Thursday, December 08, 2005

New Air Force Policy?

The News e-mail from Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian public interest group that works largely on first amendment issues in a variety of ways discussed this new case in which they are intervening:

"ADF Represents Chaplain and F-16 Fighter Pilot Seeking to Intervene on Behalf of Religious Freedom in the U.S. Air Force"
Many of you may have read in recent weeks about the latest legal efforts by the executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and others to censor the Gospel among members of the United States Air Force (USAF).

These opponents of liberty have filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to silence religious speech and to reverse a history of religious freedom dating back to George Washington's formation of American military forces in 1776 and in the Air Force by implementing the following proposed policy: "No member of the USAF, including a chaplain, is permitted to evangelize, proselytize, or in any related way attempt to involuntarily convert, pressure, exhort, or persuade a fellow member of the USAF to accept their own religious beliefs while on duty."

It is interesting that even the United Nations has understood that the right to proselytize is a fundamental liberty. Article 2 of the universal declaration on human rights provides that all people are entitled to their rights and freedoms without regard to status or jurisdiction. Article 18 of the Universal Declaration states: "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes the freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance." Article 19 supports this saying: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers."

If the courts of America prefer elite opinion to the words of our own constitution they should at least heed the Universal Declaration's even more specific recognition of the right to proselytize and to be proselytized. Sadly, what many want is not religious freedom, but a ban on procilizationzation so they can feel safe from hearing any ideas that conflict with their own. So much for supposed diversity and open mindedness.

I am glad that we have institutions like ADF fighting for freedom to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with others, as is our right from God, recognized by our constitutiontution and even the UN. I am also glad that I can work here at Trinity Law School to train attorneys who will understand and support religious freedom - including the freedom of soldiers to share the most important truths, and chaplains to do their job while on duty.


Josh Eaton said...

Thank your for blogging on lesser known (at least by me) topics. These are topics I need to know more aobut, but seldom hear about. I am glad you are training Christian layers as well. I'll be checking in periodically.

(Doug Pointed out your blog, he's my uncle)

Josh Eaton said...

Thanks for blogging on lesser known topics (at least by me). These are topics I need to hear about, but seldom do. I am glad that you are training Christian layers also.

(Doug, pointed out your blog, he's my uncle.)