The defense of Air Force chaplain Sonny Hernandez to calls for an investigation into his statements that Christians in the military should not support the religious freedom of non-Christian soldiers is blatantly dishonest, by him and by others. Hernandez is now pretending he was just talking about salvation:
Hernandez says he was expressing a purely theological argument that there is only one path to spiritual redemption. He believes his role is that of missionary — to share that message with as many people as he can.
“I am a Christian; I am 24/7, 365 days a year an evangelist and a missionary,” he said. “These are my moral principles and I have a standing objective to defend that.”
His message, he said, is being misunderstood…
“We are all made in the image of God and we are good in God’s eyes,” he said. “And Christians should never mistreat anybody because they don’t believe in what you believe.”
First of all, a chaplain is not a missionary. A missionary’s job is to convert people and they work for the church. A chaplain’s job is to support the troops and provide them with comfort and counsel, which requires sometimes also helping those who don’t share their faith. And they work for the military, hold positions in the military, and are paid with our tax dollars. If you want to be a missionary, go be a missionary.Th last two statements he makes are totally irrelevant to the situation. Whether he believes that everyone is good in God’s eyes (the Bible, incidently, actually says the opposite, that there is no good person among us, not even one, that we are all sinners and deserving of hell), he is advocating that no one who is not a Christian should have the freedom to practice their faith in the military. But the Air Force seems fine with all of this:
Air Force Reserve spokesman Lt. Col. Chad Gibson said Hernandez is expressing his own views, not those of the Air Force, and his freedom to express his own faith is an essential protection in the military. The Air Force is not conducting an investigation, he said.
“I think we should reflect on why the Air Force is here,” Gibson said. “We are sworn to protect freedom of faith and religion unless it infringes on other people’s rights.”
“That’s why we fight,” he said.
But that is an oath that Hernandez explicitly rejects. He has sworn that same oath, yet he bluntly declares, “Christian servicemembers who openly profess and support the rights of Muslims, Buddhists and all other anti-Christian world views to practice their religions – because the language in the Constitution permits – are grossly in error and deceived” and says that no one should be allowed to practice their faith if it isn’t Christian. By the Air Force’s own admission, then, he is going against the oath he swore. Not that they seem to care.
So not only is Hernandez a Christian authoritarian who thinks only people like him have freedom, he’s also willing to lie in order to defend that position. How very Christian of him.