Concern Grows Over Group’s Move to Silence Religious Freedom in the Military

Thursday, 02 May 2013 03:21 PM

By Lisa Barron and John Bachman

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The whole nation should be concerned over moves to prevent military personnel from talking openly about their religion, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, the executive vice president of the Family Research Council tells Newsmax.

A group called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation has launched a new effort to curb the rights of servicemen and women — including chaplains —to more strongly enforce a rule that makes it illegal to evangelize and proselytize in the armed forces.

The group’s founder, Mikey Weinstein, has met with Pentagon officials, Boykin says.

Story continues below.



"Mikey Weinstein . . . has a track record of being very anti-Christian," Boykin said in an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV. He said the "whole objective of this foundation is to remove Christianity from our military services."

Boykin explained that Weinstein began his campaign to eliminate Christianity from military services at the Air Force Academy in 2003 "and he has since done a "great deal to hurt the spiritual climate" there.

"Americans need to understand that the very people, our young men and women in military uniforms, that are protecting the Constitution . . . including the Bill of Rights, their rights would be suppressed, would be taken away from them" if Weinstein and his foundation succeed, said Boykin.

Urgent: Should Gay Marriage Be Legal? Vote Here in Urgent National Poll.

He claimed that the group has substantial influence over the Pentagon and that Weinstein has threatened a number of lawsuits. "The mere fact that they were willing to meet with him and allow him to be an adviser or to discuss with him religious freedom," is a strong indicator of that influence, according to Boykin. "It's like asking China to give recommendations on human rights," he said.

Boykin agrees that commanders should not be allowed to coerce members of the military to embrace their faith but distinguishes between coercion and the freedom to express one’s faith.

"Start with chaplains. Chaplains are ordained by denominations" and should be "able to freely express their faith based on the doctrine or theology of their denomination," he said.

Boykin continued, "Secondly, every individual soldier, sailor, airman, Marine should be able to express their faith, again, according to their own beliefs.

"In the Christian faith part of our belief is that we should share the Gospel of Jesus Christ; that’s fundamental to our faith."

Weinstein — who served in the Reagan White House as a legal counsel and then as chief general counsel to presidential candidate Ross Perot — believes Christian fundamentalism poses a danger to serving members of the military.

Asked if Weinstein and his group pose a danger to the role of chaplains in the military, Boykin said many evangelical denominations are having doubts about providing chaplains because of restrictions put on them.

"They will not ordain chaplains to come into the military from the evangelical denominations if in fact these chaplains are told to check their faith at the door and they’re only going to be family counselors or something like that."

As for what he would like to have happen now, Boykin said, "We want to see the Pentagon openly distance itself from Mikey Weinstein and then make a very positive statement that they will not accept coercion but they will allow evangelical Christians and Catholics to express their faith . . . to do what we believe is fundamental to the Christian faith, and that is sharing our faith with others."

Urgent: Should Gay Marriage Be Legal? Vote Here in Urgent National Poll.






© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Joe Scarborough Denies Lobbying Hard for 'Meet the Press' Job

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 23:07 PM

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough denied reports Thursday that he and his Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski have been "aggress . . .

Laura Ingraham: Rand Paul Closest to Americans on Foreign Policy

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 21:43 PM

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, accused of being an isolationist by some fellow Republicans, is actually more in step with the  . . .

Legal Analyst Coffey: Ariz. Execution Won't Affect Death Penalty

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 20:22 PM

Don't expect Arizona's controversial execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood to put a damper on the death penalty, veteran lega . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved