A number of troops at a base in Virgina exercised their right to not attend a Christian band's concert and instead of being given their free time in place of attending the concert, they were locked down in their barracks.
It is interesting to listen to the people who warn us of the Islaminization of this country, telling us the Muslims are out there itching to cut off our heads and hands and force the burqa on our women, but when our troops are forced to listen to a band that specializes in Christian music, and then refuse that coercion, that is imposing a favored religion on American citizens--a kind of "sharia" because the troops who do not want to participate are punished. I understand when one joins the military one gives up certain rights that are enjoyed by our civilian population, but I don't believe being free to practice one's own religion or no religion is one of them.
Just because a majority of Americans are Christians that does not give anyone the authority under any law to force Christianity on people who do not welcome it. That's what freedom of religion is all about. Those who wish to practice it are free to do so, and those who do not wish to participate in it are to be left alone and unmolested.
This happened at a US Army base, but it has happened at other military bases more often than we would like to believe:
Air Force Chaplain Tells of Academy Proselytizing
Published: May 12, 2005
A chaplain at the Air Force Academy has described a "systemic and pervasive" problem of religious proselytizing at the academy and says a religious tolerance program she helped create to deal with the problem was watered down after it was shown to officers, including the major general who is the Air Force's chief chaplain.
Feb. 19) -- The Pentagon has been pushing religious tolerance for decades, but several separate incidents in recent months are reinvigorating advocates who worry that the U.S. military is being controlled by a small but powerful subculture of evangelical Christians.
Last year, former NFL player Terry Bradshaw starred in an official military video that espoused "the importance of faith" in combating post-deployment depression. In January, news broke that a Michigan company had been inscribing coded references to the New Testament on high-powered rifle sights sold to the U.S. military. Weeks later, a giant cross was placed in the center of a newly constructed pagan worship site at Colorado's Air Force Academy, built to accommodate practicing Wiccans.
And those are only the incidents that have gone on within our borders. In May, Harper's Magazine published a 13-page expose that included provocative details on war-zone religiosity in Iraq and Afghanistan.
General Boykin Says Practice Of Islam Not Protected Under First Amendment.
After being turned away from the Kagan confirmation hearings, retired General William Boykin, in an interview with Christian Zionist Pastor Skip Heitzig, declares the irrelevance of first amendment protections for U.S. Muslims. Boykin ultimately espouses the virtues of spiritual warfare against Islam (in other words, a Christian Jihad). All text below is quoted from audio: http://www.connectiononline.org/
RICHMOND, Va. — The Army said Friday it was investigating a claim that dozens of soldiers who refused to attend a Christian band's concert at a Virginia military base were banished to their barracks and told to clean them up.
Fort Eustis spokesman Rick Haverinen told The Associated Press he couldn't comment on the specifics of the investigation. At the Pentagon, Army spokesman Col. Thomas Collins said the military shouldn't impose religious views on soldiers.
"If something like that were to have happened, it would be contrary to Army policy," Collins said.
Pvt. Anthony Smith said he and other soldiers felt pressured to attend the May concert while stationed at the Newport News base, home of the Army's Transportation Corps.
Smith said a staff sergeant told 200 men in their barracks they could either attend or remain in their barracks. Eighty to 100 decided not to attend, he said.
"Instead of being released to our personal time, we were locked down," Smith said. "It seemed very much like a punishment."
The group's president, Mikey Weinstein, claims Christian-themed events are "ubiquitous" throughout the military, and he credited the soldiers for stepping forward.
"Whenever we see this egregious, unconstitutional religious tyranny our job is to fight it," he said.