Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk, the Christian airman who claimed he was punished by his lesbian commander for refusing to endorse homosexual marriage, is being criminally investigated by the Air Force, the first step in the court martial process.
Monk and his attorney, Mike Berry of the Liberty Institute, met with an Air Force investigator on Aug. 27 for what Berry expected to be a routine taking of Monk's statement about what happened when he says he was removed from his post for not obeying his lesbian commander's order to say he supported homosexual marriage.
Instead, the investigator read Monk his Miranda rights and informed him he was under criminal investigation for allegedly making a false statement in interviews with the press.
Monk has been assigned a military defense counsel, and the Air Force is considering whether to formally charge him with a crime. If it does, Monk would have to decide whether to admit guilt and accept punishment or to proclaim his innocence and face a court martial.
Monk told Breitbart that he felt the charge was retaliation for going public with his religious discrimination complaint.
It sounds like he has good reason to believe that. The section that he could be charged under deals with knowingly making a false official statement, but talking to the press about what he believes happened to him is neither official nor knowingly false.
Berry said the charge being considered against Monk is "a court-martial offense in the military. Monk was disheartened by what he believes is a retaliatory and vindictive act by his commander."
The incident started when Monk intervened in the punishment of another airman who had gotten in trouble for comments about homosexuals. Monk says he suggested to his commanding officer, a lesbian, that rather than a more severe punishment, the incident could be used as a teaching moment and an example of the importance of diversity.
The commanding officer apparently got her hackles up when she smelled a Christian and started grilling Monk about his beliefs, trying to intimidate him into saying he supported homosexual marriage. Shortly thereafter, Monk was removed from his leadership position and reassigned to another unit, which he said he believes was retaliation on the part of the unit commander.
Ret. Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council, who has been following the deterioration of religious freedom in the military under President Obama, said of Monk's situation, "The Obama-Hagel military leadership is not officially court-martialing Christians for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, but you will be punished and might even face a court martial if you stand by the principles of your Christian faith when you are serving in uniform."
The Pentagon came under fire in recent months for crafting a new policy aimed at cracking down on "proselytizing" by Christians in the military. The project stirred up protests when it became known that notorious anti-Christian atheist Mikey Weinstein and his misleadingly named Military Religious Freedom Foundation were involved in helping to shape the new policy. Weinstein is a radical hater of Christians who has referred to Christian evangelization as "spiritual rape" and "treason," and who has called for court martialing of Christian chaplains.
One of the most abused phrases in our country's legal lexicon is "separation of church and state," a phrase which is not even in the Constitution. The First Amendment says Congress (and by extension any other branch of government) shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.
"Separation of church and state" actually comes from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to a constituent who was concerned that the new federal government might try to regulate worship. Jefferson wrote that the Constitution provided for a wall that protected churches from the government.
In our day, this concept has been twisted by liberal judges and anti-Christian groups who claim that the First Amendment is meant to keep religion out of the public eye and politics. This of course turns the entire amendment and the idea of a "wall of separation" on its head and does precisely the thing the Founding Fathers wished to avoid: establishing a state religion, in this case, atheism.
Sgt. Monk may yet become the first of many martyrs for their faith in our military. Ultimately, the pro-gay, pro-atheism advocates will greatly weaken, if not cripple, our armed forces if they are not stopped.