Religious Liberty Threatened in the Military

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by David Nussman  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  July 30, 2018   

Christians find it harder to express their faith openly

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The Christian faith is under threat in the U.S. armed forces.

As one example, in the military, there's a tradition of honoring prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action — called the missing man table.

When a missing man table at F.E. Warren Air Force base in Wyoming included a Bible, dozens of Air Force members objected, petitioning the base to remove the Bible — in spite of the fact that most of the 36 servicemembers behind the petition were Christians, including several Catholics.

The base's leadership caved to pressure in mid-July, replacing the Sacred Scriptures with a generic "book of faith" paying homage to all religions.

In April, the so-called Military Religious Freedom Foundation accused the Navy of proselytizing for featuring the Bible on a missing man table at a hospital in Okinawa, Japan. The Navy then launched an investigation.

Foundation attorney, Michael Weinstein, mocked the inclusion of the Bible on the table, calling it "like a tarantula on a wedding cake."

The Navy found no problem with the Bible. But the foundation is challenging the ruling, filing a complaint with the inspector general in June. 

Also in April, an Air Force officer got in trouble for objecting to so-called same-sex marriage. Colonel Leland Bohannon declined to sign a certificate acknowledging an officer's gay partner. The Air Force punished the colonel, but Bohannon fought the religious discrimination and won in a court ruling in April. 

The military is bending over backwards to accommodate tiny religious minorities like Sikhs and neo-pagans, but Christians feel it is becoming harder to express their faith. 

 

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