First Liberty Institute has obtained a leaked memo showing Coast Guard leadership wanting chaplains to expose inconsistences in the religious beliefs of Guard members who are seeking a religious exemption from mandated COVID shots.
"It's nothing short of a modern-day inquisition," First Liberty attorney Mike Berry told the "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins" program on Monday. "This is one of the worst constitutional violations I've seen – and I work at First Liberty where we deal with constitutional violations all the time."
Berry pointed out the memo was produced by a Coast Guard JAG – a uniformed attorney who works for the Coast Guard.
"And this was apparently distributed for use by chaplains," added Berry. "Now, the Navy is the entity that provides chaplains for the Coast Guard, just like they do for the Marine corps, and this memo was to be used as a guidance memo for those chaplains when they conduct interviews for members who are seeking a religious accommodation from the vaccine mandate."
Included with the memo are quotations from various people within certain denominations. The attorney explains:
"The chaplain is supposed to say, 'Well, what are your religious beliefs about the vaccine?' – and when the service member says whatever their beliefs are, the chaplain is then supposed to confront them with, 'Oh, well, here's a statement from the person that we believe is the spokesperson for evangelical Christianity and they say the vaccine is okay.'"
In essence, Berry says, the chaplain is telling that service member, "You're not being a very good [fill in the blank]."
Show host Tony Perkins served in the Marine Corps. He added: "Chaplains perform a role where there is confidentiality, and my concern here is that if the chaplains are kind of weaponized for the administration to force this vaccine, that undermines their role in the military."