McIntyre Defends Religious Liberty Rights of Military Chaplains

At a recent House Armed Services Committee meeting regarding the Department of Defense annual bill, Congressman McIntyre defended the religious rights of military chaplains to pray according to the dictates of a chaplain’s own conscience. The Congressman’s remarks are above and the amendment was successfully included in the bill.

Background -- Military chaplains are often tasked with offering prayer during events outside of their normal religious services including memorial services for fallen service members, retirement ceremonies, and change of commands. However, during these events outside of a chaplain's normal religious service there are no protections for the content of the chaplain's prayer. This has led to a chilling effect in the chain of command resulting in chaplains being told to refrain from referencing a specific deity while closing a prayer. This amendment would simply allow chaplains of all faiths the option to close a prayer according to the traditions, expressions, and religious exercise of the endorsing faith. First Amendment free exercise protections should not cease to exist in the military, and this amendment would ensure that they do not.