The dictionary defines the word tolerance as, “the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.” To tolerate something, as the word is used in the aforementioned definition, means to “allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of (something that one does not necessarily like or agree with) without interference.” The word acceptance implies that a person is in favor of or approves of something. The two words, “tolerance” and “acceptance”, should be considered antonyms, yet in certain situations it almost appears as if they are synonyms, especially in instances when a person is expected to tolerate and accept that which he knows to be immoral.
In such instances, “tolerance” might be redefined as, “the “acceptance” of those things which are otherwise considered unfavorable, in order to appease those who find those same things favorable.” (author’s definition) Such has become the case with the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy which protects gay military members from being unduly harassed and discharged from military service because of their sexual orientation, while at the same time allowing those who are homosexual and have a desire to serve in the military to do so without being discriminated against.
Up until the compromise on the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was reached in 1993, every person coming into the military was asked questions directed at establishing their sexual orientation, and those who admitted to being homosexual were immediately rejected. Until that compromise was reached those military members who had same-sex attractions had to remain closeted to avoid the reprisal of being discharged. Now with the compromise in place, the “Don’t Ask” part of the rule actually means that gays no longer have to lie.
Although the overall mission of the U.S. military is to fight, protect, and die to uphold freedom, high level chaplains report that they are continuously being denied freedom of conscience and freedom of speech.  During his remarks at a panel along with military chaplains and religious freedom activists during the 2012 National Religious Freedom Conference held on 24 May 2012 in Washington D.C., Colonel Ron Crews, executive director of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, asserted that the promise that had been made to military chaplains in light of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal had not been kept.
The promise that Colonel Crews was alluding to was that there would be no change, or very little change in the way chaplains would be allowed to minister to the troops. The panel agreed that the repeal and other policies have made it difficult for chaplains to effectively perform their duties. With the new policies in place it may even be considered a punishable offense for a chaplain to read passages from the Old Testament book of Leviticus such as, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” (Leviticus 18:22), pray aloud in the name of God at a soldier’s funeral, or even preside over traditional services.
During the course of his remarks, Colonel Crews recounted an interchange that took place in 2010 between Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, and a military chaplain:
While Adm. Mullen was briefing the troops on what the repeal might look like, the chaplain asked if those with “biblical views that homosexuality is a sin [would] still be protected to express those views?”
Adm. Mullen reportedly responded, “Chaplain, if you can’t get in line with this policy, resign your commission.” 
In essence what the chaplain was being told was that he would not only tolerate gays being allowed to serve in the military, but he would indeed get onboard with the program and accept the idea, and he would do so without any interference, or else he could resign his commission and be on his way. This is a perfect example of tolerance necessitating acceptance. It is also a prime example of religious freedom under attack.
In another incidence, a chaplain’s promotion was rescinded because he forwarded an email sent by a fellow chaplain that was in opposition of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal. He was told that he would need to be “more closely supervised.” Another chaplain expressed that his chapel be considered a “sacred space” and not be used to officiate same-sex marriages. He was told that his chapel was considered “sexual neutral territory.” In yet another case, Chaplain (Major General) Douglas Carver, the U.S. Army’s Chief Chaplain, called for a day of prayer and fasting, and the Military Religious Foundation (MRF) wanted him fired, claiming that his request was offensive to Jewish people. However, military chaplains are not the only ones feeling the pressure.
Veteran’s Affairs officials told veteran honor guards that mentioning God in prayer was not acceptable. It took a Temporary Restraining Order from U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes and four months of litigation for the name of God to again be permissible.
Four months was not soon enough to prevent heartbreak to the widows of the fallen. Lisa Ward, the widow of a war veteran, made a promise to her husband – in the event of his death, he would receive the full burial ritual. But arriving to bury her husband and fulfill her promise, she was told the full burial ritual was against federal government regulations. The ritual mentioned God.
“I can’t redo my husband’s funeral,” she said with tears in her eyes. 
For 237 years it has been considered essential to provide U.S. troops with moral and spiritual counsel. Commenting on this practice, it was General George Washington who said, “It is necessary that we provide them [the military] with a spiritual substance.” But now that 237 years is being put to the test of moral fortitude as religious freedom is put under fire. The question remains as to how long chaplains who wish to defend the right must continue to allow tolerance to necessitate acceptance.
Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of Liberty Institute, the largest non-profit law firm in America, which deals solely with defending religious liberty, concluded his talk during the Conference by stating, “We need to stand in a Christ-like manner, but whether we stand or not is not an option.”