DoD

May 9, 2013

DOD counters Internet posts on religion issue

Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (AFNS) – Internet posts making the rounds claiming that the Defense Department will court-martial service members who espouse Christianity are not true, a Pentagon spokesman said today.

“The Department of Defense places a high value on the rights of members of the military services to observe the tenets of their respective religions and respects, (and supports by its policy) the rights of others to their own religious beliefs, including the right to hold no beliefs,” Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen said in a written statement on the issue.

“The department does not endorse any one religion or religious organization, and provides free access of religion for all members of the military services,” he added.

Internet posts are attributing a statement that superior officers who try to convert those under their command should face court-martial to Mikey Weinstein, president of the Albuquerque, N.M.-based Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and are identifying him as a Pentagon advisor, Christensen noted.

“Mr. Weinstein is not part of any DOD advisory group or committee, nor is he a consultant to the Defense Department regarding religious matters,” Christensen said. “Mr. Weinstein requested, and was granted, a meeting at the Pentagon April 23, with the Air Force judge advocate general and others, to include the deputy chief of chaplains, to express his concerns of religious issues in the military.”

Some bloggers have taken sections of Air Force Instruction 1-1 “Air Force Standards” — specifically, the section titled “Government Neutrality Regarding Religion” — out of context in supporting their take, Christensen said.

“Leaders at all levels must balance constitutional protections for an individual’s free exercise of religion or other personal beliefs and the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion,” the instruction states.

Air Force leaders at all levels “must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion. Commanders or supervisors who engage in such behavior may cause members to doubt their impartiality and objectivity. The potential result is a degradation of the unit’s morale, good order, and discipline,” the instruction goes on to say.

The instruction further says all Airmen “are able to choose to practice their particular religion, or subscribe to no religious belief at all.” It tells Airmen to practice their own beliefs while respecting differing viewpoints.

The right to practice religious beliefs does not excuse Airmen from complying with directives, instructions and lawful orders, the instruction says.

It adds that Airmen “must ensure that in exercising their right of religious free expression, they do not degrade morale, good order, and discipline in the Air Force or degrade the trust and confidence that the public has in the United States Air Force.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DoD

DOD to take holistic view of slowing military compensation growth

The Defense Department can no longer put off slowing the growth of military personnel costs, and the fiscal year 2015 budget request DOD is recommending to the president begins that process, defense leaders said here today. Saying they are ready to take on the hard task of curbing growth in compensation, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel...
 
 
DoD

DOD anti-tobacco video contest now open for public voting

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force community is encouraged to kick off 2014 by voting online for the best anti-tobacco video in the Department of Defense-sponsored Fight the Enemy until March 14. Five finalists have been selected for public voting, including two Air Force entrants. The contest videos capture the theme of tobacco use as the “enemy”...
 
 
DoD

DOD helps support dependents in school

Attending new schools and adjusting to new teachers, are part the moving process for children of Service members. With those changes come possible difficulties, but the Department of Defense provides a program called Tutor.com to help ease the transition. Tutor.com is a website used by military families that allows students to connect to a live,...
 

 
DoD

Think before sending: Protecting PII

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – Network security is more than just a buzzword. It is an important tool used to secure not just information related to national security but also personal security. The Air Force, Army and the entire Department of Defense take information assurance and the protection of personal information seriously. As of October 2013, individuals...
 
 
DoD

DOD to mandate documentation for lost, stolen CAC cards

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AFNS) – Later this year, the Defense Department will begin fully enforcing a previously optional policy regarding the reissuance of lost or stolen common access cards, a defense official said here today. Sam Yousef, a program manager for identity and benefits policy at the Defense Human Resources Activity, discussed an update to the current...
 
 
DoD

President to nominate several to key DOD positions

President Barack Obama has announced his intent to nominate four people to key Defense Department positions, all of which require Senate confirmation. They are: Miranda A. A. Ballentine, to be assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment, and logistics; Michael McCord, to be undersecretary of Defense (comptroller); Brian P. McKeon, to be principal...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin