Tag Archives: franklin graham

Operation Heal our Patriots

Samaritan’s Purse has been hosting retreats called Operation Heal our Patriots in Alaska’s wilderness (first noted here):

Operation Heal Our Patriots, the Samaritan’s Purse outreach to military couples with a spouse wounded or injured in combat or combat-related activities after 9/11…challenges and encourages them from three angles critical to their recovery process. Their spouses are Continue reading

Rep Keith Ellison Keynote Speaker at Pentagon Iftar

US Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn) was this year’s keynote speaker at the Pentagon’s annual Islamic iftar, which it celebrates during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Given the state of world affairs, it is notable that the headquarters for the entire US military participates in such a celebration, but it means something even to the troops:

The significance of celebrating Iftar at the Pentagon is two-fold, said Air Force Col. Shakir Kahn. First, it informs Muslim Pentagon employees that the Department of Defense supports them. Second, Continue reading

Congress Criticizes Defense Department for Homosexual Parade

Senator Jim Inhofe of the Senate Armed Services Committee “respectfully requested” that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta explain why members of the US military were authorized to wear their uniforms in a homosexual “pride” parade in San Diego.

In a letter to Panetta, Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma said department rules bar service members from participating in political activities while in uniform and pressed Panetta on why a waiver was granted, who requested it and why it was considered over others.

The Congressmen also noted that other military members have been punished for doing what the DoD authorized in this instance:  Continue reading

Samaritan’s Purse to Support Military Marriages

As noted many times here before, the integrity of marriage is something the US military and some outside organizations attempt to strengthen.  Franklin Graham’s Samaritan Purse is starting Operation Heal Our Patriots to join the fight to defend military marriages, focusing specifically on the marriages of those who return wounded from combat.

The marriage enrichment program, featuring weeklong retreats to a remote, refurbished fishing camp in Alaska, begins next month Continue reading

Fort Bragg Atheists Test Military Politicking Rules

Some may have assumed that with a Democratic President (and the stereotype that the US military leans Republican/conservative), most of those testing the limits of permissible political activities or commentary would be “right wing” or conservatives.

They would be wrong.

The blog for the Rock Beyond Belief event organized by Justin Griffith at Fort Bragg recently posted an article about North Carolina’s Amendment 1, which would modify the NC State Constitution to say the only domestic legal union in the state is Continue reading

Fort Bragg Reviewing Atheist Rock Beyond Belief Lineup

Last Friday, a report that briefly joined the top stories on Fox News indicated Fort Bragg would be “reviewing” some of the planned performers at the upcoming atheist festival known as Rock Beyond Belief, the atheist response to the Billy Graham Evangelical Association’s Rock the Fort.

Benjamin Abel, a spokesman for Fort Bragg told Fox News & Commentary that they were launching a review of the bands scheduled to perform along with their content.

“This is a family-friendly event and we expect the Continue reading

Weinstein Opposes Islamophobes, Supports Religiophobes

Michael Weinstein recently wrote a scathing letter demanding retired LtGen William “Jerry” Boykin be prohibited from speaking to the US Military Academy (West Point) National Prayer Breakfast on February 8th.  The reason:  Boykin is, in Weinstein’s words, “rabidly Islamophobic.”  (That’s the same word he used to describe Franklin Graham in 2010, when he was invited to a similar event.)

Simultaneously, Michael Weinstein has defended and is helping advertise Rock Beyond Belief — which last week received a significant amount of negative attention for inviting what he would seemingly describe as a “rabidly religiophobic” music group to perform.  In fact, the “rabidly Christophobic” Michael Weinstein is scheduled to be one of the event’s speakers.  Weinstein should probably look up the meaning of “phobia.”

Of course, it makes no sense for a person to use the “defense of religious Continue reading

Military Atheists Demand West Point Disinvite General Boykin

In an interesting bit of timing, several groups have decried the decision by West Point to invite retired LtGen William Boykin, author of Never Surrender, to their National Prayer Breakfast on February 8th.  The self-described “progressive” VoteVets.org wrote to West Point Superintendent LtGen David Huntoon saying

You may not be aware of Lieutenant General Boykin’s history of extremist and hateful comments towards Islam…

These remarks are incompatible with the Army values, and a person who is incompatible with Army values should not address the cadets of the United States Military Academy.

Where have we heard similar cries before?  Ah, yes: The claim Franklin Graham was an “Islamophobe” and therefore an inappropriate speaker at a similar event at the Pentagon.  The critics won that one, and Graham’s invitation was rescinded based on his prior speech, not on what he might have said if he had been allowed to attend.  Tony Perkins was “disinvited” for his public comments that were wholly unrelated to his event, as well.  Likewise, Michael Weinstein demanded Continue reading

Fort Bragg to Host Anti-Religion Band at Atheist Rock Beyond Belief

Love how they burn your synagogues…
       - Lyrics by
Aiden, Rock Beyond Belief lead-in act

The band Aiden has announced it will be playing the atheist festival “Rock Beyond Belief” at Fort Bragg in March 2012, as the lead-in act to Richard Dawkins, the main attraction at the “concert.”

Never heard of them?  You’re not the only one.  But first, take a look at what the band said in their announcement [emphasis added]:

Justin Griffith, the soldier in charge of setting this up has a very interesting story to tell. The United States military had no problems funding a christian based musical event, but when it was suggested that the large number of atheists and secular humanists who are enlisted, would like to have a function of their own choosing, the top leaders at Fort Bragg decided to pull the plug on the entire thing. Cutting the funding without any reason at all, that I can see, except that maybe christians in the Army are the only ones allowed to have fun

They fought the law and THEY WON.

Given that they attribute their information to the soldier hosting Rock Beyond Belief, Justin Griffith, its unlikely a call to correct their misinformation would go far.

For the record (again, and again), the US military did not fund a “Christian Continue reading

Atheist Rock Beyond Belief Books its own Franklin Grahams

Last week’s speculation that the atheist Rock Beyond Belief would likely face more struggles against US Army restrictions inspired an amazing onslaught of vitriol from the MRFF and its supporters.  That the publicity-hungry event scheduled for the end of March might have another brouhaha in its future seemed to strike a chord.

The MRFF’s Chris Rodda didn’t mince words [formatting original]:

THIS IS COMPLETE BULLSH–

Strong words for something she supposedly considered so trivial. 

It is possible Rodda really is as ignorant as she’s implying, despite the fact her role as Michael Weinstein’s research assistant should have informed her of what problems may yet be experienced by Rock Beyond Belief.

Last year Rock Beyond Belief organizers obtained copies of documents from Rock the Fort through the Freedom of Information Act.  Though the information has always been in public view, ChristianFighterPilot.com is currently the only site to highlight this fact from the Rock the Fort After Action Report:

“The bands and speakers stayed within the parameters Continue reading

Weinstein’s Attacks Don’t Dampen US Military Charity

Marines spread joy of Christmas, Soldiers donate to Catholic Charity, Toys for Tots teams with Christian non-profit…

Members of the US military continue to participate in traditional acts of charity and community service, even when such efforts are connected (however remotely) with religious organizations — despite Michael Weinstein’s efforts to quash such efforts last month.

The reason, of course, is that despite a somewhat unusual reaction from the US Air Force Academy last month, the US military has had no problem associating itself with religious organizations in their efforts to conduct humanitarian or charitable work.  In fact, it seems the majority of such work is conducted in concert with organizations that are in some way connected to a faith group, probably because so many humanitarian and charitable organizations are faith-based to begin with.

And that’s OK — because there is no military policy, regulation, or Continue reading

Despite Weinstein Threats, USAFA Supports Local Food Bank

Just days after Michael Weinstein claimed the US Air Force Academy was inappropriately asking USAFA cadets to donate toys to needy children, a news article was published indicating what Weinstein describes as a “cancer” is, indeed, widespread:

The cadets are even making donations to a local food bank.

Air Force Academy chaplains and the Cadet Interfaith Council [presented] a $1,200 check along with 125 cans of food to the Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado at the food bank’s site in Colorado Springs, Colo.

By its nature the Cadet Interfaith Council obviously had a connection to the chaplains, but the food drive was a cadet-initiated, cadet-run event:  Continue reading

Did USAFA Cancel Operation Christmas Child?

A few news sites reported last week on the US Air Force Academy’s participation in — and then reconsideration of its participation in — Operation Christmas Child, in which shoeboxes with basic sundries and gifts are given to needy children around the world by Samaritan’s Purse.

The situation is fairly complex, as evidenced by the fact a few news organizations had to edit and reissue their news articles to correct misunderstandings about what really occurred.

Undisputed public statements indicate cadets at the US Air Force Academy came up with the idea to participate in Operation Christmas Child.  They made an announcement in Mitchell Hall (the wing dining facility, with all cadets present) and subsequently sent out a wing-wide email explaining who to contact to participate.

A cadet who “didn’t think much about it at first” later forwarded the email to Michael Weinstein calling it part of the ”religious problem” proving the US military “support[s] one religion, which is of course Christianity.”  (Weinstein published the email, complete with the names and personal information of the cadets involved, though he redacted his supporter’s information.)  Less than 24 hours later, Weinstein was in the local news

accus[ing] commanders of crossing the line by Continue reading

MRFF Supporters Validate Weinstein’s Agenda

Want to know what Michael Weinstein and his self-founded Military Religious Freedom Foundation stand for?  Ask his staff and supporters.

GodDiscussion.com, which has a close relationship with Leah Burton — one of two members of Michael Weinstein’s MRFF board — recently hosted a fundraiser for the MRFF in coordination with the Fort Bragg “Rock Beyond Belief.”  They were bringing in money for three reasons, in their own words:

(1) the soliders [sic] at Ft. Bragg who face potential legal challenges in having their Rock Beyond Belief secular alternative to Frankin Graham’s Rock the Fort proselytizing concert

(2) legal representation of service members nationwide who face discriminatory “Spiritual Fitness Tests” and

(3) the general fight against Christian extremism within the Armed Forces.

It’s interesting they’d raise funds for Continue reading

US Military, Samaritan’s Purse Aid Japan After Quake

Pictures of the US military arriving in disaster areas and providing aid and comfort are ubiquitous.  They are so prevalent, in fact, some people forget the US military is not a humanitarian or aid organization.  While they’ve been known to distribute MREs or other military-style aid in response to crises, the military often simply provides a conduit for other agencies who are better equipped to provide aid.

Such was the case in Japan following the devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11th.  The relief effort notably included C-17s flying into Sendai, Japan, in the first such delivery of emergency aid in the region.  The US Air Force aircraft were loaded with nearly 100 tons of emergency aid supplies…from Samaritan’s Purse.  As noted in the official release:

A C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson…download[ed] supplies, including four pallets of water and six pallets of blankets and food from Samaritan’s Purse in partnership with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Japan Mission Center in Osaka and other church partners in Japan.

Members of the US military helped unload the charity’s 747, then load four Continue reading