The U.S. Military has blocked access to the Southern Baptist Convention’s website on an unknown number of military bases because it contains “hostile content” -- just weeks after an Army briefing labeled Evangelical Christians and Roman Catholics as examples of religious extremism, Fox News has learned.
The Southern Baptist Convention is the nation’s largest Protestant denomination known for its support of the pro-life movement and its strong belief in traditional marriage.
Southern Baptist chaplains reported that SBC.net had been blocked at military installations around the nation. The censorship was made public after an Army officer tried to log onto the denomination’s website and instead -- received a warning message.
“The site you have requested has been blocked by Team CONUS (C-TNOSC/RCERT-CONUS) due to hostile content,” the message read.
Team CONUS protects the computer network of the Dept. of Defense. The SBC's website was not blocked at the Pentagon.
“So the Southern Baptist Convention is now considered hostile to the U.S. Army,” the officer wrote in an email to the American Family Association.
The Dept. of Defense confirmed to Fox News late Wednesday that the SBC website had been blocked--but not intentionally.
“The Department of Defense is not intentionally blocking access to this site, said Lt. Col. Damien Pickart. “We are working diligently to investigate what might be causing access issues for some of our service members and to correct the situation as quickly as possible.”
The AFA sent out an action alert urging its members to contact the Pentagon and ask them to “stop the military’s alarming trend of hostility towards faith and religious freedom in our military.”
“Most disturbing to him (the Army officer) was the fact that the military labeled his personal religious faith as ‘hostile’ to the U.S. Army,” AFA spokesman Randy Sharp told Fox News.
Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance, told Fox News that Southern Baptist chaplains on military bases around the world have been unable to access the website.
“It’s a concern for the Dept. of Defense to block the website of one of the major evangelical denominations in the country,” Crews told Fox News. “The Southern Baptist Convention has the largest number of chaplains in the military representing Southern Baptist soldiers and churches. Those chaplains need access to their denomination’s website.”