An interview with US Navy Chaplain (LtCmdr) Wes Modder at Breitbart revealed a few more details about the Navy’s decision to remove him and attempt to discharge him from the military over complaints about his beliefs.
It seems the Lt(JG) complainant, at points described as a “chaplain’s assistant,” was in fact a new officer filling a temporary job while waiting for his next assignment. With apparent time on his hands — and an agenda — it seems the new officer decided he would go out of his way to make his mark on the Navy.
It turns out the young officer seemed to be running his own private investigation into Modder’s Christian beliefs and how they may conflict with his interpretation of proper tolerance for LGBT individuals.
In an incident that homosexual advocates claimed would never occur, US Navy Chaplain (LtCmdr) Wes Modder has been removed from his duties — and threatened with dismissal from the military — because his religious beliefs conflict with homosexuality:
A chaplain who once ministered to Navy SEALs could be thrown out of the military after he was accused of failing “to show tolerance and respect” in private counseling sessions in regards to issues pertaining to faith, marriage and sexuality, specifically homosexuality and pre-marital sex, according to documents obtained exclusively by Fox News.
Lt. Commander Wes Modder, who is endorsed by the Assemblies of God, has also been accused of being unable to “function in the diverse and pluralistic environment” of the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command in Goose Creek, S.C.
Chaplain Modder had been at NNTC since April. Around November, a new assistant started working in the office: Continue reading →
For the first time, the report now includes a dedicated Section IV: “Attacks in the Military.”
Similar in theme to the “Clear and Present Danger” published by the Family Research Council, the Liberty Institute report includes a list of 46 incidents representative of the hostility toward religion within the US military [emphasis added]:
Hostility once unthinkable, such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs telling grieving families as they arrive at their loved one’s funeral site that they may not have a religious funeral service, is becoming increasingly routine. Another line of hostility is a new wave of lawsuits attempting to eliminate all symbolism that touches on the numinous from our nation’s veterans memorials…
Religious freedom in the military is protected by the U.S. Constitution, Department Continue reading →
Newly confirmed Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter held a townhall type “troop event” in Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. During the question and answer session, transcribed on the DoD website, a US Navy Lieutenant Commander asked Secretary Carter about his
…thoughts on transgender service members serving in an austere environment like this in Kandahar?
Given the pressing world events the Secretary of Defense for the United States could address, it was a somewhat surprising question. Secretary Carter gave what could best be described as an “ambiguous” answer, first saying he hasn’t looked at it much, then saying he’s “open-minded,” but also returning to the standard of “suitability for service:” Continue reading →
As previously noted, a steady stream of media articles and pushes by activist groups aim to keep the issue of “transgender military service” in the current conversation.
An article at the Washington Post was entitled “Transgender military members are in a precarious position,” which is quite the understatement, given that “transgender military members” are, by definition, not supposed to be serving in the military to begin with. The article says some servicemembers were told they were allowed to serve in their “chosen” gender role, only to subsequently have that permission revoked. Such confusion would likely be the result of lower level commanders not following Department of Defense policy — which, if followed, would eliminate such confusion.
Chaplain (Cmdr) Timothy Moore and Chief Aviation Ordnanceman James A. Henry baptize one of 27 Sailors and Marines, Nov. 21, in the well deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) in the Gulf of Aden as it connects to the Red Sea.
These Sailors and Marines specifically wanted to be baptized in the Red Sea, for obvious reasons, and their chaplain and crew obliged.
Hundreds of Marines and Sailors singing Amazing Grace and being baptized in the waters of the Middle East? Who would have thought?
The American Military Partner Association (AMPA) is a homosexual “charity” that lobbies on behalf of sexual liberty in the US military. It purports to “represent the modern military family,” in which “modern” is presumably “homosexual,” judging by the photos adorning its website.
The AMPA has a history of using uniformed military members in roles that likely violate military regulations. For example, last year the AMPA used photos of “AMPA members” in military uniforms to encourage opposition to legislation — something uniformed military members (and charities) aren’t supposed to do. It fills its Facebook page with AMPA endorsements by uniformed service members, while troops aren’t allowed to endorse other groups.
The AMPA also hosted a “national gala” last year — at which a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense was the keynote speaker — and has used the photos of its leadership committee from that event to promote its cause:
Standing out, of course, are the two people in military uniform. According Continue reading →
Update: To answer one of the issues below, Berts has now said
He had practiced Islam throughout his Navy career, Berts said in a Jan. 7 phone interview, but had become more observant by early 2011.
“I celebrated Islamic holidays, I fasted during holidays, I prayed,” he said. “I started to get a deeper sense of faith and started to try to live my religion a bit more.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has filed a lawsuit (PDF) against the US Navy on behalf of Jon Berts, a former Sailor who was denied a request for a beard for his religious faith. Ordinarily, this might fall under the auspices of the other religious accommodation issues that have arisen this year, but there are several aspects of Berts’ story that are slightly unusual:
Jonathan Berts of Fairfield applied to wear a beard in January 2011, but Defense Department policy did not allow religious exemptions from grooming requirements…
First, the policy citation isn’t entirely true. It is true that DoDI 1300.17 (more here) didn’t characterize grooming standards as “apparel,” but it was still possible to obtain a waiver for a beard — as other members of the military did.
In November, former Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt lost his Federal appeal (filed in 2011) of his discharge from the Navy, which had stemmed from his 2006 court-martial.
“I sued the domestic enemies of the Constitution in the DC Court of Claims to redeem my career [and] to redeem my pension after I was robbed by people who punished me for quoting the Bible in chapel,” he tells OneNewsNow. “[I was robbed] by people who punished me for praying in Jesus’ name in uniform outside of chapel.”
The ruling can be read here. Klingenschmitt has indicated he plans to appeal.
US military leaders publicized their “holiday messages” in a series of videos just before Christmas. Outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and his wife made a point of saying “Merry Christmas,” as well as including a still photo from a homosexual proposal during a homecoming ceremony.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Marty Dempsey and his family sang “Jingle Bells” and wished everyone a “Merry Christmas.”
While recent changes in Air Force regulations and a favorable congressional hearing have given some groups a positive perception of the direction of religious liberty in the US military, it is worth noting that even that trend isn’t universal, and it hasn’t reversed some of the damage done over the past few years.
Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain recently kicked off the holiday season with its traditional tree lighting — absent one of its longstanding traditions. In 2012, Jason Torpy — an atheist and former Army officer — single-handedly persuaded the US Navy to ban a children’s “live Nativity” from the tree lighting ceremony.
The reason? According to Torpy, the kids
threaten[ed] US security and violat[ed] the Constitution.
It was probably “easier” for the Navy to surrender to Torpy and remove the children’s event rather than try to defend it for its positive value. Thus, plastic baby Jesus Continue reading →
The Commanders of the ships of the 13 United Colonies are to take care that divine services be performed twice a day on board and a sermon preached on Sundays, unless bad weather or other extraordinary accidents prevent.
“The repeal of this policy really implemented a culture change for the U.S. military and it’s incredibly important to comprehend how this shift is not just impacting our people, but also affecting readiness,” said Capt. Scott Johnson, NCCOSC director and a Navy medicine psychology expert, in a statement Wednesday.
Navy Capt. Scott Johnson appears to be the first US official to openly admit the repeal of DADT “really implemented a culture change,” while most others have publicly said it was a “non-event.”
The implication that there has been an impact on readiness is interesting, given that even supporters of repeal (and the DoD itself) have claimed Continue reading →
With 70% of the vote, former US Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt was elected as a Republican to the Colorado state legislature from a district encompassing the major military bases in Colorado Springs — including the US Air Force Academy, his alma mater.
Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt beat out his Democrat challenger Tuesday with a landslide 70 percent of the vote in the state’s District 15, according to results published by the secretary of state.
District 15 encompasses Peterson Air Force Base, and is near Colorado Springs, Fort Carson and the U.S. Air Force Academy.
While Klingenschmitt’s positions may have been considered “far right,” his opponent’s were apparently as equally “far left.” In an election that saw Colorado’s legislature and governorship go to Republicans, it seems the “right” won out.
Klingenschmitt is famous for being discharged from the Navy over the “pray in Jesus’ name” controversy. He was also unsuccessfully sued by Michael “Mikey” Weinstein and his wife Bonnie — whom he subsequently sued.