Tag Archives: Navy

Bill Nye, Ken Ham Debate Meets Military Cheating Scandals

There’s a fascinating philosophical connection between the debate of Bill Nye and Ken Ham over creationism on the one hand, and reports the US Department of Defense is becoming increasingly “troubled” over troops’ ethical problems on the other.

First, Dr. Al Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, attended the Nye/Ham debate (viewable on YouTube) and made an interesting assessment. The debate wasn’t, in the end, over facts. It was over worldview — and Bill Nye’s faith that “human reason” was an ultimate solution [emphasis added]:

Bill Nye repeatedly cited the reasonable man in making his arguments. He is a firm believer in autonomous human reason and the ability of the human intellect to solve the great problems of existence without any need of divine revelation…He sees himself as the quintessential “reasonable man,” and he repeatedly dismissed Christian Continue reading

Klingenschmitt: Chaplain’s Statement Proves Need for Protections

Former US Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt recently responded to testimony by the Rev James Magness, the Episcopal Church’s Armed Forces Bishop, given at the House Armed Services Committee (previously discussed here):

Klingenschmitt calls it arrogant for James Magness, the Washington National Cathedral’s bishop for the armed forces, to say that chaplains who pray in Jesus’ name risk offending non-Christian troops and harming unit cohesion.

“This quote by him demonstrates exactly the reason Continue reading

Update: Responses to DoD Changes on Religion Rules

Update: J.B. Wells wonders aloud if the DoD intentionally produced the policy to change the religious freedom focus to turbans and beards while keeping “liberal constituencies” like Michael Weinstein “at bay.”

There have been a wide variety of responses to the US military’s update to DODI 1300.17 (accommodating religious freedom), with language that seems to imply a more open attitude toward outward display and expression of religious belief.

The Christian Post, like many sites, focused on the apparent ability to wear religious accoutrements:

The Pentagon reportedly decided to change its policy on religious wear after Major Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, a Sikh, spoke at a Congressional briefing about the challenges American Sikhs face in the military earlier in January. Kalsi told members of Congress that he believes he can effectively serve his country while still maintaining his religious appearance, including an uncut beard and a turban.

While that may or may not have been a factor, the DoDI clearly includes language from both the 2013 and 2014 National Defense Authorization Acts — that is, requirements levied by Congress, not just reconsideration based on serving Soldiers.

The US Navy appeared to try to quell Continue reading

F/A-18E Pilot Ejects, in Critical Condition

According to the US Navy, an F/A-18E Super Hornet pilot ejected last Wednesday and was picked up by a local fisherman. The pilot is reportedly hospitalized in critical condition, with local news reports saying he was having trouble breathing when the fisherman recovered him.

The pilot (or aviator, in Navy parlance) was ultimately picked up by an MH-60 — from the same squadron that suffered a helicopter loss the week prior.

The Super Hornet was assigned to the “Pukin’ Dogs” of VFA-143 out of Oceana Naval Air Station. As is the usual practice, the Navy will investigate the incident.

US Navy Disregarding DADT Repeal Plan?

Update: The theme continued at the Air Force Times nearly three weeks later.

The US Navy recently announced (on its continuously updated DADT page) that it had coordinated with Japan to understand that “spouse” in the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) would cover a “same-sex” couple. (Published at the Washington Post, repeated at Stars and Stripes.) As a result,

The Navy [said] in a notice to personnel that it had added Japan to its list of overseas assignments for same-sex couples…The Navy has made only Japan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, available

as overseas assignments for gay couples.

The specifics of that announcement were largely missed or simply viewed as another “victory” by homosexual advocacy groups, including the American Military Partner Association, which

described the Navy’s decision as “welcome news” but noted that the armed forces do not treat same-sex spouses equally at many duty stations abroad.

Oddly, neither the AMPA nor anyone else seems to have noted this “special treatment” for homosexuals in assignments was never supposed to happen.

The Pentagon’s DADT repeal report Continue reading

Navy Chaplains Denied Preliminary Injunction

In what seems like one of the longest running military religious litigations in recent history (ongoing since 1999, or earlier), the DC Circut denied a preliminary injunction requested by chaplains who have sued over US Navy Chaplain promotion practices.

The short version is the plaintiffs allege the Navy procedures favor Catholic and liturgical chaplains. See prior discussions.

Via the Religion Clause.

Chaplain of the Marine Corps on Faith in the Foxhole

The Marine Corps motto Semper Fidelis means “Always Faithful.” For USMC’s entire existence, Marines and sailors have fought gallantly on the battlefield with ever-present faith. That faith was administered through the wise words of Navy chaplains and religious program specialists, who preach religion to devil dogs and promote ethical and moral behavior as well as provide them guidance. Today, Navy chaplains continue to play an integral role in supporting Marines and sailors to improve combat readiness.

The Chaplain of the Marine Corps, Chaplain (RAdm) Margaret Kibben,  Continue reading

US Navy Highlights Chaplains in Foxholes

On December 7th, the US Navy chaplain corps memorialized two chaplains who died in the line of duty during the attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Chaplain (CAPT) Leroy Kirkpatrick, aboard the USS Arizona, became the first Navy chaplain to die in what became known as World War II. Chaplain (Lt) Aloysius Schmitt, aboard the USS Oklahoma, was the first Roman Catholic chaplain killed in the war.

Few may realize that two years later the US Navy launched the USS Schmitt (DE-676) and the USS Kirkpatrick (DE-318), two of only seven US Navy warships named after chaplains.

The Chaplain of the Marine Corps, Chaplain (RADM) Margaret Continue reading

Mikey Weinstein wants Religious Freedom Confined to Chapel

In a short pieced entitled “Atheist says, ‘Boo!’ Navy jumps to attention,” Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty executive director retired Chaplain (Col) Ron Crews lamented the US military’s seeming subservience to Michael “Mikey” Weinstein:

“It’s just disappointing that the military, the Air Force and now the Navy, is just caving in to a shout from Mr. Weinstein,” says Crews. “He says, ‘Boo!’ and they hide – and that’s very disappointing.”

More interestingly, Crews highlights the core of the push Weinstein has most recently tried — and the one that brought him this “victory:”  Continue reading

Guantanamo Nativities Moved after Weinstein Complains

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein targeted two Nativities erected on Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

A pair of Nativity scenes, one in the dining room for prison camp guards, are apparently causing a bit of a stir among a few troops at this remote outpost…

Ironically, Weinstein’s own letter undermined his cause, when one of an anonymous 18 complainants wrote [emphasis added]:

When they finally have time to relax with their military family they should not have to feel uncomfortable, out of place, or insignificant because their beliefs are not represented.

So its not about the presence of the Nativity, but the absence of other beliefs? Odd thing is, no one has complained that GTMO prohibited other displays, though its unclear what other belief systems celebrate Christmas. (GTMO residents say the base has been fairly public about several holidays, including Ramadan and Hanukkah.)

Weinstein, a former lawyer, called the displays “wholly Continue reading

Congressman Bridenstine on Military Religious Freedom

Congressman Jim Bridenstine (R-Ok), on the recent controversies regarding “So Help Me God” at the US Air Force Academy:

“As a Navy pilot with combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, I know firsthand the importance of faith to many of our service members.  When the services are hostile to faith, they are hostile to their members.  The Military Religious Freedom Coalition continues to identify instances whereby our men and women in uniform are forced to conceal or deny their deeply held religious beliefs.”

More from Congressman Bridenstine’s statement.

Navy Launches Chaplain Blog

The Navy Chaplaincy now has a complete website for its own.

The blog will focus on how the Chaplain Corps meets its mission through the following core capabilities:

*To provide and facilitate religious ministry.
*Care for all with complete confidentiality.
*Advise leadership on morale, the moral and ethical command climate, and religious matters that affect the command’s mission.

The articles headlining the blog now seem to focus on ministry of presence — that is, chaplains in foxholes — and the protection of religious liberty.

Visit the site here.

Navy Christens USS Gerald R. Ford: “God Bless”

Susan Ford Bales, daughter of President Gerald R. Ford, christens the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).

Last week the US Navy christened its newest carrier the USS Gerald R. Ford.

“I christen thee United States Ship Gerald R. Ford,” said [Susan Ford] Bales, breaking the bottle across the bow. “May God bless this ship and all those who sail her.”

President Ford served as a LtCmdr in the Navy.  (He was also Continue reading