The new Republican-controlled House has many things on the agenda as it begins its work. Perhaps the most high-profile issue of immediate concern is determining who will assume the position of Speaker of the House, which Democrat Nancy Pelosi has held for the last four years. Today the House is slated to begin voting for that post – and it's unclear whether California's Kevin McCarthy, who held the House Minority Leader position in the previous congressional session, will ascend to that position.
But also of concern to some in Congress – and to evangelical Christians as well – is a campaign threatening the religious rights of those in America's military. For example, an amendment passed as part of the recent National Defense Authorization Act put an end to vaccine mandates in the military. However, no provision was made to reinstate the thousands and thousands of former service members who have had their careers destroyed for refusing – because of religious concerns – to comply with the vaccine.
Gary Bauer is chairman of Campaign for Working Families. During an appearance on American Family Radio last week, he shared his thoughts on the matter.
"I think the reason they were kicking people out of the military over the vaccine is because they knew that most of the objectors were, in fact, Christians who had theological reasons they didn't want to take the vaccine," he stated. "And I believe that politically leftist people who have been imbedded now into the Pentagon and over at the White House – and every place else in Washington – want Christians out of the military."
Bauer added further to his theory behind the absence of a provision for those already booted from the service for refusing the vaccine.
"I think [the leftists] feel they may have to utilize the military for controversial purposes in the years ahead – and they don't believe that Christians might follow inappropriate orders that could be given to them," said Bauer.
No doubt – it's a purge
Bauer isn't alone in his speculation. Mat Staver with Liberty Counsel pointed out in October that of the more than 3,700 Marines who had requested a religious accommodation from the shot, the Marine Corps had granted only 11 accommodations. He is convinced the Biden administration's continued push for the mandate at that time had nothing to do with COVID or protecting people's health or military readiness.
"It has everything to do with using this as a reason to purge the military of people of faith," he told American Family News.
AFN has reported on the case of an Army chaplain who, when denied an appeal for religious accommodation, was given two options: either voluntarily submit for retirement, or voluntarily get vaccinated. In light of the NDAA amendment, according to Chaplain Brad Lewis, the Army may have stopped "adverse actions," such as force separations – but hasn't said how it plans to proceed.
In another case, a medical officer in the Army – a professed Christian – submitted a detailed whistleblower declaration to the U.S. Senate after being court-martialed for refusing to participate in the vaccine, the associated testing, and masking. 1LT Mark Bashaw was subsequently ordered to turn over his computer to his command after calling attention to data showing an 1,100% increase in adverse events from viral vaccines in the U.S. military.