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Counteroffensive campaign

"Counteroffensive campaign" Continued...

The Senate Armed Services Committee, in a bipartisan vote, also passed a version of Fleming’s amendment. But the Obama administration “strongly objects” to the amendment, saying in a June 2013 statement that it “would have a significant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said service members who hold strong religious views might leave the military if their First Amendment rights are not protected.

“To take away religious flexibilities that have always been there will not only devastate the military; it will devastate this country,” he said.

Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., noted that Washington’s order starting the chaplain service was issued on July 9, 1776. That order stated, “The blessing and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary but especially so in times of public distress and danger.”

“We are suggesting that the president allow soldiers to have the right to live and act like Christians or whatever faith they may hold dear,” said Bridenstine, a former U.S. Navy pilot.

Edward Lee Pitts
Edward Lee Pitts

Lee teaches journalism at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, and is the associate dean of the World Journalism Institute.


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