UPDATED: House of Representatives Votes 400-1 to Allow Contract Priests to Celebrate Mass

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Just as I was finishing up my last post, I got word of a very positive development: House Members will vote today to allow GS or contract priests to celebrate Mass on military bases this weekend.

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From the Daily Caller:

One Republican lawmaker on the House Intelligence Committee told The Daily Caller on Friday that this “crosses a constitutional line.”

“The constitutional rights of those who put their lives on the line for this nation do not end with a government slowdown,” Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo, a graduate of West Point and an Army veteran, said in a Friday statement. ”It is completely irresponsible for the president to turn his back on every American’s First Amendment rights by furloughing military contract clergy.”

Added Pompeo: “The President’s strategy during the slowdown, just as during the sequestration, is to create as much pain as possible. However, this action crosses a constitutional line of obstructing every U.S. service member’s ability to practice his or her religion.”

Senator Ted Cruz tweeted his own thoughts:

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This is fantastic news. I am certain it will get bipartisan support in the House. Assuming it has to go to the Senate next, I can only hope that the Democrats’ position of “we will not negotiate” can find an exception here.

I honestly don’t believe this would be possible if all of the CatholicVote.org readers had not shared this story. Over 160K pageviews on the story and over 60K shares on Facebook is no small thing. You got the word out, and your representatives are listening. Thank you for proving the power of the voice of the American people and standing up for your religious liberty.

UPDATE: 10/5/2013 @5:15PM

The House of Representatives voted 400 to 1 today to reinstate furloughed chaplains on a volunteer basis. The resolution was sponsored by Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia (R) who serves as a U.S. Air Force Reserve chaplain. No word yet on when this hits the Senate for a vote.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org

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