American Family Association Challenges Pentagon Officials to Uphold Religious Freedom
American Family Association Issues Stern Warning; Department of Defense Must Protect First Amendment Rights
– The American Family Association(AFA, www.AFA.net)
participated in high level meetings at the Pentagon four days ago, for a frank
discussion on the loss of religious freedom by Christians in the Air Force and
the Defense Department in general.
Warnings were issued by AFA on behalf of Christian soldiers
and airmen who have the right to express their faith and to maintain
deeply held religious convictions in every area including homosexuality and
Representing American Family Association was cultural
expert, talk show host and author, Sandy Rios. Also present were Lt.
General (ret) Jerry Boykin, Executive Vice President of Family Research
Council, Col (R) Ron Crews of the Chaplains Alliance for Religious Liberty, and
Kellie Fiedorek from Alliance Defending Freedom. All are members of the
Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition.
The Coalition met with senior Air Force officials who were confronted with
current cases before them, such as the case to stop the persecution of SMSGT
Philip Monk at Lackland Air Force base, for allegedly refusing to verbally
affirm homosexual marriage. The case of Lt. Col. Kenneth Reyes (USAF) of
the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, who wrote an inspirational piece
based on the phrase President Eisenhower made famous called, "No
Atheists in Foxholes: Chaplains Gave All in World War II," subsequently
scrubbed from his military web-site, was also discussed.
American Family Association specifically expressed alarm at
the undue influence on the military of noted atheist “Mikey” Weinstein with
whom the Pentagon has met frequently, and the dangers of military reliance on
inaccurate information from the Southern Poverty Law Center, falsely labeling
Christians as extremists, likening them to Al Quaeda, and targeting the American
Family Association and the Family Research Council as hate groups.
Even though protections were enacted in the Defense Authorization
Bill of 2013 to assure members of the military their rights to free religious
expression, inexplicably regulations have yet to be written by the Secretary of
Defense as required by law. The generals were questioned about
the delay but no answers were given at the meeting. This was a
red flag to the Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition as to the true
intentions of the Department of Defense.
"It was a cordial but frank meeting at the Pentagon. We
held nothing back in making our concerns clear and will now wait to see if the
Generals, gracious and eager to please the Restore Military Religious FreedomCoalition in the meeting, were actually listening. We need to
see that the Pentagon will stand behind their words and put an end to
discrimination of Christians in our military," said American Family
Association’s Sandy Rios.
“AFA will not be silent on this important issue. We
will continue to expose mistreatment and/or intimidation of Christians in the
military as a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and we
won’t stop until we are satisfied that their rights have been re-established.
Christian soldiers who believe in something beyond themselves, ready to
sacrifice even their lives for their country, have and always will be the
backbone of America’s military,” said Tim Wildmon, President of AFA.
AFA is part of the Restore Military Religious Freedom
Coalition which was launched in July. A full report documenting dozens of
religious liberty violations in the military is available at www.militaryfreedom.org. In addition
any soldier, sailor or airman experiencing religious intimidation may report it
and get legal counsel at that address.
For more information on American Family Association, visit www.afa.net.
To interview a representative from American Family Association, contact
Deborah Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org, 610-584-1096 or
American Family Association (AFA) a non-profit 501(c3) organization was
founded in 1977 by Donald E. Wildmon, who was pastoring First
United Methodist Church in Southaven, Mississippi, at the time.
Since 1977, AFA has been on the frontlines of America’s culture war. The
original name of the ministry was National Federation for Decency but was
changed to American Family Association (AFA) in 1988. Today, AFA is one of
the largest and most effective pro-family organizations in the country with
over two million online supporters and approximately 180,000 paid subscribers
to the AFA Journal,
the ministry's monthly magazine. In addition, AFA owns and operates nearly 200
radio stations across the country under the American Family Radio (AFR)
Other divisions of AFA include American Family Radio, the AFA Foundation
an online news provider that is syndicated around the world. AFA maintains
activist web sites such as OneMillionMoms.com and OneMillionDads.com that
rally Christian activists to contact companies asking them to drop their
advertising from objectionable TV shows. AFA web sites average over 40 million
hits and five million visitors each month. AFA uses all these means to
communicate an outspoken, resolute, Christian voice throughout America.
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