Freedom of Conscience in the Army?

Americans’ right to freedom of conscience is Constitutional and non-negotiable. With that in view, the law requires each chaplain to fulfill their duties without violating their conscience or the tenets of the specific faith-group that endorses their chaplaincy. Unfortunately, Chaplain Scott Squires is being subjected to a meandering investigation that could set a precedent for stripping all chaplains of their fundamental legal protections

That is the opening statement in a news release from Georgia’s 9th District Congressman Doug Collins on the continuing case of Chaplain Scott Squires who faces potential disciplinary action by the United States Army for adhering to his church’s religious teaching on marriage.

Disciplinary action began against Squires because he could not conduct a Strong Bonds marriage retreat with same-sex couples due to the requirements of his chaplain-endorsing agency, the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Squires had successfully ensured the soldier was placed in the next available Strong Bonds retreat conducted by another chaplain without restrictions, but the investigator concluded Squires’ conduct was discriminatory, and recommended that Squires be reprimanded.

Congressman Collins, himself a Chaplain in the Air Force Reserve, concluded:

The process surrounding this investigation remains extremely concerning, and Army officials now have the opportunity to deliver a swift, fair resolution after months of prolonging the case.


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