Pentagon: Religious Proselytizing is Not Permitted
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2013 May 01
Religious liberty groups have grave concerns after they learned the Pentagon is vetting its guide on religious tolerance with a group that compared Christian evangelism to "rape" and advocated that military personnel who proselytize should be court-martialed, Todd Starnes reports. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation -- whose president, Mikey Weinstein, met privately with Pentagon officials on April 23 -- is calling on the Air Force to enforce a regulation that they believe calls for the court martial of any service member caught proselytizing. Weinstein, who called the act of evangelizing "a version of being spiritually raped," said U.S. troops who proselytize are guilty of sedition and treason and should be punished -- by the hundreds if necessary -- to stave off what he called a "tidal wave of fundamentalists." He said: "Someone needs to be punished for this. Until the Air Force or Army or Navy or Marine Corps punishes a member of the military for unconstitutional religious proselytizing and oppression, we will never have the ability to stop this horrible, horrendous, dehumanizing behavior." Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told Fox News he was stunned that the Pentagon would be taking counsel and advice from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. "Why would military leadership be meeting with one of the most rabid atheists in America to discuss religious freedom in the military?" Perkins said. "That’s like consulting with China on how to improve human rights." The FRC has launched a petition drive urging Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to protect the religious freedom of troops "and not to proceed with the purge of religion within the ranks called for by anti-Christian activists."