A recently retired Navy chaplain insists that he has no regrets for taking a stand in defense of his religious expression – one that threatened his career in the United States Navy.
On September 6, Chaplain Wes Modder received his honorable discharge and a medal of commendation from the Navy.
However, for the past two years, Modder has been at the center of a religious freedom firestorm that caught the attention of military officials and political leaders alike.
While Modder was on assignment at the Nuclear Power Training Command in Charleston, South Carolina, he came under fire after a few sailors objected to the religious views he expressed during private counseling sessions.
"Because of the change of climate and policies and procedures in the Navy – with ‘don't ask don't tell’ being lifted and transgender [policies] and all the things that we're doing – which I personally see as a disservice to military men and women because the military is not a social experimentation location – [it needs to remember that] it’s a war fighting organization."
Yet Modder says that it was unfortunate that he gave a biblical worldview to an officer who he did not know was homosexual.
"I came to find out later that he was a gay activist, and I was targeted,” the retired chaplain shared. “And, of course, the chaplain I was working with at this Navy Nuclear Power Training Command in Charleston -- she was a very liberal United Methodist command chaplain. She decided to escalate it, brought charges that I was intolerant [and] not able to function in a diverse pluralistic environment."
To counter the allegations of intolerance and discrimination made against him, the conservative legal group First Liberty provided legal representation for Modder. After a successful defense made on his behalf, Modder was ultimately cleared and able to retire from the Navy.
Modder recently accepted the position of Lead Pastor of Stone Church in Chicago, Illinois.