The untold story of the Obama administration is his fight against the free exercise of religion. It’s not just the contraception/abortifacients mandate. His administration has also argued that the government can dictate to churches who their ministers must be (they lost that case), and we’re starting to see a pattern of attacks on military chaplains.
Last year the Obama administration issued orders to Army chaplains forbidding them from reading a pastoral letter from the Catholic church to their congregations, and his latest attack goes directly at the chaplains themselves:
Religious liberty advocates are concerned after President Obama said a conscience clause that would allow military chaplains to opt-out of performing gay marriages is “unnecessary and ill-advised.”
The section reads, “No member of the Armed Forces may — require a chaplain to perform any rite, ritual, or ceremony that is contrary to the conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of the chaplain; or discriminate or take any adverse personnel action against a chaplain.
Let’s be clear what is at stake here. Obama wants to be able to force chaplains to perform rituals that are against their religions. Thus, any chaplain must either violate the precepts of his faith or leave the service. Either way, the men and women of the armed forces will be denied principled chaplains.
Obama lost this fight — as he’s lost most of them — but I wouldn’t assume this issue is over. The more radical the agenda, the more tenacious the man is in pursuing it. This issue will probably come up again with next year’s military budget.