Commander Who Fired Female Pilot Has His Own Checkered History

In February, the Air Force fired Captain Zoe Kotnik, who had been hyped (some would say over-hyped) as “the first woman to lead one of the flying force’s demonstration teams.” She’d led the team for two weeks.

While no reason was ever given for the move, US Air Force Col Derek “Maestro” O’Malley, who fired her, said in part

We have thousands of Airmen across our Air Force serving our country, and not one of them is perfect. As good people, like Capt. Kotnik make mistakes, I want them to have the opportunity to learn from them without being under public scrutiny, and to continue to be a part of this great service. They’ll be better for the experience, and in turn, we’ll be better as an Air Force.

The unusually long statement, as well as the concept of recovering from a mistake (one so egregious it led to a public removal), attracted particular attention because Col O’Malley is well-known in the Air Force’s F-16 community, and beyond, as the “Gold Bond guy.”

In 2004, then-Captain O’Malley made a spoof comedy video about Gold Bond powder that was, to put it lightly, rather crude. In fact, given today’s “Me Too” mentality, O’Malley would Read more

US Army Denies Flying Spaghetti Monster Beard

It was bound to happen: The Headquarters of the US Army has denied a young Soldier’s request for a religious accommodation to wear a beard.

US Army SPC John Hoskins claimed to be a “Pastafarian,” whose “deity,” if you will, is the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

In January, LtGen Thomas Seamands, the Army’s Deputy Chief of Staff for personnel, denied the request [emphasis added]:

1. I have considered your request for a religious accommodation to permit you to grow a beard in observance of your Pastafarian beliefs, along with the recommendations of your chain of command. I deny your request for an exception to Army personal appearance and grooming standards. A copy of this disapproval memorandum will be placed in your Army Military Human Resource Record (AMHRR).

2. Your request for an accommodation is denied based on a lack of a sincerely held religious belief.

3. This decision is final with Read more

Vice President Pence on Religious Liberty in America

Speaking at the Liberty University commencement, 11 May 2019:

The truth is, when you leave Liberty Mountain, you’re going to find an America filled with promise…

We live in a time when the freedom of religion is under assault. Yesterday, I was informed by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom that today Christians suffer more persecution around the world than any other religion…

The freedom of religion is enshrined in our First Amendment and in the hearts of every American. And these attacks on Christian education are un-American. I’m proud to report our administration has already taken decisive action to protect religious liberty, and we’ll continue to do just that. And I promise you: We will always stand up for the right of Americans to live, to learn, and to worship God according to the dictates of their conscience.

The American people cherish our tradition of religious education, and as President Trump said at this very podium two years ago, on our watch, “No one is ever going to stop you from practicing your faith or from preaching what is in your heart.” That’s a promise… Read more

Mikey Weinstein’s MRFF Uses Fake Quotes. Chris Rodda Doesn’t Seem to Mind.

Christine “Chris” Rodda, the longsuffering and underpaid MRFF research assistant of Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, once fancied herself a historian. For a short while, she almost achieved internet fame in her “debunking” of those who tried to use allegedly historic quotes from allegedly famous people to promote their case of, in Rodda’s words, Christian nationalism or some such conspiracy.

The lengths to which she would go were impressive — literally, thousands of words to refute single quotations, in some cases.

Yet, it appears Rodda is willing to let her own group get away with a little bit of that same “fake news.”

John Compere, who tries to remind everyone he is a retired BGen and “disabled American veteran (Vietnam)”, also likes to use quotes, presumably because he thinks it makes his attacks on liberty sound more legitimate — particularly if they come from heroes of conservativism and Christians. He particularly likes Ronald Reagan (previously discussed), whom he rips out of context to make an anti-MRFF quote sound like Reagan would have been pals with Mikey.

Rodda apparently hasn’t schooled Compere there, as he continues to use the quote.

Compere also likes this quote from George Washington (here, for example):

“It has been suggested that [the military chaplaincy] has a tendency to introduce religious disputes into the Army, which above all things should be avoided, and in many instances would compel men to a mode of Worship which they do not profess.”- First Commander-in-Chief George Washington

This quote should raise flags for Read more

Soul Survivor Has Reached 5,000 US Troops for Christ

CBN News profiles Soul Survivor Outdoor, a nonprofit outreach ministry that takes US troops on outdoor adventures — and has reached 5,000 troops for Christ since it was founded in 2014. One one hand, it is a basic outdoor ministry:

Soul Survivor Outdoor hosts free outdoor adventure events like skydiving, rock-climbing, rappelling, and sailing to reach active duty military, veterans, and their families.

On the other, SSO’s exciting events have Read more

Mikey Weinstein, Fearing Lawsuit Failure, Stages Book Stunt

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein announced that his MRFF — which is currently suing to have a Bible removed from a POW/MIA display at the Manchester VA — had staged a stunt in which a “client” placed a stack of texts on the POW/MIA table of varying faith traditions.

The VA said it would not “tolerate” organizations messing with the displays and would remove the other books, which mirrored their other forceful statement protecting the display.

Importantly, having other faith texts placed on the display is not the “relief sought” in the current lawsuit. The suit seeks only the removal of the Bible.

James L. Chamberlain, the token plaintiff and Read more

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