WASHINGTON, D.C., June 6, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A U.S. Army serviceman has been reprimanded for serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at a party celebrating his promotion to master sergeant.
The unidentified soldier was investigated, reprimanded, threatened with judicial action, and given a bad efficiency report after sending invitations that read, “In honor of my promotion and in honor of the Defense of Marriage Act, I’m serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at my promotion party,” according to the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty.
“They say he is no longer a team player and was not performing up to standards,” Chaplain Alliance Executive Director Ron Crews told Fox News. “This is just one little example of a case of a soldier just wanting to express his views and now he’s been jumped on by the military.”
“There was initially some talk of bringing judicial punishment against him,” Colonel Crews said. “He had a letter put in his file and an investigation was initiated to see if he had violated any policy.”
Crews told Fox News the solider contacted Chaplain Alliance for assistance, and they helped him to find an attorney.
His promotion coincided with last year’s controversy over Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy’s comments supporting traditional marriage. Homosexual activists called for boycotts of the franchise, and several liberal public officials threatened to take municipal action against the chain.
Crews said that nearly one year later, the soldier is still fighting the reprimand in court.
“He was at the pinnacle of his career,” Crews said. “To make that rank means you’ve done very well throughout your career. He wants to finish serving his time honorably.”
The group included the soldier’s story in a letter to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, addressing concerns about religious freedom within the military.
Those concerns have been on the rise with the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” (DADT) and with the debate in the Supreme Court over whether to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
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While Adm. Mullen was briefing the troops on what the repeal of DADT might look like, the chaplain asked if those with “Biblical views that homosexuality is a sin [would] still be protected to express those views?”
Adm. Mullen reportedly responded, “Chaplain, if you can’t get in line with this policy, resign your commission.”
Following that incident, one chaplain’s promotion was unexpectedly rescinded after he forwarded an email sent by a fellow chaplain that was critical of DADT repeal. He was told he would need to be “more closely supervised” because of this action.
When another chaplain refused to allow same-sex marriages to be performed in the chapel he commanded, he was told that despite his religious objections, his chapel would be “sexual neutral territory.” He was later relieved of his command.
One service member even received a severe reprimand for stating his religious beliefs about homosexuality on his personal blog.
Crews said his group is publicizing these stories in the hopes that other service members facing religious persecution will know that they, too, can come forward and get help from Chaplain Alliance.
“If you believe your religious liberties have been violated…we will see that you get the help that you need,” said Crews.
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