Skip to comments.Pastor Lies About Being a Navy SEAL, Confronted by Retired SEAL
Posted on 05/10/2011 5:44:43 PM PDT by Gamecock
Pastor Jim Moats of Newville, Pa. once had a conversation with a supervisor about the Navy SEALs. He's apparently seen a few movies portraying the SEALs as well.
In the Christian Bible Fellowship Church in Newville, Pa., Pastor Jim Moats was apparently known as a Vietnam-era Navy SEAL. Moats was known to tell tales of his time as a SEAL to parishioners and family. His sons, both of whom served in Iraq, even made their dad a plaque honoring the SEALs and other Navy units. The plaque hung on Moats' wall.
His tall tales and this plaque had led to questions, and probably even tokens of gratitude. The Pastor was living the lie. That was until The Patriot-News sought out local, retired Navy SEALs to interview after the daring raid of SEAL Team 6 led to the death of Osama bin Laden.
Readers, including two real former SEALs, saw right through his bogus story. Retired Navy SEAL Don Shipley connected two of Moats' stories to the Steven Seagal movie "Under Siege" and the Demi Moore classic, "G.I. Jane." Maybe if Moats had seen "Navy SEALs" or "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory" his story would have more credibility.
Jason Ertola, a Navy SEAL from 1992-1996, said any SEAL could see right through Moats' fraudulent story. He also expressed outrage at men like Moats who "claim the honor that many good men have earned and died for." He also noted that bogus claims similar to Moats' have increased since the death of bin Laden.
Shipley confirmed that Moats was never a SEAL (and never even served in Vietnam) by accessing a database with the names of all SEALs. Shipley then confronted the Pastor with a phone call on Sunday night. Moats gave in and admitted he was never a SEAL, never served in Vietnam, but had served in the Navy.
Moats used the ruse as an ego-booster and said he was living his dream through his sons. He will explain himself to parishioners Wednesday night at the Christian Bible Fellowship Church.
Pastor Moats' lie is disrespectful not only to all current and former Navy SEALs, such as Shipley and Ertola, but also to anyone who has served or is serving in the military, including Moats' two sons. Navy SEALs and others serving in the armed forces are the real heroes in this country, and there should be no issue with citizens pretending to be them. As long as they are 12-year-old kids. Not 59-year-old pastors with two kids of their own.
Anyone who had spent any serious time in the military can pick out these pathetic creatures in less than 30 seconds. His poor kids were probably in denial...
Given the number of living current and former SEALS vs the population of the US, your chances of every meeting one are about one in 250,000. Simple rule of thumb, if someone claims to be a SEAL, you can safely assume he’s lying unless he shows written proof, and that means an unaltered DD 214 form.
I would imagine that lying about having been a SEAL is probably the biggest single resume lie in the US, in terms of numbers who claim it against the (very small) actual number of “real” SEALS.
There is a famous former EWTN priest who claimed that he was Green Beret as well but never completed training. Veterans got a hold of his military record via a FOIA request.
A former coworker of mine goes to this church. He talked about his pastor frequently. Sad to hear that he thought the truth was insufficient.
You can not tell by looking either. They were always scruffy and I swear they stick out their gut on purpose, just so you do not realize how fit they are.
LOL! I was thinking the same thing.
I was a SEAL.
But now I am The WALRUS!
That’s my story anyway, until I get Osama back to Gitmo for interrogation..
Well History tells us there were less than 500 Seals that served during Vietnam era and I think I have personally met all 50,000 of them.
...not too many physical distinctions except being in really good shape...
...the young ones I know...
...do have a "certain" similar mischief about them...
...but are the most courteous young men you'll ever meet...
However..........a lie is still a lie.
My platoon leader in the Corps had been a SEAL in Vietnam. He changed services after that. He never talked about it. He had that massive chest on a normal sized body that serious swimmers seem to get.
He led us on PT for a while. He’d have us do a series of exercises that weren’t particularly punishing when we were doing them, but our bodies turned to jell-o afterwards. Every muscle we had was burning and stressed after PT with him.
The only thing that he had us do that was really demanding while we were doing it was to buddy up and carry your buddy in a fireman’s carry on a PT run. We didn’t run far like that- we’d switch off and you got to ‘rest’ while you were being carried.
There is another side to this story. I am a veteran and have encountered tough talking guys whose service may or may not be of the character they are quick to tell you about and judge yours by. I don’t care if you were the meanest mf in the valley, the character of your service does not grant automatic privilege to denigrate or question that of someone you whose service you think is inferior to your own. Liars and bullies are everywhere and I question anyone who cannot honor the character of one’s military service.... which, by the way, can only be truthfully discussed in the company of those with whom one served.
However..........a lie is still a lie.
What I find ironic is that, if given the choice, I'd much rather be a pastor than a Navy SEAL - because the pastorate is a God-honoured position that has eternal value, while being a Navy SEAL is not.
It's sad that this pastor had to throw away the eternal value he had, all for a lie about some earthly military position that has no value in light of eternity.
Real deal SEAL ping.
Truthfully the honorable thing would be for the Pastor to step down. You can’t “shepherd a flock” if the “sheep” don’t know when you’re telling the truth. This has become a trust issue.