Presidential press secretary Scott McClellan today skirted a question about the newly revised Air Force guidelines on chaplain prayer – guidelines that both proponents and opponents agree preclude military clergy from praying “in Jesus’ name” at official events.
As WorldNetDaily reported, while the revised rules, released Thursday, assure chaplains they “will not be required to participate in religious activities, including public prayer, inconsistent with their faiths,” they still are urged to use “non-denominational, inclusive prayer or a moment of silence” at non-religious military events.
Referencing the WorldNetDaily story, WND asked McClellan: “Why is a devout Christian like the commander in chief continuing to allow this censorship of Jesus?”
“I don’t know about that specific report that you reference,” McClellan responded. “We believe it’s important to value the contributions of our military chaplains that they provide to our men and women in uniform. Our men and women in uniform ought to be able to express their religion freely. And that’s what our view is.”
WND also asked the spokesman why the president had not recommended a larger cut than $53 million in the annual $400 million payment to public television and National Public Radio, given the fact those tax-exempt entities pay their presidents $540,000 and $377,000 a year.
“I think our view is probably spelled out in our budget. I’ll check into it and be glad to provide you additional information beyond that,” McClellan told WND.