Republican Congressman Doug Collins joined Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot radio to shine light on the culture shift happening in the U.S. military and in America undermining religious freedom and attacking Christianity.
Collins, an Air Force reserve chaplain who served in Iraq, represents Georgia’s 9th congressional District. He came on the show to defend Navy Chaplain Wes Modder, a decorated chaplain for the Naval Special Warfare command. The member of the House Judiciary Committee has defended the beleaguered chaplain on the floor of the House as well.
Modder, an ordained minister of the Assemblies of God, faces a ban from the Navy for expressing his Christian beliefs favoring traditional marriage. He expressed them in a one-on-one spiritual counseling session at a submarine training school that he was assigned to in South Carolina.
In an interview with Breitbart News, Modder explained that before his counseling sessions he reveals that he is a pastoral minister. He said that when one comes to talk to him, they are meeting with him as a chaplain. He tells them that the Bible is the source of his counseling.
Breitbart Executive Chairman, former naval officer, and host of BNS, Stephen K. Bannon, asked Rep. Collins if the culture in the military has changed: “Has something gone wrong in the military today? Because, it does not remind me of the military that I so proudly served for seven and a half years.” The congressman responded saying that he believes “something has gone wrong. I believe that political correctness has run amok.”
Collins explained that the problem is really a middle management problem: “Everybody is trying to find there leg up and they have found it at the expediency of Christian values… There is this desire to advance their own careers by reporting religious intolerance, when the chaplains are simply being the members of the military they are suppose to be.”
Bannon added that during his time in the Navy he remembers the chaplains “as being an integral part of helping guys on ships during deployments to get through difficult times.” Collins, an ordained Baptist pastor, told Breitbart listeners that “a chaplain is there for people of faith and no faith.”
Significantly, Collins remarked that the case of Wes Modder in the Navy and Joseph Lawhorn, a chaplain in the Army, share similar circumstances. Lawhorn reieved a letter of concern by his superior for listing the Bible as a resource in a suicide prevention class.
“After the issue is reported nothing happens,” Collins observes. “It’s always someone sort of outside the chain that says, ‘Whoa! That’s outside the bounds. I want to make a complaint about this.’ That’s what I mean by it seems that there are some who want to make a career statement by reporting what they believe is a religious step out of the bounds by members and also chaplains.”
Bannon asked if being open about Christian beliefs in the military today could work against someone, perhaps even prompting a bad fitness report or a bad command. Collins said he thinks that exists to some degree. Collins feels strongly that Christians are called to be “salt in life” and doesn’t want to see Christians move away from the public place or the military.
Collins, who earned his master’s degree in divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, believes that the Obama administration doesn’t appreciate the values of the constitution and the values of the Founding Fathers, who treasured religious expression and religious tolerance. Fortunately, Obama will be gone in two years, he noted.
“We have to stand firm because our military is the greatest force of good around the world and Christians are a vital active part of that,” Collins asserted.
The Republican congressman further explained that most people don’t realize “that chaplains are fully military and fully endorsed by their respective denominational background. In other words we have to live up to both the military standard and also our denominational standards. The military cannot tell our faith backgrounds what we are to believe… The military is now saying to chaplains, ‘you operate the way we want you to,’ but that is not the way their own rules are set up. And congress is taking note of that.”