JONES CALLS OUT AIR FORCE ON ISLAMIC MEDAL

Mar 15, 2013 Issues: Values, Veterans, Armed Services

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday Congressman Walter Jones (NC-3) expressed his outrage after learning that Air Force Lt. Col. Jon Trainer has been awarded a Bronze Star for preparing a PowerPoint presentation on how to respectfully handle Islamic materials. In a letter to U.S. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, Jones explained that Christian military chaplains are denied the religious freedom to express their individual convictions, yet our government is rewarding work done on behalf of tolerance for the Islamic religion.

“It is a sad commentary on the state of our nation that I was forced to introduce legislation — H.R. 343 — to ensure that religious freedom is guaranteed to our military chaplains,” Jones stated.

Full text of the letter to Secretary Donley is below:

“Dear Mr. Secretary: 

The word stunned does not begin to express my reaction when reading the news reports that Air Force Lt. Col. Jon Trainer has been awarded a Bronze Star — not for combat — but for preparing a “PowerPoint” presentation on how to respectfully handle Islamic materials.

I find it ironic at best that an effort to protect the sensibilities of those practicing the Islamic religion has been rewarded by the Air Force with a medal normally reserved for acts of heroism on the battlefield, while at the same time our Christian military chaplains are being denied the constitutional right to express their individual religious convictions.

I know of multiple chaplains who have been reprimanded for closing their prayers “in Jesus’ name.”   One of these individuals was removed from his chapel for a prayer he delivered during a memorial service for a soldier who attended his chapel regularly and who the chaplain knew to be a strong Christian. 

It is a sad commentary on the state of our nation that I was forced to introduce legislation — H.R. 343 — to ensure that religious freedom is guaranteed to our military chaplains.  The sensibilities of those who come from the Judeo-Christian traditions have been seemingly disregarded, while those who concern themselves with Islamic sensibilities are awarded medals.

Instead of going to such great lengths to demonstrate how politically correct the Air Force can be, I urge you to recommit the Air Force to protecting the constitutional rights of our military chaplains to close their prayers according to the dictates of their faith.”