The National Park Service said Monday that park service will remove the ten-foot structure containing Buddhist relics from the park this week after getting an opinion from the Department of Interior’s solicitor general. The solicitor general ruled last month that keeping the Buddhist stupa violates the Constitution on established religion.
The story of the stupa is somewhat complex, as the NPS “bought” the stupa when it gained possession of the land from the original owners (after a legal battle) in the 1990s. The Park Service didn’t raise the monument, nor does it Continue reading →
A few recent articles highlight the service of US military chaplains around the globe, doing far more than the stereotypical Sunday morning chapel service:
As the Army begins to open certain career fields to women, chaplains are affected: The 101st Airborne just received its first female chaplain in Chaplain (Capt) Delana Small. In so doing, she became a part of the “legendary Band of Brothers.” Her assignment was a result of the Department of Defense “Women in the Service Review.” The DoD article is full of praise for the new chaplain.
Jason Torpy, the one-man Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, is an atheist and former Army officer. While his MAAF is ostensibly a “community support network,” he recently revealed the true motivation behind his ideology.
In a recent display of internet frustration, Torpy took fellow atheists to task for not banding together and being “anti-” enough. The context was a comment that people don’t join groups for things they don’t believe in, spoken by Neil deGrasse Tyson, a self-described agnostic (who says he is “often claimed by atheists”):
Do non-golf players gather and strategize? Do non-skiers…come together and talk about the fact that they don’t ski? I can’t do that. I can’t gather around and talk about how much everybody in the room doesn’t believe in God.
Other memorials are biased toward Christianity and ought properly to be removed to private property. The Camp Pendleton cross is just one of many…
The Argonne Cross at Arlington, a 1921 monument erected “In memory of our men in France” also excludes all non-Christians. This cross now memorializes a time when our military had nearly no recognition for anyone not Christian and was segregated by both race and gender…
In deciding to include the Argonne Cross with others “to be removed,” this initially seems like an opportunity to applaud Torpy’s intellectual Continue reading →
a “wonderful gesture” in remembrance of the fallen Marines, but said its location on public land “makes us feel like the federal government privileges Christianity over non-Christians like us, makes us feel like second-class citizens…”
[T]heir desire to erect a large cross to honor their memory is perfectly acceptable, so long as it is on church land or their own property, not on federal land.