No, The US Air Force Isn’t Going To Court Martial People For Being Christian
Another day, another breathless Breitbart.com headline.
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.
Hmm. That sounds horrible. It also sounds rather…far fetched. Perhaps a little research is in order.
On what grounds would these Courts Martial take place? Well, the Air Force has some regulation about how and when members can discuss religion. You can see the whole thing here on page 19 of this pdf but below are the relevant sections.
What exactly is so controversial or anti-religion about that? It doesn’t say people can’t practice their religion or talk about it with fellow members of the service. It just says leaders can’t use their official positions of authority to promote their religious beliefs to their troops. Military leaders have tremendous power over their subordinates, it’s not irrational to ensure that for the good of the service this authority isn’t abused for private ends.
It’s not as if these regulations came out of nowhere either. The Air Force actually had some issues with leaders mixing personal beliefs with professional duties.
In fact, the Air Force regulations on the professional line between personal beliefs and military duty go back to 2005, during the presidency of well known Christian oppressor, um, George W. Bush.
Can the military be infected with PC? Of course. Could there be rampant abuse by military prosecutors? Theoretically, sure. But unless I’ve missed a rash of Courts Martial in the last 8 years, I’m going to go ahead and give the Air Force the benefit of the doubt that they are doing what they can to balance competing interests and will find a way forward that doesn’t involve trampling the values they have sworn to defend.
As always, a concerned and informed citizenry is essential to keep government on the straight and narrow but hysterical fear mongering helps no one.