He recounted a recent meeting with a 24-year-old soldier who had attempted suicide but survived…Lee said when he heard the man’s story, he knew the rules said he should send the man to a chaplain, but his heart said to give him a Bible.
“The lawyers tell me that if I do that, I’m crossing the line,” Lee said. “I’m so glad I’ve crossed that line so many times…”
Lee pledged not to back down from “my right under the Constitution to tell a young man that there is hope…”
“As one general so aptly put it – they expect us to check our religion in at the door – don’t bring that here,” Rear Admiral William Lee told a National Day of Prayer gathering. “Leaders like myself are feeling the constraints of rules and regulations and guidance issued by lawyers that put us in a tighter and tighter box regarding our constitutional right to express our religious faith.”
Funny that he’d mention lawyers. Didn’t the Air Force’s highest ranking lawyer, the JAG of the Air Force LtGen Richard Harding, just have a private meeting with Michael Weinstein, a former Air Force JAG making a living trying to tighten that box?
RADM Lee received five standing ovations, one nearly a minute long, during his remarks.
The crowd of religious leaders and lawmakers cheered for nearly a minute when Lee vowed to defy any attempt to curtail religious liberty within the Armed Forces.
“I am coming out today to tell you I am not going to run from my religious beliefs, from my right under the Constitution to tell a young man there is hope,” he declared…
He warned the audience that a storm was approaching religious liberty in the US military:
“Your armed forces, the sons and daughters of the men and women like you,” he said, “are being told to hide that light under a basket.”
He urged them to pray for those who seek to follow Christ in the military.
“Pray that we will be able to weather the storm that I am almost certain will come – that we will not be required to put aside our Constitutional rights,” he said.
Do you think the US military would restrict the Constitutionally protected religious liberties of its troops, without actual military necessity?
If you believe in conspiracy theories, you’ll be keen to know there appears to be no video or audio (at least officially) from RADM Lee’s message. The Christian Post was “live blogging” the event, and the stream cut out about 20 minutes into his remarks. Virtually all the other presentations are available on the National Day of Prayer website.
Update: Americans United for the Separation of Church and State berated ADM Lee for “imposing his faith on his subordinates,” though they don’t explicitly say how he did that.