In the past few weeks, the Obama administration has shown exactly what it believes the First Amendment protects: very little. First the Justice Department subpoenaed phone records and personal emails from journalists, then the IRS told an organization that provides support to pregnant women in abusive situations that they could not “disagree” with other groups if they wanted non-profit status.
So maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that the Obama administration once again wants to ignore the First Amendment, this time “strongly” opposing a proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would protect service members’ actions and speech that reflects “the conscience, moral, principles, or religious beliefs of the member.” When an Air Force officer can’t display a Bible on his desk because it might make others uncomfortable, it’s clear that free exercise of religion is under attack.
The military isn’t the only place where this administration wants to trample on the religious freedom of every day citizens. There are over 30 documented direct attacks by the Obama administration on religious liberty. As just one example, the administration has continually refused to allow businesses with conscientious objections to opt out of Obamacare, forcing businesses into court to protect their right not to pay for abortions and abortion-causing drugs.
Because opposition to religion is real, we need explicit protections of our religious freedom. This amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act is an important safeguard for service members. Since members of the military have volunteered to defend the United States and its constitution, isn’t it only right that our nation gives them the freedom the constitution promised? Like all Americans, service members should be free to live out their faith. It is concerning and disappointing that the Obama administration doesn’t agree.