Collins Amendment to Protect Religious Liberty for Military Chaplains Included in NDAA
WASHINGTON—The U.S. House and Senate Armed Services Committees yesterday released the Conference Report for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020, which included Collins’ amendment to protect religious liberty for all chaplains serving in our military.
Collins’ amendment will guarantee the government is not involved in the establishment and determination of religion, ensuring the church is the sole determiner of whether a military chaplain is qualified to represent his or her religion.
“Allowing the military to serve as the sole determiner of whether a chaplain is qualified to represent his or her religion wrongly allows the government to dictate religious qualifications and how our military chaplains provide for the spiritual needs of our service members. This amendment will guarantee the church—not state—is the sole determiner of whether a chaplain is qualified to represent his or her religion,” said Collins.
“As a former pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserve, protecting our religious liberty and the role of the church is deeply personal for me. I want to thank Ranking Member Thornberry, Rep. Austin Scott, Chairman Inhofe, and Senators Lankford, Hawley and Perdue for working with me to ensure this amendment was included in the conference report, and I look forward to seeing this signed into law.”
Collins is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and the only military chaplain serving in Congress.