The bill, if enacted, would amend the United States Code provisions concerning chaplains for the Army, the U.S. Military Academy, the Navy and Marine Corps, the Air Force, and the Air Force Academy, to include the following language: If called upon to lead a prayer outside of a religious service, a chaplain shall have the prerogative to close the prayer according to the dictates of the chaplains own conscience.
The American Center for Law & Justice has been working with Congressman Jones for several years to protect the right of military chaplains to pray according to the dictates of their faith. Some Christian military chaplains have been denied the right to pray in Jesus name for fear of retribution and even discipline by military officials. During the previous administration, we urged President Bush to issue an Executive Order protecting the rights of military chaplains. Congressman Jones bill would accomplish that goal by setting forth in statute the right of chaplains to pray according to their conscience.
The bill has been referred to Subcommittee on Military Personnel of the House Committee on Armed Services.