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Army Chaplain's Asst. Threatened for Calling Homosexual Behavior a Sin

You remember how we were told that government approval of same-sex marriage wouldn't effect religious liberty in the slightest? Well, it turns out they lied.

The Blaze reports:

A female Army chaplain's assistant recently came forward, telling conservative commentator Todd Starnes that she was reprimanded for posting a message on her personal Facebook page. In it, she called homosexuality a sin and spoke out against pastors who support same-sex relationships.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the 26-year-old told Starnes that, as a result of her post, she was accused of creating an environment that was both hostile and antagonistic. But the boldest claim she makes is that her commander gave her a choice: Either take the message down or be knocked down in both rank and pay.

As an evangelical Christian, though, she's refusing to remove it.

"I haven't taken it down and I won't take it down," she told Starnes. "It is frustrating that people are trying to silence me -- for something that I believe in. We fight for the freedom that I can't enjoy right now. That's not right."
Hey, remember how the army was supposed to be about defending freedom? What happened to that?

*subhead*Freedom.*subhead*

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15 comments:

Cecilia Therese said...

As someone who was in the military for 8 years, I can tell you that your rights as a soldier are different than your rights as a civilian. Your freedom of speech is greatly reduced and limited. But, the person who joins the military signs away their civilian rights for the duration of their service. She must comply and the military has the right to punish her if she doesn't.

Thom said...

1. What exactly is a "chaplain's assistant?" Is this a title, or does she just "help out?"

2. What did she post?

3. Consider for a moment she had posted anti-Catholic sentiment. What would be your position then?

Matthew Roth said...

Cecilia, if it had been an Article 88 violation, I'd agree. This is an offense under the General Article, at most, and I'd think counseling was sufficient. For non-military folks, the talking-to by her CO or OIC(whatever the Army calls him) is considered counseling. He can also formally write something to her. I suppose he can then take her to an Article 15 hearing. But he won't want to. It'll spark a free-speech issue, and the Secretary of the Army will want it to just disappear.

Jackie said...

1. It is true that enlisting or being commissioned in the military reduces a persons freedoms. Given we are in an all-volunteer military - theoretically - this is done voluntarily. (I say theoretically because a. It may not be clear to the person signing on the dotted line and b. The freedoms/restrictions particularly around freedom of religion is in flux right now)

2. A 'Chaplain's Assistant' is a real MOS/Military Job. The role is to 'assist' the chaplain and post by setting up the chapel for a variety of religious services (military chapels are designed to be quickly changed to accommodate a variety of religions), driving the vehicle and chaplain to different military bases in a theater (like Iraq), setting up for the field service, etc. and, in a war zone, providing security for the chaplain as chaplains generally do not carry a weapon.

3. There are a wide range of counseling/punishments available in the military. A company commander (and I was one) has a lot of power to restrict, take money and or rank from the lower ranks of the enlist personnel. A rule of thumb in the military is that you don't attempt an Article 15 (non-judicial punishment) UNLESS you can also 'win' in a courts marshal. This gets to the next question.

4. And Thom is correct in asking it - what did she post? It would be very difficult to be successful in a courts marshal if the person posted in simple - 'I don't believe in same sex marriage or homosexual behavior. The Bible specifically prohibits it so I don't understand how religious leaders can approve of it.' HOWEVER - if the person posted a virulent, violence inducing post - then the ability to order her to remove it, counsel her on it's inappropriateness increases - more around the tone.

5. Lastly - that doesn't mean that there can't be a silent effort to drive her out - holding her to a higher standard of being on time/cleanliness of room, etc and every little infraction is documented and a bar to reenlistment is put into place. Again - commanders have a lot of power - and the typical check and balance is the JAG Corps and the commander's boss (battalion commander) and the commander's 1SG for coaching.

There are details missing to be able to judge this particular case accurately. In context of the entire religious freedom environment in the military and government - it's easy to lean to one side without more specifics.

Proteios1 said...

Best quote..."we fight for a freedom we can't enjoy."

I realize the military as a corporation has separate privacy and conduct policies that must be abided by. Much like a Catholic school can fire someone for not living up to Catholic principles, so should the military be able to remove one who doesn't follow whatever conduct codes it has.

Personally, the distressful part is that when the fact the army considers US Catholics a terrorist group (post from last year) and is putting pressure on military chaplains to go against their faith, I have to wonder what definition of freedom we are now using.

Matthew A. Siekierski said...

As to what she actually said, the Blaze article has this:

“A lot ticked off, now to all my gay friends you know I care about you so don’t think otherwise. I’m watching this documentary and this gay guy went to a church and the Pastor was telling him that he needs to embrace his way and know that it is not a sin,” she wrote (spelling and grammar kept intact). “Ok umm wow, dude it is. I’m sick of people making Gods word what it’s not. Yes God loves you as a person but He hates the sin. Tired of hearing about Pastors being ok with homosexuality.”

Not sure how UCMJ is applied to Facebook posts...

Unknown said...

Cecilia:

The Armed Forces has no right to infringe on the religious beliefs of its chaplains. That has legal precedent. Unfortunately, the Obama regime doesn't care, and would be very happy if every Catholic, Orthodox, LCMS/WELS Lutheran, and conservative Evangelical chaplain would resign his commission an leave.

Pat said...

Why do we even need chaplains in the army?

Jackie said...

Unknown - a chaplain's assistant is not a chaplain.

Pat - clearly you have never been in the Army.

Pat said...

Jackie, that doesn't answer the Q. In fact, it implies you cannot answer the Q.

Bill Meyer said...

Pat, would you deny a member of the faith access to a chaplain in times of battleground service?

Politicians--for the most part--are lying if their lips are moving. It has become second nature to them.

Bill Meyer said...

Besides the matter of what exactly she may have posted, there is the question of what is meant by "personal facebook page". If she identifies herself as Jane Doe, citizen, then yes, it's personal. But if she identifies herself in her current rank, title, and location, then calling it "personal" doesn't make it so. Instead, most rational people would likely conclude, it is a platform she uses in her professional role. And it that is so, then it is subject to regulations and oversight.

Pat said...

Bill- Zoroastrian or Wiccan?

Pat said...

Bill- Zoroastrian or Wiccan?

Sophia's Favorite said...
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