Remember when one Park Service Employee stated that they received orders to make things as difficult for people as possible? Now the Obama administration is using the government shutdown to deny our military service men and women their constitutional rights of freedom of religion.
According to the general counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Service, USA, priests that are under contract or general schedule with the military have been banned from performing Mass, weddings, baptisms or any other sacrament on military property. If they are caught performing any of these acts, even on a volunteer basis, they are subject to arrest.
A large portion of the US military is Catholic, approximately 25%, but there less than 250 active duty Catholic chaplains. To help provide religious services for Catholic military personnel, additional priests are under contract or general schedule. These are the ones being targeted by the Obama administration.
John Schlageter, General Counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, explained:
“These men are employed by the government to ensure that a priest is available when an active duty Catholic Chaplain is not present. With the government shutdown, many GS and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide are not permitted to work – not even to volunteer. “
“During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.”
“Until the federal government resumes normal operations, or an exemption is granted to contract or GS priests, Catholic services are indefinitely suspended at many of those worldwide installations served by contract and GS priests.”
“At a time when the military is considering alternative sources of funding for sporting events at the service academies, no one seems to be looking for funding to ensure the Free Exercise rights of Catholics in uniform. Why not?”
If Catholic military personnel are stationed some place overseas and the only chaplain available is a contract or general schedule chaplain, those Catholic military personnel will not be allowed to attend mass. If a Catholic couple has already made arraignments for a wedding on a military station and the only chaplain available is a contract or general schedule, the wedding will not be allowed to take place. It doesn’t matter how much they’ve paid for wedding arrangements or for family or friends who have paid to travel to the wedding, it will not be allowed to happen even if the chaplain wishes to volunteer to do the service for free.
I believe this is a clear violation of the First Amendment rights to the freedom of religion. It also is one of a rapidly growing list of unethical retributions made against the American people for the Democrats unwillingness to compromise or negotiate a resolution to the government shutdown. Obama and Reid’s insensitivity to the American people is repulsive and the worst example of a political tantrum I’ve ever seen. If they want to act like little babies demanding their way, then they need to be treated like babies and wear diapers and have a pacifier stuck in the mouth.