WASHINGTON - A congressman whose amendment would protect religious expression in the military says the armed forces have become "a hostile work environment" for people of faith.
Louisiana Republican John Fleming says his amendment is needed because chaplains feel restricted in how they can pray and preach, and officers are being warned to avoid open displays of their faith.
The White House has said it "strongly objects" to the amendment, saying it could adversely affect military morale and discipline.
But Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert, who joined Fleming at a Capitol Hill news conference, said the military's perceived hostility toward religion risks driving away people of faith.
Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin added that young Americans who take their faith seriously may be deterred from joining the military.