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It’s Up to Veterans to Reclaim Religious Liberty in Military Stolen by Obama

Despite the election of the very pro-religious liberty President Trump in 2016, there are still many anti-religious liberty policies in place for those who serve in the military.

Many of those policies engineered by former President Obama and his civilian bureaucrats in the Pentagon erase freedom of expression of Christian faith and religious liberty from the U.S. Armed Forces. Some Obama-VIDOLera rules even criminalize the open expression of religious faith by men and women in uniform.

With President Trump in the White House, we have a real opportunity to reverse one of the worst legacies of the Obama Administration — its aggressive attempt to erase Christianity, religious liberty and even Chaplains from the United States military. But it will be up to veterans to lead the charge to undo the damage Obama has done to our military.

One of former President Obama’s first acts as President was to ban Bible verses traditionally included with daily briefings from the Pentagon, and that was just for starters.

Over the following years his Pentagon bureaucrats, among other outrageous acts:

• Banned guests from bringing Bibles and other Christian symbols into Walter Reed and other military hospitals;

• Punished soldiers in uniforms (including Chaplains) from speaking openly about their Faith in Christ;

• Blacklisted devout and outspoken Christians like Delta Force founder U.S. General Jerry Boykin and the Reverend William Graham, Jr. from speaking at the Pentagon, West Point and other military events and facilities.

The Pentagon has always denied that it would ever restrict the First Amendment rights of our men and women of the Armed Force, and still does to this day.

They claim they simply want to protect personnel from “religious proselytization” or “coercion” by superiors or others in uniform. But the truth is, their policies are aimed directly at eliminating any expression of Christian faith by any man or woman on uniform.

That means if a soldier tells another solider of his or her faith in Jesus, or displays a Bible or Christian symbols, he or she could be discharged and/or severely punished.

And yes, it means that even Chaplains can be punished, stripped of rank, and drummed out of the military for daring to express their faith in uniform.

Hard to believe? All you need for proof is to look at these chilling examples of how real service men and women have been harmed by this assault:

Navy Chaplain Lt. Commander Dan Klender and retired Army Chaplain Major Steven Firtko were forced out of a Veterans Affairs Chaplain training program for refusing orders not to pray in Jesus’ name and not to quote scripture.

Decorated Air Force Veteran Oscar Rodriquez was physically assaulted and dragged out of a flag-folding retirement ceremony for a friend at Travis Air Force Base for using the word “God” in his speech before the assembled.

Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling was prosecuted, court-martialed and discharged from the Marines for refusing to take down Bible verses she had displayed where she served at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

These policies didn’t just happen. Many came on the advice of a radical liberal “advisor” to the Obama Pentagon named Mikey Weinstein.

Weinstein runs an atheist organization called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). But this Orwellian named group has nothing to do with “religious freedom.” It is in truth the most hateful, anti-Christian groups in the U.S.

I know first-hand as a Marine Corps veteran how important faith and religious counseling can be to men and women who have seen the horrors of war. I started Veterans in Defense of Liberty (VIDOL) to organize and be a voice for those who care deeply about the rights and freedoms for which our veterans placed themselves at risk to defend.

Secularists like former President Obama and atheists like Mikey Weinstein live to destroy this scared bond between God, Jesus, Chaplains and our men and women in uniform, and our history, and the damage they and their legions caused over the last eight long years in power was immense.

While we now have a President who has promised to rebuild and fully support our Armed Forces and the men and women who serve in them, he will succeed only if veterans pool their efforts and voices to eliminate the scourge of Obama’s attack on religious liberty in our military.

Dr. William Scott Magill founded VIDOL to maintain the integrity of our Republic based on correct moral and constitutional principles. He served with the United States Marine Corp, the United States Army Medical Corps, and the Denver Police Dept.

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This article and a few inaccuracies

Dr Magill,

I normally do not engage the writers of these articles as I find them extremely one sided and biased; but, I felt compelled to write on this one. Let me start off with thanking you for your service to this country as a Marine, I had some great Marines that I was privileged to serve along with Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen. So, I will tell you about me, I am a twice wounded Combat Veteran from the Air Force and the Army. I am the only recently serving Chaplain to have received Purple Hearts from serving in Iraq as an Air Force Chaplain then serving again in Iraq as an Army Chaplain. With forty-seven months in combat as a Chaplain (means no weapon) who leaned a lot on faith for a Shield, I know how intense war is. In addition to the Purple Hearts I am the only Chaplain to receive two Bronze Stars and one with a Combat “V” for Valor. But those are my War medals, what I would like to have focus on is that I am a “died-in-the-wool” Evangelical, Spirit-Filled Christian Who is endorsed by a Spirit Filled Ecclesiastical Body. I have served as a Chaplain for seventeen of my almost thirty-three years in the military, achieving the rank of Colonel and the title of “Command Chaplain”. I was shocked that I would attain that level (O-6) as I was not from one of the “critical need” denominations, who usually receive the higher ranks. With that aside, I would say with no reservations that I was not a proponent of Mikey Weinstein while working in Washington D.C. from 2008 - 2013 and they felt that he was the Devil Incarnate so I started realizing I had no problems with that position and felt that Mikey was - in fact - the Devil. Then I started seeing an unusual thing for an antagonist of Christianity, Mikey was representing Christians against unfair practices. That made no sense to me so I did what any other person with a PhD would do, I started researching. My research revealed that MRFF was not “anti-anything” except Domionists (who are Evangelical Zealots). So I started looking at all of the Hyperbole from both sides of the coin and realized quickly that Mikey was a great money maker for a lot of “Christian” groups as they used his visage to obtain more money. Oh, I am a member of Mikey’s National Advisory Board now and feel my role is to mitigate issues that cast dispersions on the Military Chaplaincy.
I was then moved to New Mexico for my final military assignment. While there an issue developed whereby the Military Department was being threatened by a member that was “persecuted” by Senior Leaders due to his Religious Persuasion. MRFF was called in by the agreived member, and thus I was propelled into a role of representing the defendant (NM Military Department) in a meeting with Mikey Weinstein (he lives in New Mexico so it was easy to call this meeting). I began the meeting still a little jaded, only to realize that he was not the spawn of Satan. I then had a personal meeting where I found out that MRFF was representing almost 45,000 clients (at the time) and the vast majority were Christians. That number is much higher now. Soon after our meeting an issue arose at the USAFA whereby the Atheist Students Club were allowed to distribute their paraphernalia in the dining area of the Cadets Cafeteria, chastising any religion. Mikey stepped in to represent the Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc. against that group and the practice was immediately stopped.
After several more meetings I found out that Mikey and his family are definitely not Atheists and was not an advisor to the Obama Administration. You would not believe this (however you can research this and validate for yourself) but, Mikey worked in the Reagan Whitehouse and is a Republican. So now you know a little more truth, now let’s look at a few of your complaints:
1) Bibles and Christian Symbols not being allowed into Walter Reed - bogus, we always had Bibles as well as many other religious books to give out as the policy was to clear the items through the Chaplains Office so as to ensure there was nothing “unsafe” (read weapons or illegal drugs being secretly brought in).
2) Punished Soldiers in Uniform for speaking openly about their faith in Christ. - bogus again. I (as an enlisted Airman through Chaplain Colonel) was never denied my opportunity to speak about my faith. There are places and times - you don’t proclaim your faith in a formation just as you cannot speak out in an enforced attendance activity since not everyone is of the faith you share. Let me ask you would you be so upset if an Imam or Buddhist Monk were denied their opportunity to speak?
I could go on-and-on about this; but, this would become a tome in the vein of War and Peace. Let me ask you have you researched the issue of Klender and Firtko? A VA Sponsored Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) class teaches Chaplains how to be there for patients in their time of need. It is a truly pluralistic role (as are Military Chaplains) whereby you provide an atmosphere of peace and hope. I had to pray with a dying Muslim Soldier and I am not an Imam, just like offering a final Prayer for a Catholic and a Jewish Soldier and I am not a Priest or Rabbi, as I said before I am an Evangelical Christian. We must do everything equal so if your hang-up is praying in Jesus name then we need to have a prayer to Allah and Jehovah too.

Love of and service to our Military will lead more people to Faith than ever excluding them by mans definition of the “rules of faith engagement”. One last question, what is this “scared bond” that Obama and Mikey are seeking to destroy?

Respectfully,

Quentin D Collins, US Army Chaplain (Colonel - Retired), PhD
Member, MRFF National Advisory Board