In the latest episode of what is nothing less than a mushrooming scandal of religious hostility in the military, Army Master Sergeant Nathan Sommers was given a negative efficiency report after sending personal invitations to his promotion party. In the invitations, he said he would be serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches "in honor of the Defense of Marriage Act." A negative efficiency report typically puts an end to any further promotions.
One day after this incident was made public, the chain of command announced charges against this soldier on unrelated issues. Over my 36 years in the U.S. Army, I saw numerous situations like this where a soldier is singled out by the chain of command for punishment. I have little doubt that the chain of command would not be pursuing Article 15 charges if it were not for the Sergeant's outspoken Christian faith and his unwillingness to compromise what he believes.
Unfortunately, this type of intimidation has become commonplace within our armed forces. When a painting displaying a Scripture reference can be summarily removed from a Air Force mess hall in less than an hour following a complaint by an anti-Christian activist, something is seriously wrong. Last month, the Air Force removed a chaplains' video because it contained the word "God." These are only samples of the almost daily reports that I receive involving the violation of our service members' rights.
Even today, the Obama Administration issued a Statement of Administration Policy saying that it "strongly objects to [an amendment offered in Congress to the Defense Authorization bill], which would require the Armed Forces to accommodate, except in cases of military necessity, 'actions and Speech' reflecting the 'conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of the member.'" In its own words, the Obama Pentagon strongly objects to religious freedom in the military.
This is a scandal that demands the concern of each one of us. Our service members deserve better. They deserve the ability to exercise the very rights that they fight to defend. Join us in calling on the Pentagon to create a policy that makes it unmistakably clear that military personnel are free to practice their religion without fear of reprisal, as long as their religious practice does not violate or threaten the U.S. Constitution.
Take action today: call 703-692-7100 or email Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and urge him to free the faith of our military.