Pastor: 80 Airmen Meet on Air Force Treatment of Christianity
Pastor Steve Branson of Village Parkway Baptist Church in San Antonio, TX, reported that he recently held a meeting with a large group of members of the US Air Force to hear their worries over the Air Force’s treatment of their religious freedom.
At least 80 airmen attended a private meeting at the church where [Branson] heard them voice their concerns about religious hostilities at the Air Force base. It was a standing-room only crowd.
“The religious persecution is happening,” the pastor said. “It’s getting bigger every day.”
As to the improper conduct for which these Airmen claim they are being discriminated against [emphasis added]:
“A commander told him, ‘Don’t you understand discrimination – that your thought process is discrimination?’” Pastor Branson said.
Branson’s church in San Antonio, near Lackland Air Force Base, has reportedly become a flash point for allegations that the US Air Force has been restricting the religious liberty of Christians. The allegations mirror those by retired LtGen William “Jerry” Boykin, now vice president at the Family Research Council, who has said
Christians have to keep quiet about their religious beliefs…you’re an open Christian at your own peril…under many of the commanders in the military today and that’s a major change, a major paradigm shift in our society.
At least some part of that article has to be lost in translation. Columnist Todd Starnes quotes one family saying their Airman had to “repeat Basic Training” because he answered a question about his faith as “Christian.” He may have felt he had to repeat something, but it seems unlikely he repeated all of Basic Training because of that answer.
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, self-proclaimed religious freedom advocate, has leapt to the defense of Christians, noting
Clause 3, Article 6 of the Constitution, the body of the Constitution,…went into effect in December 1789. The First Amendment didn’t even go into effect until March 1791. The Clause 3, Article 6 states that we will never have a religious test for any issue in the federal government.
So Americans are going to sit back and do nothing when the United States Air Force states it will now conduct a religious test on anyone…
Weinstein seems to say that taking action against Airmen merely because of their beliefs constitutes a “religious test” that violates the US Constitution.
Regarding the number of Airmen expressing concerns about their religious liberties, Weinstein quoted a former Supreme Court Justice, saying
As Sandra Day O’Connor said, “In this country we do not count heads before enforcing the First Amendment”.
Weinstein routinely reports on the “dozens” of supporters he has that back his claims of illegal Christian conduct at military bases, so 80 is a substantial number. Even if it wasn’t, he reiterates “we do not count heads” in protecting religious liberty.
Oops. Wait a minute. Weinstein said that when he was attacking Christians, not defending them. In fact, Weinstein hasn’t spoken out in defense of Christian over these incidents at all. The fact that logic, principle, and intellectual consistency would demand he afford Christians the same defense he provides other religious beliefs is no impediment to Weinstein’s zealous crusade against Christians.
In response to allegations Christians are seeing discrimination because of their beliefs, Weinstein borrowed language from atheist Jason Torpy, calling it the death throes of “Christian privilege.”
To be clear, Weinstein thinks a poster on a wall that says “Matthew 5:9” is a religious liberty issue worthy of a personal phone call to Air Force Headquarters. 80 Airmen expressing concerns about “religious hostility” is not.
As Weinstein himself recently said,
“Let me explain which Christians we’re going after…”
Religious freedom? Not if Mikey doesn’t like your beliefs.