A Georgia lawmaker is calling for a Congressional investigation into the Pentagon's treatment of Christians.
Rep. Jack Kingston, (R) GA, said Christianity is treated like a "red-headed stepchild" in the nation's capitol and blamed political correctness for a series of recent incidents where prominent Christian leaders have been banned from participating in military events.
"Rescinding the invitations to people as high profile as Franklin Graham and Tony Perkins sends a huge message downstream to all the military chaplains that certain sermons are no longer going to be welcome in the Pentagon circles," Kingston told FOX News Radio. "If you want to get along, you have to go along."
Graham was recently removed from his position as a speaker at the Pentagon's National Day of Prayer event. The Pentagon said it would be inappropriate for him to speak after calling Islam an "evil and dangerous religion." Perkins was allegedly disinvited to speak at Andrews Air Force Base because of his opposition to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." In addition, the National Day of Prayer Task Force was told not to attend the Pentagon's upcoming prayer event.
Kingston said he was especially concerned that there's been a major policy change at the Pentagon and it's "almost going by unnoticed by Congress."
"If the military says, 'Look, God is no longer welcome. We just want good thoughts by military chaplains,' well, that's fine," Kingston said. "But let's have a Congressional decision in the matter."
Kingston represents a district with four military installations and he said it's evident there is an aversion to Christianity in official religious services.
"I can tell you the prayers are really no longer prayers they are just sort of good thoughts for the day, inspirational messages," he told FOX News Radio. "But they have very few references to the Lord and you will never hear 'In Christ name we pray.'"
Since President Obama was inaugurated his administration has been criticized by Christian conservatives for what they perceive as a lack of respect. The First Family initially wanted to remove a Nativity from the East Room of the White House, but recanted. He also declined to hold a White House ceremony marking the National Day of Prayer - instead offering a proclamation.
"The president declared we are no longer a Christian nation," Kingston said. At best he has a lot of religious ambivalence himself. We're going to have to realize that the Commander in Chief isn't going to stand there for the traditional Judeo Christian celebrations and observations. At the same time we can't let one person take that away from our history and our traditions in America. The only way that's not going to happen, though, is the people in the pews are going to have to stand up and speak out."
And at worst?
"Either way he's ambivalent about what his religion is," he said. "I don't think there's anybody who really knows what his religion is. When George Bush said Jesus Christ is his best friend, he was ridiculed for it. Maybe the president is trying to avoid that sort of attack."
Kingston said Christians should be concerned about recent developments at the Pentagon and said the nation's capitol has almost become a "religion-free zone."
A Congressional hearing, he said, would resolve the issue once and for all.
"If Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid think this is a good thing, let them come out of the closet and say so," he said. "Let's not let this decision be made my Pentagon bureaucrats."