A Win For Religious Freedom: Navy Exonerates Chaplain
Many saw this coming: If same-sex marriage is now the ‘law’ of the land, will preaching what the Bible says about homosexuality and marriage become illegal? Will pastors face persecution and unemployment for their calling?
That's what one Navy lieutenant tried to ensure with Navy Chaplain Lt. Cmdr. Wes Modder. Modder, described by Fox News as "a highly decorated veteran who once ministered to an elite Navy SEAL unit," was given a dismissal letter in February for being intolerant of the homosexual lifestyle -- in essence, for preaching what the Bible says.
According to Fox, "Earlier this year, a gay married officer was assigned to be Modder’s assistant. The assistant initiated the complaint against the chaplain because of his views on homosexuality and same-sex relationships."
He was initially removed from his job, but Navy Personnel Command rejected the commander’s recommendation to fire Modder.
“I am relieved the Navy sided with me,” Modder said. Modern will now be able to retire with full military honors and benefits instead of being wrongly accused of being homophobic.
Michael Berry, Modder's attorney, said, “This is not only a great day for Chaplain Modder, but for every American who supports religious freedom in our military."
Cases like these are incredibly important in these early days after the ruling on marriage, as they set a precedent for religious freedom in the future. Liberty Institute President Kelly Shackelford said, “We hope this sends a strong signal to military commanders — violating religious liberty will not be tolerated."
Hurrah for this victory for Modder and for religious freedom! Let's pray we see many more victories as people stand for their faith in the face of persecution!