By Tony Perkins
If you think chaplains have some of the safest jobs in the military, think again. Men of the cloth are under some of the heaviest fire — and it’s coming from their own side! In the Navy, the message is clear: get on board with political correctness or lose your job. Like most Christians, Lt. Commander Wes Modder knew the military was changing. But he didn’t know how much until the battle landed on his doorstep. For years, Modder had served some of the most elite fighting forces in the military: Navy SEALs.
I say “had,” because the 19-year veteran has been stripped of his duties for sharing the good news he was hired to share. In a stunning turn of events, the chaplain was sabotaged by one of his own men, who secretly gathered enough information on Modder’s beliefs and private counseling sessions to file a formal complaint. Believe it or not, he was targeted by his own assistant — who Modder didn’t realize was gay. Looking back, the chaplain says the young officer asked a lot of questions about homosexuality, which Modder answered as most would expect: in accordance with the Bible’s teachings.
The mask finally slipped in December, when representatives with the Equal Opportunity office served Modder with papers accusing him of “discrimination.” Captain Jon Fahs — who five months earlier praised Modder as the “best of the best” — now insists that he “failed to show tolerance and respect.” Worse, he didn’t have a chance to defend himself. Almost immediately, the dad of four was relieved of his duties and told to clean out his office.
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He was guilty before proven innocent. And of what? Fulfilling his job description? Modder’s attorney, Michael Berry, doesn’t deny that Chaplain Modder exercised his faith. It was, after all, his primary role! “To be clear,” Berry told Fox News’s Todd Starnes, “Chaplain Modder does not dispute that during private, one-on-one pastoral care and counseling sessions, he expressed his sincerely held religious beliefs that: sexual acts outside of marriage are contrary to biblical teaching.”
Shocked but not shaken, Modder says that he’ll push back. (Hear the story in his own words here.) “Every fiber in my being wants to run away from this — but if I do, I’m not being obedient to the Lord. I need to stand up for righteousness… It’s going to be hard for me, but it’s what God has called me to do.” Chaplain Modder knows that this isn’t just about him — but every service member who deserves the right to enjoy the religious liberty they’re fighting for. “Anytime somebody wants to live their faith out — there are people who say that is offensive,” Berry explained. But when a chaplain can’t speak on the tenets of his faith, what’s left to say? Why bother having chaplains at all?
Unfortunately, these are the consequences of the radical social policies President Obama has forced on the military. Now we have Bibles being tossed from Navy lodges, cadets ordered to erase Scripture from personal white boards, and chaplains hauled before boards of inquiry. It isn’t supposed to be this way — and it doesn’t have to be this way — if Americans who love their freedoms and their country will stand up and speak out! Click over to our petition to the Secretary of the Navy and Defense Secretary Ash Carter and demand Chaplain Modder’s reinstatement!
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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