Congress Pulls Rank in Military Debate


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There may not be atheists in foxholes, but there sure are a lot of quiet Christians. With religious freedom under attack in America’s military, most troops are scared to even talk about their beliefs. And who can blame them? Under President Obama, the military censors chaplains’ sermons, but builds Wiccan fire pits for cadets. It tells commanders to strip God out of an online article, while its missile defense staff spends hours surfing pornography at work. It tears down POW displays for its Bibles, but lets soldiers march in uniform in gay pride parades.

Slowly but surely, our brave servicemen and women are losing the very rights they’re fighting to protect. FRC is determined to change that. Over the past few years, we’ve been on the front lines of the military religious freedom debate — trying to restore the constitutional ground lost under this administration. Today, the House Armed Services Committee took a positive step toward resolving the crisis by hosting a special “Religious Accommodations in the Armed Services” hearing.

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Hosted by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Military Personnel, Congress took a deeper look at the climate of WU14K21 NORMALhostility toward faith and the need for clearer policy guidance on the subject. “Historically,” Rep. Wilson explained, “the Armed Forces have supported religious freedom and accommodated service member’s religious beliefs and practice when possible. I believe we can maintain a proper balance between religious accommodations and military readiness, unit cohesion, and good order and discipline.”

FRC attorney Travis Weber, Director of our Center for Religious Liberty, had the opportunity to testify, along with our friends from Liberty Institute and the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. As a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a former Navy pilot, Travis has a unique perspective on the sea change taking place in our nation’s fighting force. “Religion,” Travis told members of the Committee, “simply cannot be sectioned off into neat little compartments in our lives; it is integral to addressing all aspects of the human experience — including how we approach the issues of death and danger central to military service… How can we ask servicemen and women to do a job which is so incredibly difficult, while at the same time divorcing them from the very spiritual resources they need to accomplish this job?”

While congressional conservatives have been zeroing in on the abuses, the Defense Department insists that the problems aren’t nearly as widespread as service members suggest. FRC begged to disagree with hundreds of real-life examples, which we documented in “A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military.” Although the 113th Congress is coming to a close, this afternoon’s hearing put down an important marker for a conversation we hope to continue next year.

With knee-jerk censorship affecting everything from Navy Lodge Bibles to Air Force Cadet white-boards, the time to protect our military’s First Amendment rights is now. It’s time for the Defense Department to bring their policies in line with the religious protections Congress passed. If they won’t, maybe the new conservative leadership in the House and Senate will persuade them. Watch Travis’s testimony below or click here.

Source: FRC

Family Research Council’s vision is a culture in which human life is valued, families flourish and religious liberty thrives.





The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views the Virginia Christian Alliance

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Virginia Christian Alliance
The mission of the VIRGINIA CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE is to promote moral, social and scientific issues we face today from a Biblical point of view. In addition we will refute and oppose, not with hate, but with facts and humor, the secular cultural abuses that have overridden laws and standards of conduct of the past. We will encourage Christians to participate in these efforts through conferences, development of position papers, booklets and tracts, radio/TV spots, newspaper ads and articles and letters-to-the editor, web sites, newsletters and providing speakers for church and civic meetings.