Navy Chaplain Under Attack By Anti-Religion Group For ‘Weaponizing Christianity’
A Navy Chaplain is being accused by the anti-religion group MRFF of violating the Constitution for leading an optional seminar titled "Lead Like Jesus."
A Navy Chaplain is under attack by a group determined to rid the military of any reference to religion. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) contend the Chaplain ‘weaponized Christianity’ in violation of the Constitution by leading an optional seminar titled “Lead Like Jesus” for sailors at Naval Station Newport in Rhode Island.
Religion In The Military
Military Religious Freedom Foundation has levied accusations against Cmdr. Richard Smothers for promoting the Christian inspired seminar.
The Navy Chaplain’s sworn duty is to support the troops by encouraging and fostering their faith. It is not mandatory for anyone to attend any religious ceremonies or seminars, but the MRFF doesn’t care. They want religion completely sanitized from military life.
Many of the members of our military find comfort and inspiration in their faith. Yet, that is not acceptable to these radicals.
The hostile Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) is going after Navy Cmdr. Richard Smothers for promoting a seminar based on his faith. This has no solid legal basis. It’s time to stop these outrageous attacks and let chaplains be chaplains. https://t.co/deV5VpPRco
— First Liberty Institute (@1stLiberty) February 16, 2020
From Christian Post:
MRFF sent an email demanding that Capt. Ian Johnson, commander of the Naval base, investigate Smothers and anyone else who promoted the seminar through emails or fliers. The organization argues that service members were being “voluntold” to attend the Christian-oriented event.
Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, founder of MRFF, accused Smothers of having “weaponized Christianity” in an interview with the Navy Times published in January. He added that those behind the discussions should be “visibly and aggressively investigated and punished.”
“Nothing could be more disruptive to good order and discipline and unit cohesion than a message like this,” he said.
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— Tim Brown (@FPPTim) February 18, 2020
Cmdr. Elizabeth Baker is the Navy Region Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman. She defended Smothers against these unfounded accusations.
“It’s not any kind of directive from the chaplain to lead like Jesus … it’s a discussion series after services only for those who volunteer to attend,” Cmdr. Baker said.
Mike Berry is a lawyer with the religious liberty legal organization First Liberty Institute. It’s the goal of the organization to defend religious freedom. Religious freedom is under attack by the MRFF in this situation.
Berry says Jesus was indeed a leader and it is not against the law to study his leadership as MRFF is accusing.
“It’s perfectly legal to study his leadership. In fact, some of our military leaders would do well to study Jesus’ leadership a bit more. None other than our first commander in chief, George Washington, looked to Jesus as a model of leadership,” Berry said.
The men and women of our military put their lives on the line for our freedom. Thus they are entitled to enjoy those same freedoms they are fighting for, including religious liberty.