The Obama Administration “strongly objects” to a proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act on Wednesday that would have protected the religious rights of soldiers – including evangelical Christian service members who are facing growing hostility towards their religion.
The amendment was authored by Rep. John Fleming, R-La. It would have “required the Armed Forces to accommodate ‘actions and speech’ reflecting the conscience, moral, principles or religious beliefs of the member.”
The Obama Administration said the amendment would have a “significant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment.”
“With its statement, the White House is now endorsing military reprimands of members who keep a Bible on their desk or express a religious belief,” Fleming told Fox News. “This administration is aggressively hostile towards religious beliefs that it deems to be politically incorrect.”
Fleming introduced the amendment after a series of high-profile incidents involving attacks on religious liberty within the military- including an Air Force officer who was told to remove a Bible from his desk because it might give the impression he was endorsing a religion.
He said there are other reports of Christian service members and chaplains being punished for their faith.
The Air Force censored a video created by a chaplain because it include the word “God.” The Air Force feared the word might offend Muslims and atheists.
A service member received a “severe and possibly career-ending reprimand” for expressing his faith’s religious position about homosexuality in a personal religious blog.
A senior military official at Fort Campbell sent out a lengthy email officially instructing officers to recognize “the religious right in America” as a “domestic hate group” akin to the KKK and Neo-Nazis because of its opposition to homosexual behavior.
A chaplain was relieved of his command over a military chapel because, consistent with DOMA’s definition of marriage, he could not allow same-sex weddings to take place in the chapel.
Last month Coast Guard Rear Admiral William Lee told a National Day of Prayer audience that religious liberty was being threatened by Pentagon lawyers and service members are being told to hide their faith in Christ.