Christians Face Culture of Fear, Intimidation in U.S. Military Today

November 11, 2013 - 2:20 PM

bible

Holy Bible and cross. (AP)

(CNSNews.com) – The Family Research Council (FRC) released a video in time for Veterans Day that warns Americans about the persecution of U.S. troops who express their Christian faith.

The four-minute-and-44 second video, “A Clear and Present Danger,” features active duty members of the U.S. military sharing their concerns about the “tremendous culture of intimidation and fear in the ranks of the American military right now.”

The identities of the men the faces and voices of the man are obscured to cloak their identities.

“Soldiers give up a lot of privileges or rights to be soldiers and defend the freedom of others,” says one soldier in the video. “But certainly the free exercise of religious freedom is not one of them.”

“It’s become increasingly difficult for believers to openly express themselves out of fear of the potential consequences to their careers,” a soldier says.

Another soldier says the powers-that-be in the U.S. military are “bound and determined to eradicate the military and its heritage of any references to our Christian heritage and Christian beliefs.”

“In recent years we have witnessed our servicemen and women being attacked for holding to the fundamental truths of their faith,” the text about the video on FRC’s militaryfree.org states. “As these attacks increase, there are many who are taking a stand to defend their religious freedom and that of their comrades.”

“This video is a brief collection of instances of the restrictions on religious liberty in our military,” ot states. “Our hope is in watching this video, you, too are inspired to voice your concern of this very clear and present danger.”

"On Veterans Day, Family Research Council and the Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition honor and pray for our troops, especially those who are being discriminated against for living out their faith," said FRC President Tony Perkins. "More and more service members are facing harassment, demotion, and formal reprimands simply for being Bible-believing Christians.”

“They've been prohibited from sharing their faith, forbidden from praying publicly, and dismissed from duty for refusing to surrender their religious convictions,” Perkins said.

"Defending America's freedom shouldn't mean surrendering theirs,” he said, “especially given that the Constitution they have sworn to uphold guarantees religious liberty as all Americans' 'first freedom.’”

The video mentions two specific cases of such persecution, although there have been many other cases in recent years that have been documented by the FRC and other organizations. The two cases mentioned are the brief ban on Bibles being allowed in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and a soldier in the Army who was disciplined after he sent out invitations that said, “in honor of my promotion and in honor of the Defense of Marriage Act  [which was still law at the time] I’m serving Chick-Fil-A sandwiches at my promotion party.”

In the video, soldiers tell Americans they need to speak out on this issue.

“American Christians have to understand that this is not going to stop with the military,” a soldier says. “It’s not going to stop there.”

“This kind of repression is crouching at the door of America churches,” the soldier says. “And if they decide to do nothing they have only themselves to blame because they refused to act when action was warranted.”

FRC also took out an ad in the Military Times urging people to take action to protect the religious liberty of troops.

The FRC report, A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military, was released in October. It documents more than 25 instances of religious persecution in the U.S. military.