For those fearing alleged crackdowns on military personnel who support traditional marriage, an unnamed soldier's story will raise some eyebrows.
A female Army chaplain's assistant recently came forward, telling conservative commentator Todd Starnes that she was reprimanded for posting a message on her personal Facebook page. In it, she called homosexuality a sin and spoke out against pastors who support same-sex relationships.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the 26-year-old told Starnes that, as a result of her post, she was accused of creating an environment that was both hostile and antagonistic. But the boldest claim she makes is that her commander gave her a choice: Either take the message down or be knocked down in both rank and pay.
As an evangelical Christian, though, she's refusing to remove it.
"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. We fight for the freedom that I can’t enjoy right now. That’s not right."
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The unnamed soldier apparently posted her message online after watching a documentary about a pastor who endorsed same-sex marriage. Frustrated by what she saw, she did what millions of other Americans just like her do: She aired her opinion openly on social media.
"A lot ticked off, now to all my gay friends you know I care about you so don’t think otherwise. 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," she wrote (spelling and grammar kept intact). "Ok umm wow, dude it is. 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."
The woman, who has served in the Army for six years, believes she was targeted and reported by people in her unit. She was purportedly sent to her commander's office and given the aforementioned ultimatum after the post was discovered.
"I have a good record. I’ve never gotten in trouble for anything," she said. "And there’s nothing hostile or antagonistic in the post."
The unnamed soldier refuses to be silenced and is willing to go to court if need-be to defend herself. Read more about her story.
These claims come as chaplains and other Christian leaders fear recrimination in the ranks for those who support traditional marriage. In June, we reported that, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s landmark rulings on gay marriage, opponents of same-sex unions are voicing concern over the eventual impact that the decisions might have.
Among those sharing worries over the potential fallout is Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplains Alliance for Religious Liberty. During an appearance on CNN earlier this year, the faith leader expressed concern over how the overturning of a key provision in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) could spell trouble for military chaplains who stand firmly opposed to gay unions.
“Chaplains have been protected by the Defense of Marriage Act in saying ‘no’ to same-sex couples for marriage counseling, for going on marriage retreats,” Crews explained. “Most of of chaplains come from evangelical, orthodox backgrounds who hold to the belief and understanding that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”
Crews' Chaplains Alliance for Religious Liberty has offered to support the soldier in this most recent Facebook flap.
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(H/T: Todd Starnes)