Chuck Norris recently cited “36 examples of religious liberty assault” (in Part 1 and Part 2) to defend an assertion that religious liberty is under attack in America. About a third of his examples involved the US military, all of which have been discussed here before (amplifying remarks follow):
Culture and courts are also trumping citizens’ First Amendment rights who are refusing on religious grounds not to support or participate with groups and events that run contrary to their faith and practice. As a result, wedding cake bakers, T-shirt makers, bed and breakfast owners, pastry shops, high-school teachers, military chaplains, restaurant owners, photographers, parents, churches and others have been harassed, bullied, suspended, fired and sued for merely exercising their Christian beliefs. [As described by CARL.]
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that a cross displayed as part of the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial in San Diego, Continue reading →
The coincident timing of the recent US Air Force ICBM training “scandal” with the upcoming anniversaries of the nuclear bombing of Japan has lent additional wind to the sails of this manufactured controversy.
A variety of news sources are now reporting the US Air Force ended a training class after an internet article belittled its religious content. Contrary to some assertions, this is actually not a big deal.
This much has been accurately reported: The Air Force training slides had Bible verses, and the course was led by a Chaplain. There was a public article. The Air Force pulled the course to “review it.”
Beyond that, much of the other reporting has been misrepresented or inaccurate.
The Air Force has suspended a training course for nuclear missile launch officers that used Bible passages and religious imagery to teach them about the ethics of war.
Unfortunately, that’s essentially a misrepresentation, likely because the conclusion was drawn solely from a copy of the slides used in the brief — sans notes or context. The course did not use Biblical citations to teach ethics. The ~40-slide PowerPoint presentation was an ethical discussion on the conduct of war, with emphasis on the application of nuclear weapons. (The title of the first seven slides is “Ethics;” the second section is “Nuclear Ethics and Nuclear Warfare.”)
Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. –Psalm 144:1
Can a Christian serve in combat? Is war inconsistent with the commands of Jesus Christ?
Recent events have given new life to the age old discussion about whether “Christian” and “military” are mutually exclusive (never mind being a “Christian Fighter Pilot”). Particularly for new Christians, or Christians who grew up in peaceful times and areas, the concepts of a “warring Christian” who is a child of the loving God can seem contradictory.
(There are also many non-Christians who try to find an apparent contradiction in military Christian service. The intent here is to address those with a Christian worldview.)
There are many books and pamphlets written on this topic, and most categorize their analysis in two categories. The “anti-war” division centers on the “pacifist teachings” of Jesus. The “pro-war” division centers on the Just War doctrine supported with Biblical citations. Well-researched books quote Augustine and Thomas Aquinas Continue reading →