- - Wednesday, October 16, 2013

When the government shutdown is finally over, what will be remembered in many minds is the pain, punishment, insult and aggravation that President Obama has imposed on law-abiding taxpaying citizens.

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, Washington Republican, said recently, “The Obama administration is taking advantage of every opportunity to make the shutdown as painful as possible” (“National Park Service reopens some sites after pressure from governors, veterans,” Web, Oct. 13). A lesser-known “gotcha” is that Catholic military chaplains are banned from celebrating weekend Mass under the threat of disciplinary action. In addition, contract priests, who are hired locally owing to the shortage of active-duty military chaplains, are forbidden to volunteer to celebrate Mass for service members and their families. In fact, they may be arrested if they engage in any ministry activities.

Still, resources were found expeditiously so that the service academies could play their football schedule. Apparently, when it comes to selective punishment by the Obama regime, first-and-10 trumps the First Amendment’s freedom of religion clause.

HELEN D. KOELLE

Silver Spring