OMG! The Pentagon is Going to Court Martial Christians!

OMG! The Pentagon is Going to Court Martial Christians! May 6, 2013

That’s the latest freakout from the usual suspects (Todd Starnes, Breitbart, etc), the claim that a new policy on proselytizing is going to lead to the military court martialing anyone who expresses their Christianity. Like every other freakout they have, it’s total nonsense. Here are the actual regulations from the Air Force:

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.

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.

Fascism! Hitler! FEMA camps! The problem, which is finally beginning to be addressed, is that many officers have abused the authority over their subordinates to force their religious beliefs on them in multiple ways, from punishing those who don’t attend church on Sunday (by making them clean the barracks and do other duties instead) to forcing them to attend prayer services and other religious events. It depends greatly on what unit you’re in, of course; some officers understand the boundaries and some don’t.

There is no end to the imagined persecution in the minds of these people. Once you believe that dragons are haunting you, you see dragons everywhere.

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