- The Washington Times
Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Rep. Doug Collins this week introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would prevent the military from issuing restrictions on attending religious services because of health concerns unless similar limits are placed on other gatherings.

Mr. Collins, Georgia Republican, introduced the amendment two weeks after the Navy issued a since-reversed order barring sailors from attending indoor religious services.

Mr. Collins, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserves, acknowledged that ensuring the health and safety of troops is critical but singling out religious gatherings while allowing other social activities was unlawful.

“This amendment will guarantee that our men and women in uniform are able to freely exercise the very freedoms they fight to protect each and every day,” he said in a statement.

In May, Mr. Collins and several House colleagues sent a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, urging him to protect the rights of service members to practice their faith in uniform.

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