Dec. 16, 2016
Disclaimer: The following was written by an active duty Air Force officer who wishes to remain anonymous. It is not necessarily the view of Family Research Council, nor any of its member or partner organizations. While the author does not have legal training, the author has experienced firsthand the DOD’s “sensitivity” and “inclusion” efforts relative to LGBT service members. The Washington Free Beacon recently published a piece on the Naval Academy’s “Transgender 101” course. This officer offers readers a view from the inside of the DOD, further demonstrating just how indoctrinating the Armed Forces have become in their promotion of humanist ideals.
When you hear the word “religion,” does Humanism immediately come to mind? Probably not. However, pragmatically and legally, Humanism is just as much of a religion as Christianity and Islam. This article articulates the claim that the DOD has endorsed the religion of Humanism by promoting the LGBT movement.
Statements in Humanist writings reveal the pragmatic aspect of Humanism as a religion. One definition of Humanism listed by the American Humanist Association states, “Humanism serves, for many humanists, some of the psychological and social functions of a religion, but without belief in deities, transcendental entities, miracles, life after death, and the supernatural.”[i] In regards to morality, the Bristol Humanist Group says “Humanism is an approach to life based on reason and our common humanity, recognizing that moral values are properly founded on human nature and experience alone.”[ii] While most other religions look to the authority of God, gods, and associated sacred texts to define morality, Humanism establishes human opinion as its moral authority. As for the legal status of Humanism as a religion, a 1961 Supreme Court decision, Torcaso v. Watkins categorized “Secular Humanism” as a religion.American Humanist Association v. U.S. ruled that “…Secular Humanism is a religion for Establishment Clause purposes…”[iv]
Specific views regarding sexual morality are based on presupposed beliefs grounded in a moral authority and religious philosophy. In this respect, sexual morality is no different than other religious topics such as origins, purpose of life, salvation, and so forth. For example, Christianity uses the Bible as its moral authority, Islam uses the Qur’an, Hinduism uses the Dharma Shastra, etc. In this article, religious labels will be used to identify worldviews, not individuals.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which considers itself the “largest civil rights organization,” assumes that sexual orientation and gender identity are civil rights issues such as gender and skin color.[v] However, the HRC fails to distinguish between physical characteristics and moral beliefs. Although an individual may have homosexual or transgender desires, that does not necessarily mean he or she automatically believes that acting on those desires is morally right. Columnist Matt Moore, among others, often writes about this struggle.[vi] While advocating for the “rights” of homosexuality and transgenderism, the HRC and other LGBT organizations inherently assume that these behaviors are morally right. This implies a moral authority and religious philosophy. A light analysis of various moral authorities identifies which one is most consistent with the LGBT movement.
The Christian worldview professes God as the highest moral authority via the Bible. Jesus, God in the flesh, affirms in Matthew 19:4-5 and Mark 10:6-9 that God created man and woman at creation, and implies that marriage is for one man and one woman.[vii] This concept opposes both same-sex marriage and transgenderism. Homosexual acts are condemned in biblical verses such as Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Timothy 1:10, and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.[viii] Clearly, the LGBT movement does not submit to the authority of the Bible. Critics of this argument may point to various denominations professing Judaism or Christianity that support homosexuality and transgenderism.[ix] However, these are simply examples of inconsistency concerning moral authority. Individuals and organizations can (and often do) inconsistently submit to different moral authorities on different topics.
By continuing to apply this logic, other moral authorities and religious philosophies can be eliminated in determining which one suits the LGBT movement. The Islamic worldview professes Allah as the highest moral authority via the Qur’an. Homosexual activity is described as “transgressing beyond bounds” in Sürah 7:80-81 and “wickedness” in Sürah 29:28-29.[x] See also Sürah 26:165-166 and 27:55.[xi] Clearly, the LGBT movement does not submit to the Islamic moral authority. Hinduism has a large variety of gods and law books that practicing Hindus use for guidance. The HRC rates the Hinduism position on LGBT issues as “unclear” due to a lack of “central authority.”[xii] The HRC gives the Buddhism position on LGBT issues the same rating for similar reasons.[xiii] Since even a pro-LGBT group such as the HRC rates Hinduism and Buddhism as “unclear” at best on LGBT issues, these religions can be eliminated in this analysis. We have now eliminated the moral authorities of the largest religions of the world as the authority of LGBT beliefs, except one: human opinion, the moral authority of Humanism.
Although human opinion alone can certainly disagree with the LGBT movement, it is not arbitrary to say that the LGBT movement submits to the moral authority of human opinion. Humanist statements explicitly demonstrate the alignment of LGBT causes and the Humanist worldview. The HRC highlights Humanist advocacy for same-sex marriage and transgenderism, and cites the American Humanist Association’s LGBTQ Humanist Council as a resource.[xiv] One of the purposes of the LGBTQ Humanist Council is “…to articulate the values of the humanist philosophy and ethics across the country.”[xv] Similarly, the Galha LGBT Humanists organization is a section of the British Humanist Association (BHA).[xvi] According to the BHA, “…Galha LGBT Humanists is an integral section of the British Humanist Association, promoting Humanism and LGBT equality worldwide.”[xvii] Furthermore, the Galha website notes “For over 30 years Galha LGBT Humanists has promoted humanism as a rational, naturalistic worldview…”[xviii] Humanist groups are in philosophical agreement with the LGBT movement, as evidenced by the fact that they use LGBT Humanist groups to promote the Humanism religion. Since the LGBT movement is consistent with the religion of Humanism, then it is inappropriate for the DOD to endorse such a movement.
Department of Defense directive (DODD) 1020.02E commits the logical fallacy of equating “sexual orientation” with physical characteristics such as gender and skin color.[xix] This mischaracterization has enabled the DOD to promote the “religion” of Humanism by celebrating LGBT Pride Month, similar to monthly celebrations of ethnic groups.[xx] Like many other military installations, Wright-Patterson AFB celebrates LGBT Pride Month. For example, in 2014 the LGBT Pride Month Committee Chair sent an e-mail to the entire base detailing the celebratory events, which included weekly base newspaper articles promoting LGBT “awareness,” and a Pride Month 5K “Fun Run.”[xxi] In 2016, the base Wing Commander invited the base to an LGBT celebratory luncheon.[xxii] While the DOD celebrates Humanist beliefs, it also reprimands those who oppose these beliefs.
Since the DOD started endorsing the LGBT movement, there have been multiple instances of service members being reprimanded for expressing their non-Humanistic beliefs on sexual morality. An Army chaplain’s assistant was accused of creating a “hostile and antagonistic” environment after sharing her biblical view of homosexuality via Facebook, and was threatened with the Uniform Code of Military Justice.[xxiii] A highly decorated 19-year Navy veteran, Chaplain Wes Modder faced involuntary separation for sharing his non-Humanistic beliefs on sexual morality in a private counseling session.[xxiv] SMSgt Phillip Monk, a 19-year veteran of the Air Force was relieved of his duties after he refused to comply with his commander’s viewpoint (who identifies as homosexual) that beliefs against same-sex marriage are “discrimination.”[xxv]
Evidently, the Humanist LGBT philosophy is the religious preference of choice for the DOD. The DOD needs to consider this matter and make appropriate policy changes. If the DOD fails to do so, the Humanism religion will continue to expand under the guise of “civil rights,” making authentic diversity, inclusion, and religious liberty an impossibility in the U.S. Armed Forces.
[i]. “Definitions of Humanism,” American Humanist Association, accessed 24 September 2015, http://www.americanhumanist.org/Humanism/Definitions_of_Humanism.
[iii]. Torcaso v. Watkins, Supreme Court, 367 U.S. 488 (1961).
[iv]. American Humanist Association v. US, US District Court, Oregon, 3:14-cv-00565-HA (2014).
[v]. “The HRC Story,” Human Rights Campaign, accessed 27 September 2015, http://www.hrc.org/the-hrc-story/about-us.
[vi]. Consider the following: Matt Moore, “Ten Empowering Truths for Gay Christians,” The Christian Post, 31 October 2015,
[vii]. New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), https://www.biblegateway.com.
[ix]. “Faith Positions on Marriage Equality,” Human Rights Campaign, accessed 27 September 2015, http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/positions-of-faith-on-same-sex-marriage.
[x]. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur’an, trans. (London: Wordsworth Editions Limited, 2000), https://www.scribd.com/read/235608069/The-Holy-Qur-an.
[xii]. “Stances of Faith on LGBT Issues: Hinduism,” Human Rights Campaign, 10 June 2015, http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/stances-of-faiths-on-lgbt-issues-hinduism.
[xiii]. “Stances of Faith on LGBT Issues: Buddhism,” Human Rights Campaign, accessed 29 September 2015, http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/stances-of-faiths-on-lgbt-issues-buddhism.
[xiv]. “Stances of Faith on LGBT Issues: Humanism,” Human Rights Campaign, 29 October 2014, http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/stances-of-faiths-on-lgbt-issues-humanism.
[xv]. “About the LGBTQ Humanist Council,” LGBTQ Humanist Council, accessed 3 October 2015, http://lgbthumanists.org/about/.
[xvi]. “LGBT Humanists,” British Humanist Association, accessed 3 October 2015, https://humanism.org.uk
[xviii]. “Gahla–Home,” Gahla LGBT Humanists, accessed 3 October 2015, http://www.galha.org/.
[xix]. DOD Directive (DODD) 1020.02E, Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity in the DOD, 8 June 2015.
[xx]. “2015 Observances,” Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity, accessed 3 October 2015.
[xxi]. CMSgt Shawn Sill, WPAFB LGBT Pride Month Committee Chair, to Wright-Patterson All Personnel, e-mail, 11 June 2014.
[xxiii]. Todd Starnes, “Fox Exclusive: Airman Facing Punishment for Religious Beliefs,” Fox News, 6 August 2013, http://insider.foxnews.com/2013/08/06/airman-facing-punishment-religious-beliefs.
[xxiv]. Todd Starnes, “Former SEALS Chaplain Could be Kicked Out of Navy for Christian Beliefs,” Fox News, 9 March 2015, http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/03/09/former-seals-chaplain-could-be-kicked-out-navy-for-christian-beliefs.html.
[xxv]. Todd Starnes, “Airman Punished for Objecting to Gay Marriage,” Fox News Radio, 14 August 2013, http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/airmen-punished-for-objecting-to-gay-marriage.html.