US Soldier: Combining Religious, Military Uniform Inspires Confidence
For Kalsi, wearing his “religious uniform” with his military uniform provides him confidence as a soldier.
“I know that my faith makes me a better soldier,” the lieutenant colonel said. “It makes me stronger, it makes me more resilient and it sustains me in ways that I would have a hard time explaining.”
The Stars and Stripes recently noted a surge in waivers for observant Sikhs to serve in the US military while retaining the outward symbols of their faith:
Eight Sikh Army recruits have received waivers this year allowing them to maintain their religiously mandated beards and turbans in uniform, nearly doubling the number of observant Sikhs in the Army despite a decades-old policy barring visual symbols of faith.
The success of Sikh adherents publicly exercising their religious faith in uniform has befuddled Michael “Mikey” Weinstein — the self-proclaimed number one voice of military religious freedom who has awkwardly said nothing about religious liberty for Sikhs.
Worse, Weinstein knows that if the religious freedom of Sikhs is protected, then it will also be protected for Christians — something the Sikh Coalition explicitly wants:
Ultimately, the coalition wants to see an end to “all religious discrimination” and seeks a Pentagon-wide policy change to allow persons of any religion to maintain their visual articles of faith in uniform without requiring an accommodation.
Think about it: If the US military has no problem letting a Sikh wear a beard and turban — the world’s most obvious symbol of “this is my religion” — how successful will Mikey Weinstein be when he demands the US military restrict Christians from having a Bible on their desk or saying “I am a Christian“?
Mikey Weinstein’s desire to muzzle Christians — or expel them from the military — dies if Sikhs are successfully integrated into the US military, which is already happening:
Kalsi said he has never had issues with other servicemembers because of his visible tenets of faith.
But while attacking Christians is in vogue, attacking Sikhs isn’t. And, quite honestly, Weinstein probably doesn’t care if a Sikh wears a turban — but he does care about the negative impact it has on his ability to attack Christians in the military.
How can Mikey Weinstein stop the growing movement of military religious freedom the Sikhs represent without finally being outed as a bigot? More importantly, how can he do so without losing the donor base to the charity he runs — the same “charity” whose single largest expense is Mikey Weinstein’s salary?
If Mikey Weinstein can ever figure that out, you can expect a statement from the self-declared leader on military religious freedom. Until then, he’ll continue his long silence on one of the most significant military religious freedom issues in recent history.