CNN carried an article on Wednesday about Vice President Biden’s “stimulus oversight meeting.” Neither the article nor the accompanying photo caption mentioned what many noticed in the photo.
Biden is a professed Catholic, and he evidently observed Ash Wednesday. Even though he is Vice President of the United States, and even though he was acting in his official capacity in front of the world, he is Constitutionally guaranteed the right to religious free exercise.
The same is true for members of the military. Read more…
Many outlets carried news of Focus on the Family Founder James Dobson’s resignation as chairman of the organization. Interestingly, this caught the attention of some military/religion activist groups. They have frequently belittled Focus and accused it of complicity in its dealings with the US Air Force Academy just a few miles away in Colorado Springs, accusing it of attempting to “Christianize” the military.
The new outrage is over Dobson’s replacement: Patrick P. Caruana. Caruana is a 1963 Air Force Academy graduate and retired as an Air Force Lieutenant General in 1997. To some, it is the perfect proof of conspiracy.
An interesting case was decided at the Supreme Court earlier this week. Pleasant Grove City, Utah v. Summum had centered on Summum’s contention that since the city had erected a Ten Commandments on public property, they were bound to erect Summum’s “Seven Aphorisms” as well. The Supreme Court ruled–unanimously–against Summum. The case was litigated on free speech grounds, and Summum has indicated they will refile the case on church/state separation grounds.
The case is interesting because of its implications for religious freedom in the military. Read more…
Captain Scott O’Grady is best known as the F-16 pilot shot down during Operation Deny Flight over the former Yugoslavia in 1995. He survived for five and a half days — during which no one even knew he was alive — before being rescued. Upon his return home he was declared a hero, a title he eschewed and passed on to the Marines who lifted him to safety.
The book details the mission from his arrival at work until the missile took his jet out from under him; it then describes the days he spent on the ground hoping for a rescue. Interspersed are back stories of his life and his family back in the US as they learned of his shootdown. The retelling of the organization of the rescue effort and its subsequent execution — which was completed about 5 hours after the initial radio contact — is well done.
Return with Honor is a quick and easy read, and is written at a level that people not familiar with the fighter pilot mission will understand. O’Grady’s faith is also central to the book…
Read the full review.
Fox News carries an interesting article based on a Liberty Counsel press release about the current “stimulus package” being debated in Congress. In a section designating funds for schools, the legislation says that funds may not be used for
modernization, renovation, or repair of facilities (i) used for sectarian instruction, religious worship, or a school or department of divinity; or (ii) in which a substantial portion of the functions of the facilities are subsumed in a religious mission.
Interestingly, Fox News chose to put a picture of the US Naval Academy Chapel as the article’s illustration. Liberty Counsel maintains that the restriction is discrimination based on viewpoint, while Americans United for the Separation of Church and State calls it “Constitutional.”
A Harvard Law professor is quoted as saying there are certainly Constitutional concerns with the legislation, but given the current judicial direction it is unlikely the Liberty Counsel would prevail.
While ChristianFighterPilot.com has seen recognition among jurists, activists, soldiers, civilians, Christians and atheists from all points of view, it also remains a source of information for those asking some more basic questions:
How do I become a fighter pilot in the Air Force/Navy/Marines?
Questions on becoming a fighter pilot, from medical qualifications to the pilot lifestyle, remain one of the most often addressed topics (as are questions on fighter pilot lingo). Much of the answer is available in the FAQ (and new questions are added as they are asked). Believe it or not, there are actually few reliable sources of information on how to become a fighter pilot. Even the official military sites can be confusing, incomplete, or contradictory, often because the information changes faster than the websites.
An internet search for “become a fighter pilot” will likely find the website of Marine fighter pilot Ed Rush, who has made a virtual living answering this question. His website, http://www.becomefighterpilot.com/, features teases of dramatic “top secret” ways to virtually guarantee being selected as a fighter pilot. He sells a “fighter pilot power pack” (the “current” price is $97) that claims to have the “tips and tricks” to give his customers an advantage over everyone else. Read more…