Defense Bill Includes Religious Freedom Language

A joint House-Senate conference has reached agreement on the final version of the 2014 Defense Authorization Bill, which includes some provisions regarding religious freedom while not including other provisions that were in the original bill. One of those provisions protects the right to proselytize:
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Another Day, Another Anti-Mikey Article

Not a day goes by lately when you can’t find yet another wingnut website going off on an outraged diatribe about the evils of my friend Mikey Weinstein. Today it’s the Patriot Update, which claims that the military is engaged in a “war on Christianity” that is all Mikey’s fault and will lead to the Chinese taking over the country. Yes, seriously.
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Hagel Orders Equality for National Guard Soldiers

After the Supreme Court overturned Section 3 of DOMA in June, the Pentagon said that all soldiers with legal same-sex spouses of military personnel were eligible for the same benefits given to opposite-sex spouses. But many anti-gay governors have refused such benefits to National Guard members in their state. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the Pentagon to fix that.
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Fischer: Obama has Criminalized Christianity in Military

Bryan Fischer got his outrage machine cranked up to 11 on his radio show recently, claiming that now that gay people aren’t thrown out of the military for being gay, Obama “has made it a criminal offense to be a sincerely devoted follower of Jesus Christ” and is engaging in “ethnic cleansing” of Christians. Well as long as you’re being rational about this, Bryan.
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No Gay Weddings for Southern Baptist Chaplains

The North American Mission Board, which certifies chaplains for the Southern Baptist Convention, has released a set of guidelines for their chaplains forbidding them from performing any same-sex weddings. Fair enough, that’s certainly expected and acceptable. But those guidelines seem to go much further than that and help reveal the importance of having humanist chaplains available to those in the military. For instance:
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A Possible Political Solution in Syria

This growing boondoggle on Syria gets more absurd by the day. Monday morning, John Kerry held a joint press conference with British Foreign Secretary William Hague and, of course, the questions were all about Syria. When a reporter asked if there was anything Assad could do to avoid military action by the United States, he said:
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Rios: Women, Gays Will Undermine Syria Effort

Sandy Rios of the American Family Association apparently thinks women and gay people can’t aim a Tomahawk missile. On her radio show she actually claimed that the “homosexual takeover” of the military and the presence of women means that our Navy ships won’t be effective in bombing Libya.
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WND Can’t Make Up Its Mind on Syria

Joseph Farah’s Worldnetdaily has a problem. They just can’t seem to make up their mind about Obama’s actions toward Syria, so they’re criticizing him for contradictory things. Obama is horribly wrong because he’s going to bomb Syria and support the Muslim extremist, Al Qaeda-affiliated rebels AND he’s horribly wrong and abdicating his role as commander-in-chief by dilly dallying with Congressional approval.
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Obama to Seek Congressional Approval. Kind Of.

President Obama surprised people late last week by almost kinda pretending to make his behavior consistent with his rhetoric by asking for congressional approval before he bombs Syria. The man who once said the president could not take military action without congressional approval except in an immediate and necessary response to an imminent threat — which Syria clearly does not pose — and then ignored that principle in Libya, wants Congress to give him the go-ahead. But not getting it won’t stop him from doing what he wants to do:
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Military Leaders Skeptical of Syria Bombing

I have long said that I trust the military leadership to make important decisions on the use of American military power far more than I do elected officials of either party. Politicians tend to make decisions on specious, self-serving grounds and be far too beholden to the defense industry to make rational decisions that actually make sense. And I’m not at all surprised that the Washington Post reports deep skepticism and opposition to the bombing of Syria that Obama is clearly headed toward.
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