(I posted this elsewhere the other day, before yesterday’s historic vote to repeal DADT, but decided to post it again today after reading Lt. Dan Choi’s post on Huffington Post last night. We’ve scored a major victory for civil rights, but, as Lt. Choi wrote, “The mission is not finished; it has only just begun.” As you read this, just put yourself in the shoes of a gay airman whose superior is Lt. Col. Stacy L. Maxey, and ask yourself if you’d feel like you could come out now just because DADT is repealed.)
Saying that his “commitment to [his] God supersedes [his] commitment to the DOD,” Air Force Lt. Col. Stacy L. Maxey has publicly vowed to violate military regulations and his oath to the U.S. Constitution if DADT is repealed. In a letter published by Stars and Stripes, Lt. Col. Maxey claims that it would be hypocritical that he would “be free to express myself if I’m a homosexual, but not if I’m a Christian.”
Here’s Lt. Col. Maxey’s letter:
Won’t choose to ‘deal with it’
STARS AND STRIPES
Letters to the Editor, December 15, 2010
So let me see if I understand this: The Defense Department is proposing to let people who choose to live a homosexual lifestyle serve “openly” in the armed forces (per the Dec. 2 article “DADT study group: Full integration is best”), but won’t allow Christians such as myself the freedom to “openly” share the good news of Christ with our co-workers — as the faith we’ve chosen requires?
DOD officials plan to tell servicemembers who have a problem with those living a homosexual lifestyle to “learn to deal with it,” but they are prepared to counsel and/or slap Christians with paperwork if someone feels “offended” by our witness? Wearing sexual lifestyle choices on your sleeve is OK, but not your faith?
Military chaplains who teach that homosexuality is antithetical to and incompatible with Christianity (which it is) can either muzzle their objections or “leave,” but gays will be permitted to parade their lifestyle choices in front of all?
Bottom line: So I’m free to express myself if I’m a homosexual, but not if I’m a Christian? What disgraceful hypocrisy.
Here’s the truth: I will continue to witness to who I want, when I want and where I want. My commitment to my God supersedes my commitment to the DOD and, if officials are upset about that, then I guess they can “learn to deal with it.”
Department of Defense? More like the Department of Double Standards.
Lt. Col. Stacy L. Maxey
(Looks like Lt. Col. Maxey’s intent to violate his military oath isn’t being met with much support from the readers of Stars and Stripes. You can read the comments here.)
Cases of military officers blatantly violating military regulations for their God are, of course, nothing new to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). We hear about them on a daily basis.
Upon being emailed Lt. Col. Maxey’s Stars and Stripes letter, MRFF founder and president Mikey Weinstein issued the following statement: “Lt. Col. Stacy L. Maxey is the quintessentially perfect example of a poisonous Poster Child of the vast legion of fundamentalist Christian proselytizing-oppressors operating with unfettered access in today’s U.S. armed forces. He and his illegitimate ilk of pernicious spiritual predators must be stopped now and very publicly! Thus, MRFF demands that the United States Air Force immediately and forthwith subject Lt. Col. Maxey to the most severe punishment possible for his disgustingly brazen and incontrovertibly insubordinate screed which is clearly violative of the Uniform Code of Military Justice as well as his sworn oath to the United States Constitution.”
Meet Lt. Col. Stacy “Mad Max” Maxey, taking a break from doing all that “witnessing” to cheer on his favorite football team:
With hundreds of gay and lesbian service members among its over 20,000 clients, MRFF has been receiving a steady stream of emails and phone calls lately regarding DADT, the most recent deluge coming in the other day in the wake of the outrageous statement made by repeal opponent Gen. James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, who asserted that openly gay Marines would somehow cause a “distraction” that could cost the lives of their fellow Marines.
While not publicly citing his religious beliefs as a factor in his opposition of DADT repeal, Gen. Amos, a born again Christian, is no stranger to violating military regulations to promote his religion. In 2009, Amos appeared in uniform at Shirley Dobson’s National Day of Prayer Task Force event on Capitol Hill, in clear violation of a number of Department of Defense regulations, including the strict prohibition on the endorsement of a non-federal entity while in uniform. (For a detailed list of all the military regulations violated by appearing in uniform at such an event, see my post about this year’s National Day of Prayer violations).
Gen. James Amos speaking at 2009 National Day of Prayer Task Force event on Capitol Hill: