Pentagon refutes reports of anti-Christian policies

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Army Chaplain Capt. Joseph Odell baptizes a fellow soldier on the field in Afghanistan. RNS photo courtesy Joseph Odell

Army Chaplain Capt. Joseph Odell baptizes a fellow soldier on the field in Afghanistan. RNS photo courtesy Joseph Odell

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(RNS) Christian conservatives have grown increasingly alarmed over reports that the Pentagon has adopted new policies aimed at disciplining or even court-martialing those who share their faith. But the Department of Defense on Thursday said evangelization is still permitted.

  • Donald Kosloff

    If you can’t believe a Pentagon spokesman, then who can you believe.

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  • Mark Stanzel

    After witnessing sexual harassment by a senior NCO (I was a junior NCO) in a time before “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was dropped, I became convinced that military life in present day times is inadvisable for faithful Christians to participate in anything military. It’s way to easy for high ranking soldiers to ruin the lives of junior soldiers. I know. I nearly was charged with a serious crime at the word of a lying 1st Lieutenent in 1989. Thank God he was found in his web of lies! It destroyed me for the rest of my life. I have not been able to trust anyone ever since this and a previous harassment from a 1st Sergeant that called me a “Religious Freak” and “Holy Roller.” I tried to get of the Chaplains special duty roster and begged him not to tell anyone. I didn’t want to cause waves with Top. It just wasn’t worth it. Top tried to give me extra duty and an Article 15 for not being there fore guard duty after he knew we were selected by the Chaplain to represent the Battalion in and International Pilgrimage in Lourdes. I went from Catholic to Protestant by the end of my active duty tour, procelytized by locals in Lawton…married into my wife’s huge Protestant family known for procelytizing. Since then, we’ve all converted to Catholicism after realizing the lies and that Protestants also have their faults in leadership and the truth is greatly misunderstood by refusing to read the real history of the Church, which I so inconveniently discovered in 2006 and which caused me to turn white as a ghost. I went back home and my wife read what I read and was convinced.

    Proselytizing exists everywhere, even Catholics do it in their misguided “good intentions”. But what I find even harsher is the secular people trying to force a natural instinct in mankind out of good intentioned men and women trying to serve their country. The hate is way too evil for my taste. And with this, my son was going to join the Army whether I wanted him or not. So I helped him get setup for ROTC. At least that would help protect him a little as a commissioned officer. Since that time, he realized all of what I taught him in a moment of an epiphany and decided not to join at all. Thank God. The U.S. military has been led down a dark path where noble men and women will not be welcome. Homosexuals will get away with destroying lives by manipulating policies and accusing the accusers of “being gay too.” The policy of “Don’t ask don’t tell” needs to be reinstated, just like the “Jody” calls were also refuted. I used to be the only soldier in the ranks with some rank to stop soldiers from “cat calls”. There were few of me back then. I see from my more recent enlistment less that a decade ago that its gotten much worse – sexual harassment escalated into insane levels. My son’s and daughter deserve a much better life than what the U.S. military is willing to provide them. Duty, Honor, Country. These may be things of the past for Christians.

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  • Richard

    Proselytizing is against the law in Iran too. It sounds clear to me that either no change is needed at all or that the word proselytizing means that a regular guy can’t tell another man or women about Jesus salvation outside the confines of some type of church environment. That is clearly against the word of God and Christians cannot follow that order or law. It is also clearly against the freedom of religion and the free exersize there of, we are giveing in the constitution. Once again, people with evil intent are attempting to take away more civil rights and freedoms at the expense of Christians and the true meanings of the constitution of the U. S. The constitution also states that Congress cannot pass ANY laws that infringe on our religious freedoms. Therefore the armed services are bound by the constitution as well because we all raise our right hand and swear to uphold and protect the constitution of the U.S from threats both foreign and domestic. By adding this un-American word “proselytizing”, haters of Christian truths are attempting to circumvent the constitution so as to shut up the spreading of Christian salvation. Gods word will never be shut off or take away. Regardless of what they do, God rules.

  • No prayer allowed in school, no 10 Commandments allowed to be displayed in school, no utterance of Jesus in school, no displays of monuments extolling Jesus or Christianity, of course the Pentagon’s explaination is totally believable.

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  • Jim

    It is clear that “proselytizing” as used in this context is synonymous with “harassment”. For any action to be taken a complaint would have to be made and proved. If you want to share your faith with one of your peers and he is agreeable to listening there is no problem. If you are a officer or executive trying to push your faith onto a subordinate or if you continue to harass a peer who has objected that is clearly harassment and should be prohibited.

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  • Garson Abuita

    The Christian right certainly has a tenuous relationship with the truth. All of the things you state are allowed, depending on the context.

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  • mike

    A number of survey research projects have shown a connection between states with high religious participation and serious social problems such as spouse abuse, drug abuse, porn use, etc. I can help but wonder if the rise in sexual abuse in the military is tied to the rise in the military of evangelical Christianity and proselytizing.

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  • Donald Kosloff

    Wonder no more, your mind has been infected by Satan.

  • trekie70

    “……but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others of any faith or no faith to one’s beliefs….”

    This sentence is the linchpin. Too many devout Christians try to force their beliefs on others and belittle those who question what they are told. This is one of the biggest problems with Christianity today. Sharing the “Good Word” with a receptive person is one thing: beating an unreceptive person over the head with your beliefs is quite another.

  • Ann

    What happened to this article?

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  • joyce

    Well said!

  • rj

    In the bible, Jesus says to “closet your beliefs”. ie don’t make a public spectacle of them.

  • Donald Kosloff

    That is a stunningly false statement. The “Great Commission” for all Christians is to spread the Good News of Jesus.

  • retired_don

    My question is this…why during government shutdown, Christian chaplins were not allowed to hold a service, even at a place off base even there own home, where court martial was a possible repercussion. ..but muslims chaplains could still hold their services on friday without any possible repercussion.

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