Acton Institute Powerblog

Religious Red Herring

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Visit Fox News for this exchange between John Gibson and Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center, about charges of religious intolerance in the military.

Here’s a key part of the discussion:

GIBSON: But, Mr. Thompson, I know you’re in this business, so you would be hypervigilant about this. And we all know how this cadet structure is. The seniors have enormous power over lower cadets.

Do we have a situation where senior cadets who are Christians are saying, “I don’t care if you’re a Zoroastrian; I don’t care if you’re a Wiccan; I don’t care if you’re a Muslim; I don’t care if you’re Jewish; Say these prayers”?

THOMPSON: No. That is not true.

First of all, we are not talking about students in kindergarten or high school students. We’re talking about military personnel. They certainly don’t have to say a prayer even if there is a prayer, let’s say, before meals. They can stand quietly. They don’t have to engage in prayer at all. I think it’s really, again, a red herring that is really being drawn into the public arena because of the agenda of Americans United For Separation of Church and State.

Jordan J. Ballor Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty, where he also serves as executive editor the Journal of Markets & Morality. He is author of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) (Wipf & Stock, 2013), Covenant, Causality, and Law: A Study in the Theology of Wolfgang Musculus (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012) and Ecumenical Babel: Confusing Economic Ideology and the Church's Social Witness (Christian's Library Press, 2010), as well as editor of numerous works, including Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. Jordan is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary. He has authored articles in academic publications such as The Journal of Religion, Scottish Journal of Theology, Reformation & Renaissance Review, and Journal of Scholarly Publishing, and has written popular pieces for newspapers including the Detroit News, Orange County Register, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In 2006, Jordan was profiled in the book, The Relevant Nation: 50 Activists, Artists And Innovators Who Are Changing The World Through Faith. Jordan's scholarly interests include Reformation studies, church-state relations, theological anthropology, social ethics, theology and economics, and research methodology. Jordan is a member of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA), and he resides in Jenison, Michigan with his wife and three children.

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