US Army Captain Judd Lienhard Opposes Bladensburg Cross
A member of the US military wrote an article published online noting he was an Army Captain and Christian — and yet he opposed the existence of the Bladensburg Peace Cross:
My name is CPT Justin M. Lienhard…I am absolutely opposed to any public funds being used to support any religious institutions or beliefs. The Bladensburg cross at the heart of the ongoing Supreme Court battle is an example of exactly that, and it doesn’t represent my service, nor the service of the many people I worked alongside…
I am an avowed Christian. I know that Jesus is my lord savior.
Lienhard’s article is not compelling — and it’s also not entirely forthright.
First, he gives a passionate critique of several strawmen. The Bladensburg Peace Cross has nothing to do with “public funds [supporting] religious institutions or beliefs” — despite his categorical claim it was “exactly that.” He writes about not “march[ing] as a Christian army,” which has nothing to do with the Peace Cross — or just about anything else. Further, contrary to his passionate claim, the Bladensburg Peace Cross wasn’t erected to represent his service, nor honor all veterans. It was erected with the use of private funds to honor the families of 49 local citizens who were killed in World War I. That he would somehow personalize their memorial changes its meaning not one whit.
It is interesting that a US Army Captain would so proudly declare his devotion to Jesus Christ and yet not incur the wrath of one Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, who — were he to be a man of principle — would be demanding Lienhard’s court-martial and calling him a traitor due to his blatant promotion of Christianity (and lack of a disclaimer!). But then, he agrees with Weinstein, so he’s not likely to be threatened. But there’s more.
Judd Lienhard is also not a US Army Captain.
According to his own bio, Lienhard left the US Army in 2011. That would mean his name is not CPT Justin M. Lienhard, as he claims, but Mr. Justin Lienhard. Lienhard has apparently been out of the military for years, and he’s been a “speed and strength coach” in Texas since then. He can apparently bench press a Volkswagen — but beyond that he gives no reason to grant him authority on issues of Christianity or the military.
Interestingly, Judd Lienhard also claims to be an “avowed Christian.”
But “avowed” means “stated publicly.” Lienhard is published prolifically on the internet, where it is obvious he has great disdain for Donald Trump and capitalism (his defense of socialism is…intriguing). But his only public reference to Christianity has been to repost content from John Pavlovitz, a progressive-“Christianity” minister in North Carolina who appears to have fallen into being a cultural Christian while advocating for the ideological left. No where has Lienhard published about his “Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” It does not appear Lienhard has “avowed” his Christianity anywhere, except within this particular piece.
In fact, Lienhard is a contributing writer to The Humanist, which is a product of The American Humanist Association — a very anti-Christian website and magazine. It was The Humanist which came to him last December and asked for a statement in support of their attack on the Bladensburg Peace Cross — one he was apparently happy to provide, and one the American Humanist Association cited in its press release last month. That statement was posted as an article on Rewire.
Whether Judd Lienhard is a Christian is between him and God — though, notably, the fruits he bears don’t appear to match the tree he claims. But his convenient claim to present military service, and his use of that military service and his convenient claim to an “avowed” religion to support an organization attacking the Bladensburg Peace Cross, is a disingenuous stretch of integrity that is strictly on him.
You should try that again, Judd, but with a little more honesty this time.
The fact that the Bladensburg Peace Cross is being maintained by public funds does nothing to promote, favor, or advocate for any particular religious belief. No reasonable person could conclude otherwise. It would seem the Cross’s critics feel as though they’re having a hard time winning their argument.
Judd’s statement doesn’t help.