As first reported by Fox News’ Todd Starnes, Pentagon leaders have blocked soldiers’ access to the website of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The SBC is the largest Protestant denomination in the United States with 16 million members, making it the second-largest religious denomination is the entire country after Roman Catholicism.
The SBC is also the largest evangelical Christian denomination in the world.
Starnes reports, “An Air Force officer told Fox News that when he tried to log on to the website he received a message that his Internet usage was being logged and monitored for trying to access a blocked site.” An Army officer was likewise denied access, with the message, “The site you have requested has been blocked… due to hostile content.”
This example of possible censorship of religious beliefs comes on the heels of an Army officer’s email, previously reported by Breitbart News, warning soldiers to keep a watchful eye on devout Christians. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was recently pressed about the email by Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) but provided no answers.
“This is another example of the growing hostility toward evangelical Christians in the Armed Forces,” claimed retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykins, now executive vice president at the Family Research Council. “Ironically, the very people who are sworn to support and defend the rights provided in the U.S. Constitution are being denied the right to exercise those rights individually.”
Lt. Col. Damien Pickart insists the Pentagon is not intentionally blocking access for Southern Baptists but has not provided any official explanation for the multiple reports of the military blocking access to Southern Baptist material. On its face, this looks like a brazen show of hostility by the Obama administration against devout Christians in the U.S. military.
Breitbart News legal columnist Ken Klukowski is senior fellow for religious liberty at the Family Research Council.