Constitution

Letter | America, don’t compromise military uniform for religion

February 4, 2014 

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The editorial (June 30) regarding the balance of military mission and religious freedoms asks a good question -- when will it go too far?

Sometimes it’s hard to know how far something will bend until it breaks, but America has only to look over its northern border for an example of where the line should be drawn. The Canadian government allowed its world renowned Mountie uniform to be changed to accommodate turbans and beards. The decision sparked controversy and left wide resentment in the loss of that traditional uniform, something that remains today, decades later.

As a Canadian- merican I have had the benefit of belonging to two countries and love both. Yes, Canadians have a reputation of being polite and nice, sometimes to a fault. But the indifference shown by Canadian politicians in the national pride of the Mountie uniform was a low point. Some argue that Americans are patriotic to a fault. I think that’s OK. We U.S. citizens are unashamedly proud to display our love for our country, and not apologize if it happens to offend. We don’t impose it on others, it is part of who we are.

But how can one argue with embracing diversity and demonstrating an openness to different values, beliefs and practices? I believe in that, as long as it doesn’t dilute how America defines itself and risk losing its identity. The ironic thing is that often those who are demanding that their beliefs be accommodated are themselves usually unwilling to do the same.

It’s one thing to give away part of what you have, it’s another to lose who you are in the process. Our military uniforms are more than just fabric. They are the fabric of our souls.

Don’t do it America. Our military uniform must remain uncompromised. The religious beliefs of a few should not be imposed on the many. There are some rules that cannot be bent or one day we will wake up and realize that we’ve gone too far and not only are the rules broken, but so are we. There’s no going back on this issue.

The writer lives in Murrells Inlet.

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