March 29, 2017
You can't be tried for the same crime twice -- except, apparently, in the U.S. Air Force. There, a colonel with a sterling record is being hauled back into the spotlight for a controversy that was resolved more than two years ago. The case, which dates all the way back to 2013 when Colonel Michael Madrid was mentoring a troubled airman, was investigated and resolved. That is, until a new commander arrived on the scene. For reasons that defy logic, Major General John McCoy dusted off the old file and -- without any new evidence -- issued a Letter of Admonishment.
Although Madrid was never outspoken about his Christianity, he is clearly being targeted for it -- first by the young airman, who identifies as gay, and now by his commander. During a court-martialing for multiple offenses, the airman under Madrid's care accused his mentor of making offensive comments about homosexuality. "Colonel Madrid submitted to an extensive military investigation, and the Air Force cleared him," said Mike Berry of First Liberty Institute, which is representing the colonel. "Major General McCoy has no right to ignore the rule of law and arbitrarily decide, more than two years later... that he can punish Colonel Madrid." Obviously, Berry and his staff are concerned that the general "judged and punished Madrid -- a decorated Air Force officer -- because he became aware of Colonel Madrid's traditional religious views. If so," Berry points out, "that not only harms the military, but it's illegal."
As anyone who's served in the military knows, this isn't just a letter that sits in a file. It could literally mean the death of a service member's career or -- at the very least -- the end of his advancement. "I feel like I've been singled out because of my faith," Madrid told Breitbart. "Now I'm afraid if I say anything about even being a Christian, I'll step on a landmine that could blow up my career."
Unfortunately, this isn't a crisis that Madrid faces alone. The entire fighting force of the United States is in the crosshairs of the radical Left until the White House finds the courage to issue an executive order protecting the religious liberty of Madrid and thousands of others like him. And while the order would extend well beyond the military, it should be the commander-in-chief's first priority to defend the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect the First Amendment rights they're being denied! One of the best things you can do to support people like Colonel Madrid is educate yourself on what's at stake. In a brand new publication, FRC explains exactly that. Read up on the debate by clicking over to "Religious Liberty: An Introduction to Our Freedom to Believe" and then share with your friends!
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.