Freedom of Religious Expression in the American Military Essay

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Freedom of religion is one of the most fundamental rights that Americans possess. Freedom religion is not only mentioned in the Bill of Rights, but it is included in the very first of these rights. The founding fathers recognized this as very important to the American people because many colonists had come to the New World to escape religious persecution in Europe. In America, the attitude is moving more from an attitude of acceptance to one of mere tolerance and even disdain in some cases. The public and some leaders are denying many their constitutionally guaranteed right to free exercise of religion. The military is one arena where these rights are being denied quite often. The American military is becoming increasingly hostile toward expression of religious beliefs, especially Christianity. The hostilities continue even though the Constitution protects freedom of expression, and the courts have reaffirmed that servicemen and women may freely express their religious beliefs without fear of adverse effects on their careers.
Much of the controversy over religious freedom in the military rests in the question of whether or not allowing religion in the military is an "establishment" of religion which violates the First Amendment. The official stance of the DoD on religion in the military is "the DoD places a high value on the rights of members of the Military Services to observe the tenets of their respective religions or to observe no religion at all" (Dominguez 2). It also states that worship practices, holy days, and other religious observances "will be accommodated to the extent possible consistent with mission accomplishment" (Dominguez 8). The Supreme Court ruled in Marsh v. Chambers that prayer opening sessions in congress ...

... middle of paper ... he was fired for religious views on gays. Air Force Times. Gannett. 16 August 2013. Web. 8 April 2013. .
The Holy Bible, New King James Version (NKJV). Nashville: Thomas Nelson, inc., 1982. Print.
Prayer and Religion in the Military. ACLJ. American Center for Law and Justice. n.d. Web. 8 April 2014. .
Update on Developing Situation at U.S. Air Force Academy. Liberty Institute. Liberty Institute. 13 March 2014. Web. 3 May 2014. <>.
U.S. Air Force Awards Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk Prestigious Decoration Despite Religious Discrimination Claim. Liberty Institute. Liberty Institute. 18 February 2014. Web. 3 May 2014. .

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