Faith Takes a Furlough
By Tony Perkins
In the military, our troops are used to navigating landmines. They aren’t used to having their own leaders plant them. That must be how it feels for religious service members, who are nervously stepping their way through a dangerous and hostile environment for faith — created by the same administration they serve.
Unfortunately, identifying the country’s threats hasn’t exactly been this President’s strong suit. In the same breath that he swaps terrorists for deserters and lets Iran off the hook, he turns the military’s internal firepower on expressions of religion. The culture of the military, once one of the proudest professions in the world, is a depressed one — with morale in a freefall and recruitment at its lowest levels in years. Gradually worn down by the seven-year war on religious liberty and decency, more men and women are opting to get out — or worse, never sign up in the first place.
In a front-page story for the Washington Times, Jacqueline Klimas expands on what FRC has said for years: that the military cannot sustain this long-term assault on its values. Our good friend Mike Berry from the Liberty Institute has seen the fallout first-hand. “I can’t tell you how many moms and dads I’ve spoken to who say, ‘My son or daughter wants to join the military, [but] in light of what you’ve described, I’m not sure I want to let them join the military anymore,’ and I don’t blame them. I would have serious reservations about my own kids joining.”
In a military where even Chaplains are punished for their faith, more service members have to be wondering: why are we here? These brave men and women in uniform are dying for liberties that they can’t even enjoy. Douglas Lee of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, said, “I know people who get out, officers and chaplains, who’ve said, ‘I can’t serve the way I want to in this environment. People who’ve said, ‘Because of the religious liberty challenges I see, I think I’ll serve somewhere else.” The sacrifices of — not just the service members, but their families — must feel somewhat hollow now in a culture where you can’t even say, “Have a blessed day,” without triggering an investigation.
Then, of course, there are the double standards. Yesterday, we told you about the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) blaming the Bible, Constitution, and Declaration of Independence for “modern sexism.” It turns out, this training isn’t the only thing under review. In a surprising twist, FRC learned that the commander of DEOMI, the very touchstone of political correctness in the military, has been suspended in December for alleged “inappropriate touching.” You can’t even make this stuff up! It’s like the Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention Officer, who was charged in 2013 with — you guessed it — sexual assault. And we wonder why the Pentagon has so many problems!
The DOD is having to address all of these issues of sexism, assault, relationship consent because Obama’s policies have sexualized the military to the point of complete and utter dysfunction. Unfortunately, this is a huge mess that the next President is not only going to inherit — but has to address. In the extremely dangerous and volatile world that President Obama has fostered by his own ineptness, we can’t risk having a military that is more concerned about the sexual advances of their members than advancing the military’s mission of fighting and winning America’s wars.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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