In the wake of last week’s shocking news that the Pentagon is threatening to punish those who share their religious beliefs with others, the courageous comments of a high ranking official in the U.S. Coast Guard have largely gone unreported in the media.
At a National Day of Prayer event Thursday on Capitol Hill, as first reported by World Magazine, Rear Admiral William Lee, who described himself as “a man of deep abiding faith who happens to wear a uniform,” spoke out against the growing religious hostility in the military.
Lee recounted his decision to violate military rules preventing him from giving a Bible to a soldier who had attempted suicide, and pledged not to back down from “my right under the Constitution to tell a young man that there is hope.”
In speaking of the record number of military suicides, Lee shared the story of the 24-year-old soldier who had survived a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He told the gathering that his heart said to give the soldier a Bible, even though he knew the rules said he should send the man to a chaplain.
“The lawyers tell me that if I do that, I’m crossing the line,” Lee said. “I’m so glad I’ve crossed that line so many times.”
His comments were in response to the appointment of anti-Christian Mikey Weinstein as a Pentagon consultant to develop new policies on religious tolerance. Weinstein recently wrote of Christians in The Huffington Post:
Today, we face incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation’s armed forces.
Lee received several standing ovations during his brief remarks, according to World Magazine, and he requested prayer for Christian military personnel to “weather the storm that I am almost certain will come.”