Military culture problematically promotes religious belief. A Department of Defense public affairs officer recently stated that it is acceptable to talk about faith but not to push it on others. However, specific case studies, regulatory requirements, and even basic definition of terms are not publicly available. Congress and military leaders should oppose efforts under the guise of ‘religious freedom’ or ‘conscience’ to discriminate or gain special privilege for religion. Proselytism and ubiquitous prayer create a military culture that oppresses nontheists, especially in the absence of any outreach or services.
POLICY RECOMMENDATION: Provisions for religion and belief should be optional. Services should be available for those who feel they would benefit but should not be mandatory or induce repercussions for those who do not participate.