Navy chaplain under fire for Biblical views

A U.S. Navy chaplain has been reassigned from his duties at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command in Charleston, SC while he awaits action that could remove him from the military. His offense? Lt. Cmdr. Wes Modder expressed his Biblically held beliefs on homosexuality and pre-marital sex.

Michael Berry, Modder’s attorney, stated, “Chaplain Modder does not dispute that during private, one-on-one pastoral care and counseling sessions, he expressed his sincerely held religious belief that: sexual acts outside of marriage are contrary to Biblical teaching; and homosexual behavior is contrary to Biblical teaching; and homosexual orientation or temptation, as distinct from conduct, is not sin,” Berry said.

Modder stated, “[The military] want[s] a chaplain to accommodate policy that contradicts Scripture.”

The 19-year veteran also said, “Many Americans may be shocked to discover how much military culture has changed over the past few years. . . This new generation is very secular and very open sexually. The values that the military once held – just like the Boy Scouts of America – are changing. The culture wants this. Culture is colliding with truth. That’s at the heart of this.”

A Brief History of Military Policy on Homosexuality (from USNI):

  • March 11, 1778: Gen. George Washington removes Lt. Enslin from the Continental Army after being found guilty of sodomy
  • March 1, 1917: War Department implements the Articles of War of 1916; Article 93 makes “assault with the intent to commit sodomy” a crime
  • June 4, 1920: Congress approves modified Articles of War; Article 93 makes Sodomy a crime
  • 1941: U.S. Selective Service includess “homosexual proclivities” as a disqualifying condition
  • May 31, 1951: DoD adopts the Uniform Code of Military Justice; Sodomy prohibited under Article 125
  • Jan. 16, 1981: DoD issues Directive 1332.14 stating, “homosexuality is incompatible with military service”
  • Dec. 1988: The Defense Personnel Security Research and Education Center supports 1957 Crittenden Report that concludes that homosexuals pose no significant security risk; military leaders challenge the research
  • Nov. 30, 1993: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” enacted into law
  • Dec. 22, 2010: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repealed
  • June 26, 2013: Supreme Court strikes down portions of 1996 Defense of Marriage Act which restricted federal employees in same sex marriages, including military members, from receiving federal benefits
  • Aug. 14, 2013: DoD Extends benefits to Same-Sex Spouses of Military Members; modifies leave policies to authorize non-chargeable leave for same-sex couples to travel to jurisdictions where same-sex marriage is legal

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