Tim Wildmon
Hate group leader Tim Wildmon of American Family Association

American Family Association, an anti-LGBT hate group, is gathering signatures in support of Air Force Colonel Leland B.H. Bohannon. Conservative Christians continue to demonstrate that they are oblivious to the fact that we do not care about their approval. Moreover, religion is not an excuse for discrimination or discourtesy, let alone unprofessional conduct.

As I wrote on November 9, a senior NCO (E-7) in Bohannon’s command was retiring. It is customary for the commanding officer to thank the retiree’s spouse by letter. In this case the NCO’s spouse is another man. Bohannon refused to send the letter due to religious objections. He got a general to do so instead. It is a variation of “he obtained a suitable cake a few blocks from here.” It doesn’t alter the fact that the man was discriminated against.

As a result Bohannon was reprimanded and his promotion to brigadier general was deep-sixed. Bohannon got himself a lawyer from Kelly Shackleford’s First Liberty Institute which seems to specialize in defending people who discriminate against LGBT people.

I will ask the same question that I posed earlier today. Suppose this master sergeant was African-American and that he was married to a white woman. Then further suppose that Bohannon had a religious objection to interracial marriage. Would that be any different? The answer is no. They are the same thing. In both cases the marital status is legally irrelevant to the military. Officers are expected to run their commands accordingly.

I don’t know what good a petition does when Bohannon has a lawyer. In fact it might highlight the fact that Bohannon is part of the lunatic fringe of Christendom. Hate group leader Tim Wildmon’s email is titled: “Tell Air Force Secretary to end religious discrimination.” These folks are also oblivious to the fact that nondiscrimination sanctions are not, in and of themselves, discriminatory. Or, to put it another way, they are being discriminated against when they are prohibited from discriminating. They just love claiming that they are oppressed and persecuted. After prattling on about the letter that Bohannon refused to sign:

As a devout Christian, Bohannon refused to sign the document stating it would violate his religious belief of marriage being between one man and one woman. As a result, the Air Force suspended the colonel and effectively ended his career.

I know that it is redundant but if Bohannon’s religious beliefs cause him to reject same-sex marriage then he should not marry another man. Questioning the legitimacy of a couple thus wed is deplorable. Bohannon probably thinks that we Jews are all destined for Hell for not accepting Jesus Christ as lord and savior. I am sure that he wasn’t running around trying to convert people in his command. The beliefs are his to hold. Once he starts imposing those beliefs on others that constitutes conduct. In the military such conduct is impermissible. A man slated to be a general should know that.

Sign the petition to demand the Air Force to:

restore and protect Colonel Leland Bohannon’s Constitutional right to freely exercise his religious beliefs by reversing the complaint against him and removing any unfavorable remarks from his record related to this complaint.

“Demand” mind you. Ass hole. No one has a constitutional right to discriminate because of religion or on any other basis when and where such discrimination is prohibited. It is prohibited in the United States military. As Justice Scalia once wrote:

We first had occasion to assert that principle in Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1879), where we rejected the claim that criminal laws against polygamy could not be constitutionally applied to those whose religion commanded the practice. “Laws,” we said,
are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices. . . . Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief? To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.

After several paragraphs of the usual gibberish, Wildmon concludes:

The Department of Defense (DOD) headed by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is an executive agency that also gives direction to the U.S. Air Force led by Secretary Heather Wilson. So far, the DOD has failed to issue follow-up guidance to protect the religious freedoms the military is fighting to protect.

Sign the petition urging Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson to protect the religious liberty of Col. Bohannon.


You never know what might happen with Agent Orange as commander in chief but it seems unlikely that Sec. Wilson is going to care about a hate group’s petition. The military generally respects process and this matter is under review in the form of an appeal resolution.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.