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
TrendingLecrae Brings Reformed Rap to Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show
Lecrae Brings Reformed Rap to Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show
(UPDATED) Performance with The Roots was the first by a Christian rapper on late-night TV.
Editor's PickStudy: Where Are the Women Leading Evangelical Organizations?
Study: Where Are the Women Leading Evangelical Organizations?
That's the mystery the Gender Parity Project, whose results debut this weekend, sets out to solve.
Comments
Christianity Today
Navy: Judge Says Chaplain Can Sue Navy
hide thisAugust 6 August 6

In the Magazine

August 6, 2001

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