Sometimes the homophobes lose, sometimes they win. Unfortunately, when certain intolerant religious zealots win a legal battle, they gloat like preschoolers at the sandbox. This is especially true when the Evangelical Liberty Institute, a law group that fights tooth and nail to keep the right of their defendants to practice bigotry in the name of the lawd, emerges victorious. As expected, they will take a long and public victory lap on Fox and Friends, which has given them airtime several times in the past. Wes Modder, the Navy Chaplain who was censured for condemning fellow officers for 'sins' like homosexuality and pre-marital sex, won his case to continue to pass judgement because his Old Testament said so.
Steve Doocy was giddy, as usual, because the bigots won this case, and that makes their majority 'Christian' viewers very happy. The military does have a history of being excessively biased towards Christian doctrine, which is odd for an institution that should be mindful of the Establishment Clause.
The Chaplain's slippery attorney, Kelly Shackelford, the President of the Liberty Institute (The Ferris Bueller's Day Off Dean-look-alike), has been with him every step of the way. He has a very abhorrent history of bigotry towards LGBT people, so much so that he believes tolerance towards these 'deviants' will be the end of freedom.
“People are afraid to speak up, which is the opposite of our country — our country is all about people having different beliefs,” he said. “And the scary thing to me is how quickly it moved from the GLBT [community] having some victories on this issue of marriage to having complete intolerance, of trying to force people to violate their faith. This is antithetical to our country and anything we’re about.”
He claimed that Christians have explicitly been targeted and ostracized for their views. “Whether you’re a baker, or a photographer, or a florist, or who else. It’s not that there aren’t plenty of people to do a wedding for two women or two men in the states where that’s legal. They sniff around to find out the one person who has a religious conscience objective and then try to destroy them,” he added. “It kind of shows you how, once you lose your religious freedom, you lose all freedom.”
With the help of Michael Berry, a former U.S. Marine JAG-Officer, Modder's case was presented as thus on the Liberty Institute's website, pleading for support from its religious faithful:
"Chaplain Modder’s religious expression is therefore consistent with—indeed, it’s protected—by federal law and military regulations. Any adverse action, including Detachment for Cause, a Board of Inquiry, or removal from the promotion list, which results from a service member’s sincerely held religious beliefs violates those laws and regulations.”
Today, Shackelford takes a victory lap:
SHACKELFORD: 'Unfortunately, the first few appeals, this (intolerance charge) wasn't overturned, and it was only at the very last stage that we got really the great victory...we've got laws that are real specific about chaplains being chaplains and not being able to be persecuted or punished because they're being a chaplain from their faith, this is EXACTLY what we want chaplains to do.
The Navy found no evidence of gross negligence or disregard of duty. He's going to keep his job! So Doocy wants to know if this is going to change how Modder conducts himself.
DOOCY: 'Is this going to slow you down from giving your religious point of view when somebody comes in and says I need some help?'
MODDER: 'No I don't believe so, I think that would be disingenuous, I need to do what god's called me to do. I am very grateful to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and I'm grateful to my wife, Liberty Institute, Mike Berry, Kelly, and I am grateful to the Navy for them, I knew they'd always have my back. You know we were told when we were young naval officers in the chaplaincy take care of your people and your people will take care of you.'
Always gunning for more business, the Liberty Institute attorney explains that if you know anyone in the military who may be persecuted for being a bigot, they have 'religious liberty protection kits' to protect their right to treat others exactly the opposite way that Jesus preached, and they're absolutely free! Christian military members should never be 'bullied' out of their freedoms. I guess the 'War on Christianity' will wage on as long as groups like the Liberty Institute make tons of money off their grifters.