By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Congressman Mike Rogers (R) from Saks announced in a written statement on Tuesday that he has sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel urging the Department of Defense to implement sections of the National Defense Authorization Act that would protect the religious freedom of service members.
Rep. Rogers wrote in the letter to Secretary Hagel, “I am writing you today to demand that the Pentagon implement the congressionally directed provisions under section 533 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that provide religious conscience protections for everyone serving our nation in uniform. I am deeply concerned that the current civilian leadership of the Department of Defense might not be fully committed to religious freedom within the military.”
Congressman Rogers continued, “Our men and women in uniform have a long and proud history of defending our freedoms, but their freedoms cannot be sacrificed along the way. Our troops should have the right to worship and speak of their faith freely.”
This letter comes after reports by Breitbert News and Fox News that the Department of Defense is considering policy changes cracking down on Christians that could make proselytizing an offense under the military justice system. Pentagon officials confirmed a Breitbart News Report that an Obama administration official met with Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation on April 23. The Pentagon has confirmed that Christian soldiers could potentially be court-martialed for expressing or sharing their faith.
LCDR Nate Christensen said in a written statement, “Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense.” “Court martials and non-judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis and it would be inappropriate to speculate on the outcome in specific cases.” Christensen however added, “The U.S. Department of Defense has never and will never single out a particular religious group for persecution or prosecution. The Department makes reasonable accommodations for all religions and celebrates the religious diversity of our service members.”
FoxNews’s Sean Hannity claimed that the reports of talks between the Pentagon and anti-Christian groups over possible new Pentagon tolerance policy guidelines shows that the Obama administration is engaged in a, “Cleansing of Christians in the United States Military.”
Weinstein wrote, “Today, we face incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation’s armed forces.”
The President of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins told Fox News, “Why would military leadership be meeting with one of the most rabid atheists in America to discuss religious freedom in the military. That’s like consulting with China on how to improve human rights,” referring to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s Mikey Weinstein.
Congressman Mike Rogers represents Alabama’s Third congressional district. Rogers serves as Chairman of the Strategic Forces subcommittee on the Armed Services Committee and is a senior member of the Homeland Security and Agriculture committees.