After filing a religious discrimination complaint against his commanding officer, Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk is now facing intimidation and retaliation from the military.
During a meeting earlier this month, Air Force investigators abruptly read Monk his Miranda rights—usually standard during criminal arrests—accusing the 19-year Air Force veteran of providing false statements.
“I was stunned and immediately felt that this was a retaliation against me for coming forward with my religious discrimination complaint,” Monk says.
In the military, making a false official statement is punishable by court-martial.
Problems began when Monk, a devout Christian, was told by his commander that they weren’t on the “same page” regarding same-sex marriage and that if he didn’t “get on the same page,” she would find another place for him to work.
Later, the commanding officer ordered Monk to answer the question of whether people who object to gay marriage are discriminating. Monk responded that he could not answer in the way she wanted, fearing an honest response would put him in legal trouble.
At that point, Monk was relieved of his duties. In addition, he was informed that he was “no longer allowed to be physically present” in the building or facilities in which he previously served.
Last month, Liberty Institute filed a formal complaint with the military on behalf of Monk. The Air Force must now decide whether it will charge him with the crime of making a false official statement or proceed with action on his religious discrimination complaint.
“We are hopeful that the Air Force will do the right thing by clearing Monk’s name and reputation, and supporting his and every airman’s right to express their religious convictions without fear of punishment,” says Liberty Institute attorney Michael Berry.
Monk says he stood up for his three teenage sons.
“Every night after dinner we read the Bible together,” Monk told Fox News. “I tell the boys we’ve got a lot of stuff going on in this world and we need people to stand up. My boys know what I’m going through. They are looking at me—wanting to know how I’m going to handle this.”
Please pray for Monk as he courageously stands for not only his own First Amendment rights, but also the rights of every member of our military.