Fresh off accusations the US military forces its young, impressionable troops to pray in formation, an entire formation of US Marines did so in front of nearly 75,000 football fans.
Marines perform their version of ‘Tebowing’ before the Broncos-Jets game on Nov. 17. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)
Actually, they’re Tebowing. Then again, Tebowing is praying, by definition. And they’re in uniform. These Marines must be Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion Afghanistan, f-16, Fighter Pilot, marines, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, Prayer, Public Expression, Religion, religious freedom, rick baker, tebowing, Tim Tebow, UAV, USAFA
A “pagan newswire collective” article on the religious environment in the US Air Force painted a picture of a tolerant, accepting, and respectful military treatment of even the most minority religions.
The pagan report is only the most recent outside observer to highlight the positive religious environment in the US Air Force. Starting at Lackland Air Force Base:
“Our airmen…should know that the Air Force has gone to great lengths to ensure their spirit was nurtured while in basic training,” says Rev. Tamie Rieth…, the Wicca Distinctive Faith Group Leader (DFGL) at Lackland for just over 6 years. Rev. Rieth is one of 5 instructors who lead the weekly Wiccan services for BMT trainees.
The article says 150 to 300 trainees attend the Sunday Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion Afghanistan, air force, brandon longcrier, cadet interfaith council, chapel, Chaplain, christian, dan brantingham, david oringderff, dfgl, distinctive faith group leader, Jewish, kelly ihme, lackland afb, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, nicole johnson, pagan, Religion, religious freedom, tamie rieth, tony gatlin, USAFA, Wicca
A local reporter is “downrange” covering the deployment of Nevada Army National Guard soldiers in Afghanistan.
He notes what seems like a unique situation but is, in fact, not uncommon — a member from one unit supporting another unit, from a different state: Read more…
The Los Angeles Times is fast becoming a frequent commenter on all things military and religion, with the US Air Force Academy high on that list. In an unusual twist from the norm, its articles are biased toward the positive.
(For example, it published the original story about the baptism of US Marines to which Michael Weinstein objected, and most recently gave favorable coverage to the Camp Pendleton cross, now a controversy in its own right.)
In its most recent article on the topic, it notes the “Air Force Academy adapts to pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans:”
“We’re here to accommodate all religions, period,” [USAFA Chaplain (Maj) Darren] Duncan says. The building of the Cadet Chapel Falcon Circle on the hilltop, he says, is no different from the past conversion of chapel rooms into worship spaces that serve this year’s 11 Muslim, 16 Buddhist and 10 Hindu cadets. There are also 43 self-identified atheist cadets whose beliefs, or lack of them, Duncan says are also to be respected.
Never one to let good will go unspoilt, the article quotes Michael Weinstein as saying he Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion air force, atheism, Buddhism, darren duncan, druid, evangelism, falcon circle, Hindu, Islam, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, pagan, Public Expression, Religion, religious freedom, USAFA, Wicca, witch
JewsinGreen notes that KosherTroops.com, an external ministry to US servicemembers, has begun collecting names to receive their care packages in support of the upcoming holiday of Chanukah (Hanukkah), which will be celebrated from 20-28 December this year.
The packages must be delivered to individuals or chaplains, so those interested should contact them through their website to sign up.
The US House Committee on Natural Resources has forwarded HR 2070 to the floor. The bill would add a plaque with a D-Day prayer by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the World War II memorial in Washington, DC.
By unanimous consent, the Committee ordered the bill-H.R. 2070, known as the World War II Memorial Prayer Act of 2011, to be reported to the full House on Thursday to the displeasure of the Obama administration, which has criticized and opposed the bill.
The Bureau of Land Management’s director Robert Abbey expressed opposition, claiming such additions would
“dilute” the memorial’s central message and Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion Church and State, Congress, d-day, fdr, franklin d. roosevelt, Government, hr 2070, Military, Obama, Prayer, Public Expression, Religion, religious freedom, robert abbey, world war II
An unnamed US Soldier in Afghanistan took personal umbrage at the removal of a cross from the local chapel.
U.S. soldiers assigned to Camp Marmal in northern Afghanistan said the removal of a cross from an Army chapel has created a “huge controversy” and at least one soldier called it a “direct attack against Christianity and Judaism.”
How Judaism plays into it isn’t exactly clear, but if the facts are correctly laid out in the article, he may actually have a point:
The chapel is used for general Protestant services and a Baptist church service. There is a smaller chapel used for other services. The camp also has a mosque and a German chapel that is used for Catholic services.
In other words, every faith group has a place to ‘call their own.’ What do you think the chances are the mosques are identifiably Islamic?
Irrelevant, some will say: The regulation says Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion Afghanistan, Americans United, army, atheism, camp marmal, Catholic, chapel, christian, cross, Islam, jason torpy, Jewish, joe conn, maaf, Military, Religion, religious freedom
President Obama’s decision to avoid the word “God” in his weekly address “On Thanksgiving” has raised the ire of critics who say Thanksgiving was intended for that very purpose: thanking God.
For the record, President Obama did reference God in the annual Presidential Proclamation of Thanksgiving, though he did so only once in the first person: Read more…
We have much to be thankful for: Families that support us even when separated by duty, a country that recognizes our human liberty to worship as we desire, a military that serves and sacrifices daily, at their nation’s behest…
…and a Savior, Jesus Christ, who paid the final price.
Give thanks, this ThanksGiving, with a grateful heart.
FoxNews repeats the Politico report noting the US Army pulled a cross off the front of a US military chapel at Camp Marmal, Afghanistan, which was dedicated just a few months ago.
Before and after courtesy photo originally published at Politico.com.
At first, this situation seems similar to the US Army’s removal of crosses from the chapel in Kosovo a few years ago.
However, the current issue is actually somewhat more complex.
First, US military policies are not necessarily Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion Afghanistan, army, Buddhism, camp marmal, chapel, Chaplain, christian, cross, Islam, Jewish, kosovo, Military, pagan, Pentagon, politico, Religion, religious freedom, USAFA, william speaks
After being repeatedly called out for decrying one cross and not others, atheist and former Army Captain Jason Torpy, of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, finally addressed the “controversial” issue of Arlington National Cemetery:
Other memorials are biased toward Christianity and ought properly to be removed to private property. The Camp Pendleton cross is just one of many…
The Argonne Cross at Arlington, a 1921 monument erected “In memory of our men in France” also excludes all non-Christians. This cross now memorializes a time when our military had nearly no recognition for anyone not Christian and was segregated by both race and gender…
In deciding to include the Argonne Cross with others “to be removed,” this initially seems like an opportunity to applaud Torpy’s intellectual Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion ACLU, argonne, arlington, army, atheism, baptism, camp pendleton, Catholic, christian, Church and State, Constitution, cross, Government, jason torpy, maaf, marines, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, peter eliasberg, Religion, religious freedom
In reference to Capt Ryan Jean’s efforts to become an atheist lay/faith leader, Brad Hirschfield, a Rabbi and writer at the Washington Post‘s On Faith, explains “Why the military needs atheist chaplains:”
The U.S. military needs atheist chaplains. Why? Because members of the military have requested them, and the core value of the chaplaincy is to serve the needs of those serving our nation.
If it was that easy, every military base would have a Hooters Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion army, atheism, brad hirschfield, Chaplain, Church and State, Jewish, Military, rabbi, Religion, religious freedom, ryan jean
It has been said here often that the US military can provide an excellent example of religious freedom to other nations who have yet to fully grasp that human liberty. Unfortunately, in efforts to shore up support with locals, it seems the local religion may get emphasized more than religious freedom. For example, messages from Afghanistan often tout the United States’ respect for, support of, and even defense of the religion of Islam — rather than its respect, support, and defense of religious freedom.
US military chaplains may be an exception to those omissions. Within the Read more…
Atheists in the US Army continue to criticize the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program and its Global Assessment Tool. One portion of it is intended to help Soldiers assess their spiritual fitness — to which some atheists have objected, both in letter and principle. Much like their opposition to anything “bigger” or “higher” than themselves, the atheists’ objection to the principle of spiritual fitness has caused them to see offense even in non-”religious” questions, like whether or not their lives have purpose.
Capt. Ryan Jean wanted to perform well on the Army’s psychological evaluation for soldiers. But he also wanted to answer the questions honestly. So when he was asked whether he believed his life had a lasting purpose, Jean, an atheist, saw no choice but to say no.
Apparently military atheists claim no lasting purpose in their lives. Honestly.
Unfortunately, the article conflates two separate questions with which Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion army, atheism, Buddhism, Chaplain, comprehensive soldier fitness, fort meade, global assessment tool, Islam, Jewish, justin griffith, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, Religion, religious freedom, ryan jean, spiritual fitness
The US Army is facing “administrative claims” by 83 victims and families of the Fort Hood massacre in 2009 seeking $750 million in compensation. The filings assert
willful negligence enabled psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan to carry out a terrorist attack at Fort Hood, Texas…
[They] said the government had clear warnings that Hasan, who is scheduled to go on trial in March, posed a grave danger to the lives of soldiers and civilians. Read more…