Chaplains group investigating claims Army threatened chaplain over Facebook post on homosexuality
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 7, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A group advocating freedom of religion in the military is investigating claims that a young Army chaplain’s assistant has been reprimanded by her commanding officer and threatened with rank and pay reductions for expressing religious opposition to homosexuality on her personal Facebook page.
The anonymous 26-year-old, who has served in the armed forces for six years, told Fox News perosnality Todd Starnes that she posted her thoughts to the social media site after viewing an online video featuring a pastor who denied that homosexuality is a sin.
Members of the servicewoman’s unit reported her to commanding officer, who called her in and, she says, gave her a choice: Take the message down, or get busted down in rank and pay.
She has refused to take the comment down, and is prepared to take legal action if necessary.
“We fight for the freedom that I can’t enjoy right now,” she said. “That’s not right.”
Ron Crews, the executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, which offers legal aid to servicemembers whose religious liberties are violated, told LifeSiteNews.com that he is in contact with the young woman and actively investigating what happened.
“We believe that Command has overstepped their bounds,” Crews told LifeSiteNews. “Just because a person puts on a uniform doesn’t mean that they give up their liberties, including the right of conscience to express their views concerning homosexuality.”
“This is the very thing that Congress addressed in the language that was passed in the Defense Authorization Act last year,” Crews added, “that protects persons just like this young chaplain’s assistant.”
Crews said his group was “doing our best to protect this young lady” in “a delicate situation.” He said she is trying to do everything possible to resolve things with the Army before taking legal action.
“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.”
“I have a good record,” she said. “I’ve never gotten in trouble for anything. And there’s nothing hostile or antagonistic in the post.”
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She wrote that she was “a lot ticked off” in the Facebook post, which was inspired by a sermon that said homosexuality is not sinful.
“[N]ow to all my gay friends you know I care about you so don’t think otherwise,” she wrote. (This story maintains the grammar from the original Facebook post.) “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.”
“Ok umm wow, dude it is,” she wrote.
“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.”
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