Thursday, October 31, 2013

Liberty Institute Briefs Congress on Threat to Religious Freedom in Military


This week, Liberty Institute Attorney Michael Berry traveled to Washington, D.C., to take part in a congressional staff briefing and various meetings, concerning the increasing threat to religious freedom in our armed forces.

The Family Research Council, which hosted the day-long event, asked Berry to speak at the congressional staff briefing because of his expertise on the issue of religious hostility in the military.

Berry is a former top Judge Advocate General officer, and is currently heading Liberty Institute’s Armed Forces Religious Liberty Project – an initiative that will enable us to defend those in the military who are facing religious persecution. Berry is the lead attorney for U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk, who was relieved of duty because of his religious beliefs regarding traditional marriage.

Photo courtesy of Albert Saenz, Family Research Council
In addition to the staff briefing, Berry spent time discussing military religious liberty issues with FRC Executive Vice President Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. "Jerry" Boykin and Chaplain Ron Crews, executive director for the Chaplain Alliance. He also attended meetings at the offices of Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, and Representatives Lamar Smith, J. Randy Forbes, and John Fleming.

Photo courtesy of Albert Saenz, Family Research Council

Attacks Increasing Rapidly 
The increasing assaults on the First Amendment rights of our brave service men and women has created a need for Liberty to launch a fourth area of focus – defending religious liberty in the military – in addition to the schools, churches, and the public arena.

Here are just a few examples of the assaults:

  • Chaplains sued or threatened for honest expression of their faith.
  • The word “God” banned from veterans’ funerals.
  • Prayer “in Jesus’ name” banned at a Memorial Day service.
  • Veterans’ memorials with crosses threatened with demolition.
  • A military consultant comparing some officers sharing their faith to “spiritual rape” and calling for widespread court martials.
  • Christian ministries and evangelical Christians labeled domestic hate groups and terror threats by military instructors.

Liberty Institute Answers the Call
Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization dedicated solely to defending and restoring religious liberty in America – in our schools, for our churches, throughout the public arena, and now, in our military.

Our team of experienced constitutional attorneys includes those with specific expertise in military law, like Michael Berry. Liberty Institute has a long track record of success when it comes to defending our nation’s service men and women – both past and present.

Please continue to pray for Liberty Institute as we work to bring attention to the alarming trend of religious hostility in the military, and please continue to give generously.

We have a 99% win rate, but only because of help from friends like you. Please, consider a gift today to help us continue to protect the freedom of those who bravely fight everyday for ours.

About Liberty Institute
Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches, in the military, and throughout the public arena. Liberty’s vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our nation’s Founders. For information, visit