Do you think that Christians in the military who share their faith or offer comfort to others from their faith in Jesus Christ is ?sedition and treason? and deserving of court martial?
Pentagon: Religious Proselytizing is Not Permitted | FOX News & Commentary: Todd StarnesReligious liberty groups have grave concerns after they learned the Pentagon is vetting its guide on religious tolerance with a group that compared Christian evangelism to ?rape? and advocated that military personnel who proselytize should be court martialed.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is calling on the Air Force to enforce a regulation that they believe calls for the court martial of any service member caught proselytizing.
President Mikey Weinstein and others from his organization met privately with Pentagon officials on April 23. He said U.S. troops who proselytize are guilty of sedition and treason and should be punished ? by the hundreds if necessary ? to stave off what he called a ?tidal wave of fundamentalists.?
?Someone needs to be punished for this,? Weinstein told Fox News. ?Until the Air Force or Army or Navy or Marine Corps punishes a member of the military for unconstitutional religious proselytizing and oppression, we will never have the ability to stop this horrible, horrendous, dehumanizing behavior.?
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told Fox News he was stunned that the Pentagon would be taking counsel and advice from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.
?Why would military leadership be meeting with one of the most rabid atheists in America to discuss religious freedom in the military,? Perkins said. ?That?s like consulting with China on how to improve human rights.?
The FRC has launched a petition drive urging Defense Sec. Chuck Hagel to protect the religious freedom of troops ?and not to proceed with the purge of religion within the ranks called for by anti-Christian activists.?
Pentagon officials met with Weinstein and his group were to discuss a policy called ?Air Force Culture, Air Force Standards,? published on Aug. 7, 2012.
Section 2.11 requires ?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,? the regulation states.
Military leaders were admonished not to use their position to ?promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion.?
Weinstein said it?s time for the Air Force to enforce the regulation ? with zeal.
?If a member of the military is proselytizing in a manner that violates the law, well then of course they can be prosecuted,? he said. ?We would love to see hundreds of prosecutions to stop this outrage of fundamentalist religious persecution.?
He compared the act of proselytizing to rape.
?It is a version of being spiritually raped and you are being spiritually raped by fundamentalist Christian religious predators,? he told Fox News.
He said there is a time and a place for those in uniform to share their faith ? but he took issues with fundamentalism that he says is causing widespread problems in the military.
?When those people are in uniform and they believe there is no time, place or manner in which they can be restricted from proselytizing, they are creating tyranny, oppression, degradation, humiliation and horrible, horrible pain upon members of the military,? he said.
Perkins said the military regulations have ?Weinstein?s fingerprints all over it.?
?It threatens to treat service members caught witnessing as enemies of the state,? he said, referring to a Washington Post article highlighting Weinstein?s meeting with Pentagon officials. ?Non-compliance, the Pentagon suggests, even from ordained chaplains could result in court-martialing on a case-by-case basis.?
The Pentagon confirmed to Fox News that Christian evangelism is against regulations.
?Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense, LCDR Nate Christensen said in a written statement. He declined to say if any chaplains or service members had been prosecuted for such an offense.
?Court martials and non-judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis and it would be inappropriate to speculate on the outcome in specific cases,? he said.
Ron Crews, the executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, warns that the Air Force policy would ?significantly impact the religious liberties of Air Force personnel.?
?Saying that a service member cannot speak of his faith is like telling a service member he cannot talk about his spouse or children,? Crews said. ?I do not think the Air Force wants to ban personnel from protected religious speech, and I certainly hope that it is willing to listen to the numerous individuals and groups who protect military religious liberty without demonizing service members.?
In an interview with the Washington Post, Weinstein called proselytizing a ?national security threat.?
?And what the Pentagon needs to understand is that it is sedition and treason,? he told the newspaper. ?It should be punished.?
Perkins said it was troubling the Obama Administration would place so much trust in someone like Weinstein.
?Unfortunately, it appears our military is on a forced march away from the very freedoms they are sworn to protect,? he said. ?This language from Weinstein that Christians who share their faith or offer comfort to others from their faith in Jesus Christ is ?sedition and treason? is a treasonous statement in and of itself.?
But Weinstein said they count thousands of Protestants among their ranks ? and said they are simply going after fundamentalists.
?As soon as we find a fundamentalist Muslim, atheist, Jewish person or anybody else, we will be happy to fight them ? but so far they have been few and far between,? he said.
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, an executive vice president with the Family Research Council, told Fox News that he?s deeply concerned by what he call a pattern of attacks on Christianity within the military.
?Mickey Weinstein has a very visceral hated of Christianity and those who are Christians,? he said. ?He?d like to see it eliminated from the military entirely.?
If the Air Force policy is implemented, Boykin said Christians who speak of their faith ?could now be prosecuted as enemies of the state.?
?This has the potential to destroy military recruiting across the services as Americans realize that their faith will be suppressed by joining the military,? Boykin said.
In the meantime, Weinstein and his group said they will continue to push for the Pentagon to fully implement its ban on proselytizing.
?There is a time, place and manner in which proselytizing is not only allowed, but it?s something we support among our Christian clients,? Weinstein said. ?However, you can?t scream fire in a crowded theater and you can?t scream Jesus in a crowded theater at certain times, places, and in certain manners.?
Mom to Lee, Jake, Brandon, Rocco
Stepmom to Ryan, Regan, Braden, Baley
Granddaughters Kylie 10/18/2010 & Aleya 4/22/2013
I never consider a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosopy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend. --Thomas Jefferson
This is nothing new. This is just another look at what began under that famous anti God guy GWB back in 2005
It is important that our Military remain a safe place for people of all religions to not feel bullied.
There is no need for people to go to work (including the military) and have someone try to convert them. It is also not appropriate for forces that represent the US to be doing public prayer either.
Mom to Elizabeth (5) and Corinne (3)
I believe in the right to free speech. If the military personnel have the right to curse God and use every profanity under the sun, they also have the right to talk about God in a positive light.
ETA - So it would be A OK to say God d*m you, but it would be a court martial offence to say that God loves you? This is in no way any better than Don't Ask, Don't Tell. "It is ok if you have your religion, as long as you don't let anyone know about it."
If someone is harassing another person and trying to push something down their throat, then deal with the harassment. Not take away the religious freedoms, and freedom of speech away from the entire military.
Harassment and sharing faith are 2 very different things. Harassment should be punished. Sharing faith should be totally acceptable in any work environment
Molly, Morgan, Mia and Carson
WHat I find incredibly interesting about the bias in this article is that they never mention WHO Weinstein is. They merely describe him as a "Rabid atheist".....the man is an ACADEMY GRADUATE. Do you know what an elite standing that alone is? From the other article I linked to
Whatever his religion is that certainly gives him perspective as to what is actually going on within our Air Force.But one outspoken critic, Mikey Weinstein, an academy graduate from Albuquerque, said the guidelines meant nothing because the Air Force had refused to discipline officers who overstepped the boundaries.
"All this does is increase the level of confusion," Mr. Weinstein said.
Tony Perkins, says
Now, Tony Perkins is a real gem.Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told Fox News he was stunned that the Pentagon would be taking counsel and advice from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.
?Why would military leadership be meeting with one of the most rabid atheists in America to discuss religious freedom in the military,? Perkins said. ?That?s like consulting with China on how to improve human rights.?In 1996, while managing the U.S. Senate campaign of Woody Jenkins against Mary Landrieu, Perkins paid $82,500 to use the mailing list of former Ku Klux Klan leader and state representative David Duke. The campaign was fined $3,000 for filing false disclosure forms in a bid to hide the payment to Duke. Perkins has stated he did not know about the mailing list's connection to Duke.On May 17, 2001, Perkins gave a speech to the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a white supremacist group that has described black people as a “retrograde species of humanity.” Perkins claimed not to know the group’s ideology at the time, but it had been widely publicized in Louisiana and the nation, just two years earlier. The Duke incident surfaced again in the local press in 2002, when Perkins ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate.
In 2010, the Family Research Council—under Perkins' leadership—was classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center which characterized the group as "a fount of anti-gay propaganda". Perkins dismissed the hate group designation as a political attack on the FRC by a "liberal organization" and as part of "the left's smear campaign of conservatives". On December 15, 2010 the FRC ran an open letter advertisement in two Washington, D.C. newspapers disputing the SPLC's action. The letter included the signatures of social conservative politicians including twenty members of the House of Representatives (including then soon-to-be Speaker John Boehner), three U.S. senators, four state governors, and one state attorney general.
In the spring of 2013, Perkins urged conservaties nationwide to withhold political contributions to the national Republican Party until the leadership "grows a backbone" and halts support for so many of the Democratic legislative intiatives.
My question is why are our military leaders meeting with HIM?
A court martial is an incredibly serious and expensive procedure. To those all wigged out that someone is going to be court martialed because they say "God loves you" I think that you don't have much of an understanding of our military. THese regulations are in place to protect those who are being harassed by religious people who are overstepping their bounds. Someone who self identifies as a Christian will not be prosecuted. Someone who repeatedly harasses others, who makes people uncomfortable by trying to convert them etc has no place within our military (or any workplace). Further, military leadership should NOT be taking on the role of spiritual advisor ~ leading prayers (of any religion) etc. That is NOT the way this country was founded and y'all know that.
Honestly it's not okay in a work environment. It can be really annoying and sometimes difficult to manage. When I came back to work after my Mom died, our head of Tech called me to say how sorry he was, which was really nice. Then he said, "It's good you know she's with God now." I'm an atheist but I let it go. He said it again. Then he said it again. At that point it was making me feel really crappy and upset as it had no meaning for me and only made me feel her loss more acutely. The conversation continued and the fourth time he said it, I said, "That would be comforting if it was in my belief system, but it isn't." He grew silent and we wrapped up the conversation.
He wasn't even proselytizing and we weren't in a closed environment like an army base and he meant well but it made me feel crappy and it started to really bother me that he was imposing his religious views on me so persistently. One passing mention is okay but he kept saying it until I had to snap back at him because I'd had it.
People who are religious often do not understand how offensive and aggressive it is to keep pushing their beliefs on someone. I don't walk around telling people to be atheists or telling them to stop believing in God & why it would free them and be good for them. Religious people should do the same. If you can't contain yourself then you are the one with the problem, not me. In groups it can be VERY intimidating and disturbing.
Laurie, mom to:
Nathaniel ( 10 ) and Juliet ( 6 )
Baking Adventures In A Messy Kitchen (blog)
I am not sure who is "sharing" faith with you guys, but every time it has happened to me when I told the person that I was happy with the church I attend they were fine. I have never felt harassed.
Molly, Morgan, Mia and Carson
But in many cases within the military it is people of high ranking that are pushing religion and that's a huge problem. You shouldn't have to fear repercussions withing your job because someone with seniority feels you should believe what they do.
Mom to Elizabeth (5) and Corinne (3)