A former Air Force chaplain is enlisting fellow Christians to fight for religious freedom after he was discharged from the military for preaching a message that addressed the sinful behavior of sexual promiscuity.
In a recent interview with CBN News, Curt Cizek explained how in 2013, he had preached a sermon to recruits at Lackland Air Force Base which included scriptures pertaining to sexual immorality.
“If you’re having sex with somebody that you’re not married to, then you need to stop,” Cizek recalled. “I said, ‘you know, sometimes the Christian church has gotten the reputation for being prejudiced because we look at one sin, homosexuality, and then we turn a blind eye and don’t say anything about heterosexual sin, and that’s hypocritical.”
Cizek, who said he had never faced repercussions for preaching, experienced a string of events following the message that led to his eventual dismissal.
He told CBN that everything began after a lesbian trainee filed a complaint. She told ranking officials that Cizek said “homosexuals were going to burn in hell” — a remark that Cizek said he never made. The complaint made its way to an openly lesbian commander who “wouldn’t let it go.”
“My performance reports were down-graded, my promotion recommendation was downgraded,” he explained. “I got passed over for promotion twice and involuntarily separated from the Air Force in 2016.”
Although nearly 2,500 trainees heard his message that day, only one person filed a complaint as far as Cizek knew.
Due to the complaint, Cizek was discharged from the military and unable to retire despite having nearly 30 years of service, including roughly 20 years of active duty. As a result, he suffered a net loss of more than $1 million in pension and benefits. The more important issue, however, is maintaining his First Amendment rights.
“Even if I did say what she said that I said, it’s covered by my First Amendment right to preach and teach according to my religious beliefs,” Cizek emphasized. “Either we believe that everybody has First Amendment rights, or we don’t.”
Cizek’s attorney reiterated the former chaplain’s desire to have the freedom to “serve God and serve his country.”
“Air Force regulations specifically allowed him to give that type of sermon,” attorney Paul Platte explained. “The First Amendment protects his freedom of speech and freedom of religion. So, quite frankly, we think it’s preposterous what happened to him.”
As a result of his dismissal, Cizek is calling on Christians all over the country to rally behind him and stand up for religious freedom.
“This is a time for conservative Christians to be heard letting their legislators, letting the White House, letting the Air Force, letting the Secretary of Defense know how they feel,” he asserted.
“The real intolerance is preventing people from speaking the truth. That’s the real intolerance and bigotry that exists in our nation today.”