There's something terribly wrong when an American soldier overseas can't receive Scriptures in the mail, but a Muslim chaplain can preach freely among al Qaeda and Taliban enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay.
This is a story of two soldiers, one Christian, one Muslim. It's a cautionary tale that suggests how religious double standards and politically driven hypersensitivity threaten not only our troops, but us all.
Six months ago, Jack Moody tried to send his son, Daniel, a care package containing a Bible study and other Christian religious materials. Daniel is a 21-year-old Army National Guardsman serving in the Middle East. He had written home requesting spiritual support while he risked his life abroad. The literature his dad packed included Christian comic books. But when Daniel's dad approached the post office in the family's hometown of Lenoir, North Carolina, he was told he would not be allowed to send the items.
According to U.S.P.S. postal bulletin 22097, section E2, Moody was forbidden from sending "any matter containing religious materials contrary to Islamic faith or depicting nude or seminude persons, pornographic or sexual items, or non-authorized political materials." The postal clerk informed Moody that the Christian contents of the package might be considered offensive to some Muslims overseas. The policy was initiated during the first Gulf War.
"My son is in the military, and he's overseas fighting to free this country from tyranny, and to protect our rights and our freedoms, and here our government has a rule on the books that's limited his freedom. I just couldn't believe it," Moody told the Voice of America news service.
Even more unbelievable was the apathetic reaction of Moody's elected representatives. According to John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute, a staunch defender of religious liberty, Sen. Elizabeth Dole's staff brushed Moody off. So did Dan Gurley, GOP Congressman Cass Ballenger's chief of staff. According to Moody, Ballenger refused to get involved, insisting that the matter should be left to the courts.
And there's where Moody's case -- which is included in the devastating new book "Persecution," best-selling author David Limbaugh's searing indictment of anti-Christian intolerance -- remains today. The Rutherford Institute filed suit against the U.S. Postmaster General in defense of Moody's rights to freedom of speech, free exercise of religion, and equal protection under the law. The group's motion for summary judgment is pending.
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