Sen Cruz critical of Obama's opposition to religious freedom of troops
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) reamed President Barack Obama Thursday for threatening to veto a bill that would guarantee members of the military can freely express their religious beliefs.Political correctness within the military has gone to extremes and it is unfortunate that Congress needs to step in and deal with it. If Democrats want to oppose religious freedom of expression, voters will judge them on that position in the coming elections. Obama may think he does not have to face the voters again, but he can do lasting damage to Democrats if he vetoed this legislation.
“We have reports of servicemen and women being told that, ‘If you share your faith with others, you will face disciplinary action and perhaps court martial,’” Cruz told an evening reception of social conservatives at the Capitol. “The idea that we would say to men and women who are risking their lives … that they have to check their First Amendment rights at the door and give up the right to speak the truth and to speak and defend their faith, it’s wrong and it’s unconstitutional.”
The amendment proposed by Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) would require the military to recognize “conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of” personnel. Critics say it would make it easier to harass gay soldiers under the guise of religion. And the White House Office of Management and Budget, in a statement this week objecting to the provision, said it would limit the “discretion of commanders to address potentially problematic speech and actions within their units.”
But conservatives worry that, as it stands now, religious service members can be arbitrarily punished for speaking their mind.
“Congress is acting right now to make very clear in the law that our service men and women don’t give up their faith when they sign up to defend this country,” said Cruz. “The Obama administration has explicitly said it opposes such efforts and has threatened to veto.”
Cruz, who complained that “there have been some in the media who have pooh-poohed” this concern, spoke with a hundred of the activists in town for the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference.
He stressed that religious liberty was the motivating principles for many of the pilgrims who fled Europe to come here.
“We have a legacy of being a nation that protects the right of every one of us to worship God and to seek God’s wisdom,” said the senator.