AMERICAN FORCES PRESS SERVICE – DOD counters Internet posts on religion issue

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5/3/2013 – WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Internet posts making the rounds claiming that the Defense Department will court-martial service members who espouse Christianity are not true, a Pentagon spokesman said today.

“The Department of Defense places a high value on the rights of members of the military services to observe the tenets of their respective religions and respects, (and supports by its policy) the rights of others to their own religious beliefs, including the right to hold no beliefs,” Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen said in a written statement on the issue.

“The department does not endorse any one religion or religious organization, and provides free access of religion for all members of the military services,” he added.

Internet posts are attributing a statement that superior officers who try to convert those under their command should face court-martial to Mikey Weinstein, president of the Albuquerque, N.M.-based Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and are identifying him as a Pentagon advisor, Christensen noted.

“Mr. Weinstein is not part of any DOD advisory group or committee, nor is he a consultant to the Defense Department regarding religious matters,” Christensen said. “Mr. Weinstein requested, and was granted, a meeting at the Pentagon April 23, with the Air Force judge advocate general and others, to include the deputy chief of chaplains, to express his concerns of religious issues in the military.”

Click to Read Full DoD Press Release

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