I’ve said before there are some things that should stay in the ‘only in America file’.
Today I’m writing from Washington DC where I’ve had the privilege of meeting with people focussed on preserving religious freedom – something ironically under threat in the ‘land of the free’.
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Members of the House Armed Services Committee listening to Christian and Jewish leaders expressing concerns about the suppression of religion in the US military.[/caption]
I’ve just come from the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill, across the road from the Congress, where three Christians and a Jewish Rabi were making the case for religious freedom in the US military.
The white Acropolis-styled Rayburn Building is where many Congressmen and Congresswomen have their offices. Its cavernous hallways also lead to imposing committee hearing rooms with tiered seating to elevate the elected people.
The House Armed Services Committee convened today’s hearing to hear from the religious leaders about the growing instances
of intimidation and suppression of faith in the US military.
The Family Research Council’s Director of its Centre for Religious Liberty, Travis Weber, a lawyer and a former US Navy test pilot, told the committee Bibles were removed from navy lodges because of fears they were causing offence.
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Retired US Army Colonel Ron Crews testifies today about double standards which forced a Christian article off an airforce website but kept an atheist's article on line.[/caption]
He said an air force cadet had been singled out and targeted for expressing his Christianity on a white board.
I later learned he had written a scripture verse.
I wonder if an obscenity scrawled on a unit white board would have caused such a fuss?
Ron Crews, a retired US Army Colonel, is now the executive director of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty
In his testimony he told of a Christian airman who had written of his faith in Jesus Christ on a military website, only to have it ordered taken down.
But an airman’s article telling how proud he is to be an atheist remains online.
“The double standards must stop,” Colonel Crews told the hearing.
Congress had recently passed a law affirming religious freedom in the military, but the religious leaders were able to point out that the will of Congress was being ignored.
One of the reasons I am in the US is because it is about five years ahead of us in the battle for religious freedom.
But the signs are ominous in Australia, as ACL supporters would know given the battle in Victoria for the right of Christian schools to determine their hiring policy, as opposed to a court.
We can’t bury our head in the sand and assume aggressive secularists won’t start going after Australia’s fine military chaplains.
ACL is committed to doing its best to ensure that some things remain in ‘the only in America’ file.