Press Releases

Military, political, and religious leaders rally in support of Chaplain Modder

GOOSE CREEK, SC, March 12, 2015

March 12, 2015


Political, military, and religious leaders declare their unwavering support for Navy Chaplain Wes Modder, decrying the Navy’s unjust religious discrimination against the decorated military hero:

  • The Assemblies of God, Modder’s denominational endorser says, “The Assemblies of God stands solidly behind Wes Modder. . .. Chaplain Modder is in good standing with us as an ordained minister and has served us faithfully as a military chaplain for 15 years.”
  • Franklin Graham, CEO of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association says, “It’s a sad day in America when military chaplains have to choose between being true to their faith and keeping their jobs. . . [Chaplain] Wes Modder was reassigned and could be discharged because he was living out his faith—and doing a good job. . . A highly decorated 19-year military veteran, Modder doesn’t deserve this—nor does anyone. In December he received a commendation saying he was the “best of the best.”
  • Senator Ted Cruz says, “[Chaplain] Wes Modder, a chaplain in the US Navy, is the latest target in a series of assaults on religious liberty in the military and across the nation.”
  • Rick Santorum, a former United States Senator and presidential candidate, says, “No place should [the] right [to free exercise of religion] be more welcomed and encouraged than in our nation’s military that is trusted with protecting those freedoms. I urge the U.S. Navy to take the appropriate steps to ensure Chaplain Modder and the many men and women of all faiths like him have their God-given and constitutionally protected free exercise of religion embraced.”
  • Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council says, “This isn’t just about [Chaplain Modder] – but every service member who deserves the right to enjoy the religious liberty they’re fighting for…It isn’t supposed to be this way – and it doesn’t have to be this way – if Americans who love their freedoms and their country will stand up and speak out!”
  • Lieutenant General (Retired) William G. “Jerry” Boykin says, “The action taken against Lt. Commander Wes Modder is unacceptable, and must be rescinded immediately. Chaplains in the military must be allowed to fully and freely represent in word and in deed the faith communities that have endorsed them.”

Chaplain Wes Modder is a Navy chaplain and former Marine who previously served as the Force chaplain for Naval Special Warfare Command. He has deployed overseas multiple times during the War on Terror, including in support of DEVGRU (aka “SEAL Team Six”) and other Navy SEAL teams in high-profile operations around the globe. Modder’s Marine and Navy SEAL commanders call him a “national asset” and “the best of the best.”

The Navy is threatening Chaplain Modder with career-ending punishment because he expressed faith-based views on faith, marriage, and human sexuality in private, confidential, counseling sessions with sailors. Liberty Institute is defending Chaplain Modder and asserts that censoring Chaplain Modder’s religious expression is unconstitutional religious discrimination.

Follow this link to read more about Modder’s case, his stellar record, and his recommendations:

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About First Liberty Institute

First Liberty Institute is the largest nonprofit legal organization in the nation dedicated solely to defending religious liberty in America. Liberty Institute protects freedom of religious expression in our military, schools, churches, and throughout the public arena. For more information, visit

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