Navy Chaplain Fired for Faith Now Reinstated

Navy Chaplain Wesley Modder shared his beliefs in private counseling sessions and was relieved of duty by the Navy for failing to show tolerance.

Seems like a chaplain could safely share his or her faith and Christian beliefs, but according to Modder’s former commander, Captain John Fahs, he crossed a line.

“One day, his assistant brought him a complaint letter, and he was immediately asked to clean out his office,” according to Patheos.

Capt. Fahs “sought to remove Modder because he expressed his Christian beliefs on issues of sexuality, marriage, and homosexuality during counseling sessions with sailors.”

Modder has served for 20 years first as a Marine and now a chaplain to the Navy SEALs, he even served as chaplain on a deployment to Afghanistan.

WORLD Mag reported, “In his most recent officer fitness report evaluation, Fahs gave Modder the highest possible rating and referred to him as ‘the best of the best.’ Yet Fahs’ Feb. 17 detachment-for-cause memo accused Modder of intolerance and stated he was ‘unable to function in the diverse and pluralistic environment of NNPTC.’”

Fortunately, the Navy disapproved Fahs’ request after reviewing evidence.

“’I am relieved the Navy sided with me,’ Modder said in a statement released by Liberty Institute, which represented him. ‘I have served honorably for 20 years in diverse units in the Marine Corps and Navy. I am proud of my service but prouder of all those who serve on the frontlines regardless of their faith and backgrounds. I am called by my faith to express love for all, regardless of the diversity of backgrounds from which they come, and I will continue to follow my faith in all things. I am grateful to be able to continue the ministry God called me to do.’”

What do you think about religious freedom in the military?

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Esther Laurie
Esther Laurie is a staff writer at ChurchLeaders.com. Her background is in communication and church ministry. She believes in the power of the written word and the beauty of transformation and empowering others. When she’s not working, she loves running, exploring new places and time with friends and family. It’s her goal to work the word ‘whimsy’ into most conversations.