Naval Academy Football Coach Balances Faith, Profession

US Naval Academy football coach Ken Niumatalolo appears in the documentary “Meet the Mormons,” a feature film production by the Church of Latter Day Saints that attempts to show that Mormons are “average” and successful in society.

In an article carried at the Baltimore Sun, Niumatalolo is highlighted for his decision to end mandatory team meetings on Sunday, freeing his staff to spend the day with their families and at church. As celebrated NFL coach Tony Dungy and others have explained before, long workdays on Sunday are an expected part of the football culture, and Niumatalolo worked his fair share as an assistant coach:  Continue reading

F-16s Collide, One Pilot Ejects over Kansas

The Air Force reported that two Oklahoma National Guard F-16s collided during training yesterday. One pilot ejected safely; the other returned to base.

Two Oklahoma Air National Guard F-16 fighter jets flying a training exercise out of Tulsa collided in midair over southern Kansas, causing one of the pilots to eject from the aircraft.

Oklahoma National Guard spokesman Col. Max Moss says neither pilot was seriously injured in the collision Monday afternoon southwest of Howard, Kan.

The pilot who ejected was taken to a hospital but not believed to have serious injuries. As with all mishaps, the Air Force will investigate and report on the incident some months from now.

Also at the Air Force Times.

Mikey Weinstein Attacks POW/MIA Displays

POW/MIA display tables — symbolically empty tables representing those who did not come home — have long been a fixture in military dining halls and formal ceremonies. They’ve also been a sore spot for militant secularists, who object to the traditional inclusion of a Bible on the table. Prior controversies have been discussed before, including one at Patrick Air Force Base earlier this year that resulted in the table being completely removed because it was “divisive.”

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has now gotten into the fray, complaining to the US Navy that an official Navy blog included an info graphic of the traditional table — complete with Bible:

Weinstein had a predictably adjective-filled response:  Continue reading

Kirtland AFB Responds to Criticism over Email Bible Verse

A civilian Air Force employee at Kirtland AFB sent out a request for response to a small business contract opportunity — and raised the ire of Michael “Mikey” Weinstein when she did so. The closing of her email said this, as redacted and publicized by Weinstein:

vr
(Name of USAF AFMC AFRL/RD employee withheld)
Small Business Specialist

AFRL/RD-RV
3550 Aberdeen Ave SE
Kirtland AFB, NM 87117

Commercial: (505) XXX-XXXX  Continue reading

Navy Celebrates 239th Birthday with Worship Service

The US Navy celebrated its birthday at its service academy in Annapolis with a worship service in the US Naval Academy chapel:

The worship service reflected several religious traditions from those participating in the service and included remarks from Vice Adm. Walter E. Carter, Jr., Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, and Chief of Navy Chaplains Rear Adm. Margaret Grun Kibben. Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens also attended and participated in the scripture reading.

Chaplain Kibben called for courage:  Continue reading

Group Objects After Air Force Pulls Commander’s Article on Faith

The 180th Fighter Wing Commander has reportedly censored an article written by his Medical Group Commander, Col Florencio Marquinez, because of a complaint by Michael “Mikey” Weinstein.  (The article can be read here.)

According to the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), [a civilian] complained about Marquinez’ article, claiming that it was “odious” and “offending.” In response to the complaint, Commander Col. Craig R. Baker ordered the newsletter to be republished without Marquinez’ piece.

Weinstein claimed full credit, praising the commander.  The “odious” and “offending” words were his [emphasis added]:  Continue reading

Commander’s Comments: A Spiritual Journey as a Commander

The following appeared as an article in the 180th Fighter Wing publication The Stinger, but was removed by order of the Wing Commander, Col Craig R. Baker, because of a complaint by Michael “Mikey” Weinstein that it was “odious” and “offensive.”  (See discussion here.)  The sentences in which Col Marquinez mentions his faith are highlighted.


Colonel Florencio Marquinez
Medical Group Commander

First, I want to honor and thank you, present and past veterans, for your dedication and service to our wonderful, great nation. Every military branch has their own creed, serving as a guidepost for our actions. Each creed has similar themes and values reminding us of our responsibilities and duties when we put the uniform on. Of course, the most important to us, and my personal favorite is the Airman’s Creed.

I am an American Airman.
I am a warrior.
I have answered my nation’s call.

I am an American Airman.
My mission is to fly, fight and win.  Continue reading

WWII Vet Receives Norse Burial

The US Navy routinely performs burials at sea for qualified veterans, ceremonies that follow religious traditions despite the complaints of some who see a collusion between religion and the military.

The US Coast Guard recently performed a ceremony for World War II veteran Andrew Haines, and it honored his request as well — for what the Navy Times called a “Viking funeral“:

Haines…wanted a burial at sea…. On Sept. 29, the Station Atlantic City Coast Guard conducted the burial about three miles off the coast of New Jersey.

[The] handcrafted wooden Norse-style vessel…was lowered into a recess on the Coast Guard ship, where the shavings inside the boat were lighted with a flare and pushed out to sea.

Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Christopher Fonseca, the unit’s operations officer,

said he’d done a few burials at sea in his career — they are free to any military veteran — but never one this elaborate.

Also at the Stars and Stripes.

Air Force Academy Football Team Prays with Opponents

Though there have been quite a few attacks on public displays of Christianity at the US Air Force Academy, that didn’t appear to deter USAFA football players from taking a knee with their opponents at Arizona Christian University:

The USAFA JV squad lost 42-38. ACU President Len Continue reading

Report: Evangelical Ministry Thrives at West Point

An interesting article at WORLD Magazine last month talked about “one of the most popular and thriving officially sanctioned clubs” at the US Military Academy at West Point — Officers’ Christian Fellowship:

At the United States Military Academy, one of the most popular and thriving officially sanctioned clubs is an openly evangelical Christian campus ministry. Officers’ Christian Fellowship, or OCF, has a database of more than 800 Cadets and an active participation of 400—nearly 10 percent of a student body of 4,400.

The OCF ministry at West Point is run by retired Army Colonel Tom Austin and his wife, Cheri, at a house just outside the gate:  Continue reading

F-15 Pilot Ejects over England

According to the Air Force, an RAF Lakenheath F-15D Eagle pilot safely ejected and his plane crashed (in a “fireball,” according to a witness):

The pilot, with the 493rd Fighter Squadron, ejected and was brought back to the base with only minor injuries, a spokesman for the base said.

The F-15D is the two-seat version of the F-15C. The rear cockpit was presumably empty.

Also at the Stars and Stripes.

Justice Scalia Defends Religion in the Public Square

This isn’t actually news: Justice Antonin Scalia has long said nothing in the US Constitution requires the government to scrub all appearances of religion from the public square. He did put a new twist on it this time, though, essentially saying the government can favor religion over non-religion:

“I think the main fight is to dissuade Americans from what the secularists are trying to persuade them to be true: that the separation of church and state means that the government cannot favor religion over nonreligion,” Justice Scalia said.

There is nuance to that statement. Scalia had Continue reading

NFL Rightfully Regrets Penalty on Player Prayer

An NFL player who recalled shades of Tim Tebow was penalized during a football game for praying in the end zone:

Referees in Monday night’s game took exception to Kansas City’s Husain Abdullah actions after he slid in the end zone and prostrated himself…

Abdullah, a devout Muslim, placed himself in the traditional position for Islamic prayer, not too much unlike Tebowing.  Also not unlike Tebow, Abdullah did not complain about the penalty and even put a somewhat lighthearted spin on the issue:  Continue reading

Christianity on Marriage, Divorce, and Homosexuality

Drs. Al Mohler and Russell Moore wrote in March on the topic of whether Christians are “hypocrites” for publicly opposing “same-sex marriage” while re-married divorcees make up large portions of their congregations. In short, Dr. Moore made the point that even if how they got there wasn’t right, the relationship between remarried men and women was still a marriage, in the Biblical definition.

The Southern Baptist Convention recently voted to break fellowship with a Southern California church that chose a “Third Way,” claiming they took no position as a church on “same-sex marriage.” The SBC disagreed and severed the relationship. Mohler and Moore again wrote on the topic of homosexuality and Biblical marriage in the Continue reading

Mikey Weinstein Reveals Anti-Christian Bias in Patrick Henry Interview (Video)

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein was recently invited to Patrick Henry College to be interviewed as part of its “Newsmaker” series. The interviewer was Marvin Olasky, editor in chief of World News Group, which produces WORLD Magazine.

Olasky started the interview by presenting Weinstein with a variety of situations pulled from the media regarding expression of religion in the US military, querying Weinstein as to whether he felt there was a problem with the particular event.  His answers were almost exclusively no, though he started to hedge as he figured out where the conversation was going.

Olasky asked about events in the military from four different religions over a period of just a few minutes, and Weinstein addressed each one succinctly. When Olasky broached a Christian topic, however, Weinstein Continue reading