Pentagon pushed to end Christian proselytizing?

posted at 10:41 am on May 2, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Did the Pentagon bar Christians from talking about their faith while serving in the military? Not exactly, but a new push to aggressively stop proselytizing has chaplains nervous, according to the Deseret News:

The latest salvo came this week when conservative blogger Todd Starnes wrote on Fox News and the Christian Post that the Pentagon confirmed that “religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense.”

The regulation is not new. In August, the Air Force issued a policy telling its chaplains that they must balance an airman’s right to religious exercise with a prohibition against government establishment of religion. A violation of the policy could result in a court-martial.

What is new is a recent demand to enforce the rule. It came after a private meeting last week between Pentagon officials and Larry Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, former Ambassador Joe Wilson and civil rights attorney Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein.

Conservative Christians are particularly upset that the Department of Defense is taking advice from Weinstein, who heads the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

“God help us now when someone with such visceral hatred of conservative Christians — literally tens of millions of Americans — who says sharing this gospel is ‘spiritual rape’ is helping develop policies for how to deal with Christians in the military,” wrote Ken Klukowski, director of the Center for Religious Liberty at Family Research Council.

The issue for the regulation is not discussions of faith, but in superiors using their positions to coercively proselytize their troops.  The Tennessean gives a clearer context of the rule revised last summer:

But new rules published last year by the Air Force warn leaders to be careful in talking about faith.

“For example,” the rules state, “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.”

That’s a common-sense rule that one would probably find in many private-sector places of employment as well.  The point of a military is, after all, to have a disciplined and cohesive force able to act on a moment’s notice to defend this nation and project power.  Anything that interferes with that cohesion and discipline should be avoided where possible.

The Tennessean quotes Joe Carter about the difficulties of recognizing the limits:

Joe Carter, a former Marine and editor for the Gospel Coalition, a Birmingham, Ala.-based group, said coercion has no place in faith.

However, Carter said, Jesus told his disciples to spread the faith in Matthew 28, in a passage known as “The Great Commission.” That’s an essential part of the faith for many Christians, he said.

“We don’t want your boss saying you have to go to a Bible study,” he said. “But what if he just invites you?”

The Air Force’s PR group responded to the question of what crosses the line:

The Air Force’s public affairs office, using the Merriam-Webster dictionary, defines proselytizing as “to induce someone to convert to one’s faith,” said Capt. Jody Ritchie in an email.

“When on duty or in an official capacity, Air Force members are free to express their personal religious beliefs as long as it does not make others uncomfortable,” he said in an email. “Proselytizing, as defined above, goes over that line.”

Again, this goes to military discipline and coercion.  No one, at least so far, is demanding that the Pentagon silence people from talking about their faith — an act that would immediately run afoul of the First Amendment anyway.  That may be the goal of the MRFF, but they will end up bitterly disappointed.  The Pentagon appears to be just making the case that leaders should not exploit their powers over their commands to pressure subordinated into religious conversion or activities, which is a common-sense approach to take.

Military chaplains definitely have concerns about their future in the armed forces, but this doesn’t appear to be one of them.  They are more concerned about the implications for free expression of religious belief after the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell:

U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black says today’s military chaplains could be “accused of engaging in hate speech” if they preach what the Bible says about homosexuality.

Black, a retired Navy chaplain, told an audience at the Heritage Foundation that it’s an ongoing “challenge that I think we’re going to have to deal with.”

All of these potential encroachments are worth the effort of vigilance.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

Armin Tamzarian on May 2, 2013 at 4:16 PM

What medications can a minor purchase legally?

What jurisdiction?

No, not in the local bodega, but in an actual brick and mortar pharm or other store?

coldwarrior on May 2, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Just make sure you don’t make the anti-Semites uncomfortable though.

Cleombrotus on May 2, 2013 at 4:24 PM

On a Yahoo board a ‘Hitler youth’ informed me that I’d make a good lampshade..
OOOOOO-I’ve never heard THAT one before. ///

annoyinglittletwerp on May 2, 2013 at 4:27 PM

I’ve actually had good arguments with progressives who are capable of putting together a cogent argument and defending it.

Armin Tamzarian on May 2, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Where do these fantasy creatures live?

Cleombrotus on May 2, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Just happened to catch this post from The American Legion’s Burn Pit…

No, the DoD will not court martial Christians (or Zoroastrians, Sikhs, Buddhists or Spaghetti Monster adherents.)

OK, so a few things up front, because I know the comments will end up bashing me on this one.

1) I’m friends with Todd Starnes of Fox Radio on Facebook, and I usually very much enjoy his stuff.

2) I used to write at “Big Peace” over on Breitbart.com

3) If Mikey Weinstein told me water was wet, I would immediately assume the opposite, and not likely change my opinion unless I had peer-reviewed scientific evidence to the contrary.

4) I go to church every week and bible study every other week (when not on travel).

Now, with those caveats out of the way, this whole issue with the DoD (specifically the Air Force) getting ready to court martial Christians is hyperbolic and not very accurate.

……………………………….

So, by all means, if you want to get upset, do so. But don’t assume that the DoD is going to start arresting Christians when the policy doesn’t indicate that. If you are in the service and you want to talk about your faith, you are free to do so. What you aren’t allowed to do is to try to convert your subordinates to your religion. The policy never once mentions “Christ”, “Christians” or “Jesus”. It is absolutely neutral on religion. What everyone should be focused on is ensuring that the DoD policy is administered properly. Until such time as it is not administered properly, we should all be voicing our opinions freely on how religious freedoms are an integral part of society, military or civilian.

The Ugly American on May 2, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Okay, you’ve convinced me. Let’s turn back the clock 300 years. In fact, why stop there? Let’s go back to Renaissance Italy when the Vatican was the most powerful political entity in the world. That’s what a little religious tyrant like you would really like, isn’t it? Armin Tamzarian on May 2, 2013 at 3:40 PM

No, I would like the Constitution and Bill of Rights to be in full force. To you, that makes me a little tyrant.

You’re comparing the Founding Fathers to the medieval popes. Really?

Akzed on May 2, 2013 at 4:34 PM

The Ugly American on May 2, 2013 at 4:33 PM

See my first post.
*I agree with you.*

annoyinglittletwerp on May 2, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Then, remove ALL age limits. Don’t have them for some things and not for others. Don’t require a 15 year-old girl to get a prescription for birth control pills and not require her to get one for Plan-B.

This is, at least, a defensible position.

You and the judge are arguing about the so-called ‘arbitrariness’ of the age limit for Plan-B, but fail to recognise the absurdity of your argument in the bigger picture.

I’ll tell you what I think is absurd here. I think it’s absurd to argue in favor of something that you admit is totally arbitrary, and without any real reasoning or consistency at all. It’s as if you woke up one day and decided to take a position on this one issue based on your horoscope reading.

No, I would like the Constitution and Bill of Rights to be in full force. To you, that makes me a little tyrant.

You’re comparing the Founding Fathers to the medieval popes. Really?

Akzed on May 2, 2013 at 4:34 PM

“Constitution and Bill of Rights in full force” = “JESUS AKBAR!!!” apparently. Bible bashers just can’t be reasoned with.

Armin Tamzarian on May 2, 2013 at 4:40 PM

“When on duty or in an official capacity, Air Force members are free to express their personal religious beliefs as long as it does not make others uncomfortable,” he said in an email. “Proselytizing, as defined above, goes over that line.”

“Uncomfortable”? What kind of mealy-mouthed explanation is that? Any individual that gets his or her feelings hurt (about anything) can make the accusation of being made to feel “uncomfortable”.

tgharris on May 2, 2013 at 5:39 PM

It seems to me that the current policy is what is being defended here and on the American Legion Burn Pit. Currently, the balance is nearly right–it’s hard thing to do. The fear is what is coming.

The Administration has seemed rather anti-Christian in many of its actions. I think what we’re seeing is a combination of trial balloons and the start of death by a thousand cuts. I’m not worried for what would happen if I were still in the service right now. I worry about what will face my nephew in the service in a few years.

Kevin K. on May 2, 2013 at 5:50 PM

“Constitution and Bill of Rights in full force” = “JESUS AKBAR!!!” apparently. Bible bashers just can’t be reasoned with.

Armin Tamzarian on May 2, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Well, Jesus is Lord of all.

And since when is wanting the Constitution enforced irrational?

davidk on May 2, 2013 at 6:10 PM

“Uncomfortable”? What kind of mealy-mouthed explanation is that? Any individual that gets his or her feelings hurt (about anything) can make the accusation of being made to feel “uncomfortable”.

tgharris on May 2, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Victim mentality.

davidk on May 2, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Onward Christian Soldiers. My take.

kingsjester on May 2, 2013 at 6:18 PM

But it’s OK to engage in proselytizing in your uniform if you are homosexual calling a Presidential candidate during a televised debate about repealing DADT… even though that is a clear violation of the military code of conduct.

For over 200 freaking years this has not been an issue… but suddenly while Obama is Prez and right after DADT is removed… wouldn’t you know it. Golly. Christians are the problem.

When on duty or in an official capacity, Air Force members are free to express their personal religious beliefs as long as it does not make others uncomfortable,”

Oh right… that’s certainly clear cut.

How times have changed. When I joined the military right during basic.. we were all marched into the auditorium and given small Bibles. We were told there were only 3 things you were allowed to read during Basic. Army training info, letters from home and the bible. The bible, the Chaplain told us… is considered a part of your uniform. No one can take it from you. Now.. pull it out and make someone “uncomfortable” (especially that guy you said no to who wanted a fling in the shower) .. and you get a court martial.

Yep.. keep kicking God out of everything and you end up with Godlessness everywhere. The people who hate God in this country are the same people who would force us all to worship Obama as God. That you can take to the bank.

Meanwhile… Drudge has a story about a Florida sheriff who wants names of people who “hate government.” Yep.. if you “hate government” you’re going to have a task force come knock on your door. You might even end up in the psych ward. And if you’re in the military… double wammy.

But go back to sleep and stop being paranoid. Everything’s cool.

JellyToast on May 2, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Just make sure you don’t make the anti-Semites uncomfortable though.

Cleombrotus on May 2, 2013 at 4:24 PM

.
On a Yahoo board a ‘Hitler youth’ informed me that I’d make a good lampshade..
OOOOOO-I’ve never heard THAT one before. ///

annoyinglittletwerp on May 2, 2013 at 4:27 PM

.
There are still some former “Hitler Youth” alive, though not many.

I met one (a lady), with whom I had a great conversation.
It would be interesting to sit these modern-day “Hitler Youth” wannabes in an auditorium, and make them listen to stories like this lady told me.
I’m sure there were some volunteers in the 1930s-’40s, but most were NOT.

listens2glenn on May 2, 2013 at 6:25 PM

The fact that Obama has hired an anti-Christian activist to guide religious issues in the military indicates he wants Dem-loving robots who will do his bidding agianst the American people in general and deliberately persecute christians within and without the military.

Immediately, however, Obama is trying to erect an extralegal role for such advisors as Weinstein so that soldiers will have to pass muster for the American equivalent of a ‘politcal officer’ ala the Soviet Military (during at least the Cold War). If there is no peep from the publice nor the other braches of power, this will be used as the template for similar ‘officials’ in the public schools and universities and any instittution using federal money.

love2rumba on May 2, 2013 at 6:29 PM

…“Constitution and Bill of Rights in full force” = “JESUS AKBAR!!!” apparently. Bible bashers just can’t be reasoned with.

You are nuts.

love2rumba on May 2, 2013 at 6:31 PM

You are nuts.

love2rumba on May 2, 2013 at 6:31 PM

Yep.

kingsjester on May 2, 2013 at 6:35 PM

“Constitution and Bill of Rights in full force” = “JESUS AKBAR!!!” apparently. Bible bashers just can’t be reasoned with.

Armin Tamzarian on May 2, 2013 at 4:40 PM

.
Does “bashers” = ‘thumpers’?

listens2glenn on May 2, 2013 at 6:37 PM

The real indicator of what is going on is that the DoD met with Weinstein. His vitriol and hatred of all things related to orthodox or conservative Christianity is clear from all of his writings, speeches and comments. The military, like it or not, has a high number of Christians in it (news flash, so does the population of the United States). Weinstein wants any of those Christians who talk about their faith silenced. Anything that makes him or any atheist “uncomfortable” is verboden. His end-game is not to allow everyone their beliefs side-by-side, but the silence – even in casual conversation – of everyone who is of conservative or orthodox Christian faith. He’s said, he believes it and he is “proselytizing” it.

I assure you that Weinstein (and probably many of the atheists or rabid agnostics that post to HA) do not include in their definition of “proselytization” criticizing someone’s faith as an atheist – no matter how aggressively. Nope, that’s just rationality and reason. Anyone “uncomfortable” with that just can’t take criticism.

If the DoD (and Ed Morrissey and every other person disclaiming the seriousness of this) didn’t want the ruckus this has created, then they shouldn’t have met with Weinstein. There is no reason to other than to get advice on how to radically curtail an orthodox or conservative Christian’s First Amendment rights.

studentofhistory on May 2, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Would seeing a soldier reading his personal bible = making someone else uncomfortable ?
Oy.

pambi on May 2, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Would seeing a soldier reading his personal bible = making someone else uncomfortable ?
Oy.

pambi on May 2, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Probably not, but do you think anyone will be court-martialed if an atheist officer or group of atheists calls God a “sky-daddy” or mocks “zombie-Jesus,” or compares a Christian’s belief to irrationally believing in a “flying spaghetti monster.” Do you really think that if an atheist is arguing to a Christian and trying to persuade (i.e., “proselytize”) to abandon his faith that such atheist will be brought up on charges? No. This is a one way street and Christians know where it’s going.

studentofhistory on May 2, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Huh! So . . . what are they going to do with all the chaplains?

Trochilus on May 2, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Yet another attack on Christianity orchestrated by our ‘Christian’ president..we are terrorists after all..God please save us from ourselves

sadsushi on May 2, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Non-profits are very profitable for the executives running them. Mikey Weinstein pays himself $252k to head Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&ved=0CEEQFjAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fbulk.resource.org%2Firs.gov%2Feo%2F2012_12_EO%2F20-3967302_990_201112.pdf&ei=LmOCUfybI-zh0wGm2YCoCg&usg=AFQjCNGBws7kBpvHGh-ycdWE_wx1YQqSLQ&bvm=bv.45921128,d.dmQ

So, Mikey is well paid for practicing his favorite avocation – hating and being an anti-Christian bigot.

bw222 on May 2, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Would seeing a soldier reading his personal bible = making someone else uncomfortable ?
Oy.
pambi on May 2, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Just the term “bible” sends some into a crazed frothing rage, let alone the sight of one.
Will military personnel have to clean up their language for those who are uncomfortable hearing people calling for God to damn something?

whatcat on May 2, 2013 at 7:42 PM

with progressives who are capable of putting together a cogent argument and defending it.

Armin Tamzarian on May 2, 2013 at 3:58 PM

You wouldn’t know how to recognize such a thing.

Oh and you keep proving your ability to discuss more than your select topics is very limited.

CW on May 2, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Personal experience from 50 years ago:

1. The Inspector General required a specific religious choice on all dog tags. Soldiers of all religions bypassed this with the word TASM, acronym for Tobacco, Alcohol, Sex and Money, the four great gods of mankind.

2. My BC, a recently converted Southern Baptist had resigned and I took over the Battery. He called me into his office and handed me a Bible,, informing me that the Bible was the only book necessary to run the Battery. Do not use the UCMJ. The First Sgt was laughing so hard nobody could get anything done.

3. The RC chaplain (1LT) was to give his VD talk but instead told all non-RC troops to leave. I informed our BN chaplain (Fr xxx) who had the offending priest removed from the Army.

Even 50 years ago this was a problem. It is very uncomfortable for any subordinate to have to politely listen to a superior proselytize. We tried to get it stopped then, evidently without much effect. Those were the days of the draft, so the soldiers had no escape.

Don’t bother thanking the veterans for their service; just let them serve in peace. The fundamentalists have been abusing this for a long time. For a long time the soldiers have taken this abuse in distressed silence. If you, in your conservative Christian virtue, don’t understand, then p–s off. If you do understand, then clean house. Don’t leave it to outside jerks to force you to do the right thing!

Old Country Boy on May 2, 2013 at 8:40 PM

studentofhistory on May 2, 2013 at 7:06 PM

My comment abut Whining Christians? You’re an example of what I was referring to. As a center-right(cradle conservative) reformadox Jew, living in an area that is basically baptist….and RELIGIOUS muslim…well I’m sorry if my sympathy meter just isn’t moving as much any more.
*I like Christians. I WAS a Christian for a awhile. My husband IS a Christian. I was/he is a strong-rather than being a whiny perceptual victim. Not every one is going to like/accept approve of your faith. Suck it up.*

annoyinglittletwerp on May 2, 2013 at 9:51 PM

annoyinglittletwerp on May 2, 2013 at 9:51 PM

I’m not really concerned that you think I’m a “whining Christian.” What I said was correct – if they didn’t want this to go the direction I’m saying, then they shouldn’t be talking to Weinstein. Also, I would bet a year’s salary that NO atheist will be court martialed for criticizing and making a conservative Christian “uncomfortable.” I never said I don’t like atheists or agnostics, I’m just saying that if they are talking to Weinstein, there is only one way this is going to go.

The most fascinating thing is that you don’t even realize the hypocrisy of your own post. You are whining that you don’t have sympathy because you “have to” live among Baptists and very religious muslims. I’m sorry – who needs to suck it up? The majority of your community has a different religious viewpoint than you ….. and … you expect them to live life, change conversations, stop enjoying their faith or even being public about it because you live there? Well, that’s what Weinstein wants. He is not interested in balance – that’s not whining, that’s fact.

studentofhistory on May 2, 2013 at 10:17 PM

I was/he is a strong-rather than being a whiny perceptual victim. Not every one is going to like/accept approve of your faith. Suck it up.*

annoyinglittletwerp on May 2, 2013 at 9:51 PM

this isn’t whiny or playing a victim.

This is called defending our freedom of religion… It’s great that you’re so strong in your religion… But what we’re talking about is the encroaching denial of ALL religion’s freedoms… including all the ones you’ve tried.

Skywise on May 2, 2013 at 10:49 PM

True story:

today in a class discussion about religion, I asked the class of under-30-somethings which system put more “distance” between the government and religion, the US or China? The answer?

China. Because it controls religion and does not allow for the free expression or practice in the public square.

That is right. A classroom of bright young AMERICANS think China, with its state-sponsored religions is model for “separation” of Church and state. They think China does it better.

This is what we are up against, folks.

StubbleSpark on May 2, 2013 at 10:50 PM

This is serious. Not trivial. The DOD did not capitulate to Weinstein. They are facilitating him

Can’t remember if HA had the article about the priests turned away from the Boston bombings, when they raced to offer lastrites and counseling

This was not for lack of proximity. Close to the bombing site are Trinity Episcopal Church, Old South Church and St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine, all on Boylston Street. When the priests at St. Clement’s, three blocks away, heard the explosions, they gathered sacramental oils and hurried to the scene in hopes of anointing the injured and, if necessary, administering last rites, the final of seven Catholic sacraments. But the priests, who belong to the order Oblates of the Virgin Mary, weren’t allowed at the scene.

The Rev. John Wykes, director of the St. Francis Chapel at Boston’s soaring Prudential Center, and the Rev. Tom Carzon, rector of Our Lady of Grace Seminary, were among the priests who were turned away right after the bombings. It was jarring for Father Wykes, who, as a hospital chaplain in Illinois a decade ago, was never denied access to crime or accident scenes.

This is the new standard intent of the liberal movement

Overt Christianity = anti gay

Christianity no longer allowed, much less welcome, unless you are a cherry picker christian who says what they want to hear

entagor on May 2, 2013 at 10:59 PM

Overt Christianity = anti gay

Christianity no longer allowed, much less welcome, unless you are a cherry picker christian who says what they want to hear

entagor on May 2, 2013 at 10:59 PM

Who the Hell are these people who get squeamish over mere words and hiss like vampires at the sight of a cross? Have we forgotten how to just be without making a federal case about every perceived slight?

StubbleSpark on May 2, 2013 at 11:42 PM

From what I remember, service members choose to go to church and listen to chaplains or avail themselves of their counseling services. The chaplains don’t go from unit to unit encouraging nonbelievers to become Christians.

Somehow I don’t think the Nidal types in our military would have a problem encouraging “infidels” in uniform to convert and to quit trying to kill Muslim Jihadis. And it would seem that with our current administration, general officers would have to back up the handful of Muslims in uniform.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 2, 2013 at 11:45 PM

I find mostvworkingbsoldierschave a strong belief in The Christian God , which I find humbling
And comforting.

losarkos on May 3, 2013 at 1:31 AM

I believe the policy is reasonable, however if past is prologue, the interpretation and application will not be.

The Pentagon hurt the credibility of any policy by including Weinstein. They should have known his inclusion makes their motives very suspect. They’ve also hurt their own credibility by the massive social engineering they are pushing on the force. That includes incidents such as the policy on homosexuals, the murders at Fort Hood by Hassan and most recently the treatment of LTC Dooley.

This current crop of leadership has also very obviously blurred the lines between treating Mr. Obama as CinC and being disciples or fanboys. Where’s the policy to clear up that distinction and enforce it?

Any member of the force paying attention realizes the Brass are on a political correctness campaign. Someone will have to explain to me how that divisive push to create a bunch of special snowflakes helps unit cohesion and contributes to performing the mission.

Simple answer- it doesn’t.

While most of us may understand that proselytizing as defined here is more an action of force and misuse of position, that will not be how this policy is enforced.

Hypothetically, a person in a command position will say something such as; “may God bless us” before a mission or “why don’t you join me one weekend at church” when someone is perceived to be experiencing personal difficulties and one of the “special snowflakes” will object. And we will ultimately be worse off for it.

Marcus Traianus on May 3, 2013 at 8:00 AM

I’m guessing Ed missed the part of his excerpt where making someone “uncomfortable” falls within proselytization.

boone on May 3, 2013 at 8:10 AM

“Constitution and Bill of Rights in full force” = “JESUS AKBAR!!!” apparently. Bible bashers just can’t be reasoned with.
Armin Tamzarian on May 2, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Please quote anything posted here that would lead a reasonable person to conclude that a theocracy, or anything unconstitutional or even novel, is being called for. Thanks.

Akzed on May 3, 2013 at 9:57 AM

A ‘solution’ in search of a problem.

I, and every other service member, was harassed about contributing to the Combined Federal Campaign – every year.

I don’t recall having to attend a Commanders Call and it turning into a tent revival.

I remember plenty of CCs where we were browbeaten about our participation in the CFC because the units stats weren’t high enough.

What bothers me is that gays can wear their uniform to gay pride parades, where there is overt political proselytizing, but someone’s going to get butthurt about a Chaolain doing an invocation at a Dining Out.

I retired just in time…

catmman on May 3, 2013 at 10:15 AM

What you aren’t allowed to do is to try to convert your subordinates to your religion. The policy never once mentions “Christ”, “Christians” or “Jesus”. It is absolutely neutral on religion. What everyone should be focused on is ensuring that the DoD policy is administered properly. Until such time as it is not administered properly, we should all be voicing our opinions freely on how religious freedoms are an integral part of society, military or civilian.

The Ugly American on May 2, 2013 at 4:33 PM

In all due respect, that perspective/explanation sounds like:

“No subordinate can be ordered to lasso a unicorn; no superior can order any subordinate to lasso unicorns.”

Lourdes on May 3, 2013 at 12:06 PM

The Administration has seemed rather anti-Christian in many of its actions. I think what we’re seeing is a combination of trial balloons and the start of death by a thousand cuts. I’m not worried for what would happen if I were still in the service right now. I worry about what will face my nephew in the service in a few years.

Kevin K. on May 2, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Exactly.

Lourdes on May 3, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Obama is trying to erect an extralegal role for such advisors as Weinstein so that soldiers will have to pass muster for the American equivalent of a ‘politcal officer’ ala the Soviet Military (during at least the Cold War). If there is no peep from the publice nor the other braches of power, this will be used as the template for similar ‘officials’ in the public schools and universities and any instittution using federal money.

love2rumba on May 2, 2013 at 6:29 PM

And that’s what China and Cuba enacted after their respective Communist revolutions. Those agents of the “new government” — members submitted to Communism and the Party/government then taken over those two countries — were sent to “visit” all businesses AND private residences, including all farms, and organize, so to speak, what was taking place in those locations to fit the “new model” of life as defined by the Communist party/committee/dictator.

Let’s see…nightclubs in Cuba were visited and all saxophones were confiscated by the visiting agents because the saxophone was “an imperialist instrument,” to mention but one of the many, many harassing intrusions Communist governments made into individual lives, thus destroying life as an individual existence and perspective.

And Catholics and Jews were taken into custody and lined up before firing squads and…

Lourdes on May 3, 2013 at 12:17 PM

We the citizens and taxpayers must demand an explanation from the Pentagon as to why this person, “Mikey Weinstein,” was hired by them and based upon what credentials and need. What and who created and required this person to be an adviser to the Pentagon? And why?

Lourdes on May 3, 2013 at 12:19 PM

In all due respect, that perspective/explanation sounds like:

“No subordinate can be ordered to lasso a unicorn; no superior can order any subordinate to lasso unicorns.”

Lourdes on May 3, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Your response to TUA’s comment is so silly it’s not even wrong.

With all due respect you sound like someone who is determined to find persecution where none exists.

chumpThreads on May 3, 2013 at 12:23 PM

“Constitution and Bill of Rights in full force” = “JESUS AKBAR!!!” apparently. Bible bashers just can’t be reasoned with.

Armin Tamzarian on May 2, 2013 at 4:40 PM

THAT Reminds me of this:

The Demoniac Cured

26Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27And when He came out onto the land, He was met by a man from the city who was possessed with demons; and who had not put on any clothing for a long time, and was not living in a house, but in the tombs.

28Seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me.”

29For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had seized him many times; and he was bound with chains and shackles and kept under guard, and yet he would break his bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert. 30And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him. 31They were imploring Him not to command them to go away into the abyss.

32Now there was a herd of many swine feeding there on the mountain; and the demons implored Him to permit them to enter the swine. And He gave them permission. 33And the demons came out of the man and entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

34When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they ran away and reported it in the city and out in the country. 35The people went out to see what had happened; and they came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting down at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they became frightened. 36Those who had seen it reported to them how the man who was demon-possessed had been made well. 37And all the people of the country of the Gerasenes and the surrounding district asked Him to leave them, for they were gripped with great fear; and He got into a boat and returned. 38But the man from whom the demons had gone out was begging Him that he might accompany Him; but He sent him away, saying, 39“Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.

Lourdes on May 3, 2013 at 12:25 PM

In all due respect, that perspective/explanation sounds like:

“No subordinate can be ordered to lasso a unicorn; no superior can order any subordinate to lasso unicorns.”

Lourdes on May 3, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Your response to TUA’s comment is so silly it’s not even wrong.

With all due respect you sound like someone who is determined to find persecution where none exists.

chumpThreads on May 3, 2013 at 12:23 PM

In all due respect, Chump, your continued motives on display here reveal you to be offensive.

If my “comment” “is so silly,” then enjoy a laugh in a happy moment on a sunny morning. But since it seems to be your “speak” for what you loathe, recoil against, demean, ridicule, whatever negative fits there (I’d say all of those do), you’re again revealing your motives to be dishonest ones.

Enjoy silly things, don’t trash them – that’s what decent people do, contrary to what your motives reveal about you.

HOWEVER, my comments were not “silly”. The non-defined operational characteristics of this “order” are, indeed, ridiculous and a set up to accomplish suppression of, with punishment for expressing religious beliefs, based on nothing more than someone claiming “feeling uncomfortable.”

It’s being rationalized as acceptable by a few who claim it’s to prevent superiors from harassing, so it is “felt” by someone unnamed, unspecified, occurs in the perspective of others, others as to religious beliefs.

Is this being done such that it needs to be ceased? Do military personnel REALLY need to be told NOT to order others not to lasso unicorns?

I see that point I made, deemed “silly” by you, made it’s mark since you find it “silly” and are attempting to avoid the obvious.

Lourdes on May 3, 2013 at 12:35 PM

“For example,” the rules state, “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.”

And how would this rule infringe upon the religious freedom of anyone? Answer: it wouldn’t. As Ed says:

That’s a common-sense rule that one would probably find in many private-sector places of employment as well.

So what’s the problem other than whiny Christians nursing a persecution complex?

chumpThreads on May 3, 2013 at 12:39 PM

What you aren’t allowed to do is to try to convert your subordinates to your religion. The policy never once mentions “Christ”, “Christians” or “Jesus”. It is absolutely neutral on religion. What everyone should be focused on is ensuring that the DoD policy is administered properly. Until such time as it is not administered properly, we should all be voicing our opinions freely on how religious freedoms are an integral part of society, military or civilian.

The Ugly American on May 2, 2013 at 4:33 PM

In all due respect, that perspective/explanation sounds like:

“No subordinate can be ordered to lasso a unicorn; no superior can order any subordinate to lasso unicorns.”

Lourdes on May 3, 2013 at 12:06 PM

And my comments there (12:06 PM) are not comedic.

When something clearly absurd is “ordered” to be implemented in govt., by govt., even by “agents” hired by the Pentagon for unstated reasons based upon unstated qualifications for unstated concerns, when what is “ordered” is so clearly absurd, irrational or bizarre to the point of inexplicable context or solution-to-mysteriously obtuse “problem,” IT’S REASONABLE TO ASSUME that there is AN ULTERIOR MOTIVE AT WORK.

The MOTIVE of this order is the issue and that’s what’s being discussed by some of us here. Because it’s clearly something OTHER than the explanations offered that is taking place, for motives that whoever-created-them NEEDS TO AVOID STATING.

“No one can order you to lasso unicorns! If they do, they’ll be harshly penalized.”

Lourdes on May 3, 2013 at 12:41 PM

So what’s the problem other than whiny Christians nursing a persecution complex?

chumpThreads on May 3, 2013 at 12:39 PM

You see? There it is, took chump two comments to admit that it’s “Christians” that are his/her target for harms (“harms” defined as persecution, ridicule, harassment, cruelty in indifference, inconsideration, etc.).

What this is REALLY about is almost certainly part of Obama’s needs to silence Biblical theology because it runs contrary to his homosexual-agenda.

Lourdes on May 3, 2013 at 12:43 PM

A ‘solution’ in search of a problem…

catmman on May 3, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Yes, yes it is.

“No one can order you to lasso unicorns!”

I mean, is this REALLY a problem? All those unicorns running around in the military who are in fear or danger of being lassoed, are they REALLY there such that superior officers are “harassing” the “feelings” of others by talking to them about lassoing-unicorns?

Lourdes on May 3, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Is this being done such that it needs to be ceased? Do military personnel REALLY need to be told NOT to order others not to lasso unicorns?

Lourdes on May 3, 2013 at 12:35 PM

The fact that you are unaware of the genesis (word play intended) of the problem indicates that you should spend less time worrying about unicorns and more time checking out the facts.

Here’s the Air Force’s Report from 2005.

This issue didn’t spring out thin air. It sounds to me like the Pentagon is taking a prudent and reasonable approach to making sure everyone’s rights are respected.

chumpThreads on May 3, 2013 at 12:54 PM

You see? There it is, took chump two comments to admit that it’s “Christians” that are his/her target for harms (“harms” defined as persecution, ridicule, harassment, cruelty in indifference, inconsideration, etc.).

The irony in your comment is indescribably delicious!

chumpThreads on May 3, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Hagel’s new policy makes me feel uncomfortable.

I guess that means I can use it against him for pushing his intolerance of religion?

StubbleSpark on May 3, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Recently my credit card account number was used fraudulently for a very small amount at a website. I reported it, of course, and was told that it was most likely a trial balloon to determine if the account was still in force.

This rule against “proselytizing” is just another trial balloon to see what the government can get away with. If you think for a moment that the feds have the slightest true concern for anyone feeling “uncomfortable,” your naivety is showing.

But, of course, no man or woman can get away with feeling “uncomfortable” if a fellow soldier propositions him/her, or being “uncomfortable” at having your children viewing gays kissing sloppily over on Vandegrift Boulevard. Oh, no, you’d be called a homophobe for sure!

What is it going to be next!

Mae on May 3, 2013 at 7:33 PM

chumpThreads on May 3, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Coming from you professor, that’s rich.

RACISM!!!

hawkdriver on May 4, 2013 at 11:17 AM

We don’t just want a cohesive fighting force, we want a proudly CHRISTIAN fighting force…one that cares about people and at the same time isn’t wussy about our SUPERIOR culture.

Just because the business world has been coerced by litigation to shut the heck up about God doesn’t mean that the military ought to follow suit. That’s just about the dumbest argument I’ve read from Ed Morrisey yet.

TXJenny on May 4, 2013 at 8:32 PM

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