Earlier this week, Todd Starnes at Fox News reported that several Evangelical Christian airmen at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas have been facing “severe threats” for publicly expressing their opposition to gay marriage.
“There is an atmosphere of intimidation at Lackland Air Force Base,” Steve Branson, the pastor of Village Parkway Baptist Church in San Antonio told Fox News. “Gay commanders and officers are pushing their agenda on the airmen. There is a culture of fear in the military and it’s gone to a new level with the issue of homosexuality.”
A “culture of fear”? Like, a phobia? Like, homophobia?
“The religious persecution is happening,” Branson exclaimed. “It’s getting bigger every day. Gay and lesbian airmen can talk about their lifestyle.”
Branson claims at least 80 airmen attended a private, standing-room only meeting held at his church, where airmen voiced their concerns about religious hostilities at the Air Force base.
“Guys who are good men are afraid to do anything because it will hurt them, cost them their career,” Branson lamented.
Generally speaking, when a person chooses to make inflammatory or offensive comments in the workplace, it can result in disciplinary action. Just ask Paula Deen. We’re not sure why Branson or his gaggle of 80 airmen are so shocked by this.
Retired Gen. Jerry Boykin also weighed in on the conversation, telling Fox News he was not surprised to hear about the “assault on religious liberty” within the Armed Forces, saying: “There is an orchestrated attack on Christians in the military and at this stage the Air Force is the worst.”
Master Sgt. Phillip Monk has been made the poster child for Branson and others. They claim he has been unfairly punished for his religious convictions earlier this year after disagreeing with a superior, who they’ve been careful to point out “was a lesbian”, about his personal views on gay marriage.
“The senior master sergeant was relieved of his duties after he refused her order to disclose his personal opinion about gay marriage,” Starnes reports.
Conflicting reports indicate that Monk was not relieved of his duties, but reassigned. And it wasn’t because he refused to disclose his personal opinion or disagreed with his superior’s views on gay marriage. It was because he was broadcasting his personal views to new trainees, which his superior asked him not to do.
After being reassigned, Monk wasted no time hitting the media circuit and sharing his tale of woe.
Branson called Monk a “casualty of the war” against Evangelical Christians in the Armed Forces. He then went on to say: “The consensus at our meeting was that if things don’t change, good men will be leaving the military. It will be a tragedy for our country and our military.”
Yes, what on Earth will we do with fewer homophobic wingnuts in our Armed Forces?
In true Fox News fashion, Starnes concluded his article with a warning to readers about President Obama, who is, of course, entirely to blame for all of this unrest:
“The persecution of Master Sgt. Monk and the countless unnamed individuals at Lackland Air Force Base should serve as a warning to all Americans,” writes Starnes. “If the Obama administration’s Pentagon can take away their religious liberty – they can take away ours.”