The Princeton Review has published its annual rankings of American colleges, which this year includes 371 academic institutions. (The website requires a free registration to see the rankings.) The 2009 discussion is here. The rankings are based on surveys submitted by students of the universities.
This year, the US Air Force Academy repeats its #14 ranking of “most religious students” Read more…
Tim Tebow, the now-famous college football quarterback (previously discussed), is currently featured on the cover of Time Magazine, with the headline “Man of Many Missions.” With a fruitful college football career and an outspoken heart for Jesus Christ, Tebow truly does have many (very successful) missions. The champion college player had the option of quitting school and entering the NFL, but chose instead to finish his college career, in part because of
the platform that I had at the University of Florida, the opportunity that I had to minister to a lot of kids around the south, and the US for that matter, and just what was going on around the University of Florida, how much I loved it, how I loved being a Gator.
Tebow’s statements about the value of his witness express the very heart of Christianity, and of living Read more…
How much do US Air Force fighter pilots get paid?
Perhaps as a result of the current economy, the pay scale of US military members (and pilots, in particular) has become an increasingly frequent question.
Unlike some private corporations, who may keep such information confidential, US government pay packages are public information. With very little detail, you can actually get a pretty good idea of how much any given Sailor, Soldier, Airmen, or Marine makes on a monthly basis.
The Air Force Times ran an article entitled “More 6-month tours” presenting the picture of longer combat tours for Air Force personnel. The content is unremarkable, but what was interesting was the picture the AF Times used to headline the article, even on the site’s front page. Taken by Petty Officer 2nd Class Todd Frantom, it shows a group of US Air Force Airmen praying as a group prior to “going outside the wire,” something the caption says is a “tradition” for every such mission. (See picture and read more below the fold.) Read more…
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation has made a significant fundraising push over the past several months. In a July fundraising email, the MRFF used a letter from a Holocaust survivor who “pled” for financial support for Michael Weinstein’s organization.
In the letter, the author, Walter Plywaski (who notes he is “previously Wladyslaw Plywacki”), appears to associate “fundamentalist Christianity” in the United States with his Nazi tormentors, a moral equivalency that has also been implied by Weinstein in the past. Plywaski says that Christians are using methods similar to those instigated by the Nazis: Read more…
Much has been made of former US President Jimmy Carter’s recent missive in the UK Observer entitled “The words of God do not justify cruelty to women.” In it he says
[M]y decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult.
It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention’s leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses…ordained that women must be “subservient” to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors, or chaplains in the military service. Read more…
Army Chaplain (Capt.) Rebekah Montgomery has been selected by the Military Chaplain’s Association as their Chaplain of the Year. The Unitarian-Universalist is a member of the Maryland’s Army National Guard. She is the brigade chaplain for the 58th Troop Command in Maryland, and also works at the National Guard Bureau. About the difficulty of quantifying a Chaplain’s role, she said
“We don’t see the direct results, but we trust God is using us in a profound and positive way,” she said. “You can’t quantify how many divorces didn’t happen. You can’t quantify how many suicides didn’t happen.”
Update: The Air Force has identified the crewmembers as Capt. Thomas J. Gramith, 27, of Eagan, Minn, and Capt. Mark R. McDowell, 26, of Charlotte, NC. Both were assigned to the 336th Fighter Squadron at Seymour Johnson AFB.
According to various sources, a USAF F-15E has crashed in Afghanistan, and the two-man crew has been killed. The crash was reportedly not due to hostile fire.
Despite controversies over religion in the military and the sensitivities of troops talking about religion with locals, the US Army has actually assigned a young Captain to do that very thing.
According to a Wall Street Journal article, US Army Capt James Hill’s job is to
turn Islam into a weapon against the Taliban.
Though the Wall Street Journal emphasizes the Captain’s religion (the article is entitled “The Baptist and the Mullah Launch a Faith-Based Attack on the Taliban”), Read more…
As previously discussed, an F-22A Raptor crashed during a test sortie at Edwards AFB, CA, in March of this year. The test pilot, Lockheed civilian contractor David “Cools” Cooley, perished in the incident.
While an official investigation has not been publicized to date, the Washington Post appears to have been given an answer. In a marginally-related article on the future of the F-22 program, writer R. Jeffrey Smith notes that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had been willing to purchase four more F-22s, but only four, to make the total 187. One was to replace the lost F-22: Read more…
As previously noted, the Air Force declined to support the Nampa, Idaho, “God and Country Festival” with a flyby, despite a 40+ year history of supporting the event. The festival organizers now have a petition online. The organizers make a point of saying
We want to make it clear that although it is unashamedly a Christian event, a major part of the Festival is honoring our troops who protect our freedom to assemble.
The decision has stayed in the news, and was even covered by Bill O’Reilly Read more…
As it did previously, the Air Force is again advertising scholarships for Chaplain candidates through its “Religious Professional Scholarship.” According to one report, the scholarship covers tuition, books, and includes a monthly stipend. Applications are being accepted through September 1st.
As the Air Force stated initially, it appears that the current scholarships will be steered toward “under-represented” faiths, which at this point are Catholics.
In June, two Muslim military Chaplains from France and the United States met in Paris for a religious diversity conference. The American Chaplain, Lt Commander Abuhena Saifulislam, is a US Navy Chaplain who emigrated from Bangladesh in 1989, becoming a Navy Imam in 1999. He is endorsed by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). He was reportedly assigned to the Marines, making him the first Muslim Chaplain Read more…
FoxNews has now picked up the story, previously noted, of the Air Force’s decision not to provide a fly-by of the “God and Country Festival” in Nampa, Idaho. A “defense department official” repeated that the reason for the refusal was that it would have provided a “selective benefit.” Of note:
The Air Force was in charge of the decision-making process, meaning neither the secretary of defense nor President Obama weighed in directly, the official said.
Capt. Tom Wenz from Air Force public affairs told FOX News that past participation was due to the fact that the event was described only as a “patriotic tribute,” and the Air Force wasn’t aware until now of the apparent focus on Christianity, despite the festival’s name.
According to local news reports, the Air Force denied the request of the “God and Country Festival” in Nampa, Idaho, for an aircraft flyby during their July 2 celebration. Reportedly, the festival has had a flyby for the past 42 years, and was surprised by the Air Force’s decision to deny the request this year because of the festival’s religious content.
After receiving an email denying the request, the organizer reportedly called the Pentagon:
“I called him immediately and said we’ve been doing this for 42 years, we’ve had flyovers, what is the problem? He said, we have looked up your website and everything on your website seemed to focus on Christianity Read more…