September 20, 2011
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, comments on Tuesday’s repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.
“It is a sad day for our men and women in the armed services and for our country.
“This new policy relating to openly gay and lesbian service members, unless it is reversed, will cause significant numbers of our dedicated men and women under arms to leave the service, particularly at the critically important non-commissioned officer level. This action will seriously degrade unit moral and will lead to a myriad of problems.
“The United States armed forces are not the place for social experimentation. The military exists to fight wars and to win wars and to defend our freedoms. Its ability to perform those functions will be lessened by this policy.
“I have spoken to numerous chaplains in all branches of the armed services who are enormously concerned that their First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and free exercise of faith will be seriously curtailed or extinguished if the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is not rescinded.”
The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest non-Catholic denomination with more than 16.2 million members in over 44,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn. and Washington, D.C.