The problem with the whole attacks on "freedom of religion" is that it
is being perpetrated by people who are claiming to be the victims of attacks on
their freedom of religion. We have a problem with Islamophobia in the military,
as if our military crusades are a war on Islam. We're using our tax
dollars to hold military seminars on whether or not Jesus died for Klingons.
Have you ever seen Full Metal Jacket, where they sing happy birthday to Jesus
and then listen to a drill sergeant preach about how God loves the Marines
because they pack heaven with fresh souls? Is that what you want going on in
our military? Keep religious freedom free, and don't pressure our
servicemen into any specific set of beliefs. And before you go accusing someone
of attacks on religion, make sure who's _really_ perpetrating those
There are alot of comments posted, that tell me the poster's have no clue
what goes on in the military regarding religion. Here's an education that I
will share from my career.1. I've witness nobody forcing religon on
anybody. Sharing religous thoughts as an invited conversation, yes. But, be
prepared to be ridicule by others in a large command, not likley to be ridicled
in a small command where everyone knows and rely on one another. 2. Just
less than half in the military are athiest (especially the younger generation
coming in), and most have the morality of a dirty mop bucket. Very few have
consistent religous values. Alot of in betweener's.3. The chaplain
services on bases are a joke. But usefull on large Navy ships. Those who uses
them on base are somewhat religous on Sundays, and others maybe looking for a
good site for a wedding service because the chapel looks pretty. 4. I no
longer know of anybody who serves because there patriotic. There in for the
paycheck, and technical skills.These were the thoughts I gave a
religous nephew recently. "not worth it"!. Unless he's after the
paycheck and skills.
"The committee rejected a proposal to add atheists, humanists and
'ethical culturalists' to the chaplains corps..."-------------------Someone proposed adding atheists to the
Well good people of Utah. In checking all the "fact check" sites, it
appears the Pentagon merely restated its long-held policy that military members
can “share their faith (evangelize)” but “not force unwanted,
intrusive attempts to convert others … to one’s beliefs
(proselytization).” But I tell you what, if we can get newspapers, AM
talk radio and FoxNews to continue to say that Obama is trying to stop
Christians from sharing their faith...well...I know darn well we will get people
to believe it if we repeat it often enough!
@very concernedI have read the 1st amendment and I read quite differently
than you, and so did the founding fathers who:published the Koran,
published the bible, published Jefferson's new testament abridgements, paid
for missionaries to the Indians, built government buildings with religious
inscriptions and artwork.They had religion in schoolsAnd
mentioned the importance and a religious and moral people.Just to
mention few ways the founding father practiced ans exercised the 1st amendment.
the founding did.What is clear is that they did not want government
favoring a religion or religious organization (this alone would stop any
national establishment of a particular religion), And they did not
want government inferring in any religion, and some religions proselytizing is
part of their religion.Military leaders encouraging attendance to a
religious organization does NOT favor any any religion or religious
organization.The founding fathers would clearly find this quite
Pragmatistforlife, actually I have been around the block and down the lane in
politics. My daughter recently lived in DC and my brother is in DC now. She
interfaced with the dept of energy and was flabergasted at the incompetent
political appointments Obama has made. I have helped on a US Senate campaign and
Govenors campaign in a liberal state. I know for a fact that Obama is a hardcore
leftist. He has tried to take out his opponent before they even face each other.
He has failed to bring hope and change. He is a liberal to the core, gay
marriage, abolish don't ask don't tell, criminalize being a Christian
in the military. He is against energy independence and has spent astonishing
amounts of money for clean energy companies that have cost taxpayers billions.
He will probably make a big push on global warming, its what he was taught and
what he believes.
New to Utah.."Barack Obama is a hardcore leftist president". So are you
new to the United States also? You apparently have no idea what hardcore left
is. Recycled Heritage foundation ideas and left over Bush era policies are not
Rustymommy: "What would an atheist chaplain say to a soldier? "May you
die in the assurance that life is completely over for you and you have nothing
to look forward to."? or perhaps, "As you head into battle, find comfort
in the belief that there is nobody out there in the universe who cares what
happens to you." "A chaplain's primary role is to
provide emotional and spiritual support. Neither of these require the belief in
God. Military members do not fight just because they believe God wants them to.
I would argue the majority fight because they believe in defending freedom and
basic human rights. Contrary to your assertion, just because an atheist
doesn't believe in God, it doesn't mean they have no one that cares
for them. It also doesn't mean they can't act with a hope in a better
future. Many don't think of God, but their kids. Much of our cultural
moral and ethical standards in the West are still aligned with Socratic notions.
That is, a man who willingly accepted death on principle, though he was being
killed for his atheistic beliefs.
Apologies SC: you're on my side and against what Sen Lee is proposing. I
retread your post and I jumped the gun. Forgive me for my error.
The SChemist: what you related is exactly why this is needed. It does not stop
anyone from being religious, but stops those in command from abusing those under
them by making them adhere to the commanders ideas. No proselytizing. No
forcing your religion on others. Read up on this. Listen to those in the
military (there are two posts right here that explain what is going on and why
this is needed.). It might surprise you to learn that you actually agree with
pres obamaon this one thing.
There IS a middle ground on which people of faith can act on religious beliefs
but not force them on others, especially when they are in a position of power
and authority over those of different beliefs. We can vote our consciences,
espouse our doctrines, and publically express our beliefs, but when it comes to
coercion or force, that is not true religion.
Why would one fight this amendment as long as someone’s beliefs are not
forced on others. Where is the middle ground these days? Where is common
sense?To quote, *(The amendment) clarifies that expressions of
belief that do not have an adverse impact on military readiness, good order, and
discipline are to be accommodated by the Armed Services,* Coercing someone
under you WOULD have an *adverse impact*, but allowing men and women to pray
together or to allow chaplains to practice their beliefs wouldn’t. I
would tend to think the opposite. Serving in combat seems hard
enough that taking away things like prayer would have an *adverse impact.* The
amendment needs to be there to protect valid religious rights among those who
fight to protect those rights. I think Mr. Obama seems to have a policy of
encroaching on religious rights whenever he can get away with it. Please read the first amendment, * Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;*. It is
clear the Founding Fathers wanted to protect us from state-sponsored religion
while protecting religion from state-sponsored control/persecution.
@Lost in DC*it was RELIGION that caused Hitler, Stalin, and Mao to kill
close to 100,000,000 between them*I respectfully - but firmly - disagree.
From what I have studied and heard, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao were psychopaths who
may have wrongfully used perverse religious tactics to achieve their goals.
They were megalomaniacs who misused some religious issues to get what they
wanted. They do not represent true religion. Moving on, as a
returned missionary myself, I do have sympathy for those in the military whose
rights have been infringed upon by superiors. There should be no place in the
military for someone to coerce another in a religious issue by virtue of their
rank. I see that plain and clear. Military superiors should not be able to
force religion (or any particular denomination) on their subordinates. That
would destroy man’s agency and I don’t think our Savior would
approve.However, I think the wording of the bill is still
appropriate and necessary. The direction the administration is going
necessitates the clarification in the amendment’s wording. It seems
reasonable and makes sense.
As I'm reading some of these reality-free comments about "religious
persecution" and "hardcore leftist President," all I can say is that
when your information comes from FOX, talk radio and the right wing echo
chamber... "Garbage in, garbage out."
This isn't preventing people in the military from being religious, it
prevents them from acting like they're missionaries and things like
commanders requiring those under them to go to particular religious events.
Stuff like that.
There has been a pushback in recent years, particularly by the Military
Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), to protect the religious freedom of
soldiers from fundamentalist, proselyting officers who abuse their power. The
MRFF receives complaints from soldiers, the vast majority of whom are Christian,
who feel they have no where else to turn. They work in a hostile work
environment where they aren't "Christian enough" for their
commanders, who order their subordinates to participate in religious rituals
that they fundamentally disagree with.You should read some of the
letters that the MRFF receives from soldiers who have been abused by the command
structure. They show that there is at least a subculture in the military that
is all about control by the fundamentalist Christians. It is the same mindset
that condones the rape of servicewomen - only this time it is directed toward
anyone who is different - atheists, Jews, Christians who aren't Christian
enough. Heaven help you if you are Muslim in this environment. Thank goodness
that the MRFF exists - it has blunted some of the worst excesses.This ridiculous amendment is absolutely unnecessary, and portrays the bullies
as those in need of protection.
Barack Obama is a hardcore leftist president who has used his office to further
their agenda.Obama is commander and chief but he doesn't particularly care
about those serving. He has not really helped the VA or wounded soldiers. He has
pushed to ban don't ask don't tell. He is forcing women into combat.
Go to any base and visit with the soldiers which I have done and many don't
think the commander and chief is covering their back. He has ultra left people
making suggestions to hurt those who have strong Christian beliefs. He is
pushing to have it almost criminalized to say you are a Christian.
So people can get in trouble for peacefully expressing their religion. But
sexual asault cases are flying under the radar with no detection? Please tell me
what's wrong with this picture.
One has to wonder why there would be a proposal to provide chaplains for
atheists. What would an atheist chaplain say to a soldier? "May you die in
the assurance that life is completely over for you and you have nothing to look
forward to."? or perhaps, "As you head into battle, find comfort in the
belief that there is nobody out there in the universe who cares what happens to
you." If you don't believe in any kind of religion, what is the point
of a chaplain? I am happy to have chaplains for all types of faiths including
hindu, muslim, budhist,christian, jewish, etc. But if your religious belief is
that religion doesn't exist, then why should a chaplain exist? Sounds like
a huge waste of taxpayer money to even have to discuss this matter.
Conservatives, republicans, religions and business in general are pushing the
idea that corporations are people. And thus these organizations are straining
against the chains (rules and regulations) that bind them and would remove the
effect and protection of the individual person that has been a part of the
American creed. If the people who would help the individual
soldier survive his ordeal have morphed into salesmen for their product, they
have no place in the military.
@mouseThanks for the daily update of Republican Talking Points/FOX
Improbable Infomercials.BTW...I've lost trust in all of the
Another example of incompetent leadership and disrespect for the Constitutional
rights of citizens from the White House. A substantial percentage of the Armed
Forces is religiously devout. So what is the logical impact of this message to
the morale of those troops who do practice their religion? Great way to honor
the service and sacrifice of these good men and women who have chosen to serve
their country in this way. I have always tried to respect the Office of
President regardless of who occupies that position but I am sad to admit that
this President has lost my trust. Covering up the sale of guns to Mexican drug
lords, supporting the radicalization of the Middle East, cowardly leaving a U.S.
Ambassador to die to conceal a terrorist attack from the people, using the IRS
to punish his political enemies, using secret email accounts to conceal high
level communications, spying on and intimidating the free press, invading the
private phone calls of all Americans, forcing religious charities to provide
contraceptives in violation of their beliefs, shamelessly using a national
tragedy to advance his anti-gun agenda and the list goes on.
Hutterite,you are SOOOOO right!.it was RELIGION that caused
Hitler, Stalin, and Mao to kill close to 100,000,000 between them. Yep, you
How many of you posters above have actually served in the military? Like
FatherOfFour, I served in the Army and spent a year in Baghdad. Overzealous and
preachy First Sergeants and Commanders destroy unit cohesion just as fast as
weak, ineffective leaders. The last thing I wanted to hear from my First
Sergeant is how I needed to go to church. People in his little circle who
attended religious services with him got special treatment as well. Standing in formation in an official military status is not the place to be
preached to by an overzealous First Sergeant.
J-TXI disagree completely. I served 8 years in the Army and was
operationally deployed three times. I spent more than a year in Baghdad. I
served as a combat engineer (explosives and demolitions) and later as Explosive
Ordinance Disposal. I worked in Fallujah and Ramadi as well. I am an athiest. I
knew several soldiers that deployed with no interest in religion, but who came
home very religious. I also know several soldiers who deployed as very religious
(even Mormon) and came home athiest.
Ps- hat are beinMormon soldiers are sometime the ones who are being abused by
their born again commanders, but it sounds like you are for this. Really? Or
are you unaware of why and what Obama signed?
Conservative Christians complain they are being persecuted when government tells
them that a military organization can't force their religious beliefs on
its members. The administration is not saying you can't be
religious. Those who say otherwise are either intellectually dishonest or
misinformed. The only issue stems from military personnel trying to force
their religious beliefs on others. Belief what you want. Just stop trying to
make other people believe what you believe when it's time to serve in the
military or any other government related job.
Some of you posters have not been reading about what has been happening in the
military. It it the commanders that are ordering their soldiers to services.
They must attend or do guard, latrine or kp duties. This is helping each
soldier choose their own path and not be intimidated by their superior. That is
the reason for the no proselyting rule. Their is no rule on personal expression
of faith. I am sure you would all agree if you had a son or daughter
serving under one of these generals that believe that his way is the only way.
You can be gay. You can be bi. You can be atheist. You can be trans-gender.
You can dress like any gender you want. And you will be protected by this
administration and its cronies. But you can never be religious! It is the
There are no atheists in foxholes. Obama, in his infinite wisdom
and demonstrated good judgement would like to try to change this millennia-old
maxim. He is on the wrong side of every moral argument.
According to Mr. Lee it's ok, correct and necessary, that military
commanders retain sole power to recognize and prosecute rape in the military but
proselytizing, oh no.
Virtually every soul will have a bias regarding this issue; why risk ones life
to protect unprotectable, by law, freedoms? Religious liberty must be provided
or the or the cause of freedom would cease to exist. We must defend the
Constitution without losing sight of improving the economy, etc. Unity, liberty
& justice, opportunity for all must be considered. I want elected reps to
defend my right to religious freedom,
Mr. Obama is a national socialist who does not particularly care for religion.
He sees it as patriarchal and discriminatory against women and gays. Mr. Truman
rightfully used the military to break discrimination against African-Americans.
What Mr. Obama is doing with the military is a lot more controversial and which
has Orwellian implications.
@OatmealWait that can't be right, are you trying to tell us this was
not an evil consperecy startedd by Obama to strip lost of everything?
If I understand correctly, no one is arguing that service members are restricted
from worshipping in any way. The restrictions are on proselytizing. Is
proselytizing to be considered an non-restrictable constitutional right?
The very existence of religion in the military is a strong indicator of why
religion persists today. It's about power. It's about getting good
people to do bad things. Religion is the easiest way for one person or group to
control another, and to justify heinous activities we are otherwise programmed
to know are wrong. Religion should be absolutely forbidden in the military
except for on an exclusively personal level.
Proselytization was against the Uniform Code thirty years ago when I was a
full-time LDS missionary with an Air Force base in my area. This appears to be
another scuffle in the "Culture War." Senator Lee is playing games for
HVH,I thought Jobs were BO's top priority. I guess not. Suppression
of first, second, and fourth amendment rights appear to be his top priority.Too bad our congressional representative have to "weasel" to
ensure our constitutional rights are proterct4ed from the abuses of the BO
misadministration.Keep up the good fight, Mr. Lee, working hard for
the people of Utah.
I thought Jobs were your number one priority Mr. Lee, Not weaseling special laws
to protect religious folks into a Funding Bill. Most of the discrimination that
the religious right is worried about is being carried out on NON-christians.Now please do something for the People of Utah, instead of message bills
about the war on Christmas.