Americans United for the Separation of Church and State picked up on the story of the Army Chaplain who wanted to switch from Christianity to Wicca, claiming that the Army’s treatment of him was “so obviously a case of religious discrimination.” As noted in the public comments on the article, there are questions as to why the AU hasn’t made the same appeal about Chaplain Klingenschmitt, who the Navy attempted to discharge when he switched endorsers. The basic circumstances are nearly identical; in fact, Klingenschmitt’s is arguably harder to justify.
According to various news sources, the California Supreme Court rejected an appeal of the previous ruling protecting the Mount Soledad Cross in San Diego.
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State posted an article deriding the “First Freedom Project” as a means to undermine church/state separation and placate “the religious right.” The AU was particularly put off by the DOJ’s support of the Salvation Army’s right to hire people that observed its beliefs even if it contracted work with the government, saying “…thanks to the Justice Department, the Salvation Army” could now discriminate. While the DOJ did file a brief in support of the Salvation Army, the AU fails to note that it was actually the judicial branch of the government that made the ruling and is therefore the one “to thank.”
A Department of Justice press release announced the “First Freedom Project,” which is billed as an effort “to strengthen and preserve religious liberty throughout the nation.” Included in the initiative is a “Report on Enforcement of Laws Protecting Religious Freedom” over the last five years as well as a new website, www.firstfreedom.gov. A public initiative to support the freedom of religion is a welcome sight in modern times that seem to prefer a separation of religion and public life. (With credit to The Religion Clause blog for the point out.)
A Washington Post article opines about a former Pentecostal Army chaplain who lost his endorsement when his denomination found out he wanted to switch to Wicca. He was attempting to become a Wiccan chaplain, which is heretofore unknown.
The Rutherford Institute, which is representing Navy Chaplain Klingenschmitt, has announced that they have stopped the Navy’s attempt to separate the chaplain prior to the upcoming trial.
The likes of Maxim, FHM, and other ‘non-pornographic’ magazines of partially dressed women in sensuous poses are readily available for deployed fighter pilots and other military members, often delivered for free by the publishers. According to Christian Post, Lifeway is attempting to provide a Christian alternative through a distribution scheme with thousands of churches.
As repeated by a variety of sources, the Associated Press has reported that the Wiccan lawsuit against the Veterans Administration will proceed without a delay requested by the government.