The United States Army has blocked the website of the Southern Baptist Convention from some of its computers — a move that family values groups say is a disturbing continuation of the Pentagon’s hostile attitude towards religion.
The Defense Department insists the blocking is a “glitch’’ in the system which is being corrected.
But the American Family Network, which is affiliated with the American Family Association, says the issue comes just weeks after an Army email called Christian ministries like the Family Research Council and American Family Association “domestic hate groups.’’
“This is just another example of the Christian faith coming under attack in the military,’’ Tim Wildmon, president of American Family Network,’’ told The Tennessean newspaper
, which broke the story.
Roger Oldham, a spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention, said he has been assured the problem is “a random event with no malicious intent.’’
But he added: "This is deeply disturbing . . . The First Amendment exists to protect the church from governmental censorship of or infringement upon religious speech and the free exercise of religion."
Lieutenant Col. Damien Pickart, a department of defense spokesman, told the newpaper the military is working to resolve the problem and is “not intentionally blocking access.’’
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