Congressman “Grills” SecDef over Christians in Military

US Rep Randy Forbes (R-Va) reportedly “grilled” relatively new Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel over

a steady stream of religious discrimination complaints over the past four years from Christian soldiers.

For his part, Secretary Hagel said he’d have to get back to the Congressman:

Hagel said he had no idea what the congressman was talking about.

“I don’t know about all the specifics of the information you presented,” he told the lawmaker. “I will get it. And I will find out about it.”

When asked if the DoD was enforcing section 533 of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law by President Obama, Secretary Hagel again pled ignorance but said religious liberty is “fundamental:”

Hagel said he had not seen section 533.

“Protection of religious rights is pretty fundamental to this country,” he said.

The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty has said some troops have already faced administrative action for their views on homosexuality.  Forbes said he’d been contacted by troops who are

saying ‘we’re afraid of going to church, we’re afraid to be seen praying, we’re afraid that would hurt our careers, our promotions.’

Those concerns were supposed to be addressed, somewhat, by the language of Sec 533.

The number of Congressmen who have signed on to the letter calling on the Army to “apologize and investigate” the briefing that called Christians “extremists” is reportedly at 40.

Congressman Forbes seems to think the ultimate cause behind the long string of incidents attributing to a perception of “hostility” toward religion is the DoD granting a “heckler’s veto:”

“I think there has been a huge move on the Department of Defense to respond to a very small but very vocal group of people who hate God and religion,” Forbes said. “They have been very successful of getting the ear of the people at the Pentagon. They have done everything they have asked them to do.”

Critics of military religious freedom have, indeed, claimed the “ear” of high ranking personnel in the Defense Department, though that ear appears to have turned slightly away for the time being, if only temporarily.

4 replies to “Congressman “Grills” SecDef over Christians in Military

  1. watchtower

    I find it ironic that the founder of the Congressional Prayer Caucus was the one “grilling” SECDEF over this perceived problem…the very same representative that wants to designate the United States as a Judeo-Christian nation, declare that “the Holy Bible is God’s Word”, and to declare religion a prerequisite for freedom and reject “the notion that the laws and Constitution of the United States require the exclusion of God from matters of government”. He must know he is free to dream of all this in HIS MIND ONLY…yes?

    I live in area surrounded by 20,000+ Military personnel and associates and never hear a peep about religious discrimination (yes, so you know, I have a position that I would hear about it). I can surmise it must only happen on the internet…where Priscilla found her little “throw Mikey under the bus again queep”. Unbelievable just unbelievable!

  2. Brian

    @ Priscilla… In my opinion, the problem with that sort of thing is that these people are not actually voicing their opinions. The cadet notes that “not one other cadet said anything at all.”… but HE didn’t say anything at all. So the Lt Col is making an ignorant observation… if you feel strongly, YOU should say something, not expect others in the class to argue your point for you. Certainly, the correct course of action is not to bring lawyers into the mix and go tattle to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). This cadet is going to be an officer? Then learn to confront problems. If one of my instructors made a comment like this, I would would 1) reply in class, if I thought it would be possible or appropriate, 2) talk to him after class and/or write him an e-mail to explain that I was offended, or 3) roll my eyes at his stereotyping and move on. What would be inappropriate, in my opinion, is writing to the MRFF without even trying to address it myself or through the chain. And then he tells Mr. Weinstein he will keep him informed like some spy. Really? This is a future military leader??

  3. Pingback: God and Country » Reports: US Air Force Consults Michael Weinstein on Religious Policy

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