to Congress about the impact that this would have on chaplains?
GEN. LEE: Let me just back up, if I could, for one second, Tony, and say two things that stunned me about this whole report and about the current environment. First of all, it stuns me that our Congress is thinking about changing and redefining the word immoral, for immoral has always included homosexuality. We can go back centuries, and the major religions of the world have always, for the most part, included homosexuality in the word immoral and have tried to protect that.
So here we have a situation in our day and age where all of a sudden, our Congress is thinking of redefining this word, taking out the word homosexuality. You read our regulations in our military, and you realize that immorality is part of this whole discussion. And I think our Congress has to be put on notice that they if they want to have as their legacy that they helped redefine the word immoral, well, that could be what happens.
Secondly, it stuns me that 3 percent of the American population can foist its views on 97 percent. Now, Im not a statistician, but I think the number of homosexuals in our country is between 2 and 4 percent, something in there. So here we have a situation where our Congress is thinking about the interests of that 3 percent rather than 97 percent.
At any rate, that leads me to some other (inaudible, cross talk)
MR. PERKINS: Well, you have given me a jumping-off point here, as you have talked about a very fundamental aspect of this debate, and this is redefining immoral. And I want to take a quote that actually occurred before the Senate Armed Services Committee from General Ham when he was quizzed about this report this very morning. And he was asked about the impact on military chaplains, and this is what he said. He said, quote, this would not require a chaplain to change what he preaches in a religious context. Now, it goes on to say, he should refer counseling of homosexuals to someone else.
Now, how you tell me how this will not change what they preach if weve redefined what immoral is.
GEN. LEE: Well, thats exactly this has so many ramifications. If you redefine the word immoral, then somebody who preaches against homosexuality would be considered outside the norm. Let me just explain one thing about chaplains, by the way. Chaplains will always have, are and will always take care of anybody who comes their way for help. Thats one of the amazing things about our American military, is that chaplains, no matter what stripe they are, Muslim, rabbi Muslim, Jewish, Christian, whatever, they will take care of those troops as they can.
However, when it comes to their serving as a religious emissary of their endorsing agencies, thats where we think the religious liberty is going to be crucial. The best example I can give to explain this is how it works in Canada. In Canada, this issue was addressed several years ago, but in Canada, chaplains, military chaplains cannot preach, teach or council against homosexuality. If they do, they will probably be dismissed or at least disciplined somehow.
I asked one Canadian chaplain recently if anybody has actually talked about homosexuality as being wrong or immoral, and he says, well, no, they dont violate the policy. So what that means is, is in Canada, a chaplain and presumably a Christian officer who also believes the same thing would not be able to speak freely about those biblical issues as they see them.
I do think that though the report gives an example and maintains steadfastly that the chaplains will not be impacted by this, that they will be protected, I think all you have to do is look at the surrounding litigation, look at the surrounding countries, look at whats happening in our culture already. We see how many people are kicked out of schools or educational programs because they cannot they dont agree with homosexuality, and you see where its going to go.
Besides that, the First Amendment, although its a wonderful and powerful and great amendment and helps us now, the homosexual rules that are going to go into place are going to come under discrimination areas, equal-opportunity areas, hate laws, hate-speech areas. And I do believe Im not a prophet, but it seems to me this has no other place to go once there is legitimization of homosexuality in the military.
MR. PERKINS: What are you hearing from chaplains? Obviously, everyone is kind of under a cloak. They cant speak, but Ive run into a number of chaplains, had a number contact me, who are gravely concerned.
GEN. LEE: Well, I think maybe most chaplains are gravely concerned. Some are not concerned at all and think this repeal would be just fine. I think were all as an endorser, Im one of 200 Department of Defense endorsers. We endorsers are just simply going to wait to see what happens. We dont know whats going to happen yet. We dont know what restrictions will be placed on chaplains, if any, and so were waiting to see. I dont think many chaplains will leave initially, but it all depends on what comes after this, what it depends on.
MR. PERKINS: To put it in perspective, I mean, theres 2800 chaplains in the Army, roughly, and predominantly, those are from orthodox Christian religions.
GEN. LEE: I dont have all the accurate statistics, but I think the majority would be folk who would be considered fairly conservative in their views of the Bible and so on.
MR. PERKINS: And I think thats the concern down the road from these endorsing agencies, which would be the Presbyterian Church, Southern Baptist, others who are recognized by the military with the ability to endorse chaplains. Is there fear that somewhere down the road, once this door is open, the military could say, wait a minute, you have views that are inconsistent with our policies. Were not going to allow you to endorse.
GEN. LEE: Tony, I think thats entirely possible. I dont think that would happen for a while. I also want to add, though, its not just Christians were talking about. Were talking about, of course, all of those in the Christian faith, Protestants, Roman Catholics alike. Were talking about Orthodox the Orthodox Church in America. Were talking about Orthodox Jews, were talking about Islam. All those groups, and probably more, believe that homosexuality is immoral. So its not just the Christians were talking about. Its most of the major faith groups in the military could be on notice that theyre going to be restricted, possibly, down the line.
MR. PERKINS: General, I want to thank you for joining us. Were out of time, but I want to ask you one last question, because weve been talking about this preaching and the teaching of chaplains. And for those who have not served in the military, they really dont have a concept of the varying and diverse roles that a chaplain plays in the life of the men and women who not only serve, but their families, as well.
GEN. LEE: Absolutely. They serve yes. A chaplains life is full of family issues; its full of soldier issues, or, airmen, guardsmen, Marines, sailor issues. And youre right, the chaplains role by the way, in the Army Im in Army in the Army we call it perform and provide. We provide religious support to any of those who come our way as we can, but we perform religious support according to our denominational tenets. Its in that arena where I think the problems are going to be.
We will continue to provide the families extended family members, the troops, as much as we can in the meantime.
MR. PERKINS: But even General Ham this morning, he acknowledged that they would lose some of their chaplains with the change of this policy, which has the implications for those families who rely upon these counseling services and other services of the chaplains.
GEN. LEE: Yes, we might lost some chaplains, but wed also lose a part of the pluralism that is so critical to our military chaplaincy working well. If chaplains had to leave because of restrictions placed on them, then we wouldnt cant talk about a pluralism anymore in the military chaplaincies.
MR. PERKINS: Brigadier General Douglas Lee, thank you for joining us.
GEN. LEE: Okay. By the way, one quick correction. I was never head of any chaplains, but I was in very senior leadership, just so you know.
MR. PERKINS: Good enough. Thanks for that correction. We stand corrected. Well, thank you for being with us and being a part of this special webcast, Mission Compromised, and again, I want to encourage you to take those action steps, to be praying. We are on, really, the threshold of this issue either being pushed forward or pushed back, and you could make the difference in this.
So please be praying, and also, get on the phone and call your two senators. I dont care if theyre Republican, Democrat. If theyre taking the right stand, encourage them. If theyre taking the wrong stand, push them in the right direction. That number again, 202-224-3121. Thats the Capitol switchboard. All you need to do is tell them what state youre from and you want to talk to your two senators.
Thank you so much for being a part of Mission Compromised and standing for the men and women in our nations military who are standing for us.