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Forced AA in the US Military is Unconstitutional

USS Constitution
Old Ironsides

Dear Members of the Armed Forces of the United States of America:

If you are being forced, or even pressured in any way, to attend Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or any similar 12 Step based meetings or treatment programs, your constitutionally guaranteed, natural human right to religious liberty is being violated.

On November 14, 1999 the U.S. Supreme Court refused to overturn, thus allowed to stand, a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ordering this violation to cease. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the high courts of the states of Tennessee and New York now have made the same ruling.

You may be asking yourself how this may effect you as a member of the military. The answer is that, as a member of the military, you are entitled to the same constitutional rights to religious liberty as any other U.S. citizen. In 1972 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that although some constitutional rights are not extended to members of the military, religious liberty is not one of them, and clearly stated in Anderson v. Laird 466 F.2d 283 (1972), "Attendance at religious exercises is an activity which under the Establishment Clause a government may never compel."

The group recitation of the opening and closing prayers at meetings alone are religious activities. Furthermore, the 12 steps are a detailed prescription for your relationship with God. Your relationship with God is none of the government's business; there is no more basic principle than this in the entire U.S. Constitution.

If you are now somehow caught in the web of the military 12 Step system, you are no doubt familiar with the concept of addiction as a disease and the term "denial." Denial can get you in hot water, right. Actually denial is a natural thing. The only people who want a label such as "alcoholic" are those who have a dire need to excuse their past actions. Probably many of the people in the system who are now violating your rights are those who have accepted this label under those terms and now want to impose such a label on you. They are invading your conscience if they make any demands on your beliefs, and this is not only cruel, but it is also quite unconstitutional. Perhaps Thomas Jefferson said it best when in 1781 he wrote of religious liberty, "Subject opinion to coercion: whom will you make your inquisitors? Fallible men, men governed by bad passions." In other words, what kind of person would even have a need to invade your conscience or bully you into "their" religious program?

Even if it were a proven fact that alcoholism is a disease, the government could not coerce your profession of belief that you have this disease. Imagine a genuine medical doctor coercing your beliefs that you have a proven disease. As it turns out, the vast majority of the research/scientific community are shaking their heads in frustration that the U.S. government propagates this "alcoholism as a disease" theory, and consider it an absolute myth. There is an abundance of information on the links of this web site alone to verify this.

If you are being coerced into the 12 Step program, I urge you to see a lawyer as soon as possible. Most lawyers have not dealt with the Religion Clauses of the Constitution, but I assure you that all they need is found in this web site. You may be wondering if your superiors may be able to in some way retaliate against you if you file suit. The answer is no; your lawyer will prevent that with whatever restraining orders necessary. The Anderson vs. Laird opinion abolished the long standing tradition of mandatory chapel attendance at the U.S. military academies. These brave young men were harassed by their superiors, and their lawyer immediately gained a restraining order and the harassment ended. I am a veteran, and these young men, in my opinion, are enduring heroes in the never ending battle to preserve religious liberty.

Yes, the military can and must demand your sobriety. No, the military cannot, and must cease, dictating how and where you pray, and prescribing your relationship with God. The stakes are not small; the future of religious liberty is at hand. I admire you for standing ready to risk your lives to preserve the United States Constitution, and I salute you with the utmost respect. Please allow me to leave you with these words from Thomas Jefferson and Roger Williams:

"Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, ...that to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical;...Be it enacted by the General assembly, that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, not shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities."

Thomas Jefferson

Act for Establishing Religious Freedom

"There goes many a ship to sea, with many hundred souls in one ship, whose weal and woe is common, and is a true picture of a commonwealth, or a human combination or society. It hath fallen out sometimes, that both papists and protestants, Jews and Turks, may be embarked in one ship; upon which supposal I affirm, that all the liberty of conscience, that ever I pleaded for, turns upon these two hinges--that none of the papists, protestants, Jews, or Turks be forced to come to the ship's prayers or worship, if they practice any. I further add, that I never denied, that not- withstanding this liberty, the commander of this ship ought to command the ship's course, yea, and also command that justice, peace and sobriety, be kept and practiced, both among the seamen and all the passengers."

Roger Williams

Letter to the Town of Providence (1654)


Tommy Perkins