A lawsuit alleging religious bias, including mandatory participation in Christian prayers, against the U.S. Department of Defense was expanded this week, the latest twist in a story that probably won’t go away in 2009.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s (MRFF) expanded lawsuit said the U.S. military was sanctioning Christian missionary activity with Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan — a highly sensitive issue in two predominantly Muslim countries where the United States is waging war.
We’ve blogged on this before – in September the MRFF said a non-religious Kansas soldier is suing U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on the grounds that his constitutional rights were violated when he was forced to attend military events where “fundamentalist Christian prayers” were recited.
Specialist Dustin Chalker’s cause was the second such case up by the MRFF.
In a statement this week the group said it was expanding its lawsuit “to include two additions regarding unsuccessful attempts by service members to resolve their complaints (about religious bias) through military channels.”
It further stated that it had added: “five new categories of examples showing the ‘pattern and practice”‘of constitutionally impermissible promotions of religion by the military.”