House hearing weighs religious expression in military

WASHINGTON (AP) — Should military officers be free to express their religious beliefs to troops under their command?

That issue was discussed at a congressional hearing Wednesday.

Mikey Weinstein (WYN’-steen), president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said officers who proselytize or share their faith with subordinates should be disciplined. He told the House Armed Services Committee that troops may feel coerced to endure unwanted religious speech from their superiors.

But the Rev. Ron Crews, who heads the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, said Americans don’t lose their free speech and religious rights when they join the military. He said members of the armed forces, regardless of rank, should be free to talk about their faith.

The Family Research Council’s Travis Weber agreed that no one should be coerced into religious practice, “but religious freedom, including the freedom to speak of one’s religion, must be protected.”

Sound:

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212-a-09-(The Reverend Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, at House hearing on religious accommodations in the armed services)-“wearing the uniform”-The Reverend Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, says Americans don’t lose their religious rights when they join the military. (19 Nov 2014)

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213-a-15-(Mikey Weinstein (WYN’-steen), president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, at House hearing on religious accommodations in the armed services)-“and aggressively disciplined”-Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, says some military officers impose their religion on subordinates. (19 Nov 2014)

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214-a-10-(Mikey Weinstein (WYN’-steen), president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, at House hearing on religious accommodations in the armed services)-“to their subordinates”-Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, says his organization represents troops who don’t want religion imposed on them. (19 Nov 2014)

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215-a-08-(Travis Weber, director of the Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty, at House hearing on religious accommodations in the armed services)-“must be protected”-Travis Weber, director of the Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty, says troops of any rank should be free to express their religious beliefs. (19 Nov 2014)

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216-a-05-(Travis Weber, director of the Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty, at House hearing on religious accommodations in the armed services)-“our nation’s military”-Travis Weber, director of the Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty, says the troops who defend our rights don’t lose theirs. (19 Nov 2014)

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