Today is the National Day of Prayer. President Obama issued his proclamation, saying in part
All of us have the freedom to pray and exercise our faiths openly. Our laws protect these God-given liberties, and rightly so. Today and every day, prayers will be offered in houses of worship, at community gatherings, in our homes, and in neighborhoods all across our country. Let us give thanks for the freedom to practice our faith as we see fit, whether individually or in fellowship.
The DoD has published a lengthy, two-part (1, 2) story on Chaplain Emil Kapaun, who will posthumously receive the Medal of Honor tomorrow. The articles contain many details of his private and military life, as well as many photographs.
Kapaun will receive the award posthumously for his extraordinary heroism while serving with 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, during combat operations in Unsan, Korea, and as a prisoner of war, according to the White House announcement…
According to former Congressman Todd Tiahrt of Kansas, Chaplain (Capt) Emil Kapaun — who died among his fellow POWs during Korean War — will posthumously receive the US military’s highest award: the Medal of Honor.
Former Kansas Congressman Todd Tiahrt…sent a note he had received from an officer in the Pentagon about preparations for a White House ceremony April 11. Tiahrt later posted the letter on his Facebook page, which said that Kapaun also will be honored April 12 at the Pentagon.
President Obama will reportedly present the Medal to his family in early April. The family will be joined by other distinguished guests: Continue reading →
“These chaplains were united in their belief that with God all things are possible,” and they served as an enduring witness to “the power of God to transcend chaos and calamity and produce in us the strength to do all things.”
The four chaplains were Protestants George Fox and Clark Poling; Catholic priest John Washington; and a Jewish rabbi, Alexander Goode. The chaplains famously gave up their own life vests and sank with the ship, arm in arm without regard to any person’s particular religious faith.
Each year since 1993 the President has declared January 16th to be “Religious Freedom Day,” in order to remember the passage of Thomas Jefferson’s 1786 Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (see 2009). President Obama has not yet issued his proclamation this year but will likely do so today [Update: Now here]. CitizenLink, associated with Focus on the Family, noted an irony in the forthcoming Presidential proclamation while the Administration is being sued — for impinging upon religious freedom.
Jefferson’s statute continues to be a strong expression for the value of Continue reading →
Most recent articles on the high visibility sexual scandals in the Air Force have focused on charges of sexual assault, largely with reference to the Lackland basic training incidents. Despite a fairly thorough article at the New York Times(which included that topic), almost no one has been talking about Air Force Technical Sergeant Jennifer Smith — who is threatening to sue the US Air Force over the sexually-charged atmosphere in the fighter pilot world. (The Air Force Times picked up on the story just days ago.)
This is particularly notable in light of the recent “health and welfare inspection” ordered by Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen Mark Welsh, since the inspection seems to precisely target some of TSgt’s Smith’s allegations (yet the media continues to connect it to other accusations). Notably, there are reports Shaw AFB — where TSgt Smith reportedly lodged the complaint – did a “health and welfare” inspection weeks before Gen Welsh ordered it Air Force wide. The organization representing TSgt Smith, “Protecting our Defenders,” certainly made the connection.
As noted in the New York Times more than a month ago, TSgt Smith has filed an “administrative complaint” (PDF, with attachments) that reads much like a primer on the vices of the fighter pilot world. She seeks Continue reading →
“A lot of people told me I couldn’t be both a Marine and a missionary,” [LCpl Brady] Knowles said before he left for the LDS Church’s Indianapolis Mission last year. “But when I talked to the Marine recruiters and told them I was going to serve a mission, they told me it could be worked out. And it was.”
The feast’s origins come from the story of Abraham heading up a mountain to sacrifice his son, but his son’s life was spared by God’s provision of a ram. In a spirit of thankfulness during this festival, animals are sacrificed and the meat divided into portions — some being kept by the family, and the rest given away to the poor.
The unit’s commander noted the troops’ desire to participate in the religious festival, despite the fact they weren’t Muslims: Continue reading →
The US Air Force Academy is holding a Religious Respect Conference this week, inviting “religious and First Amendment advocacy groups” to meet with cadets and chaplains on the topics of religious tolerance and dignity.
On the topic of training in religious respect, the Academy had a noble goal for its future officers:
“The…goal is teaching an ethic of respect regardless of who people are, whether they follow one faith or another faith or no faith at all,” said Chaplain (Col.) Robert Bruno…”What we are trying to teach is a fundamental ethic of respect. We recognize the inherent dignity of every human being…”
“We agree to disagree agreeably, civilly, respectfully, professionally,” he said.
NBC recently updated the controversy of Bible references being inscribed on the side of Trijicon’s ACOG weapon sites sold to the US military (as well as other nations).
Nearly three years later — despite the military’s assertion that is making “good progress” — the code remains on many rifles deploying to Afghanistan…
For those unfamiliar with the original story, Trijicon makes industry-leading sights for weapons and has sold them by the hundreds of thousands to the military. (They’ve reportedly increased marksmanship in the Army.) On the side of the scope, the identification number is followed by an abbreviation that refers to a Bible verse.