No, Service Members Won't Be Court-Martialed for Sharing Their Faith
May 2, 2013
There was a lot of hullaballoo yesterday over a number of media outlets reported that the Pentagon was moving to court martial service members who share their faith. Fox News reported that the Pentagon had said "Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense... Court martials and non-judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis.” Breitbart News said that the Pentagon was "confirming that soldiers could be prosecuted for promoting their faith." However, the Defense Department today made it clear that such fears are unfounded.
Soldiers are free to share their religious beliefs with one another, as long as they do so respectfully. In a statement, Pentagon spokesman Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen said that "Service members can share their faith (evangelize), but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others of any faith or no faith to one’s beliefs (proselytization)." So, no need to freak out at the moment. Lt. Cmdr. Christensen went on to say that "all service members are free to exercise their constitutional right to practice their religion in a manner that is respectful of other individuals’ rights to follow their own belief systems; and in ways that are conducive to good order and discipline; and that do not detract from accomplishing the military mission" ...