Tag Archives: Constitution

Big Mountain Jesus Goes to Appeals Court

The atheist attempt to pull Jesus off the mountain will now to go the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals:

The lawsuit was brought by the Madison, Wisconsin-based group the Freedom From Religion Foundation…

Last June, Chief Judge Dana L. Christensen of the United States District Court for the District of Montana, Missoula Division, dismissed the FFRF’s lawsuit.

In a statement regarding the dismissal, Continue reading

Colorado Candidate Pens Letter on Religious Freedom

Retired USAF MajGen Bentley Rayburn, potential competition for sitting US Rep Doug Lamborn, recently said Congressman Lamborn wasn’t doing enough for religious freedom in the Air Force. He wrote a guest column in the Colorado Springs Gazette, local to USAFA, giving his take on recent controversies:

Nobody can state with a straight face that the act of posting a Bible verse on a white board infringes or damages anyone else’s constitutionally protected individual rights…

Air Force Instruction 1-1 para 2-12 is without equivocation in stating that Airmen “should confidently practice [their] own beliefs while respecting others whose viewpoints differ from your own…”

To walk away from creating a culture at the Air Force Academy where ideas are expressed, debated, defended and strengthened is to make it a third-rate school, hardly deserving to be called a real university.

And what kind of men and women Continue reading

Congressmen Call Air Force Religion Rules Unconstitutional

Update: Congressman Lamborn’s potential political rivals reacted, with Republican Bentley Rayburn, a retired Major General and 1975 USAFA graduate, saying Lamborn hasn’t done enough to support religious freedom at USAFA, while Democrat Irv Halter, also a retired Major General and 1977 USAFA graduate, says Lamborn has gone too far.


A few weeks ago congressmen asked the Secretary of the Air Force to document and explain the Air Force religious policy and its application at the US Air Force Academy, following USAFA’s command decision to pull down a Bible verse on a cadet’s whiteboard. As noted then and in a subsequent congressional hearing, the Air Force has relied heavily on AFI 1-1, a Chief of Staff level AFI published in the final days of General Norton Schwartz’s tenure in 2012.

Now, Congressman Doug Lamborn of Colorado (home to the US Air Force Academy) has written a letter signed by 22 other congressmen asking Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James to revise the policy at issue:

The August 2012 Air Force regulations which govern religious freedom and expression (AFI 1-1) are inconsistent with Congressional intent and current law…

The first issue Lamborn cites is the “undefinable” standard the Air Force uses [emphasis added]:  Continue reading

US Military Tries to Wrap Arms Around Social Media

A series of locally produced public affairs articles by the DoD have tried to encourage troops to use ‘better judgment’ when it comes to social media — following a spate of ‘scandals’ in which US troops have brought less than positive attention to the military. One was an old photo of an Airman ‘kissing’ a POW/MIA painting; another, an Airman who flaunted avoiding saluting during retreat. Others have included irreverent photos of training for Honor Guard details — which included the sensitive images of flag-draped caskets.

The articles have taken the same general, and generally unhelpful, tone: ‘Please be careful’ — but offering little else in terms of specific guidance. In fact, the authors — generally young military Public Affairs officers — often venture into the untenable. Quoting a local Med Group First Sergeant, one said:

Before posting something, think, ‘Would my base commander approve of this post if it made it onto [a television channel]?’

The brackets probably originally said “CNN,” as a First Sergeant Continue reading

Mikey Weinstein Calls for Religious Test for Military Service

Jay Sekulow: Do you think [Christian] ‘fundamentalists and dominionists’ have the right to serve in the United States military?

Mikey Weinstein: They do not.

This from the guy who claims to defend “religious freedom” and frequently cites Article VI of the US Constitution, which ends with:

No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

Mikey Weinstein wants a “religious test.” If you’re not the right kind of Christian — using his definition — he think you should be disqualified from government service.

That’s what he wants to instill. And that‘s the person to whom the US military has been accused of going as a “key resource” on issues of religion.  Perhaps that’s one reason members of Congress – and others — seem to have a perception that there is some “religious hostility” in the US military.

From Jay Sekulow Live, 20 Mar 2014.

President: Standing up for America means Standing up for God

I know here that you will agree with me that standing up for America also means standing up for the God who has so blessed our land. I believe this country hungers for a spiritual revival. I believe it longs to see traditional values reflected in public policy again. To those who cite the first amendment as reason for excluding God from more and more of our institutions and everyday life, may I just say: The first amendment of the Constitution was not written to protect the people of this country from religious values; it was written to protect religious values from government tyranny.

Without using a web search engine, who said it?

Weinstein uses Atheist Complaint as Proof of Equality

Update: Todd Starnes at FoxNews covers ‘the rest of the story‘ (via the PatriotPost) left unsaid — or unknown — by Mikey Weinstein.  He notes, for example, both the staff tower announcement at Mitch’s and the wing-wide email, which the Academy defended — though it didn’t defend those same actions by Christians against Weinstein’s attacks in 2011. Also, [formatting original]

The Cadets who contacted me about the atheist event indicated that they were not objecting to the promotion of that event, but to the hypocrisy of that promotion, versus a fellow Cadet being asked to remove a Bible verse from his door. Obviously, only the Christian expression of faith is the target of AFA discrimination, and it is Johnson’s “religious impartiality” which should be in contention.

Jason Torpy and the MAAF — Weinstein’s erstwhile ally — took issue with his characterizations of their activities (though they supported removing the Bible verse).


Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s MRFF has said he filed a “complaint” about atheists at the US Air Force Academy — and this is proof that he’s an equal opportunity critic:

Weinstein said an atheist cadet announced at the academy’s chow hall on Wednesday, while everyone was at attention, that Wednesday and Thursday would be “Ask an Atheist” days.” Weinstein said a group of the cadets set up a display on the third floor of Fairchild Hall, which includes classrooms, lab and research facilities and faculty offices.

“Replace ‘Ask an Atheist’ with ‘Ask a Christian,’ ‘Ask a Jew,” or “Ask a Muslim,’” said Weinstein, and the problem is obvious. “This is unlawful.”

The first question: Is Weinstein’s accusation accurate?

Simply, no. Weinstein appears to take issue with both the announcement and the actual “event.” The former is an announcement, nothing more. The US Air Force Academy is Continue reading

Air Force to Document, Explain USAFA Religious Policy

Since when is the standard of what’s constitutional based on what offends someone else?
- Tony Perkins, Family Research Council, addressing USAFA’s statement that a Bible verse was removed because it made someone feel “uncomfortable.”

Congressman Mike McIntyre (D-NC) asked Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James if she would provide an official explanation of the USAFA Bible verse incident:

Would you be willing to submit a detailed explanation within the next 10 days…of the event that occurred…, what the Air Force Academy policy is, and…how that policy was applied in this situation?

Secretary James agreed to do so. The Air Force has already said its policy is found in AFI 1-1, which says  Continue reading

Cadets Speak Out, Religious Liberty Group Meets with USAFA

While many people may have opinions, the fact is there is no Air Force policy or regulation at all that addresses Bible verses or other public displays of religion — even in an official office setting, even by Air Force “leaders.”

Based on actual military policy, Air Force cadets — and enlisted, and officers — remain free to have verses on their whiteboards and Bibles on their desks, even if some people don’t agree or like it.  The mere association of an Air Force leader with a religious belief cannot reasonably be interpreted to be improper — or else far more censorship and restriction on conduct needs to occur. After all, if a cadet can’t handle seeing a Bible verse on a whiteboard, how will he react when he sees his commander wearing a yarmulke?

US Air Force Academy cadets spoke out — anonymously — after the recent kerfuffle over Bible verses on dry erase boards. Their statements are mature and well-considered:  Continue reading

USAFA Cadets Lead “Righteous Rebellion”

The Family Research Council had high praise for cadets who “offered a teachable moment of their own” when they hung Bible (and Qur’an) verses on their doors after a Bible verse was pulled down:

Overnight, Scriptures from Philippians 4 to Psalm 28 started appearing up and down dorm hallways on whiteboards — a stealth operation to counter the growing culture of religious oppression.

The FRC notes Michael “Mikey” Weinstein “went into panic mode” when he fired off an email to Academy Superintendent LtGen Michelle Johnson:  Continue reading

Update: Mikey Weinstein Threatens Suit if USAFA Cadets Not Punished

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, a self-described religious liberty advocate, is threatening to sue the US Air Force Academy if it fails to punish cadets who exercised their religious liberty.

As previously noted in the original discussion, a large group of cadets responded to the original story of Weinstein successfully getting a Bible verse erased from a cadet whiteboard by posting verses of their own — from the Bible, Qur’an, movies, the Helix, and even the Flying Spaghetti Monster. (One said “go atheists!”)

According to an update at TheBlaze, Weinstein wants everyone who posted verses punished, for some reason, though he didn’t mention Continue reading

USAFA Defends Cadets against Mikey Weinstein…Sort of

Update 2: This story is now updated here.


Update: Many USAFA cadets are now openly taunting Mikey Weinstein by posting verses (and commentary) to their message boards:


Michael “Mikey” Weinstein recently erupted when he found out a cadet wrote a Bible verse on his message board in a USAFA hallway:

The text is Galatians 2:20:

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

The labels indicate the room belongs to a 2° (junior) in Cadet Squadron 21.

Weinstein was livid that a cadet would dare write Continue reading

Court: Lake Elsinore War Memorial Advances Religion

The proposed Lake Elsinore war memorial — which was to portray the iconic silhouette of a soldier kneeling at a cross-shaped headstone — was declared unconstitutional by US District Judge Stephen Wilson:

On Thursday (Feb. 27), U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson of California’s Central District ruled that a granite monument depicting a soldier kneeling in prayer before a cross lacked “a secular purpose” and has “the unconstitutional effect” of endorsing religion over nonreligion.

For those that can’t seem to remember, the US Constitution says this about religion:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

Is such a stone really Congress making a law respecting establishment? Using the Lemon Test, the Judge (PDF) said:  Continue reading

Navy Chaplains Quietly Fix Uniform Rules

The US Navy recently revamped its uniform program — again — in a move that was largely unnoticed but by those who have been critiquing the US military’s hunt for a long-term uniform over the past few years. As the issue was largely ignored, missed also was the substantial impact to US Navy chaplains.

It seems the Navy’s current versions of camouflage uniforms didn’t authorize a Chaplain’s insignia — meaning it was impossible for average Sailors to easily identify their chaplains:

“The fact you couldn’t identify a chaplain by his or her religion immediately on site [sic] was something the Navy Chaplain Corps requested to fix…Allowing sailors to identify their chaplains and Continue reading

Klingenschmitt: Chaplain’s Statement Proves Need for Protections

Former US Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt recently responded to testimony by the Rev James Magness, the Episcopal Church’s Armed Forces Bishop, given at the House Armed Services Committee (previously discussed here):

Klingenschmitt calls it arrogant for James Magness, the Washington National Cathedral’s bishop for the armed forces, to say that chaplains who pray in Jesus’ name risk offending non-Christian troops and harming unit cohesion.

“This quote by him demonstrates exactly the reason Continue reading