Sen. Cruz Urges Secretary of Defense to Protect Religious Freedom of Military Service Members

“Service members give their lives to defend the principle of religious freedom enshrined in our Constitution, and that principle must be protected within the military."

Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) sent a letter urging Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to protect religious freedom within the Department of Defense after reports that the Army has censored military chaplains and harmed their ability to provide religious services during the coronavirus pandemic – access that is not only essential for many service members, but also mandated by the Constitution.

In the letter, he wrote:
“As you know, military chaplains play a crucial role tending to the spiritual and moral well-being of America’s service members. […] Unfortunately, DOD and the Army have been hindering chaplains’ efforts to send messages of hope and faith through a series of extremely concerning infringements on military chaplains’ free exercise rights. We write to urge you to ensure that DOD complies with the religious freedom mandates of the Constitution and to ask you to issue clear guidance that strongly protects religious freedom within the DOD. […]

“During this global pandemic, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) has been waging a campaign against the chaplaincy, and frankly, against religious freedom in the military generally. In response, the Army has censored chaplains’ religious speech based on the flawed and arbitrary notion that military chaplains may not carry out their official duties outside of a religious ceremony that occurs within the four walls of a chapel."

Urging Secretary Esper to comply with congressional mandates, executive orders, and the Constitution, Sen. Cruz concluded:

“Service members give their lives to defend the principle of religious freedom enshrined in our Constitution, and that principle must be protected within the military. These unlawful infringements must end. We urge you to ensure that DOD implements the religious liberty training program that Congress has mandated. We also urge you to issue clear guidance, in accordance with the Attorney General’s Memorandum on Religious Liberty, regarding the protections afforded to religious expression and how issues concerning religious freedom should be addressed amidst the pandemic." 

The full letter can be read here.
Senator Ted Cruz - YouTube by N/A is licensed under N/A N/A

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