First Liberty Institute has sent a letter to the Air Force demanding the reversal of punitive actions taken against Col Michael Madrid for expressing his religious beliefs about sexuality.
In 2014, one of then-LtCol Madrid’s subordinates — who was in the middle of being court-martialed — accused Col Madrid of
“engaging in demeaning and derogatory behavior toward [the subordinate] based on [the subordinate’s] sexual orientation” thus “creat[ing] a hostile work environment.”
Besides the troubled circumstances of Read more
Pastor Steven Branson of Village Parkway Baptist Church in San Antonio emerged as the leading voice and defender of US Air Force Airmen near Lackland AFB (Joint Base San Antonio). He held a meeting at his church for Airmen to discuss issues of “religious hostility” — and 80 Airmen attended the “standing room only” meeting.
The left-leaning website Media Matters’ berated Branson, calling him “extreme” and repeatedly describing him as “anti-gay.” Media Matters’ Carlos Maza wrote that Branson Read more
An Air Force investigation was initiated after SMSgt Philip Monk filed a complaint of religious discrimination, claiming he was relieved and reassigned earlier than planned after a conversation with his commanding officer, Maj Elisa Valenzuela. The Air Force issued a press release about the investigation, saying the charges of religious discrimination were not substantiated:
The investigation, initiated Aug. 15 by Col. Mark Camerer, 37th Training Wing commander at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, found the claim unsubstantiated…
“The weight of the evidence shows that religion was never discussed between the two,” Camerer said in an Air Education and Training Command release.
“In the end, this is a case about command authority, good order and discipline, and civil rights — not religious freedoms,” he said.
Interestingly, no one ever publicly claimed “religion was…discussed between the two,” but it raises the question as to whether one must explicitly voice a religious belief for it to be actionable. The investigation also made an interesting comment about the statements at the heart of the controversy [emphasis added]: Read more
Pastor Steve Branson of Village Parkway Baptist Church in San Antonio, TX, reported that he recently held a meeting with a large group of members of the US Air Force to hear their worries over the Air Force’s treatment of their religious freedom.
At least 80 airmen attended a private meeting at the church where [Branson] heard them voice their concerns about religious hostilities at the Air Force base. It was a standing-room only crowd.
“The religious persecution is happening,” the pastor said. “It’s getting bigger every day.”
As to the improper conduct for which these Airmen claim they are being discriminated against [emphasis added]:
“A commander told him, ‘Don’t you understand discrimination – that your thought process is discrimination?’” Pastor Branson said.
Branson’s church in San Antonio, near Lackland Air Force Base, has Read more
The Stars and Stripes reports the Air Force has launched an investigation at Lackland Air Force Base to determine if Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk was a victim of religious discrimination. Monk had claimed he was essentially “fired” by his commander for his religious views.
Training wing spokeswoman Colleen McGee said…the Air Force has launched an investigation into Monk’s claims, to determine if any command violations may have occurred.
Notably, the Liberty Institute — a part of Read more