Obama administration: asleep on issue of religious coercion in the military?

One thing I don’t get about the Obama administration: why isn’t it using its authority to clean out the religious fanatics who have made big inroads in using the U.S. military as a coercive mission field for evangelical Christians?

This came to mind this week as the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, under the direction of the irrepressible Mikey Weinstein, publicized the case of soldiers at Fort Eustis in Virginia who were punished for refusing to attend a Christian rock concert.

This was part of the "Commanding General’s Spiritual Fitness Concert Series"; apparently at Fort Eustis, spiritual fitness involves a specific religious faction.

“More than 80 soldiers were punished with ‘lock down’ when they chose not to attend this Christian concert,” the group reported; when they tried to file an official complaint, they were “pressured by Army anti-discrimination officials NOT to press charges.”

The Pentagon has announced an investigation – but we’ve heard that before.

I can understand why the last administration, with its close ties to Christian right leaders, didn’t do much to end widespread religious coercion in the military. But the Obama administration? Is someone asleep at the White House and the Pentagon? Paging Mikey Weinstein: what’s going on here?

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.