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First Liberty Briefing

First Liberty Briefing is an exclusive podcast hosted by First Liberty Institute’s Deputy General Counsel Jeremy Dys. In about 90-seconds, once a week, Jeremy recalls the stories that have shaped America’s religious liberty, from the founding era to current legal battles and more. It’s an insider’s look at the stories, cases, people, and laws that have made America the world’s leader in protecting religious liberty.
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Aug 13, 2018

Chaplain Scott Squires is facing disciplinary action for following the rules of his endorsing agency, The North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Army’s regulations when he denied to conduct a Strong Bond marriage retreat for a same-sex couple. Learn more at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.


The men and women of our armed forces follow rules. They have to.  As Colonel Jessup famously put it in the movie A Few Good Men, “We follow orders or people die.”

Scott Squires takes that to heart and, in his 25-year career as a soldier and Army chaplain, he’s always followed the rules: of the Army andthe North American Mission Board that sends him there. 

When he learned that one of his soldiers wanted to attend a marriage retreat he was leading as an Army chaplain, he knew he had to follow the rules.  He did and found himself in trouble. 

The North American Mission Board prevents its chaplains from facilitating marriage retreats for same-sex couples.  The Army respects that and their rules allow chaplains to find another chaplain who can lead such a retreat.  So, that’s what Chaplain Squires did. 

He thought that would be the end of it, but an Army investigator thought otherwise and recommended that Squires be charged with “dereliction of duty.” 

Chaplain Squires’ career is facing ruin because he followed the rules. Prohibiting chaplains from discussing aspects of their religious beliefs or practices with which some disagree would strip thousands of chaplains of the ability to act and speak in accordance with their sincerely held religious beliefs.

First Liberty represents Chaplain Squires because no chaplain should have to give up his First Amendment rights in order to serve.

To learn how First Liberty is protecting religious liberty for all Americans, visit FirstLiberty.org.

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