Navy Religious Exemption Form
Should we force servicemembers to explain personal beliefs?
This document violates the 1st Amendment two ways: it is forced speech and its limitation on what is or is not religion violates the “free exercise clause.” For example, the U.S. Supreme Court cited Secular Humanism as a religion in the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins (367 U.S. 488). Torcaso, a practicing Humanist, refused to declare belief in Almighty God required for him to be commissioned as a notary public. The Court held that the requirement for such an oath "invades appellant's freedom of belief and religion." The Court declared the “it is not the business of government or its agents to probe beliefs.” The Navy doesn’t get that it is actually wading into a deep philosophical argument about what is religion and God and spirituality. Patriotic servicemembers and their families understand the corrosion of liberty embodied in this document.