Our military serves this nation with pride. They fight for the freedoms of others but are now being prohibited from enjoying those same freedoms due to the recent government shutdown.
The current stalemate between House Republicans and Senate Democrats has kept some military chaplains from performing their religious duties.
One priest who ministers to Catholics at a Navy base was banned from holding worship services because of the partial shutdown.
Father Ray Leonard, is a Catholic priest who was contracted to serve in the capacity as base chaplain at Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia.
Since the shutdown, ten days ago, the military ordered Leonard to stop performing any of his duties as the base’s Catholic chaplain. He was also threatened with arrest if he violated the order. He was even locked out of his on-base office and the chapel.
He doesn't have access to the Holy Eucharist and other articles of his Catholic faith. World Net Daily (WND) has reported that because of his orders "Leonard can't perform mass, marriage preparation classes or baptisms." He's not even allowed to offer spiritual guidance to his congregation.
In the WND report Leonard said, "I never imagined that when I returned home to the United States, that I would be forbidden from practicing my religious beliefs as I am called to do and would be forbidden from helping and serving my faith community.”
The Thomas More Law Center has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington on behalf of Leonard. One of Leonard's parishioners, Fred Naylor and a retired veteran with 22 years of service was also named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the government.
According to WND, "the defendants in the lawsuit are the Department of Defense, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the Department of the Navy and the Secretary of the Department of the Navy, Ray Mabus."
A report by the Thomas Moore Law Center said: "This is an astonishing attack on religious freedom by the federal government and the latest affront toward the military since the beginning of the shutdown." The growing hostility toward religion, in particular Christians, began even before the government shutdown.
In May, Breitbart.com reported, the "Obama administration Pentagon appointees meeting with anti-Christian extremist Mikey Weinstein to develop court-martial procedures to punish Christians in the military who express or share their faith."
The Federal Government has basically made it illegal for those in our military to share their faith. Those who violate this could be imprisoned and or dishonorably discharged from the military.
Ken Klukowski, director for FRC's Center for Religious Liberty said the government's restricting of the military's religious freedoms amounts to: "Chicago-style thuggery at its worst, manifesting itself through the military."
He told The Christian Post: "It's almost as if President Obama's Organizing for America people are advising the Obama-Hagel Pentagon on how you bully and intimidate Christians and people of faith to stay quiet when you're trampling on their religious liberty rights."
The religious intolerance by our government has been included in FRC's report, "A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military."
It's said that persecution begins with small steps. Which includes being targeted by the entertainment industry and the media. The next step that comes is legal prosecution, which has already started against our military. Then the persecuted are ostracized and shamed in public. The only thing left after that is to execute the persecuted (The Last Resistance).
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