According to a Fort Hood soldier, Islamic terrorism was barely mentioned during an October 17 pre-deployment briefing on “radical” groups “tearing the country apart.”
Rather, the meeting allegedly focused on Christians and Tea Party supporters who were labeled as radical terrorists and American enemies. The soldiers were apparently told that individuals who support these groups may be punished under military regulations, and that pro-lifers are extremists who promote “radicalization.”
“They said that evangelical Christians protesting abortions are the mobilization stage and that leads to the bombing of abortion clinics,” said the soldier who spoke out.
He said, “I was very shocked and couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I felt like my religious liberties, that I risk my life and sacrifice time away from family to fight for, were being taken away.”
“Our community is still healing from the act of terrorism brought on by Nidal Hasan – who really is a terrorist,” he continued. “This is a slap in the face. The military is supposed to defend freedom and to classify the vast majority of the military that claim to be Christian as terrorists is sick.”
The soldier would not release his name, out of fear of retaliation.
He said, “My first concern was if I was going to be in trouble going to church. Can I tithe? Can I donate to Christian charities? What if I donate to a politician who is a part of the Tea Party movement?”
Mike Berry is an attorney with the Liberty Institute who is representing the soldier. Berry said on Fox News, “The American public should be outraged that the U.S. Army is teaching our troops that evangelical Christians and tea party members are enemies of America and that they can be punished for supporting or participating in those groups. These statements about evangelicals being domestic enemies are a serious charge.”
Although a second soldier seconded the allegations regarding the Ford Hood briefing, officials deny the charges.
Tom Rheinlander, the public affairs director at Fort Hood, wrote in a statement, “The allegations you are asking about were brought to the attention of the Fort Hood leadership immediately and a (sic) inquiry is occurring. At this time, initial information gathered about the training and what you claim occurred is not substantiated by unit leadership and soldiers present at this training venue.”
If Ford Hood officials did indeed attack religious liberties with such statements, they must be held accountable for their actions.
How can we prevent future incidents like this from happening? If there had been a camera in the room, there would be no dispute about what occurred during the briefing. Still, there is a fine line between transparency and a camera-monitored society where Big Brother is always watching.
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