Southern Baptists end endorsement of female military chaplains

Posted: Friday, February 20, 2004

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (AP) A Southern Baptist Convention's North American Mission Board decided to no longer endorse women for military chaplain positions because the denomination reserves such pastoral roles to men only.

Despite that interpretation of the Bible, the Rev. Terry Fox, board chairman, said the Baptists ''affirm women in other areas of chaplaincy.''

The ruling will not affect the 20 female military chaplains (among about 400) already endorsed by the board, but females will not be included in the future.

''You have to be able to do all of the things your faith group requires of a clergy person,'' said board spokesman Martin King. ''To our trustees, that means being a pastor.''

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