Anti-Semitism vs anti-Christianity

G’day,

I have done some reading of what you have published over time and for me, in respecting religious freedom (all religions) as a fundamental right,I do think you are hypocritical in your assessment of Christians in the military. If what you said were said of Jews, the world would have cried foul as being anti-Semitic.

If Jew, Muslim and Christian need to declare their faith in public, respect them as human beings to do exactly that.

Concerned Christian.

(name withheld)


 

Dear (name withheld),

Thank you for contacting the Military Religious Freedom Foundation with your concerns.

There are rules and regulations that those in the military must adhere to. Major General Olson broke those that are pertinent to this situation.

The problem is not that he is a Christian; the problem is that he spoke at a civilian, private, non-profit organization’s event that was broadcast on GOD TV around the world while he was in his uniform. If he showed up in civilian clothes there wouldn’t have been a problem.

The National Day of Prayer Task Force is strictly a conservative evangelical Christian organization called the “National Prayer Committee” that was formed to coordinate and implement a fixed annual day of prayer (held on the same day as the real National Day of Prayer) for the purpose of organizing only Evangelical Christian prayer events with local, state, and federal government entities. It is broadcast on GOD TV all over the world.

The National Day of Prayer is sanctioned by the government where the National Day of Prayer Task Force is not.

Parker v. Levy:

 

“This Court has long recognized that the military is, by necessity, a specialized society separate from civilian society… While the members of the military are not excluded from the protection granted by the First Amendment, the different character of the military community and of the military mission requires a different application of those protections. … The fundamental necessity for obedience, and the consequent necessity for imposition of discipline, may render permissible within the military that which would be constitutionally impermissible outside it… Speech [to include religious speech] that is protected in the civil population may nonetheless undermine the effectiveness of response to command.  If it does, it is constitutionally unprotected.” (Emphasis added) Parker v. Levy, 417 U.S. 733, 1974

 

Our military is secular and by giving his speech on Christianity in uniform – which gives the impression to the world that we have a Christian military – demeans the morale of those of other faiths. His speech is constitutionally unprotected.

 

Air Force Instruction 1-1, Section 2.12:

2.12. Balance of Free Exercise of Religion and Establishment Clause. Leaders at all levels must balance constitutional protections for their own free exercise of religion, including individual expressions of religious beliefs, and the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion. They must ensure their words and actions cannot reasonably be construed to be officially endorsing or disapproving of, or extending preferential treatment for any faith, belief, or absence of belief.

 

The violation of this – by speaking in uniform at a civilian event- is a potential felony under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

 

A person in uniform also cannot attend a political rally.

 

Civilian laws and military rules and regulations are different.

 

Read this and I hope it gives you deeper insight into the problems with Major General Olson’s speech:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lawrence-b-wilkerson/the-taliban-in-our-midst_b_7421578.html

 

Pastor Joan

MRFF Advisory Board Member

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