The Obama administration’s little-recognized war on religion is continuing, and once again the battlefield is the area in which the president has the greatest influence: the military.
During the last year-and-a-half, his administration has banned Bibles at Walter Reed hospital (a policy later rescinded), issued orders to Army chaplains limiting what they could preach from the pulpit, and tried unsuccessfully to strip a freedom-of-conscience clause for chaplains from the law.
Now the administration is pushing new rules to discourage evangelism among the military:
A Pentagon ban on proselytizing has left some conservative activists fearful that Christian soldiers — and even military chaplains — could face court martial for sharing their faith.
The Defense Department said this week that proselytizing — trying to get someone to change faiths — is banned. Its statement does not define proselytizing or address the role of military chaplains. It also does not rule out court martial for those whose share their faith too aggressively.
Supposedly the administration’s concern is superiors who pressure their subordinates to convert. But that is not reassuring, for at least three reasons:
First, there is no evidence that anything like that is going on. Certainly it is not going on in the great numbers that would require a national policy.
Second, the rules as written do not limit themselves to pressure situations, but to any instance in which someone might be “induced” to convert to one’s faith.
Third, the rules were prompted by a meeting between the Pentagon and leaders of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an Orwellianly named group opposed to religion in the military. Given the rules’ origin, it’s impossible to allow them the benefit of the doubt.
(Via Hot Air.)