WASHINGTON â€¢ Republican lawmakers and conservative activists concerned that religious expression in the military is â€œunder attackâ€ are rallying behind a measure to provide greater protection for religious â€œactions and speechâ€ in the armed forces.
The amendment, sponsored by Rep. John Fleming, R-La., would specify in the military spending bill that, â€œExcept in cases of military necessity, the Armed Forces shall accommodate the beliefs, actions, and speechâ€ of service members.
Previous spending bills protected the â€œbeliefsâ€ of service members and chaplains, but the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act would expand protections to include religious â€œactions and speech.â€
That move has already drawn opposition from the White House, which says the change would impact commandersâ€™ ability to address conflicts within the ranks.
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