Controversial Statements by Air Force Chaplain Sparks Review by Air Force Inspector General

By Falk Kantor, Post 100

An Air Force chaplain has posted an article that contains several controversial remarks concerning service members and their obligations regarding their religion and the Constitution. Capt. Sonny Hernandez, an Air Force Reserve chaplain for the 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio, writing in on September 12, 2017, stated that “Counterfeit Christians in the armed forces will appeal to the Constitution, and not Christ, and they have no local church home – which means they have no accountability for their souls.” Further Chaplain Hernandez asserted that “Christian service members who openly profess and support the rights of Muslims, Buddhists, and all other anti-Christian worldviews to practice their religions – because the language in the Constitution permits – are grossly in error, and deceived.”

Further, Hernandez noted that “Christian service members must share the Gospel with unbelievers so they can be saved, and not support unbelievers to worship their false gods that will lead them to hell.” He further alleged that “It is impossible to submit to both the Bible and the Constitution as an ultimate authority…” because logic would prohibit this. Hernandez indicated that Christians in the military “serve Satan” if they support other service members rights to practice their own faiths.

On September 15, 2017, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an organization dedicated to ensuring that all members of the US armed forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom, filed a complaint against Capt Hernandez with the Department of Defense Deputy Inspector General for Administrative Investigations and recommended referral of this matter to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI). The MRRF, whose founder and president is Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, stated on October 16, 2017, that Chaplain Hernandez has accrued a significant history of publicly subverting military regulations, his oath as a commissioned officer, and the Constitution. MRRF stated that in spite of numerous official complaints lodged against him over the course of nearly two and a half years by MRRF, the Air Force has yet to discipline him in any way.

On September 22, Stars & Stripes reported that after initially denying an investigation, the Air Force said that its IG’s office is reviewing complaints against Reserve chaplain Sonny Hernandez. An Air Force spokesman (Col Patrick Ryder) said that he could confirm that the AF is reviewing IG complaints made against Chaplain Hernandez that were referred to the Air Force IG’s office.

The Stars & Stripes had earlier reported (September 20, 2017) that an Air Force Reserve spokesman (Lt Col Chad Gibson) said Hernandez is expressing his own views, not those of the Air Force, and his freedom to express his own faith is an essential protection of the military, and that the Air Force is not conducting an investigation.

Volume 71. Number 4. Winter 2017

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