Update: From First Liberty’s Mike Berry:
At the end of the day, if anyone has been the victim of discrimination here, it’s been Chaplain Squires and Staff Sergeant Griffin. I’m thankful that a two-star general stepped in and corrected things, but it should never have come to that in the first place.
Fox News’ Todd Starnes reports on the First Liberty press release that the Army has rejected the recommendation to punish Chaplain (Maj) Scott Squires for how he handled a Strong Bonds marriage retreat when a homosexual couple said they wanted to come.
From First Liberty Institute: Read more
In an unusual step, the Army officer appointed to investigate a complaint against Chaplain (Major) Scott Squires and his assistant SSgt Kacie Griffin wrote a second, revised report released just last week (the original was reportedly issued months ago). The pair were accused of discriminating against a homosexual couple regarding a Strong Bonds marriage retreat to be led by Chaplain Squires.
It appears the new “do over” report was the result of First Liberty’s rebuttal in April, in which attorney and former US Marine JAG Mike Berry tore into the investigator’s reasoning and conclusions. It seems the new report was intended to defend against First Liberty’s legitimate concerns, including, for example, this admission from the investigator quietly placed in the new report [emphasis added]:
In my prior findings and recommendations memorandum, I stated that when CH Squires informed [redacted] of his restriction that this was a violation of EO policy. This was a misstatement of fact and law. It is not a violation of EO policy to state a fact and CH Squires is protected in doing so…
It wasn’t just a “misstatement” — it was a wholly Read more
US Army SSgt Kacie Griffin has reportedly lost her opportunity to go to college and become an officer due to a recent controversy over homosexuals and a Strong Bonds marriage retreat.
SSgt Griffin was the chaplain assistant to Chaplain (Maj) Scott Squires at Fort Bragg, which was planning the Strong Bonds event earlier this year. A homosexual couple apparently expressed interest in the event; Chaplain Squires was unable to lead a marriage event with homosexuals attending, so he rescheduled the retreat — so the homosexuals filed a complaint. The investigating officer recommended Chaplain Squires be reprimanded.
For her part, SSgt Griffin was handling the administrative part of the retreat:
“Griffin informed Chaplain Squires of the application and informed the applicant that Chaplain Squires would speak with her. For this purely administrative act, an Army investigator determined she ‘gave the impression she was not eligible for the event’ and should be reprimanded for failing to ‘timely answer’ her question,” First Liberty Institute attorney Michael Berry said.
Though the “investigation” was reportedly finished months ago — and despite Read more
In what seems to be second case of Equal Opportunity offices gone wild, another US military EO office has determined that a Christian military officer is guilty of discrimination — and should be reprimanded — because of his religious beliefs about sexuality.
US Army Chaplain Scott Squires was apparently tasked to host a Strong Bonds marriage retreat — and a homosexual couple signed up. Chaplain Squires is a Southern Baptist, and his ecclesiastical endorser has said Southern Baptist chaplains can’t perform ministry that might appear to condone sexual sin. (This would be equally true for any Catholic or Muslim chaplain.) Thus, Chaplain Squires rescheduled the Strong Bonds event to a weekend in which another chaplain — one whose faith group would support a homosexual “marriage” — could host the event.
That wasn’t good enough. The Soldier complained to EO — and the EO office said the chaplain should be reprimanded [emphasis added]: Read more
The Air Force Times reports that the Family Research Council and American Family Association delivered a petition to the Air Force last week calling for the reversal of adverse action taken against Col Leland Bohannon.
The petition…was accompanied by a letter signed by a coalition of 31 religious liberty advocacy groups that also asks Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson to correct Air Force policy on religious expression.
The letter (PDF), signed first by Gen Jerry Boykin, reiterated the legitimate Read more
A group of US Senators has written a letter (PDF) asking US Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson not only to “restore justice” to unjustly punished Colonel Leland Bohannon, but also to explain how the Air Force’s actions comport with its — and her — stated support for religious liberty [emphasis added]:
We therefore ask that you, as Secretary of the Air Force, clarify the branch’s position on religious liberty. We ask that you instruct the Air Force to issue formal guidance and provide adequate training to commanders so that they know how to properly and respectfully address the religious liberty rights of their subordinates.
Lastly, we request that you investigate Read more
UPDATE: This topic must have hit close to the mark, as Tom Carpenter is a bit upset. Still, based on his inspiration, consider using #GivingTuesday (or any day) to support First Liberty, the non-profit organization currently working in Col Bohannon’s defense.
Tom Carpenter’s Forum on the Military Chaplaincy — which was founded to support the repeal of DADT — recently shared on Facebook Col Bohannon’s story as covered at Military.com. The response from his supporters was predictable — yet still shocking.
LtCol Elisa/Victor Valenzuela — an Air Force active duty homosexual-turned-transgender presumably threatened by President Trump’s policies — asked, apparently sincerely, if Col Bohannon would let his homosexual troops die.
Victor Michael Valenzuela So if he was in a war zone and a gay man came under fire, would the Col be exempt from helping him because of his religious bias? This is a serious question. We are in the military and as leaders, we advocate for all.
That’s moronic, but completely predictable. Amazingly, the homosexual Read more
UPDATE: A group of Republican Senators has sent a letter (PDF) to Secretary Wilson asking her to ‘restore justice’ for Col Bohannon — and, given his mistreatment due to his faith, has asked her to “clarify the [Air Force’s] position on religious liberty.” The signatories are Senators Ted Cruz, Roy Blunt, James Inhofe, John Kennedy, James Lankford, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, and Roger Wicker.
Henry Ford is said to have offered all of his customers a car in any color they wanted — so long as it was black.
As described by the First Liberty Institute, it seems the US Air Force supports all of its Airmen’s rights to exercise any religious belief they want — so long as it supports homosexuality.
As noted last month, Col Leland Bohannon was fired from his command and had his potential for promotion ended when he declined to personally sign an optional letter praising a same-sex marriage.
Mike Berry, a First Liberty lawyer representing Col Bohannon, said this runs against the very diversity the military claims it values:
This sends a clear message—if you do not have the politically correct viewpoint, you are not welcome in the military. The military is no longer a place of diversity and inclusion if you are a person who holds to a traditional belief on marriage.
Many people would assume Read more