Commentary

Obama: 'All of Us Have the Freedom to Pray and Exercise Our Faiths Openly'

By Craig Bannister | May 2, 2013 | 1:12pm EDT

"All of us have the freedom to pray and exercise our faiths openly," Pres. Obama declared while proclaiming today a National Day of Prayer - just as news that the Pentagon may court martial soldiers who share their faith is making headlines.

In declaring May 2, 2013 a National Day of Prayer, Obama affirmed that "all of us" have the legal right to "practice our faith as we see fit" - even "in fellowship":

"All of us have the freedom to pray and exercise our faiths openly. Our laws protect these God-given liberties, and rightly so. Today and every day, prayers will be offered in houses of worship, at community gatherings, in our homes, and in neighborhoods all across our country. Let us give thanks for the freedom to practice our faith as we see fit, whether individually or in fellowship."

The president even called on Americans to pray for members of the military:

"Let us also pray for the safety of our brave men and women in uniform and their families who serve and sacrifice for our country."

Yet, as Fox News reports, the Pentagon has released a statement confirming that soldiers could be prosecuted for promoting their faith: "Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense...Court martials and non-judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis."

Meanwhile, the Obama administration is mired in a lawsuit charging its health care law ("Obamacare") is violating Americans' right to religious freedom.

"Obamacare represents a frontal attack to religious freedom," said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel: "Obamacare is a train about to collide with the fundamental right to free exercise of religion. Not only does Obamacare violate the rights of religious employers because of its abortion mandate, it violates the rights of individuals who oppose abortion and the rights of all employers, religious or not."

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