In the first substantive act in 25 years related to the draft, the Selective Service has signed an Alternative Service Employer Network agreement with the Mennonite Voluntary Service. The agreement entitles the MVS to be an officially recognized employer for persons making a claim for conscientious objector status; those applicants would be offered “alternative service” in a civilian support role, as opposed to a non-combat military role other COs receive.
The Army article has an interesting history of the CO status in the Read more…
Michael Weinstein is truly the gift that keeps on giving. His latest attempt at infamy is to say that a red cross appearing on a military hospital’s emblem
violate[s] the constitutional requirement for separation of church and state and should be removed.
Apparently Weinstein has missed the long, international history of the cross in military medical use, as well as the US military’s equivalent treatment of Islam and Judaism that would allegedly “violate…separation of church and state,” pictured below.
Weinstein also objects to the emblem’s motto “pro deo et humanitate” or “for God and humanity,” despite the military’s description of the phrase as pre-dating Christianity.
The emblem in question is that of Evans Army Community Hospital at Fort Carson, near Colorado Springs.
Categories: Government and Religion army, Buddhism, chapel, chris rodda, Church and State, conspiracy, Constitution, cross, crusader, evans army community hospital, fort carson, Government, Hindu, Islam, Jewish, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, Religion, USAFA
The Air Force has announced the new specialty badge for those in the new field of “cyber operations.” The badge is supposed to be composed of lightning bolts, a globe, and four space orbits, but to most casual observers it is a “prop and wings:”
From the official Read more…
Much to the chagrin of the general public, you pretty much have to be famous or have a friend in the right place to score a ride in an Air Force fighter. Recently, Super Bowl XLIV champions Drew Brees and Jabari Greer had that experience, even flying with the US Air Force demonstration team, the Thunderbirds, during the Defenders of Liberty airshow at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana.
Generally, the flights serve as an act of goodwill between organizations with Read more…
The decision in Salazar v Buono directly relates to faith in the military profession, as its very basic premise has far reaching implications:
Is a cross on government land an unConstitutional endorsement of the Christian faith?
A variety of organizations reported on the Supreme Court ruling Wednesday essentially allowing the World War I memorial Mojave cross to remain standing. The ruling reversed the appeals court decision initially declaring the cross on federal land unConstitutional, and then declaring the US Congress transfer of land to the VFW invalid due to its attempt to “avoid” the injunction.
The Supreme Court issued six separate opinions, with no single majority opinion. The decision itself (pdf) is largely procedural, though the net effect Read more…
Maj Nidal Malik Hasan’s attorney, John Galligan, has told the press he has received notice the military plans to present evidence of “aggravating factors” to the Article 32 hearing which will determine the judicial course of the case. According to Galligan and others, the only reason to include such factors would be to support a capital sentence.
Hasan faces 13 counts of premeditated murder, among other charges.
Updated with statement from Tony Perkins.
US Senator Roger Wicker expressed concern, and a US House member is now calling for hearings on the US military’s treatment of “prominent conservative Christian leaders.”
Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) said
“I am concerned about it,” Kingston said. “It shows that the Pentagon is using a systematic practice of weeding out preachers and leaders of the clergy who are willing to give biblically-based messages and sermons Read more…
Last year, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State complained to the military that former Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt was representing himself as a current Chaplain. In the end, Klingenschmitt responded by adding a disclaimer to his publications saying he was a former Chaplain. Rob Boston, one of the lead voices of the AU, subsequently said Read more…
The squadron “Doofer Book” is a fighter pilot tradition that has spread to many other services and career fields in one form or another. It is generally a handwritten, running compilation of the missteps of the various members of the squadron that may be updated daily, or at weekly or monthly pilot events. While entertaining as a day-to-day squadron chronicle, they are most interesting when kept during deployments—they serve as a unique collection of Read more…
Along with being the National Day of Prayer, May 6 is also set to see the opening of the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Center.
As a result of base realignment and closure (BRAC), the services were directed to consolidate their Chaplain training facilities. Fort Jackson, SC, will serve as the single location at which all military Chaplains will be trained, though it appears that each service will retain separate training courses.
Chaplain (Col.) Steven Keith will be the commandant of the Air Force Chaplain Corps College at Fort Jackson, as well as the director of the AFCC itself.
An interesting lawsuit has been filed against the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and CalTech after an employee was reportedly demoted and reprimanded for handing out DVDs at work.
David Coppedge sued JPL (pdf) claiming harassment and religious discrimination. Coppedge had reportedly distributed copies of two DVDs that supported the concept of Intelligent Design to “interested” and “willing coworkers.” The DVDs themselves make no reference to religion, though his supervisors reportedly said they “amounted to ‘pushing religion’ and were ‘unwelcome’ and ‘disruptive.’” Coppedge notes that no one ever expressed those sentiments to him prior to his reprimand; he was told it was his responsibility to correctly “interpret a co-worker’s “body language.”" The written warning threatening termination Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion caltech, Chaplain, chris rodda, Church and State, david coppedge, discovery institute, evangelism, evolution, intelligent design, jpl, MRFF, Religion
In an interesting turn of events, during his North Carolina vacation President Obama visited Billy Graham and his son, Franklin Graham — after a week that saw the Pentagon rescind an invitation to the younger Graham over his religious views. Though the visit was initiated after the Pentagon’s announcement, it is likely Obama’s intent was to visit the elder Graham. The Obamas received a gift, and the two gentlemen prayed for each other:
At the end, Graham presented Obama with two Bibles — one for him and the other for first lady Michelle Obama, Ross said. The two men then prayed together, with Obama first praying for Graham and then Graham “concluded with a prayer for the president, his family and his administration,” according to Ross.
Update: Franklin Graham apparently got the ear of the President – and a seemingly supportive (or diplomatic) reply — over the recent incident:
In reference to the invitation being rescinded, Franklin Graham told The Associated Press that he told the president that activists were trying to remove all religion from the military, and he said Obama pledged to look into it.
The “disinvitation” of Franklin Graham from the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer has continued to raise the ire of a variety of public figures. Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion army, Bible, billy graham, cal thomas, Chaplain, Church and State, franklin graham, Military, Obama, Pentagon, Public Expression, Religion, richard land, roger wicker, tom collins
It is now common knowledge that Franklin Graham’s invitation to speak at the prayer day hosted by the Pentagon Chaplaincy was “rescinded.”
Army spokesman Col. Tom Collins confirmed today, that at the Army’s request, the Pentagon Chaplain’s Office had contacted Graham to withdraw the invitation extended to him to be the main speaker at the Pentagon’s observance of the National Day of Prayer.
As a result, the National Day of Prayer Task Force is also not participating in the Pentagon event. Graham responded:
I regret that the Army felt it was necessary to rescind their invitation to the National Day of Prayer Task Force to participate in the Pentagon’s special prayer service. I want to express my strong support for the United States military and all our troops. I will continue to pray that God will give them guidance, wisdom and protection as they serve this great country.
(Some have claimed the NDoP itself is unConstitutional, consistent with Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion army, atheism, cair, Chaplain, christopher hitchens, Church and State, Constitution, evangelism, franklin graham, Jewish, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, national day of prayer, nihad awad, Pentagon, Prayer, Public Expression, Religion, tom collins, tony perkins
Today at 1400 the US Navy will broadcast the flight of its “Green Hornet,” an F/A-18 operating on a blended biofuel, live on the internet.
The flight can be watched here. You can also read the Navy announcement, which contains another link.
While it is yet another public relations coup on the part of the Navy flight testers, it is also a significant risk. Normal military aviation Read more…
A FoxNews article highlights the criticism of the US military for an invitation to Franklin Graham for a May 6 day of prayer.
A military spokesman had an interesting statement:
“We are an all-inclusive military. We hold observances throughout the year. This one happens to be a Christian-themed event,” [Army Col. Tom] Collins said.
This is a somewhat unique statement, because many people seem to be assuming a military chapel event has to be “inclusive.” However, the Colonel Read more…