The Pentagon has issued new guidance on religious liberty within the military — following pressure from Republican lawmakers to “prioritize protecting the rights and freedoms of service members” in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Get the military's most comprehensive news and information every morning. He is a 1986 graduate of the United States Military Academy and received his commission in the Infantry. But Esper recently wrote in a memo that he can obtain a waiver to participate in matters that “directly and predictably” affect Raytheon’s finances. It’s been seven months since a Senate-confirmed secretary of defense has presided over the Pentagon. Weinstein takes issue with the policy’s definition of religious practices, which the DoD now characterizes as “an action, behavior, or course of conduct constituting individual expressions of religious beliefs, whether or not compelled by, or central to, the religion concerned.”. Acting Secretary of Defense Mark Esper testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee to be secretary of defense. Sign in to stop seeing this. Mark Thomas Esper (born April 26, 1964) is the 27th and current United States secretary of defense, and a former U.S. Army officer and defense contractor lobbyist before his appointment. pic.twitter.com/iu1Chu17ie, “The American people deserve to know that you’re making decisions in our country’s best security interests, not in your own financial interests,” Warren concluded. In particular, they pointed to three recent cases where they argued the Army restricted the religious liberty rights of chaplains and service members. Army officials have since said the service is investigating his case. He was the 23rd United States Secretary of the Army from November 2017 until July 2019. Lastly, Warren asked Esper if he would commit to waiting at least four years before taking a job with Raytheon or another defense contractor after his service in the government concludes. “This smacks of corruption, plain and simple,” said Elizabeth Warren while grilling potential Pentagon chief Mark Esper over his ties to defense contractor Raytheon.
The letter also cited Air Force Lt. Col. David McGraw, who was holding “Sunday Christian Porch Preaching” on his apartment balcony at Kelley Barracks in Stuttgart, Germany, during the COVID-19 pandemic this spring. The Pentagon’s updated guidance has received backlash from groups such as the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, whose founder and president, Mikey Weinstein, argues that the revised regulation will “obliterate the wall of separation between church and state in our military.” Others, like First Liberty, a conservative legal firm that advocates for religious liberty and First Amendment rights, have lauded it as a “great victory for America’s brave service members” and claim it reflects the principles included in President Donald Trump’s 2017 executive order “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty.”, “This clarifies what the Constitution and federal law already says and applies it to the DoD,” said Berry, who served on active duty in the Marine Corps for seven years and currently is a Marine Corps reservist. The presidential candidate began her questioning by asking Esper if would agree to recuse himself from participating in government business involving Raytheon while serving as defense secretary, similar to how Shanahan agreed to recuse himself from participating in doing business with Boeing, his former employer. “So it’s not to say that our work is done,” Berry said. How to Stream 'The Mandalorian' Season 2 on Disney+, This Is What Stealing an Election Looks Like. He took over as acting defense secretary last month following the unexpected resignation of Patrick Shanahan, whom Trump was poised to nominate for the position permanently. Warren then pointed out that when Esper left Raytheon he agreed to receive a robust deferred compensation payout after 2022.
We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us. The president officially conferred the nomination to Esper on Monday. Conservative Republican lawmakers and First Liberty have issued a series of letters over the past year, urging the Defense Department to take action. Schumer is currently the Senate minority leader. “It’s the best time that we’ve ever seen for the defense industry,” Raytheon CEO Thomas Kennedy said a year later. Particularly concerned with Esper’s glaring conflict of interest was Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Personal finance expert Jeanette Mack explains how to protect your finances from cyber criminals. Weinstein, an Air Force Academy graduate who served in the service for more than 10 years, argued this would encourage military superiors to proselytize their subordinates and press lower-ranking service members to adopt their superior’s faith or worldview concepts, or suffer career damaging fallout. Want more Rolling Stone? Warren asked Esper if he would commit to abstain from seeking such a waiver. Mark Esper, Trump's Defense Secretary pick and former top Raytheon lobbyist, declined to recuse himself dealing with his former employer. Specifically, Weinstein slammed the incorporation of RFRA and argued that it is the “sick epitome of the right-wing Christians' tortured view of the First Amendment’s religion clauses.” He argued those who back RFRA fail to recognize the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause that bars the government from making any law regarding an establishment of religion.
Sign up for our newsletter. A group of conservative lawmakers have demanded a meeting with Defense Secretary Mark Esper to talk about religious liberty issues. In May, for example, 20 lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper arguing that senior military leaders “continue to violate the religious liberty” of chaplains in the military. Esper said he would not commit to waiting four years before returning to the private sector. What Does that Mean for Biden’s Chances? New Delhi: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Defence Secretary Mark Esper will visit India next week for the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue between the two countries to be held on October 26-27 in Delhi. President Trump’s Cabinet is already rife with corruption, stocked full of former lobbyists and other private industry power players who don’t seem to mind leveraging their government positions to enrich themselves personally.
The revised regulation, DoD Instruction 1300.17, Religious Liberty in the Military Services, was unveiled earlier this month. The law states that “governments shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion.”, An exception is made if it can be demonstrated that the limitation is in “furtherance of a compelling governmental interest” and “is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”. “If we want our military to remain the strongest, most capable military, we’ve got to ensure that our troops don’t lose their constitutional freedoms because otherwise, they’re going to start asking, ‘Why are we fighting?’” Berry said. If so, please join The Times of Israel Community. Early Turnout Is Huge. Exchange between @SenWarren and Defense Secretary Nominee @EsperDoD on @Raytheon, ethics, waivers and conflicts of interest.
Mark Thomas Esper (born April 26, 1964) is an American lobbyist and former government administrator for the United States Department of Defense.Esper is the 27th and current United States Secretary of Defense since July 2019. By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief. Such beliefs can include religious beliefs or moral principles, the guidance says.
“On the advice of my ethics folks at the Pentagon, the career professionals: no, their recommendation is not to,” he said. The law, known as RFRA, was introduced by then-Rep. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and had 170 co-sponsors. PhD, Public Policy, George Washington University, 1997-2008. McGraw has since continued the services at a separate location, and MRFF called for leadership at U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart to face a military court-martial or be subjected to non-judicial punishment via Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 15. According to Berry, though, it remains to be seen how serious the Pentagon will be in enforcing this new regulation. “It is clear that Army commands are not on the same page about how to address religious liberty issues that may arise,” the lawmakers, led by Reps. Doug Collins, R-Ga., and Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., wrote in their letter to Esper, copying Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy.
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“This is outrageous.”, In This Article: In May, Warren introduced legislation that would make such a quick transition illegal for former Defense Department officials. Esper should fit right in. Does The Times of Israel give you valuable insight into Israel and the Jewish world? This isn’t likely to be the case for much longer, as the Republican-controlled Senate is expected to confirm Mark Esper to the position soon, possibly by the end of the week. “This is not a panacea for every religious issue that will come up in the military, but it’s certainly a huge step in the right direction.”. MPA, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 1994-1995. WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today sent a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper raising concerns about the Department of Defense's (DOD) overt religious discrimination, specifically pointing to the DOD's decision to remove Lt. Col. Lorenzen as a presenter for the U.S. Marine Corps' annual training simply because he is a religious individual. Again, he said no. As detailed in Rolling Stone’s investigation into the influence of Trump’s leadership council of business executives, Raytheon hasn’t had much of a problem working its tentacles into the Trump administration. While critics of the revised regulation say it will encourage military superiors to push their religious beliefs on subordinates and fellow service members, proponents of the rule have hailed it as a victory for religious liberty.
Dr. Mark T. Esper was born on April 26, 1964, in Uniontown, Pennsylvania.
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