Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.) falsely claimed earlier this week that President Obama banned members of the US Military from making donations to churches.
Rep. Nunnelee didn't provide any actual proof of his claim, but stated it as fact on the Family Research Council's radio show "Washington Watch" (audio below), notes RightWingWatch.org.
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins began the segment with his usual claim that President Obama is trying to “suppress” religious freedom so that his “radical social policy” may be advanced.
In response, Rep. Nunnelee said, “We have military people that have been told, ‘If you are supporting an evangelical Christian organization,' I take that to be my church, ‘then you are subject to Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).'"
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"Well that is frightening," warned Rep. Nunnelee. "If a soldier, a man or woman in the military, makes a contribution to their church and they’re going to be hauled in before the UCMJ, that is very serious.”
Rep. Nunnelee was likely repeating a false report by Fox News' Todd Starnes last year that claimed, "Soldiers attending a pre-deployment briefing at Fort Hood say they were told that evangelical Christians and members of the Tea Party were a threat to the nation and that any soldier donating to those groups would be subjected to punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice."
In reality, Starnes' story stems from a slide from an unofficial U.S. Army Reserve training course on “Extremism & Extremist Organizations,” notes The New Civil Rights Movement.
The slide lists "Evangelical Christianity (US/Christian)" under a list of "Religious Extremism" with ever other major religion. But Starnes didn't mention the text that went with the slide, which clearly states:
Because “ordinary” is subjective, no religious group would label itself extreme or its doctrine “extremism.” However, religious extremism is not limited to any single religion, ethnic group, or region of the world; every religion has some followers that believe that their beliefs, customs and traditions are the only “right way” and that all others are practicing their faith the “wrong way,” seeing and believing that their faith/religion superior to all others.