Sunday, August 22, 2010

Were Soldiers Who Skipped Christian Concert Treated Unfairly?

The Army is investigating claims that dozens of soldiers who skipped a Christian band's concert were confined to their Fort Eustis barracks and forced to clean them. About 20 of them, several of whom were Muslim, refused to attend on religious grounds. A spokesman said that, if this happened, it is contrary to Army policy.

Soldiers say they felt pressured to attend a concert by the Christian group, BarlowGirl, as part of the Commanding General's Spiritual Fitness Concerts program. Almost half of those at the base decided not to attend and, instead of being allowed to spend their free time as they chose, they were locked-down and told not to use their computers or cellphones.

Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said Christian-based events are "ubiquitous" throughout the military. He called it "egregious, unconstitutional religious tyranny" and said it was "our job to fight it."

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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