Christian Air Force Veteran Punished By Lesbian Commander Could Be Court-Martialed

Fini flightSAN ANTONIO — A Christian Air Force veteran that was recently in headlines after being punished by his commander for declining to affirm homosexual marriage, reportedly may face court-martial proceedings as investigators now accuse him of filing a false discrimination complaint.

As previously reported, Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk has served in the Air Force for 19 years, and has been stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. When he recently returned from deployment, he found that he had a new commander, Major Elisa Valenzuela, who is a lesbian.

Monk says that in his early communication with the commander, he knew there would be concerns.

“She said she wanted a chaplain but objected to one particular chaplain that she called a ‘bigot’ because he preached that homosexuality is a sin,” he explained to reporters. “She then said, ‘I don’t know what kind of people actually believe that kind of cr**.’ I knew I was going to have a rough time in this unit and I would have to be very careful about what I said.”

Monk was later asked to advise Valenzuela regarding a disciplinary matter involving an Air Force instructor who had expressed his disagreement with homosexual “marriage” in a written presentation.

“Her very first reaction was to say, ‘We need to lop off the head of this guy,’” he recalled. “The commander took the position that his speech was discrimination.”

However, when Monk read the words at issue, he believed that the instructor had not done anything wrong.

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“He was trying to essentially say [that] despite our differences, it’s the Air Force core values that unite us, and in that process he made some sort of statement about, ‘I don’t believe in same-sex marriage, but it doesn’t matter. I’m going to train you the same anyway,’” he explained.

But Valenzuela told Monk that he needed to be on the same page as she was, and that if he didn’t do so, he would be moved elsewhere. She then questioned him on whether he believes it is discrimination for a person to state that they disagree with homosexual “marriage.” He replied that he did not wish to answer because of his convictions.

Monk was then relieved of his duties and reassigned because he would not affirm Valenzuela’s beliefs. According to the Liberty Institute, the Christian legal organization that is representing Monk, the senior master sergeant was told that he was barred from returning to the building.

However, the Liberty Institute now reports that investigators are accusing the Air Force veteran of making false statements in his discrimination complaint. Monk says that he believes the accusation is retaliation for blowing the whistle against his commander.

“I was stunned and immediately felt that this was a retaliation against me for coming forward with my religious discrimination complaint,” he said.

The Liberty Institute outlined in a news release on Friday that charges could be forthcoming, and if so, there is a possibility that Monk could be court-martialed.

“The Air Force must now decide whether it will charge SMSgt Monk with the crime of making a false official statement,” it explained. “In the military, making a false official statement is punishable by court-martial.”

Attorney Mike Berry advised that the Christian legal organization will continue to defend Monk as it believes that his account is truthful.

“We are hopeful that the Air Force will do the right thing by clearing SMSgt Monk’s name and reputation, and supporting his and every Airman’s right to express, without fear of punishment, their religious convictions,” he said.


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  • 0jr

    I’m am not surprised .I think it started with quotas for minorities.Then blantant affirmination action programs that excluded male whites totally.All advocated by the christian establishment. Now they came for them .Thats what they get for advocating reverse discriminatory polices that are blatant violations of the constitution

  • Kevin Elliott

    I am a retiried AF officer and currently working as an AF civilian. In the past few years where this has been an increasing issue both with dealing with homosexuality and the restrictions on religious freedon while deployed, such as burning of bibles by military leadership at Bagram AB. In most every case, the military has worked with knee jerk, vehement discrimination against people of strong religious beliefs and values. For the bible burning, the military sought no solution such as giving the bibles back to the original senders or better, yet, providing to churches or professed christians natives in Afghanistan.

    As far as the current sitution w/ SMSgt Monk, the AF put out 2 required training CBTs on it’s Automated Distance Learning System: (1) Freedom of Religion, Supervisor’s Course, and (2) Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t tell training. Statements of each course are listed below. According to these course, SMSgt Monk acted appropriately and his commander and the wing equal opportunity and IG office are apparently not. SMSgt Monk also should be able to freely pursue grievance with the IG office, religious harassment with the equal opportunity office, petition with his congressman, and pursuit of outside counsel such as he has with Liberty Institute.

    1. From AF Automated Distance Learning System (ADLS) Freedom of Religion,
    Supervisor’s course.

    -This right extends to military members and government employees but is not
    guaranteed in all circumstances.

    -The Air Force is officially neutral regarding religious beliefs, neither
    officially endorsing nor disapproving any faith belief or absence of belief.

    -We accommodate free exercise of religion and other personal beliefs as well
    as freedom of expression, except as must be limited by military necessity.

    -If military necessity leads to a limitation on an individual’s right to
    free exercise of religion, commanders will ensure that the limitation is
    done in the least restrictive manner possible to meet the requirements of
    military necessity.

    -Voluntary participation in worship, prayer, study, and discussion is
    integral to the free exercise of religion.

    -In official circumstances, particularly situations in which superior and
    subordinate relationships are involved, individuals need to be sensitive to
    personal expressions that may appear to be official endorsements. This is
    especially true when subordinates are present as part of their official
    duties and obligations.

    -The IG:
    Sustains a trustworthy relationship with Air Force personnel by remaining
    independent. Ensures Air Force personnel are free from retribution,
    retaliation, or
    reprisals for communicating with the installation IG. Assists in resolving the
    underlying cause of a complaint to prevent reduced performance, accidents,
    poor quality work, poor morale, or loss of
    resources.

    -Supervisor Considerations and Responsibilities
    As a supervisor, you retain your rights of religious expression, but must
    also be sensitive to the rights of your subordinates and the potential that
    your personal expressions may appear to be official or have undue influence
    on your subordinates. You need to: Conduct official business; Rely on
    official standards; Behave in a manner that does not: (1) Appear to infuse
    official business with a religious component, (2) Give preference to one
    religion over another, (3) Give preference to religion over non-religion;
    Remain mindful of the need to consider religious accommodation.

    -In accordance with Air Force Policy Directive 52-1, commanders should
    ensure that requests for religious accommodation are welcomed and dealt with
    as fairly and consistently as practicable throughout their commands.

    2. From AF ADLS DADT Repeal Training, rights and accomadating of religion:

    -The DoD maintains: zero tolerance for harassment, violence or discrimination

    -Free exercise of religious expression, within law and policy, remains
    unchanged.

    -(Members may) Maintain beliefs.

    -(Members may) Discuss concerns with commander/chaplain.

    Any Service member may petition for
    redress

  • REGINALD BLOUNT

    I am not surprised at all of what Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk is going through. When the issue of repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was being pushed buy the Obama administration, I wrote an article that this will be the official beginning of Religious persecution. The writing was on the wall from the beginning. When the Department of Defense starts mandating what is moral or immoral with no guidelines, then you are creating a very unstable situation. Two years ago the military said that homosexuality was wrong, and immoral. Now they say it is acceptable and that marriage between same sex is also good. With NO moral compass to guide our morals such as what the Holy Bible offers. Rules and laws are dictated by officials based on what they believe. “HUMANISM”. That means one day the Department of Defense could allow group marriage, bestiality, sex with Commanders of your choice, whatever, because we are no longer held to moral standards buy someone higher than ourselves. Man changes, GOD DOSE NOT. What was SIN in the beginning, is SIN now.