President Obama has threatened to veto a bill that would protect military members' religious free speech rights, confirming fears that his Administration plans to target Christians who discuss their faith.
The House Armed Services Committee last week passed an amendment on H.R. 1960, the National Defense Authorization Act, that would protect Christians and members of other faiths.
The amendment was made necessary because of recent revelations that the Pentagon has been working with notoriously anti-Christian atheist activist Mikey Weinstein, founder of the misleadlingly named Military Religious Freedom Foundation, to craft a policy that could subject Christians who are caught talking about their faith to punishment, including court martial.
The Pentagon denies that's the plan, trying to draw a distinction between "proselytizing" and "evangelizing," which are synonyms in most dictionaries.
Weinstein is a far-left fanatic and loose cannon who has publicly stated that Christian evangelizing is tantamount to treason and that Christians should be punished, by the hundreds if need be. He also apparently has easy access to the upper echelons at the Pentagon and to left-wing bigshots such as former Ambassador Joe Wilson, he of "yellowcake" fame.
The amendment introduced by Republican John Fleming of Louisiana drew an objection from the White House, which released a message that states:
"Expansion and Implementation of Protection of Rights of Conscience of Members of the Armed Forces and Chaplains of Such Members: The Administration strongly objects to section 530, which would require the Armed Forces to accommodate, except in cases of military necessity, 'actions and speech' reflecting the 'conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of the member.' By limiting the discretion of commanders to address potentially problematic speech and actions within their units, this provision would have a significant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment."
The statement also includes a threat that Obama will veto the bill if it arrives at his desk with the amendment intact.
The policy that has been developing at the Pentagon would also cover chaplains, not just ordinary troops, who try to persuade other military members to adopt Christianity or any other religion. Although coercing someone in religious matters has long been prohibited by the military branches, it's never been perceived as a widespread problem until recently, largely due to Weinstein's lobbying, by all accounts.
"Someone needs to be punished for this," Weinstein said. "Until the Air Force or Army or Navy or Marine Corps punishes a member of the military for unconstitutional religious proselytizing and oppression, we will never have the ability to stop this horrible, horrendous, dehumanizing behavior."
Weinstein is part of the cadre -- dare we say cabal? -- of foes of Christianity who seek through the courts, government agencies and legislation to force biblical religion out of public sight while installing their own religion, atheism, as a state-mandated faith. By calling atheism a "nonreligion" and hiding behind phrases like "separation of church and state" and "religious freedom," the atheist agenda is advanced.
By threatening to veto the amendment to the defense bill, President Obama is continuing his Administration's record of attacking biblical religion.