As a pastor and a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, I understand that the First Amendment guards the personal exercise of faith. We cannot become weary in fighting to protect Americans’ religious liberty.
During the government shutdown in the 113th Congress, executive branch officials announced that they considered military chaplains non-essential workers, which impeded service members’ access to religious expression and counseling. I introduced a resolution to make clear that chaplains who had been furloughed during the shutdown should be able to continue serving our military, as federal law protects religious expression. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed this resolution affirming military chaplains as essential employees so that chaplains could return to their duties on behalf of America’s service members.