If the claims of Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk are correct, he the beginning is what is likely to be a large number of Christians in the US military to be punished for his religious beliefs. The Navy Times has the story…
A 19-year Air Force veteran says he was relieved of duties at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, in a dispute with his commanding officer over same-sex marriage.
The case of the senior master sergeant is exactly what some lawmakers are trying to prevent by seeking changes in military policies on diversity, tolerance and religious freedom that would allow service members with strong religious or moral objections to homosexuality to speak their minds without fear of reprisal.
Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk, assigned to the 37th Training Wing, said Friday he was relieved July 26 of his duties as first sergeant of a training squadron and forced to take leave because he disagreed with his commanding officer’s position on gay marriage. He says his company commander is openly lesbian.
A spokeswoman for the wing, Collen McGee, said Monk was “not removed from duty.”
The training squadron commander who Monk claims fired him does not intend to issue a statement, McGee said.
Monk, an evangelical Christian, said the issue came up when he was advising his company commander about a situation involving a staff sergeant who had expressed opposition to homosexuality on religious grounds — an opinion shared with trainees that might be a violation of an Air Force policy barring the use of a position of authority to promote personal religious beliefs.
Monk said he wanted the incident to be treated as a learning experience, but the commander wanted to do more. Monk said this led to a discussion in which the commander pressed him into saying he also had a moral objection to gay marriage.
Monk said it was a “very, very contentious” discussion, with the commander pressing him to agree that opposition to gay marriage was an act of discrimination. Monk said he told her: “I cannot answer your question because of my convictions.”
In the end, Monk said the staff sergeant received a letter of counseling, an official notice of infraction. Monk did not identify the staff sergeant.
Monk said he was subsequently relieved of his duties at the unit, and had to request permission to return in order to collect personal items. “I was relieved of my position because I do not agree with my commander’s position on gay marriage,” he said.
I think what we are seeing is what certain groups wanted to entire time. They didn’t want equality, they wanted the power to punish their opponents into silence. They wanted him to go against his faith, and he refused. When he refused, he was punished.
The military being reshaped in rapid fashion-far faster than I had expected. I do fear that at some point, the military will no longer inspire the trust that