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Keep Religion in the Military

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5 Reasons to Keep Religion in the Military

Liberty Institute Senior Counsel and Director of Military Affairs Mike Berry takes a tour of the history of religious expression in the armed forces

Since the United States’ founding, American civil and military leadership have taken deliberate steps to meet the religious needs of the military and to prevent it from becoming a purely secular entity.  The founders were no strangers to government provision of religious support to the military.

#1:  President George Washington.  Perhaps no individual had a greater influence in shaping our nation’s armed forces than George Washington, its first Commander-in-Chief.  He made known his convictions on the importance of religion within the military early in his career while serving as a young Colonel during the French & Indian War (1753-1763).  Throughout that time, he repeatedly requested religious support for his troops, explaining:1

Common decency, Sir, in a camp calls for the services of a divine, and which ought not to be dispensed with, altho’ the world should be so uncharitable as to think us void of religion.2

Washington’s British superiors refused each of his requests. But Washington believed so firmly that religious exercises and activities were essential to the well-being of his troops that he periodically undertook to perform those duties himself, including reading Scriptures, offering prayers, and conducting funeral services.3


Source: http://blog.libertyinstitute.org