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Air Force Chaplain Says Christians Must Put God Above The Constitution
Capt. Sonny Hernandez, an Air Force Reserve chaplain, believes that Christians who tolerate the practice of other religions are worshipping Satan, according to a blog post he for penned for Barbwire.com on Sept. 12.
“Christian service members who openly profess and support the rights of Muslims, Buddhists, and all other anti-Christian worldviews to practice their religions — because the language in the Constitution permits — are grossly in error, and deceived,” Hernandez wrote.
Hernandez, who serves in the 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio and was his unit’s Company Grade Officer of the Quarter in 2015, says heaven does not have a place for service members who put the Constitution — particularly the establishment clause of the First Amendment — above a Christian God. He believes it is his duty to make sure that chaplains across the military advise Christian service members on their duty not to tolerate other religions.
“Counterfeit Christians in the Armed Forces will appeal to the Constitution, and not Christ,” he wrote.
The First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Hernandez says that clause gives Christians the right to bag openly on other beliefs they deem heretical.
“According to the First Amendment, there is freedom of religion, and freedom of speech,” Hernandez writes. “Christians in the Armed Forces should feel free to espouse and practice their convictions, and even deny participating, or accommodating a religion or practice that would cause them to sin—regardless if it offends others or not.”
(Left to right), Staff Sgt. Sonny Hernandez, of the 445th Security Forces Squadron, located at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Tech. Sgt. Sam A. Ruiz, of the 119th Wing Security Forces Squadron, North Dakota Air National Guard and Kavuma Richard with KBR Service Contracting from Uganda, Africa take a moment to pose for a picture after competing in a 5K race in Iraq. The three individuals are planning to compete in the Fargo Marathon on May 9 from Iraq.
Hernandez’s proselytizing is well-known; the Military Religious Freedom Foundation has repeatedly asked the Department of Defense inspector general to investigate Hernandez, according to Newsweek. And the organization’s founder believes that Hernandez bombast has grown since President Donald Trump took office.
"America’s military members look to the president for direction and inspiration," Michael Weinstein, an Air Force Academy alumnus and MRFF founder, told Newsweek. "Trump’s statements and actions have fully endorsed and validated this unbridled tidal wave of fundamentalist Christian persecution, which is now more inextricably intertwined into the very fabric of our Department of Defense than ever before."
Earlier this year, Weinstein told Newsweek that since Trump became president, MRFF has seen service member complaints about an influx of fundamentalist Christian inflections in military family programs skyrocket.
“With the advent of Trump as the commander in chief of our armed forces, MRFF has experienced a massive influx of new military and civilian personnel complaints of religion-based prejudice and bigotry, most of them coming from non-fundamentalist Christians being persecuted by their military superiors for not being ‘Christian enough,’” Weinstein said.
For his part, Hernandez has written that MRFF is “actually a ‘freedom from religion’ foundation that harasses Christians.” Recent estimates suggest that about two-thirds of all service members identify as Christian.
Three U.S. service members received non-life-threatening injuries after being fired on Monday by an Afghan police officer, a U.S. official confirmed.
The troops were part of a convoy in Kandahar province that came under attack by a member of the Afghan Civil Order Police, a spokesperson for Operation Resolute Support said on Monday.
Marine Maj. Jose J. Anzaldua Jr. spent more than three years during the height of the Vietnam War. Now, more than 45 years after his release, Sig Sauer is paying tribute to his service with a special gift.
Sig Sauer on Friday unveiled a unique 1911 pistol engraved with Anzaldua's name, the details of his imprisonment in Vietnam, and the phrase "You Are Not Forgotten" accompanied by the POW-MIA flag on the grip to commemorate POW-MIA Recognition Day.
The gunmaker also released a short documentary entitled "Once A Marine, Always A Marine" — a fitting title given Anzaldua's courageous actions in the line of duty
Born in Texas in 1950, Anzaldua enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1968 and deployed to Vietnam as an intelligence scout assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.
On Jan. 23, 1970, he was captured during a foot patrol and spent 1,160 days in captivity in various locations across North Vietnam — including he infamous Hỏa Lò Prison known among American POWs as the "Hanoi Hilton" — before he was freed during Operation Homecoming on March 27, 1973.
Anzaldua may have been a prisoner, but he never stopped fighting. After his release, he received two Bronze Stars with combat "V" valor devices and a Prisoner of War Medal for displaying "extraordinary leadership and devotion to his companions" during his time in captivity. From one of his Bronze Star citations:
Using his knowledge of the Vietnamese language, he was diligent, resourceful, and invaluable as a collector of intelligence information for the senior officer interned in the prison camp.
In addition, while performing as interpreter for other United States prisoners making known their needs to their captors, [Anzaldua] regularly, at the grave risk of sever retaliation to himself, delivered and received messages for the senior officer.
On one occasion, when detected, he refused to implicate any of his fellow prisoners, even though severe punitive action was expected.
Anzaldua also received a Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his heroism in December 1969, when he entered the flaming wreckage of a U.S. helicopter that crashed nearr his battalion command post in the country's Quang Nam Province and rescued the crew chief and a Vietnamese civilian "although painfully burned himself," according to his citation.
After a brief stay at Camp Pendleton following his 1973 release, Anzaldua attended Officer Candidate School at MCB Quantico, Virginia, earning his commission in 1974. He retired from the Corps in 1992 after 24 years of service.
- 1911 Pistol: the 1911 pistol was carried by U.S. forces throughout the Vietnam War, and by Major Anzaldua throughout his service. The commemorative 1911 POW pistol features a high-polish DLC finish on both the frame and slide, and is chambered in.45 AUTO with an SAO trigger. All pistol engravings are done in 24k gold;
- Right Slide Engraving: the Prisoner of War ribbon inset, with USMC Eagle Globe and Anchor and "Major Jose Anzaldua" engravings;
- Top Slide Engraving: engraved oak leaf insignia representing the Major's rank at the time of retirement and a pair of dog tags inscribed with the date, latitude and longitude of the location where Major Anzaldua was taken as a prisoner, and the phrase "You Are Not Forgotten" taken from the POW-MIA flag;
- Left Side Engraving: the Vietnam War service ribbon inset, with USMC Eagle Globe and Anchor engraving;
- Pistol Grips: anodized aluminum grips with POW-MIA flag.
The top leaders of a Japan-based Marine Corps F/A-18D Hornet squadron were fired after an investigation into a deadly mid-air collision last December found that poor training and an "unprofessional command climate" contributed to the crash that left six Marines dead, officials announced on Monday.
Five Marines aboard a KC-130J Super Hercules and one Marine onboard an F/A-18D Hornet were killed in the Dec. 6, 2018 collision that took place about 200 miles off the Japanese coast. Another Marine aviator who was in the Hornet survived.
The Department of Veterans Affairs released an alarming report Friday showing that at least 60,000 veterans died by suicide between 2008 and 2017, with little sign that the crisis is abating despite suicide prevention being the VA's top priority.
Although the total population of veterans declined by 18% during that span of years, more than 6,000 veterans died by suicide annually, according to the VA's 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report.