Kansas Republicans Say Pentagon Discriminates Against Christians

Image: Kansas Republicans Say Pentagon Discriminates Against Christians

Thursday, 30 May 2013 12:59 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Republican legislators in Kansas are pushing a resolution calling for the defense of America's "Judeo-Christian tradition" from discrimination by the Pentagon.

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The GOP-controlled state Senate approved the measure last Friday and now two state House Republicans are drafting a similar resolution, reports The Huffington Post.

Republican state Rep. Pete DeGraaf, one of the authors, said there's a great deal of concern among legislators that the Pentagon is "singling out Christianity with our troops. We have a long history of being a Judeo-Christian nation."

Republican state Sen. Mitch Holmes told his fellow senators last week that he knew of about 20 instances of what he said were Pentagon attacks on Christianity, including a proposed policy about proselytizing and a ban on Bible verses being printed on rifle scopes.

The debate about religion in the military is also being discussed on the national level as well. Last month, during a House Armed Services Committee hearing, GOP Rep. Randy Forbes grilled Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel about similar issues, including a ban on Bibles at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in 2011, and an Army Reserve training program that Forbes said portrays evangelical Christians and Catholics as religious extremists.

DeGraaf said those reports show Christians need to be protected in the military.

But some Kansas GOP legislators dispute DeGraaf's claim that Kansas needs to act to protect Christians from the military. They also object to the resolution because it does not include all religions.

"Personally I think the military is quite capable of handling this without our intervention," says state Rep. Barbara Bollier. "Some people feel that they need to make statements. I feel if we make statements, we should be inclusive."

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But DeGraaf, who also happens to be a minister, says state legislators have the right to speak on national military policy and that he believes only Christians are under attack.

"Unfortunately the Pentagon's attack is not on all religions," he said. "We are a Christian nation that is open to all religions. Our founding fathers are Christian, our philosophy is Christian, our laws are based on Judeo-Christian ethics."

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