In November, former Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt lost his Federal appeal (filed in 2011) of his discharge from the Navy, which had stemmed from his 2006 court-martial.
“I sued the domestic enemies of the Constitution in the DC Court of Claims to redeem my career [and] to redeem my pension after I was robbed by people who punished me for quoting the Bible in chapel,” he tells OneNewsNow. “[I was robbed] by people who punished me for praying in Jesus’ name in uniform outside of chapel.”
The ruling can be read here. Klingenschmitt has indicated he plans to appeal.
US military leaders publicized their “holiday messages” in a series of videos just before Christmas. Outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and his wife made a point of saying “Merry Christmas,” as well as including a still photo from a homosexual proposal during a homecoming ceremony.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Marty Dempsey and his family sang “Jingle Bells” and wished everyone a “Merry Christmas.”
While recent changes in Air Force regulations and a favorable congressional hearing have given some groups a positive perception of the direction of religious liberty in the US military, it is worth noting that even that trend isn’t universal, and it hasn’t reversed some of the damage done over the past few years.
Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain recently kicked off the holiday season with its traditional tree lighting — absent one of its longstanding traditions. In 2012, Jason Torpy — an atheist and former Army officer — single-handedly persuaded the US Navy to ban a children’s “live Nativity” from the tree lighting ceremony.
The reason? According to Torpy, the kids
threaten[ed] US security and violat[ed] the Constitution.
It was probably “easier” for the Navy to surrender to Torpy and remove the children’s event rather than try to defend it for its positive value. Thus, plastic baby Jesus Continue reading →
The Commanders of the ships of the 13 United Colonies are to take care that divine services be performed twice a day on board and a sermon preached on Sundays, unless bad weather or other extraordinary accidents prevent.
“The repeal of this policy really implemented a culture change for the U.S. military and it’s incredibly important to comprehend how this shift is not just impacting our people, but also affecting readiness,” said Capt. Scott Johnson, NCCOSC director and a Navy medicine psychology expert, in a statement Wednesday.
Navy Capt. Scott Johnson appears to be the first US official to openly admit the repeal of DADT “really implemented a culture change,” while most others have publicly said it was a “non-event.”
The implication that there has been an impact on readiness is interesting, given that even supporters of repeal (and the DoD itself) have claimed Continue reading →
With 70% of the vote, former US Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt was elected as a Republican to the Colorado state legislature from a district encompassing the major military bases in Colorado Springs — including the US Air Force Academy, his alma mater.
Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt beat out his Democrat challenger Tuesday with a landslide 70 percent of the vote in the state’s District 15, according to results published by the secretary of state.
District 15 encompasses Peterson Air Force Base, and is near Colorado Springs, Fort Carson and the U.S. Air Force Academy.
While Klingenschmitt’s positions may have been considered “far right,” his opponent’s were apparently as equally “far left.” In an election that saw Colorado’s legislature and governorship go to Republicans, it seems the “right” won out.
Klingenschmitt is famous for being discharged from the Navy over the “pray in Jesus’ name” controversy. He was also unsuccessfully sued by Michael “Mikey” Weinstein and his wife Bonnie — whom he subsequently sued.
Religion scholar and former youth minister Jason Heap filed suit Wednesday along with the organization backing him, the Humanist Society, alleging that the military unfairly passed him over earlier this year not because he lacked qualifications, but because he doesn’t believe in a traditional religion.
There are a few high hurdles Heap has to overcome. First, he has to prove the Navy “passed him over…because he doesn’t believe…” Remember, the Navy previously said less than 50% of the Chaplain applicants were approved. Heap has to prove that he was rejected because of his non-theistic beliefs, and not for any reason similar to Continue reading →
Is it the role of a US military chaplain to advance the US military’s relationship with Christians around the world?
An article at the Quantico Sentry (and repeated at a US military site) highlights US Navy Chaplain (Cmdr) Abuhena Saifulislam, one of the more prominent faces of Islam in the US military over the past few years. The article notes
He’s served as the public face of an all-inclusive U.S. military and as a living example that the U.S. armed forces and Islam were not inherently incompatible.
US Naval Academy football coach Ken Niumatalolo appears in the documentary “Meet the Mormons,” a feature film production by the Church of Latter Day Saints that attempts to show that Mormons are “average” and successful in society.
In an article carried at the Baltimore Sun, Niumatalolo is highlighted for his decision to end mandatory team meetings on Sunday, freeing his staff to spend the day with their families and at church. As celebrated NFL coach Tony Dungy and others have explained before, long workdays on Sunday are an expected part of the football culture, and Niumatalolo worked his fair share as an assistant coach: Continue reading →
POW/MIA display tables — symbolically empty tables representing those who did not come home — have long been a fixture in military dining halls and formal ceremonies. They’ve also been a sore spot for militant secularists, who object to the traditional inclusion of a Bible on the table. Prior controversies have been discussed before, including one at Patrick Air Force Base earlier this year that resulted in the table being completely removed because it was “divisive.”
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has now gotten into the fray, complaining to the US Navy that an official Navy blog included an info graphic of the traditional table — complete with Bible:
The worship service reflected several religious traditions from those participating in the service and included remarks from Vice Adm. Walter E. Carter, Jr., Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, and Chief of Navy Chaplains Rear Adm. Margaret Grun Kibben. Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens also attended and participated in the scripture reading.
The US Navy reported two F/A-18Cs crashed while flying from the USS Carl Vinson in the Pacific.
Two F/A-18 Hornets from Carrier Air Wing 17 embarked on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) crashed at 5:40 p.m. local time, today, while operating at sea in the western Pacific Ocean.
The F/A-18C is the single-seat version of the legacy Hornet. One pilot was “rapidly located” while a search was conducted for the second. The search was eventually suspended and the pilot, 26-year old Lt. Nathan Poloski, was declared presumed dead. The aircraft are believed to have collided.
Update: Patrick Vaughn, general counsel for the American Family Association, wrote an article saying “The U.S. Constitution makes it clear: American atheists are not and should not be barred from serving their country through military service.”
The Air Force said Tuesday it was awaiting a legal opinion from the Defense Department’s top lawyer on whether an enlisted airman who’s an atheist can opt out of the phrase “so help me God” in his re-enlistment oath…
“The opinion that we’re seeking will help inform future decisions and the latitude that can be taken with the oath,” Air Force spokeswoman Rose Richeson said Tuesday. “But the Air Force has to comply with law.”