Religious Liberty Attacks in America “Resemble Time at Hanoi Hilton”

US Rep Sam Johnson (R-Tx), a Vietnam era Air Force fighter pilot, wrote at the Christian Post that attacks on religious liberty in the United States “resemble my time in the Hanoi Hilton.”

You see, I endured painful torture at the hands of communists. I brutally experienced what it’s like to truly lose the privilege to worship as you see fit. As a prisoner of war in Vietnam for almost seven years, more than half of that time in solitary confinement, I withered away in a cellblock so isolating it could only be called Alcatraz.

Referring to a report by Senator Ted Cruz, Johnson says 

Profiled in the report under “Other Lawless Acts,” the administration “muzzled the speech of military chaplains.” News articles report that the administration threatened priests with arrest if they ministered to the military during the government shutdown. That’s just gross.

Stopping men and women in uniform from praying with a priest reminds me of my time in the Hanoi Hilton. After we POWs defied strict camp orders and created our own worship service, our captors marched out Robbie Risner at gunpoint for more torture sessions…

The report refers to US Air Force Chaplain (LtCol) Kenneth Reyes, whose article was censored by the Air Force at the behest of critic Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s MRFF, and contract Chaplain Ray Leonard, who was prohibited from ministering to his congregation because he was not “essential” personnel.

Religious freedom is a human liberty the US Constitution specifically protects — it protects American citizens from their own government. It is a sad day when a former Prisoner of War can find his own nation’s religious freedom so under attack that it resembles his wartime captivity.

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