Pentagon May Court Martial Soldiers Who Share Christian Faith
A writer on Breitbart, that stellar example of journalistic integrity (read that in sarcasm font), made this claim earlier this week:
President Barack Obama’s civilian appointees who lead the Pentagon are confirming that the military will make it a crime--possibly resulting in imprisonment--for those in uniform to share their faith. This would include chaplains—military officers who are ordained clergymen of their faith (mostly Christian pastors or priests, or Jewish rabbis)--whose duty since the founding of the U.S. military under George Washington is to teach their faith and minister to the spiritual needs of troops who come to them for counsel, instruction, or comfort.
So, are you getting suspicious about the veracity of this one yet? You should be. I did a little quick research back on Wednesday and the first three or four pages of Google entries consisted solely of right-wing bloggers and "news" sources, each of which linked back to the Breitbart article. Every. Single. One. Despite the claim that the Pentagon had released a statement to this effect, not a single source linked to that supposed statement. None. Not a one.
See, that's when red flags go up for me. One of these days I'm going to write a post outlining my method for researching this sort of stuff, what I look for, and how I determine credibility. But suffice it to say that when Breitbart is the only source there's a good chance it may qualify for one of my Friday B.S. Roundups.
By Thursday, Sean Hannity had climbed aboard the crazy train:
Today it's fairly easy to find articles refuting this story, although it's not likely that anyone inclined to share the original will take the time to look. They've already convinced themselves that anyone in the military who dares whisper the name of Jesus is going to be locked up. But just in case you'd like to attempt to dispel this lie, here are some links for you:
Pentagon Refutes Reports of Anti-Christian Policies
Military says no court martials for sharing faith
Pentagon: No, we won't court martial Christians who talk about their religion
Fox Falsely Claims Obama Administration leading "Christian Cleansing" of Military
Of course, predictably, many of those sources who were screaming about this a couple of days ago are now claiming that the Pentagon is "back-pedaling" on the issue. Yep, that's the way to handle it. Make some outrageous claim and then when the facts come out just claim that your side "won" this battle and made the bad guys go slinking off in defeat. It's little wonder that people who get their news from these sources are confused, ill-informed, and forever up in arms over the latest "outrage". I'd like to think that there is hope for at least some of them to figure out that they are pawns in a game of ratings and that is why I do what I do. Yeah, I'm the eternal optimist so don't burst my bubble. Just go forth and share the truth.