John Jalsevac

,

Pentagon: Christians in military could be court-martialed for promoting their faith

John Jalsevac
John Jalsevac
Image

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 2, 13 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Conservatives and Christians are up in arms after the Pentagon issued a statement this week saying that Christians in the military could be court-martialed for promoting their religions beliefs.

The statement comes after the Washington Post reported last Friday that anti-Christian activists had met with senior Pentagon officials to press for the court martial of Christians in the military who "promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion."

According to the Post, the activists were given assurances that an instruction booklet on proselytizing would be forthcoming within the next few weeks.

The article quoted Larry Wilkerson, a former chief of staff to Colin Powell, as placing religious proselytization alongside “sexual assault” as two of the major problems currently facing the military. 

Sexual assault and proselytizing “are absolutely destructive of the bonds that keep soldiers together,” said Wilkerson. 

On Monday, the Pentagon ignited a firestorm when it responded to the controversy by issuing a statement saying that religious proselytization "is not permitted within the Department of Defense. “

“Court martials and non judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis and it would be inappropriate to speculate on the outcome in specific cases," added the Pentagon statement.

In the wake of the ensuing uproar, the Pentagon released another statement today claiming to have made "reasonable accommodations" for religious practice, and drawing a distinction between evangelization and proselytization.

"Service members can share their faith (evangelize), but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others of any faith or no faith to one's beliefs (proselytization)," said Pentagon spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen. 

However, the back-pedaling hasn’t turned down the heat, with many continuing to express concern about the trajectory the military is taking on religious liberty.

Since the original article in the Washington Post, the Family Research Council says it has collected nearly 110,000 petitions opposing the military’s plans.

General Jerry Boykin, Family Research Council's Executive Vice President, said that his organization is “deeply concerned” about the reports about the meeting between anti-Christian activist Mikey Weinstein, head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and the Pentagon.

In the Post article, Weinstein, who is known for his extreme anti-Christian rhetoric, had described proselytization as “spiritual rape” and a “national security threat.” 

“The Pentagon must set the record straight about what Mikey Weinstein was assured in his meeting with Pentagon officials,” said Boykin. He also demanded that the Pentagon “categorically disavow Mikey Weinstein and any assurances made to him regarding court martials of chaplains and service members who share their faith.”

Boykin also pointed to a series of incidents in the military that he said suggest religion has become increasingly marginalized.

In one case, he said, the Air Force General Schwartz issued a stern warning that proselytizing would not be tolerated in the Force, and instead urged 'neutrality.' In another case the Air Force suspended a 20-year-old class on 'Just War Theory' because it included scriptural references. 

Boykin also pointed to a recent study released by the U.S. Military Academy's Combating Terrorism Center linking pro-lifers to terrorism. That was only one of several statements and studies issued under the Obama administration linking conservatives and pro-life activists to terrorism.

“If Christian chaplains and other troops are censored from offering the full solace of the Gospel, there is no religious freedom in the military," said Boykin. 

Some religious believers in the military say they are feeling increasingly marginalized, particularly since the Obama administration decided to repeal the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) policy.   

Last year LifeSiteNews.com reported on a speech given by Col. Ron Crews in which he recounted an interchange in 2010 between Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a military chaplain.  While Adm. Mullen was briefing the troops on what the repeal of DADT might look like, a chaplain asked if those with “biblical views that homosexuality is a sin [would] still be protected to express those views?” 

Adm. Mullen reportedly responded, “Chaplain, if you can’t get in line with this policy, resign your commission.” 

Another chaplain’s promotion was unexpectedly rescinded, said the colonel. The reason: forwarding an email sent by a fellow chaplain that was critical of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal. Due to this action he was told he would need to be “more closely supervised.” 

See related article:

The most alarming development of Obama presidency - purging Christians out of the military
 

FREE pro-life and pro-family news.

Stay up-to-date on the issues you care about the most. Subscribe today. 

Select Your Edition:

Donate to LifeSiteNews

Give the gift of Truth.


Share this article

Advertisement
Hillary Clinton
Shutterstock
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

, , ,

For Hillary Clinton, abortion access trumps religious liberty

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- For Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, apparently abortion trumps religious liberty.

It may have gotten bipartisan support in the House of Representatives last night, but a spokesperson for the Democratic Party's leading presidential candidate says a resolution protecting religious liberty in the District of Columbia "overrule[s] the democratic process" and hurts women.

The vote, which saw three Democrats join the GOP majority and 13 Republicans stand with Democrats, was meant to protect pro-life and religious organizations in the District from the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA).

RHNDA was signed by the mayor of the District of Columbia, Muriel Bowser, in January, and makes it illegal for any employer, including religious and pro-life organizations, to use a person's belief or actions about abortion in employment considerations. It also requires employers to provide abortion coverage.

The resolution now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to fail due to the Senate being on recess. Under existing federal law, the measure has 30 legislative days to be disapproved by Congress and President Obama. If this does not happen, it becomes law.

The 30-day window ends on Saturday. President Obama promised a veto of the resolution on Thursday, even though RHNDA was opposed by former District mayor Vincent Gray. According to Gray, while he "applaud[s] the goals of this legislation," the former mayor believes RHNDA could violate the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal treatment under the law.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

The statement by the Clinton campaign left no doubt that she stood with Obama and a majority of Democratic legislators. Spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri told CNN, "Hillary Clinton has fought for women and families and their right to access the full range of reproductive health care without interference from politicians or employers."

"Hillary will fight to make it easier, not more difficult, for women and families to get ahead and ensure that women are not discriminated against for personal medical decisions."

The remarks come a week after Clinton took criticism for saying that "religious beliefs" critical of "reproductive rights" must "be changed."

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” she told the Women in the World Summit on April 23.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper," said Clinton in her speech. "Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will."

“Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed,” said the candidate.

Advertisement
Featured Image
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

, ,

Social conservatives may be funding the destruction of marriage: corporate watchdog

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

May 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- With over $55 million in annual revenue, the Human Rights Campaign may be America's most powerful LGBT activist group. And according to a conservative corporate watchdog, that's in part because social conservatives are funding it.

"Conservatives would be surprised to know that many of the dollars they spend every day are helping fund an agenda that seeks to destroy traditional marriage and undermine religious freedoms," said 2nd Vote National Outreach Director Robert Kuykendall. "Even when they purchase a beverage from a company like Coca-cola or Starbucks, their dollar is going to support HRC's liberal agenda to redefine marriage."

Less than 18 months old, 2nd Vote has graded hundreds of corporations on six issues -- corporate welfare, the environment, education, support for the Second Amendment, abortion, and as of two weeks ago, same-sex "marriage." Using their "scoring" system, 2nd Vote ranks corporations on their direct or indirect involvement with these hot-button public policy and cultural issues.

And according to them, some of America's favorite corporations are making the radical HRC agenda possible.

"HRC is the largest LGBT lobbying organization in the United States with reported revenues of over $55 million," Kuykendall told LifeSiteNews. "The redefinition of marriage and the undermining of religious freedom are major components of HRC’s policy agenda. To fund their policy goals, HRC has enlisted the help of many major corporations that we do business with every day to help fund. Over a third of the contributions received by HRC are listed as 'Corporate/Foundation Grants.'" 

Why should conservatives care about corporate donors to HRC? Kuykendall says the organization is both politically influential and publicly deceptive. "Last election cycle, HRC spent around a million dollars on electioneering activities and in support of liberal candidates willing to push their legislative agenda. HRC is responsible for spreading much of the misinformation regarding [Religious Freedom Restoration Act] laws and has also mischaracterized the protections provided by these laws."

"HRC organized a massive grassroots campaign in support of the legal battle to overturn state laws protecting marriage and influence the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges," said Kuykendall.

Marriage isn't the only issue on which conservatives may be at odds with HRC's corporate backers. "2nd Vote’s research into other issues such as life, the environment, and the 2nd Amendment shows that many of the companies supporting HRC have taken liberal stands on other issues as well,” he said. “For example, Apple, Citigroup, Microsoft, and Coca-Cola are Platinum Partners, the highest level of HRC’s National Corporate Partners, that have also funded the liberal Center for American Progress [CAP]."

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

"Bank of America, Google, Goldman Sachs, Starbucks, PepsiCo, and Morgan Stanley are also HRC Corporate Partners that have funded CAP. Furthermore, all of these companies signed the amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn state marriage laws."

In Indiana, the state's religious liberty law was modified because of corporate pressure led by Tim Cook, Apple's gay CEO. Kuykendall says conservatives should not give up, though he acknowledges that "for too long, conservatives have let liberals and groups like HRC bully companies into not just going along with their agenda, but actively funding and promoting it."

"However, conservatives have also proven their ability to mobilize and use their dollars in support of traditional values as we’ve seen through the fundraising campaigns for the pizza parlor and wedding cake makers who have been attacked by liberals for their beliefs. Conservatives need to turn the tables on the left, and groups like HRC, and motivate companies to stop funding the liberal agenda through the power of their shopping habits."

Only nine companies have ranks of "five" or "four" on 2nd Vote's ranking system, indicating a pro-marriage perspective. They are outnumbered more than 10 to 1 by organizations that support redefining marriage.

Concerned citizens can download the app on 2nd Vote's website. The full list of corporation scores can be found here.

Advertisement
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Fr. Mark Hodges

First graders exposed to book about transgender boy—without parental notification

Fr. Mark Hodges
By Fr. Mark Hodges

KITTERY POINT, ME, May 1, 2015, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Parents at one Maine school are upset that children as young as six were exposed to a book promoting transgender issues, in the name of "acceptance."

Parents were not only not consulted, they were never even notified of their children's exposure to transgenderism.

Horace Mitchell Primary School read the book I Am Jazz to first-grade students. The book is about a boy who identifies as a girl from the age of two, "with a boy's body and a girl's brain." He eventually finds a doctor who tells his parents, "Jazz is transgender."

Parents began to inquire about what was being taught at Horace Mitchell Primary after children came home with questions about their own sex and wondering if they, too, might be transgender.

One mother, upset that teachers would broach the subject of transgenderism with her little boy, said the primary school ignored her complaint. "I feel like my thoughts, feelings and beliefs were completely ignored...My right as a parent to allow or not allow this discussion with my child was taken from me," she told Hannity.com.

"When I spoke with the principal he was very cold about it," the mother continued. "It's amazing how thoughtless the school has been with this whole thing."

Only after Sean Hannity made national inquiries did Horace Mitchell Primary School suggest that teachers should have told parents ahead of time.

Allyn Hutton, the superintendent of the local district, said she supported reading the book but admitted that parents should have been given advance warning about the subject matter. "We have a practice of – if a topic is considered sensitive – parents should be informed. In this situation, that didn't happen," she said. "We understand that toleration is tolerating people of all opinions."

Horace Mitchell Primary School sent an e-mail, after the fact, to concerned parents, including a link to a blog post of the school's guidance counselor, explaining their motivation was "cultivating respect."

"Some may think primary school students are too young to worry about addressing issues surrounding gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) students. Not so, experts say,” the school's guidance counselor wrote. “It’s never too early to begin teaching children about respecting differences."

Homosexual activists say they support the teaching of transgenderism to first-graders, with or without parental notification. "The staff of Mitchell School is...shedding a light on [LGBTQ] issues,” said a column in Gay Star News.

The LGBT puublication goes even further, advocating homosexual propaganda be commonplace in elementary schools across the country. "LGBTQ issues should never be classified as a 'sensitive subject,' [because] there is nothing sensitive about the way we are born. Blonde hair, brown hair, gay, straight or somewhere in-between."

Brian Camenker of MassResistance commented on the infiltration of homosexual propaganda in children's schools. "We deal with parents and teachers a lot, and the idea that teachers would do this is unconscionable. It's like the people that promote this stuff are evil. It's demonic. You can't imagine adults that would do this to other people's children, and do it with such anger, and such vitrol.”

Camenker emphasized that this is “not an isolated incident with just one, rogue teacher. This happens because the whole administrative hierarchy buys into it.”

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

“The new generation of educators is very, very frightening,” he said.

Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook