FORT BRAGG – While political correctness has been skewered in many areas, it still rears its ugly head in far too many places. Some of those places are often thought of as bastions of social justice sensitivity, either, such as the Army base in Fort Bragg. A Baptist chaplain there is facing punishment for discrimination as a result of being true to his religious believes on marriage. A chaplain. Being punished for religious beliefs.
You can’t make this stuff up.
“A decorated Army chaplain is facing what his attorneys are calling a “career-ending punishment” after he explained to a soldier that he could not conduct a marriage retreat that included same sex couples.
A military investigation at Fort Bragg determined Chaplain Scott Squires should be disciplined for his failure to include a lesbian couple in the Strong Bonds Marriage Retreat. They determined he had discriminated against a soldier based on her sexual orientation.
When Squires realized he could not participate, he rescheduled the event to accommodate the lesbian couple with a chaplain who could oversee the retreat. But apparently – that was not good enough.”
So the chaplain decided he couldn’t participate, but instead of just denying the retreat to a lesbian couple, he actually accommodated them by finding a replacement that could. And for that he is being punished?
But there’s more.
The Southern Baptist organization that endorses the chaplain forbids such facilitation of gay marriage, and the Army requires the chaplains to follow their endorser’s rules! Even more of a head-shaker, the Army investigators are seeking to punish the chaplain for merely explaining his religious beliefs on the subject of gay marriage.
“According to Southern Baptist memorandum released in 2013, “NAMB endorsed chaplains will not conduct or attend a wedding ceremony for any same sex couple, bless such a union or perform counseling in support of such a union, assist or support paid contractors or volunteers leading same-sex relational events, nor offer any kind of relationship training or retreat, on or off a military installation, that would give the appearance of accepting the homosexual lifestyle or sexual wrongdoing.”
Had Chaplain Squires participated in the marriage retreat he would have risked losing his endorsement by the Southern Baptists. Likewise, the Army requires its chaplains to adhere to their endorsers’ rules and religious tenets.
“Chaplain Squires should not have his career ruined for following the rules of both his faith and the Army,” First Liberty Institute attorney Mike Berry said on the Todd Starnes Radio Show.
Even more disturbing, the investigator found the chaplain had also committed discrimination by simply explaining his religious beliefs to the offended soldier.
“That would mean a chaplain can’t even talk about their religious beliefs without being accused of discrimination. That would strip thousands of chaplains across our military of their most basic freedoms under the First Amendment,” Berry said.”
In this case political correctness goes far beyond mere cultural norms of accepted speech and/or beliefs. Following the Army’s own rules, and that of his faith, stands to ruin this chaplain’s career and violate his rights under the U.S. Constitution.
The same U.S. Constitution that the Army is worn to uphold and defend.
Something tells us that the Army would be wary of violating the First Amendment freedoms of other religions for fear of being politically incorrect. Alas, Christians, for some reason, are not afforded the same treatment.
Read more about this alarming and consequential case of political correctness in our military here.