Dear Speaker Paul Ryan and Leader Mitch McConnell (via Congressman Walter Jones):
This petition requests that you join Congressman Walter Jones and CO-SPONSOR and an amendment to the NDAA to let MILITARY CHAPLAINS PRAY according to the dictates of their CONSCIENCE.
The persecution of military chaplains who pray “in Jesus’ name,” is widespread and systematic. 65 Chaplains are suing the Navy, after being denied promotion because of their religious beliefs. Political correctness is censoring chaplains, allowing the government to dictate “which God” the chaplain may pray to, or what “illegal words” may not be uttered during prayer, when a chaplain gives an invocation. This clearly violates the Chaplains’ First Amendment rights.
Former Navy Chaplain Klingenschmitt was literally court-martialed in 2006, (and later vindicated by Congress), when the military judge declared “worshipping in public” was not protected by federal law. He had written permission to wear his uniform during any act of “religious observance” but the judge ruled his prayer was not religious. Congress later rescinded SECNAVINST 1730.7C, the bad policy under which the Chaplain was wrongly punished, but that victory was not grandfathered back, so the Chaplain lost his 16 year career and pension. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is not being enforced, leaving Chaplains vulnerable.
Congressman Jones’ bill would not establish any religion, rather it would promote freedom of speech and freedom of religious expression for any chaplain of any faith, to simply pray however his own religion and conscience dictates. Let the Muslims pray to Allah, the Catholics pray to Mary, let the atheists say “good luck,” but STOP PUNISHING CHAPLAINS WHO PRAY IN JESUS’ NAME.
Please join Congressman Walter Jones, and amend the NDAA to protect Chaplains’ right to pray “in Jesus’ name.”