The following comes from a March 11 Military Times article by Andrew Tilghman:
A Pentecostal chaplain once assigned to elite Navy SEAL units may be kicked out of the Navy for allegedly scolding sailors for homosexuality and premarital sex.
Lt. Cmdr. Wesley Modder was given a “detachment for cause” letter on Feb. 17 after his commanders concluded that he is “intolerant” and “unable to function in the diverse and pluralistic environment” of his current assignment at the Navy Nuclear Power Training Command in South Carolina.
Modder denies any wrongdoing and is fighting the dismissal with attorneys from the Liberty Institute, which advocates for religious expression in the military and in public institutions. Modder has served more than 19 years and could lose his retirement benefits if the Navy convenes a board of inquiry and officially separate him before he completes 20 years of service.
Navy Capt. Jon Fahs, NNPTC commander, cited several specific incidents in which Modder offered inappropriate counseling to sailors in the command, according to the detachment for cause letter. The letter states that Modder:
Told a female that she was “shaming herself in the eyes of god” for having premarital sex.
Told another student that homosexuality was wrong and that “the penis was meant for the vagina and not for the anus.”
Suggested to a student that he, Modder, had the ability to “save” gay people.
“Berated” a student for becoming pregnant while not married.
Christianne Witten, a spokeswoman for the Navy Chaplain Corps, said Modder has been temporarily reassigned to Naval Support Activity Charleston as one of the staff chaplains while Navy Personnel Command officials review the detachment for cause action.
Modder’s 19 years of service includes many glowing fitness reports. He spent several years providing spiritual counsel to Navy SEALS, and in December received a letter of commendation from the head of the Navy Special Warfare Command, who called Modder the “best of the best” and a “talented and inspirational leader.”
Modder’s Liberty Institute attorney, Michael Berry, said the effort to fire him reflects a broader cultural change in the military.
“I think what we are seeing is a hostility to religious expression in the military now,” Berry said. “What we’re seeing is this new modern, pluralistic, Navy where service members are encouraged to be hypersensitive, especially about issues of faith, marriage and family.”