Freedom, Justice and Religious Liberty for All — Dr. Dobson's August 2013 Newsletter
There is something that I simply must share with you this month. It concerns the moral collapse we are experiencing as a nation. It has many dimensions, but the aspect that troubles me most is the assault on Christianity and religious liberty, orchestrated by the Obama Administration and its associates on the Far Left. Our Founding Fathers would not have believed a day would come when American citizens would elect a government that is openly hostile to the Cause of Christ. It is true. Traditional standards of morality and righteousness are fading away like smoke on a windy afternoon.
Rather than trying to explain what is happening to religious liberty in America, it will become clear by reading an editorial written by Congressman Tim Huelskamp, from the First District of Kansas. He focuses specifically on what the Commander-in-Chief and his senior officers are doing to the U.S. military, as follows:
If Army chaplain Emil Kapaun served in Afghanistan today rather than Korea six decades ago, President Obama would probably give the Catholic priest discharge papers instead of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
In Obama's Army, the Pentagon brass is ordained in the priesthood of political correctness, while devout Christians such as Medal of Honor recipient Emil Kapaun are shunned and ostracized. At all times between the presidential terms of George Washington and George W. Bush, the open practice of Christianity in the ranks was widespread and the open practice of homosexuality was deemed incompatible with military service. In the Obama era, the reverse is true.
President Obama is a wartime Commander-in-Chief. No, I don't mean the obvious (Iraq or Afghanistan). I'm talking about his preference for waging a race war, a gender war, class warfare, generational warfare, and – with escalating aggression and mounting casualties – a culture war. With the exceptions of free enterprise and traditional marriage, no institution has been more "radically transformed" by the Obama regime than our Armed Forces. Given President Obama's notorious contempt for Americans who "cling to their Bibles" and "guns," perhaps we shouldn't be surprised by his Administration's hostility to service members who espouse traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs.
The persecution of Christians and conservatives has become increasingly brazen and pervasive since the President took office four and one half years ago. To "protect patients" from proselytizing or prayer, Walter Reed Army Medical Center banned wounded warriors' family members from "bringing or using Bibles" during visits. The Department of Veterans Affairs barred Christian prayers at a National Cemetery. The President signed the law that repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the Attorney General refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court, and the Department of Defense authorized unholy "matrimony" ceremonies at military installations even before the Supreme Court struck down part of DOMA.
A war games scenario at Ft. Leavenworth identified evangelical Christian groups as a national security threat.
A field grade officer listed the American Family Association and Family Research Council as "domestic hate groups" and directed his subordinate officers to monitor soldiers who might be supporters. Evangelist Franklin Graham was un-invited from the Pentagon's National Day of Prayer service. A training exercise funded by the Department of Homeland Security portrayed home-schooling families as domestic terrorists.
Last year, I introduced the Military Religious Freedom Protection Act. The bill requires the military to accommodate service members' moral principles and religious beliefs so long as they don't "threaten good order and discipline," forbids the military from using an individual's beliefs as the basis for an adverse personnel action, and forbids the military from forcing chaplains to perform homosexual marriage ceremonies. My bill's language was included in the National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress last December.
When President Obama signed it into law, he claimed the conscience protections I authored were "unnecessary and ill-advised." But recent events confirm the new law was necessary, well-advised, and prophetic. These episodes exemplify the new military culture, one that rebukes those who practice Christianity and rewards those who worship at the altar of political correctness.
Army Master Sergeant Nathan Sommers' superiors told him to remove the conservative, Republican, and scripture-quoting bumper stickers from his personal vehicle. He was told he must avoid being seen reading books authored by Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, or David Limbaugh while in uniform. He was investigated for serving Chick-fil-A food at his promotion party to express his support for traditional marriage. In retribution, the Army is pursuing trumped up disciplinary charges against him.
The Utah Air National Guard cancelled the six-year re-enlistment contract of Tech Sergeant Layne Wilson because he told a chaplain he thought the chapel at West Point shouldn't be used for a homosexual wedding. An Air Force officer was required to hide from view the Bible he once kept on top of his desk. An Air Force chaplain's video tribute to sergeants was banned for fear it would offend an "agnostic, atheist, or Muslim." The chaplain's video narration said: "On the eighth day, God looked down on His creation and said, 'I need someone who will take care of the Airmen.' So God created a First Sergeant."
Coast Guard Rear Admiral William Lee told a National Day of Prayer audience that Christian service members are being told to hide their faith and religious liberty is being threatened by Pentagon lawyers. Army Reserve training materials listed Evangelical Christianity, Catholicism, and Orthodox Judaism as extremist religious groups alongside Al-Qaeda and Hamas. This is especially outrageous since the Obama Administration continues to classify the mass shooting at Ft. Hood (in which 13 people were killed by Army Major Nidal Hasan) as "workplace violence" rather than admit it was a terrorist attack carried out by a radicalized Muslim.
In April, several Generals consulted Mikey Weinstein – the anti-Christian zealot dedicated to attacking men and women of any faith – to solicit his help writing Air Force policies concerning "religious tolerance." If there's one person whose advice the Pentagon brass shouldn't solicit, it is that of Mr. Weinstein, a man who says the military ranks are full of "Christian fundamentalist monsters" whose evangelizing constitutes "spiritual rape," "a national security threat," and "sedition and treason." After Weinstein telephoned the Pentagon to complain about a painting displayed at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho, it was removed less than one hour later. The painting bore the word "Integrity" and the citation "Matthew 5:9" (the verse says:"Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God").
Mr. Weinstein bragged to The Washington Post that the Defense Department expressed its willingness to ban proselytizing (i.e., evangelizing, sharing one's faith, or spreading the Gospel) and added, "We need half a dozen court-martials real quick." Days later, the Pentagon issued a statement to the news media that announced: "Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense." After reading about this alarming situation on my Facebook page, a Sergeant First Class posted the following comment: "This is why I am retiring. ... The liberals are destroying our values." One wonders how long before the radical Weinstein and his Pentagon pals find and punish this Sergeant.
These revelations highlight the fact that Obama's war on God-fearing servicemen is not only morally repugnant, but also threatens the long-term soundness of our voluntary military. Who wants to join an organization that increasingly caters to homosexuals and atheists, meanwhile denigrating Christians and traditional marriage? If you care nothing at all about the constitutional free exercise rights of our servicemen, surely you can at least see the dangers to military readiness posed by such harassment and persecution.
In April, I attended the White House ceremony at which President Obama presented Ray Kapaun with the Congressional Medal of Honor awarded posthumously to his uncle, Chaplain (Captain) Emil Kaupan. A farm boy from my congressional district in Kansas, the "Patriot Priest of the Korean Conflict," saved countless lives of fellow soldiers on the battlefield, along the death march to the Pyoktong Prisoner of War camp, and during the seven months of captivity that preceded his murder by communist Chinese guards in May 1951.
I can only imagine what Mr. Weinstein would say about the "how to witness Christianity" proselytizing clinic that Fr. Kapaun put on in the POW camp or this report of repatriated American soldiers: "He was their hero – their admired and beloved 'padre.' He kept up the G.I.'s morale, and most of all [caused] a lot of men to become good Catholics."
It speaks volumes that Fr. Kapaun had Protestants, Jews, and atheists saying the Rosary, singing the Lord's Prayer, and praying together at the Easter sunrise service he led, all in defiance of the communist camp guards who ridiculed his devotion to faith and punished him for it. In a detailed account of the priest's life, Arthur Tonne wrote: "He has transmitted to every one of us a new appreciation of America, and a keener, more realistic understanding of our country's greatest enemy – godlessness."
When Fr. Kapaun was being carried to the "Death House" (i.e., isolation without food or water), the Muslim POWs from Turkey stood at attention to honor him. According to witnesses, Fr. Kapaun blessed the very guards who were murdering him by saying, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do." President Obama should be earnestly and prayerfully seeking more such men, not forging a military where they are not welcome, or where the very actions that once earned them the Medal of Honor are now forbidden by the Commander-in-Chief.
Only in America ... actually, only in Barack Obama's and Mikey Weinstein's America ...1
Huelskamp's analysis of hostility to people of faith in the military is shocking. It will weaken us as a nation and demoralize those who are fighting to defend our freedoms. A similar article could be written about other dimensions of the religious war. One of them concerns children and what the pagan culture is doing to their understanding of biblical truth. They are being taught that God is irrelevant, discriminatory and unconstitutional. It has profound implications for their young minds.
Most adult Christians are grounded in their faith and are not likely to be shaken off the limb. However, our children and teens are at much greater risk. They lack the spiritual foundation to reject the distortions they are being told, or to resist the propaganda that invades their lives. They can be twisted and warped by a society that glorifies wickedness.
Shame on the schools and churches that are teaching the young that sexual immorality is not an offense against the Almighty, whether it is homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual. Sin is sin, and our leaders used to call it by that name. Now children hear regularly that perversity is a civil right protected by the Constitution. But biblical truth has not changed. The wages of sin is still death, as it has always been.
The Prophet Micah said, "Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds!" Micah 2:1
Isaiah issued the same warning: "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" Isaiah 5:20
Family Talk exists, in part, to help defend righteousness in the culture. We are also attempting to help parents protect their children from those who would undermine their beliefs and values. The best way to do that is to maintain the connectedness between parents and kids. Mothers and fathers can't afford to become so busy and distracted that they miss the most important purpose in living, which is to introduce their children to Jesus Christ and teach them a Christian worldview from early in life.
This is our mission, and we are working tirelessly on it. It is why we are preparing a new eight-DVD series called, Building A Family Legacy, and why I am writing a book for parents on the same theme.
If you agree with this objective and can assist us financially here at the end of a very lean summer, we would certainly appreciate your support. Thank you so much for getting us through these past couple of months. The attack on religious liberty is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Anything you can do to oppose it in the public square would be wise. We will join you in that cause.
May the Lord bless you and your family.
James C. Dobson, Ph.D.
Founder and President
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