By Phyllis Schlafly
Americans were shocked by headlines like, "Priests Face Arrest for Holding Mass During Shutdown."
News accounts reported that Catholic priests were warned that they are not permitted to minister on base during the shutdown
and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.
Since they are unpaid volunteers, this was not caused by a shutdown
of military funds. Priests were warned that they risked arrest and military discipline if, without pay, they simply walked
onto the base property to perform a chaplain's regular duties.
Congress quickly responded with a nonbinding resolution to reinstate furloughed chaplains on a volunteer basis. The House voted 400 to 1 and the Senate passed a similar resolution.
Barack Obama didn't have his fingerprints
on that order, but since his views about banning any public reference to Christianity are well known, the military (and others)
want to be in sync with the Chief.
Likewise, the ACLU and atheist organizations know they won't suffer any legal opposition
from the Obama Administration when they file their anti-religion lawsuits.
For example, the ACLU and the Freedom From
Religion Foundation sued a little school district in Jackson City, Ohio, to force the school to take a picture of Jesus off
a school wall. The picture was one of 23 famous historical figures displayed in small frames on a school wall ever since 1947.
school agreed to take down the picture of Jesus, but that's not the end of it. The school now is required to pay the ACLU
$80,000 for its attorneys' fees plus $15,000 to reward five anonymous plaintiffs The school settled and agreed to pay these
amounts because it couldn't afford any more legal expenses to defend itself.
In another example of the anti-religious
push going on in our military, a U.S. Air Force chaplain, Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth Reyes, posted a column in the Chaplain's
Corner section of his base's website entitled, "No Atheists in Foxholes: Chaplains Gave All in World War II." An
outfit called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation sent an irate letter to the base commander, claiming that some airmen,
who remained anonymous, had complained.
Col. Reyes was ordered to remove the column, but that didn't satisfy the anti-religion
group. It demanded that he be punished.
This so-called Religious Freedom group took particular offense at the title,
"No Atheists in Foxholes," calling it a "bigoted, religious supremacist phrase." They called the rest
of the column "faith-based hate" and an "anti-secular diatribe."
Col. Reyes's column was actually
an innocuous message. He summarized the World War II origins of the "no atheists in foxholes" phrase and then commented
that faith could be religious or secular.
There was no mention of atheists outside of the historical phrase or of any
particular religious group. The column was really very inclusive with no implication that faith has to be in any particular
God, implying that everyone has faith in something.
If such a broad-minded, all-inclusive message is a problem, we have
to wonder what has happened to our First Amendment right of "free exercise" of religion? Is Obama trying to eliminate
Incidents like these are building a climate of intimidation and discrimination against Christians
in the military. It looks like those who are attacking Col. Reyes are the ones who are spreading a climate of so-called "faith-based"
The harassment of religion in the military may [have been] part of Obama's attempt to make the government shutdown
as painful to the public as possible. Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland [was] partially closed because of the shutdown (causing
our troops to do their grocery shopping at more expensive off-base stores), but (surprise, surprise) Andrews Air Force golf
course (one of Obama's favorites) remained open, ready for him to play his 36th round of golf this year.
shutdown closed the National Mall in Washington, D.C. but, in another example of Obama's politics, it was allowed to be open
for an amnesty rally on October 8. George Washington's home at Mount Vernon is not government property, but the feds closed
the parking lot anyway so no one could conveniently visit the house.
The Obama Administration closed Yellowstone National
Park. When a group of foreign tourists disembarked from their tour bus in the park to photograph a herd of bison, they were
locked inside the Old Faithful Inn and made to feel like criminals under arrest.
It's rather clear that the Obama Administration
[tried] to select popular landmarks for closure in order to blame people's annoyance on Republicans. One of the silliest closures
was a piece of South Dakota highway where it is possible to pull over and see the faces of the great Americans on Mount Rushmore.