Last Friday Michael Weinstein sponsored a protest/picketing a few miles from one of the US Air Force Academy entrance gates. Ostensibly, the objective was to make USAFA pull down a link to a website Weinstein had called “homophobic” and “misogynistic.” This protest and the accompanying billboard (now a trend) were apparently the “action” he had ominously threatened.
The protest misfired on several counts, though the most entertaining by far was Read more…
In a terribly awkward PR maneuver, religious liberty critic Michael Weinstein — rebuffed by the US Air Force Chief of Staff — has now retreated to attacking the Air Force Academy directly over its link to a website that explains a Jewish holiday:
“MRFF is now making a specific demand to [Lt. Gen.] Mike Gould, the superintendent, to take down the link,” Weinstein says…
But Weinstein already complained to Gen Gould’s boss – and his boss cc’d Gen Gould on the reply to Weinstein. And guess what? Nothing has changed. So why does Weinstein think this latest screed changes anything?
Regardless, Weinstein raised the stakes to show he meant business:
Weinstein says if his demands are not met by 5:30 p.m. Thursday, his organization will take action.
The CSIndy reporter almost seemed to be stifling a laugh Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion air force, Chaplain, christian, dadt, homosexual, Jewish, mark welsh, mike gould, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, Public Expression, rabbi, Religion, religious freedom, USAFA
In typical fashion, Michael Weinstein recently accused the US Air Force Academy of impropriety when USAFA chaplains published a link to a Jewish website that had traditional explanations of Jewish religious texts. (The context was a page of upcoming religious holidays, with links to websites with background — arguably an admirable effort at educating cadets on religious liberty and their duties.)
Weinstein’s offense at religion isn’t a surprise. What is a surprise is General Mark Welsh, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, took the time to pen a personal reply — and promise action:
From: “Welsh, Mark A III Gen MIL USAF AF/CC”
Subject: RE: EXTERNAL: MRFF Demand Letter (Feb. 13, 2013) to USAF Chief of Staff
Date: February 13, 2013 9:03:33 PM MST
To: Mikey Weinstein
Cc: “Harding, Richard C Lt Gen MIL USAF AF/JA” , “Gould, Mike C Lt Gen USAF USAFA USAFA/CC”
Thank you Mr Weinstein. Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion homosexual, Jewish, mark welsh, mike gould, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, norton schwartz, Religion, religious freedom, richard harding, USAFA
An article at the Unitarian Universalist website notes an increase in Unitarian military chaplains and chaplain applicants after decades of under-representation. The article reports the denomination now has 10 chaplains, with 7 more applying. While a significant increase from the “one or two” chaplains before (including Army Chaplain Rebekah Montgomery), it still isn’t a high number. The reason for the low interest?
It’s no secret that for many years after the Vietnam War many UUs harbored some hostility toward the war and the politicians who promoted it. In some cases veterans themselves were treated distantly in our congregations, even shunned.
One UU chaplain said they are needed to balance out “evangelicals”: Read more…
Categories: Chaplain army, atheism, Buddhism, chapel, Chaplain, chris antal, christian, dadt, homosexual, Islam, Jewish, Military, pagan, Prayer, rebekah montgomery, Religion, religious freedom, sarah lammert, unitarian universalist
According to MSNBC, the VMFA-122 Crusaders were “ordered to reverse” their decision to return to the “Crusaders” moniker.
“The deputy commandant for aviation [Lt. Gen. Terry Robling] directed VMFA 122 to maintain the unit identification as the Werewolves,” said Marines public information officer Lt. Col. Joseph Plenzler. “I called down there to confirm that they have changed the tail markings, squadron patches” and other places the squadron logo appears, he said.
The Marines gave no reason for the order, giving Michael Weinstein — who had called the Marines a “national security threat” for the move — the blood in the water he needed to claim victory and make further demands: Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion Afghanistan, air force, Aircraft, al qaeda, beaufort marine air base, chris rodda, crusader, dadt, f-18, Fighter Pilot, homosexual, Iraq, israel, marines, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, rainbow flag, Religion, religious freedom, rick baker, Tradition, vmfa-122, wade wiegel, werewolves, world war II, wzl
Update: The committee passed the religious freedom legislation as amendments to the NDAA. The legislation has the support of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
The House Armed Services Committee is going to debate the Military Religious Freedom Act, which the Air Force Times says US Rep Todd Akin (R-Mo) will let troops and chaplains “openly oppose gays.”
Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., is specifically aiming to protect religious freedom by allowing service members and chaplains to openly oppose gay and lesbian lifestyles and the presence of gay Read more…
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 Read more…
Categories: Military Regulations amendment 1, army, Constitution, dadt, dodd 1344.10, facebook, fort bragg, franklin graham, gary stein, homosexual, justin griffith, Military, north carolina, Obama, political activities, priscilla troop, rock beyond belief, rock the fort
US Army PFC Bradley Manning has been scheduled to go on trial this fall to face charges he was responsible for the unauthorized release of hundreds of thousands of classified documents.
The judge recently Read more…
A group representing “more than half of America’s uniformed chaplains,” the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, decried the decision by the Department of Justice to abstain from defending the Defense of Marriage Act against lawsuits.
Chaplain (Col, Ret) Ron Crews accurately notes the existence of DOMA was often cited by supporters of DADT repeal as a mitigation of critics’ concerns: Read more…
The Jewish Community Centers (JCC) Association has decided to present its Jewish Military Leadership Award to Rear Admiral Herman Shelanski, commander of USS Harry S Truman strike group. The group said the reasons include RAdm Shelanski’s
consistent concern for the ability of Jews in the Navy to fully express their Jewish identity while they serve their country.
As commander of the carrier USS Harry S Truman, RAdm Shelanski Read more…
The 2012 National Character and Leadership Symposium at the US Air Force Academy will be held from 22 to 24 February. Ross Perot will be the keynote speaker.
Other speakers will come from a variety of backgrounds and careers, including a Medal of Honor recipient and
- Retired Brigadier General Dick Abel, former President of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and former Executive Director of the Military Ministry of Read more…
Categories: Military Academy campus crusade, character, dadt, dick abel, fellowship of christian athletes, helen fisher, homosexual, Islam, leadership, linell letendre, mikey weinstein, Military, Military Ministry, MRFF, ncls, qamar-ul huda, ross perot, USAFA, will gunn
Republican Rep. Mike Reynolds of the Oklahoma state legislature has introduced legislation to put “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” back in place for the Oklahoma National Guard. A similar bill in Virginia last year did not make it to a vote. Reynolds said the reason was the troops’ request:
The bill is being proposed in response to requests from members of the Oklahoma National Guard, Reynolds said.
The National Guard declined comment, and the relationship Read more…
Though “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is technically no more, the conversation over the law’s demise continues.
The Air Force Times notes that, for the most part, the US military academies expect “few changes” in the post-”Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” environment.
US Naval Academy at Annapolis [Correction:] US Coast Guard Academy did announce one specific change: Read more…
Daniel Blomberg at the Alliance Defense Fund has an interesting article over the negative impact of DADT repeal implied even by those championing it:
If this change is risky enough that even the President scrambles to prevent it from happening “too quickly,” the Secretary of Defense who championed it focuses on limiting damage wrought by it, and most combat troops anticipate harm from it, why are we forcing it on our service men and women at all?
If you recall, some were asking how DADT repeal would improve the US military’s effectiveness. Blomberg points out it seems most say they’re doing what they can to “mitigate” the negative.
A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has lifted its prior stay, allowing the order ending the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to take effect.
The Department of Defense has said it will abide by the ruling, and virtually called it moot, with spokesman Col Dave Lapan saying certification for repeal of DADT was “just weeks away.”
Also noted at FoxNews and CNN.com.