Soldiers Practice Religion During Joint Exercise
Military members are free to participate in the religious acts that they choose. At times, the military even encourages its servicemembers to learn more about religion. Such experiences may include observing or even participating in religious events.
In India recently, US soldiers engaged in a joint exercise took the opportunity to participate in yoga. Far from the more fitness-oriented experience in America, yoga is commonly associated with eastern religions practiced in India (where it is believed to have originated).
The benefits of cultural tolerance and understanding is obviously stated:
Perhaps the most valuable lesson our soldiers will take from this is an ability to recognize a competing or a different perspective and understand that they may not agree with it but it’s something they must incorporate in their decision making and how they interact with others.
Of course, a cynic might suspect that the Soldiers, who were on duty and in uniform, may have been coerced into participating in religious activities in the name of cultural exchange. As they have with other religions, they might also contend that public images of uniformed US military personnel participating in religious activities was unConstitutional.
Obviously, they’d be wrong.