What every Christian service member should know
by Sonny Hernandez
Religious discrimination is not a myth that Christians should ignore. First Liberty Institute reported that a Southern Baptist military chaplain is being investigated—not because he violated a policy—but because of his religious convictions. Army Chaplain Scott Squires allegedly explained to a Soldier that he could not conduct a marriage retreat that included same sex couples because of his religious convictions that are mandated by his endorsing agency, and protected by Federal law. As a result, an Army investigator concluded that “Chaplain Squires discriminated because his chaplain endorsing agency, the North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), forbids its chaplains from facilitating marriage retreats that include same-sex couples,” according to the First Liberty Institute.
There are typically four phases that cultivate the discrimination process. Christians Read more
In an unusual case that will probably generate support and criticism from all sides, former Air Force Chaplain (Capt) Jeffrey Montanari has alleged that after he converted from Christianity to Judaism (as a chaplain) he faced discrimination and mistreatment, and that he was ultimately denied a position as a Jewish chaplain as a result.
Chaplain Montanari is now represented by First Liberty in a scenario likely making critics of “fundamentalist Christianity” heads explode. As reported in the Air Force Times [emphasis added]:
Montanari…became an officer and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserve in 2010, endorsed by the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel…
In 2012, he transferred to a position in the California Air National Guard…
[His experiences with the local Jewish community], coupled with his discovery of his own Jewish lineage, led Montanari to begin seriously considering a conversion to Orthodox Judaism.
But that decision allegedly came at a high cost.
Superiors allegedly demeaned his character, refused to grant him a religious accommodation, segregated him from the rest of the chaplain staff, and excluded him from chaplain meetings, according to a statement from his lawyers. They effectively drove him out of the Air Force because of his change in religious affiliation, his lawyers argue.
At this point, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein would Read more
U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain (Maj.) Daniel Cho, 78th Training Division, leads participants of Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX) 78-18-03 in prayer before Read more
Official releases documented the trip of US Air Force Chief of Chaplains (MajGen) Dondi Costin to South Korea last month:
Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Dondi Costin, the U.S. Air Force Chief of Chaplains, and more than a dozen Air Force chaplains and chaplain assistants from U.S. Pacific Air Forces spent time with U.S. Airmen and their South Korean counterparts in a weeklong long visit to Daegu Korea.
The chaplains and their assistants worked Read more
A US Air Force Airman took a unique opportunity — offered by the Air Force — to become a chaplain.
In 2014, the Air Force began offering a limited “career intermission program,” with the intent of allowing Airmen to leave the service for one to three years and a guarantee of a return to their previous position. Part of the logic behind the program was that by giving Airmen a “break” — and potentially letting them see the other side of the fence — they’d be more willing to stay committed to the service for the long haul.
Then-TSgt Travis Barrino saw a different opportunity:
Barrino…always felt a calling to be a pastor. As Read more
US Navy Chaplain (CAPT) Thomas Walcott recently became the Chaplain of the Coast Guard, replacing US Navy Chaplain (CAPT) Gregory Todd.
Chaplain Todd has apparently been nominated to the rank of Rear Admiral, to become Read more
While the issue of transgenders in the US military has been at a low simmer for more than a year, it continues to be a source of consternation and angst within the military itself, just as any unresolved policy matter would be. While it seems transgenders would ultimately contribute little in the form of military readiness (some public reports indicate actual transgenders in the military number in the high-two digits), the manner in which to address this demographic continues to substantially draw on senior leader time and every troops’ moral conscience.
In an apparent effort to establish their argument as one beyond Donald Trump, the LGBT community Read more
UPDATE: The Jewish Welfare Board’s Jewish Chaplains Council — which works with the military to provide support to Jewish service members — published a notice saying they would wait for the outcome of the investigation but that “Jewish services continue at Fort Campbell.”
Fort Campbell’s public affairs announced the Army post would be welcoming a new Distinctive Religious Group Leader (DRGL) for the Jewish community in May.
The volunteer position, referred to as a Distinctive Religious Group Leader, provides Friday night Shabbat services and holy day observances on post. They are certified by recognized religious organizations, and meet the religious needs of soldiers and their family members that military chaplains cannot meet, Jenkins said.
“Pending certification, Fort Campbell continues to provide a DRGL to its Jewish community,” Jenkins said.
Just a few days ago Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s complaint against Fort Campbell went public, in which his group essentially accused the Fort Campbell chaplains of anti-Semitism in the “firing” of Read more