State Representative Ron Young (R- Leroy Township) has announced that House Resolution 283 passed the Ohio House of Representatives by a vote of 84-3, with 41 co-sponsors. In closing, H.R. 283 states, “…we the members of the House of Representatives of the State of Ohio, urge the United States Congress and the United States Department Defense to protect and uphold the religious and free speech rights of military service members.”

 The heart of the resolution consists of eight instances where military personnel have either had their constitutional rights violated or their faith has been misrepresented. For example, the first instance states,

“In 2012, United States military recruits were presented a detailed equal opportunity training brief that expressly listed Catholicism and Evangelical Christianity as examples of religious extremism alongside such groups as Al Qaeda, Hamas, and the KKK.”

And the second states, “The United States Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center released a study linking those that believe in the sanctity of human life to terrorism.”

When asked why he offered the resolution Rep. Young stated “No one in the military should be punished for believing in and peacefully worshipping God, as long as such behavior does not endanger the mission.  Members of the military, because their job is so important to the strength of this country, must have their rights protected. I believe our military is still a place that offers religious freedom and treats our servicemen and woman with respect regardless of their beliefs. However, instances of infringement are on the rise and freedom can only be maintained through vigilance.” 

Two local pastors are supportive of the resolution:

Pastor Evan Nunnally of Lifehouse Church serving the Leroy and Chardon area stated, “I thank the Lord for representatives like Ron Young who will stand up for Christian men and women to express their faith in Christ. That faith has and will help our service members to do their job. We expect these young men and women to be willing to lay down their lives for their country, but in far too many cases we restrict them from honoring their God. The freedom to practice ones religion is one of the primary freedoms that make this country worthy of defending. Because of what it means to our many great service men and women, I am happy to see this resolution passed.”

Pastor Tim Potter of Grace Church in Mentor stated, “It is intellectually dishonest and absurd to liken Evangelistic Christians or Catholics to extremist religious groups. It is amazing how liberal, anti-God agendas and worldviews get not just promoted but implemented through back doors even in our own military and government. We are proud of and stand behind Representative Ron Young and all those state representatives who not only noticed but also acted upon these injustices against our religious liberties whether one is Catholic or Evangelistic Christian. If we don't stand against these religious inequities in our military the liberal agenda will be all the more emboldened to impose their beliefs and convictions upon our greater American culture as they disallow ours.”

In closing Rep. Young stated, “The resolution is just one voice among many calling for the powers that be in Washington to exercise more sensitivity to the religious beliefs of our service personnel.” He then referenced the following quote:

For example, Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) recently led 41 Members of Congress in a bipartisan letter to Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson, Superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy, requesting an immediate response to questions regarding the removal of a quotation of scripture from an Air Force Academy cadet’s personal whiteboard. According to the official Air Force response, posting of the verse was inappropriate “in light of leadership principles.”

“The respectful and casual expression of a religious viewpoint does not have a negative impact on effective leadership,” Congressman Forbes said. “Military service does not and should not require the restriction of religious expression. Demonstrating to our cadets and service members that they are not permitted practice the very rights that they are dedicating their lives to protect is not only unconscionable, but also a missed opportunity to counter the misinformed belief that to be inclusive, we must never discuss points of view on which individuals may differ. Choosing silence is a way to avoid leadership, not exert it.”


For full text of the resolution, click here.

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