Seems to me Pope Francis is right about not proselytizing!
This is from this morning's Augusta Chronicle. Fort Gordon is in Augusta:
Group says BBQ aimed to convert
Troop complaints sent to Fort Gordon leadersBy Susan McCord Staff Writer
A religious freedom organization is calling on post leadership at Fort Gordon to take action after some soldiers reported they were forced to undergo fundamentalist Christian proselytizing by an Army chaplain during a Saturday “spiritual” barbecue. A post official said attendance was voluntary.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which advocates for a sharp separation of church and state, is acting on behalf of 43 soldiers, the majority of them young, but has not taken legal action, said Mikey Weinstein, founder and president of MRFF.
Weinstein said the soldiers were marched to a Fort Gordon chapel Saturday under belief the event was mandatory. At the chapel, loud Christian rock music played and an Army chaplain tried “his level best to get them to accept and surrender to his version of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Weinstein said.
Weinstein was unable to provide documentation, but said MRFF’s clients gave their “confirmed word” of what happened. He said the event “divided people and hurt people” as several companies, and possibly an entire battalion representing a variety of religions and atheism, were ordered to participate.
Weinstein said his organization typically works with company or battalion leadership on complaints, but, in this instance, went straight to Maj. Gen. John Morrison, Fort Gordon’s commanding general and highest ranking official, and asked the general to investigate and actively punish those responsible.
Fort Gordon Acting Public Affairs Officer Geralyn Smith Noah said the post is aware of Weinstein’s concern and will investigate whether there was “undue command influence” resulting in attendance by approximately 500 soldiers at the Fall Spiritual Fitness Cookout.
“While the event was clearly advertised as a voluntary activity only, we will conduct an inquiry to ensure there was no undue command influence to attend,” she said.