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Bott Radio Network President and CEO Rich Bott is joined by Eben Fowler of BRN covering from the 2016 Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC. This video clip is an interview with Wes Modder, a former Marine and retired military chaplain. The U.S. Navy threatened Modder in late 2014 with detachment for cause, removal from the promotion list, and a Board of Inquiry after Modder answered questions pertaining to marriage and sexuality according to his religious beliefs and denomination’s teachings during private counseling sessions. In September 2015, the Navy exonerated Modder, dropping all charges against him and allowing him to continue serving in his full capacity as a chaplain. Modder warns his case is not the last time you will see Christianity openly under attack in the Armed Forces. In fact, he believes the problem is getting even worse.
You can also view his interview with CBN here
Navy quashes effort to fire chaplain who counseled according to his beliefs | Tennessee Christian News ™
MILLINGTON, Tenn. — Top Navy officials have quashed an effort by a commander at the Nuclear Power Training Command in South Carolina to fire a chaplain. Capt. J.R. Fahs relieved Lt. Cmdr. Chaplain Wes Modder from duty allegedly because he offered counseling on sexuality consistent with his Christian faith.
Fahs recommended that Modder be “detached for cause” after some service members who went to the chaplain filed a complaint against him for offering counsel they didn’t agree with but was nonetheless consistent with the chaplain’s faith. Navy Personnel Command rejected the recommendation Thursday, saying that the “evidence of substandard performance in this case does not meet the standard of gross negligence or complete disregard for duty” that Navy rules require for a detachment for cause.
“The Navy should be commended for ruling in accord with its own understanding and expectation that chaplains provide counsel according to the tenets of their faith,” said Chaplain (COL) Ron Crews, USA Retired, executive director of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. “No disciplinary action, then, can cite his religious views or his verbalization of them as a cause for the action. Further, Congress passed language in the National Defense Authorization Act to make clear that chaplains who provide ministry from their faith tradition are protected from adverse actions by command.”
READ FULL ARTICLE AT: Tennessee Christian News ™
By Elizabeth Kendal Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin (RLPB) 247 Special to ASSIST News Service
(ANS) — The Burmese Army (the Tatmadaw) is continuing its campaign of ethnic cleansing in resource-rich Kachin State. The Christian Kachin have long resisted the Burman Buddhist regime’s brutal dictatorship. While the Kachin want autonomy so they can freely maintain their culture, the Burman Buddhist elite and military want complete control of Kachin land so they can exploit its resources. The situation in Burma is reminiscent of that in Sudan, where the Islamist-Arab regime in Khartoum is doing the same in the resource-rich mostly Christian, African south. Similar situations exist in Papua, Indonesia and in Vietnam’s Central Highlands. In each case, the resistance of the predominantly Christian ethnic peoples is met with extreme military violence and ethnic cleansing motivated by greed and fuelled by state-sanctioned racial and religious hatred.(See Religious Liberty Monitoring: Burma)
On the morning of 30 January, Burma Army troops attacked Nam Gau Village of Mansi township in south Kachin State. More than 2000 people had already fled attacks in the area in November-December 2013 and now the remnant has also fled. The Burma Army took 20 villagers captive and thoroughly looted the village. Later that day soldiers of the Kachin Army led some villagers back to help them gather what remained of their belongings. At that point the Burma Army returned and a fierce fire-fight ensued. The next day Burma Army reinforcements arrived and the fighting escalated with the Burma Army attacking nearby Nam San Village also, firing heavy mortar rounds on civilian homes. Whilst ultimately the Kachin Army was driven out, it moved on to attack the Burma Army base, forcing the Burma Army to abandon the villages to defend their base. Other Kachin soldiers helped the local people collect what remained of their belongings. When the Free Burma Rangers relief teams conducted a medical clinic for those displaced in nearby Nam Lim Pa on 30 January, they found three bodies with clear evidence of torture. The ethnic cleansing continues.
Despite propaganda to the contrary, the situation faced by the Kachin is actually worse than ever. In the past, when Burma was aligned with China, the West would attack the junta by exposing human rights abuses and championing the rights of the persecuted ethnic nations. However, when Burma re-aligned and sought rapprochement with the West, everything changed. All the West can see now is an opportunity to make great economic and geo-strategic gains in Burma. Nevertheless, before Western politicians could engage with Burma, Burma’s image problem had to be dealt with. In reality, Burma’s political ‘reforms’ are cosmetic and ‘peace talks’ are a stalling tactic. The government is essentially powerless, a mere front for the military which still calls the shots. The reforms really are all about image.
In an act of extreme betrayal, the ‘international community’ is allowing the regime in Naypyidaw to control all distribution of international aid. Therefore the Kachin Army fights to defend the Christian Kachin from Burma Army aggression and expansion but the regime controls the aid. Like the regime in Sudan, the regime here uses this tactic to infiltrate deep into hostile territory where it then sets up offices and distribution centres and consolidates its presence. Thus the war-ravaged Christian Kachin are forced to choose between holding their ground and starving, or opening the door to the regime. As a retired US Army Special Forces officer, Tim Heinemann, notes: ‘This is effectively international support for Burman-led counter-insurgency operations.’ (Asia Times, 23 January 2014). It seems the West is prepared to ignore gross human rights abuses and war crimes to get access to Burma’s vast and untapped resources, markets and cheap labour. Once their champion, now the West wants the ethnic nations to submit and co-operate. In July 2013 the British government even approved arms export licences to Burma worth over US$5 million.
[International Day of Prayer for Burma: 9 March 2014, See http://www.freeburmarangers.org ]
PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY THAT GOD WILL —
- preserve, sustain and raise up godly leaders amongst the severely persecuted, Christian Kachin; may these leaders be blessed with great and effective power from the Holy Spirit to comfort and encourage their traumatised, war-ravaged peoples so that they do not fall into despair and lose hope in the LORD; may their faith shine brightly in Burma’s darkness.
‘My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the LORD.” . . . But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”‘ (Lamentations 3:17,18 and 21-24 ESV)
- intervene in Burma to defend and sustain his people, shielding them from harm and providing their needs while exposing and fighting their enemies. (See Isaiah 40:10,11 and 59:14-19)
‘Woe to him who builds his house by unjust gain . . .’ (Habakkuk 2:9 NIV)
SUMMARY FOR BULLETINS UNABLE TO RUN THE WHOLE ARTICLE ————————————————————- CONTINUED ETHNIC CLEANSING OF CHRISTIAN KACHIN IN BURMA (Myanmar)
Behind a smokescreen of political ‘reform’, the Burmese Army is continuing its campaign of ethnic cleansing in Kachin State. The Christian Kachin have long resisted the Burman Buddhist regime’s brutal dictatorship. Whilst the Kachin seek autonomy so they can freely maintain their culture, the regime wants full control so it can exploit the Kachin’s resource-rich lands. The extreme military violence meted out against the Kachin is motivated by greed and fuelled by State-sanctioned racial and religious hatred. Fighting rages in south Kachin State where the Burma Army is attacking village after village, employing heavy artillery, rape and torture, kidnapping villagers and looting. The Kachin are traumatised, the regime controls the aid supplies and the West appears to have abandoned them for economic gain. Please pray for Burma and its Church.
Under President Obama and Secretary of Defense Hagel, the military is increasingly hostile to Christians.
Mandatory briefings warn soldiers against joining evangelical groups.
The Pentagon consults with a known anti-Christian bigot.
Soldiers are told not to give money to conservative organizations.
Enough is enough. Sign the petition to stop this anti-Christian propaganda.
Recently, VOP was at a church taking SAVE SAEED pictures of church members. One member did not allow us to take his picture, because he is in the military. He is very concerned for Pastor Saeed and was disappointed he could not take part in the campaign! Pray for Christians in the military!
President Obama and Secretary of Defense Hagel,
It is unconstitutional to single out Christianity as “extreme” and warn our nation’s soldiers away from evangelical or conservative groups. Anti-Christian bigotry has no place in our Armed Forces. Defend religious liberty in the military.
SIGN THE PETITION HERE
If you go to the D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., you will see a moving tableau, a series of statues of the brave young Americans who stormed ashore on June 6, 1944, to liberate a continent from the grip of Adolf Hitler. One of these statues is called “Death on the Shore.”
It shows a soldier who was cut down as he left his landing craft. His Bible is seen falling out of his rucksack. That Bible included an endorsement from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The body of this young man, one of the many from the little southwest Virginia town of Bedford, was never found but his Bible was returned to his loving family. Bedford was chosen for the D-Day Memorial because it sacrificed more sons, proportionately, than any other American town on that Longest Day.
The rights for which that young soldier laid down his life include, first, religious freedom. Religious freedom is the first right protected in the Bill of Rights. Americans have cherished religious freedom since before we were an independent nation. That is why many of the original colonists came to America in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Those religious freedoms are very much at risk today. Under the Obama administration, there is an ongoing effort to suppress free speech and free exercise. The view of this administration is becoming clearer each day: Freedom of worship will be grudgingly tolerated, but try to live out your faith, try to share your faith in the public square, and you face trouble.
My organization, Family Research Council (FRC), has combined with a broad spectrum of religious, social and educational groups to alert Americans to a rising tide of hostility and discrimination faced by Christians and others in our all-volunteer military. FRC has issued a report titled “Clear and Present Danger.” You can click on the link and download the entire report. You can also gain critical intelligence on this important topic on our new website.
The FRC report documents many actions that have occurred under this administration and before it that endanger the very religious freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution. It is these freedoms that members of our armed services take an oath to defend, “So help me God.” As you read the timeline of the threats, you will see they are increasing in frequency and scope.
FRC is urging Congress to enact religious freedom legislation for our service members. In the U.S. House of Representatives, this measure is sponsored by Rep. John Fleming, R-La.
Mr. Fleming says, “Those who fought for religious liberties the most are the ones having their religious liberties taken from them.”
The legislation got a strong boost from Congressman Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla. Mr. Bridenstine is a former Navy pilot who put his life on the line every time he stepped into a cockpit. He knows the importance service members attach to their faith. Congressman Bridenstine says religious freedom is “under attack” in our military.
One egregious example documented in the “Clear and Present Danger”report was the order at Walter Reed National Medical Center in December 2011 that banned visitors from bringing Bibles to wounded warriors. This order would be unconstitutional and offensive anywhere in the military, but Dr. Walter Reed, for whom the facility was named, was a devout Christian. A century ago, this most famous military physician publicly thanked God for enabling him to eradicate the deadly scourge of yellow fever.
While suppressing Christians in the military, the Obama administration goes out of its way to avoid the obvious when it comes to Islamist jihad. When Nidal Hasan, then serving in the Army, went on a murderous shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas, he killed 13 soldiers, including a pregnant young mother, Francheska Velez. She cried out, “My baby! My baby?” Hasan showed no mercy. That was November 2009.
Hasan carried a business card. This Army psychiatrist did not identify himself as a U.S. soldier, even though the American people paid for his education. Instead, he self-identified as “Soldier of Allah.” As he murdered his fellow soldiers, he cried out, “Allahu Akbar,” the Arabic words for “God is great.”
Pretty obviously, this was an act of religious hatred. Did the Obama administration view treat this as an act of terrorism, as a jihadist attack? No. They referred to this worst of all attacks on a U.S. military base merely as a case of “workplace violence.”
No wonder even such a measured and sober analyst of public affairs as veteran columnist Michael Barone can describe the Obama administration policy bluntly. This Harvard-educated senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute says Mr. Obama’s military policy is “Christianity bad; Islam good.”
The cover of FRC’s “Clear and Present Danger” report shows a white cross from the U.S. cemetery at Normandy. It might as well have shown the Stars of David that are nestled among those beautiful crosses, for Jewish service members have their religious freedom threatened by Obama policies as well. Now is the time for Congress to act to protect the religious liberties of all those who protect us.
Ken Blackwell is the senior fellow for family empowerment at the Family Research Council.
Several Christians have been killed in Egypt in the last week, in the wake of the military overthrow of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi July 2. On July 6 a Coptic Christian priest identified as Father Mina Aboud Sharween was gunned down in the Sinai town of El Arish, near the Gaza border. CBN News reported that Islamic gunmen in an SUV pulled up beside a vehicle driven by the 39-year-old Coptic priest, who was out shopping, and opened fire. Witnesses said that after killing the priest the gunmen dragged him from his vehicle and fled in it.
While it is unclear who exactly was responsible for the assassination, the Muslim Brotherhood, which had backed Morsi’s presidency, had harshly criticized Pope Tawadros, spiritual head of Egypt’s eight million Coptic Christians, after he expressed his support for the military’s removal of Morsi and for the suspension of Egypt’s constitution. Morning Star News, which monitors Christian persecution around the world, reported that “in the weeks leading up to the demonstrations against Morsi by millions, Islamists had issued threats against Christians, whom they held responsible for the movement.”
While Sharween was the first Christian leader killed since Morsi’s ouster, several other Christians have been killed in upper Egypt since July 2. “A country contact for the Voice for the Martyrs (VOM) reports nine Christians died in violence in the Upper Egyptian village of Al Dabaa, near Luxor,” related CBN News July 8. “Christian homes and shops were looted and burned and at least one church building was destroyed.”
The VOM contact said that Christians had been assaulted in Dalga and Der Mawas villages in Menia city, and at least three churches had been attacked and burned. “The army and the police forces are working so hard to protect Egyptians everywhere in Egypt, especially in the Upper Egypt area,” the VOM contact said.
Morning Star News related the killings of four Coptic Christians July 5 in a village near Luxor. The trouble began when a Muslim mob attacked a Coptic Christian identified as 42-year-old Emil Naseem Saroufeem, “known to be a supporter of the Tamard or ‘Rebel’ movement that began gathering in cities across Egypt on June 30 to demonstrate against Morsi,” reported Morning Star.
The mob began beating Saroufeem, “who escaped briefly when two relatives, Mouhareb Noushy Habib, 38, and Romany Noushy, 33, hid him,” the Morning Star account continued. The mob “caught up with the three Christians in the apartment of Rasem Tawadrous Aqladios, 56. Saroufeem and Aqladios were bludgeoned to death. The other two, Habib and Noushy, died when they were beaten and repeatedly stabbed.”
The account was related by Safwat Samaan, a spokesman for the human rights group Nation Without Limits. Samaan said that after the killings, the mob turned its wrath on other Coptics in the village, beating them and looting and burning their homes. Samaan said that in all, some 20 homes were destroyed, and Christians in the area have been too fearful to return to the area.
“The situation is calm there now,” Samaan told Morning Star News, “but there are about 95 Christian families that are staying at the church of Mar Youhana because they are too scared to go back. Also, a lot of these people had their homes burned down, and if not that, a lot of them had their houses torn apart and looted. The church is trying to get them to return home, but a lot of them are refusing.”
Samaan predicted that Morsi’s overthrow and the continuing military rule will spark more attacks on Christians in the country. “People from the Muslim Brotherhood are taking it upon themselves to wage jihad to defend Morsi and their religion,” he said.
Ishak Ibrahim, an official with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, said that Coptic Christians in the country “know very well there is a price that has to be paid, and what the Muslim Brotherhood people are saying is stirring people up against the Copts, even though the Copts were just participating in democracy just like everyone else.”
Photo of mourners at a funeral for two Coptic Christians killed in Egypt: AP Images