New Policy Will Court-Martial Soldiers Who Share Religious Faith

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Army soldier reading bible

Would you want the government to have the power to make a judgment call about your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)?

If you’re a U.S. soldier who’s a Christian, Jew, Muslim or something else, would you want to entrust your fate to a military hierarchy steered, from the top, with the guidance of a man who founded an organization expressly designed to eradicate any form of individual religious expression from the ranks of fighting men and women?

It’s at hand. The Pentagon confirmed on Wednesday a story published by Breitbart alleging the military would begin court-martialing soldiers who share their religious faith.

In a statement it released to FOX News, Pentagon spokesman Nate Christensen wrote: “Religious proselytization is not permitted within the department of Defense. Court martials [sic] 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.”

The new policy comes after Pentagon leaders met with Air Force officer-turned-activist Mikey Weinstein, who founded and leads the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). Weinstein is ostensibly for the separation of church and state, but a read through his guest column at the Huffington Post betrays a peerless hatred for Christianity in particular.

Separation of church and state has always been a Constitutional tug of war, one that’s least elegantly fought when the struggle’s being waged by ardent atheists on one side and the very religious on the other.

But the desperation of the enlisted individuals whom death shadows on battlefields in foreign lands has existed in its own sacred, personal realm for militaries in all times and places. The rights of soldiers who call on the divine, cobbling together impromptu battlefield relationships as they seek to bond over faiths they may not even have previously shared, cannot be questioned.

The consolation of religious faith, shared among soldiers at once brave and fearful, is an eternal and de facto extrajudicial prerogative against which there must be no “policy,” as retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin told FOX News.

“If chaplains and other personnel are censored from offering the full solace of the Gospel, there is no religious freedom in the military,” he said.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

  • Mike in MI

    SO, REAL Great, Just grate you proselytizers of nihilism, you philosophizers of philandropathy. You sick bass fecal-droppings. You want to make a squad of our soldiers like the ancient Grecian army’s worthless losers … two homos and a powder-puff push-priest? Three “lover-birds” committed to each other by the demands of addiction to the others’ seminal chemicals. Yes, that’s right. There are chemicals in semen that are analgesics and, in high blood titers, mildly addictive. In a woman, they cause “after glow” and are beneficial to conception in shutting down local (female’s reproductive tract) immune responses to foreign (male) proteins (semen. enzymes and sperm’s DNA).

    Will some scientist/lawyer grouping, please, investigate this stuff to prosecute child-molesters and acolytes? Homosexual relations with kids constitutes assault, at least. These are neuro-active substances that CHANGE development by their blood-brain actions via the Carotid sinus/body chemistry that controls blood delivery to the brain. Brain functions control development in children. This stuff is in the neuro- and sexual- research literature somewhere , unless it has been expunged by vested interests.
    Look, If they can force through an F.D.A. ruling that declares 15 yrs. old girls free to purchase poisonous “Mourning-After” pills – “Plan – B” at O.T.C. “tail” and retail distributors and you’re O.K.with it … WHY THE HELL CALL YOURSELVES “PARENTS”? You’re nothing but Democratic Party “repro”-duction technicians. Plain and simple, producers of your own demise.

    Look at your sons. Now tell me, do you expect them to defend this land? What do you expect for them if they do? I’ll give them up to protect me???
    And, You call yourself a Dad or a Mom? Christian?

    Where’s the love of God, love of others? Love of family? Love of self?… in any of Obama-that?
    Go along with any of it … You’re in need of counseling.

    • Mike in MI

      Sorry,

      2nd paragraph – ” acolytes’ trainers.”

      “These (chemical constituents of semen) are neuro-active…”

      After “vested interests”. Study beta- Endorphin, also prostaglandin E2 and their synergistic effects and physiologic effects on anatomically distributed receptors.

      • Kinetic1

        “Sorry” says it all. What does any of this have to do with the subject at hand?

  • Harold Olsen

    Basically, with this new policy, chaplains can be court martialed for holding church services on Sunday and preaching the Gospel. Military or not, it’s a violation of the 1st Amendment. This new policy, no doubt, has been ordered by the Obama regime. It is one more step in the weakening of our military. People of religion who otherwise would have joined the military, probably will not do so and that will mean our military forces will slowly but surely be depleted. Just the thing for a scumbag like Obama who wants to destroy this country would want — the inability for this country to defend itself against our enemies.

    • steve

      it’s the destruction of babaloyn the great( the empire of false religion) talked about at revelation 18.

      • Doc Sarvis

        Actually, it is not.

    • Kinetic1

      Harold,

      Outside of this site and some other far right leaning sources, what have you read about this issue? Clearly you have read nothing but rumors and fear mongering.

      “The Air Force’s public affairs office, using the Merriam-Webster dictionary, defines proselytizing as “to induce someone to convert to one’s faith,” said Capt. Jody Ritchie in an email. “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,” he said in an email. “Proselytizing, as defined above, goes over that line.”

      Now, if a soldier turns to the Chaplain for guidance and solace, what are the chances that the Chaplain will be proselytizing? Chaplains are trained in all religions and providing appropriate counseling.

      “In these various roles, chaplains respect the rights of others to their own religious beliefs, including the right to hold no beliefs,” said Eileen Lainez, a Pentagon spokeswoman.”

      While those of you who are deeply Christian wail and cry about the attack on your beliefs, the real issue is far from such an attack.

      “While just 3 percent of the military’s enlisted personnel and officers call themselves Southern Baptist, Pentecostal or a member of a denomination that’s part of the National Association of Evangelicals, 33 percent of chaplains in the military are members of one of those groups, according to Pentagon statistics. And the disparity could soon widen. Data from the Air Force indicate that 87 percent of those seeking to become chaplains are enrolled at evangelical divinity schools.”

      http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/faith-and-values/military-chaplains-are-faith-mismatch-for-personnel-they-serve/article_19c66ee6-82b8-59f7-b3d5-fd3cc05bc538.html

      So, if anything the real issue would be that a Chaplain might fail in his mission to provide guidance within a soldiers faith and instead, revert to his personal faith instead. Again, if it were a Muslim Chaplain and a Christian soldier I imagine your feelings would be different.

      • FreedomFighter

        So after 200 years this issue raises its ugly head? Why and what is the true purpose? The major that gunned down all the soldiers preached Islam constantly and nothing was done — but if a Christian does == court martial, very selective enforcement isn’t it?

        Laus Deo
        Semper FI

        • Kinetic1

          Major Hassan was investigated by the FBI and one of his supervisors recommended his “departure from military service” due to his religious views. At the time, military protocol and the need for medical staff kept him in the service. Perhaps these new guide lines would have made the difference.

          Your assumption that this is aimed only at one religious group is skewed by the fact that the majority of complaints about this activity involve overly zealous Christians.

          • FreedomFighter

            The old guidelines worked for 200 years — what changed?
            Figure that out and you will know the truth.
            Laus Deo
            Semper FI

          • Kinetic1

            “The old guidelines worked for 200 years — what changed?”

            The same thing that’s happening to the Republicans, the nation is changing. Though founded in religious freedom, Christianity has been the dominant way for 200 years. Now, the balance of religion and race is shifting. While white Christians still represent between 75% & 80% of the population, other religions are no longer willing to accept lower class status.

            Consider these numbers.
            “From 1900 to 2000, the number of non-Southern
            states with populations of at least 10 percent races
            other than White increased from 2 to 26, reflecting the
            spread of diversity across the country.”

            “By the end of the century, three states—California,
            Hawaii, and New Mexico—and the District of Columbia had majority “Minority” populations (including Hispanics).”
            http://www.census.gov/prod/2002pubs/censr-4.pdf

            Religion in America has been in decline for some time. By some estimates, only 20% of Americans regularly attend church. The battle lines are being drawn by a small number of the faithful while most Americans watch and wonder. World Wide, both Christianity and Islam are growing. Conflict is a given. What was acceptable in America 200 years ago just isn’t today. No matter how much you want things to stay the same, they won’t. It’s uncomfortable for white American Christians to face these changes, but is it really that surprising?

          • FreedomFighter

            As the country goes as you describe it deteriorates into stupidity, chaos, greed, filth and poverty…as Islam grows death, enslavement, war, terror and suppression of rights grows.
            Maybe we should reconsider these new and wonderful changes you like.
            Laus Deo
            Semper FI

          • FreedomFighter

            “military protocol and the need for medical staff kept him ”
            Oh yea try to convince me they needed an ISLAMO Religious fanatic pcyho-psychiatrist — like I said selective enforcement.
            Laus Deo
            Semper FI

  • GALT

    “There are no atheists in foxholes” isn’t an argument against atheism, it’s an argument against foxholes”

    James Morrow

    • http://batman-news.com samurai

      There are no atheists in fox holes GALT. When the bullets start flying, you would be amazed how many people start invoking the name of God for help and to survive. Ooops! I forgot, you never served. No nads? FOR GOD AND COUNTRY! 하나님하고 나라를 위해서!
      You need both love of country and faith in God to be a patriot.
      “Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens.”
      Daniel Webster

      • GALT

        BTW I am a PLF…and atheist is once again ” and abbreviated and incomplete position ” but even an
        “atheist” wouldn’t be caught dead in a foxhole.

        Besides there will always be enough idiots like you
        to fight mercenary actions for minimum wage……

        Try “The Fort” by Bernard Cornwell……featuring
        Col Paul Revere…….

        • http://batman-news.com samurai

          You served? Thanks for your service, but how was it a mistake? Did you go to Vietnam? I was an 11H E7 and retired with 20 years in. Don’t regret any bit of my patriotic service. Atheist once again? So you were Christian before? God and Jesus will always take you back as you are. They took back this old war dog. Here is the truth about liberals.
          http://www.westernjournalism.com/liberals-are-not-sane/
          FOR GOD AND COUNTRY! 하나님하고 나라를 위해서!
          You need both love of country and faith in God to be a patriot.
          “To the distinguished character of patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”
          George Washington
          1st U.S. President
          Commander of the Continental Armies
          Devout Christian

        • Charlie

          GALT,,,
          As usual the basics of US military service is not known or mentioned to the average DAA as he / she is being sworn into a “”Contract””” that they do not understand until years later and maybe not even then… It’s the only job I know of where one can be “Fired” AND NOT be able to leave the Job site… I know,,, been in “”The Contract”” AND when MY contract expired , I said ” see ya ,,,this contract is tooo one sided….

  • Dragon 1

    We really need to get rid of the un-religious nuts that are out there. Everyone has the right to his / her own beliefs and even if the pentagon and it’s officals don’t like it TOUGH !! Your beliefs are your own whatever religion you are but, no one should have the right to take that away, not even the military courts.

    • Doc Sarvis

      All this policy says, from what I read in the article, is that someone in the military may not try to convert another military person to a religion or lack thereof. Religious proselytization is trying to convert someone. It does NOT mean military people can’t have religion.

      • FreedomFighter

        I can come with only satanistic reasons for what is happening, and this was done in all communist controlled military’s, it starts like this then a full push to a atheist military. Create a military with no morals values, no compassion, no god but the state.

        Its all part of the communist manifesto/plan, destruction of family, religion, morals, and elevation of the god-state collective.

        The world economic collapse seems just months away, it will make the Great Depression look like a picnic. Get prepared, food, guns, ammo, and get right with GOD. The Luciferians elites bankers are one crisis away from CHAOS and Boston was an example – and they were only dealing with 2 teens, wtf do you think will happen when hundreds of thousands are starving and then get angry? What will all those heavily armed Godless ENFORCERS do?
        The Obummer regime is starving the police of ammunition to make them targets, gutting and destroying the US Military, hollowing out our military capability, and at the same time giving billions to DHS or Department of Human Sacrifice, billions of bullets, tanks, armored vehicles, full auto machine guns made for war, battle armor, drones, planes and what do you think its for? Like Hitlers SS and Brown shirts they are to kill or control you during the takeover
        My message to all you police, they are setting you up to be slaughtered — your on the blue list, don’t side with the tyrants.
        Laus Deo
        Semper FI
        Semper FI

        • Doc Sarvis

          They are NOT removing religion or morals from the armed services – just proselytization!

          • FreedomFighter

            this was done in all communist controlled military’s, it starts like this then a full push to a atheist military. Create a military with no morals values, no compassion, no god but the state.
            Laus Deo
            Semper FI

          • Nadzieja Batki

            You stroked that keypad without thinking.
            Some decisions can be like floods which open paths for water in all directions and no matter where it flows it causes damage. The people who made this ruling are like you, they do no thinking. Now the word “proselytize” is going to be redefined by the new “Philadelphia Lawyers”. Go look up what “Philadelphia Lawyer” means, as I am not going to explain it to you.

          • jimwilson81

            It still violates the Constitution on the grounds it violates freedom of speech. If you are trying to comfort somebody and somebody else thinks you are using religion, then you could be court-martialed. That violate several amendments, the first, fourth, and fifth.

        • Jeff

          The fact that you can only come up with satanic reasons is a comment on your intelligence. It says nothing about a policy designed to prevent superior officers from foisting their religious beliefs on their underlings.

      • Jake Thomas

        Shouldn’t it be up to that person then to say “Quit alking to me about religion, I don’t want to hear it. They are adults and don’t need mommy and daddy to speak for them.

        • Kinetic1

          You have to consider the military dynamic. While I agree that one corporal should be able to tell another to “Quit talking to me about religion, I don’t want to hear it.”, but the reality changes when it is a General doing the proselytizing. There have been many complaints that qualified soldiers are being passed over for promotion because they do not share their commander’s strong, sometimes fundamentalist religious views.

          Perhaps if this story had been presented by a Christian complaining that his Muslim commander was proselytizing Islam, folks on this site would feel differently?

          • http://batman-news.com samurai

            Care to cite a source on this one? I knew that under Clinton’s admin, people were passed over for promotion if they were male and caucasian, but where do you come up with this nonsense? There is nothing wrong with proselytizing. Our founding fathers believed in being able to speak openly, in public, about our faith, so why should some atheists care about it? Tell them just to be quiet. When we were in Iraq we had the unit chaplain in front of the formation. Before he said “Let us pray”, he said that if anyone does not wish to do so, then just be quiet so the people who want to pray can do so. That’s all they have to do. Obama bin Laden is a child of satan, not a natural born citizen, and does not make the qualifications to be president, according to the Constitution. To prove this, read what the pretender has done.
            http://www.freedomoutpost.com/2011/pentagon-recruits-anti-christian-extremist-to-help-craft-tolerance-policy/
            This is just another example of what happens when we fall away from God. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY! 하나님하고 나라를 위해서!
            You need both love of country and faith in God to be a patriot.
            “A patriot must be a religious man.”
            Thomas Jefferson

    • Jeff

      No one is taking away anyone’s rights to believe anything he wants. The policy is to limit proselytizing. Given the nature of the military, if a superior officer decides his religion is the way his underlings should believe, he can make their lives miserable – even more miserable than they likely are already. This policy is certainly not aimed at a soldier who wishes to pray. It is clearly aimed at the officer who attempts to force atheists or Jews in his command to become Fundamentalist Christians.

      But if you insist on interpreting it as Obama picking on your religion, I’m sure the other loons on this site will show you how.

    • Robbie

      You kind of misread the piece. No one is trying to take away the religious beliefs of any soldier. The military simply wants to prevent prostalatizing in the forces: no preaching to your fellow soldiers, no trying to convert anyone, no pushing your nonsensical ideas on others.

  • Dragon 1

    Mike in MI, You reall need to go to a warmer climate as the cold up there has frozen your brain cells. Or other parts.

  • Albert Maslar

    Without God there is nothing so why should Americans join or stay in a military that denies the basic Constitutional right to Freedom of Religion? Maybe for no other reason than to be ready to take up the promise of Thomas Jefferson.

    • Kinetic1

      And no one is banning God, just pushing your beliefs on others. No one is going to stop a soldier from praying before going into battle (or eating for that matter.) No one is asking Chaplains to stop preaching the Gospel during Christian services. If anything the military is trying to protect a soldier’s freedom of religion.

      • http://batman-news.com samurai

        Protecting some while violating the God-given rights of another. Brilliant deduction, NOT! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY! 하나님하고 나라를 위해서!
        You need both love of country and faith in God to be a patriot.
        “If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”
        Ronald Reagan
        *What he said just says it all.

      • Albert Maslar

        Chaplains are not allowed to preach or mention Jesus, forced to perform same-sex marriage, and offer a bland non-religion as a substitute for real religion, and not allowing mention of Christ at funerals for fallen military. Chaplains are not to preach the Gospel during faux religious services. Why should anyone in their right mind want to join this kind of military?

        • Kinetic1

          Thats interesting, given that the Associated Gospel Churches have this to say on this website:
          “We are happy to announce that all AGC Chaplains are allowed and expected to preach the Gospel in military chapels across the globe. Many give public invitations (altar calls) in the chapel services. Not only in the chapels, but in all kinds of settings, our chaplains are proclaiming Acts 4:12– Neither is their salvation in any other; for there in none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

          Look, I realize that sites like Brietbart and The Blaze are happy to take news such as the Obama administration’s opposition to the Republican proposal reinforcing the right of military chaplains to steer clear of gay marriage ceremonies and turn it into a story about chaplains being “forced to perform Gay marriages”, but such fear mongering doesn’t make it fact. Check some other sources once in a while. Like the Army Times for example.

  • me

    what happened to our constitutional right to freedom of religion. Something needs to be done. It wouldn’t surprise me if president Owebunhole might have a hand in it.

    • Chester

      Why not go back and READ what is written? There was NO mention in there anywhere about ANY presidential actions or inaction, simply the fact that some officer had brought suit against the military for allowing someone else to try to convince him that his wasn’t the only religion that might be mostly right, or wrong, depending on your viewpoint. The statement is made that no soldier will be allowed to proselytize. Basically, that means no soldier is supposed to go out and actively try to convert another service member to his or her religion of choice. I, personally, don’t see this having much, if any affect on how the chaplains operate, as they do not perform as missionaries, but more as comforters to those who already believe.

      • Doc Sarvis

        Yes, thank you. Finally, someone who reads and understands what is written as opposed to flying off the handle on another favored Conservative rant.

      • Nadzieja Batki

        So why wasn’t the officer mature enough to let this pass but instead found a lawyer that was eager to take this case against the military, which in turn made this ruling.

    • Nadzieja Batki

      We will still have it but it will be to follow a religion that is designed and approved for the whole world.
      O doesn’t have to a damn thing but to stand back and watch, his minions will do his dirty work for him. All the permutations will be done in the name of fairness and that someone got offended.
      Haven’t you been paying attention. Little by little in our lifetime we have been directed as to what attitudes and behaviours are acceptable to be a “Christian” or a “Jew” in America and following the God of the Bible is not acceptable.

  • Steve E

    What happens if they are fighting in a foxhole? There are no atheist in foxholes.

    • Nadzieja Batki

      The choice is Life or Death and no time to pull out the grocery list of gripes against God.

  • Jake Thomas

    It’s just the beginning to get EVERY military member to think exactley alike and not question. Take a look at North Korea’s military. If told to march into any city in THEIR country and kill every single person – without hesitation, they would comply.