But earlier today, the Pentagon released a new statement noting “service members can share their faith (evangelize), but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others of any faith or no faith to one’s beliefs (proselytization).”
While religious groups are pleased with the Dept. of Defense clarification – they are troubled by the Air Force position on religion.
Daniel Blomberg, with the Becket Fund, told Fox News he was glad to see the Dept. of Defense issue a clarification, but expressed alarm at the Air Force statement.
“The Air Force spokesman’s statement sounds like the government can ban servicemen and women from talking to one another about their faith,” he said. “And that couldn’t be more wrong. The Air Force must follow the Department of Defense’s example to immediately correct its statement to avoid chilling Airmen and women’s religious liberty.”
Blomberg said the Air Force policy is “unconstitutional and wrong.”
“Our brave fighting men and women should not be reduced to whispering fearfully about their faith by their own government,” he said.
Crews said mandating an Air Force officer not extend preferential treatment from one religion is absurd.
“If an Air Force officer is a Muslim, I would expect that officer to say prayers, attend services and not go to a Catholic mass,” he said. “That is extending preferential treatment, and rightly so.”