Breaking News: Baptist Army Chaplain Faces Disciplinary Actions – A U.S. Army Chaplain Squires is facing “career-ending” disciplinary actions by the U.S. Army because he did not conduct a marriage retreat that would included same sex couples.
Breaking News: Baptist Army Chaplain Faces Career-Ending Disciplinary Actions
According to WikiPedia – A military chaplain ministers to military personnel and, in most cases, their families and civilians working for the military. In some cases they will also work with local civilians within a military area of operations.
According to the U.S. Army Website about a Chaplain it has this to say about the requirements …
As the religious leaders of the Army, Chaplains must be qualified morally and intellectually to provide Soldiers the free exercise of religion. On this page, you’ll learn about the requirements to become an Army Chaplain.
A Talk Show, the Todd Starnes Radio Show, talked about this Chaplain who is endorsed by the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board. He was holding a marriage retreat called Strong Bonds Marriage Retreat and a lesbian couple wasn’t allowed to attend. So a military investigation has started at Fort Bragg. It is believed he discriminated against a soldier based on her sexual orientation.
A report stated that Squires rescheudled the event when he realized he could not accommodate the lesbian couple. But that was not good enough. Because the Army EO policy states that no service will be denied to any member of the Armed Service regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation.
The Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board forbid chaplains from being a part of any marriage retreats that include same-sex couples. As shown in this 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.”
By allowing that participation, he could have risked losing the endorsement. However, the Army requires the chaplains to adhere to their endorsers’ rules and religious tenets. Making the government have the final say in the matter.
I don’t believe this Chaplain should have a career-ending discipline. He did what he felt was right in the eyes of God. I agree with him. I stand with him too. I would have done the same thing. Same Sex marriage is wrong in the eyes of God. Marriage is between one man and one woman, period!
We are getting to where we cannot mention anything that goes against what man says. Man doesn’t care what God says anymore. Showing that we are turning our backs on God. We care more what man says than God. There should be laws to protect Chaplains, Missionaries and Pastors on such things.
It is also like our First Amendment right is going away if we speak up against others. We are too afraid of hurting peoples feelings today.
One News Now reports that First Liberty will depend the reprimanded Army chaplain. Mike Berry of First Liberty Berry points out that both the SBC and the NAMB adhere to a traditional belief in marriage, which means that Squires is required to follow the beliefs of his sponsoring denomination. First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious liberty for all Americans.
Berry even told OneNewsNow that both federal law and Department of Defense regulations protect chaplains who act in accordance with their faith, and First Liberty has fired off a letter to the U.S. Army reminding its leaders of that fact and asking to reverse the decision against the chaplain.
This is a press release from First Liberty
First Liberty Institute today sent a letter to the U.S. Army urging it to reverse an investigator’s decision and recommendation that First Liberty client, Army Chaplain Scott Squires, be disciplined for following both Army regulations and the religious tenets of his endorsing denomination. Earlier this year, an Army investigator concluded that Chaplain Squires discriminated because his chaplain endorsing agency, the North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), forbids its chaplains from facilitating marriage retreats that include same-sex couples. Doing so would violate “The Baptist Faith and Message” adopted by the SBC, and could result in a chaplain losing their endorsement. 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,” said Mike Berry, Deputy General Counsel and Director of Military Affairs at First Liberty. “Federal law protects Chaplain Squires and prohibits the military from punishing any chaplain who acts in accordance with their religious tenets. We urge the Army to follow the law, just as Chaplain Squires did. Chaplains should not have to give up their First Amendment rights in order to serve.”
Under federal law and Department of Defense regulations, the military may not take adverse action against a chaplain who acts in accordance with his or her religious tenets.
The complaint against Chaplain Squires originated when he explained to a Soldier that he was unable to conduct a Strong Bonds marriage retreat that included same sex couples due to his NAMB restrictions. He then successfully worked to ensure that the Soldier was placed in the next available Strong Bonds event conducted by an unrestricted chaplain.
“I was shocked the investigator concluded that I should be reprimanded for doing something I’m required to do under Army regulations and my endorser’s rules,” said Chaplain Squires. “I hope the Army sees that I was simply following Army regulations and the tenets of my church.”
I like what Franklin Graham had to say.
Franklin Graham had this to say about the situation.
Mr. President, I hope you will be able to do something about this. You are the commander in chief of the U.S. Armed Forces. Army Chaplain Scott Squires is being punished for doing his job. He’s facing serious punishment for explaining to a soldier that he couldn’t conduct a marriage retreat that would include same-sex couples–because of his belief in the biblical definition of marriage. A military investigation determined that he should be disciplined for not including this lesbian couple in his retreat. Now chaplains can’t have deeply held religious beliefs? Now chaplains don’t have First Amendment rights? Now chaplains can’t stand on what God’s Word teaches? This has gotten dangerously off-course. Let’s encourage Chaplain Squires below and let him know that we are praying for him.