Earlier this summer, thousands of you joined with us in calling on Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to affirm the religious freedom of military chaplains in light of an atheist campaign against an Army chaplain. I’m writing to give an update.
As you may recall, Army Senior Chaplain (Colonel) Moon Kim was attacked by an activist group for sharing a Christian book with fellow chaplains as a resource for ministering to their troops.
The book, Coronavirus and Christ by John Piper, asks readers to consider that God has a purpose and a direction in all that has happened across the globe in the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting both believers and non-believers. Rather than giving a specific answer to why, Piper lays out a number of avenues of biblical thought on God’s purposes with the pandemic, including His response to sin in our world. Piper specifically identifies homosexuality as one of those sins.
That raised the ire of Mikey Weinstein, the atheist founder of the deceptively named Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Weinstein, with a big assist from the media, called on Secretary Esper to punish Colonel Kim severely, including making him subject to court-martial.
That’s where you came in. Thousands of you used our Action Center to reach out to Secretary Esper, asking him to support Chaplain (Colonel) Kim and to let chaplains be chaplains as they serve those who protect our nation.
The response from the Pentagon was strong – acknowledging the many voices in support of Kim and affirming the rights of chaplains.
“The Department of Defense is committed to our Constitutional values and recognizes the unique and critical role our Chaplains play in providing religious support to our Armed Forces,” said the letter signed by Jeffrey P. Angers, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army.
“Theological discussions among Chaplains are an important part of their professional development and thus are expected and not prohibited,” added Angers in his letter to Family Policy Alliance. “Chaplain Kim, like all other chaplains, remains free to engage in these discussions and to share appropriate professional development material among his Chaplain colleagues.”
This strong affirmation of these chaplain rights is encouraging. Let’s thank God for military and political leadership that upholds those rights, and let’s especially pray for the chaplains and the men and women in our Armed Forces whom they minister to.
Thanks for speaking up! It’s heard and makes a difference!