Faith Under Fire
By Jefferson David Tant
Among the various threats we face in our nation today is the role of the government in seeking to quash or eliminate any semblance of the religious freedom that has characterized our nation from the day of our founding fathers. This is evident in different areas of our public life, and should cause us to being in continual prayer for our nation and its leaders, even as Paul encouraged us in I Timothy 2:1-2: “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”
In this article, we will note various examples of “Faith Under Fire.”
In 2013, President Obama began a war on Christian members of the military with the proclamation that “Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense…Court Marshals will be decided on a case-by-case basis.” Under this edict, Christian servicemen or chaplains could not “talk about Jesus,” “quote the Bible,” or “share their faith.” Furthermore, if an atheist, homosexual or non-Christian was offended in any way, the Christian member who caused the offense could be punished. My understanding is that these policies remain in force today.
The then president and his anti-Christian friends in the House and Pentagon demanded that military chaplains facilitate homosexual marriages or face penalties. In 2013 Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk was punished and relieved of duty after 19 years of good service when his openly lesbian commanding officer Major Valenzuela objected to his Biblical views on marriage. She wanted him “severely punished” for his religious objection to homosexuality.
Navy Chaplain LCDR Wes Modder was fired by his commander after quoting a Bible verse to a homosexual sailor who asked him what the Bible said about homosexuality. The sailor then complained, even though he had been asked the question about the Bible, and the chaplain suffered termination.
Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling was a Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune. She posted a Bible verse near her desk which read, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper” (Isa. 54:17) The next morning the verse was in the trash can, and then she was court-marshaled. An appeal was made which invoked the First Amendment right of religious freedom, but it was denied and she got her bad conduct discharge and a reduction in rank,
Sadly, the Air Force is violating Federal Law DoDl 1300.17 which plainly allows freedom of religious expression in all branches of military service. Some anti-Christian complainers made a complaint against some Academy cadets who wrote some positive, encouraging Bible verses on their personal white-boards, and thus were pressured by their chain of command to erase the Bible.
Under policies initiated by Obama which are still in force, chaplains have faced ridicule and have lost the ability to serve their nation because they chose to obey God rather than man, and have been charged with “being guilty of treason,” “committing acts of ‘spiritual rape,’” and even “assault,” and “Declaring them ‘enemies of the Constitution.’’’
The story of Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt is well-known to many. He was a Navy Chaplain when the order was given that any chaplain who prayed in Jesus’ name outside of a Sunday Chapel could be court-marshalled. He did pray in public using Jesus’ name, and was honorably discharged, but lost his 16-year career and his pension.
But the story doesn’t end there. 520 newspapers and over 300,000 citizens and 35 pro-family groups rallied to his cause and petitioned the President to reverse the Navy’s policy of targeting believers in Christ. In time Congress did comply and restored the rights of chaplains to freely express their faith and to pray in Jesus’ name. And it is my understanding that Klingenschmitt was eventually exonerated.
This was only one victory as opposed to numerous assaults by the atheist agents of Satan who are seeking to make our nation “One Nation Under Satan” rather than “One Nation Under God.” This latter phrase originated on June 14, 1954, when President Dwight Eisenhower signed a bill to insert the phrase “One Nation Under God” into the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance that children recited every morning in school. Sadly, that phrase has been removed in many places today. Dr. Ben Carson, whom my wife I met some years ago, said “As Christians, the Bible calls us to be salt and light to influence our culture.”