Thursday, August 12, 2010

DoD: Stop Unconstitutional Proselytizing

VCS and MRFF to Secretary Gates: Stop Unconstitutional Proselytizing

10 August 2010 - Veterans for Common Sense and the Miltiary Religious Freedom Foundation sent the following letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, urging him to stop religious proselytizing, especially among military mental health patients.

August 9, 2010

Dear Secretary Gates:

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) has learned on numerous occasions over the past several years about blatantly sectarian Christian religious programs and Christian proselytizing in the military. The proselytizing is unconstitutional and we demand you issue an order to stop it now.

Our letter addresses a particularly pernicious subcategory of proselytizing that must also cease immediately. The military often substitutes evangelical chaplains in the place of professional mental health care for service members suffering from mental health conditions, especially post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These reports have recently become increasingly frequent and alarming.

Among the many types of shocking incidents and illicit and dehumanizing practices reported to MRFF have been the military's teaching of creationism as an actual bona fide means of suicide prevention; the use of a parachurch military ministry's evangelical Christian program to treat PTSD; service members seeking help being sent to and proselytized by chaplains instead of being sent to mental health professionals; articles in official military publications stating that finding Jesus if the only solution to the mental health problems faced by members of our armed forces; mandatory mental health training inside chapels, plus countless "Spiritual Fitness" events and programs being promoted as mental health solutions. And It Continues, Rightfully So >>>

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