Despite controversies over religion in the military and the sensitivities of troops talking about religion with locals, the US Army has actually assigned a young Captain to do that very thing.
According to a Wall Street Journal article, US Army Capt James Hill’s job is to
turn Islam into a weapon against the Taliban.
Though the Wall Street Journal emphasizes the Captain’s religion (the article is entitled “The Baptist and the Mullah Launch a Faith-Based Attack on the Taliban”), Read more
As previously discussed, an F-22A Raptor crashed during a test sortie at Edwards AFB, CA, in March of this year. The test pilot, Lockheed civilian contractor David “Cools” Cooley, perished in the incident.
While an official investigation has not been publicized to date, the Washington Post appears to have been given an answer. In a marginally-related article on the future of the F-22 program, writer R. Jeffrey Smith notes that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had been willing to purchase four more F-22s, but only four, to make the total 187. One was to replace the lost F-22: Read more
As previously noted, the Air Force declined to support the Nampa, Idaho, “God and Country Festival” with a flyby, despite a 40+ year history of supporting the event. The festival organizers now have a petition online. The organizers make a point of saying
We want to make it clear that although it is unashamedly a Christian event, a major part of the Festival is honoring our troops who protect our freedom to assemble.
The decision has stayed in the news, and was even covered by Bill O’Reilly Read more
As it did previously, the Air Force is again advertising scholarships for Chaplain candidates through its “Religious Professional Scholarship.” According to one report, the scholarship covers tuition, books, and includes a monthly stipend. Applications are being accepted through September 1st.
As the Air Force stated initially, it appears that the current scholarships will be steered toward “under-represented” faiths, which at this point are Catholics.
In June, two Muslim military Chaplains from France and the United States met in Paris for a religious diversity conference. The American Chaplain, Lt Commander Abuhena Saifulislam, is a US Navy Chaplain who emigrated from Bangladesh in 1989, becoming a Navy Imam in 1999. He is endorsed by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). He was reportedly assigned to the Marines, making him the first Muslim Chaplain Read more
FoxNews has now picked up the story, previously noted, of the Air Force’s decision not to provide a fly-by of the “God and Country Festival” in Nampa, Idaho. A “defense department official” repeated that the reason for the refusal was that it would have provided a “selective benefit.” Of note:
The Air Force was in charge of the decision-making process, meaning neither the secretary of defense nor President Obama weighed in directly, the official said.
Capt. Tom Wenz from Air Force public affairs told FOX News that past participation was due to the fact that the event was described only as a “patriotic tribute,” and the Air Force wasn’t aware until now of the apparent focus on Christianity, despite the festival’s name.
According to local news reports, the Air Force denied the request of the “God and Country Festival” in Nampa, Idaho, for an aircraft flyby during their July 2 celebration. Reportedly, the festival has had a flyby for the past 42 years, and was surprised by the Air Force’s decision to deny the request this year because of the festival’s religious content.
After receiving an email denying the request, the organizer reportedly called the Pentagon:
“I called him immediately and said we’ve been doing this for 42 years, we’ve had flyovers, what is the problem? He said, we have looked up your website and everything on your website seemed to focus on Christianity Read more
As noted at the ChristianPost, Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse Jr. magazine has teamed with the American Bible Society to help kids provide American servicemen and women with Bibles. Called “Truth for Troops,” the effort encourages parents to help their children earn money and take a vested interest in providing Bibles for US troops, as well as send them cards and pray for them.
“It is good for Daddy to have a Bible to read in Iraq so he can have a friend there,” said 3-year-old Violet, daughter of a U.S. Army chaplain in Iraq, according to ABC. “It will make him happy and help him not to be alone. The Bible tells him that God is with him.”
The effort is scheduled to run through August 31st.