Navy Chaplain Wes Modder is a highly decorated, 19-year military veteran who previously served in the Marine Corps and has had several high-profile assignments, including being named force chaplain of the Navy SEALs.
Just a few months ago, Modder’s commander called him “the best of the best” and a “consummate professional leader” worthy of an early promotion.
Now Modder is under investigation and could be taken before a military board of inquiry. The 19-year veteran could be kicked out of the service and lose his pension.
Modder said he was offering spiritual guidance in accordance with his faith, but several sailors complained claiming he was anti-gay, which is in accordance with his Christian faith.
Military, political and religious leaders are standing up for Modder, who faces potentially career-ending discipline for sharing his biblical-based views during private counseling sessions. Sen. Ted Cruz, Rev. Franklin Graham, and retired Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin are among those who are defending Modder.
Attorney Michael Berry, who works for Liberty Institute, a law firm that specializes in religious liberty cases is representing Chaplain Modder. He said they categorically deny all of the military’s allegations.
“The Navy is telling Chaplain Modder – you have to choose between disciplinary action or following your religious beliefs,” Berry told me. “Because Chaplain Modder chose his religious beliefs, his commanding officer threatened him with career-ending punishment.”
A married gay officer at the base who was upset about the minister’s views on same-sex relationships and homosexuality, filed a complaint against the chaplain.
The young officer had been working for the chaplain only for about a month when he began peppering him with questions about homosexuality.
“His five-page letter of complaint was unconscionable,” Modder told me. “It was insulting and it was devastating. I felt I discriminated against.”
Modder is also accused of:
* Telling a woman that she was “shaming herself in the eyes of God” for having premarital sex.
* Telling a student that homosexuality was wrong and that “the penis was meant for the vagina and not for the anus.”
* Berating an unmarried student for becoming pregnant.
They plan on appealing the commander’s decision.
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