Friday, May 3, 2013

More Evidence of the Obama Administration's Antagonism Toward Christianity

The Pentagon has released a statement confirming that soldiers could be prosecuted for promoting their faith: “Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense…Court martials and non-judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis…”.

The statement, released to Fox News, follows a Breitbart News report on Obama administration Pentagon appointees meeting with anti-Christian extremist Mikey Weinstein to develop court-martial procedures to punish Christians in the military who express or share their faith.

The statement, released to Fox News, follows a Breitbart News report on Obama administration Pentagon appointees meeting with anti-Christian extremist Mikey Weinstein to develop court-martial procedures to punish Christians in the military who express or share their faith. 

From our earlier report: Weinstein is the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and says Christians--including chaplains--sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the military are guilty of “treason,” and of committing an act of “spiritual rape” as serious a crime as “sexual assault.” He also asserted that Christians sharing their faith in the military are “enemies of the Constitution.”

My Comments:

This would be easily dismissed as another example of the paranoia of some Christians... EXCEPT that it follows a pattern of defining religious freedom as mainly the freedom to worship, the previous warning to the content of a military chaplain's sermon if it is critical of administration policy (think gay marriage here), and of the recent labeling of Roman Catholic and evangelical groups as potential terrorists.

Caveat... what is meant by proselytizing?  While no one would stand for any coercion, the ordinary meaning of proselytizing would include the normal Christian witness of lay people and the specific expectations of those agencies and churches that certify chaplains for their ministry within the armed forces...

Here we go...


Anonymous said...

Pr. Peters

I think this concern is a little misplaced.

See comments below from the US Army Chief of Chaplains Office:

"The U.S. Department of Defense has never and will never single out a particular religious group for persecution or prosecution. The Department makes reasonable accommodations for all religions and celebrates the religious diversity of our service members.

Service members can share their faith (evangelize), but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others of any faith or no faith to one's beliefs (proselytization). If a service member harasses another member on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability, then the commander takes action based on the gravity of the occurrence. Likewise, when religious harassment complaints are reported, commanders take action based on the gravity of the occurrence on a case by case basis.

The Department of Defense places a high value on the rights of members of the Military Services to observe the tenets of their respective religions and respects (and supports by its policy) the rights of others to their own religious beliefs, including the right to hold no beliefs. The Department does not endorse any one religion or religious organization, and provides free access of religion for all members of the military services.

We work to ensure that all service members are free to exercise their Constitutional right to practice their religion -- in a manner that is respectful of other individuals' rights to follow their own belief systems; and in ways that are conducive to good order and discipline; and that do not detract from accomplishing the military mission."

Chaplain (CPT) Graham Glover
Ft. Benning, GA

David Gray said...

I don't think the concern is misplaced at all. I retired from the service about four years ago and we were seeing official pronouncements quite hostile to orthodox practice. In particular insistence that Christian chaplains pray to a generic god and not invoke the name of Christ. There were already plenty of rules in place to prohibit coercive sharing.

Capt David Gray ret.

Carl Vehse said...

For clarification, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) is a nonprofit “civil rights” organization with no direct ties to the Department of Defense or any military branches. The MRFF was founded in 2005 by Mikey Weinstein, a Jew who claims he, and later his sons, experienced discrimination at the Air Force Academy.

There are news reports that the MRFF met with some unspecified person(s) from the Pentagon, and there are some claims of a “written statement” from a Department of Defense spoksman, “LCDR Nate Christensen”. I found nothing on the DOD website about the MMRF, or similar press release.

Of course, Weinstein and his organization are hyping it up as if the meeting had been held on Mt. Sinai between him and Moses. And a lot of Christian nonprofit organizations are raising alarms (and donations) by hyperventilating about the same phrases, but with no independent verification of what actually occurred.

There is reference to an August 7, 2012, Air Force document, Air Force Culture, Air Force Standards, and Section 2.11:

“2.11. Government Neutrality Regarding Religion. Leaders at all levels must balance constitutional protections for an individual’s free exercise of religion or other personal beliefs and the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion. For example, they must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion. Commanders or supervisors who engage in such behavior may cause members to doubt their impartiality and objectivity. The potential result is a degradation of the unit’s morale, good order, and discipline. Airmen, especially commanders and supervisors, must ensure that in exercising their right of religious free expression, they do not degrade morale, good order, and discipline in the Air Force or degrade the trust and confidence that the public has in the United States Air Force.”

However Section 2.11 only prohibits using one’s position or rank to promote personal religious beliefs, e.g., ordering subordinates to attend a religious service or to read or listen to some religious materials. It does not absolutely prohibit discussing or practicing one’s religious beliefs. This is further enforcd by Section 2.12:

“2.12. Free Exercise of Religion and Religious Accommodation. Supporting the right of free exercise of religion relates directly to the Air Force core values and the ability to maintain an effective team.
2.12.1. All Airmen are able to choose to practice their particular religion, or subscribe to no religious belief at all. You should confidently practice your own beliefs while respecting others whose viewpoints differ from your own.
2.12.2. Your right to practice your religious beliefs does not excuse you from complying with directives, instructions, and lawful orders; however, you may request religious accommodation. Requests can be denied based on military necessity. Commanders and supervisors at all levels are expected to ensure that requests for religious accommodation are dealt with fairly.”

While there are probably anti-Christian persecution examples in the military or from the Demonicrat regime, this particular hype has no substance. Documentation is the key; rumor and gossip are not. Maybe we should keep some perspectivein all this.

Janis Williams said...

Mixing quotes like an evangelical pastor cherry picks verses isn't just a Christian foible. There was certainly an initial overreaction the military felt it should correct.

However, this Military Freedom From Religion (did I goof that up?) organization is likely an indication. It indicates the attitude of many Americans toward Christians. Certainly most Americans are neutral (apathy), but the ones who hate Christ and His Church tend to be the ones seeking power and leadership.

I am not personally seeking someone to beat or sue me; I like to be comfortable! We've had it way too easy here in the US. As things seem to go, we are likely headed for some form of increased persecution.

Carl Vehse said...

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) was founded in 1994 by 30 Christian leaders to "keep the door open for the spread of the Gospel by transforming the legal system and advocating for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family."

According to a May 2, 2013, ADF news release, "Pentagon backtracks on evangelization comments, investigation launched":

"Alliance Defending Freedom filed a Freedom of Information Act request Wednesday for records related to a Pentagon statement issued Tuesday that indicated members of the military could be subject to court martial for 'religious proselytization.'"

"The Department of Defense spokesperson who made the comments backtracked in a new statement Thursday that explained, 'Service members can share their faith (evangelize), but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others of any faith or no faith to one’s beliefs (proselytization).'”

“'Members of our military should not be denied the very freedoms they fight to defend. Freedom of religion and speech are paramount among those freedoms,' said Legal Counsel Joseph La Rue. 'We appreciate the Pentagon’s clarification, but little or no evidence exists of coercive proselytization in the military, so we are still troubled over what motivated the original comments.'”

Rocky2 said...

Government-Approved Illegals !

Speaking of illegals, the government hasn't built the border fence high enough to keep out the un-American criminals who want to take away our freedoms.
Yes, the government hasn't built the White House fence high enough to keep out the un-American criminals who somehow got into the White House and who are now working hard to take away the religious, social, and economic freedoms of true American patriots!
Here are two slogans that Obama would rather not think about: "Unborn babies should have the right to keep and bear arms - and legs and ears and eyes, etc.!" and "Unborn babies should have the same right to be born alive that abortionists had!"
If Obama should ever happen to Google "Dangerous Radicals of the Religious Right," do you think he would feel guilty merely walking in the hallowed halls of that House where true Americans walked?
Is it safe to assume that Mecca Wafers are Obama's favorite candy? And is barack-coli a vegetable or a disease?