Congressmen Probe Religious Bigot's Influence at Pentagon
Following Breitbart News’ reports on the Pentagon collaborating with anti-Christian extremist Mikey Weinstein, which may lead to courts-martial for Christian proselytizing, members of Congress are preparing a letter demanding answers from Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.
Reps. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise (R-LA) are circulating the letter among fellow congressmen. Lamborn discussed the letter and his concerns during an interview with Breitbart News this afternoon.
There is already a provision in federal law, Section 533 of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), that guarantees freedom of religious belief in the military. It does not explicitly reference service members verbally sharing their faith with each other, though such protection can fairly be inferred from the statute’s language.
Lamborn explained, “Congress put Section 533 into law to give [military] chaplains freedom of conscience. There have been indications recently that have made us in Congress question whether the military is fully honoring Section 533.”
The congressman says that right now Congress is “gathering information” about this situation. Regarding this forthcoming letter, Lamborn says it requires Hagel to shed light on the particulars of Weinstein's suggestions:
[Hagel must] tell us, among other things, whether they are working with a liberal organization called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which condemns religious proselytizing, and they would like to keep chaplains from carrying out their appropriate responsibilities and duties. Chaplains should be able to provide spiritual guidance to those they are working with, and yet it seems there are those on the outside such as this organization that seems to have a problem with chaplains doing their duty.
Asked about possible next steps, Lamborn concluded, “If the military can’t get it right, we’ll have to revisit 533. We’re hoping it doesn’t come to that.”
Breitbart News legal columnist Ken Klukowski is senior fellow for religious liberty at the Family Research Council.