Tag Archives: Navy

Klingenschmitt Loses Appeal of Military Discharge

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.

As a side note, Klingenschmitt was elected to the Colorado State Legislature in November, and at last report still had an open lawsuit against Michael “Mikey” Weinstein for defamation.

Christmas Around the Military (Video)

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.”

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and her Continue reading

Sailors in Bahrain Celebrate Christmas without Christ

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

US Navy Surveys LGB Sailors to Assess Post-DADT Readiness

The Naval Center for Combat and Operational Stress Control has teamed with Palo Alto University in California to survey homosexual Sailors to determine their psychological and emotional health.

“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

Chaplain Klingenschmitt Gets Elected

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.

Also via Klingenschmitt’s press release.

Atheist Chaplain Applicant Sues US Navy over Rejection

Jason Heap, a humanist who applied to become a US Navy Chaplain, has filed a lawsuit claiming discrimination over his rejection:

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

Navy Chaplain Advances Pentagon’s Relationship with Faithful

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.

About Islamic extremists, Chaplain Saifulislam said  Continue reading

US Military Censors Jesus, Applauds Achmed the Dead Terrorist

180th Fighter Wing Commander Col Craig Bluto Baker declared that an Air Force officer was prohibited from explaining the impact of Jesus Christ on his life, while a Navy Commander in San Diego lauded the performance of comedian Jeff Dunham, who voices, among others, Achmed the Dead Terrorist. From a prior performance:

Achmed the Dead Terrorist is a bundle of bones and bulging eyes and bushy eyebrows who delights with the crowd-pleasing line “I’ll keel you!”

“I’m a terrible father,” he said. “I took my son to take your kid to work day. Now he’s there, over there and over there. [Bomb noises] It’s not funny, kids blow up so fast.”

Achmed went on a rant about loving Ellen DeGeneres Continue reading

Naval Academy Football Coach Balances Faith, Profession

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

Mikey Weinstein Attacks POW/MIA Displays

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:

Weinstein had a predictably adjective-filled response:  Continue reading

Navy Celebrates 239th Birthday with Worship Service

The US Navy celebrated its birthday at its service academy in Annapolis with a worship service in the US Naval Academy chapel:

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.

Chaplain Kibben called for courage:  Continue reading

WWII Vet Receives Norse Burial

The US Navy routinely performs burials at sea for qualified veterans, ceremonies that follow religious traditions despite the complaints of some who see a collusion between religion and the military.

The US Coast Guard recently performed a ceremony for World War II veteran Andrew Haines, and it honored his request as well — for what the Navy Times called a “Viking funeral“:

Haines…wanted a burial at sea…. On Sept. 29, the Station Atlantic City Coast Guard conducted the burial about three miles off the coast of New Jersey.

[The] handcrafted wooden Norse-style vessel…was lowered into a recess on the Coast Guard ship, where the shavings inside the boat were lighted with a flare and pushed out to sea.

Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Christopher Fonseca, the unit’s operations officer,

said he’d done a few burials at sea in his career — they are free to any military veteran — but never one this elaborate.

Also at the Stars and Stripes.

Two F/A-18s Lost at Sea, One Pilot Recovered

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.

Also at the Military Times (and updated).

Air Force Seeks DoD Review of Oath

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.”


Facing scrutiny for its letter-of-the-law requirement that Airmen enlist with “So help me God,” the Air Force has asked the DoD General Counsel to provide an official legal opinion:

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.”

From an objective position, Continue reading