Skip to comments.Religious Speech in the Military: Freedoms and Limitations
Posted on 02/22/2012 9:15:47 AM PST by darrellmaurina
(It's 14 pages long so these are only highlights): The freedom to speak and to freely exercise ones religion are two central guarantees of the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Military members retain these foundational rights, which the courts broadly protect. But there are characteristics of the militaryincluding its rank structure and the need for good order and discipline essential to accomplishing the militarys crucial missionthat justify constraints on the religious speech of all military members beyond what would be constitutionally tolerable in the civilian context. Moreover, additional constraints are imposed on military leaders religious speech by virtue of their rank and position...
Ours is a military characterized by many kinds of diversity, including religious beliefs. Effective leaders leverage that diversity by bringing together the backgrounds, skills, perspectives, and talents of the members in a way that maximizes the units ability to perform. Members whose religious rights and beliefs are not honored may feel alienated and marginalized...
Failure to understand the rights and limits concerning religious speech can adversely affect the mission in other important ways. It can result in internal investigations into allegations of violations or even lawsuits against the military, both of which entail substantial time, effort, and distraction from the mission. These investigations and lawsuits also may result in adverse media attention, which can undermine public confidence and support of the military. At its worst, failure to understand the parameters of permissible religious speech can jeopardize the United States strategic interests abroad, for example, by providing fodder for our enemies claims that we are engaged in a holy war against Islam. These lapses, occasioned by religious speech that exceeds permissible limits, can also harm the stature of leaders. Unfortunately, examples of these leadership lapses abound. This article aspires to help reduce the number of future examples
(Excerpt) Read more at timemilitary.files.wordpress.com ...
This article needs significant attention by those in the military. If he's correctly read the current state of law as it pertains to religious freedom (and I think he probably is right), America **ALREADY** has a significant problem. But even if he's being overly cautious -- i.e., being a good lawyer trying to keep his client out of trouble -- he may be doing exactly what he's supposed to do. If so, it's our job as citizens to do something about the legal problems he's trying to protect our soldiers from facing.
This is also linked at Time Magazine's Battlefield online section here: http://battleland.blogs.time.com/2012/02/21/for-god-and-country-2/?iid=bl-article-mostpop1
I post this because the comments are interesting, and are likely to light up with time.
I’ve been dealing with this issue since I made O-6 (a number of years ago). My biggest issue (having not read the entire article) is the following:
“Members whose religious rights and beliefs are not honored may feel alienated and marginalized...”
A hackneyed phrase applies: Nobody can make you feel bad without your permission. I am an unabashed, sold out, born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. As an indivisible part of living out that promise, two things are required of me: to “go and make of all disciples”, but not on Uncle’s nickel (during duty hours), and to love my neighbor as myself, which means that no matter WHAT somebody else believes, I treat that person with respect and give him or her any appropriate opportunity to shine.
Short answer (I know: TOO LATE!) - I think that although the author may not have drunk the kool-ade completely, he’s based his arguments on the false premise that Christians in the military bully everybody else.
How ‘bout your thoughts?
I’m gonna tell my secretary it’s your fault that I’ve gotten sidetracked.
“Adherence to these principles will help leaders avoid violating the Constitution”
Bravo Sierra - adherence to his suggestions will show leaders as unwilling to stand for the principles on which this nation was founded and which undergird the Constitution. All they’ll avoid doing is running afoul of questionable Supreme Court interpretations of the Constitution.
We often prayed together as a unit during lunch breaks and after hours (if the chaplain was there).
It was never an issue, and maybe it was just the makeup of the flight (which wasn't racially or socially homogenous), but it was just never an issue.
I personally think the 'Integrity First' thing pretty much covers it. You don't have to put up with prostletyzing by superiors, and shouldn't do it to your troops.
That said, if a young airman came to me with a bad case of conscience, I would counsel them as able, and certainly refer them to the chaplain. Or refer the chaplain to them.
I personally think the ‘Integrity First’ thing pretty much covers it. You don’t have to put up with prostletyzing by superiors, and shouldn’t do it to your troops.
I don’t think there’s anything inconsistent in your position and mine. Have a great Air Force day!
Soldier, Chaplain, Shepherd (Auxiliary Bishop Rick Spencer of the U.S. Archdiocese for Military)
Catholics Seek to Boost Number of Priests Serving as Chaplains
Catholic Chaplain Finds UK Troops in Afghanistan Hungering For Religion
U.S. troops in Afghanistan
Cross removed at base in Afghanistan
Mass During Wartime
The Traditional Latin Mass -- in Afghanistan
Uncle Sam attracts more (Catholic) military chaplains
Evangelical Chaplains Refuse to Marry Gay Couples on Military Bases
Over 2,000 Evangelical, Orthodox Chaplains Join Catholics in Opposing Pentagon on Same-Sex Marriage
2,000 Evangelical, Orthodox Chaplains Join Catholics in Opposing Pentagon Directive on SSM
No Same-Sex Weddings at West Point's Catholic Chapel, Says Military Archdiocese
Conflict between Pentagon and Catholic military chaplains brews over dont ask, dont tell
The (Catholic) Church's Noblest at Ground Zero
More men asking about becoming military chaplains
Catholic Caucus: Fr. Emil Kapaun: The Good Thief
Catholic Military Chaplains: America's Forgotten Heroes (Ecumenical)
Fr. Emil Kapaun Beatification Cause Heads to Rome [US Army Chaplain]
Two US Soldier Priests
Chaplain Groups Ask Military to Create Religious Liberty Protections
Australian Padre helps deployed soldiers tackle life challenges (Former SAS soldier turns chaplain)
Army says chaplain is first killed in action since 1970
Army Chaplain Dies in Afghanastan
With God in Iraq: A Day in the Life of a Military Chaplain
Soldier's Death Led Catholic Priest to Become Chaplain
Mass at National Shrine to honor Servant of God and heroic Navy chaplain
Prison chaplain remembers ("Behind the Walls with the Man Behind the Stole")
"Thanks God... and Thanks Mom" (Senate chaplain recalls his mom's amazing last day on earth)
Priest a wartime legend (Most decorated chaplain in Canadian army history dies at 106)
Catholic Navy chaplain shares story of Iraqi conversion (from 12/04/07)
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.