Just when you think things can’t get any more un-American in America, you find out that one of our brave warriors has come under fire from his superiors for serving Chick-fil-a sandwiches at his promotion party.
Most of you remember that in the summer of 2012 there was a mighty brouhaha over the fact that Dan Cathy, part of the leadership team of the Chick-fil-a made a comment at a party that he believed marriage is inherently heterosexual, and the majority of Americans agree with him. The resulting firestorm against the company that says “Eat More Chickin” caused former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee to call for a “Chick-fil-a Appreciation Day,” and the result was that American folks from Coast to Coast showed up to buy breakfast lunch and dinner, brave the crowds, wait in line, and quietly make a statement. Our own Athens store was happily slammed for hours.
What I just learned, however, was that an enlisted officer has been reprimanded and threatened with possible legal action for sending out invitations to his promotion party stating that “in honor of my promotion and in honor of the Defense of Marriage Act I am serving Chick-fil-a sandwiches at my party.” One year later he is still embroiled in a JAG legal battle.
It needs to be understood that there are certain restrictions levied against active duty soldiers’ political behavior, and they basically fall into two categories. They cannot speak at rallies, ride in parades, be part of partisan political groups or fundraising campaigns, or publish partisan papers or electronic communications. They can put a bumper sticker for the candidate of their choice on their car, but cannot display “large” political signs, although “large” is subjective. They can, however, contribute to the campaign of the candidate(s) of their choice. The other thing that they cannot do is speak disrespectfully against the Commander in Chief. Again, “disrespectfully” at times can be subjective, and on more than one occasion has meant respectfully disagreeing with policy, so a lot of guys discuss their true feelings with only their most trusted buddies.
To effectively censor a sandwich is totally beyond the pale, and the soldier did nothing to campaign for anything. He simply stated his view on marriage, combined it with a celebration, received a letter of reprimand, told he was” no longer a team player,” and given a bad efficiency report. This fellow has an exemplary record, has come up through the ranks, and has served our country well. Thankfully his situation has come to the attention of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, and they are fighting with and for him.
Why is this important? Simply because if there is an attack on the personal or religious liberties of the ones who put themselves in harm’s way so we can have personal or religious liberties, then we are next. We need to support them when they come under “friendly fire” based on principal as well as rightful self preservation. For more information, go to www.chaplainalliance.org.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner