Court martial for evangelism?

How persecution begins:

The Pentagon has released a statement confirming that soldiers could be prosecuted for promoting their faith: “Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense…Court martials and non-judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis…”.

The statement, released to Fox News, follows a Breitbart News report on Obama administration Pentagon appointees meeting with anti-Christian extremist Mikey Weinstein to develop court-martial procedures to punish Christians in the military who express or share their faith.

(From our earlier report: Weinstein is the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and says Christians–including chaplains–sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the military are guilty of “treason,” and of committing an act of “spiritual rape” as serious a crime as “sexual assault.” He also asserted that Christians sharing their faith in the military are “enemies of the Constitution.”)

Being convicted in a court martial means that a soldier has committed a crime under federal military law. Punishment for a court martial can include imprisonment and being dishonorably discharged from the military.

So President Barack Obama’s civilian appointees who lead the Pentagon are confirming that the military will make it a crime–possibly resulting in imprisonment–for those in uniform to share their faith. This would include chaplains—military officers who are ordained clergymen of their faith (mostly Christian pastors or priests, or Jewish rabbis)–whose duty since the founding of the U.S. military under George Washington is to teach their faith and minister to the spiritual needs of troops who come to them for counsel, instruction, or comfort.

This regulation would severely limit expressions of faith in the military, even on a one-to-one basis between close friends. It could also effectively abolish the position of chaplain in the military, as it would not allow chaplains (or any service members, for that matter), to say anything about their faith that others say led them to think they were being encouraged to make faith part of their life. It’s difficult to imagine how a member of the clergy could give spiritual counseling without saying anything that might be perceived in that fashion.

via Pentagon May Court Martial Soldiers Who Share Christian Faith.

This is from Ken Klukowski at Breitbart.  Perhaps it’s overblown. It would surely be a flagrant violation of a soldier’s religious freedom.  Does anyone know more about this?  But this will surely be how the overt persecution of Christians will begin.  Demonizing “proselytizing” and then outlawing it.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Dorfl

    Doublechecking this, it turns out to be a lie. Unsurprisingly, since Christians in the west who claim to be persecuted for their faith pretty much always turn out to be lying.

    I think this quote captures pretty well why Christians keep falling for this kind of thing, though:

    “But this will surely be how the overt persecution of Christians will begin. Demonizing “proselytizing” and then outlawing it.”

    You’re convinced that people will begin persecuting you any moment now. This makes you prone to believing any story that fits into that narrative, no matter how absurd.

  • Carl Vehse

    For clarification, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) is a nonprofit “civil rights” organization with no direct ties to the Department of Defense or any military branches. The MRFF was founded in 2005 by Mikey Weinstein, a Jew who claims he, and later his sons, experienced discrimination at the Air Force Academy.

    There are news reports that the MMRFF met with some unspecified person(s) from the Pentagon, and there are some claims of a “written statement” from a Department of Defense spoksman, “LCDR Nate Christensen”. I found nothing on the DOD website about the MMRF, or similar press release.

    Of course, Weinstein and his organization are hyping it up as if the meeting had been held on Mt. Sinai between him and Moses. And a lot of Christian nonprofit organizations are raising alarms (and donations) by hyperventilating about the same phrases, but with no independent verification of what actually occurred.

    There is reference to an August 7, 2012, Air Force document, Air Force Culture, Air Force Standards, and Section 2.11:

    “2.11. Government Neutrality Regarding Religion. Leaders at all levels must balance constitutional protections for an individual’s free exercise of religion or other personal beliefs and the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion. For example, they must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion. Commanders or supervisors who engage in such behavior may cause members to doubt their impartiality and objectivity. The potential result is a degradation of the unit’s morale, good order, and discipline. Airmen, especially commanders and supervisors, must ensure that in exercising their right of religious free expression, they do not degrade morale, good order, and discipline in the Air Force or degrade the trust and confidence that the public has in the United States Air Force.”

    However Section 2.11 only prohibits using one’s position or rank to promote personal religious beliefs, e.g., ordering subordinates to attend a religious service or to read or listen to some religious materials. It does not absolutely prohibit discussing or practicing one’s religious beliefs. This is further enforcd by Section 2.12:

    “2.12. Free Exercise of Religion and Religious Accommodation. Supporting the right of free exercise of religion relates directly to the Air Force core values and the ability to maintain an effective team.
    2.12.1. All Airmen are able to choose to practice their particular religion, or subscribe to no religious belief at all. You should confidently practice your own beliefs while respecting others whose viewpoints differ from your own.
    2.12.2. Your right to practice your religious beliefs does not excuse you from complying with directives, instructions, and lawful orders; however, you may request religious accommodation. Requests can be denied based on military necessity. Commanders and supervisors at all levels are expected to ensure that requests for religious accommodation are dealt with fairly.”

    Maybe we should keep some perspective in all this.

  • Tom Hering

    Re: @ 2. Is this the same Carl Vehse we all know and love? Regardless, well done Carl. Seriously.

  • Kirk

    @2

    And we’re done. Great analysis!

  • Tom Hering

    You know, if the worst form of persecution is to be laughed at, then we Christians are going out of our way, with stuff like this, to get the world to persecute us.

  • Jon

    @ Breitbart–really?

  • trotk

    Even if this were true (and I have to join in congratulating Carl on a balanced and sane analysis of the facts), I would say that we do a pretty bad job keeping perspective on what persecution is. A quick perusal of the book of Acts should make us aware that anything we might face is minor to the beatings, imprisonments, and deaths the apostles faced.

    It was nearly taken for granted that they were commanded not to share the gospel, and yet they cheerfully went about obeying God, rather than man. Paul and Silas singing in prison should stand out in our minds as the appropriate response – no anger, no fear, no culture wars, just a simple trust in God’s goodness.

  • Jeremiah Oehlerich

    While I wondered if the reporting was overhyping the discussion – which appears to be the case – what struck me in the initial reports on this were Weinstein’s comparisons of prostyletizing to “spiritual rape.” That sort of stamens itself seems like something any number of groups should be up in arms over.

  • Tom Hering

    @ 8, let’s not get up in arms and start pointing pistils at people over stamens like that. :-D

  • Richard

    I work as an attorney with the Army JAG. I know of no plan in the works to court-martial soldiers for “promoting their faith” or any plans to change the UCMJ to promote such a plan. The article is a bunch of hooey–but this is typical of some Christian organizations who constantly yell “The sky is falling!” to skyrocket their membership lists and bring in more of the all mighty dollar. Cal Thomas blew the whistle on this tactic years ago in his book “Blinded By Might.” Thoughtful Christians should be disgusted by this.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Jon @ 6
    I agree that Breitbart’s organization is alarmist – but you can’t dismiss everything they do out of hand. He nailed it on the Pigford scandal – see link below.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/26/us/farm-loan-bias-claims-often-unsupported-cost-us-millions.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimes&pagewanted=all&_r=0

  • Kirk

    @Steve

    Step 1.) Read Breitbart
    Step 2.) Do not lose mind. Do not post to Facebook.
    Step 3.) Do research
    Step 4.) Draw conclusion

  • Joe

    Kirk- I agree and that should be applied to all sources.

  • passin thru

    Posting something from Breitbart as being anywhere near the truth? Wow. Biiiiiig error in judgment.

  • Dr Luther in the 21st Century

    Most of the hysteria I believe has originated from the article Weinstein wrote for Huffpo. I read it the other day and it was really quite bad and hateful. So yes it naturally attracted the attention of the “news” services that feed the anxiety of “persecuted” Christians. While I can see the government coming up with a stupid reg. I don’t think Weinstein is actually getting anywhere. Likely he met with a poor beleaguered public relations officer who only nodded sympathetically and then circular filed everything as soon as he left.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Kirk @ 12
    I agree
    You can also substitute all of the below sources to your formula
    1. The New York Times
    2. The National Review
    3. CNN.com
    4. The Washington Post
    5. The Nation
    6. Sports Illustrated
    7. Newsmax
    8. MSNBC.com
    9. Foxnews.com
    10. People magazine
    11. The National Enquirer
    12. Your local newspaper
    13. Any major academic journal

    Need I go on? The reputation/political slant/history of any source of information shouldn’t lead anyone to throw their brains out the door. But it also shouldn’t lead one to dismiss the information out of hand.

    In this case – the Breitbart.com linked piece is alarmist nonsense. In the other case I referenced in the NYT article – Breitbart himself actually did investigative journalism that has proved over time to be correct – even though it was pooh-poohed at the outset. Heck, the National Enquirer was the source that actually got the John Edwards mistress story right while it was being ignored or dismissed by other outlets.

    Perception based upon one’s political views isn’t always reality.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    BTW, Carl, good job at # 2.

  • Kirk

    @16 Absolutely! You should take everything you read with a grain of salt. But I trust most of those organizations that you listed a lot more than I trust Breitbart. Anyone who has any faith Breitbart after the Sherrod scandal needs to have their head examined.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Kirk @ 18
    Blind squirrels and acorns

  • Abby
  • John Jesus

    The Air Force document excerpted by Carl is certainly wrong-headed. The constitutional protection begins with “CONGRESS shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion … “. States and local organizations were free to have religious requirements for office (which most did), to allow prayer and evangelism even within Congress itself (which is not ‘making a law’), etc. To complain about Christians trusting and preferring each other, which is what MRFF is all about, is just being a big baby about the fact that some people don’t like the way you think.

  • Kirk

    @21

    10th amendment, bro.

  • John Jesus

    Uh, Kirk, that was lame. Engage like someone who actually cares or knock it off.

  • Kirk

    @23

    I’m serious. You’re talking first amendment when the issue is the 10th amendment. It’s against the law for federal employees to promote or favor other federal employees because they share religious beliefs. That would constitue a religious test, which is prohibited by the 10th Amendment. It’s not a question of “disliking the way other people think.”

    If you’d gone and read the 10th Amendment “like someone who actually cares” (and it was pretty easy to gather from my post that that’s what I was suggesting), I probably wouldn’t have had to explain it to you.

  • DonS

    I’m not following this 10th Amendment talk. Here’s the text: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Religious tests are prohibited by the First Amendment. The Tenth Amendment merely confirms that all powers not delegated specifically to the federal government, by the Constitution, are reserved to the states.

    Prior to the enactment of the 14th Amendment, after the Civil War, it is true that states were not bound by the Bill of Rights, as it applied only to the federal government. That is no longer true.

  • Kirk

    @25 I’m an ass. Religious test clause, Article VI, no idea where my brain is.

  • SKPeterson

    Yes, this is probably an exaggeration, but remember it took an actual filibuster on the floor of the Senate to get this Administration to issue a statement that it would seriously consider not violating a citizen’s Constitutional rights under the Fifth Amendment by assassinating them. As we can all agree, the Constitution is best honored in the breach on a contingent basis and only when absolutely every other option has been exhausted.

  • Larry

    Most American Christians are quite unaware of real persecution and they jump only to the book of Acts and such to glean an idea of it. This is mostly due to the influence of doctrines of the enthused confessions in which sword persecution and the desire for it largely become something sought after because it “proof” of Christianity or at least that one/we are being “better” Christians. The lack thereof is seen as “something is being done wrong”. This is because they have a theology of glory (i.e. Law) idea of persecution and not a theology of the Cross (i.e. Gospel) grasp of it. Yet they miss its pregnant presence in all of Scripture. The book of Psalms is nothing but an entire record book of spiritual trials, tribulations and persecutions.

    First, persecution is always confounded and it’s mostly due to not knowing what it really is. Laughter is persecution as Paul plainly points out in Galatians 4:28 – 30, “And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also.” I.e. Ismael laughed at Isaac who trusted in the promises. Now laughter at Christians who just do something otherwise silly or dumb is not persecution, it must be aimed at the promises of God (e.g. laughing at or despising that the Gospel gives what it says or the sacraments or trusting in Christ alone – that would be persecution ala Paul in Galatians 4). All true persecution, whether of sword or scoffing, is aimed at loosing one and putting faith on trial that trusts its eternal being and very salvation on the promises of God. Even persecution by laws and sword, true ones, are ultimately aimed at that. It can come in the form of sword (negative), enticements (positive) and laughter/scoffing/despising. All have the same goal of putting faith on trial and steering one away from faith in the promises and Words of God (Word and sacraments). That’s fundamentally the way you try to get anybody to give up what they hold to. These are all forms of “hath God really said”, “if you are the Son of God”, “he trusts in God but cannot save himself”. In the case of the Christians faith they strike at his/her very soul, the harm to the body is nothing by comparison. In fact the harm to the body leads to the greater issue of “seeing this has happened to me, has God abandoned me seeing this great evil done to me”.

    Second, the American church is persecuted egregiously just not with the sword and that’s part of its insidious nature. It is persecuted by enticements and allurements of the comfortable American life (outside the church), it is persecuted by allurements to a kind of protestant monkery SEEKING negative persecution (why are we not persecuted by the sword like say China or others?), and by allurements and enticements to all forms and manifold entanglements with Christian sounding false doctrines.

    Third, Luther well points out that the worse persecution of all, few recognize this which shows the depth to which theologies of glory pervade the American church (including Lutherans) and not a true theology of the cross, the worse persecution of all is no persecution. Because in all other forms of persecution, sword, enticement, false doctrine, and/or laughter the church grows – not necessarily numerically (the American evangelical idea of “growth”) but spiritually stronger (i.e. it clings and clarifies the true doctrine even more because it has too). Similarly the blood of the witness’s seeds the church. In all these faith thrives, paradoxically, on all these persecutions. However, the worse persecution (not recognized as persecution), is paradoxically no persecution at all, i.e. murders faith finally and in finitude.

    So while this article is at best dubious it does reveal how most American Christians are quite ignorant of persecution that is occurring. Of course that goes hand in hand with increasingly weak doctrinal defense. As doctrines become less and less essential as to what is and what is not Christian and true hope (pro me), subsequently persecution is less and less recognized at its depth. Reason? As doctrine dives, faith is dying, as faith dies darkness ensues, as darkness ensues everything looks and appears “not so bad” and thus persecution takes over and looks like it’s not happening (here) and real persecution is only happening (over there). The underlying hidden works righteousness is, “What should WE be doing to get some of that and thus be true or better Christians (pure theology of glory, fallen religion, law and works righteousness). Luther was well aware of this form of monkery in his time, the difference is American Christians don’t wear cowls and only verbally flagellate themselves and others like sneering cheerleaders to be as saintly as “that saint over there/back then”. They are as Luther once pointed out that, “the peasant has become the monk”. Hence Luther on the worse persecution of all is that of no persecution which is the final execution of faith, the resultant is, “I don’t see any persecution here”. Why? Faith is dead and only old Adam speaks, old Adam is submerged in the persecution and is himself a persecutor – thus, “I don’t see it”.

    Former LCMS to WELS theologian/pastor (now asleep in Christ’s wounds) in commenting on the imagery in the book of Revelation, that the images are not those of physical things attacking and persecuting the faith (e.g. the locusts) but rather false teachings and false teachers spewing forth to attack and persecute the faith well observes (paraphrasing), “…for persecutions of the body we can somewhat endure but those false doctrines (and scoffing) that attack directly the objects of faith no man can survive…the sword only kills the body, false teachings and mockery of the faith murder the soul”.

    Luther well writes in his commentary on Galatians 4:29: “This is a cheering thought. We who are born of the Gospel, and live in Christ, and rejoice in our inheritance, have Ishmael for our enemy. The children of the Law will always persecute the children of the Gospel. This is our daily experience. Our opponents tell us that everything was at peace before the Gospel was revived by us. Since then the whole world has been upset. People blame us and the Gospel for everything, for the disobedience of subjects to their rulers, for wars, plagues, and famines, for revolutions, and every other evil that can be imagined. No wonder our opponents think they are doing God a favor by hating and persecuting us. Ishmael will persecute Isaac.

    We invite our opponents to tell us what good things attended the preaching of the Gospel by the apostles. Did not the destruction of Jerusalem follow on the heels of the Gospel? And how about the overthrow of the Roman Empire? Did not the whole world seethe with unrest as the Gospel was preached in the whole world? We do not say that the Gospel instigated these upheavals. The iniquity of man did it.

    Our opponents blame our doctrine for the present turmoil. But ours is a doctrine of grace and peace. It does not stir up trouble. Trouble starts when the people, the nations and their rulers of the earth rage and take counsel together against the Lord, and against His anointed. (Psalm 2.) But all their counsels shall be brought to naught. “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.” (Psalm 2:4.) Let them cry out against us as much as they like. We know that they are the cause of all their own troubles.

    As long as we preach Christ and confess Him to be our Savior, we must be content to be called vicious trouble makers. “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar,” so said the Jews of Paul and Silas. (Acts 17:6, 7.) Of Paul they said: “We have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.” The Gentiles uttered similar complaints: “These men do exceedingly trouble our city.”

    This man Luther is also accused of being a pestilent fellow who troubles the papacy and the Roman empire. If I would keep silent, all would be well, and the Pope would no more persecute me. The moment I open my mouth the Pope begins to fume and to rage. It seems we must choose between Christ and the Pope. Let the Pope perish.

    Christ foresaw the reaction of the world to the Gospel. He said: “I am come to send fire on the earth, and what will I, if it be already kindled?” (Luke 12:49.)

    Do not take the statement of our opponents seriously, that no good can come of the preaching of the Gospel. What do they know? They would not recognize the fruits of the Gospel if they saw them.

    At any rate, our opponents cannot accuse us of adultery, murder, theft, and such crimes. The worst they can say about us is that we have the Gospel. What is wrong with the Gospel? We teach that Christ, the Son of God, has redeemed us from sin and everlasting death. This is not our doctrine. It belongs to Christ. If there is anything wrong with it, it is not our fault. If they want to condemn Christ for being our Savior and Redeemer, that is their lookout. We are mere onlookers, watching to see who will win the victory, Christ or His opponents.
    On one occasion Jesus remarked: “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own, but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. ” (John 15:19.) In other words: “I am the cause of all your troubles. I am the one for whose sake you are killed. If you did not confess my name, the world would not hate you. The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.”
    Christ takes all the blame. He says: “You have not incurred the hatred and persecutions of the world. I have. But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.””

    Luther elsewhere writes of persecution and tribulations:

    “The upright and true Christian church has to strive not only with flesh and blood, but with spiritual wickedness in high places. The spiritual combat is most heavy and dangerous; flesh and blood take away but only body, wife and children, house, land, and what is temporal; but the spiritual evil takes away the soul, everlasting life and salvation.

    “Faith’s tribulation is the greatest and sharpest torment, for faith must overcome all
    other tribulations; so that if faith be foiled, all other tribulations must needs fall upon human
    creatures; but if faith hold up her head, and be sound and in health, all other tribulations
    and vexations must grow sick, weak, and decrease. This tribulation of faith was that thorn
    which St Paul felt, and which pierced through flesh and spirit, through soul and body. Such
    tribulations was David possessed with, when he made this psalm: “Lord, rebuke me not in
    thy anger.” No doubt he would rather have been slain with a sword, than have suffered such
    wrath and indignation from God.”

    “When spiritual tribulations approach, we say: cursed be the day wherein I was born;
    and we begin to sweat. In such tribulations was our blessed Saviour Christ, in the garden,
    when he said: “Father, let this cup pass from me.” Here the will was against the will, yet he turned himself presently according to his Father’s will, and was comforted by an angel.
    Christ, who in our flesh was plagued and tempted, is the best mediator and advocate with
    God, in our tribulation. He is president, when we are only respondents, if we will but suffer
    him to meditate. Seems it God is angry with us when we are in tribulation and temptation;
    yet when we repent and believe, we shall find, that under such anger God’s grace and
    goodness towards us lie hid. Therefore, let us patiently attend God’s leisure, and constantly
    remain in hope.”

    - End Luther’s Quotes

    John Calvin also well sees this in the same passage and is more blunt to the point, “As then, he that was born after the flesh. He denounces the cruelty of the false apostles, who wantonly insulted pious persons that placed all their confidence in Christ. There was abundant need that the uneasiness of the oppressed should be soothed by consolation, and that the cruelty of their oppressors should be severely checked. It is not wonderful, he says, that the children of the law, at the present day, do what Ishmael their father at first did, who, trusting to his being the first-born, persecuted Isaac the true heir. With the same proud disdain do his posterity now, on account of outward ceremonies, circumcision, and the various services of the law, molest and vaunt over the lawful sons of God. The Spirit is again contrasted with the flesh, that is, the calling of God with human appearance. (1 Samuel 16:7.) So the disguise is admitted to be possessed by the followers of the Law and of works, but the reality is claimed for those who rely on the calling of God alone, and depend upon his grace.

    Persecuted. But persecution is nowhere mentioned, only Moses says that Ishmael was מצהק, (metzahek,) mocking, (Genesis 21:9;) and by this participle he intimates that Ishmael ridiculed his brother Isaac. The explanation offered by some Jews, that this was a simple smile, is entirely inadmissible; for what cruelty would it have argued, that a harmless smile should have been so fearfully revenged? There cannot then be a doubt that he maliciously endeavored to provoke the child Isaac by reproachful language.

    But how widely distant is this from persecution? “The history tells us, that he laughed at, derided, and mocked him to scorn, which is real persecution; probably through pride, and the conceit of being Abraham’s eldest son and heir.” — Chandler. “Διώκω will here denote injurious treatment of every kind, both in deeds and words. And although the Mosaic history records only one instance of insulting treatment, — namely, on Ishmael mocking Sarah, when she weaned Isaac, (Genesis 21:9, 10,) yet when we consider the disappointment which both Hagar and Ishmael must have felt on the birth of Isaac, it was not unnatural for them to feel ill-will, and show it on every occasion, to the real heir of the promise. And many such are recorded, from tradition, in the Rabbinical writers.” — Bloomfield. And yet it is not idly or unguardedly that Paul enlarges on this point. No persecution ought to distress us so much as to see our calling attempted to be undermined by the reproaches of wicked men. Neither blows, nor scourging, nor nails, nor thorns, occasioned to our Lord such intense suffering as that blasphemy: “He trusted in God; what availeth it to him? for he is deprived of all assistance.” (Matthew 27:43.)
    There is more venom in this than in all persecutions; for how much more alarming is it that the grace of Divine adoption shall be made void, than that this frail life shall be taken from us? Ishmael did not persecute his brother with the sword; but, what is worse, he treated him with haughty disdain by trampling under foot the promise of God. All persecutions arise from this source, that wicked men despise and hate in the elect the grace of God; a memorable instance of which we have in the history of Cain and Abel. (Genesis 4:8.)
    This reminds us, that not only ought we to be filled with horror at outward persecutions, when the enemies of religion slay us with fire and sword; when they banish, imprison, torture, or scourge; but when they attempt, by their blasphemies, to make void our confidence, which rests on the promises of God; when they ridicule our salvation, when they wantonly laugh to scorn the whole gospel. Nothing ought to wound our minds so deeply as contempt of God, and reproaches cast upon His grace: nor is there any kind of persecution more deadly than when the salvation of the soul is assailed. We who have escaped from the tyranny of the Pope, are not called to encounter the swords of wicked men. But how blind must we be, if we are not affected by that spiritual persecution, in which they strive, by every method, to extinguish that doctrine, from which we draw the breath of life! when they attack our faith by their blasphemies, and shake not a few of the less informed! For my own part, I am far more grieved by the fury of the Epicureans than of the Papists. They do not attack us by open violence; but, in proportion as the name of God is more dear to me than my own life, the diabolical conspiracy which I see in operation to extinguish all fear and worship of God, to root out the remembrance of Christ, or to abandon it to the jeers of the ungodly, cannot but rack my mind with greater anxiety, than if a whole country were burning in one conflagration:” – End Calvin’s Quote

    So far Luther and Calvin!

  • John Jesus

    @24 “It’s against the law for federal employees to promote or favor other federal employees because they share religious beliefs. That would constitue a religious test, which is prohibited by the 10th Amendment.”
    Uh, well, no. You mean the 6th Amendment, right? Also, you don’t really consider preferring the same as a religious test for office? Look, people can promote what they want, you don’t have to buy into it, and, there are certainly ways to move on from uncomfortable situations (like a Christian environment) besides force of law. Geez, what babies.

  • Larry D

    I certainly do not think that our country would do anything that would not permit the free exercise of faith, lest they be hit with a civil rights lawsuit and liberals hate to be accused of being intolerant, though many are. If there is a possibility of this happening then it is wrong and discriminatory. However, if the story is not true it should be discarded and it will be safe to assume that people can live, discuss and practice their faith and not jeopardize good unit morale and order.
    I think that it safe to say that none of us agree with Mr. Weinstein’s views on any matter of faith.

  • Ryan

    The persecution complex of Christians in this country is insane. They are the majority, all anyone else is asking is to be left alone with their own faith, or their own lack-of faith. Why is that so hard to comprehend?

  • Carl Vehse

    Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) was founded in 1994 by 30 Christian leaders to “keep the door open for the spread of the Gospel by transforming the legal system and advocating for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.”

    According to a May 2, 2013, ADF news release, “Pentagon backtracks on evangelization comments, investigation launched“:

    Alliance Defending Freedom filed a Freedom of Information Act request Wednesday for records related to a Pentagon statement issued Tuesday that indicated members of the military could be subject to court martial for “religious proselytization.”

    The Department of Defense spokesperson who made the comments backtracked in a new statement Thursday that explained, “Service members can share their faith (evangelize), but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others of any faith or no faith to one’s beliefs (proselytization).”

    “Members of our military should not be denied the very freedoms they fight to defend. Freedom of religion and speech are paramount among those freedoms,” said Legal Counsel Joseph La Rue. “We appreciate the Pentagon’s clarification, but little or no evidence exists of coercive proselytization in the military, so we are still troubled over what motivated the original comments.”

  • larry

    Sometimes the best way to open the way for the Gospel is to let it disappear from the public. In fact Luther points out that this is the work of the wrath of God for those that despise it. Thus, evangelism may be to let them outside hear nothing, let the darkness ensue and the Law have its way. Jesus said I came for the sick, the healthy don’t need a doctor. There are none really healthy, but you have to let them sometimes find that out for themselves.

    But again most as I said above don’t really understand persecution. Because only the eyes of faith see it. Luther are quite right “how blind we are”. That’s because most focus on the body and its harm or good and ignore the murder of the soul. This is why heterodoxy is the plague of this country.

    Put quite bluntly, the sword abroad has persecuted and killed many bodies of believers. But as bad as that is it matches none whatsoever as the number of souls murdered by a doctrine of believers baptism. Sadly most will not see the urgency and problem of the infinitely worse, the later, and focus on the former. But it is the reality.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Breitbart is the right-wing equivalent of Mother Jones: overreactive and alarmist. If you want more levelheaded conservative journalism, I suggest National Review.

  • Carl Vehse

    Since my post of May 4, 2013 at 12:47 pm is still waiting on moderation, I’ll repeat it in two separate posts to deal with the URL links; here is Part 1:

    Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) was founded in 1994 by 30 Christian leaders to “keep the door open for the spread of the Gospel by transforming the legal system and advocating for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.”

  • Carl Vehse

    Part 2 of my post of May 4, 2013 at 12:47 pm:

    According to a May 2, 2013, ADF news release, “Pentagon backtracks on evangelization comments, investigation launched“:

    Alliance Defending Freedom filed a Freedom of Information Act request Wednesday for records related to a Pentagon statement issued Tuesday that indicated members of the military could be subject to court martial for “religious proselytization.”

    The Department of Defense spokesperson who made the comments backtracked in a new statement Thursday that explained, “Service members can share their faith (evangelize), but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others of any faith or no faith to one’s beliefs (proselytization).”

    “Members of our military should not be denied the very freedoms they fight to defend. Freedom of religion and speech are paramount among those freedoms,” said Legal Counsel Joseph La Rue. “We appreciate the Pentagon’s clarification, but little or no evidence exists of coercive proselytization in the military, so we are still troubled over what motivated the original comments.”


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