Some Evangelical Christian airmen at a base in Texas are claiming, according to a recent Fox News report, that the United States Military is using threats against them for voicing their opposition to gay marriage.
The reported 80 airmen, who are located at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, say they have faced several threats and religious persecution by officials at the base.
“There is an atmosphere of intimidation at Lackland Air Force Base,” said San Antonio Pastor Steve Branson to Fox News. “Gay commanders and officers are pushing their agenda on the airmen. There is a culture of fear in the military and it’s gone to a new level with the issue of homosexuality. “
Branson’s views are not unique. The author of the original report from Fox News, contributor Todd Starnes, claims that the persecution of these airmen for voicing their opinions is because they are Christians, adding that President Obama is out to silence Christians everywhere.
“The persecution of Master Sgt. Monk and the countless unnamed individuals at Lackland Air Force Base should serve as a warning to all Americans,” says Starnes in his story. “If the Obama administration’s Pentagon can take away their religious liberty – they can take away ours.”
Starnes’ citation of the case of Sergeant Phillip Monk in the quote above may not be a completely accurate example, though. Monk made an appearance on Fox News earlier this year claiming that he was fired for his religious views on marriage equality. It later came out, however, that Monk was actually let go for standing with a staff sergeant who was openly opposing homosexuality to trainees, which violates military policy. Monk refused to reprimand the staff sergeant, and wound up breaking the policy himself, but instead of being fired as he claimed, it turns out that he was actually just reassigned.
Pastor Branson adds that now many Christians in the military are afraid to say what they believe, and that religious persecution is only becoming more widespread.
“Guys who are good men are afraid to do anything because it will hurt them, cost them their career,” said Branson, adding, “The religious persecution is happening. It’s getting bigger every day.”