THE PENTAGON — The U.S. Army will phase out its Chaplain Corps over the next three years, according to a leaked memo from the office of the Undersecretary of the Army For Diversity and Inclusion. The document suggests that the change will be in line with an as-yet undisclosed Presidential initiative to “completely desegregate” the military.
Questions to the White House on this new initiative went unanswered, but West Wing staff confirmed on background that the administration is currently focus-grouping a policy shift toward a religion-free, sexuality-neutral military.
Referencing the recent repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the all-army memorandum (called an ALARACT) says the Army will “lead the way in further bringing the military into a future where all servicemembers are free of bigotry, exclusion and intolerance, and where all identities, family structures and lifestyles are celebrated and supported equally.”
It then goes on to declare that the existence of official officers of faith within the ranks is “inconsistent with a new directive … there is no place for mythology and superstition in a 21st-century military, especially when these extreme beliefs are used to justify an unequal work and operating environment.”
Though sure to ruffle some feathers and require some retraining to improve attitudes and reduce confusion, the new policy is a welcome change, according to Bill Weinberger, founder of the Military Foundation for Religious Freedom (MFRF). Weinberger acted as consultant to the Department of the Army on formulation of the new policy.
“We’re not proposing to outlaw religion in the ranks, but rather to hinder the men who would misrepresent it at the behest of their own churches,” said Weinberger. “If it were possible to serve both country and a church organization, that would be one thing, but history is full of examples of the extremist, militant nature of these virulently homophobic organizations’ rhetorically-charged propaganda.”
Pointing to recent complaints about chaplains who preach against homosexuality, Weinberger concluded that the military should “call these ignoble actions what they are: the senseless and cowardly squalling of human monsters.”
The Pentagon refused to discuss any release date or even existence of the new policy. Administration staff privately confirmed that the President hopes to begin implementation within the year for the Army, and for the other services after an assessment of that effort.