Phillip Monk

More Proof That Religious Right Myths Never Die

Back before the holiday break, we noted that just because some right-wing tale of supposed anti-Christian persecution happened to be totally false, that would never stop the Religious Right from repeating it endlessly, as they have been doing with the saga of Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk, who claims he was relieved of duty for disagreeing with a lesbian commander over the issue of gay marriage.

As we noted last time, a military investigation found Monk's claims to be baseless ... which means that David Barton and friends are just going to keep on repeating them time and again, as he did on his radio program last week where he took it all a step further and claimed that Monk's lesbian commander "read him his Miranda Rights ... for not affirming homosexuality ... For refusing to affirm openly homosexuality and gay marriage, she gets him demoted and gets him knocked off his post and they read him his Miranda Rights telling him that a criminal investigation is now under way":

Barton and the Liberty Institute's Kelly Shackelford made the same claim when Barton guest-hosted Glenn Beck's television program last week as well, adding, for good measure, that if members of the military are not allowed to be open about their Christian faith "we'll end up with Hitler's SS":

What neither Barton nor Shackleford bother to mention is that Monk was, in fact, read his Miranda Rights during the investigation because he was suspected of lying about the entire thing, which is a violation Uniform Code of Military Justice.

As the Air Force stated upon completion of its investigation, Monk did indeed make false statements about what happened, but "they did not rise to a level that violated Articles 107 and/or 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice":

The investigation, initiated Aug. 15 by Col. Mark Camerer, 37th Training Wing commander at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, found the claim unsubstantiated. The investigation also looked into whether Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk made false official statements. It concluded statements he made were false; however, they did not rise to a level that violated Articles 107 and/or 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Monk asserted through interviews with several national media outlets that he was improperly removed from his position as first sergeant of the 326th Training Squadron at Lackland because he did not agree with his commander’s position on same-sex marriage.

“I felt the need to conduct a thorough review to ensure no Air Force policies were violated, and the investigating officer provided that,” Camerer said. “Ultimately I wanted to be sure all facts were collected so we could determine if there was merit to the sergeant’s statements.”

The investigation concluded Monk was not removed from his position, but rather moved, as scheduled, to another Lackland unit, an assignment he was notified of in April 2013. The report stated Monk never voiced a religious or moral objection about same sex marriage to his commander.

“The weight of the evidence shows that religion was never discussed between the two,” Camerer said. “In the end, this is a case about command authority, good order and discipline, and civil rights—not religious freedoms.”

Monk was read his Miranda Rights because he was accused of lying about being the victim of anti-Christian persecution which never happened. But, for the Religious Right, this is now being held up as proof that he was the victim of anti-Christian persecution.

Religious Right Myths Never Die

Earlier this year, Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk became a cause célèbre for the Religious Right after he was supposedly relieved of duty for opposing gay marriage; so much so that his tale of victimization was even the focus of an entire panel at the annual Values Voter Summit.

The only problem was that his tale of anti-Christian persecution was false:

The Air Force has found unsubstantiated the claim of a senior master sergeant who said he was reassigned after making known his religious objections to same-sex marriage.

Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk, now assigned to the 59th Medical Wing, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, said he was relieved July 26 of his duties as first sergeant of the 326th Training Squadron and forced to take leave because he disagreed with his commanding officer’s position on gay marriage.

The investigation, initiated Aug. 15 by Col. Mark Camerer, 37th Training Wing commander at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, found the claim unsubstantiated. The investigation also concluded Monk made false official statements, but did not violate Articles 107 or 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

“The weight of the evidence shows that religion was never discussed between the two,” Camerer said in an Air Education and Training Command release.

“In the end, this is a case about command authority, good order and discipline, and civil rights — not religious freedoms,” he said.

Monk was not removed from his position, but rather moved, as scheduled, to another Lackland unit, an assignment he was notified of in April, the release says.

Like so many other right-wing myths, the fact that the central claim is entirely untrue does not in any way stop the Religious Right from repeating it endlessly, as demonstrated by the fact that the Family Research Council has produced a new video featuring Monk claiming that "his punishment was intended to have a chilling effect on service members throughout the military."

"I was the victim here," says the man that a military investigation found repeatedly made false statements about his supposed victimization:

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/11/13

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Phillip Monk Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 01/02/2014, 3:34pm
Back before the holiday break, we noted that just because some right-wing tale of supposed anti-Christian persecution happened to be totally false, that would never stop the Religious Right from repeating it endlessly, as they have been doing with the saga of Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk, who claims he was relieved of duty for disagreeing with a lesbian commander over the issue of gay marriage. As we noted last time, a military investigation found Monk's claims to be baseless ... which means that David Barton and friends are just going to keep on repeating them time and again, as he... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 12/20/2013, 12:57pm
Earlier this year, Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk became a cause célèbre for the Religious Right after he was supposedly relieved of duty for opposing gay marriage; so much so that his tale of victimization was even the focus of an entire panel at the annual Values Voter Summit. The only problem was that his tale of anti-Christian persecution was false: The Air Force has found unsubstantiated the claim of a senior master sergeant who said he was reassigned after making known his religious objections to same-sex marriage. Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk, now assigned to the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 09/11/2013, 5:33pm
PFAW: Memo: On D.C. Circuit, Senate GOP Faces Choice Between Governance and Obstruction. Brian Powell @ Media Matters: Alex Jones Links Syrian Weapons Proposal To Human Extinction Plot. Evan Hurst @ Truth Wins Out: Former American Family Association Staff Attorney Endorses, Contributes to NALT Christians Project. Daily Kos: Florida attorney general delays execution to attend fundraiser. Rob Shryock @ Religion Dispatches: Christian-Bashing Air Force Officer Story is Just That. MORE >