WASHINGTON – A coalition of Congressmen and several Christian organizations joined together for a press conference this week to outline their concerns over what they perceive is growing hostility toward religion in government, and to express support for a proposed military Religious Freedom Amendment.
As previously reported, Congressman John Fleming (R.-LA), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, had introduced the amendment last month as an attachment to the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. It required that “[e]xcept in cases of military necessity, the Armed Forces shall accommodate the beliefs, actions and speech” of religious soldiers and chaplains.
However, a week later, the Obama administration released a statement outlining the sections of the Act that it opposes, including Fleming’s amendment.
“By limiting the discretion of commanders to address potentially problematic speech and actions within their units, this provision would have a significant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale and mission accomplishment,” the document explained.
While the amendment ultimately passed the House of Representatives, a similar piece of legislation introduced by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) has yet to be cleared in the Senate. Therefore, Fleming and other members of Congress, along with groups such as the Family Research Council (FRC), the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, the Center for Military Readiness and others, held a conference on Tuesday (July 9) as a joint coalition to express support and to increase awareness about the issue across the nation.