Ohio Army National Guard chaplain accused military leaders of sedition

By Danae King - The Columbus Dispatch (TNS)

In a Facebook post, a chaplain and lieutenant in the Ohio Army National Guard called a letter from the Joint Chiefs of Staff “seditious.”

Now the soldier may face scrutiny himself from the military for his remarks.

Chris Boyd, of Montpelier in northwest Ohio, posted a letter sent by the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Jan. 12 on his Facebook page and called the letter “deceptively seditious,” according to screenshots provided by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. He added that the Joint Chiefs are scared or “in bed with the left.”

The letter from the Joint Chiefs of Staff reminds those in the armed forces that they support and defend the Constitution following the Capitol riot. It also mentions that President Joe Biden will become their commander in chief.

Boyd also wrote that “democrats (sic) ruin everything. They steal your money. They steal our election. They murder children.”

In another post, Boyd wrote that he thinks the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 was done by “leftist politicians” who were “imitating what they think represents republicans (sic).”

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a civil rights organization based in New Mexico but chartered in Washington, D.C., was alerted to Boyd’s posts by an anonymous Army captain, and on Friday afternoon sent a letter to Ohio Adjutant General John C. Harris asking for an investigation of Boyd.

“He’s accused the Joint Chiefs of Staff of seditious treason,” said Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, the founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. “It’s unbelievable.”

In the letter to Harris, Weinstein said the foundation believes Boyd’s posts are criminal under military law and ask that, once the Adjutant General’s office substantiates the post, they publicly prosecute Boyd.

“These Facebook posts are simply disgraceful, despicable and repulsive in the extreme,” Weinstein wrote.

Stephanie Beougher, public information officer for the Ohio Adjutant General, said she had no comment when reached Friday afternoon. Boyd could not be reached on Friday for comment.

Donald Rehkopf Jr., one of the foundation’s attorneys and a military law expert, believes Boyd’s posts violate five articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including contempt toward officials, disrespect toward a superior commissioned officer, mutiny or sedition, and conduct unbecoming of an officer.

“It shows a terrible lack of understanding of what it means to be an officer in today’s military,” Rehkopf said, who served himself. “We represent everybody in America … An officer has to have a significant amount of tolerance.”

He also couldn’t believe how Boyd disrespected high-ranking military leaders.

In his letter to the foundation, the captain asks for assistance, as he says he does not believe Boyd should continue serving due to his social media posts.

“I have been in contact with CH Christopher Boyd both in person and through social media,” the Army captain who tipped off the foundation wrote to the group. “I have witnessed multiple occasions that I believe do not support the UCMJ or the oath of office taken by all officers of the US Army.”

On Boyd’s Facebook page, he describes himself as “a poor, family-loving, conservative Lutheran Army Chaplain and ordained Augustinian Priest.”

“Based on his posts and our conversations, I would not feel comfortable referring one of my soldiers to him for spiritual purposes,” the captain wrote of Boyd. “He is a Lutheran pastor, and has spoken against the Catholic faith on multiple occasions, sometimes using the derogatory term ‘papist,’ which is offensive to many Catholics.”

Dispatch Reporter Sheridan Hendrix and Dispatch Librarian Julie Fulton contributed to this story.


By Danae King

The Columbus Dispatch (TNS)

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