After a Navy commander’s attempt to discharge Chaplain Wes Modder was rebuffed by a Navy admiral, the Washington Times interviewed him on the follow-up. It also sought comment from two critics of religious freedom in the military: perpetually-offended atheist Jason Torpy, and frequent critic of military Christians, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein.
For his part, Torpy thought Modder should have gotten the boot, and he thinks the Navy’s reaction is “unclear”:
The Navy’s decision, he said, “leaves unclear whether it is acceptable for senior officers to use the Bible to justify belittling gay and women sailors.”
On the contrary, the “acceptability” of Torpy’s statement had nothing Read more
While most of the story regarding US Navy Chaplain (LtCmdr) Wes Modder faded into the background with the news of his victory a few weeks ago, one media story included a quote from the Navy that seemed to indicate a bit of self-righteousness [emphasis added]:
A spokesperson for the Navy said the system in Modder’s case worked as it is supposed to, with an investigation following complaints lodged against Modder.
The Navy takes issues like this very seriously, said Lt. Jessica Anderson, public affairs officer and writer for the Chief of Naval Personnel in Arlington, Va.
“When there are allegations of misconduct like this, we investigate — as we did in this case,” Anderson said.
Part of Lt Anderson’s statement is actually fair: With some Read more
For the past six months, US Navy Chaplain (LtCmdr) Wes Modder has been fighting for his career after his commander, CAPT Jon Fahs, requested he be “detached for cause” (PDF) and then defend why he should be retained in the Navy. The primary charge was he “failed to show tolerance and respect” when he made certain statements about sexuality.
Last week, the US Navy Personnel Command informed Captain Fahs that his request for Chaplain Modder to be Detached for Cause was denied, as was his request for Modder to “show cause” to remain in the Navy. Rear Admiral David F. Steindl wrote (PDF):
Your request for detachment for cause in the case of LCDR Modder…has been reviewed and is disapproved. I have found the evidence of substandard performance in this case does not meet the standard of gross negligence or complete disregard of duty… LCDR Modder will not be detached for cause.
In other words, the Admiral said CAPT Fahs was wrong.
To be “detached for cause” (DFC) in Read more
A variety of media outlets continue to cover the story of Navy Chaplain (LtCmdr) Wes Modder, who was removed from his unit after complaints that he made offensive statements in counseling.
At the Daily Signal, Kelsey Harkness notes there are actually two chaplains facing sanction right now. Besides Modder, Army Chaplain (Capt) Joe Lawhorn was also punished for telling personal stories involving his faith; his story has faded somewhat from the press, but it is still ongoing.
Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., the only U.S. congressman to also serve as an Air Force Reserve chaplain, believes the military has gone too far in punishing Modder and others like him.
“It’s First Amendment rights for a reason,” Collins told The Daily Signal in an exclusive interview. “Not because you agree with it.”
Rep Collins went further, repeating 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
Chaplain (LtCmdr) Wes Modder was relieved of his duties for expressing, during private counseling sessions, beliefs consistent with his endorsing agency. He appealed the dismissal, and he also filed a formal request for religious accommodation, seeking the freedom to
discuss matters of faith, marriage, family, and human sexuality from a Biblical perspective when the issue is relevant to pastoral counseling.
Shockingly, his request was denied — sort of. Navy CAPT J.R. Fahs wrote a rambling response (PDF) that addressed the reasoning behind firing Chaplain Modder but never actually said whether the Request for Religious Accommodation was approved or denied. Rather, CAPT Fahs implied the request was unnecessary: 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