Pelosi: No to Provision Protecting Chaplains From Being Ordered to Act Against Faith: ‘It’s A Fraud’
By: Elizabeth Harrington – CNS News – May 17, 2012
(CNSNews.com) – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she stands with the White House in opposing a provision in the House defense authorization bill that would prohibit anyone in the military from ordering a chaplain to act against his or her “conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs” or against the religious beliefs of the denomination to which he or she belongs.
Pelosi described the conscience-protection provision as a “fraud.”
The provision is broadly written to deny anyone in the armed forces the authority to “direct, order, or require a chaplain to perform any duty, rite, ritual, ceremony, or function” that is contrary to his or her conscience, moral principles or religious beliefs or the principles or beliefs of his or her religious denomination.
Among other things, the provision would protect a chaplain from deleterious career repercussions if he or she refused to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony because it violated their religious beliefs.
During her weekly press conference with reporters on Thursday, CNSNews.com asked Pelosi: “The White House issued a statement this week saying it strongly objects to Section 536 of the Defense authorization bill, which protects military chaplains from being ordered to act against their conscience or religious beliefs. Do you support that provision that prohibits the military from ordering chaplains to act against their faith?”
Pelosi said, “I do not support that provision in the bill, that part of the bill. I agree with the administration.
“And there’s nothing that says that chaplains act against their faith,” she said. “I don’t agree to that stipulation, fact, unless I’m misunderstanding what you’re saying.”