Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Report Confirms Hostility In US Military Toward Christians

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A coalition of legislators and religious freedom advocates warned yesterday about the growing hostility toward Christians serving in the US military and called for a federal statute to protect the religious liberty of troops.

Rep. John Fleming, R-La., said, "There is a long list of things that have been happening in very recent years...those who do most for us---uniformed members---who put their lives on the line and who have done that over 237 years, those who have fought for our religious liberties the most are the ones today who are having those very liberties taken away from them."

Sadly, the most ominous threat to the religious liberties of our military personnel seems to be the President of the United States, himself.

Here are the quotes and actions of those trying to preserve religious liberty for the military and the quotes and actions of those trying to dispense with it.

At a news conference yesterday, a report was distributed to reporters that detailed the assault on the religious liberties of our military personnel.

One of the incidents noted in the report is the July 27, 2011 cancellation of a 20 year old ethics course taught at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California because it used Scripture.

The report also mentions the removal of a painting from the Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho because it made reference to a Scripture verse. I wrote a Blog about it at the time.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, says, "The only group that it is politically correct to be intolerant of are Christians who had such a profound impact on our founding of this country, including about a third of the signers of the Declaration of Independence being ordained Christian ministers."

CNS News asked for specific incidences or examples of hostile actions singling out Christians.

Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, gave this specific incident:

"One of the chaplains I endorsed a couple of years ago was briefed on the ending of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy. At the end of that briefing he asked his four star general, 'Sir, will those of us who hold biblical views of what it means to be married be protected in this new military?' "

Crews said the Four-Star General replied, "Chaplain, if you can't get in line with this administration, resign your commission."

Another example from Crews:

"We had an Air Force officer. For 23 years, every where he set up his shop, he put a Bible on his desk. He came to a new location and put a Bible on his desk. His new superior officer told him, 'You cannot put your Bible on your desk because it may offend someone'."

In response to the growing concern and assault on the religious liberty of our military personnel, Rep. Fleming has sponsored an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act---the bill that authorizes the budget for the US military.

Fleming's amendment is intended to create a statute designed to protect the religious liberty of service members, including the freedom to live out and talk about one's religious beliefs.

It has passed the House.

Here's the problem: "Get in line with this administration or resign your commission," was more than a passing comment. It is dictatorial. Without regard to the very premise this country was founded upon. Liberty.

This administration has a very different view of religious liberty, and its importance, than our Founders, millions of Americans and many in the military. It is a different view than what America has held as sacred---and has fought to preserve.

On June 12, about a month ago, Breitbart published this as "Breaking News":
Breitbart News reported last week that Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) passed an amendment in the House Armed Services Committee protecting religious speech of service members in the military. President Barack Obama has now threatened to veto the bill if it passes the full House and Senate.

The White House released a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) on H.R. 1960, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014. Among other items, the SAP includes as an objection to the bill:

Expansion and Implementation of Protection of Rights of Conscience of Members of the Armed Forces and Chaplains of Such Members: The Administration strongly objects to section 530, which would require the Armed Forces to accommodate, except in cases of military necessity, “actions and speech” reflecting the “conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of the member.” By limiting the discretion of commanders to address potentially problematic speech and actions within their units, this provision would have a significant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment.

The SAP includes a veto threat: “…if the bill is presented to the President for approval in its current form, the President’s senior advisers would recommend that the President veto the bill.”

In other words the President says he will veto any bill that prohibits his appointees or officers from telling a soldier that he cannot mention Jesus during prayer or have a Bible on his desk.

Ambassador Ken Blackwell, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, told Breitbart News:
"President Obama is waging a war on religion. He and Chuck Hagel are denying the most basic rights to those who put their lives on the line to protect all of our rights. It is shameful and appalling. I am confident that congressional leadership will show courage to stand up for our troops against this radical assault on religious liberty in the military."

This is the most compelling expression yet of the aggressive approach of the Obama-Hagel Defense Department to soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who are observant Christians or even devout members of other peaceful faiths.

We will watch closely how this President---- and Congress handles this most important liberty; religious liberty.

Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Informed. Be Bold. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Blessed.