Dr. Richard Land

Richard Land Expresses Concern for Chaplains’ Rights of Conscience

October 13, 2011

​The Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission decries the federal government’s decision to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies to be conducted on military bases by military chaplains.

In letters to President Obama and House and Senate leadership, ERLC President Richard Land called for the immediate reversal of the Department of Defense’s decision, calling it a brash attack on traditional marriage and at odds with the “tradition of high moral conduct in the military.”

Expressing concerns that the “religious freedom and rights of conscience” of military chaplains are imperiled, Land urged the president and Congress to enact the proposed “Right of Conscience” clause in the Revised Title 10 of the United States Code to protect the free exercise of their religious beliefs.

“This Pentagon announcement also violates the federal Defense of Marriage Act,” Land wrote, noting the “military should not be allowed to subvert recent, bipartisan, and publicly approved legislation by supporting and sponsoring same-sex marriage.”

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.