“Pro Deo et Patria”

Tom Carpenter wrote in the huffington post, “Pro Deo et Patria” (“for God and country”) is the motto of the Army Chaplain Corps. No longer can most Southern Baptist military chaplains continue to serve with integrity as military officers because their endorser, the North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention, has placed them in an unethical position. The NAMB has turned the Army motto on its head. They have forced their endorsed chaplains into the untenable position of either serving God or country. Given that choice, as men (NABM forbids women to serve as ordained chaplains) of God the only honorable course of action for most will be to resign their commissions and return to civilian ministry.”

This puts these chaplains in a very difficult position. Making them choose God or country and not keeping the two together seems unfair to me. The word unethical stands out to me because I think it’s just that, unethical. Furthermore, the rules that the NAMB has these men under are also wrong in my eyes.


NAMB-endorsed chaplains are prohibited from:

1. Attending a wedding ceremony of a same-gender couple.
2. Performing pastoral counseling of a same-gender married couple.
3. Assisting or supporting contractors or volunteers leading same-gender relational events.
4. Offering any kind of relationship training, on or off a military installation, that would give the appearance of accepting the “homosexual lifestyle or sexual wrongdoing.”
5. Conducting a service jointly with a chaplain, contractor or volunteer who personally practices or affirms a “homosexual lifestyle” or such conduct.

If these men were true southern baptists then they would want to love and help same-gender couples. I think they should honor and respect all people whether they are straight or not. They can respect and help people without agreeing with their lifestyle. Therefore, these guidelines just seem wrong to me and limit these men from their title.


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