It really takes a special kind of low-life to stop a chaplain from ministering to the family and colleagues of a dead sailor.
Last December, a gay officer took offense at a Christian chaplain’s
take on homosexuality. Modder, who is endorsed by the Assemblies of God,
was accused of discrimination and failing to show tolerance and
respect, among other things.
Just a few months earlier, Modder’s
commander had called him the “best of the best” and a “consummate
professional leader.” But now he’s on the verge of being kicked out of
Modder was relieved of his duties and temporarily
reassigned pending the outcome of an investigation. The Navy has since
denied the chaplain’s request to be reinstated for religious
So that brings us to an incident that occurred last week, when a sailor in Modder’s previous unit unexpectedly died.
Institute attorney Michael Berry tells me Modder was about to reach out
to the sailor’s grieving family when a member of the command stopped
He was slapped with a “no contact” order – the Navy’s version
of a restraining order – banning him from providing counsel or
ministering to any members of his unit.
"This Navy official is
using the ‘no contact’ order as a weapon to punish and humiliate a
decorated military chaplain," Berry said. "To deny Chaplain Modder of
the ability to minister to a grieving family and other sailors is
The Navy went so far as to banish Modder from the
base on the day of the sailor’s memorial service. The chaplain said that
was adding, “insult to injury.”
"One of the most important things
chaplains do is to provide comfort and care after a tragic death,"
Modder said. "I am heartbroken for the family, and yet the Navy won’t
allow me to do my job of helping them grieve and mourn."
beyond me why the Navy would treat a Marine and highly decorated
chaplain with such derision. This is a man who was deployed multiple
times during the War on Terror. This is a man who once led chaplains who
ministered to Navy SEALs.
Tens of thousands of Americans have
petitioned the Pentagon to reinstate Modder, and a number of high
profile-political and religious figures – including Mike Huckabee, Sen.
Ted Cruz, Franklin Graham and Family Research Council President Tony
Perkins – have offered their support.