Fox News falsely blames Obama for Pentagon rule against religious proselytizing in the military
When they’re not peddling suspicions that Barack Obama is a Muslim, the right-wing media are eager to portray the president as godless and anti-religion — if not downright satanic.
Such has been the case of late, as we see HERE:
Fox News’ Sean Hannity and Todd Starnes portrayed restraints on [religious] proselytization as proof of the Obama administration’s purported “war on religious liberty in the military,” despite the fact that military policy has long prohibited unwanted proselytization.
On the May 2 edition of his Fox News show, Hannity claimed that a Pentagon statement reiterating the military’s longtime policy against proselytizing was proof of Obama’s “war on religious liberty.” Starnes added that Christians were “under significant attack” by the Obama administration, under which “we have seen a Christian cleansing of the United States military.”
In fact, the U.S. military’s anti-proselytization policy has been consistent among all religions, and it targets only disruptive activities. A statement released May 2 by Defense Department spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen clarified the military’s policy that “members of the military are free to share their faith as long as they don’t harass others.” Christensen continued:
“Service members can share their faith (evangelize), but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others of any faith or no faith to one’s beliefs (proselytization),” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen, a Pentagon spokesman, in an email.
“If a service member harasses another member on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability, then the commander takes action based on the gravity of the occurrence. Likewise, when religious harassment complaints are reported, commanders take action based on the gravity of the occurrence on a case-by-case basis.”
Christensen said there are no plans to single out evangelical Christians for punishment, despite claims of activists.
“The U.S. Department of Defense has never and will never single out a particular religious group for persecution or prosecution. The Department makes reasonable accommodations for all religions and celebrates the religious diversity of our service members,” he said.
Steve Benen adds THIS:
The more Fox News pushed this [religious persecution] line, the more others on the right took it seriously. Breitbart.com, true to form, told readers, “Pentagon May Court Martial Soldiers Who Share Christian Faith.” Then the religious right movement got involved — AU’s Simon Brown reported, soon after, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins expressed outrage that the Obama administration is involved in an “anti-Christian offensive.” His colleague, FRC Executive Vice President Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William “Jerry” Boykin, added, “If this policy goes forward, Christians within the military who speak of their faith could now be prosecuted as enemies of the state.”
Seriously? Christians will be prosecuted as “enemies of the state” for talking about their faith? No, not in this reality.