MONTEREY, Calif., June 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — First Liberty Institute today sent a letter to the United States Navy on behalf of active duty officer Daniel Schultz asking the U.S. Navy to grant an accommodation so that he may attend indoor religious services.
Read the letter here.
“In open defiance of the Commander in Chief, who recently declared churches as essential to America, the U.S. Navy has threatened to court-martial service members if they go to church,” said Mike Berry, First Liberty Institute General Counsel. “It is absolutely outrageous that our troops can’t go to church, but they can attend a protest or host house parties of any size.”
On June 24, the Navy issued an order that banned troops from attending indoor religious services, although other activities such as using mass transit, hosting social gatherings of any size, and participation in protests are all permitted. But the order specifically states that “service members are prohibited from visiting, patronizing, or engaging in . . . indoor religious services.” The Navy’s orders apply to everyone assigned to Navy units and vessels including, ironically, its chaplains. Sailors returning from duty are not permitted to leave their ship until they agree to abide by official U.S. Navy orders preventing them from attending “indoor religious services.” Service members who fail to abide by the Navy’s orders may be prosecuted via court-martial.
“This order is unlawful and immoral, and President Trump should immediately demand its removal,” says Berry.
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