November 20, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Travis Weber, Esq., Family Research Council (FRC) Director of the Center for Religious Liberty, testified today before the House Armed Services Committee- Subcommittee on Military Personnel regarding the need for religious freedom protections in the military.
Weber made the following remarks:
"Despite Congressional efforts to address these (religious expression) restrictions, and DOD assertions that the problems are not that bad, religious expression continues to be stifled in the military - as we saw earlier this year when Bibles were removed from Navy Lodges due to fears they were causing offense, and when an Air Force Academy Cadet's religious expression was singled out and targeted for removal from his own whiteboard.
"Even if later corrected, such accounts create a chilling effect and bolster the perception that religious beliefs must be hidden to maintain one's standing in the military.
"Such censorship reveals a misunderstanding of a very basic truth: religion simply cannot be sectioned off into neat little compartments in our lives; it is integral to addressing all aspects of the human experience - including how we approach the issues of death and danger central to military service. How can we ask service men and women to do a job which is so incredibly difficult, while at the same time divorcing them from the very spiritual resources they need to accomplish this job?
"Let me be clear - we do not support coercing anyone into religious practice. But religious freedom - including the ability to speak of one's religion - must be protected," Weber concluded.
Mr. Weber's full remarks to the committee can be read here: http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF14K61.pdf