The persecution of Christians in the military is quietly rolling along.
A 19-year veteran of the Air Force assigned to the 37th Training Wing, Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk, says he was relieved of his duties on July 26 for standing up to his homosexual commanding officer and opposing the punishment of a staff sergeant who did not accept homosexual “marriage” and shared his opinion in front of trainees.
The staff sergeant, whose name was not given, may have violated an Air force policy by letting his trainees know that he did not believe that homosexual marriage was morally acceptable.
When the openly lesbian commanding officer talked of severely punishing the sergeant, Monk spoke up and suggested that the incident be used as a learning experience about tolerance and diversity.
The commanding officer apparently could use such a lesson, because Monk was soon relieved of his duties and forced to take leave. The commander also banned him from the unit, so that when Monk returned to retrieve his belongings, he had to ask for permission first.
Wing spokeswoman Collen McGee said that Monk was not removed from duty and the commander does not intend to issue a statement.
Monk said the situation with the staff sergeant led to a “very, very contentious” discussion in which the commander pressured him to agree that being morally opposed to homosexual unions was discrimination.
Monk said he resisted the commander’s pressure, telling her, “I cannot answer your question because of my convictions.”
The staff sergeant received an official notice of infraction in his file. Afterward, Monk was relieved of his duties.
Monk said he was due for a reassignment, but the sudden removal from a leadership post puts in question whether he will receive a Meritorious Service Medal for which he had previously been recommended. Not receiving the medal could further hurt his career.
He has been reassigned to the 59th Medical Wing at Lackland, a position Monk says is commensurate with his rank and experience.
“I was relieved of my position because I do not agree with my commander’s position on gay marriage,” Monk said. He has retained counsel, but has not yet decided whether to file a lawsuit.
The House and Senate have both proposed changing religious conscious rights of military members in the 2014 Defense Authorization bill, but at the Pentagon there has been advocacy for moving in the opposite direction.
Prompted largely by Mikey Weinstein’s radical anti-Christian group the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, there has been pressure to prosecute Christians in the military who share their beliefs, even to the point of court martialing them.
The House bill would allow troops to express their beliefs so long as they didn’t cause actual harm to unit cohesion or morale. The Senate version is less lenient and would let commanders punish troops for beliefs that may cause harm. The White House supports the Senate version, which could dovetail with its liberal social agenda, as well as the recent anti-Christian moves at the Pentagon.