Taking the offensive: New coalition defends religious freedom in military

Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Chad Groening (OneNewsNow.com)

Reports of religious discrimination in the U.S. military have prompted a response: a coalition has organized to ensure military members can express their faith. 

More than a dozen conservative and pro-family organizations have teamed up to form "Restore Military Religious Freedom."

Crews, Col. Ron (Chaplain Alliance)Col. Ron Crews (USA-Ret.), who served as a U.S. Army chaplain for 28 years, says the coalition launched a campaign to inform military personnel about their religious liberties, using thousands of printed palm cards.

The purpose of the cards is "to say these are what your God-given and constitutionally protected religious liberties are," he tells OneNewsNow.

Crews now serves as executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, one of the 17 coalition members.

Military members can also contact "Restore" at militaryfreedom.org if they believe their religious freedom has been violated.

"They can submit a form that can remain anonymous," Crews explains. "That would then put them in contact with experienced chaplains and counselors as well as attorneys, if need be, to help them make sure that they can enjoy the religious liberties that they have."

Crews says the new coalition is also launching an education campaign to let service members know about their constitutionally protected right to religious freedom.

U.S. military is accused of hostility toward religion

WASHINGTON (AP - July 10, 2013) - A congressman whose amendment would protect religious expression in the military says the armed forces have become "a hostile work environment" for people of faith.

Louisiana Republican John Fleming says his amendment is needed because chaplains feel restricted in how they can pray and preach, and officers are being warned to avoid open displays of their faith.

The White House has said it "strongly objects" to the amendment, saying it could adversely affect military morale and discipline.

But Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert, who joined Fleming at a Capitol Hill news conference, said the military's perceived hostility toward religion risks driving away people of faith.

Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin added that young Americans who take their faith seriously may be deterred from joining the military.

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