Many of us are still perplexed by the news that the US Navy issued a military Chaplain a “detachment for cause” letter for simply performing his duty to counsel a servicemember that requested it.
We are proud to report that Members of Congress have written a strong letter to inquire as to the Navy’s enforcement of religious freedom protections for Chaplains and servicemembers like those integrated into the National Defense Authorization Act, and other policies.
Also, we are very encouraged by the overwhelming support that Chaplain Modder has received as several organizations circulated petitions, handing over names of over 100,000 Americans. Well done!
Our hope lies in the power of prayer, and standing together for the principles that support liberty. Now is the time!
Washington, D.C. – Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Founder and Co-Chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, led over 30 Members of Congress in sending a letter to Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy, and Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben, Chief of Chaplains for the Navy, urging the Navy to reinforce policies currently in place that protect military chaplains’ freedom to practice their religion according to the tenets of their faith.
In the letter, Members expressed concern over the chilling effect cases like that of Chaplain Wesley Modder have on the ability of servicemembers and chaplains to freely exercise their faith. Chaplain Modder’s commanding officer requested that he be Detached for Cause based on an investigation report initiated by complaints about his religious views.
“As a reassurance to chaplains, sailors, and the public, we would like confirmation as to what steps the Navy is taking to reinforce the policies and protections in place for servicemembers and chaplains to freely exercise their religiously-informed beliefs,” Members wrote, “including the freedom of chaplains to adhere to the tenets of their faith as they perform and provide in all aspects of their ministry, including in counseling sessions. We also request information as to how the Navy has been implementing the conscience protections passed by Congress and what training has been provided to chaplains, JAG officers, Equal Opportunity officers, and commanding officers.”
The letter also inquires into the specific case of Chaplain Wesley Modder, requesting an outline of the process and timeline of the investigations being conducted, to ensure they are conducted in accordance with the laws protecting a chaplain’s right to express and conduct him or herself according to religious beliefs.
The full text of the letter can be found, here.