U.S. Army says, “Don’t ask; don’t read Sean Hannity”

The government’s war on the rights of conservatives isn’t just being waged by the IRS; the U.S. Army apparently is also participating. According to this report from Fox News, Master Sgt. Nathan Sommers, a 25-year Army veteran and conservative Christian based at Fort Myer in the Washington, D.C. area, has been harassed and persecuted for expressing conservative views and for reading books by Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and David Limbaugh.

Sommers’ difficulties began last April when he was told by his superior officer to remove pro-Republican, anti-Obama bumper stickers that were on his privately owned car. The stickers read: “Political Dissent is NOT Racism,” “NOBAMA,” NOPE2012” and “The Road to Bankruptcy is Paved with Ass-Fault.” The last of these stickers included the image of a donkey.

According to the report filed by Sommers’ superior officer, these stickers “were creating an atmosphere detrimental to morale and were creating unnecessary workplace tension.” “Even the slightest inference of disrespect towards superiors can have a demoralizing effect on the unit,” the officer explained.

When Sommers pressed the issue, the Army backed away from this ludicrous stance. Sommers was not reprimanded.

But then, Sommers, a member of the Army band, came under fire for his choice of reading material:

Sommers was reading Limbaugh’s “The Great Destroyer” backstage at a U.S. Army Band concert at the U.S. Capitol. A superior officer told him that he was causing “unit disruption” and was offending other soldiers.

“I wasn’t reading aloud,” he said. “I was just reading privately to myself. I was told they were frowning on that and they warned me that I should not be reading literature like that backstage because it was offensive.”

In another episode, he had been caught backstage reading a copy of Levin’s “Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America.”

Sommers said he was told to refrain from reading the book “while in uniform or within sight of anyone from the band.”

The Army’s solicitousness on behalf of band members who might be offended by the sight of a Sean Hannity book is touching. But this is a slippery slope. Some combat troops are offended by sharing living quarters with those whose sexual practices they abhor. Their sensibilities should receive at least as much respect as those of left-wing bandsmen.

Speaking of gays in the military, the issue is closely linked with attempts to trample the rights of Sommers and other Christian military personnel.

Sommers ran afoul of gay colleagues by serving Chik-Fil-A sandwiches at a party he hosted for fellow soldiers, and by then tweeting that he was doing so “in honor of DADT repeal, and Obama/Holder’s refusal to enforce DOMA act.” Fox reports that he was later summoned by a superior officer, who Sommers says is openly gay, and told that unidentified individuals were offended by the tweets and some considered them to be racist (when did gays become a race?).

Sommers was then reprimanded, threatened with judicial action, and given a bad efficiency report. An investigation was also launched.

It appears that Sommers is not an isolated victim of the Arny’s efforts to curb the rights of those who have serious reservations about the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:

Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty said stories like this are becoming commonplace in the military post-repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

“These stories are the ones that have not been told – about some of the more subtle ramifications of the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy,” he said.

One service member received a severe reprimand for expressing his faith’s religious position about homosexuality in a personal religious blog.

A chaplain was relieved of his command over a military chapel because he could not allow same-sex weddings to take place in the chapel.

And a chaplain who asked senior military officers whether religious liberty would be protected in the wake of the repeal of the law against open homosexual behavior in the military was told to “get in line” or resign.

The gay rights agenda isn’t just about attacking discrimination. It’s also about “rubbing the noses” of those with religious-based and other reservations about homosexuality “in it.”

Given the past treatment of gays, I think I understand how this became part of the agenda. But it shouldn’t become part of the agenda of the U.S. Army or the U.S. government.