Guest / Limited Access /
A San Diego judge has ruled that a chaplain can continue part of his lawsuit against the U.S. Navy because his questions about promotional procedures may indicate religious discrimination.

The ruling, issued June 20, is the latest development in a string of suits by evangelical chaplains who claim they have been discriminated against by naval chaplaincy officials. Nonliturgical chaplains say that Catholic and liturgical Protestants are more likely to be promoted.

In this case, Lt. Cmdr. Patrick M. Sturm, a Navy chaplain based in San Diego, filed suit after being denied promotion three years in a row. After seeking reconsideration by a naval board and filing his suit in federal district court, Sturm was promoted retroactively. The Navy then sought to have the case dismissed.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas J. Whelan dismissed the part of the suit relating to Sturm's promotions, but decided to consider his claims of stacked selection boards within the Navy.

"The pleadings contain specific and detailed factual allegations which suggest the Navy may be favoring certain religious groups over others," Whelan wrote, "causing an unconstitutional religious preference or an infringement upon plaintiff's rights to religious freedom."

The Navy declined to respond to Whelan's ruling.



Related Elsewhere


Earlier Christianity Today coverage of the naval bias suits includes:
More Navy Chaplains Allege Discrimination | "We're not on the same ground as the high church group or the Catholics," say evangelicals. (April 18, 2001)

Evangelicals File Bias Suit Against Navy | Claims made that complaints of religious discrimination have been ignored. (May 22, 2000)

The Washington Post covered the first of the suits when originally filed in April 2000.

Former ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
TrendingFive Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon
Five Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon
If you want to help people see Holy Week with fresh eyes, start by dropping these familiar fallacies.
Editor's PickWatch and Wait
Watch and Wait
Tarrying with Christ and the fearful dying.
Leave a Comment

Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article. Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.

hide thisAugust 6 August 6

In the Magazine

August 6, 2001

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.