A California Federal court has said that the proposed design of the Lake Elsinore Veteran’s memorial — which contains the iconic graphic of a Soldier kneeling at a cross-shaped headstone — “likely violates the Establishment Clause” of the US Constitution.
Update: The memorial was approved, though some expect a lawsuit. It seems some in the atheist community are hesitant to criticize the memorial out of fear of being accused of insensitivity or anti-Semitism (a hesitation not seen when the issue is a cross, rather than a Star of David). A commenter on another site had a fairly objective observation:
When symbols are used to represent historical/cultural events, the fact they are religious should not be a sole justification for not using them — only when the intent of the symbol is to promote a religious viewpoint do they become a problem.
In fact, to tell Jewish Holocaust survivors that they cannot be represented by on the most import icons of their internment and murder would be a terrible insult…Jews were forced to wear a Star of David on their exterior clothing to mark them for abuse by the Nazis…
The next logical question, then, is whether a cross can adorn a memorial if its purpose is “not to promote a religious viewpoint.”
Also at Foxnews.
Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, the husband and wife team that make up The Freedom From Religion Foundation, have called on their supporters to fill the gallery in the Ohio State Capitol today as a meeting is held on a proposed holocaust memorial.
The FFRF’s objection? The Holocaust memorial contains a large Star of David, which raises “constitutional concerns.”
Despite the FFRF’s apparent revisionist thinking, Continue reading
An Air Force pilot blogging at PickYourBattles.net recently suggested ending the military chaplaincy would be a “win” for both recent budget issues and the Constitution:
With all the talk of cutting warfighters yet again, and remarks about being creative in solving the budget issues, I find it interesting that there has been no discussion of cutting the chaplain corps in its entirety.
He gives four reasons for his suggestion:
First, their existence is a violation of our Constitution [specifically] Article VI (the same article that requires military officers to swear to support the Constitution)…
Second, the nation has become more secular Continue reading
The Archdiocese congratulates the Family Research Council and all the members of the Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition on their announcement of the formation of the coalition. The Archdiocese looks forward to working closely as an ally as all seek to ensure the continued protection of the 1st Amendment Rights of Free Speech and the Free Exercise of Religion of the men and women of the United States Military. No one who raises a right hand to defend the Constitution should sacrifice one of its fundamental principles!
“Likewise, the Archdiocese applauds the work of Doctor Fleming and all those Members of Congress who continue to work so diligently to ensure the 1st Amendment Rights of Free Speech and Free Exercise of Religion of the men and women of the United States Military.”
This is particularly notable because the coalition Continue reading
A few weeks ago it was noted that the Air Force reacted to Michael Weinstein — a civilian critic of religious freedom in the military — nearly instantaneously, while it had failed to respond to Congress — the governmental body that writes its rules and authorizes its paychecks — in weeks. In fairness, it is worth noting the Air Force did eventually respond.
US Rep Doug Lamborn (R-Co) had co-signed a letter demanding explanations for the April meeting the Air Force held with Weinstein. The response from the Air Force explains that Weinstein met with nine Air Force staff members, including TJAG LtGen Richard Harding and Deputy Chief of Chaplains Chaplain (BrigGen) Bobby Page. The one “gotcha” — the Congressional inquiry whether the Air Force was “aware” of Weinstein’s history of vitriolic attacks on Christians — was vaguely answered by Acting Secretary Eric Fanning: Continue reading
Increasingly, each one of us in our different organizations and capacities have been getting confidential calls and other reports and information from members of the military pointing to this growing hostility toward religious freedom. Unfortunately, members of the military cannot speak out about these things.
This is just a sampling of the cases that have been made public.
- Tony Perkins, Family Research Council
Representatives from 14 groups joined three US Congressmen to release a report on “The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military” (PDF) and press for passage of legislation allowing US military servicemembers to act and speak on their faith: Continue reading
“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
- President John Adams, 11 October 1798
A commentary by US Air Force Chaplain (Capt) Keith Beckwith takes a firm stand on the chaplain’s role in the US military:
A chaplain’s ultimate responsibility is to provide for the free exercise of religion, including those who express a specific religion and those who express no religion at all.
From my perspective, I am a chaplain to all, a pastor Continue reading
Michael Weinstein — a self-described advocate of religious freedom — apparently has no limits to his disdain for Christianity.
Sojourners Magazine recently published an article on Liberty University’s School of Aeronautics — more specifically, their concentration in Unmanned Aerial Systems. Provocatively titled “Drones for Christ,” author David Swanson sets out to describe
How Jerry Falwell’s Liberty U.—the world’s largest Christian university—became an evangelist for drone warfare.
Problem is, Swanson doesn’t succeed in his telling, because Liberty doesn’t Continue reading
Though atheists had previously called on Jesus to come down from a Montana mountain ski slope, a Federal district court has said he can stay.
As previously discussed, the Freedom From Religion Foundation had sued because the US Forest Service renewed a special use permit that has allowed the statue to stand for more than 50 years. The Knights of Columbus put it up in 1954 in honor of Continue reading
On June 6th, many outlets highlighted the 69th anniversary of the D-Day landings that would ultimately free Europe from the reign of Nazi terror. They also highlighted the fact that thousands of US servicemembers died storming the beaches, many of whom are buried in France and Luxembourg. Iconic images recall the price:
WWII and D-Day veteran Raymond Moon kneels before the grave of a fallen comrade at the American cemetery at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France on Friday, June 4, 2004. Moon served in the 29th Division and returned to France for the 60th anniversary of D-Day. (AP Photo/Laura Rauch) / ASSOCIATED PRESS
As the world remembered that sacrifice, however, inappropriate timing by atheists tried to doom the memory of Continue reading
The only ammunition in the world that provides a peaceful and natural deterrent to radical Islam.
The article’s only real point was to quote an “assistant professor of religious studies” saying the company had an “inaccurate understanding of the Quran.”
It would seem their understanding of the Koran is irrelevant. Their understanding of capitalism seems to be stellar.
In the middle of the ongoing discussion about US military troops and their use of social media comes an interesting piece at the Marine Corps Times, where former military JAGs make the case that the Marines may not be able to police troops’ use of certain websites, despite their implication they may try to do so.
The impetus behind the discussion are generally certain Facebook pages that were denigrating toward female Marines. Said General James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps:
In a May 29 letter to Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., Gen. Jim Amos denounced Facebook pages and other social media Continue reading
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.
Dr. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has a lengthy but fascinating article on the argument against “homosexual marriage” from a perspective outside of morality. Importantly, he brings up an interesting discussion on the “revisionist” view of marriage which
is vitally important, even essential, to any conversation about marriage in our modern context, for it points far beyond the issue of same-sex marriage to the prior assaults on conjugal marriage brought by no-fault divorce and the replacement of personal responsibility with mere personal autonomy. Sadly, the revisionist view of marriage is embraced by millions of heterosexual couples, married and unmarried, but it is essential to the very idea of same-sex marriage.
He also notes what has been said here several times before (much to one or two people’s chagrin), and was first intimated by Justice Antonin Scalia: Continue reading