I am writing this letter to strongly urge you to co-sponsor H.R. 268.
Congressman, I could not be more outraged at the recent reports of the Pentagon collecting and destroying Bibles that were legally given to and privately owned by American soldiers. These Christians had their freedom to worship trampled under the feet of religious extremists and anti-religious bigots. This travesty was carried out under the approving eye of Admiral Mike Mullen, and while it is reprehensible, it is also irreversible. Whether you come out against this heinous act or not is up to you.
But H.R. 268, designed to protect the rights of chaplains to pray according to their consciences, I do expect you to support; either with co-sponsorship or a simple yes vote should less-right thinking members of Congress even allow it to a vote.
For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about in this letter, let me give you the short version.
The Pentagon has seized and burned (yes, burned) Bibles written in local Afghani languages and donated to sevicemen in Afghanistan. Christian soldiers were given these Bibles, but later had them confiscated when the local Arab press, backed by atheist groups in American, claimed that the Bibles were intended for purposes of proselytizing, which is forbidden of American soldiers. The Arab media had video of these soldiers holding copies of the Bibles while listening to a sermon that encouraged "personal evangelism". The Pentagon confiscated the Bibles and destroyed them.
Obviously, it's too late to get the Bibles back. However, it's not too late to stand up against such abuse of our soldiers' religious freedom in the future. There are groups, specifically the benignly-named Military Religious Freedom Foundation, that expressly call for the court-martial of any soldier or chaplain who talks publicly about his or her faith. Ironically, in the name of "personal freedom", many of the same people are calling for a repeal of the infamous "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, which prohibits gays and lesbians from serving "openly" in the military. How can the same people call for open homosexuality in the military, but not open Christianity?
There is an insidious tendency in those who strive to protect the rights of the minority; and that is, to ignore the rights of the majority. We would all love to live in an "enlightened" society where no one's rights are infringed, and everyone is free to worship and live how, where, or when they may. I don't know when exactly we reached the point when the rights of Christians needed to be protected, but I can tell you without hesitation that it has come and passed.
I've written to my Congressman, and now I've written a blog. I guarantee you, these will not be the last steps I take. What will you do?
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