WASHINGTON, D.C. - Yesterday at a National Day of Prayer event on Capitol Hill, Rear Admiral William Lee spoke out against the growing religious hostility in the military. As first reported by World Magazine, the Admiral recounted a story of his decision to violate military rules preventing him from giving a Bible to a soldier who had attempted suicide.
The Admiral said, "The lawyers tell me that if I do that, I'm crossing the line," Lee said. "I'm so glad I've crossed that line so many times." Lee pledged not to back down from "my right under the Constitution to tell a young man that there is hope." According to World Magazine, he asked those gathered to pray for military service members as they "weather the storm that I am almost certain will come."
General Jerry Boykin, Family Research Council's Executive Vice President made the following comments:
"Rear Admiral William Lee demonstrated real courage yesterday when he spoke at the National Day of Prayer event in the nation's capital. I have seen courage manifested in many ways, including the ultimate sacrifice of one's life for one's country, but this type of moral courage is becoming more and more rare. This is especially true as we live in an environment increasingly hostile toward religious expression. The kind of courage that the Admiral displayed yesterday is a refreshing reminder that there are still courageous men in uniform. Rear Admiral Lee spoke of rules in the uniformed services that prevent Christians from sharing their faith and he pledged to continue to be open about his faith regardless of the pressure not to. He obviously knows that he has a constitutional right to share his faith unimpeded. Talking about Jesus Christ with interested friends and colleagues should be as natural and protected as talking about sports teams and the weather. That it is now under threat is simply un-American.
"You want a real hero? Just look no further than Rear Admiral William D Lee.
"Hopefully, the skeptics who have offered opinions about the extent of hostility toward Christians in our uniformed services will wake up and take notice of what the Admiral said yesterday. He is giving you the truth and it is hard truth that must cause concern among all Americans and not just Christians," concluded General Boykin.
The speech follows a week of controversy after last Friday's Washington Post report stating that anti-Christian activists had met with senior Pentagon officials to press for the court martial of Christians in the military who "promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion." According to the Post, the activists were given assurances that an instruction booklet on proselytizing would be forthcoming within the next few weeks. Since then, the Pentagon has issued several statements but none of them have explained what assurances were offered in the meeting and if none were offered, why the Pentagon has not made clear that anti-Christian activist Mikey Weinstein has misrepresented his relationship with the Air Force. Since Monday evening, more than 130,000 people have signed an FRC petition calling on the Pentagon to protect religious liberty.