Obama's War on Religion in the Ranks
If Army chaplain Emil Kapaun served in Afghanistan today rather than Korea six decades ago, President Obama would probably give the Catholic priest discharge papers instead of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
In Obama's Army, the Pentagon brass is ordained in the priesthood of political correctness, while devout Christians such as Medal of Honor recipient Emil Kapaun are shunned and ostracized. At all times between the presidential terms of George Washington and George W. Bush, the open practice of Christianity in the ranks was widespread and the open practice of homosexuality was deemed incompatible with military service. In the Obama era, the reverse is true.
President Obama is a wartime Commander-in-Chief. No, I donâ€™t mean the obvious (Iraq or Afghanistan). Iâ€™m talking about his preference for waging a race war, a gender war, class warfare, generational warfare, and â€“ with escalating aggression and mounting casualties â€“ a culture war. With the exceptions of free enterprise and traditional marriage, no institution has been more â€œradically transformedâ€ by the Obama regime than our Armed Forces. Given President Obamaâ€™s notorious contempt for Americans who â€œcling to their Biblesâ€ and â€œguns,â€ perhaps we shouldnâ€™t be surprised by his Administrationâ€™s hostility to service members who espouse traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs.
The persecution of Christians and conservatives has become increasingly brazen and pervasive since the President took office four and half years ago. To â€œprotect patientsâ€ from proselytizing or prayer, Walter Reed Army Medical Center banned wounded warriorsâ€™ family members from â€œbringing or using Biblesâ€ during visits. The Department of Veterans Affairs barred Christian prayers at a National Cemetery. The President signed the law that repealed â€œDonâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tell,â€ the Attorney General refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court, and the Department of Defense authorized unholy "matrimony" ceremonies at military installations even before the Supreme Court struck down part of DOMA.
A war games scenario at Ft. Leavenworth identified evangelical Christian groups as a national security threat.
A field grade officer listed the American Family Association and Family Research Council as â€œdomestic hate groupsâ€ and directed his subordinate officers to monitor soldiers who might be supporters. Evangelist Franklin Graham was un-invited from the Pentagonâ€™s National Day of Prayer service. A training exercise funded by the Department of Homeland Security portrayed home-schooling families as the domestic terrorists.
Last year, I introduced the Military Religious Freedom Protection Act. The bill requires the military to accommodate service membersâ€™ moral principles and religious beliefs so long as they donâ€™t â€œthreaten good order and discipline,â€ forbids the military from using an individualâ€™s beliefs as the basis for an adverse personnel action, and forbids the military from forcing chaplains to perform homosexual marriage ceremonies. My billâ€™s language was included in the National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress last December.
When President Obama signed it into law, he claimed the conscience protections I authored were â€œunnecessary and ill-advised.â€ But recent events confirm the new law was necessary, well-advised, and prophetic. These episodes exemplify the new military culture, one that rebukes those who practice Christianity and rewards those who worship at the altar of political correctness.
Army Master Sergeant Nathan Sommersâ€™ superiors told him to remove the conservative, Republican, and scripture-quoting bumper stickers from his personal vehicle. He was told he must avoid being seen reading books authored by Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, or David Limbaugh while in uniform. He was investigated for serving Chick-fil-A food at his promotion party to express his support for traditional marriage. In retribution, the Army is pursuing trumped up disciplinary charges against him.
The Utah Air National Guard cancelled the six-year re-enlistment contract of Tech Sergeant Layne Wilson because he told a chaplain he thought the chapel at West Point shouldnâ€™t be used for a homosexual wedding. An Air Force officer was required to hide from view the Bible he once kept on top of his desk. An Air Force chaplainâ€™s video tribute to sergeants was banned for fear it would offend an â€œagnostic, atheist, or Muslim.â€ The chaplainâ€™s video narration said: â€œOn the eighth day, God looked down on His creation and said, â€˜I need someone who will take care of the Airmen.â€™ So God created a First Sergeant.â€
Coast Guard Rear Admiral William Lee told a National Day of Prayer audience that Christian service members are being told to hide their faith and religious liberty is being threatened by Pentagon lawyers. Army Reserve training materials listed Evangelical Christianity, Catholicism, and Orthodox Judaism as extremist religious groups alongside Al-Qaeda and Hamas. This is especially outrageous since the Obama Administration continues to classify the mass shooting at Ft. Hood (in which 13 people were killed by Army Major Nidal Hasan) as â€œworkplace violenceâ€ rather than admit it was a terrorist attack carried out by a radicalized Muslim.
In April, several Generals consulted Mikey Weinstein â€“ the anti-Christian zealot dedicated to attacking men and women of any faith -- to solicit his help writing Air Force policies concerning â€œreligious tolerance.â€ If thereâ€™s one person whose advice the Pentagon brass shouldnâ€™t solicit, it is that of Mr. Weinstein, a man who says the military ranks are full of â€œChristian fundamentalist monstersâ€ whose evangelizing constitutes â€œspiritual rape,â€ â€œa national security threat,â€ and â€œsedition and treason.â€ After Weinstein telephoned the Pentagon to complain about a painting displayed at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho, it was removed less than one hour later. The painting bore the word â€œIntegrityâ€ and the citation â€œMatthew 5:9â€ (the verse says:â€œBlessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of Godâ€).
Mr. Weinstein bragged to The Washington Post that the Defense Department expressed its willingness to ban proselytizing (i.e., evangelizing, sharing oneâ€™s faith, or spreading the Gospel) and added, â€œWe need half a dozen court-martials real quick.â€ Days later, the Pentagon issued a statement to the news media that announced: â€œReligious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense.â€ After reading about this alarming situation on my Facebook page, a Sergeant First Class posted the following comment: â€œThis is why I am retiring. ... The liberals are destroying our values.â€ One wonders how long before the radical Weinstein and his Pentagon pals find and punish this Sergeant.
These revelations highlight the fact that Obama's war on God-fearing servicemen is not only morally repugnant, but also threatens the long-term soundness of our voluntary military. Who wants to join an organization that increasingly caters to homosexual and atheists, meanwhile denigrating Christians and traditional marriage? If you care nothing at all about the constitutional free exercise rights of our servicemen, surely you can at least see the dangers to military readiness posed by such harassment and persecution.
In April, I attended the White House ceremony at which President Obama presented Ray Kapaun with the Congressional Medal of Honor awarded posthumously to his uncle, Chaplain (Captain) Emil Kaupan. A farm boy from my congressional district in Kansas, the â€œPatriot Priest of the Korean Conflictâ€ saved countless lives of fellow soldiers on the battlefield, along the death march to the Pyoktong Prisoner of War camp, and during the seven months of captivity that preceded his murder by communist Chinese guards in May 1951.
I can only imagine what Mr. Weinstein would say about the â€œhow to witness Christianityâ€ proselytizing clinic that Fr. Kapaun put on in the POW camp or this report of repatriated American soldiers: "He was their hero â€“ their admired and beloved â€˜padreâ€™. He kept up the G.I.â€™s morale, and most of all [caused] a lot of men to become good Catholics."
It speaks volumes that Fr. Kapaun had Protestants, Jews, and atheists saying the Rosary, singing the Lordâ€™s Prayer, and praying together at the Easter sunrise service he led, all in defiance of the communist camp guards who ridiculed his devotion to faith and punished him for it. In a detailed account of the priestâ€™s life, Arthur Tonne wrote: "He has transmitted to every one of us a new appreciation of America, and a keener, more realistic understanding of our countryâ€™s greatest enemy â€“ godlessness.â€
When Fr. Kapaun was being carried to the â€œDeath Houseâ€ (i.e., isolation without food or water), the Muslim POWs from Turkey stood at attention to honor him. According to witnesses, Fr. Kapaun blessed the very guards who were murdering him by saying, â€œForgive them, for they know not what they do.â€ President Obama should be earnestly and prayerfully seeking more such men, not forging a military where they are not welcome, or where the very actions that once earned them the Medal of Honor are now forbidden by the Commander-in-Chief.
Only in America ... actually, only in Barack Obama's and Mikey Weinstein's America ...