Imagine you are Jesus Christ and you're scuba diving. Somewhere in the mid-Atlantic, you come upon a submarine. With your famed omniscience, you divine its nature, its contents, and its capabilities. This is the USS Florida, an Ohio-class vessel, fresh from the Libyan coast. It's almost 600 feet long. It's got guns. It's got a mess of torpedo tubes. It's retrofitted to launch nuke-equipped Tomahawks with the destructive power of up to ten times that of Little Boy, the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. (Just one of these weapons, if detonated over the intersection of Oakland Park Boulevard and Andrews Avenue, would destroy everything between Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.) Within the USS Florida's steel guts are 170 sailors, one of whom is a chaplain and several of whom are homosexual. Of this latter group, one of them has a beau back home and means for the chaplain to marry the pair in a civil ceremony when the boat gets back to port.
Now: Of all the goings-on on this very interesting submarine, which bothers you the most? Here's what Jerry Newcombe of Coral Ridge Ministries has to say:
The Pentagon is already pushing hard to reverse God's moral law as it trains the troops to accept homosexuality. Now the Navy takes it one step further, giving the go-ahead for Navy chaplains to defy Federal Law [and] the Defense of Marriage Act, which limits marriage to a man and a woman.
That's from the Sun-Sentinel, in an article about Coral Ridge Ministry's reaction to the Navy's new (but now temporarily suspended) policy of training chaplains to perform same-sex marriages. This is a very, very big deal to the Coral Ridgians -- they've reportedly sent an alarmed letter to 160,000 of their coreligionists about the policy, imploring supporters to gripe to Congress.
Coral Ridge Ministries is one of America's sole necrotheistic institutions, still faithfully, lovingly, kind-of-creepily-obsessively rebroadcasting the utterances of its dearly departed founder, the noted dominionist and young-Earth creationist D. James Kennedy. The group has devoted considerable time and energy to promulgating what it supposes were Jesus' feelings regarding the proper usage of human genitals. They are also famously pro-war. In 2003, D. James Kennedy was a signee of the "Land Letter," which supported George W. Bush's intention to wage a preemptive defensive war in Iraq, with the specific understanding that "our government, unlike Hussein, will not target civilians and will do all that it can to minimize noncombatant casualties."
That was eight years and more than 100,000 "noncombatant casualties" ago. If the good people of Coral Ridge Ministries must make statements about proper military conduct, the humble course might be first to apologize for this disastrous miscalculation. And if their previously stated concern for civilian casualties is genuine, they may wish to reconsider what it is on a naval vessel that is most abhorrent in sight of their god. As it stands, they appear more concerned with the erosion of the nuclear family in America than with the nuclear vaporization of families abroad. I suspect that Jesus, if he ever existed, would think their priorities a little queer.
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