The Agenda of the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy

by Sonny Hernandez

“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Ephesians 5:11)

The Forum on the Military Chaplaincy (FOMC) is disreputably known to as I have exposed their counterfeit Christianity in the past. The FOMC is a homosexual affirming forum that conducts themselves under the guise of Christianity, and is led by two homosexual men named Paul Dodd and Tom Carpenter. Dodd is a retired military chaplain who is now an apostate, homosexual advocate while Carpenter lives with his gay husband Art Andrade and serves as an Elder in a Presbyterian church that is part of a denomination that affirms homosexual marriage.

On January 28, 2017, the FOMC posted a provoking message on Facebook to evoke their liberal patrons about a cogent theological response I made to an article written on 

It is important to note that my response was not a promotion for misogyny, nor was it a personal attack against the female chaplain’s weight, color, ethnic origin, or even her sex—rather it was a theological argument about complementarianism which is a widely held belief among many protestants and certain religions around the world. Service members should rest assured that if they affirm complementarianism—their rights are protected by the Constitution.

Some of the FOMC responses to the article would disagree. This article will address a few notable responses:

Blake Dremann This is why we have several faith traditions as Chaplains. While the chaplain who wrote this may not believe it, we are not a military of single faith tradition. They have chosen the wrong profession.

Blake Dremann’s response is clearly unconstitutional. He asserts that the military is not a single faith tradition, yet he erroneously assumes a single faith tradition that if military chaplains do not affirm women pastors— “they have chosen the wrong profession.” Is Dremann espousing a belief that if a military chaplain affirms a complementarian belief that does not comport with his convictions regarding women pastors—they are not fit for military service? Sounds like tolerance, right? Instead of stupefying himself with contradiction, Dremann should stop relying on his own conceits—and start reading the Constitution.

Here is another response on the FOMC post:

Aaron Fuller While exercising his Title 10 right to free exercise of religion, out of integrity for his own faith and integrity for the DoD Chaplain Corps, he should resign.

Aaron Fuller’s assertion is contradicting. If I have a right to the free exercise of religion, then I have every right to affirm my conviction regarding complementarianism, and to abandon this conviction out of fear that people like Fuller will abhor it—would compromise my integrity. Therefore, I will not resign because I will not compromise my integrity regarding my sincerely held theological convictions.

Fuller is not able to rationally explain why my complementarian convictions should cause me to resign or why my convictions are allegedly a threat to the integrity of the DOD Chaplain Corps. Instead, he fallaciously implies that I have a right to free speech, but since he does not like it—I should resign. This is typical liberal logic.

This shows how much Fuller cares about the free exercise for all, given the fact that that he would restrict a military chaplain’s constitutional liberty to affirm complementarianism simply because it does not comport with his. This is not integrity—this is ignorance.

Here is a question for Mr. Fuller: your emotive response implies that the US military should make one’s sincerely held theological convictions a discriminating factor for either commissioning or enlistment. If this is true, please explain explicitly which ones should be prohibited or permitted without forgetting the First Amendment. Good luck on that one.

Deanna Smitha also affirms a position that is analogous to Fuller’s:

Deanna Smitha My career finished 20 years ago, and we were battling those same demons then. I actually had a colleague and chaplain from my own denomination (at that time) espouse such views in a conversation with other chaplains, to which I straightened out his posterior on the spot in front of everyone he had just opened his mouth in front of. Those who cannot minister in the pluralistic environment of the military seriously need to take their belt notching prayer rugs/shoals/whatever and go home

I am certainly thankful for Deanna Smitha’s military service, but I am even more grateful that service members have one less liberal to contend with—then have to worry about her bigotry towards Bible-believing Christians.

Smitha’s argument that “those who cannot minister in a pluralistic environment…” is a fallacy. Instead of defining pluralism or explaining how a chaplain cannot serve in a pluralistic environment, she assumes that the DOD’s policy on pluralism is extended only to those who agree with her. This is patently false.

Smitha is ostensibly unaware that religious pluralism is not one sided, as one’s religious convictions cannot be a discriminating factor in commissioning or enlistment, or else that would be establishing a religion over another. Religious pluralism is respecting the constitutional rights of others to believe what they believe, without having to endorse or agree with the content of those beliefs.

Christians should not rejoice that liberals like Smitha have been retired for over twenty years—because others will take her place. Kelly Thury’s post will prove my point:

Kelley Thury Sadness. I will soon be the first female chaplain in my state, and I have received nothing but respect and encouragement. That chaplain should choose another career outside of military chaplaincy… And if not…I would promote a woman ahead of him to be his boss! But I’m sassy like that

I agree with you, Kelley: It is sad that you will be the first female chaplain in your state to publicly announce on social media that if anyone affirms a theological position (complementarianism) that disagrees with you, they should “choose another career outside of the military chaplaincy.”

I am sure Kelley’s state would be interested to know just how inclusive she will be toward several protestant denominations, Catholics, and Muslims that do not affirm women pastors either, and how her conduct will be towards others who disagree with her.

When Kelley starts her new position as a female chaplain, I sure hope that Catholic or Muslim chaplains do not take offense to her remarks, since they do not agree with women chaplains either, and that she is able to work well with others without demanding that they choose another profession if they disagree with her.

It’s ironic that Kelley appreciates others lauding her constitutional right to serve as a female chaplain. However, if I exercise my constitutional right to disagree— then I “should choose another career outside of military chaplaincy.” This is what happens when people treat the Constitution like they do their Bible—they twist it to fit their agenda.

In closing

All of the FOMC responses remind me of a quote by Sir Winston Churchill when he said

Some people’s idea of free speech is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage.

The Constitution protects the rights of a chaplain to exercise their tenets of faith as their conscience dictates. Service members have a right to agree, disagree, or have no faith at all. When progressive liberals like the FOMC attempt to obfuscate the constitutional liberties that are afforded to all Americans, they are exposing a fact: they do not care about liberties for all—but for their agenda.

Bible-believing military chaplains must maintain integrity to their faith convictions and never compromise, and beware of those who do.

“For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 4).

Chaplain (Capt) Sonny Hernandez is a US Air Force Reserve Chaplain assigned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. In April 2015, he was selected as the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Individual Mobilization Augmentee Company Grade Officer of the Year, and in May 2016, he was selected as 445th Airlift Wing CGO of the Quarter, first quarter. Hernandez earned a Doctorate from Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The opinions expressed here are solely his and do not necessarily represent the views of any government, military, or religious organization. Sonny Hernandez wrote this article as a civilian on his own time on an issue of public interest.