Speaking to a group of Christian conservatives Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., warned that the United States is effectively funding a war on Christianity by sending money and weapons to countries like Egypt and Syria.
“It’s clear that American taxpayer dollars are being used in a war against Christianity,” Paul said at a luncheon hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition to kick off the three-day Faith and Freedom Conference.
Paul said the U.S. war in Iraq led Christians to flee a secular country that had otherwise been “a relatively safe place for Christians,” and that Christians are now being hunted in nearby nations.
“These countries are not our allies, and no amount of money is going to make them so,” Paul said. “It makes no sense. Should we be sending F-16s and tanks to Egypt when (President Mohammed) Morsi says Jews are descendants of apes and pigs?”
In other faith news, Fox News' Todd Starnes reports that the Obama administration is strongly objecting to a proposed amendment that “required the Armed Forces to accommodate ‘actions and speech’ reflecting the conscience, moral, principles or religious beliefs of the member.”
The Obama administration has dismissed the amendment, claiming it would have a "significant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale and mission accomplishment." But the amendment's author, GOP Rep. John Fleming, R-La., points to a series of high-profile incidents involving service members' religious liberty as evidence of the amendment's necessity.
These incidents include:
- The Air Force censored a video created by a chaplain because it include the word “God.” The Air Force feared the word might offend Muslims and atheists.
- A service member received a “severe and possibly career-ending reprimand” for expressing his faith’s religious position about homosexuality in a personal religious blog.
- A senior military official at Fort Campbell sent out a lengthy email officially instructing officers to recognize “the religious right in America” as a “domestic hate group” akin to the KKK and Neo-Nazis because of its opposition to homosexual behavior.
- A chaplain was relieved of his command over a military chapel because, consistent with DOMA’s definition of marriage, he could not allow same-sex weddings to take place in the chapel.
Additionally, Fleming specifically pointed to an incident involving an Air Force officer who was ordered to remove a Bible from his desk because it suggested an endorsement of religion.
“With its statement, the White House is now endorsing military reprimands of members who keep a Bible on their desk or express a religious belief,” Fleming told Fox News. “This administration is aggressively hostile towards religious beliefs that it deems to be politically incorrect.”
As conservative columnist Michael Barone notes, it seems the Obama administration sees some religions more equal than others:
There’s a tension between this policy–arguably suppressing expressions of Christian faith–with the White House’s assurance, according to Investor’s Business Daily, that FBI surveillance not including any investigation of mosques.
So, it appears, Christian religious expression must be suppressed, while Muslim religious expression cannot even be monitored. Yes, government can appropriately limit the conduct of members of the military in ways that would be inappropriate in the case of civilians. So there’s not necessarily a contradiction between these policies. And perhaps there’s a need to restrict servicemembers from offending colleagues in a way that would not be appropriate outside the military (and is not on college campuses, where it often occurs). But it sure looks like a double standard to me: Christianity, bad; Islam, good. I seem to remember, from some ancient reading, the phrase, “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”