Jacqueline Klimas reports for The Washington Times, April 15, 2015, that Christians are leaving the U.S. military or are discouraged from joining in the first place because of a “hostile work environment” that doesn’t let them express their beliefs openly, according to religious freedom advocates.
1. Douglas Lee, an Army chaplain who, as president of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, is charged with finding people who want to be chaplains and make sure they’re also qualified to serve in the military. Lee said that growing religious hostility within the military is making it harder for him to find potential recruits and for the armed forces to maintain the chaplains it does have. “I know people who get out, officers and chaplains, who’ve said, ‘I can’t serve the way I want to in this environment. People who’ve said, ‘Because of the religious liberty challenges I see, I think I’ll serve somewhere else.’”
2. Michael Berry, senior counsel of the Liberty Institute, a Texas-based nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches, in the military and throughout the public arena. Berry said that recent high-profile cases of military chaplains facing punishment for private counseling sessions that reflected the teachings of their religion could cause devout Americans who are qualified for military service to think twice about joining the military. “People of faith are going to stay away from the military. I can’t tell you how many moms and dads I’ve spoken to who say, ‘My son or daughter wants to join the military, [but] in light of what you’ve described, I’m not sure I want to let them join the military anymore,’ and I don’t blame them. I would have serious reservations about my own kids joining.”
Berry points out that not being able to recruit or retain Christians is very dangerous from a national security standpoint because they could be the military’s next group of leaders, but will never serve because they don’t think they’re welcome. Berry said he thinks the “hostile work environment” that is forcing the most religious persons out of the military is only getting worse, and that while in the past problems were mainly in the Air Force, religious liberty issues have spread throughout all the services. “The problem is getting worse, not better, despite our efforts. There is a culture [of] hostility [toward] religion in the military right now.”
3. Travis Weber, director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council, notes that the hostility is directed not at all religious groups, but against Christians in particular. He said he’s seen a recent uptick and pattern of Christians facing persecution for religious expression.
In effect, it is neither incorrect nor hyperbolic to describe the U.S. military under Obama as anti-Christ.
The military had 2,837 active-duty chaplains as of December 2014, according to numbers provided by the Defense Department. The largest group was the Southern Baptist Convention, with 437 members. More than 200 chaplains are affiliated with the Roman Catholic church, while 26 are Jewish, and just one is Hindu.
DOD spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen insists that “The Department of Defense respects, places a high value on and supports by policy the rights of members of the military services to observe the tenets of their respective religions or to have no religious beliefs. The mission of the chaplain corps is to provide care and the opportunity for service members, their families and other authorized personnel to exercise their constitutional right to the free exercise of religion.” Blah, blah, blah.
The Liberty Institute warns that the abuse of religious freedom within the U.S. military “has intensified under the Obama Administration, and its now reaching crisis level.”
Below are examples of such abuses, in which our service men and women – the very people who fight for our freedoms – are having their First Amendment rights taken away:
- Airman Files Complaint Against Military
- Liberty Represents U.S. Airman Punished for His Faith
- Military Continues Religious Hostility: Inspirational Painting Removed From Air Force Dining Hall
- Obama Administration ‘Strongly Objects’ to Religious Liberty Amendment for U.S. Military
- Pentagon Potential Policy Could Mean Court-Martial for “Proselytizing”
- Army Mocks and Attacks Christianity
In the above cases, Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, is the main instigator. Weinstein said that while chaplains can believe whatever their religion teaches, those who think they must act on religious teachings about sex or sexuality have no place in the military. “You can continue to believe that internally, but if you have to act on that, the right thing to do is to get out of the U.S. military, because you have no right to tell a member of the military that they’re inferior because of the way they were born” — which doesn’t make any sense.
Weinstein said he thinks the chaplain corps would work better if chaplains were totally outside the military force structure and didn’t have a military rank because having religious leaders in the military serves as propaganda for Islamic extremist groups who try to paint the U.S. military as religious crusaders — which is a straw-man argument.
H/t FOTM’s MomOfIV
Dr. Eowyn’s post first appeared at Fellowship of the Minds.