An unusual religious freedom claim is playing out in Cuba, where a U.S. military court is considering whether to lift a restraining order that prevents female guards at a prison at Guantanamo Bay from touching Muslims detained in connection with the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today released an in-depth report that debunks claims by Religious Right groups that religious liberty in the military is under siege.
The AU report, “Clear and Present Falsehoods: The Real State of Religious Freedom in the Military,” responds to an earlier report by the Family Research Council (FRC) that purported to list widespread instances of religious liberty violations in the armed forces.
Former U.S. Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), who spent 22 years in the U.S. Army before being forced into retirement amid a scandal, claims anyone who wants to serve in the armed forces but won’t say the words “so help me God” as part of the enlistment oath isn’t a real American.
“I proudly and honorably took the oath of office as a commissioned officer several times and also as a Member of Congress,” West said on his website in September. “That’s what Americans do.”
The Department of Defense has ended a decades-old tradition of lending support to a fundamentalist Christian festival in Idaho.
The Pentagon nixed a request for military flyovers during the "Treasure Valley God and Country Festival" held annually in Nampa. (Yes, this is the same city that wanted to pull sex education books from its public library shelves last year)