Pentagon Tries to Backpedal on Christian Court Martial Policy

The Pentagon is tripping over its own tongue in trying to deny that it is making plans to begin court martialing Christian service members who share their faith.

The story, which was reported by the Washington Post, Fox News and other outlets, broke recently when it was revealed that Pentagon officials had met with virulent anti-Christian activist Mikey Weinstein, founder of the misleadingly named Military Religious Freedom Foundation, to discuss cracking down on Air Force personnel who evangelize other service members.

The change in policy was seemingly confirmed in two separate instances by Pentagon officials, and by Air Force officials, but now Pentagon press spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen has further muddied the waters with a press release that both apparently confirms the policy exists, but denies that it will be anything to worry about.

The original Pentagon statement said, "Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense. ... Court martials and non-judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis. ..."

Then the Air Force tried to clarify.

"When on duty or in an official capacity, Air Force members are free to express their personal religious beliefs as long as it does not make others uncomfortable," Lt. Col. Laurel Tingley told Fox News.

Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty executive director Ron Crews commented, "What does ‘As long as it does not make others uncomfortable’ mean?"

Crews pointed out that last year, an Air Force officer was ordered to remove the Bible from his desk, allegedly because it might give the appearance of condoning one religion over another. "Air Force officers must be allowed to live out their faith in a way that is consistent with their faith," Crews said. "If the Bible is important, then an Air Force officer should be able to have one on his desk."

According to the latest statement from Christensen, military members are allowed to "evangelize," but not "proselytize."

For most Christians and most dictionaries those are synonyms, and therein lies the problem. The Pentagon seems to be splitting legalistic hairs by defining evangelism as sharing your faith and proselytism as sharing your faith when the person your sharing with isn't interested.

The non-answer is setting the table for trouble. For example, if a Christian soldier were to invite a Jewish friend to church, is that evangelism or proselytism?

The distinction is crucial because the Pentagon policy, according to what Christensen wrote, is that anyone proselytizing can be punished, including court-martialed.

That could mean that a soldier's fate is left entirely up to whether his fellow soldiers respect or dislike him. And suppose a couple of soldiers are willingly discussing the Bible between themselves and an atheist with a bee in his bonnet about Christians walks in and spontaneously decides he's being excluded from the group? Is it courts martial all around, then?

The Washington Post story explicitly mentions court martialing chaplains. But chaplains are not part of the chain of command and have no underlings to "proselytize." If this policy is applied to chaplains, it's hard to see how a chaplain could perform his duties to comfort the troops.

Based on what's known about this semi-secret policy, which as usual is being assiduously avoided by most of the mainstream media, it appears that the Obama Administration has yet again been caught red handed planning an unconstitutional breach of the law, and the Administration will now spin the story until it goes away, rather than come clean.

If there are any honest leaders left in the Pentagon, they need to put the kibosh on this policy and take away the forum that's been given to Weinstein to vent his crackpot anti-Christian notions.

As far as uber-atheist Weinstein is concerned, Christianity is "treason" and Christians are "monsters." If the Pentagon hadn't given him a platform and some credibility, he might even now be walking around talking to a coconut named Wilson.

Failure to nip this witch-hunting policy in the bud will only lead to tremendous, perhaps irreparable, damage to our military forces.


Comments

comments

  • Txmrs

    Just one question. Do the people that are "not interested" in hearing the other "proslytize" about their religion still have legs that can carry them out of the room or away from the offending person? Are they all mute and unable to say they are not interested or are they required to just stand there and listen? This is all BUNK.

    • http://www.facebook.com/aemoreira81 aemoreira81

      The question that would be the issue is if that person doing so is a superior in their chain of command. (Chaplains are not in the chain of command.) You cannot easily walk away from a superior should (s)he be doing this as it would affect your own career...it is unclear whether or not this has actually happened, however.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ed-Scott/100002103340101 Ed Scott

        Say What?

  • Bobseeks

    The generals responsible for this treason against the American people should be stripped of their rank and their retirement benefits.

  • Screeminmeeme

    The Devil doesn't waste time on non-Christian belief systems such as Islam and atheism, because they are no threat to his work, but in fact are unwitting allies in advancing his agenda against Christianity and the Bible.

    The persecution of Christians gained momentum when the Christian-poser Obama took office and we can anticipate more as his administration works to eliminate all vestiges of it in our military, allowing for the advancement of Islam instead.

  • http://www.bibleversusconstitution.org/ Ted R. Weiland

    There's two larger issues here that I've yet to see addressed:

    1) Should Christians seek employment with the imperialistic, military-industrial complex to do the murdering of the international bankers in the first place?

    2) Should Christians be taking an oath to support a humanistic (per the Preamble), antichristian (per Article 6), and polytheistic (per Amendment 1) document and government?

    For more on both issues, see "Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective" at http://www.bibleversusconstitution.org/BlvcOnline/blvc-index.html. Also, don't miss our Constitution Survey in the right-hand sidebar.

    • $39132868

      YAY! You know what's going on, and why! Most of these people are clueless. They hate you if you them them the facts, too.

  • https://me.yahoo.com/a/CfsINEYDoex3fXYF.FLFCPOcXaFQros-#f30f8 jong

    Hum. I have never heard in over thirty year in or involved in the military of a Commander or NCO ever pressing some one to come to belief in Christ. They may mention it but, if you are not interested or are known to have a different "out look" you are left alone. However, I have also never met a Christian of any rank that if asked first would not tell you of salvation. Christians unlike muslims do not press the faith in that fashion. Muslims I have seen doing the exact same thing that Christians have been wrongfully accused of. But, then of course saying anything would be racist.

  • HongryHawg

    They'd better backpedal. If they dump on the Christians in the armed forces, they may very well find themselves without a military. That may be what they're after so they can replace it with the brown-shirts and gestapo of Homeland Security.

    • Herehere

      Maybe. Or maybe they'll bring in the UN "Peacekeepers." Kicking fundamentalist Christians out of the military, or at least the officers' ranks, would certainly change the conversation vis-a-vis Israel, who are already unpopular in the international political sphere.

  • http://Orthoman.com/ DockyWocky

    While the Pentagon is tripping over its own tongue in trying to deny that it
    is making plans to begin court martialing Christian service members who
    share their faith, there still remains a poisonous bureaucrat or bureaucracy that came up with this astounding anti-American set of orders.

    Whoever dreamed this up should be cashiered immediately...fired...especially if the idea came out of the White House itself, because anyone that anti-Christian has no business continuing in an office that thinks that radically.

    • $39132868

      Study Mikey Weinstein's beliefs. Study the diktats of the Frankfurt Shul.

  • samantha

    Okay, guess we need to go to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" on religion now. . .

  • Ron

    what has happened to this country---the Bible says that in the end times Christians will face persecution---it may not be coming yet,but we need to be very careful

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.d.conley.7 Paul D. Conley

    All Public Officers, that includes Military Officers, are bound by their oaths, to the Constitution, Article 6, third sentence "The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of
    the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers,
    both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by
    Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test
    shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust
    under the United States." The First Amendment gives us the right to freely exercise our religious rights! Fire the Obama Communists, they are against the Constitution!

    • http://www.facebook.com/aemoreira81 aemoreira81

      The First Amendment does not, however, authorize proselytizing using other people's money. Merely sharing your beliefs would not be a violation.

  • $26222150

    Every Christian needs to be wearing a cross and a flag pin everywhere. And if you are Jewish, then wear the Star of David.

    They want to accuse you of sedition? They are the ones guilty of sedition by trampling on the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and inciting religious discrimination. They are the ones guilty of sedition by trying to censor free speech. They are the ones guilty of sedition by trying to outlaw guns (and make no mistake, that is their wet dream). They are the ones guilty of sedition by allowing an invasion of our southern border. They are the ones guilty of sedition by trying to institute government takeover of a free nation.

    That scum Mikey Weinstein should be tarred and feathered and run out of the country on a rail or taken out in the middle of the Atlantic and made to "walk the plank." In addition, every "representative" and judge who votes for/rules in favor of anti-American and unConstitutional "legislation" should be removed from office and jailed for sedition for attacking the Constitution they swore to uphold.

    It's time for some Martin Luther King-style peaceful resistance, beginning with your own personal commitment not to put up with this bs anymore, and proudly displaying your patriotism and faith. Don't be afraid to proclaim the truth. Get those recall petitions going. Get your butts to the state capitols. Get out in the streets.

    We still have time; if they were ready to shut us down, they would have by now.

    Godspeed.

    • Screeminmeeme

      Amen.

  • YellowJacket2

    The cat us out of the bag and it's far too late to backpedal on this travesty. I lend my voice to those who demand an overhaul of our military command. There is no excuse for an officer too violate his/her oath to defend and protect the Constitution. Their right to command should be irrevocably forfeited and they should face a Courts Marshal and be stripped of their commission and drummed out of the Service. And that applies to everyone right up to, and including, the Commander and Chief!
    If we allow this virtual act of terrorism on our Constitution to go unpunished it will encourage even more attacks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ed-Scott/100002103340101 Ed Scott

    Between declaring Christians to be terrorists, The Benghazi cover up, Fast and furious cover up, Gays serving openingly in the Military, glorifying a gay NBA player, and the likes of Sandra Fluke, Spending every penny they can get, and more, Gun grabbing, promoting sin, aborting innocent lives, saying there is no God, It is a wonder that this country even still exists.

    Or does it? does this sick country only exist in the matrix?

  • The duck

    What else would a Muslim POTUS suggest? Anything that is anti-Christian that's is for sure. His admin shouldtry to ban the Koran from being displayed. Wonder how far that would fly?

  • Jim Buzzell

    If someone is uncomfortable they can get up and walk out this PC crap is out of hand.

  • JJM123

    As mentioned earlier - Disciplinary action could be proper for anyone hassling someone who does not want to hear it. But now open discussion and debate is not allowed????

  • Bob

    TRAITOR ? WHAT ?
    Does the aTheist realize that you can't serve TWO GODS ?
    Does the sTheists understand that the OATH to the Constitution ABOVE Yahweh's LAW is TREASON to Yahweh?
    Maybe the aTheist sincerely Knows that one can't be double minded and serve two masters as MOST professing Christians employ.
    The aTheists NAME for his organization reminds me of that Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man"

  • SoWhatBubb

    The military is no longer run by soldiers.
    The military is run by political commissars masking as soldiers.
    They are the useless lifer bureaucrats that we all knew when we served.

    • denny

      IT has >>> ALWAYS been that WAY, FYI. Generals "NEVER" ran ANY wars!!! Orrr they all would have been too short for thaa BIG-BOYS to make their own Financial-KILLINGS.

      • $39132868

        That's not true.

  • denny

    Most AMERICANS, do NOT have a clue, nor do, or could, - - - care LESS, what Obee n' BIG-BRO, orrr hizz CZARS +545 in Congreeeeease, etc., do to America! Used to be home of the BRAVE & FREE, >>> Under GOD!!! When we have "FOREIGN" Professors & ADministrators pushing the Musihlaam/Moohaamudd prophecies, Shariah-LOW-LIFE-LAW ... or ANY other one, down KIDS & our throats they should be put up on charges of Traitrous TREASON, >>> then if found guilty, EITHER jail them, hang them, or deport them to "LOWER - SLOBBOVIA", ... FOR-EVER TOO !

  • Charlie

    This country was founded on Christian believes with tolerance for all other religions. To have some loud mouthed ignorant dink actually have an influence on our heritage is unbelievable . Are our servants in our government such wussies that they can not tell clowns like this monkey believe to buzz off ? What happened to create a group of warriors that were to represent our Christian based nation to turn into politically correct wussies ?

    • $39132868

      Do you really want to know?

  • Andrea Aicher

    The phrase, "...as long as it doesn't make others uncomfortable," is the hitch. In the Army we were taught during week 0 of boot camp that "It's all about perception." It was drilled into us, and I heard it on a regular basis for the remaining 6 years of my enlistment. And of course, the higher ranking the person who takes offense is, the more credence they're given. Anyone who has served recently will remember the EO briefings, especially on sexual harassment. Bottom line with that way of thinking: if even one person takes offense, it's not ok and must be stopped. It's ridiculous.