Back in May of 2010, soldiers at Ft. Eustis were marched in formation to the front gates of a “Spiritual Fitness” concert featuring the Christian group, Barlow Girls.
This bit of news broke out to the mainstream press yesterday. But for the local area, this is nothing more than a reaping of what you sow. Two years ago the “Spiritual Fitness concerts” were restarted by Maj. Gen. James E. Chambers. Rumor was that this commander was a hard nose, not a bad thing for a military commander but also a vey active Christian with a bias. I remember speculating with my husband about this extremely evangelical Christian commander, his concert program and the impact on religious freedom for the local area. There was a lot of speculation about how close to the edge of abusiveness it could get, that it would take an incidence of clear force to finely cause the military to protect religious rights of the troops. There is a difference in religious accommodations and compulsory religious activity and the military and their commanders need to learn this.
I hope that now this story has hit the mainstream press that real policy change will occur. And maybe, for once my local area can go back to being a quiet, religion is personal kind of thing place.
The price of freedom is vigilance.