Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Army Intolerance Against Conservatives

Our military promotes strict discipline in order to be effective. But recent reports suggest that some in the Army enforce obedience to stifle conservative thought and expression. A soldier with a 24-year spotless record says he was punished for expressing conservative views. Master Sgt Nathan Sommers says he got into trouble for displaying conservative bumper stickers on his personal car. One of the stickers said "Political Dissent is NOT Racism," and another had a slogan against Obama's reelection. An army official described the bumper stickers as "detrimental to morale" and "creating unnecessary workplace tension." But the slogans were on Sommers’ personal car; they were not displayed in the workplace. It is absurd to say that they were hurting job performance.

At another time, Sgt. Sommers was caught reading books by David Limbaugh and Mark Levin backstage during an Army concert. Although he was reading those conservative books silently, he was ordered not to read conservtive books "within sight of anyone from the [Army] band."

After these stories of censorship broke, a military spokesperson claimed that Sommers "never has been 'facing retribution and punishment from the military'" for his conservative actions. But Sommers was discouraged by his superiors from continuing these activities. Common sense says that being urged by superiors to stop expressing conservatism is not much different from facing punishment for continuing to exhibit conservatism.

At another time, Sommers held a private party where he served food from Chick-fil-A, a company whose owner supports traditional marriage. The sergeant's superiors responded with an "evaluation that effectively torpedoed ... [this sergeant’s] chance at promotion." The Army should not be using a litmus test on conservatism to determine who gets promoted. It should not be punishing our brave, conservative servicemen. The Army and the government should respect our constitutional religious liberty.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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