Twitter icon

Facebook icon

About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Vital notes

World religions
Christian def'n
Climate Change
 Shared beliefs
 Handling change
 Bible topics
 Bible inerrancy
 Bible harmony
 Interpret the Bible
 Beliefs & creeds
 Da Vinci code
 Revelation 666
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Confusing terms
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Death penalty

Same-sex marriage

Human rights
Gays in the military
Sex & gender
Stem cells
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news



Religious Tolerance logo


Religious Freedom to Discriminate

2018-AUG: An army chaplain and
his assistant may be charged
with discrimination. NY Catholic
agency suspends adoptions:

Sponsored link

U.S. Army Chaplain Major Scott Squires and his chaplain assistant, SSG Kacie Griffin, may be charged by the Army and face a court martial. If found guilty, they could receive a sentence to a military prison of up to six-months duration.

Major Squires is sponsored by the North American Mission Board (NAMB) of his denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The latter is an evangelical Christian denomination that has adopted more fundamentalist Christian beliefs in recent years. The Convention advocates discrimination against the LGBT community in violation of the Golden Rule. They do not recognize gay marriages or same-sex unions involving lesbians, gays or bisexuals.

An unidentified lesbian soldier approached Major Squires and asked that she and her female partner be scheduled to attend the next Strong Bonds Marriage Retreat. Squires was scheduled to lead that retreat.

According to the Army's Stand-To web site, the Strong Bonds Program:

"... is a unit-based, chaplain-led program which assists commanders in building individual resiliency by strengthening the Army family. The core mission of the Strong Bonds program is to increase individual Soldier and family member readiness through relationship education and skills training. Strong Bonds includes four subprograms applied across the Army Force Generation model: single-Soldier, couple, family, and deployment." 1

Army chaplains sometimes find themselves in a conflict of interest situation.

  • On the one hand, the Army requires all employees, including Chaplains, to not discriminate against the LGBT community. "The Army E.O. policy states that "no service will be denied to any member of the Armed Service, regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation." 4

  • On the other hand, each chaplain is endorsed by a faith group and are expected to follow its beliefs and policies. The NAMB of the SBC advocates such discrimination. Its 2013 memo said:

    "NAMB endorsed chaplains will not conduct or attend a wedding ceremony for any same sex couple, bless such a union or perform counseling in support of such a union, assist or support paid contractors or volunteers leading same-sex relational events, nor offer any kind of relationship training or retreat, on or off a military installation, that would give the appearance of accepting the homosexual lifestyle or sexual wrongdoing." 4

Major Squires chose to follow his denomination's policies. He refused the soldiers request on the basis that a same-sex relationship was involved. However, realizing that the next Strong Bonds Program was to be held by a more religiously liberal chaplain who did follow the Golden Rule, he assured the couple that they could attend that program instead of his own. Three days later, he added the couple as attendees to the retreat that followed his.

Following a complaint, presumably from the couple, an Army investigator concluded that the soldier was:

"... denied a service due to her sexual orientation,"

and that the Chaplain did not follow Army policy in accommodating her.

Major Squires and SSG Griffin are represented by First Liberty, a conservative Christian legal defence group located in Plano, TX. They promote religious freedom -- including the religious freedom to discriminate against others. On AUG-15, First Liberty stated on their web site:

"The 'deep state' stench is getting worse. It started with Chaplain Squires being threatened with military prison -- but that wasn’t enough -- now his assistant SSG Kacie Griffin is in the cross hairs because of Major General Sonntag’s deliberate indecision.

It’s time to hold Sonntag accountable for allowing aggressive anti-religious hostility to live in our military. ..." 2

Chaplain Squires said:

"The investigator concluded that I should be reprimanded for doing something I'm required to do under Army regulations and my endorser's rules. I hope the Army sees that I was simply following Army regulations and the tenets of my church." 4

Mike Berry, the Deputy General Counsel and Director of Military Affairs at First Liberty said:

“The United States Army, acting under the command of Major General Sonntag, is threatening to punish one of its chaplains because he followed the rules. The Army, or Congress, must hold Major General Sonntag accountable for allowing this aggressive anti-religious hostility against its military chaplains to occur under his command." 3

Lt. General Jerry Boykin at the Family Research Center once said:

"If the military wants a chaplain corps, then they have to be prepared for chaplains to be chaplains. A chaplain isn't worth anything if he isn't allowed to minister and counsel according to his faith. If the Army won't allow him to be a chaplain, then he becomes nothing more than a social worker." 4

horizontal rule

Sponsored link:

horizontal rule

2018-AUG: NY: Roman Catholic charity suspends adoptions:

An agency in New York state, Catholic Charities of Buffalo, refused to serve same-sex couples who wanted to adopt a child. This violated the New York state's Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) policy which requires adoption agencies in the state to consider all families equally when they apply to adopt a child. The state office prohibits agencies from discriminating against applicants on the basis of their marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Against the objections of most of its staff, the leaders of Catholic Charities of Buffalo decided that they would suspend all adoption activity rather than serve families headed by same-sex couples. 5 Hopefully, the children on their caseload who were seeking adoptive parents were successfully transferred to other adoption agencies in the area.

horizontal rule

More news about the religious freedom to discriminate later in 2018

horizontal rule

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Strong Bonds Program," U.S. Army, 2009-OCT-27, at:
  2. "Anti-religious bias in U.S. Military is ruining careers," 2018-AUG-14, at:
  3. Lacey McNiel, "Chaplain Scott Squires / SSG Kacie Griffin Case," First Liberty, 2018-AUG-06, at:
  4. Tony Perkins, "Army Chaplain Bombarded for Marriage View," Family Research Council, 2018-APR-18, at:
  5. Zack Ford, "Hate group files lawsuit to ensure adoption agency can discriminate against same-sex couples," Think Progress, 2018-DEC-11, at:

How you may have arrived here:

Home > Religious freedom > Religious freedom to discriminate > here

Home > Important essays > Religious freedom > here

Home > Religious information > Religious freedom > here

Home > Human rights > Religious freedom > here

Home > Women > here

Home > Human rights > here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Agenda & news > here

horizontal rule

Author: B.A. Robinson
Originally posted on: 2018-DEC-12

line.gif (538 bytes)
Sponsored link

Go to the previous page, or go to the Religious freedom to discriminate menu or choose:




Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Hot, controversial topics

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.

Sponsored links