“Today, we face incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation’s armed forces…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.”
These blatantly offensive words were recently penned by Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), in a column he wrote for the Huffington Post. Change the author and change the religious group being referenced and the above statement would most assuredly be labeled as “hate speech.”
Weinstein is certainly entitled to an opinion–as erroneous and egregious as it might be–but these are not just random thoughts; these are some of the very sentiments that may soon be considered for inclusion in U.S. military training manuals. Weinstein is not simply a citizen with an open disdain for people who adhere to Christian principles. He will be consulting with the Pentagon to develop new protocols on religious tolerance, including a policy for court-martialing military chaplains who share the Christian Gospel during spiritual counseling with American troops.
Ironically, it is Weinstein and other likeminded “bullies” who are among the most intolerant and closed off among us. Even with an increase in diversity over the past several decades, the DoD Defense Manpower Data Center reports that Judeo-Christian denominations still represent the largest overall percentage of military members at 68%, with 21% listed as atheist or no religious preference, and 11% as other/unknown/refused. The Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist faiths all showed less than a 1% response rate.1 To ignore and/or discount the faith values and religious beliefs for two thirds of the armed services, seems beyond insensitive–especially in light of the fact that these are the very men and women who literally put their lives on the line whenever they deploy into harm’s way.
Recently, Congressman Randy Forbes, Founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, sought answers (video) from Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, regarding a Pentagon email that warned Army officers to watch out for soldiers who stand by Judeo-Christian principles, equating them with the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis. Rep. Forbes told Fox News “It’s been a steady attack on faith and religious freedom that we’ve seen in our military like we’ve never seen before. We are getting a lot of calls from soldiers saying, ‘We’re afraid of going to church. We’re afraid to be seen praying. We are afraid that would hurt our careers, our promotions.’ This is unacceptable; we must protect the freedoms of those that are fighting to protect us!”
Pentagon Entertaining Policy That Could Prosecute Christians As Enemy Of The State (Read full article)
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.”)
Being convicted in a court martial means that a soldier has committed a crime under federal military law. Punishment for a court martial can include imprisonment and being dishonorably discharged from the military.
So President Barack Obama’s civilian appointees who lead the Pentagon are confirming that the military will make it a crime–possibly resulting in imprisonment–for those in uniform to share their faith. This would include chaplains–military officers who are ordained clergymen of their faith (mostly Christian pastors or priests, or Jewish rabbis)–whose duty since the founding of the U.S. military under George Washington is to teach their faith and minister to the spiritual needs of troops who come to them for counsel, instruction, or comfort.
This regulation would severely limit expressions of faith in the military, even on a one-to-one basis between close friends. It could also effectively abolish the position of chaplain in the military, as it would not allow chaplains (or any service members, for that matter), to say anything about their faith that others say led them to think they were being encouraged to make faith part of their life. It’s difficult to imagine how a member of the clergy could give spiritual counseling without saying anything that might be perceived in that fashion.
If the policy moves forward, Christian servicemen and women who speak of their faith could now be prosecuted as “enemies of the state.” This has the potential to destroy military recruiting and retainment across the services as Americans realize their religious beliefs will be suppressed by joining the military.
If these seem like isolated incidents please visit www.FaithReport.com and discover the severity of the crisis facing America’s Judeo-Christian foundation. There is a pervasive and systematic effort to put people of faith in a religious vice grip by first attempting to remove all vestiges of God from the public square and secondly, by making it unconstitutional to say a prayer in Jesus’ name. For too long, the bullying tactics of these anti-God groups have been allowed to gain ground, sometimes unchallenged. It is time to say, “Enough!”
Now more than ever, it is crucial that we remain diligent and alert to opposing forces and ensure their efforts are fruitless. We must stand boldly for freedom and to hold all government entities accountable to their Constitutional responsibility of protecting religious rights. The alternative is to keep silent, and our silence is tantamount to consent.
The armed services are at a loss to address and treat the alarming increases in combat-related trauma, PTSD cases and the growing epidemic of military suicide. Yet, the research literature overwhelmingly supports the notion that faith makes a critical difference in successful outcomes.2,3,4 To deny our dedicated soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines, the opportunity to integrate their religious values and received faith-based counseling and consultation, especially when our country is still at war, is grossly irresponsible.
This is our watch and we must take action. Eighteenth century statesman and philosopher, Edmund Burke, said it best, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Pray for our military–those who shed their blood to safeguard our freedoms. Contact your Senators, Congressional representatives, state legislators, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and leaders within the various military branches. Impact your sphere of influence so the voice of the majority can be heard over the shrill clang of the few who would deny your rights.
1 Segal, D. R. & Segal, M A. (2004). America’s military population. Population Bulletin, 59(4), 1-42.
2 Koenig, H. G. (2000). Religion, spirituality and medicine: Application to spiritual practice. Journal of the American Medical Association, 284, 1708.
3 Koenig, H. G.; McCullough, M. & Larson, D. (2001). Handbook of religion and health. New York: Oxford University Press.
4 Larson, D. B. & Larson, S. S. (2003). Spirituality’s potential relevance to physical and emotional health: A brief review of quantitative research. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 31(1), 37-51.