WASHINGTON – House lawmakers concerned that proposed military guidelines are restricting some Christian chaplains' abilities to pray said Wednesday they will deliver a 6-inch-thick petition to President Bush this week asking him to intervene.
The Pentagon is finalizing guidelines to help determine what is appropriate religious expression, following an internal investigation that found examples of religious insensitivity at the Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs, Col.
Conservative lawmakers and others said they fear the guidelines, which urge sensitivity to religious diversity, go too far.
They said some Christian chaplains throughout the military have complained their right to pray by specifically mentioning Jesus Christ is at risk. The lawmakers want Bush to issue an executive order protecting chaplains' right to pray according to their faith.
"I truly believe the president of the United States -- if he understands the realities of this situation -- will respond in a decisive manner," said Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz.
The four House lawmakers said the petition was signed by more than 150,000 people across the country.