What crazy thing did Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) do now?
The Secular Coalition for America explains it like this:
[Bachmann] introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization bill that would allow chaplains in the military to use specifically-Christian prayers at official military events.
Here’s the exact wording of Bachmann’s amendment:
#56 Would ensure that any chaplain serving in the US Armed Forces, if called upon to lead a prayer outside of a religious service, would be free to close that prayer according to the dictates of the chaplain’s conscience.
Considering that chaplains are disproportionately Christian, this is a thinly-veiled attempt at getting Christian prayers said at things like graduations and promotion ceremonies.
The SCA is obviously opposing this amendment:
Yesterday, though, the amendment died.
Given chaplains’ mandate to serve a religiously pluralistic population, it is unacceptable for them to advance any one religious viewpoint over any other, including monotheism over other types of theism or nontheism. To change the current policy and permit references to Jesus, for example, is an insult to minority religions and nontheists of all stripes who serve our nation in the United States Armed Forces.
AU Legislative Director Aaron Schuham learned of the scheme on Wednesday while scanning the defense bill’s hundreds of amendments to check for potential church-state problems. He and AU’s legislative team quickly swung into action, notifying our allies and organizing a lobbying effort aimed at U.S. House leaders.
The effort paid off. The House floor schedule announced today does not include the proposed Bachmann amendment. Apparently it has been ruled out of order.
Bachmann should be ruled “out of order” often.
Well, I hardly think it was only AU — a lot of people were angry about this — but anyone who contacted their representatives helped.
(via Paliban Daily)