Congressmen Defense Army Chaplain Punished For Offering Guidance

Mark 13:13 “You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.”

An Army chaplain who was disciplined for offering spiritual guidance now has the support of 24 representatives and senators.

“We are concerned that this disciplinary action violated First Amendment free speech protection that are undergirded by state reflected in the FY2013 and FY2014 NDAAs, along with the accompanying DoD regulations,” states the letter from the senators, sent to Army Secretary John McHugh.

“In fulfilling his duties as chaplain, Captain Lawhorn shared both his personal struggle with depression as well as biblical references and materials in accordance with the views of his endorsing agency and complementary to personal convictions.”

Army Chaplain Capt. Joseph Lawhorn was given a “letter of concern” from a superior at Fort Benning when he mentioned his Christian faith during a suicide prevention class.

The letter from Col. David Fivecoat said a handout he offered required people to see Christian information.

“You provided a two-sided handout that listed Army resources on one side and a biblical approach to handling depression on the other side,” the letter read.  “This made it impossible for those in attendance to receive the resource information without also receiving the biblical information.”

“Regrettably, military chaplains have been increasingly under fire simply for fulfilling their important and time-honored role in supporting our service members. This is just one more incident that sets a bad precedent, effectively gagging chaplains and keeping service members from getting the support they need,” Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty executive director Ron Crews said.


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