Admiral: A Storm is Coming for Religious Liberty in US Military

Update: Listen to Admiral Lee’s message to the 2013 National Day of Prayer.  Noted at Baptist Press and Fox News.


As has now been widely reported, US Coast Guard Rear Admiral William Lee spoke “from the heart” — rather than his prepared remarks — at the 2013 national observance of the National Day of Prayer:

He recounted a recent meeting with a 24-year-old soldier who had attempted suicide but survived…Lee said when he heard the man’s story, he knew the rules said he should send the man to a chaplain, but his heart said to give him a Bible.

“The lawyers tell me that if I do that, I’m crossing the line,” Lee said. “I’m so glad I’ve crossed that line so many times…”

Lee pledged not to back down from “my right under the Constitution to tell a young man that there is hope…”

“As one general so aptly put it – they expect us to check our religion in at the door – don’t bring that here,” Rear Admiral William Lee told a National Day of Prayer gathering. “Leaders like myself are feeling the constraints of rules and regulations and guidance issued by lawyers that put us in a tighter and tighter box regarding our constitutional right to express our religious faith.”

Funny that he’d mention lawyers.  Didn’t the Air Force’s highest ranking lawyer, the JAG of the Air Force LtGen Richard Harding, just have a private meeting with Michael Weinstein, a former Air Force JAG making a living trying to tighten that box?

RADM Lee received five standing ovations, one nearly a minute long, during his remarks.

The crowd of religious leaders and lawmakers cheered for nearly a minute when Lee vowed to defy any attempt to curtail religious liberty within the Armed Forces.

“I am coming out today to tell you I am not going to run from my religious beliefs, from my right under the Constitution to tell a young man there is hope,” he declared…

He warned the audience that a storm was approaching religious liberty in the US military:

“Your armed forces, the sons and daughters of the men and women like you,” he said, “are being told to hide that light under a basket.”

He urged them to pray for those who seek to follow Christ in the military.

“Pray that we will be able to weather the storm that I am almost certain will come – that we will not be required to put aside our Constitutional rights,” he said.

Do you think the US military would restrict the Constitutionally protected religious liberties of its troops, without actual military necessity?

If you believe in conspiracy theories, you’ll be keen to know there appears to be no video or audio (at least officially) from RADM Lee’s message.  The Christian Post was “live blogging” the event, and the stream cut out about 20 minutes into his remarks.  Virtually all the other presentations are available on the National Day of Prayer website.

Update: Americans United for the Separation of Church and State berated ADM Lee for “imposing his faith on his subordinates,” though they don’t explicitly say how he did that.

Also at the HeraldOnline and WND.

27 replies to “Admiral: A Storm is Coming for Religious Liberty in US Military

  1. Richard

    It is clear to see that MRFF has been correct all this time about the misdeeds of Dominionist Christians in the military. The good Admiral fancies himself to be someone a lot higher than a military officer.

    Officials such as Adm. Lee feel empowered by their beliefs to run rough shod over subordinates, militray law and regulation and true religious freedom in the military.

    Adm. Lee’s screed contained support for only the Christian contingent and not one word about the many other faiths celebrated in the armed forces.

    Adm. Lee is a Jim Jones in the making and I would recommend that those under his command stay away from any kool aid in the vicinity.

  2. Paul E

    Religious liberty does not give permission to superiors to pour Jesus down the throats of unsuspecting subordinate service members. By virtue of the very fact that this Admiral is harping on Christianity as his tool exclusively, and even admits in this speech that he’s been told he’s crossing a line, speaks loud volumes about how he feels his brand of religion is somehow immune to the law of the land. The man admits even further that he “knew the rules.”

    These “rules” are precisely in place to prevent the advocation of any particular religion while in a leadership position. What would have been the conversation with this soldier if he happened to follow Islam?

    That’s the problem – which is being aggressively confronted by Weinstein and others who are attempting to protect our military from an invasion of certain Christians who freely flout the USMJ – admitted as much by this high ranking officer.

    This country, and our military, is comprised of a widely diverse population, representing every conceivable brand of religion, or no religion at all. How dare anyone, especially those in a leadership position, use their authority and power to impose their brand of religion on others who may not be asking for it? That’s wrong, no matter what religious flavor a person follows.

  3. JD

    @Richard
    Let’s just ask one question to keep it simple: How do you know RAdm Lee is a “dominionist?”

    @Paul E

    These “rules” are precisely in place to prevent the advocation of any particular religion while in a leadership position.

    The Department of Defense disagrees with you, saying only “intrusive attempts to convert” are prohibited.

    admits in this speech that he’s been told he’s crossing a line…he feels his brand of religion is somehow immune to the law of the land.

    Your statement lacks a significant detail. He says he was told by lawyers that he was “crossing a line.” Lawyers do not make military policy; they only advise. As you’re certainly aware, they can also be wrong, as they were in this case, as no military policy, law, or regulation proscribes that conduct.

    How dare anyone…use their authority and power to impose their brand of religion…

    That’s the type of hyperbole that’s getting Weinstein in trouble as we speak. No reasonable person would assert RADM Lee “imposed” anything. Your position is a strawman.

    Ironically, you are verifying the claims of those who have recently said Weinstein wants to ban all forms of religious “sharing.” RADM Lee’s actions, as he describes them, do not violate the DoD’s statement of acceptable conduct, much to your chagrin, no doubt. His words in his speech were at a religious (and non-military) gathering, and were consistent with his religious exercise.

    That he did nothing wrong, while you accuse him of the opposite, speaks volumes to your motivations, hypersensitivity, and intolerance.

  4. Mike

    Based upon the first two comments, I believe the Adimirals assertion about a coming storm is correct.

  5. Richard

    @JD
    The Admiral is a Dominionists because his actions and spoken word are classic Dominion Christian. He follows the profile perfectly.

    The dominion of the earth is accomplished not only through prayer and evangelism, but through the political and military processes and social reformation. Christ will not return to earth until the church has accomplished this task. Lee, like other Dominionists wants to speed the process up and takes it upon himself to acquire converts and upgrade existing Christians to a higher level of obedience.

    Lee’s actions in the military are clear and in plain sight. There is no question as to his goals. For you not to see this indicates an insensitivity of huge proportion or you are a complicit apologist.

  6. watchtower

    “Lee vowed to defy any attempt to curtail religious liberty within the Armed Forces”. I’d like to know how he plans to “defy” any attempt to curtail…what’s he going to do, really, not comply with DOD and other Armed Forces rules and regulations? Now that’s setting the example for subordinates to follow.

    The storm he mentions will be with him and his superiors…RADM (Ret) Lee is my guess, if he keeps that star.

  7. JD

    @Richard
    You’ve again fallen into an indefensible position. (At least you’re consistent. Remember this conversation from last year?) Since you feel it is appropriate to apply a theological label to another person based on your assessment of that person, you would presumably feel it likewise appropriate for people to label Michael Weinstein “anti-Christian” or “atheist”, as some have, because he “follows the profile perfectly.”

    Right?

    @watchtower
    Historically, servicemembers who have felt their Constitutional rights infringed by the military have “defied” those rules through the courts. In Casper v Weinberger, SCOTUS found for the military — but Congress disagreed, so they changed the military’s rules. In Rigdon v Perry, the District Court found for the chaplains, and the military did not appeal. In both cases, troops perceived their religious liberty was infringed by the military. In both cases, their position ultimately held the day.

  8. Richard

    @JD
    Fortunately, Weinstein is demonstrably different than he is accused of being whereas Adm. Lee, like all the other Dominionists against whom we (MRFF) have directed criticism, falls categorically into a religious category which places a brand on him clearly identifying him as one who is under the doctrinal bonds of Christianity run amok.

  9. Pingback: God and Country » Video: Admiral William Lee, National Day of Prayer 2013

  10. Paul E

    Whether the lawyers are right or wrong, by the Admiral’s own admission he knew the “rules” and followed his heart (whatever that means.) Not just once, but many times.

    We fundamentally disagree what constitutes “intrusive attempts to convert.” If someone superior to me hands me a bible after I confide personal information, that’s over the line. Just as much as if someone handed me a Koran. What’s the intent? Saying this is just “sharing,” in the context of a superior/subordinate relationship, is equivocating the intent of the law. In short, BS.

    JD, you know nothing about my motivations, intent, or alleged hypersensitivity. I’m merely pointing out that this Admiral, admitting he is crossing the line, in fact is.

    It’s readily apparent that there’s been a notable shift in the imposition of religion in the armed forces. As a fellow grad, I am we’ll aware of the problems USAFA has had in this area, long after I left the place. Things have dramatically changed not only there, but throughout our armed services. Personal life experiences have heightened my awareness, to the extent that sitting on the sidelines is no longer an option. Mickey Weinstein, while loud and passionate, is speaking on behalf of a significant number of people who share my concern. It’s far too easy to villify the messenger, in an attempt to drown out the underlying root issue being called out, which fundamentalist Christians are fond of doing lately. Is it too easy and simple to retreat to your corner, and consider the mere possibility that maybe there’s a problem? There’s a reason that people with relatively impeccable records have volunteered to serve on the MRFF advisory board. That, by itself, carries significant weight, but isn’t acknowledged by those who blame and accuse just one guy as being “anti-Christian.”

    In short, did MRFF arise for no reason, or is this a giant effort on the part of a small number of people to marginalize Chridtianity, or is there a genuine issue that demands attention? I submit to the latter, based on numerous documented cases. The Admiral, respectfully, is a case in point, by his own admission.

  11. JD

    @Paul E
    You are inaccurately paraphrasing the Admiral. He didn’t say he violated any rules; he explicitly said the “line” was that of lawyers, not military policy.

    We fundamentally disagree what constitutes “intrusive attempts to convert.”

    You would apparently agree, then, with a large group of religious liberty and chaplain-sending organizations that the DoD has articulated a confusing or ambiguous policy and should explain it.

    Despite Weinstein’s bellicose complaints, which you vaguely attempt to repeat here, he has never cited a single, provable incident of anyone “proselytizing,” as recently defined by the DoD. He has vilified US Marines doing nothing more than getting baptized. His acolytes have said a military Christian making public Christian statements — regardless of the forum — is “violating the rules.”

    Contrary to your claim, there are no “documented cases” to support Weinstein’s accusations. There are many documented accusations in which he attacks religious liberty — nothing more.

    The MRFF didn’t “arise for no reason.” It arose to “battle” evangelical Christians, in Weinstein’s own words. It arose to be a vehicle for Weinstein’s personal vendetta against those who have a faith with which he disagrees — and a vehicle by which he can collect tax-deductible donations for his personal paycheck while he does so.

    If you have evidence to the contrary, provide it.

  12. Richard

    @JD
    I think I’ve made my point not yours. I prefer to deal in substance rather than form.

    I think every thinking person knows what I’m talking about when I describe an overbearing, self-important, over-confident, verse spouting military officer who’s order of the day is “read the Bible” “What would jesus do?” “See you in curch tonight soldier?”
    You get the drift.

  13. DKS

    @Richard
    Richard, you say you prefer to deal in substance and not form. Have you ever served with RADM Lee? Do you know RADM Lee? It is obvious by your ignorant posts that you have not. I on the other hand have served and am again sering with RADM Lee. He is a man of great humility, and a leader that is truly loved and admired by all his subordinates. He lives a principled life and when he says he is going to do something, he follows through. People like you make broad assumptions and generalizations about Christians serving in uniform. Your assertions are nearly always incorrect and are based on a belief that America should do away with religion in the public sector. Remember, the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not from religion. Get a grip and learn a little tolerance. RADM Lee resepcts your right to be an atheist or whatever it it is you like to practice. Afford him the same courtesy. One last thing; try saying thank you to people RADM Lee; a man that has deicated his life to the service of others….and that includes his subordinates.

  14. Richard

    @DKS

    Serving with RADM Lee, eh? I suspect he will like your last post.

    As for the Admiral being humble, I would not call waving a bible around during an address at a religious function while in uniform a humble endeavor.

    Say what you will Adm Lee is stereotypical of the many petty religious tyrants I have personally met and those of whom I have acurate knowledge. All the elements are there. rank, position, power, religious orthodoxy, opportunity, freedom of operation, etc.

    You are making excuses for the Admiral of the kind I often hear from friends and subordinates of Christian Dominionists.

    BTW I do not nor does MRFF intend for religion to be done away with in the public sector. We intend only that it not control the public sector which is what the separation of church and state is all about.

  15. Paul E

    “Contrary to your claim, there are no “documented cases” to support Weinstein’s accusations. There are many documented accusations in which he attacks religious liberty — nothing more.
    The MRFF didn’t “arise for no reason.” It arose to “battle” evangelical Christians, in Weinstein’s own words. It arose to be a vehicle for Weinstein’s personal vendetta against those who have a faith with which he disagrees — and a vehicle by which he can collect tax-deductible donations for his personal paycheck while he does so.
    If you have evidence to the contrary, provide it.”

    Cat got your tongue apparently, as I replied with a lengthy post that included several references, ranging from the Air Force Times, to other equally reliable sources.

    I suppose that as the blog keeper you are entitled to manage as you see fit. Editing out content that does not support your assertions, and in fact counters them, is your prerogative. But it does speak volumes, at least to me, about how much you bob and weave when confronted with the truth. My guess is that I’m not the only one who gets censored, as to publish everything that gets posted here in response to many of your slanted, biased rants would be self-defeating. And you certainly would not want that.

  16. JD

    @Paul E
    You provided a 500+ word treatise that, yes, linked to places like the AF Times. Everything you linked to has already been linked to and discussed on this site. The articles you cited repeated Weinstein’s accusations, not evidence to refute the statement above that

    Despite Weinstein’s bellicose complaints…he has never cited a single, provable incident of anyone “proselytizing” …

    The Just War ethics course was not proselytizing, nor did the Air Force ever claim so. The Christian Embassy report cited only JER violations and explicitly said it had nothing to do with religion, never mind any attempt to proselytize. The USAFA report only cited impressions of “insensitivity” to certain minority religious issues, like not considering Friday religious observances when planning the academic year.

    Seriously, did you even read those citations, or did you just copy/paste them from the MRFF?

    You provided not a single, provable example of anyone “proselytizing.” In fact, you didn’t even provide a provable example of anyone doing anything wrong of a religious nature without reaching to the USAFA report, which said there were some issues — that were addressed — but it was largely media hype.

    If your best argument is a fairly benign report from USAFA 8 years ago, how can you defend Weinstein making the same (or worse) arguments at the Pentagon a few weeks ago?

  17. Paul Emmert

    So you just ignore my “treatise” with a lot of yes-buts, and glossing over several dozen instances as “but just media hype…” etc. I mentioned the USAF training incident involving nuke missile officers. What rug does that go under? Regarding USAFA, I saw a cadet telling his audience, on video, how Christians in the military are on a “mission” and he was proud of it. What was that supposed to mean?

    If items have been discussed before, does this mean they are no longer relevant in today’s conversation? With the obvious attention to this matter surrounding falsehoods about Weinstein’s visit to the Pentagon, it seems only more appropriate than ever to call you out on much of your own “treatises.”

    I’m going back to my basic question, which you don’t deign to answer, and turns on the definition of proselytizing. Would you define that to be inducing someone to convert to a person’s faith? If so, are you therefore suggesting that Admiral Lee, based on this definition, was not proselytizing, and by his own statement “his heart said to give him a bible…in lieu of sending the man to a chaplain?” Was this not this an intent to convert this person to Christianity, ostensibly to “help this man out?” If this wasn’t proselytizing, what was it? If someone tried to give you a Koran without you asking for it, how would you interpret that, JD?

    And while you like to disregard lawyers advice on this topic (and who knows what those lawyers personal religious convictions might be) perhaps they are well aware of UCMJ law. Why are they automatically just wrong? Maybe they do call a spade a spade, contrary to your blithely saying they don’t know what they are talking about, because they are lawyers. Uh oh. People whose job it is to advise others on the law.

    I just watched a Col Wilkerson interview on this topic – a man with a distinguished resume who is clearly not afraid to speak his mind – as you know he just joined the MRFF board, vacated by the untimely death of Glen Doherty at Benghazi. The entire MRFF board is comprised of some smart, accomplished people from varied walks of life. While this blog, and it’s readers, are just a flash in pan regarding this important topic, why aren’t you vilifying all the board members in addition to Mickey Weinstein? You basically claim the issue as Weinstein on a one-man rampage to attack Chrisitianity and keep service members from observing their faith (a far cry from the proselytizing question.) There is, in fact, an organization behind the man, supported by a board and financial contributors (of which I am one.) While you lamely sweep things under the rug, it is an ongoing organization with bit of muscle behind it.

    Rather than trash your blog with another link, I suggest you go find the interview with Col Wilkerson – I’m looking forward to your attempt to disparage him too. The man isn’t stupid or blind to reality.

    My final question to you today, which your readers did not benefit from seeing in my “500+ moderated” post – when and why did religious thought, observation and tradition stop being a private matter?

  18. JD

    @Paul Emmert
    Seriously, read for comprehension. The “nuke issue” was specifically addressed. The point of the links is so you can educate yourself rather than re-hashing old news here.

    I saw a cadet telling…how Christians in the military are on a “mission”…

    Stop the presses. Somebody get “Mickey.” That kid was clearly “treasonous” in his flagrant violation of his oath to the US Constitution. Since the penalty for treason is death…

    Oops, you meant to cite an example of someone doing something wrong, didn’t you?

    If someone tried to give you a Koran without you asking for it

    You’re making the assumption no one has. Your hypersensitivity is unwarranted. You can’t contract religion by physical contact.

    And while you like to disregard lawyers…

    There goes that reading thing again.

    I suggest you go find the interview with Col Wilkerson

    You’re a little slow to the party. You’re apparently referencing the interview with internet-based “Real News” in which he says of the Christians the MRFF is fighting:

    This is a group that believes that its mission is to take over the Armed Forces of the United States and then use them in a crusade against all those who don’t believe in Christ in the world…

    Classy. Sounds like he fits right in with Weinstein, who thinks those same Christians are going to institute a Holocaust in America.

    Your final question is irrelevant, and its also based on a faulty assumption.

  19. Paul Emmert

    Why do you continue to evade my basic question, which is the basis for this thread? If someone superior to you hands you a Koran, and tells you that Mohammed is the way of the light and future, would you consider that person to be proselytizing? A simple yes or no answer would suffice. Rationalizing your answer would be instructive to the debate. If you’ve already answered this elsewhere, then point me to the discussion. The entire basis of your position rests on what you deem acceptable and appropriate, or not. Yet you’ve not stated precisely how you interpret proselytizing versus some lower level of discussion.

    As to deriding everything I say with snarky comments, that approach is rather demeaning. You engage with classic ad hominem replies, and evade my questions. Is that the best you can do, JD?

    Is the entire MRFF board comprised of people who you disdain? Is there a massive conspiracy on the part of not only the board, but other MRFF supportive entities associated with the organization? Or put another way, are all these people contributing valuable time to MRFF just imagining these issues?

    Just questions…with theoretically simple answers.

  20. JD

    @Paul Emmert
    On the contrary, the issue is the US military’s interpretation of proselytizing, not any individual’s. According to both the military and RAdm Lee, what he did was not proselytizing.

  21. Paul Emmert

    Ok, that’s one answer. You won’t allow yourself to be pinned down in a scenario identical to the Admiral’s. So I have to infer, then, you would say that if a superior handed you a Koran, and suggested that you heed Mohammed, that according to the military, this would not be proselytizing. Do you agree with the military’s apparent assessment? Can you paint a scenario where the Admiral’s actions would be proselytizing? In other words, what behaviors clearly constitute proselytizing someone, differentiated from what the Admiral’s actions were? There is obviously a legal interpretation the Admiral disputes – what is the basis for disagreeing with the legal guidance given to the Admiral, as you assess that he was not out of bounds?

    It seems to me your opinions on this topic are key, given your angst against Weisntein – whose stated mission is to stop the abuse of military command by proselytizing subordinates.

    I posed some questions related to individual and organizations associated with MRFF. Does no answer mean you are declining to reply?

  22. Priscilla Parker

    @Paul, if you are referring to the interview Lawrence Wilkerson did on RealNews, I did watch it. By his own admission, he was hesitant to join the board at first but became convinced after Mikey showed him ‘evidence’ of dominionists in the ranks. He was then asked if this was occurring while he was in and he responded ‘not really…’ As far as Col. Wilkerson’s reliability is concerned, wasn’t he the aide to Powell who wrote the UN speech that Powell gave before the UN Security Counsel that led to our invasion of Iraq only later to retract what he wrote and then blamed Bush and his administration for taking the advice of their counsel (aka. him) in the matter? Now that’s a guy I want on my side (look out, there’s a bus a comin’.)

    And speaking of service members violating regs, under General Article 134 of the UCMJ:

    ‘Though not specifically mentioned in this chapter, all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty, shall be taken cognizance of by a general, special or summary court-martial, according to the nature and degree of the offense, and shall be punished at the discretion of that court.’

    So when a soldier in the Army or a Marine, say, contacts an outside agency, for example MRFF, who then takes the soldier or Marine’s story and publicizes it in the media accusing the military of discrimination and then attacks Christian organizations that support the military and claims the military is in cahoots with these groups to turn the military in Jesus lovers, is that behavior that brings discredit up on the Armed Forces?

    How about when Chris Rodda, the Senior Research Director of MRFF, publicly attacked members of the atheist community for advertising that a secular organizations president was going to be speaking at a chapel on Fort Bragg because they had had been propagating that atheist soldiers were being discriminated against when they weren’t. Instead of recognizing Fort Bragg’s equal treatment of secular soldiers, MRFF tried to defame the local atheist members who had been working WITH Fort Bragg.

    MRFF’s board is composed of people who take Mikey’s word for it instead of educating them-selves on actual military policies.

    Is it crossing a line for an officer to give a grieving service member a Bible? I think so. It’s also crossing a line when you exploit AD service members and hide behind fancy titles like ‘legal counsel to the Reagan Admin.’ or Former aid to Gen. Colin Powell, and? Does that somehow excuse his bigotry? Go educate your-self a bit more before you support someone you know nothing about.

  23. Paul Emmert

    @Priscella, in reverse order, you don’t need to tell me to educate myself….I’ve done my due diligence, and because my conclusions differ from yours, perhaps it’s because you need to take a wider view of events and circumstances. I don’t see bigotry – I do see an impassioned effort to combat the rise of a sort of Christianity that is “militant” in it’s own way…an American Taliban as you heard the Colonel say himself. This phenomenon began to rear it’s ugly head in the 90′s and we see it continuing today. As you agree yourself, the Admiral’s actions are only a tiny example of what is going on. I was active duty myself, a USAFA graduate, and during those years, there was not a hint of this going on in those days. Today, it’s a different story. To try to deny that there hasn’t been a change, is to ignore reality. We see evidence of the same in the civilian sector, as shown by state legislators going off the church/state reservation, school boards trying to change biology textbooks, and so on. It’s overt, it’s real, and it’s happening. The military is only a mirror of what is happening elsewhere in society.

    As to the Rock Beyond Belief event you are referring to, that’s old ground that’s debatable.

    I don’t buy for two seconds the assertion that the MRFF Advisory Board is composed of people who “take Mickey’s word for it…” Many of these people have their own reputations to protect, including a very popular New Mexico governor. Glen Doherty, who was killed in Libya, was a class act, smart, and a staunch protector of the Constitution.

    The bottom line is that to ignore the advent of Chrisitian “dominionism” is to do so at our collective peril. My own education on this topic began when I read “The Family – The Secret Fundamemtslism at the Heart of American Power.” The military is only an extension of this disturbing trend in American culture, and must not be ignored.

  24. Priscilla Parker

    @Paul, I know there is no point in responding because you are either blinded by your bigotry or you’re trolling, either way, it’s irrelevant. By YOUR own admission you DO take other people accounts at face value and just accept those that align with your belief that the military is being infiltrated by these ‘dominionist’ whatever that is. While I agree it is crossing a line for an officer to give a grieving soldier a Bible, that hardly equates to the officer being a dominionist who is trying to force that service member or any other subordinate to his faith. You don’t know his intentions, you just speculate and accuse.

    Just like Col. Wilkerson admitted, you didn’t experience this wave of evangelical proselytizing while you were in yet you are willing to jump on a ban wagon because you read a book? I don’t care where you graduated from or where or how you served, you’re simply wrong in your support of Weinstein and his ‘organization’ aka. business.

    So since you insist that JD answer your question, I’ll do the same.

    When a soldier in the Army or a Marine, say, contacts an outside agency, for example MRFF, who then takes the soldier or Marine’s story and publicizes it in the media accusing the military of discrimination and then attacks Christian organizations that support the military and claims the military is in cahoots with these groups to turn the military in Jesus lovers, is that behavior that brings discredit up on the Armed Forces?

  25. Paul E

    @Priscilla, no I’m not bigoted, and I honestly dont’ think you are either, and I’m not trolling. I am attempting to stick with topic at hand. It’s okay to have genuine disagreements and debate about any topic, and not resort to ad hominem attacks, which seems to be a common tendency no matter what side of the debate we’re on.

    I take information and attempt to corroborate it. That’s a far cry from taking anything at face value.

    I read that book several years ago when I began to see evidence of issues appearing, especially at USAFA. It’s been an ongoing observation and education since then. I only mention it, as part of my own learning. As I said before, this phenomenon is not taking place in a vacuum, and is coincident with a rise in the civilian sector of similar patterns, especially with respect to church/state separation issues, science/biology tinkering in favor of creationism, etc. There is a pattern that’s sweeping the country, and is mirrored in the military imo. But I’m repeating myself, because I think this is an important element of the big picture.

    I can see your point about discredit on the Armed Forces. But the rub with the logic is who, or what force is instigating all of this to begin with? You’ve got a causation question, but if you drill down beyond a soldier running to MRFF, why did he do that to begin with? What compels him or her to take such action? Is it a superior officer proselytizing? Is it a threat of non-promotion for failing to tow the Jesus line? Is it a Westpoint officer telling a room full of cadets that a “Muslim” surely planted bombs in Boston, when one of the classroom students is Muslim? Was it religious intolerance perceived at USAFA? You suggest a horse before the cart, I would disagree with that assertion – something pops up in the news frequently, and it’s not made up by MRFF. I don’t need to point to you the Wikipedia page on MRFF, which contains specific, factual information about MRFF and it’s activities. Who is bringing discredit to the Armed Forces – the person with a legitimate complaint, the person who is aggrieved, or an organization set up to combat and respond to it?

    Lastly, how is it that, at last count, there are 27 people on the MRFF advisory board, who boast lengthy and impressive resumes, from a variety of backgrounds? Are they all just clueless idiots following Mickey Weinstein down the path of unabated, intolerant, anti-Christian militancy? I don’t think so.

    Bashing at Weinstein is easy, but either he is incredibly adept at pulling a wool of deceit and fabrication over a lot of people’s eyes, or there are genuine issues that demand attention.

  26. JD

    @Paul E

    Is it a superior officer proselytizing?

    A common accusation wholly unsupported by any example in reality.

    Is it a threat of non-promotion for failing to tow the Jesus line?

    Again, not a single, documented example. Ever.

    Is it a Westpoint officer telling a room full of cadets that a “Muslim” surely planted bombs in Boston…

    Acknowledging that the statement is paraphrased out of context, what rule does that violate? (We’ll ignore for the moment that it was true.)

    Was it religious intolerance perceived at USAFA?

    If such a perception can justify “compelling” someone to “run” to the MRFF — and ignoring the entire US military grievance system — can the “perception” of institutionalized religious hostility caused by a Pentagon invitation to Michael Weinstein also be actionable by outside groups contacted by military members?

    Who is bringing discredit…

    I would challenge you to cite a single validated example of any such impropriety in a public complaint brought by Weinstein. A single one. Since you didn’t understand this last time, just because Weintein makes an accusation does not make something true, and you can’t “corroborate” something by citing a news article that simply quotes Weinstein making the accusation.

    there are 27 people…

    What number legitimizes a group’s claim? If 28 people disagree, will you change your mind? No one is claiming people don’t honestly believe the Christians are trying to take over the world. Groups far larger than 27 people, and with far more impressive resumes, can believe in just as irrational concepts.

    Which is more believable:

    The US government colluded with a private company to convert people to Christianity by inscribing abbreviated references to Bible verses in 2mm font next to serial numbers on rifle scopes.

    or

    The government purchased a commercial product recognized for its technical superiority from a company that had a tradition of connecting Biblical references about “light” to its products, without regard to that practice.

    For someone who claims to be inclined to accept the simple, reasonable explanation, you seem oddly accepting of the irrational.

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