As previously discussed, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter officially announced that “sexual orientation” was being added to the DoD’s equal opportunity protected classes, a list that includes race and religion:
I’m proud to announce that the Department of Defense has completed the process for updating its Military Equal Opportunity policy to include sexual orientation – ensuring that the department, like the rest of the federal government, treats sexual-orientation-based discrimination the same way it treats discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex, age, and national origin.
The video of his speech is available here.
In short, this means that if a person faces discrimination Read more
According to the Washington Blade (a “gay news source”), the US military is set to add “sexual orientation” to its list of classes protected under the Military Equal Opportunity program — a list that currently includes religion and race. The change would appear to coincide with the “celebration” of homosexuality occurring during the declared “LGBT Pride” month.
Previously, the military had said that sexual harassment was addressed by EO irrespective of hetero- or homosexuality, and therefore special protections were not needed. The plan for implementation of DADT repeal specifically said that sexuality should not be added as a ‘special class’ in EO protection [emphasis added]: Read more
It started with a statement by Michael Berry, a former Marine JAG and now counsel with the Liberty Institute, cited in the Washington Times regarding the prosecution of US Navy Chaplain Wes Modder:
Michael Berry…said recent high-profile cases of military chaplains facing punishment for private counseling sessions that reflected the teachings of their religion could cause devout Americans who are qualified for military service to think twice about joining the military.
That statement has now been paraphrased across the internet to say “Christians are leaving the military” or there is “an exodus of Christians from the military.” The Washington Times article itself says US military “morale [and] retention [have been] devastated.”
To be accurate, that isn’t exactly what Berry said. Further, while the current perception of the US military’s attitude toward religious freedom has certainly impacted both recruitment and retention, support for that conclusion is entirely anecdotal. As has been said here before, the plural of anecdote is not “data.”
Still, Berry’s original statement is not unreasonable. His assessment even found its way into an interview with potential Presidential Read more
In a rather surprising development, US Navy CAPT J.R. Fahs issued a “No Contact Order” (essentially, a restraining order) prohibiting Navy Chaplain (LtCmdr) Wes Modder from ministering to — or even communicating with — the Sailors he formerly served:
When a sailor in Modder’s previous unit unexpectedly died…Modder was about to reach out to the sailor’s grieving family when he was stopped by a member of the command.
He was slapped with a “no contact” order – the Navy’s version of a restraining order – banning him from providing counsel or ministering to any members of his unit.
The order also reportedly banned Chaplain Modder from even entering the base on the day of the memorial service.
Liberty Institute attorney Mike Berry said the Navy Read more
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.
To be clear, there were (reportedly) no complaints in Read more
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: Read more
The US military’s equal opportunity offices, including its primary training school at DEOMI (Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute), have come under fire under the past year for a variety of issues, including labeling Christians as “extremists,” using the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “reference,” and lamenting “white privilege” in the DEOMI training manual.
In an interesting twist to the story, the newly appointed DEOMI commander, Col. Morris “Reese” Turner, made a point of noting his “strong Christian faith” in a biographical interview with a local paper.
DEOMI also produces official posters for heritage and diversity months, which includes the celebration of homosexuality and bisexuality. Read more
Despite recent scandals regarding the DoD’s alleged classification of Christians as “extremists” — including an Army-wide standdown in Equal Opportunity training over the controversies — the DoD says it will continue to use the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “reference” in its Equal Opportunity training.
A DoD spokesman answered that while the agency will remove “hate groups” information provided by the SPLC from the training materials used at its Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), the DoD will continue to use the SPLC’s data in its “non-federal reference material” for DEOMI.
The SPLC — whose work has been specifically cited in recent Army briefings — is one of several “non-Federal” sources the DoD plans to continue using:
“Some of the non-Federal entities used to inform DEOMI’s training,” said Christensen, “include: Anti-Defamation League; Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism; Know Gangs, Political Research Associates, Read more