Sailor Sues Navy Over Religious Beliefs - NBC Connecticut

Sailor Sues Navy Over Religious Beliefs



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    NEW YORK - MAY 22: U.S. Navy sailors walk past the USS Iwo Jima docked on the Hudson River during Fleet Week May 22, 2009 in New York City. Fleet Week, which annually brings an array of warships to New York City's harbors on Memorial Day weekend, is being celebrated this year with the smallest flotilla of ships since the event began 22 years ago, as budgets have been hampered by the current economic crisis. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    When Michael Izbicki accepted an offer from the U.S. Naval Academy he had designs on a long and honorable military career.  Now, the born-again Christian who serves at the Groton naval base wants out and he's suing for an honorable discharge.

    Izbicki, the ACLU of Connecticut says, does not think that his Christian beliefs would allow him to kill anyone.

     His religious views did not pose a conflict until after he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and stared submarine training, the ACLU said. During a psych exam, he said he could not launch a nuclear missile. 

    "Through a period of intense religious study and reflection, supported by military and civilian chaplains and his own rigorous reading and prayer, Ensign Izbicki concluded that he was a conscientious objector and had no choice, because of his religious beliefs, but to give up the career for which he had aspired and trained, and to seek honorable discharge from the Navy,' the ACLU said in a news release.

    The Navy has turned down his request twice in the past year.

    "My Christian convictions preclude the use of violence; I cannot take someone else's life, nor can I aid others in doing so," Izbicki wrote in his application, the Hartford Courant reports. "Therefore, I cannot participate in war in any form."

    A Navy spokesman at Groton did not immediately comment to the Associated Press on Wednesday.

    Izbicki says he is willing to pay the Navy for his education. He also says he is willing to go to prison, according to the Courant.

    "I believe that Jesus Christ calls all men to love each other, under all circumstances," he wrote in his application. "I believe his teaching forbids the use of violence." 

    You can read the petition here.