“If these fundamentalist Christian monsters of human degradation, marginalization, humiliation and tyranny cannot broker or barter your acceptance of their putrid theology, then they crave for your universal silence in the face of their rapacious reign of theocratic terror. Indeed, they ceaselessly lust, ache, and pine for you to do absolutely nothing to thwart their oppression. Comply, my friends, and you, too, become as monstrously savage as are they. I beg you, do not feed these hideous monsters with your stoic lethargy, callousness and neutrality. Do not lubricate the path of their racism, bigotry, and prejudice. Doing so directly threatens the national security of our beautiful nation.” -Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF)
Mr. Weinstein, quoted above by Focus on the Family, recently met with U.S. generals to discuss the military’s policies on religious liberty in the armed forces. Ordinarily, this type of rhetoric might not be much cause for concern, but the Pentagon has confirmed to other news sources that religious persons who try to share their faith may face court martials or other forms of punishment.
Obviously this has a chilling effect on the ability of military personnel to discuss their faith openly and honestly with others, but it has the potential to most affect military chaplains.
Imagine if a U.S. Army soldier comes to a chaplain for counsel. The chaplain can offer any kind of advice except the kind chaplains are best-suited to offer: The religious kind.
The chaplain can’t counsel according to the dictates of his faith. He can’t discuss the gospel; he might not even be able to discuss God in generic terms, depending on what his superiors decide.
Much remains to be seen about how the Pentagon may adjust its policies on religious liberty in the military, but if top officials are lending their ears to some of the most anti-religion voices in the discussion, things don’t bode well for men and women of faith serving in uniform.
Family Research Council has launched an online petition you can sign urging the Pentagon not to restrict soldiers’ religious liberties. You can sign it here.