COMMONWEAL – No, the Pentagon won’t court-martial service members for sharing their faith.

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Over the past few days, several limbs of conservative media have been vibrating with the fear that the Department of Defense was about to hatch a dark plot to persecute military personnel — including chaplains — for “sharing their faith.” Some critics found those claims unpersuasive. But yesterday, news outlets began reporting a new Pentagon statement allegedly banning “proselytizing,” under threat of court martial. And those who predicted the military was about to bar Christians from obeying Jesus’ command to “preach the gospel” declared that they were right all along. Today, however, in response to my queries about the earlier statement, the Department of Defense has clarified that there is no ban on faith-sharing in the military.

Early last month, conservatives began circulating the meme that the Pentagon had begun classifying Catholics and evangelicals as “extremists.” That claim was made on the basis of one PowerPoint slide that appeared during a U.S. Army Reserve presentation, given by an outside contractor. When the Army removed the slide from its website, rather than take that as a sign of embarrassment, some believed it confirmed their suspicions about burgeoning anti-Christianity in the military.

This dovetailed nicely with reports this week that an “anti-Christian activist” had been hired by the Pentagon to help them shape policy on religious tolerance. The “Jewish activist” in question? Mikey Weinstein, who runs the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which lobbies to protect members of the armed forces from aggressive, potentially unconstitutional proselytizing. Weinstein, it turns out, is given to outrageous overstatement and sloppy thinking on the questions his foundation purports to engage. To wit: “Today, we face incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation’s armed forces.” Of course, that didn’t go over very well. Seeing red, some spread the falsehood that Weinstein was an “official consultant,” suggesting he was being paid by the Pentagon to share his impressive insights on the Christian mind. Never mind that the original source for this story mentioned nothing of the sort. This guy called Christians monsters. The Pentagon invited him to a meeting. Bad things are coming. (Following these specious reports, Weinstein naturally received a slew of ugly e-mails, and one from an Army sergeant who promised to “have my troops pray for you” — Q.E.D.)

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2 Comments

  1. Kennth G

    Suddenly, Mr. Weinstein, the attacker, tries to spin his anti Christian writings and statements and portray himself as the victim. But, you said what you said, Mr. Weinstein. It is now a matter of public record. You have gone on the record with hateful, hate inducing diatribes with the obvious intent to inflame others against Christians. Let’s make this clear, you are not the victim. You are the perpetrator. You have a website dedicated to engaging in a war against Christ, Christians and the Church. It is you who have acted the monster.

    By the way, there is nothing in the Constitution about ‘separation of church and state’. Those words are not in there. You, as an attorney, know that. How can you lie like that with a straight face? Have you no conscience? The Constitution only says that CONGRESS shall make no law establishing a religion and shall not prevent the free exercise thereof. See? the words ‘separation, church and state’ are simply not there. And, as you notice, the amendment in questions is aimed at CONGRESS. It is not aimed at the people. It does not say SOLDIERS. It does not say CHAPLAINS. It is does not say STATES, CITIES, CITY COUNCILS, COUNTIES OR ANYONE ELSE. Any interpretation that prevents Christians from proclaiming their faith and obeying Jesus Christ to make disciples of others is NOT coming from the Constitution, and even if it did, men must obey God rather than other men or black robed tyrants, generals, or anti Christian zealots with law degrees and too much time on their hands.

    Repent and confess faith in Jesus Christ. That will get you over all of this demonized anger you are expressing.

  2. Mikey

    The atheists like me use reason and others like me use reason and have absolutely no beef with christians or muslims or anyone of faith…

    It;s just guys like this who are making money off pitting people against each other who christians and atheists and any freedom loving person should have a beef with…

    Now donate to the site!~!~~!

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