November 2017 Church & State - November 2017

Ohio Chaplain Under Fire For Comments About Religion

  AU admin

A conservative Christian Air Force chaplain in Ohio is under scrutiny after he penned a blog post attacking the presence of “counterfeit” Christians and non-Christians in the military. 

“Counterfeit Christians in the Armed forces [sic] will appeal to the Constitution, and not Christ, and they have no local church home – which means they have no accountability for their souls (Heb. 13:17),” Capt. Sonny Hernandez, an Air Force Reserve chaplain for the 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, wrote in a blog post on the Christian nationalist website BarbWire.

He continued, “Christian service members who openly profess and support the rights of Muslims, Buddhists, and all other anti-Christian worldviews to practice their religions – because the language in the Constitution permits – are grossly in error, and deceived.”

Hernandez’s comments drew criticism from religious freedom advocates, including Americans United.

“Existing chaplains must uphold their duty to offer support to all troops, regardless of their beliefs,” AU Assistant Director of Communications Liz Hayes wrote in a Sept. 21 “Wall of Separation” blog post. “Religious freedom is about fairness – we don’t treat people differently because their beliefs are different from ours.”

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an AU ally, has filed a complaint with the Department of Defense asking for Hernandez to be investigated for his comments.

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