Former Navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt (above) is in a tizzy about the Senate’s approval to do away with the military’s 17-year ban on openly gay troops.
Klingenschmitt first delivered 205,000 fax petitions to Congress against open homosexual service in the military, than launched into a bizarre rant related to the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” that included the following:
Homosexual sin will always be a stench in the nostrils of Almighty God, an abomination which God condemns and shall punish with everlasting destruction. Even if the Senate had voted 100 to 0 to legalize sin, they could not remove God from His throne of Judgment, before which every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
The above raises a question to which I’m open to answers (mainly because I have none): Why do individuals like this have such a militant hatred of gays?
Even if one accepts the notion that homosexuality is a sin – as, say, adultery – why is there a segment of the population that appears to believe there is no worse transgression than homosexuality itself.
I don’t ever see murder, rape or child abuse being condemned in similar draconian intonations by these types.
I’m also often taken aback by the fact that they seem to know how God will react to certain sins, as well.
The claim that, “Homosexual sin will always be a stench in the nostrils of Almighty God, an abomination which God condemns and shall punish with everlasting destruction,” appears pretty definitive.
But unless Klingenschmitt has some direct line to God – which would seem doubtful – it’s the height of hubris to claim to know how God will react to anything that man does.
(Hat tip: Waldo Lydecker’s Journal)
10 thoughts on “‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal sets off loons”
“I don’t ever see murder, rape or child abuse being condemned in similar draconian intonations by these types.”
Maybe because these behaviors are universally condemned as immoral and are all illegal. No one is seriously (sorry NAMBLA) trying to normalize child abuse. It is not bizarre to focus on actual controversies rather than issues upon which everyone agrees. Would it be hypocritical or “bizarre” for me to criticize recent inflationary policies without first stating my position on the gold standard or free silver?
Moreover, this seems like a (very weak) appeal to hypocrisy, which is not a legitimate form of argument.
PS – I personally do not have a position on DADT, and would defer to the military on whether it negatively impacts unit cohesion. I will only rejoice that this was done in the democratic arena rather than through judicial fiat.
cbm, thanks for your note. My question is why do individuals such as this have to resort to phrases such as “Homosexual sin will always be a stench in the nostrils of Almighty God, an abomination which God condemns and shall punish with everlasting destruction”?
And a purported man of God, to boot?
Is his language any stronger than the Old Testament? Paul is pretty unsparing about homosexuality, as well. These passages make most modern Christians (including myself) uncomfortable, but they are there. It is quite obvious the chaplain takes a rather straightforward and unflinching view of these verses.
Ask Sunlit Uplands. It’ll be some sort of goulash of Evelyn Waugh, The Queen, corgis, country houses, and then- because that louche behavior is so much fun but at the same time so guilt-inducing, a scourging by the Pope will be called for. There will be expressions of pain at having to endure the nostril-stench thing. Then all the gays will be killed and that will be that.
Ah, yes, the corgis. To paraphrase Foghorn Leghorn, “There’s something not quite right with that boy.”
We likely can all find Old Testament examples that fit our viewpoints. But as someone who believes in a loving and forgiving God – a God who understands that while we are all created in his image, each of us is also fallible and makes mistakes – what is the point of employing language guaranteed to anger and alienate?
If one believes that homosexuality is a sin, the kind of vitriol spouted off by Klingenschmitt is nothing more than verbal abuse. There is no attempt to welcome the “sinner’’ back into the flock. If anything, the purported sinner is cast further out.
I hear the phrase “Love the sinner, hate the sin” bandied about from time to time, but Klingenschmitt categorizes gays as sinners simply because they’re gay, not because they’ve necessarily committed an act that he considers sinful but because of who they are. This seems inconsistent with the idea of a loving and forgiving God.
Your question is how could the chaplain make these “bizarre” statements, and I think the answer is fairly obvious. He follows a much more fundamentalist strain of Christianity than I do, but one that I must concede has some textual support in the Bible.
And I think you are being unfair to the chaplain when you say he hates the sinner rather than the sin. I do not know many people who would deny that it is the act of having homosexual relations that would be sinful, not the fact that you are attracted to people of the same sex.*
I see no evidence in what you quoted that the chaplain takes a broader position. He said “homosexual sin” is an abomination, not anyone who is attracted to the same sex. Unless you can point to a more definitive statement, then you are stigmatizing him, not the other way around.
*This distinction is important, since everyone has sinful desires. The important question is whether you succumb to those desires. For instance, I see no problem with having a homosexual priest or bishop (if you are Catholic), as long as the clergyman is honoring his vows.
I appreciate your dialogue, but I think we see things differently on this. If you look at the chaplain’s first sentence he doesn’t appear to differentiate between sin and sinner, He writes: “A chaplain friend of mine asked God this week, ‘why do you allow evil to grow in America, and open homosexuality to be forced upon our military?'”
Klingenschmitt, as I read it, is equating allowing gays to serve in the military with the act of homosexuality itself. The two are not the same. One is simply allowing individuals to exercise their right as Americans to serve their country (provided they’re capable); the other is an act between consenting adults which some consider immoral for religious and/or social reasons.
And, for the record, I agree with you that we all face sinful desires and that the difference lies in how individuals react to those sinful desires. Would Klingenschmitt get as worked up about adultery between a man and a woman? I doubt it. But it’s a particularly serious sin, especially when it breaks up a family.
Fact is, Klingensmitt’s speech is hate speech, plain and simple. Pure, deep, hatred like it has only seldom been given me to read anywhere.
WHY do we give these individuals a platform? WHERE are the laws to strongly condemn these views, which have very real effects on gays and lesbians across the country? This no trivial matter: such hate speech CANNOT, I repeat, CANNOT go unanswered and it is NOT OK for an individual to simply say these things and get away with it. Religion or not. Religious freedom is not freedom to hate.