Obama threatens to veto religious freedom protection for military


The Obama administration has threatened to veto the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 if it contains amendments introduced and approved by the House Armed Services Committee designed to protect the religious freedoms of American military service members.

The White House published its Statement of Administrative Policy on the bill in its current form, which includes the following objection, according to Breitbart News:

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.

Although the White House offers nothing to support its bald statement that the “provision would have a significant adverse effect on good order,” etc., they affirm that “…if the bill is presented to the President for approval in its current form, the President’s senior advisers would recommend that the President veto the bill.”

This is disturbing given the extent to which the military has attacked statements of religious faith lately.

A U.S. Army reserve unit recently labeled Catholics and evangelical Christians as religious extremists during an equal opportunity training brief.

Pentagon threatened soldiers who share faith with punishment up to and including court martial.

The Pentagon removed an Air Force video honoring first sergeants bewcause ir cxontained the name “God.”

A 25-year Army veteran master sergeant was excoriated by his superiors for sharing his religious belief in favor of traditional marriage.

An inspirational Air Force painting was removed from a base dining hall because it contained in small words, “Matthew 5:9” a reference to a biblical verse.

The examples continue to pour in, which prompted the amendment into the latest version of the NDAA.

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission Ken Blackwel told Breitbart News:

President Obama is waging a war on religion. He and Chuck Hagel are denying the most basic rights to those who put their lives on the line to protect all of our rights. It is shameful and appalling. I am confident that congressional leadership will show courage to stand up for our troops against this radical assault on religious liberty in the military.

Those we rely on to lay down their lives to protect our liberties and freedoms — including religious expression — should be allowed those same freedoms in the proper setting. To deny them less would be the pinnacle of hypocrisy.


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