Chaplains call on Congress to protect conscience of service members

December 17, 2012 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
or c/o RON CREWS at 571-293-2427 or DOUGLAS E. LEE at 678-701-5151

Chaplains call on Congress to protect conscience of service members


WASHINGTON — The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, an organization of chaplain endorsers, calls on the U.S. Congress to protect the conscience of our military personnel in the wake of the Senate’s refusal so far to pass such protections.

Earlier this year, in Section 536 of H.R. 4310, the House passed language protecting the rights of conscience of members of the armed forces, including chaplains. The House also passed language in Section 537 of H.R. 4310 that ensures military chapels are not used for any marriage or marriage-like ceremonies involving anything other than the union of one man and one woman. The Senate removed both of these sections when it passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act.

“No American, especially those who wear the uniform, should be required to give up their religious values,” said Chaplain (COL) Ron Crews, USAR retired, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. “Men and women who courageously serve in our armed forces should be able to serve without having to violate their consciences. Service members, including chaplains, who have sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions need to be able to serve without fear of recrimination against their values.”

The National Defense Authorization Act is currently in conference committee.

“Americans concerned about protecting the rights of conscience of our service members should contact their senators and encourage them to agree with the language passed by the House of Representatives,” Crews said.

The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty is an organization of chaplain endorsers, the faith groups that provide chaplains for the U.S. military and other agencies needing chaplains. The endorsers in the Chaplain Alliance speak for more than 2,000 chaplains serving the armed forces.