Understanding Religious Rights | Episode 004

Episode 004 Show Notes

What are your rights as an American in uniform? Is it permissible for a chaplain to pray in Jesus’s name? Can you have a prayer breakfast on a military installation? What about sharing my faith—can I do that?

In this episode of Crosspoint, CAPT Chris Blake, a retired Navy Jag and OCF’s Chief of Staff for Support, discusses these topics and more with Michael Berry, Deputy General Counsel and Director of Military Affairs at First Liberty Institute.

The purpose of their conversation is to give you a better understanding about the religious rights of Americans in uniform; a better sense of the current operating environment; and practical suggestions for how to serve as a Christian in today’s military.

An overview of the conversation:

  • 2:41—Michael Berry shares his legal and military background.
  • 5:00—Insight into the history of religious rights of Americans in uniform.
  • 10:55—Where are we now with religious rights?
  • 16:15—Clarification of the Establishment Clause and the “free exercise thereof…”
  • 20:51—Where do we get the idea of “separation of church and state?”
  • 23:33—Has anything changed to put us in a different operating environment?
  • 28:43—Can a chaplain offer a benediction? Even in Jesus’ name?
  • 30:00—Can you have a prayer breakfast on a military installation?
  • 30:36—Discuss rules of engagement vs the current operating environment.
  • 33:55—Can I share my faith with others in the military?
  • 40:00—Additional resources for military members.
The opponents of religious freedom have become louder…but that doesn’t make them more correct (Michael Berry, First Liberty Institute). #OCF #OCFCrosspoint #ReligiousRights Click To Tweet

Quotable:

“The opponents of religious freedom have become louder…but that doesn’t make them more correct.”

“If you cede the authority to the government to tell you what your rights are, then you also necessarily cede the power of the government to take away those rights.”

“Congress is actually obligated to provide for free exercise of religion by service members, and the chaplain corps is one of the primary ways we do that.”

Resources:

Religious Liberty Protection Kit (PDF)

First Liberty Rights & Resources

Religious Freedom in Military, FAQ

The Religious Rights of Those in Uniform (PDF)

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