Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation has asked for two delays in the required timeline to file a response to the DoJ’s motion to dismiss the MRFF’s ongoing lawsuit. Reasons for the requests included the “number of pages” of supporting material in the DoJ motion, and the requests have been unopposed by the DoJ.
It appears, though, that the law firm representing the MRFF actually had other work keeping them busy: they have now filed a second lawsuit (text). Like the first, it takes a single “issue” (in this case, the requirement that soldiers attend events in which sectarian prayers are delivered) and lumps in every possible accusation against religion in the military. Much of the lawsuit is verbatim from other filings.
For example, it once again includes unspecified accusations against Officers’ Christian Fellowship. It also includes references to the Ft Wood “Free Day Away,” which, as noted, has already been investigated by the Inspector General and found to be in compliance with regulations. It also still includes complaints about the 523rd Fighter Squadron, which no longer exists, and hasn’t for some time.
Unlike the first lawsuit, it does say that the primary plaintiff, Specialist Dustin Chalker, sought permission Read more…
As previously noted, a federal court has reaffirmed the decision to grant an Army soldier a conscientious objector status over the protests of the Army.
An interesting Air Force release on Maj. Gen. Cecil Richardson, Air Force chief of chaplains, notes his recent presentation on “combat Chaplains.”
He notes that
military chaplains are working hard in deployed environments to help ensure servicemembers have their constitutional right to worship God in their own way
In response to a question of whether Chaplains are “anti-war”:
Chaplain Richardson said chaplains, like all military members, are anti-war, just like all firefighters are anti-fire and all police are anti-crime.
“But in a fallen world, sometimes fire happens, and thank God for the wonderful firemen,” Chaplain Richardson said. “Sometimes crime happens, and we need the police. Sometimes you have a war and need people to stand up and defend our country against those who would do harm to innocent people.”
In recent announcements over the birthday of the US Air Force, it is interesting to note that they graphics used on the AF.mil site highlight not the stereotypical F-22, but an MQ-1 Reaper (UAV) instead. As noted earlier, this indicates the rising importance of UAVs in the Air Force.
According to the Air Force Times, the Air Force has officially decided that it will start sending new pilot training graduates not to F-16s, F-22s, or C-17s, but to UAVs.
Brig. Gen. Lyn D. Sherlock, director of air operations at the Pentagon, said
We would welcome volunteerism and hope some students will step up and put [UAVs] on their list.
According to AF.mil, military Chaplains and Chaplain Assistants have been deployed in support of the populations affected by Hurricane Ike. From the press release:
Religious support teams provide spiritual support, death notification, moral support and critical incident stress management, among other services.
A hurricane reminds us what is really important–our faith, family, community and country–[and] puts everything into perspective…
The following article uniquely addresses the spirit of “evangelism” promoted by many Christian military ministry organizations–the evangelism of life example. Christian officers are encouraged to witness with “their feet”–the often silent witness of their everyday words, choices, and actions. While there may be an appropriate time and place for cracking open a Bible and explaining the Gospel, far more often the Gospel is seen when Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines observe the lives of the military Christians in their midst. Encouraging military Christians to live as models of Godly character–so that their example might influence others–is the heart of military ministry.
This article was written by Lieutenant Colonel Tom Schmidt, USA (Ret.), and is reprinted here in its entirety.
Truth with Feet
In his short, personal letter to Gaius, the apostle John commends his friend for walking in the truth. “It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth” (3 John v.3).
Truth has feet. More than information merely shoved into our heads, truth is meant to ﬁll our hearts and spill into our entire lives. John expounds Read more…