Despite its charge to defend America and our Constitutional values, the US military has established a long track record of allowing and even promoting Christianity to both our soldiers and to overseas civilians, in blatant violation of the neutrality towards all religions demanded by the First Amendment.
From purchasing rifles with biblical references stamped on them, to printing and distributing "authorized" military versions of bibles, to passing out tokens with biblical verses to be passed on to foreign children, to military leaders participating in uniform in Christian recruitment videos, to the painting of Christian symbols and biblical verses on military vehicles on overseas bases, to military leaders speaking and color guards participating in National Day of Prayer events, the US military has become a shameful shell of Christian shilling on the taxpayer's dime.
In additional to the billion-dollar Chaplaincy Corps that has been repeatedly found to flout military regulations in regards to proselytization, groups such as Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, Campus Crusade for Christ, the Billy Graham Foundation, and the Family Fellowship, as well as hundreds of smaller Christian groups and leaders are all given regular access to promote their faith to our soldiers and to encourage them to seek converts overseas.
Such actions are not only unconstitutional, they endanger our troops by projecting to the world that the US military is actually intended to convert and oppress other religious groups. In a world where many of the battlegrounds are in and around Islamic nations, that image undermines the US and our military's credibility and safety and provides cover for our enemies to use religion to stir up hatred and opposition.
The US military is an arm of our secular government, funded by taxpayers. It is outrageous that our military and congressional leaders have allowed this formerly-illustrious institution to be turned into a craven tool of proselytization by religious zealots.
It's time to demand that military leaders be held accountable to follow their own regulations, and to distance the US military from all religious proselytizing.
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