MRFF ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER JOHN COMPERE’s OP-ED: “THE WAR ON MILITARY RELIGIOUS FREEDOM”

THE WAR ON MILITARY RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

There is a wicked and wanton war disrespecting, disparaging and denying the American constitutional right to religious freedom for the men and women serving our country in the military.

The US Constitution prohibits our secular government (which includes the military) from promoting or endorsing a religion. The US Supreme Court has continuously confirmed this constitutional prohibition as the law of our land. US Armed Forces regulations also prohibit the secular military from promoting or endorsing a religion.

The military mission is to defend our nation against its enemies (not promote or endorse a religion). The military sworn service oath is to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution (not to a religion or deity). The military, as a department of government, must remain religion-neutral by law, regulation, custom and necessity (neither pro-religion nor anti-religion).

The Constitution (1st Amendment) provides our historic trinity of religious liberties – (1) freedom from religion, (2) freedom of any religion or no religion, and (3) freedom for religious speech. It prohibits our government from lawfully “respecting” a religion and requires government neutrality regarding religion.

Like our diverse nation, the military is composed of different religious and non-religious believers. No belief uniformity exists. There are 10,000 distinct world religions recognized (less than 1/3 of all religious believers practice a form of Christianity) and 33,820 diverse Christian denominations worldwide with 2,000 different Christianities in American alone (World Christian Encyclopedia). The US Department of Defense recognizes military diversity with its official list currently including 221 different belief groups. Its 2010 military survey showed over 1/3 do not claim a version of Christianity.

Like all Americans, military members desire and deserve the right to determine, enjoy and practice their own religious or non-religious beliefs. They do not want the religious beliefs of others, especially superiors, imposed on them in the military work place while performing their military duties. Military chapels are provided for religious worship and military chaplains are available for religious instruction. Military members refusing to respect the Constitution, established law, regulations and service oath have the right to seek civilian careers.

Self-righteous Christians demand their right to religious freedom but do not respect this same right for others. They presumptuously proselytize their uninvited and unwanted religious beliefs on others, especially subordinates, in the military environment interfering with military mission and duty. These disruptive distractions adversely affect military morale and efficiency. Proper prevention occurs when military leaders exhibit intelligence, integrity and insistence on compliance with the Constitution, law, regulations and sworn service oath.

Over 62,000 military men and women (95% Christians) have officially complained and requested their right to religious freedom, to which all Americans are entitled under our Constitution, be respected and protected. They are fortunate the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a non-profit constitutional rights organization (over 80% Christians) solely dedicated to ensuring military members have the American constitutional right to religious freedom, exists to respond to their requests for representation. The Foundation motto is “Fighting for our service members’ rights, so they can fight for ours.” (www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org)

As a result of its pro bono advocacy for our military, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation has been officially nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 7 times. Also as a result of its advocacy, hate mail is regularly received from pseudo-Christians acrimoniously attacking representation of their fellow Americans (and fellow Christians). These radicalized religionists contemptuously contend only those who share their particular religious beliefs are entitled to religious freedom. Such bigotry is exceeded only by its hypocrisy.

 

“It has been suggested that [the military chaplaincy] has a tendency to introduce religious disputes into the Army, which above all things should be avoided, and in many instances would compel men to a mode of Worship which they do not profess.” – 1st Commander-in-Chief GEORGE WASHINGTON

“We in the United States, above all, must remember that lesson, for we were founded as a nation of openness to people of all beliefs. And so we must remain. Our very unity has been strengthened by our pluralism. We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate.” – 40th Commander-in-Chief RONALD REAGAN

 

John Compere
Brigadier General, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Military Religious Freedom Foundation Advisory Board Member
Texas rancher

(Originally published on the editorial section of the Sunday Abilene Reporter-News)


 

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