In the past two weeks I have had a “front row seat” at an alarming set of incidents that once again illustrates that our soldiers, and therefore we, the recipients of their dedication to preserving religious freedom, are both “losing it.” By “losing it,” I mean our freedoms, and my intention is to sound an alarm.
I have an acquaintance who heads up a ministerial organization through which military chaplains of all service branches are able to be ordained. It is a requirement of the US military that all chaplains meet certain educational and ministerial requirements before they can function as chaplains, and John’s organization has been on the approved list for years.
He and his wife were on vacation in Orlando, meeting with mutual friends in the process, when the call came through that one of the chaplains ordained by John was in the brig. The reason? He had prayed publicly in the name of Jesus. John cut short his vacation and headed to the incarcerated chaplain. I have not heard an updates yet.
As if that wasn’t bizarre enough, then I received the following email letter from Lt Gen (Ret) Jerry Boykin via the Family Research Council. General Boykin is a strong believer who has taken a great deal of heat for his faith, and is one of the finest soldiers we have ever had. The following is his letter as it arrived in my inbox, and I believe we need to act on his stated concerns. He says,
Dear Ali Elizabeth,
The very troops who defend our religious freedom are at risk of having their own taken away.
Last week, anti-Christian and left-wing activists met at the Pentagon with military officials to discuss pressing issues in the military. What issues would be of such importance to gain such a high-level hearing?
According to these far-left consultants, religion is one of the chief problems plaguing our troops. As the Washington Post reported, some are saying that “religious proselytizing” is at the top of the list of problems in the armed forces — even on par with sexual assault.
As a result of such complaints from the left, the Air Force has — according to the Post –published, but not yet distributed a new document with the directive that leaders of all levels (including chaplains) may not “promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion.” The penalty these secularists are seeking for those who don’t comply with their view of religious speech is court-martial.
If this policy goes forward, Christians within the military 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.
Our brave troops deserve better. If chaplains and other personnel are censored from offering the full solace of the Gospel, there is no religious freedom in the military.
Please join me in signing the petition to Secretary Hagel urging him to protect the religious freedom of our troops – and not to proceed with the purge of religion within the ranks called for by anti-Christian activists.
Executive Vice President
P.S. Please forward this alert to friends, family and fellow church members, and post to your favorite social networks.
Please, do your part to fight for our soldiers. In the end, you’ll be fighting for your own faith and the freedom to have it.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner