Is Religious Proselytization Criminal in the Military? Our brave fighting men and women should not be reduced to whispering fearfully about their faith by their own government
Ryan Colby 202-349-7219 firstname.lastname@example.org
“The members of our nation’s military give their lives to protect our liberties. But according to a just-released statement from an Air Force spokesman, those warriors don’t get to exercise the first of those freedoms: religious liberty. Instead of the robust discussion of faith and beliefs that we civilians enjoy every day, service men and women can only share their beliefs when it doesn’t make others “uncomfortable” and may never be able to share their faith. That is unconstitutional and it is wrong. Our brave fighting men and women should not be reduced to whispering fearfully about their faith by their own government.
Today, the Department of Defense retreated from a similar position that it took earlier this week, clarifying that military commanders simply cannot use their position to pressure subordinates to adopt their religious views. And that clarification is right. Unlike the Department of Defense, though, the Air Force spokesman’s statement sounds like the government can ban servicemen and women from talking to one another about their faith. And that couldn’t be more wrong. The Air Force must follow the Department of Defense’s example to immediately correct its statement to avoid chilling Airmen and women’s religious liberty.” — Kristina Arriaga, Executive Director for Becket