GOP Reps Expose Religious Freedom Violations in Military


Two Republican representatives accused the Department of Defense on Wednesday of failing to protect against religious discrimination within the military.

Republican Reps. Doug Collins of Georgia and Doug Lamborn of Colorado sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on Wednesday highlighting a recent Navy order that prohibited service members and chaplains from attending off-base, indoor religious services.

The order came despite the fact that the Navy was allowing social gatherings of any size, the lawmakers said.

“Given the years-long record of the DoD’s actions in contradiction with Federal law protecting religious liberty, it is clear to us that the DoD has either willfully ignored or is unaware of its obligations to protect the religious freedom of its servicemembers,” they wrote.

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Collins and Lamborn emphasized that the “health and safety of our troops is critical” but that “singling out religious gatherings while allowing other activities and unrestricted social gatherings to take place is unlawful.”

“To enforce that prohibition under threat of court-martial is unconscionable and provides yet another example of why change is sorely needed at the Pentagon,” they added.

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The letter comes after Collins and Lamborn sent a May 14 letter to the Department of Defense asking it to “ensure that the ongoing pandemic is not exploited by nefarious organizations bent on removing faith from the U.S. military.”

“As with all congressional correspondence, we will respond directly to the authors of the letter,” Department of Defense spokeswoman Jessica R. Maxwell told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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