Friday, October 25, 2013
The Secretary of the Army has ordered military leaders to halt all briefings on extremist organizations that labeled Evangelical Christian groups as domestic hate groups. The shutdown comes just four days after I reported exclusively about a briefing at Mississippi’s Camp Shelby that labeled the American Family Association as a domestic hate group.
“On several occasions over the past few months, media accounts have highlighted instances of Army instructors supplementing programs of instruction and including information or material that is inaccurate, objectionable and otherwise inconsistent with current Army policy,” Army Sec. John McHugh wrote to military leaders in a memorandum I obtained.
McHugh “directed that Army leaders cease all briefings, command presentations or training on the subject of extremist organizations or activities until that program of instruction and training has been created and disseminated,” Army spokesman Col. David Patterson, Jr., tells me.
The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty welcomed the news and said it was about time the Secretary of the Army intervened.
“Men and women of faith – who have served the Army faithfully for centuries – have been likened to those who regularly threaten the peace and security of the United States,” said Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance. “It is dishonorable for any U.S. military entity to allow this type of improper characterization.”
The Camp Shelby incident led five congressmen to fire off a letter to the Pentagon expressing their grave concerns.
“This most recent mislabeling of a Christian organization reflects what appears to be a troubling trend of religious intolerance in the military,” Rep. Doug Lamborn wrote in a letter signed by Reps. Tim Huelskamp, Steve Scalise, John Fleming and Joseph Pitts. “We are very troubled.”
The Army issued a statement refuting the claims made and photographed in the briefing after it was reported in my column.
The Camp Shelby briefing was one of a number of incidents on Army bases around the nation where soldiers were instructed that groups like the American Family Association and Family Research Council should be considered domestic hate groups because of their support for traditional marriage.
Last week soldiers at Fort Hood were warned that participating in or donating money to evangelical Christian groups or Tea Party groups could result in military punishment.
And last May an Army Reserve training brief listed Catholics and Evangelical Christians as examples of religious extremism. That incident prompted 34 members of Congress to raise objections.
Full article: http://www.foxnews.c … tians-as-extremists/