Military Chaplains Asked to Conceal Crosses, so as Not to Offend Muslims

Report: Military Policy Suppresses Religious Expression Among U.S. Troops
by Chad Groening

(AgapePress) A constitutional attorney has sent a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld calling on him to rescind an order preventing U.S. service personnel from openly expressing their Christian and Jewish faith in Muslim countries.

John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, reports he has heard from several sources that the military will continue a policy it started during the Gulf War. That policy prohibits American troops from wearing Christian or Jewish symbols or singing hymns in order to not offend Muslims. Whitehead says he is offended by the military's willingness to bow to the religious intolerance of other countries.

"There's a strange political correctness that even extends into the military," Whitehead says. "To me, it's rather offensive, being an American -- especially when we're over there on the verge of war. I don't think we should bow to religious intolerance of other countries."

Whitehead says it is so ridiculous that even chaplains have been asked to put their crosses or Stars of David in their pockets.

"Chaplains [have] been told that those [religious symbols] should be removed and put in their pockets when they can be seen in any way by anybody that's Muslim or Islamic," he says. "The thing is, we're not telling other people to change their religion -- but these people in these countries, unfortunately, are very intolerant [of religions other than Islam]. So the question is, should we bow to their intolerance?"

Whitehead points out that the U.S. Constitution applies to American citizens in whatever part of the world they might find themselves. That is why he has sent a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld asking him to rescind the order, and allow U.S. troops their First Amendment right of freedom of religion.

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