Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s recent attacks on religious freedom — and the apparent subservience of the US Air Force to his every whim — have inspired the US Congress to write opposition to Weinstein into law. Twice.
In the first, US Rep John Fleming (R-La.) successfully inserted language into the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act that would be more explicit than that which was in the 2013 version — and which was subsequently dismissed in a “signing statement” by President Obama. (According to reports, the Department of Defense has yet to produce regulations implementing the provision, as required.) Rep Fleming’s amendment, Section 530, says [wording changes from 2013 highlighted]: Continue reading →
Despite “protesting” for weeks that his relationship with the US Air Force has been mischaracterized, Michael Weinstein of his self-founded Military Religious Freedom Foundation recently touted his inimitable influence over the US military.
One month ago the Pentagon assured the public it was not being advised by anti-Christian extremist Mikey Weinstein. Yet two days ago Weinstein called the Pentagon demanding that a Christian painting be removed from a dining hall in an Idaho Air Force base, and the Pentagon complied with his demand–in less than one hour.
Klukowski notes that Weinstein brags he got action in less than an hour, while US Congressmen haven’t gotten a response to their queries in weeks.
“Each of you is responsible for the character of this Air Force, and its reputation,” Donley said. “And I therefore charge you to serve with integrity, and by example — to lead, to say and to do what is right for our Air Force.”
Serve with integrity and character. Do the right thing. It seems like the Air Force is encouraging a high moral standard.
Living morally is consistent with Christian officership, but doing the right thing is also consistent with professional officership. Unfortunately, a few forget that the right choice is not always the easy choice. Fortunately, “right” normally prevails, even if at some cost.
When you are faced with difficult decisions, you will always know that the right thing to do…is the right thing to do. Do it. Listen to yourself and be guided by what you believe is right.
Standing against the crowd and choosing the harder right instead of the easier wrong, as the Cadet Prayer prescribes, can be very lonely and frightening at times. And it requires immense moral courage.
It is an interesting position to assert that every officer knows the right thing to do — meaning many in the current controversies have been knowingly choosing to do the “wrong thing.” Of course, the “moral courage” to which Secretary Hagel refers presupposes a knowledge of right and wrong; normally, that is defined outside of “listening to yourself,” unless one includes a moral and religious upbringing in one’s character.
As noted previously, some people seem to think the Air Force, or the US military, is overrun by Christians. A few think military officers aren’t allowed to speak out about their religious beliefs.
It seems the cockpit atheist undermines the former point and disagrees with the latter. The Lieutenant has taken not only to the internet with his religious beliefs and his status as an Air Force officer, but also to a small variety of atheist events from Rock Continue reading →
This wasn’t the military, though. It was a grade school.
South Bristol Elementary School eighth-graders will launch their handmade skiffs next month without the traditional “blessing of the fleet” after a letter from…Americans United for Separation of Church and State informed the school that student involvement with the historic maritime ceremony violated the First Amendment.
The US Navy and various small towns conduct “blessings of the fleet” in accordance with centuries of maritime tradition. Indeed, the US Navy just performed theirs.
Obama said he is pleased that Hagel and Dempsey are looking at proposals on Capitol Hill and elsewhere to address the problem. “What I’ve said to them is I want to leave no stone unturned and I want us to explore every good idea that’s out there,” he said.
What do you think the chances are that the US military will consider the “good idea” that religious faith plays a substantial role in supporting moral conduct? That’s not Continue reading →
Jason Torpy, the one-man band that is the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, recently posted a point-by-point refutation of recent accusations of the US military being hostile to Christianity.
Much of his disagreement was nuance or the way in which something was phrased, which isn’t worth discussing here. The interesting ones, though, were the cases in which he agreed with the US military’s “anti-Christian” actions:
January 2010 — Department of Defense orders removal of tiny Bible references on military scopes and gunsights.
Torpy: True and appropriate.
This issue has been discussed before. While there is no religious requirement the references remain, the fact they were targeted because of their (obscure) religious reference — only after Michael Weinstein complained, notably – is troubling. That he would seek this Continue reading →
As previously noted, Sally Quinn of the Washington Post has become the latest version of Pam Zubeck, the CSIndy “journalist” who is actually an advocate of Michael Weinstein’s cause. While it has become obvious Quinn is in the tank with Weinstein, it wasn’t clear until this weekend just how far she was willing to go.
In an article on sexual assault in the military — carefully crafted to get visibility because its on a topic of great interest right now — Quinn lays the responsibility for sexual assault in the military at the feet of…religion.
And guess who her source is?
Take the Cadets for Christ, a religious group at the Air Force Academy. According to Mikey Weinstein, Continue reading →
Michael Weinstein has been working hard to recover from his self-inflicted public relations debacle that began with the Sally Quinn article praising his ‘heroic’ and substantial influence over the US Air Force. As part of that effort, Weinstein got a high-ranking supporter to write a letter defending him — anonymously, of course.
…As a retired, multiple-star, senior officer (General or Admiral) you know that I was asked by the Chief of Staff…to be my Service’s direct day-to-day interface with you. During those three years, and specifically because of that relationship, my Service avoided countless…breaches of religious civil rights…
As a direct result of this relationship, we had military Service-wide policies written/documented for our entire Service to follow!!
Once again, though, Weinstein’s ego may have undone his own attempts at obfuscation.
The supportive letter refers to “policies” written for the “entire Service” as a “direct result” of Weinstein. The only service that has done that, which Weinstein has claimed influence over, no less, is the Air Force. Based on the timeline, the Chief of Staff is certainly Continue reading →
In a shockingly blunt piece, Michael Weinstein seems to have inadvertently undermined his own defense against those who claim he’s “anti-Christian” by essentially admitting that he’s opposed to a vast swath of American Christianity. Said Weinstein [emphasis added]:
Do you know that in this country in 1970, we only had ten mega-Evangelical churches, meaning those with 2,000 or more members? But after 9/11, a new mega-Evangelical church has opened up in our country every 48 hours.
That is their right. That’s fine. But when they engage the machinery of the state and the people in the government, that’s when we have a terrible, hideous problem.
And this is coming right down from the DoD, up and down the chain of command…
Weinstein seems to clearly convey Christians from these ubiquitous “mega-Evangelical churches” (as opposed to Evangelical megachurches?) are the ones “engaging Continue reading →
The workplace searches will be conducted by “component heads” before July 1, and Hagel expects each service to submit a report summarizing the findings. The Air Force leadership will submit a report based on inspections it ordered in late 2012 and will not be expected to conduct a new round of searches.
The article also notes Secretary Hagel intends to hold leaders responsible for the “cultural change” necessary for an environment of “dignity and respect.”
In case you were wondering why the Washington Post blog on Michael Weinstein’s visit to the Pentagon made him out to be so “heroic” — and never once raised a critical eye to his cause – it’s because the author, Sally Quinn, supports his cause.
In her recent commentary on the National Day of Prayer, Quinn calls the National Day of Prayer “unconstitutional”, and she spends most of her column lightly mocking Greg Laurie’s call for a national religious revival. Tellingly, she never pauses to acknowledge Laurie’s liberty to make such statements.