U.S. Army

The master sergeant, Obama, Chick-fil-A and missing details about religion

The master sergeant, Obama, Chick-fil-A and missing details about religion

First things first: Yes, I know that people who volunteer to join the military need to realize that they are surrendering some of their First Amendment rights.

Nevertheless, there are some interesting issues linked to politics and, yes, religion in the recent Military Times article about the retired master sergeant who has filed a lawsuit claiming that toward the end of his 15-year service in the U.S. Army Band he was "systematically persecuted by a politically correct cabal."

The key is that Nathan Sommers claims that the leaders who controlled his career -- leading to a sub-par job evaluation and a shove out the exit door -- consistently "tried to censor his speech and mock his religious beliefs.”

So, what are the crucial details that a journalist would need to include in this piece in order to cover this man's claims in an accurate and fair manner?

At the very least, we need to know some specific details about his political beliefs and speech. But the most controversial angle here is the religion hook. That is essential. We need the details.

GetReligion readers will not be shocked to learn that the Military Times team does a good job with the political material. Religion? Not so much.

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After Hasan trial: Spot big religion ghost in this story

The military trial of Maj. Nidal Hasan was never — as a journalism story — really about whether or not he was guilty of massacring his unarmed colleagues at Ft. Hood, Texas. With Nasan representing himself and openly discussing his role as the gunman, the key issues in the trial were linked to his own explanation of his faith-driven motives and the degree to which his superiors knew of his convictions in the months before his rampage.

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