The head of the Indiana National Guard says he made a video promoting an evangelical Christian group because it helps soldiers who struggle with their marriages after coming home from war.
But a military watchdog group says Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, the Guard’s adjutant general, violated military rules and the First Amendment by promoting a religious group in the 33-second video while in uniform.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, based in Albuquerque, N.M., sent a letter to the National Guard Bureau on Thursday asking that Umbarger be investigated and punished. Former Air Force attorney Mikey Weinstein founded the group, which seeks to guarantee religious freedom in the military.
Yeah… probably shouldn’t have made the clip in uniform. But is it worth removing him? I doubt it.
But the part that irks me is further down at the very bottom of the article.
Doug Hedrick is listed as the president and founder of Centurion’s Watch on the group’s website, which also lists him as a major in the U.S. Army Reserves. Hedrick, a chaplain, did not return a phone message.
Weinstein asked that the National Guard Bureau investigate Hedrick, as well.
This chucklehead Weinstein runs an outfit that promotes freedom from religion for servicemembers. Fair enough.
But if your group is focused on a military matter, you should at least have the sense to understand that the National Guard has absolutely nothing to do with the Army Reserves.
Further, does Mr. Weinstein not recognize that Chaplains in the Reserve components are part-timers? Most have ministries outside the military. And if Major Hedrick, in his non-USAR role as a clergyman feels he is called to run a ministry devoted to supporting servicemembers, that calling is protected by the 1st Amendment. Absolutely.
Chaplain Dave? Any thoughts?