Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

House of Representatives Continues Constitutional Heresy of the House Armed Services Committee

In a press release of May 9, 2006, the Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) condemned the recent vote by the House Armed Services Committee approving an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 [H.R. 5122] that reads:

"Each chaplain shall have the prerogative to pray according to the dictates of the chaplain's own conscience, except as must be limited by military necessity, with any such limitation being imposed in the least restrictive manner feasible."

It turns out to conform to and make real the discriminatory guidelines of the Air Force Academy - evangelical control and proselytization succeeds.

We reaffirm that such an amendment is vehemently contrary to the views of the Founding Fathers.

Instead of acting responsibly and according to the spirit of the Constitution, the full House enacted the amendment attached to the funding bill, which was passed overwhelmingly by that body. To have voted against the funding bill was to vote against the funds necessary to support our troops in the field--a sure way to guarantee passage of this abortion of the rights of the free exercise of religion which have been guaranteed under the First Amendment.

Now that the Appropriations bill is up for consideration in the Senate, that body must act to remove this heinous amendment from a bill that provides the spending needed for our military.

If this amendment is allowed to pass as part of the appropriations legislation, the vision of our Founding Fathers and the rights of all to worship, especially in the military, as they choose will both be infringed.

The more we accept an incursion of rights - the easier it becomes to further interfere with and to constrain the exercise of those rights, religion being a singular and dominant concern inherent in our being a democracy.


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