ACTION ITEM! Obama Admin may court-martial those who share Christian Faith… including chaplains!

Gen. Washington in prayer at Valley Forge

There is a link to a petition, below and HERE.

Summon to your minds what Pres. Obama has done over the last few years to undermine religious liberty.  Consider what he has done concerning the military.  Remember how the Army wanted to censor Archbp. Broglio. HERE and HERE.

Now read on from Breitbart:

BREAKING: PENTAGON CONFIRMS MAY COURT MARTIAL SOLDIERS WHO SHARE CHRISTIAN FAITH

The Pentagon has released a statement confirming that soldiers could be prosecuted for promoting their faith: “Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense…Court martials and non-judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis…”.
The statement, released to Fox News, follows a Breitbart News report on Obama administration Pentagon appointees meeting with anti-Christian extremist Mikey Weinstein to develop court-martial procedures to punish Christians in the military who express or share their faith.
(From our earlier report: Weinstein is the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and says Christians–including chaplains [!!] –sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the military are guilty of “treason,” and of committing an act of “spiritual rape” as serious a crime as “sexual assault.” He also asserted that Christians sharing their faith in the military are “enemies of the Constitution.”) [That is so twisted that it is hard to get my mind around.  And yet someone in the Obama Administration was willing to entertain this argument.]
Being convicted in a court martial means that a soldier has committed a crime under federal military law. Punishment for a court martial can include imprisonment and being dishonorably discharged from the military.
So President Barack Obama’s civilian appointees who lead the Pentagon are confirming that the military will make it a crime–possibly resulting in imprisonment–for those in uniform to share their faith. This would include chaplains—military officers who are ordained clergymen of their faith (mostly Christian pastors or priests, or Jewish rabbis)–whose duty since the founding of the U.S. military under George Washington is to teach their faith and minister to the spiritual needs of troops who come to them for counsel, instruction, or comfort.
This regulation would severely limit expressions of faith in the military, even on a one-to-one basis between close friends. It could also effectively abolish the position of chaplain in the military, as it would not allow chaplains (or any service members, for that matter), to say anything about their faith that others say led them to think they were being encouraged to make faith part of their life. It’s difficult to imagine how a member of the clergy could give spiritual counseling without saying anything that might be perceived in that fashion.
In response to the Pentagon’s plans, retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, who is now executive vice president of the Family Research Council (FRC), said on Fox & Friends Wednesday morning:
It’s a matter of what do they mean by “proselytizing.” …I think they’ve got their defintions a little confused. If you’re talking about coercion that’s one thing, but if you’re talking about the free exercise of our faith as individual soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, especially for the chaplains, they I think the worst thing we can do is stop the ability for a soldier to be able to exercise his faith.”
FRC has launched a petition here which has already collected over 30,000 signatures, calling on Secretary Hagel is stop working with Weinstein and his anti-Christian organization to develop military policy regarding religious faith.

**UPDATE**

The FRC petition has now exceeded more than 40,000 signatures at the time of this update.
Breitbart News legal columnist Ken Klukowski is senior fellow for religious liberty with the Family Research Council and on faculty at Liberty University School of Law.

You can sign that petition.  Right now, as I write, the site is loading slowly.

Also, consider donating to the Archdiocese for Military Services.  I always have a link to them on the side bar.

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74 Responses to ACTION ITEM! Obama Admin may court-martial those who share Christian Faith… including chaplains!

  1. DisturbedMary says:

    I hope catholic Army Chief of Chaplains Donald Rutherford (Diocese of Albany) will open his mouth against this and will be the first to be charged with military misconduct. I hope he will behave like a chaplain and priest and not the Obama quisling that his silence and loyalty to Obama signals.

  2. StJude says:

    Lord have mercy on us.

  3. OrthodoxChick says:

    Well, I’m trying to sign the petition but it’s loading like mud. Hopefully, it’s loading like mud because thousands of other people are trying to sign it too. I hope they can get over a million unique and valid signatures by week’s end. If one arm of the government can declare it a crime to discuss one’s faith, then the rest of the government will soon follow. Lord, have Mercy on us!

  4. OrthodoxChick says:

    Finally got in!
    52,034 signatures at 3:45pm EST.

  5. Ann Roth says:

    This is so crazy. The majority of military members profess religious preference (close to 75%) according to DoD. See chart in this article:
    http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2009/11/12/raw-data-religious-preference-in-the-military/

    Of those who state a preference the majority are Christian. People of faith make up the majority of those who have done the fighting; who have kept the peace; who have protected the freedoms of all of us including these clowns in the Obama Administration. But people of faith are no longer welcome. Talk about an ungrateful nation. We are a lost nation.

  6. Bob B. says:

    The unfortunate thing is that so many of the senior flag officers seem ever so in agreement with this administration – getting and keeping those stars are soooo important. Notice there is not one flag officer, so far, that has left active duty in response to all the *&**# that this administration has heaped on the military? I doubt Patton would have kept his mouth shut if he were alive.
    I never, in my many years in the Army – including Vietnam – would have thought something like this would have ever occurred. Of course, the president, vice-president and appointees never served in the military, either.
    Just think, last week Obama presented the Medal of Honor to a fallen chaplain – what unadulterated nerve!

  7. VexillaRegis says:

    So Fr. Kapaun should have been court marshalled then???

  8. Fr. Thomas Kocik says:

    What becomes the role of a chaplain once he or she is forbidden to share and promote the tenets of his or her religion, whether Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish, or Wicca? Why even bother to have chaplains? [ lightbulb on ] Aha!
    Creeping incrementalism.

  9. Clinton R. says:

    And what does Obama think Fr. Kapaun was doing? Emperor Obama is determined to eliminate religion in this country, especially the One True Religion, because he sees it as an impediment in his goal to strip away our Constitutional rights and impose homosexuality, abortion, contraception socialism and a police state. He may succeed in the short while, but the way he’s going in store for a long trip to a very warm destination. May God strengthen us and May Our Blessed Virgin pray for us. +JMJ+

  10. eben says:

    Count me as simply speechless.
    Maybe the message here is that, going forward, service in the US Military is simply beyond conscionable for Orthodox Roman Catholics?

  11. HyacinthClare says:

    Better than 55,300 when I got through

  12. LarryW2LJ says:

    With all that’s been going on with the HHS mandate and all, it feels like Catholics have the bull’s-eye on their backs. However, this inclusive, diversity-loving, Administration of Non- Divisiveness really seems to be hanging out the sign -”People of Faith Need Not Apply”.

  13. Imagine this development coming hard on the heels of awarding the Congressional Medal of Honor to Fr. Emil Kapaun. By the way, did you know that nine chaplains have been awarded the CMH since the medal was established during the Civil War? The four who won it during the Civil War were Protestant chaplains. (One Confederate Chaplain who was postumously awarded the Southern Cross of Honor was a Benedictine priest.) All the subsequent ones — one in WWII, one in Korea, 3 in Vietnam — were Catholic priests. Guess we’d better revoke all those awards. That violates the sacred wall of separation of Church and State. (Oops, I shouldn’t say “sacred.”)

    What would the present administration have done with General Patton, who asked a chaplain (a Catholic priest) for a prayer against bad weather on the eve of what would turn out to be the Battle of the Bulge? The chaplain composed the prayer (gladly, contrary to how the incident is portrayed in Patton), and Patton had it distributed on cards to the entire Third Army. He also ordered the chaplain to draft a training letter on the importance of prayer to gaining victory and distributed that to the entire Third Army. We all know how the Battle of the Bulge turned out. America will certainly be consistently defeated in battle if God is driven out of the armed forces.

    On second thoughts, maybe I’m asking the wrong question about Patton. Maybe I should wonder what Patton would have done with the current administration.

  14. LarryW2LJ says:

    Just signed – 57,106

  15. Magash says:

    There are many Christian martyrs who were loyal and proud members of the Roman Legions in the early centuries of the Church. They were willing to die for Rome, but they knew where the line was when ordered to worship the emperor. Let us hope that some present Catholic members of the military remember this and are brave enough to act on it.

    Bob B.
    Senior flag officers in this day and age are no more than political hacks. Few are competent warriors and fewer still honorable. Look no further than the former commander in the middle east.

  16. MuchLikeMartha says:

    58,094 as of about 4:55, and the picture of George Washington in prayer is a favorite.

  17. rodin says:

    This added to a number of other incidents (e.g. Lt. Col. Dooley) suggests there is something sick in DOD.

  18. AnnAsher says:

    @disturbedmary- amen !

  19. Mightnotbeachristiantou says:

    Sorry, I can not sign a petition about this without proof.

    “As a result of such complaints from the left, the Air Force has — according to the Post –published, but not yet distributed a new document with the directive”

    Published where. Is it on the Pentagon’s website? Is there a PDF any memos?
    Signing a petition like this is as bad as Senators signing a bill without reading it. Sending protests without proof makes us look paranoid.

  20. wmeyer says:

    Still slow to load, but 60,892 and counting!

  21. frahobbit says:

    Maybe what they are worried about is the fundamentalists who go to Afghanistan and get piles of Bibles sent over; they may fear reprisals…?http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/05/20/us.military.bibles.burned/.?

  22. markomalley says:

    The original article that started this mess was a Sally Quinn piece from the Compost on 4/26/2013: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/us-military-should-put-religious-freedom-at-the-front/2013/04/26/c1befcea-ade2-11e2-8bf6-e70cb6ae066e_story.html
    In that article, Quinn referenced a 27-page long Air Force document that had been published but not distributed yet.

    It starts off with an ominous “COMPLIANCE WITH THIS PUBLICATION IS MANDATORY”

    She quoted (or was provided) the following text from this mysterious document:

    “Leaders at all levels,” the document says, “must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion.” It even suggested that noncompliance could result in court-martial.

    Miss Quinn, as is the norm for the left-wing media, obviously took Weinstein’s word for it and didn’t research it herself. Had she bothered to Google the verbiage Weinstein provided, she would have discovered that it was from Air Force Instruction 1-1, Air Force Standards, dated 7 August 2012: http://static.e-publishing.af.mil/production/1/af/publication/afi1-1/afi1-1.pdf

    The pertinent quote comes from page 19, paragraph 2-11:

    2.11.
    Government Neutrality Regarding Religion.

    Leaders at all levels must balance constitutional protections for an individual’s free exercise of religion or other personal beliefs and the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion. For example, they must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion. Commanders or supervisors who engage in such behavior may cause members to doubt their impartiality and objectivity. The potential result is a degradation of the unit’s morale, good order, and discipline. Airmen, especially commanders and supervisors, must ensure that in exercising their right of religious free expression, they do not degrade morale, good order, and discipline in the Air Force or degrade the trust and confidence that the public has in the United States Air Force.

    Quinn’s little piece made it to the conservative blogosphere, the best I can tell, by way of Todd Starnes (Fox News Radio). From there, it made it to Right Scoop. And now Brietbart. FRC may well have alerted Todd Starnes about this.

    It should be noted, by the way, that Quinn didn’t technically lie when she said that this document had been published but not distributed. Air Force Instructions (with the exception of classified ones) haven’t been distributed since the mid 90s. They are all published to the Air Force e-publishing site and are pulled by users on demand. Not technically distribution, is it? And, as far as court-martials…well, if somebody violates any Air Force Instruction, they have violated Article 92 of the UCMJ and are subject to court martial.

    Does that mean that conducting an RCIA Inquiry session at the Base Chapel is going to end up getting the Catholic Chaplain and the lay RCIA team making big rocks into little rocks at Leavenworth? I highly, highly doubt it.

    Does that mean that aggressively pushing a Jack Chick / Westboro Baptist position down the throat of an agnostic airman will get you a court martial? Well…it would probably start off with a Letter of Reprimand and if it continued…well…

    But guess what? It’s always been that way.

    Here’s the bottom line: Quinn sought to stir up a s***-storm with her piece and she succeeded.

    The question should be: “why?” Ms. Quinn is not intelligent enough to do this on her own. She was fed this information. So what could possibly be the agenda here, hmmmmm? To continue with the “Christian” = “Bad” meme that has been going on? Or something else.

    I think this qualifies as an Obama-Administration-sponsored Alinsky-style Cass Sunstein *nudge* (for those who are unfamiliar, read this: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/magazine/16Sunstein-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0)

    And I think FRC is reacting.

    Having said the above, I think it is entirely appropriate to sign that petition. The nudger needs to be nudged right back.

    BTW, sorry for the length of my comment.

  23. rcg says:

    I urge caution; this sounds like a hoax.

  24. OrthodoxChick says:

    reg & Mightnotbeachristiantou,

    Fox News seems to be reporting it and their talk show “The Five” just did a segment on it. I would hope that they looked into it before they put it on the air…

  25. Gregg the Obscure says:

    I suspect this is a ploy. The administration floats this – to the great glee of their most avid supporters – but ends up enacting a (slightly) less onerous restriction on religious expression so that the left can pretend that Christianity is still tolerated in the US and so their supporters can still be milked to combat the grave threat that still-breathing Christians pose to their buggery, porn, euthanasia, etc.

  26. onosurf says:

    This story and the abortion pill for 15 year olds OTC would’ve unthinkable 4 years ago. It seems as though the slide is quickening.

  27. OrthodoxChick says:

    reg & Mightnotbeachristiantou,

    Link to Fox News. Link obtained via Breitbart.

    http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/pentagon-religious-proselytizing-is-not-permitted.html

    Link to the MRFF with a list of actions and activities they have taken in regard to their “mission”.

    http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/legal/

    I wish this was a hoax, but I don’t think so.

  28. Phillip says:

    It looks like some fringe lunatic who hates Christianity wants to make it illegal to share the Christian faith, and that the Pentagon, when asked, released a statement saying that it’s against DoD regulations for personnel to proselytize (which in itself is sensible, given that the DoD is an entity of the federal government). There’s nothing indicating that there’s a new regulation in place or that chaplains will be prohibited from preaching at religious services or to service members who seek their aid.

    I am no fan of the Obama Administration, but this seems taken out of proportion to me.

  29. SKAY says:

    “(From our earlier report: Weinstein is the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and says Christians–including chaplains [!!] –sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the military are guilty of “treason,” and of committing an act of “spiritual rape” as serious a crime as “sexual assault.” He also asserted that Christians sharing their faith in the military are “enemies of the Constitution.”)

    This only seems to be about Christians.

    We will see if it relates to other religions.

  30. B16_Fan says:

    70,380 when I signed just now.

  31. Sandra_in_Severn says:

    Scuttle-butt I am hearing from some former troops of mine, having something like an inspirational print with a “Biblical quote” is going to be a violation.

    And there were many offices and work spaces where those were common. More so in hostile fire areas than back in the CONUS.

    Another example during a base-wide exercise, where the faithful CANNOT be excused for religious services, holding ANY SORT OF RELIGIOUS SERVICE outside of a chapel will be a violation.

    I remember many no-notice exercises while stationed in the Republic of Korea, over Christian holidays (like Easter Sunday) and the chaplains or faith group leaders holding an abbreviated service at various localities through-out the base.

    I am glad I am retired, but I do pray for our chaplains and the faithful in military service.

  32. Patrick-K says:

    Obama, the drama queen. I doubt this is anything more than a sop to his base, unlikely to actually be implemented… Nevertheless, I’ve signed the petition, over 70k signatures by now. Be patient with the web site, it did load for me after a few seconds.

  33. ocalatrad says:

    The goal: drive out the faithful from the ranks until you’re left with the atheist and agnostic useful idiots who will tow the Liberal party line. Then you’ll have the police state which every “progressive” of centuries past has relished.

  34. HyacinthClare says:

    I’m interested in seeing the people here who are saying, “Nothing to see here, it isn’t going to happen, it can’t happen here.” Oh yes, it can. OH YES it can. Step by step, they are doing what every tyranny since Nero did. We are not immune from history or the sins of men in this age.

  35. Kathleen10 says:

    Date of cultural battle, for the heart and soul of the US and the West? It’s ON. Pick an issue or two and fight it. Fight it with everything you’ve got. If possible, throw money at it. The folks who tend to support the polar opposite of what Christians support throw TONS of money at their causes, but we don’t! (as a rule of course) So if you have means, use it to good purpose. You can’t take it with you anyway.
    But getting involved, speaking out, even anonymously, is the thing! I just was honored to have a conversation of sorts with someone I admire tremendously, the head of MassResistance, Brian Camenker. This man looks like Clark Kent, but don’t let that fool you, he is Superman. He is fearless, despite death threats, lawsuits, and all manner of horror. He is constantly battling people about gay rights, and Massachusetts is so horrifically liberal I can hardly stand the idea of going there to see the sights! I asked him the other day, how do you do this? How do you face these angry, screaming mobs of people, and say politically “incorrect” things they don’t want to hear?? He said that was the EASY part. People who do that are basically bullies and will back down if you stay firm. The most stressful part is raising the needed money to do what they need to do! If I had money, I would surely be supporting my causes. I don’t, so I give my time. It would be great to do both! Anyway check out MassResistance and see a good man in action.

    I also appreciate, Fr. Z., your support of FRC, a fellow-Christian organization who does so much for our culture. They are also courageous people, and a great group to support.
    We are all hopefully learning, LEARNING, to work together with our fellow Christians. There are still divisions. We still see Catholic-hating on the side of Protestants. It’s mostly misinformation, but still, we all need to get past the past, and join together to make a united front on these issues.

    This military discussion, is just as un-American as can be. We all know it. We see it. We need to see it more, and share our feelings about it. Talk it up.
    We can anticipate a change. When will things get better? When will these constant attacks on our sensibilities cease?
    Most likely, when Obama’s term runs out. If he will leave office. We have three and one half more years of this, until he is no longer president. If we don’t organize ourselves, find some people who can express our values without stuttering, will stiffen the spine and back it up, we may be done. We cannot withstand this forever, so the next election is KEY. Yes it’s a long time. But this is Lepanto! When the next presidential election comes, we need to each bring ten friends to vote. I’m kind of kidding. We have to be active next time round.
    One issue to keep an eye on is immigration, because he is trying to stack the deck for Democrats by using immigrants who will surely vote Democrat. I have heard talk of making Puerto Rico a state! Thankfully, Puerto Rico has decided it does better as it is. But those issues are two to watch. Dirty deals. Underhanded use of tactics to get what one wants. Plowing over those who don’t agree with us. Soft tyranny. We have it all. So let’s get active.
    St. Michael, defend us in battle…..

  36. muckemdanno says:

    It sounds no different than the situation at any private employer in the USA. Nobody at any company is allowed to proselytize in the workplace. I’ll bet the employees of Fox News are not allowed to do so either!

  37. AGA says:

    I wish this policy would affect the Catholic chaplaincy. Unfortunately, maybe 5% of the priests would qualify for punishment under this policy. The other 95% (including the one wearing two silver stars on each of his shoulders) will have no problem at all living under this policy.

  38. Legisperitus says:

    “Every Jedi is now an enemy of the Republic.”

  39. Gulielmus says:

    Thank you, markomalley, your take on it is much the same as mine. While Weinstein is undoubtedly an anti-Christian bigot, the DoD does not seem to be doing anything beyond asserting its long-held policy of no proselytizing. That has been an issue, with some evangelicals pressuring subordinates to “convert.” There was a run of this at the Air Force Academy, with officers preaching fundamentalist Protestantism to cadets– some of them targeting Catholics. There is a story here, but Fox and Breitbart have run off the rails.

  40. Here’s how it works. One of the political people floats something like this, and sees if it goes through. If protests erupt, the gov’t will say “tut, tut, there was nothing to it”–but there was. That’s how it works.

    This may be torpedoed by public opinion, because I can’t believe any but a small number of Americans would want this–especially when someone points out it means driving out substantial numbers of Catholics and Evangelicals. Seriously, who thinks most Americans want actively to discourage enlistments in our military?

    But that only happens if we take this seriously and make a REALLY BIG STINK about it.

    Think about it: imagine Evangelical pastors and Catholic priests, nationwide, telling their congregants that the military doesn’t want them.

    Think about that.

    Anyone with any sense realizes that’s a disaster for our military.

  41. Legisperitus says:

    Only atheists allowed in the foxholes.

  42. Gulielmus:

    I understand there may be less here than meets the eye. And in a different time, I would be pooh-pooh-ing this.

    But not when the military had a training program that identified Catholics and Evangelicals as the equivalent of terrorists. Not when we have the gov’t actively pushing a redefinition of marriage, and anyone who disagrees is termed a “bigot.” There is good reason to be alarmed.

  43. anachy says:

    If you look at the DoD chart that Ann Roth links to, you see that the largest single category for religious affiliation (about 284k) is Catholic. IF this story turns out to be true, I would say that this is yet another intentional slap by the president at the Church. Fr. Fox, you suggest that no one would seriously want to decimate our military by driving out all the Catholics & Evangelicals. Well, I’m not so sure about that. This is right on schedule, it seems, given that every effort is being made by this administration to weaken and destroy all the other basic institutions in our society, including the family, religion, the economy. It is my impression that this administration has long been on a search-and-destroy mission when it comes to those things that are essential to our national character and strength.

  44. Anachy said:

    “Fr. Fox, you suggest that no one would seriously want to decimate our military by driving out all the Catholics & Evangelicals.”

    No, that’s not what I said, or at least, what I meant to say.

    Of course there are those who would like to PC-ize our military.

    What I mean to say is, LOTS of Americans will NOT want to do that.

    Do you really think a large majority of ordinary Americans want to empty the ranks of our military? I don’t believe that for a moment.

  45. Anachy:

    In fact, I will say that the number of Americans who want to drive off large numbers of potential recruits to our military is actually a very small. Perhaps influential–but small nevertheless.

    Most Americans want our military to be successful in recruiting, and successful in defending our nation.

  46. C. says:

    “By [285 A.D.], Christians had filled the ranks of the military to the point that Diocletian had doubts about the loyalty of his troops. Before Diocletian could begin a general persecution of Christians in the empire, he first had to purge the military of Christians. Soldiers were forced to offer a sacrifice to the Roman gods, if they refused they were to be expelled from service. Some were executed.”
    Source: Rivers from Eden blog, 4/20/12.

  47. Maltese says:

    I respect POTUS for being POTUS (and for killing OSAMA)! Otherwise, I think he’s an ass!

  48. MKR says:

    Just signed. More than 82K signatures.

  49. Actually, this is a blessing in disguise.

    There are now Muslim chaplains in the armed forces paid by our government. It is highly unlikely that any Catholic priest, Jewish rabbi, or (non-Fundamentalist Protestant) chaplain is going to go outside of ministering to his own people and try to “convert” others.

    So, noow those serving in the military have grounds to start a prosecution of any Fundamentalist Protestant or Muslim chaplain who even suggests one should convert to their “faith.” The Catholic chaplains should make it clear to their men that Muslim and Fundy attempts at conversion are now a crime. And they should urge their men push for immediate prosecution of the criminals.

    Let’s see a couple of Muslim chaplains in jail for this and see how fast the hypocrites that produced this law will be begging forgiveness.

  50. inexcels says:

    “Spiritual rape”? Try being an American university student and you’ll learn what spiritual rape is, and who the rapists are (hint: it’s not the Christians).

  51. NickD says:

    Last I saw, awhile ago, when I signed, there were 80,000+ signatures. I hope their server doesn’t crash with all the traffic they’re getting!

  52. Fr. Augustine, I seriously doubt that we will see fairness across the board, and that Muslims or anybody other than Christians will ever be prosecuted under this policy.

  53. Cathy says:

    Just signed, almost 91,000 signers!

  54. JabbaPapa says:

    These antichrists are directing their footsteps directly towards Hell.

  55. Tom says:

    93,452! Thanks for posting this, Fr. Z.

  56. Gentillylace says:

    Just signed — 93,943 signers. Thank you, Father Z!

  57. markomalley says:

    Gulielmus,

    I actually sort of question the story about proselytizing at the Academy.

    The only time during my 20+ years in the AF, literally the only time that I dealt with proselytizing was when I had to escort an evangelical reservist chaplain when I had to escort him on a site visit to a tactical radar site at Mt Jacotenente (located about 1/2 way between Vieste and San Giovanni Rotondo). And once I convinced him that I was perfectly happy with my “church home” (in the shadoows of Padre Pio’s monastary…LOL), he backed off quickly.

    Various groups (from Mormons to Wiccans to the Navigators) would, from time to time, have recruiting sessions…to include advertised public exhibitions…but none of them (even the Navigators) ever pushed it down anybody’s throats. Literally the closest that this kind of thing happened to me was from that one chaplain I described above…and he was a reservist, so probably didn’t understand how things worked in the military too well.

    In the military, as in society, there are small, but noisy, groups of people who are professionally offended. A small subset of atheists are one of those groups. Again, nowhere near ALL atheists. They will be offended at the presence of a chapel on base/post. They are mortally wounded if a person has a Bible sitting on his/her desk. If a group of people were to get together to pray a Rosary at lunchtime, they would get “the vapors.” I would not be surprised if some in this little subset are lobbying the military to prohibit crosses from being hung inside Military Family Housing units, as it would (in their minds) somehow represent a government endorsement of a religion.

    If one was to seriously examine this so-called problem of proselytizing at the Academy, I would bet you’d find that the real situation was that somebody discussed their faith and, when told “not interested,” backed off. To left-wingers, this is proselytizing. And, according to Mikey Weinstein, that is sedition and treason and must be, at all costs, eliminated.

  58. JonPatrick says:

    Up to 95,626, hopefully it can reach 100,000!

  59. Juergensen says:

    Just like the NFL. No white Christians welcome.

  60. Giuseppe says:

    I’d only be in favor of punishing a superior who tries to proselytize (I had an evangelical Protestant boss who drove me absolutely nuts in a prior job trying to get me to convert, and I wish she got fired) with very harsh punishment. And a peer who tries to proselytize after being asked not to should also be punished if the proselytizing rises to the level of harassment.

    This does not punish Catholics, who tend not to proselytize. Almost all of my Catholic friends from high school who joined the military are now evangelical Protestants, which has become the dominant religion of the US military.

  61. B16_Fan says:

    100,000+ !!!! :-)

  62. SKAY says:

    101,465

    As a convert, I usually look at someone from another Christian religion trying to proselytize me as an opportunity to gently -and with a smile – turn the tables a bit. Obviously I am not very good at evangelizing though because they suddenly realize that they have somewhere else they need to be.

    “Date of cultural battle, for the heart and soul of the US and the West? It’s ON”
    I agree Kathleen10– and they know they have a friend in the White House as well as his party of death.

  63. Andy Lucy says:

    “It is highly unlikely that any Catholic priest, Jewish rabbi, or (non-Fundamentalist Protestant) chaplain is going to go outside of ministering to his own people and try to “convert” others.”

    Fr Augustine Thompson, OP- In fact, a chaplain must be versed in many different faith traditions, as there is no guarantee, for example, that a Jewish chaplain will be available to assist a Jewish soldier… especially when forward deployed or operating for long periods of time outside the wire. A Catholic, or Protestant, or Moslem chaplain may be the only Padre available. The chaplain’s duty is to minister, to the best of his ability, to whomever needs his assistance, always keeping in mind the limitations of acting outside ones own area of competency, if you will. That said, it is ALWAYS preferred to have a chaplain of the same faith as the soldier.

    Prosletyzing has always been a major no-no. I believe that this story is a conflation of two different, possibly parallel lines here, as has been expounded upon by other commenters. The Air Force administrative reg manual is no different, in substance, from those published by the Army or Navy… however, when a) put in the news and b) released in conjunction with the little tête à tête between this Mikey Weinstein and someone in the CoC of the DoD, it is easy to see how the two stories could seemingly correlate.

    And in today’s charged, anti-Christian (and specifically anti-Catholic) atmosphere, a little paranoia in these matters may serve us quite well. Personally, I had rather see a few bogey men behind the trees than to be blindsided by a surging mass of anti-Catholic zombies, er, I mean… zealots, intent upon attempting to destroy the Church and replace it with a secular humanist “ideal society,” because, don’t ya know, it has never worked in the past because no one was able to adequately control the populace and make… MAKE, mind you… those slackers toe the line and pull their fair share.

  64. veritasmeister says:

    This may not be good, but there is no real reason for the inordinate outrage. The teaching moment we face here is to put a stop to the excessive disordered attachment to liberal secularized democracy and behaving as though it’s an essential political adjunct to our Catholic faith.

    If you have not done so, I urge everybody – including the priests – to ready The American Myth of Religious Freedom by Craycraft as well as Liberty: The God That Failed by Ferrara.

  65. gracie says:

    115,140.

  66. LarryW2LJ says:

    An arguement could be made that this administration is trying to establish a State Religion of secularism to the extent of all others. But hey, this administration had been using the Constitution as a boot scraper up until now, so what should a bit more loss of freedom mean?

  67. Will D. says:

    Mikey Weinstein has a long track record at the US Air Force Academy (here’s coverage from the local paper) of harassing the Evangelical Christians there. That said, I believe the current issue has been blown out of proportion. It bears watching though. If his outfit ever gets a competent and less antagonistic leader, they could be really dangerous to our religious freedom.

  68. LarryW2LJ says:

    I meant to say “to the exclusion of all others.”

  69. Lucas Whittaker says:

    Okay: I won’t repeat my occasional quote from then Cardinal Ratzinger, but I will repeat that we need, seriously, and with every fiber of our being, to focus on holiness of life: clinging to the good in the face of evil, using the sacrament of penance regularly and making a serious commitment to allow God to use us and so to transform our life into the form of Christ’s own life. We are in for it. And there is no other way to win the battle than with God’s help, which we permit by making ourselves available. So, yes, sign the petition but take a further step to reinvigorate your desire to become a holy man or woman for others, to pour out your life like a sweet libation so that we can share our love for Jesus with the nations so that they might come to share the very same love of God with us.

    Father Blaise Arminjon, commenting on the verse from the cantata of love, the Song of Songs, “delicate is the fragrance of your perfume”, says that the Bride is enchanted by the perfume of the Bridegroom: “. . . this perfume that follows [the Bridegroom] everywhere and radiates from him; this perfume that announces his arrival and also lingers for a long time after him; this perfume that is uniquely his, absolutely unique in the world, that is immediately his very presence, and that causes his Bride, when she inhales it, to say immediately and without hesitation: there he is, this is he!

    Origen was naturally struck by this verse of the Song: “delicate is the fragrance of your perfume”. “The Bride realized”, as he puts it, “that all the scents [that] she has been using until now were far from having the sweetness of this new perfume. . .To be sure, the queen from the south brought perfumes to Solomon. And many others had scents. But one could have as many as he wants, and never could they be compared with the perfume of Christ, of which the Bride says here: ‘delicate is the fragrance of your perfume’.

    “He”, writes St. Francis de Sales, “who is attracted by the sweetness of your perfume enters the shop of a perfume merchant, and receiving the pleasure of the aromas he smells, goes out and shares his pleasure with others, spreading among them the fragrance of the perfumes he has taken with him.

    Father Arminjon continues his own beautiful commentary thus: “As for the Bride herself, she is not so advanced in perfection. On the contrary, she is aware of her weakness and inability to go to the one she loves! How could she do so on her own, without his help, if he himself does not come to her and draw her after him?”

    We pray you, Lord Jesus, draw us in your footsteps, let us run. Somewhat later in the same book Arminjon, quoting St. Augustine says: “Whoever is drawn to love must draw and attract others in his turn: ‘rapite quos potestis . . . rapite ad amorem’ (ravish those you can . . . ravish them to love).” These words of St. Augustine become a law of the heart. And by that law may we lead many others to the authentic love of God for the sake of the coming of God’s kingdom on earth. Come, Lord Jesus, come! We do not ask for an end to persecution, but that in these contacts with the world others may be drawn to you and away from such foolishness and hatred toward the sweet enjoyment of the water of life (cf. Rev 22:17).

  70. brassplayer says:

    Another (intentional?) misstating of the facts by Breitbart News. According to the Department of Defense on 5/2/13, armed service members will NOT be court-marshalled for simply sharing their religious beliefs.

    http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/blog/?p=26987

  71. Lucas Whittaker says:

    I don’t mean to suggest that the secular world is indomitable. But the victory that we will know will be one of grace, not of artful deliberation: When we cooperate with God even our very nature can be transformed into something new; great things happens as a result.

  72. goodone121 says:

    @brassplayer:
    Commonweal? Seriously? They have repeatedly been exposed, right here, to have been “misstating the facts”. I wouldn’t trust them.
    That said, at least according to Conservapedia, ADF remarked the administration is not going through with the plan, which I relate to the petition making them afriad for their political skins.