Perhaps these forty-one chaplains have lost sight of the purpose of the chaplain corps. They seem to believe the free exercise of religion as guaranteed by the 1st Amendment is their exclusive and absolute right without regard to the constitutional rights and liberties of the troops whom they are called to serve. How else can they argue, with apparent sincerity, that their own free exercise of religion supersedes anti-discrimination laws? Under such a theory, President Truman would have been unable to integrate blacks into the armed forces, for many chaplains then believed that integration was sinful, and against God’s wishes. Years later, the military would not have been permitted to recognize interracial marriage, which many believed violated scripture. Or, what if another group of chaplains adhere to the scriptural punishment of death by stoning for children who talk back to their parents? Does their sincere religious belief shield them from criminal responsibility for throwing stones at a stubborn and disrespectful child? […] It bears repeating that the chaplain corps exists but for one purpose and one purpose alone: to secure the free exercise of religion for all of America’s service members. Chaplains cannot proselytize, nor can they put their own beliefs above those of others. And, they most certainly cannot castigate, ridicule or repress others in the free exercise of their values and beliefs.
—Chaplain Charles D. Camp, Capt. John F. Gundlach, and Chaplain Jerry L. Rhyne responding to the 41 military chaplains who wrote the president pleading to keep DADT in place [via]