Tag Archives: Navy

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

Mikey Weinstein Threatens Lawsuit over Navy Bibles

Update: A variety of groups signed a letter to the Navy asking them to allow the Bibles to remain in the Navy lodges.


Riding the coattails of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has threatened to sue the US Navy if it fails to remove Bibles from its lodging rooms:

If the Navy refuses to pull the Bibles “out of every single room,” said Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, “we are looking to file a federal lawsuit.”

For the record, Weinstein threatens to sue someone at every turn.  It is likely this threat is as empty as virtually all the others.  (He lost the few lawsuits he filed many years ago, further undermining his threats.)

Weinstein’s apparent paranoia was on full display:  Continue reading

Navy Christens First Ship for Homosexual

As announced last year, the US Navy recently christened a research vessel for late astronaut Sally Ride.

The Navy [christened] the Auxiliary General Oceanographic Research (AGOR) R/V Sally Ride (AGOR 28) Saturday, Aug. 9, during a ceremony held at the Port of Anacortes Transit Shed in Anacortes, Washington.

There had previously been a push to name a vessel for Harvey Milk, which was opposed even by some homosexuals. Ride at least had credentials to justify the honor.

Allen West Compares Mikey Weinstein, ISIS

In an interesting twist to an old tale, Allen West — a retired Army LtCol and former Florida Representative — compared the “covert action of atheist groups” in the United States to the militant attacks by the terrorist group ISIS in Syria and Iraq:

What is the difference between the violent actions of ISIS and the covert actions of these atheist groups? Let’s be honest, the desired end state and result is the same — the death of Christianity.

Citing Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s attacks on religious liberty (specifically, his support for the  Navy lodges banning Gideon Bibles), West said  Continue reading

Navy Bans Bibles after Atheist Complaint

Update: The Navy has reversed the decision of NEXCOM, saying it was made without consultation with Navy leadership.  The Bibles will be returned to the hotel rooms and will not be removed.  Retired Chaplain (Col) Ron Crews had called on the Navy to reverse the policy.  The Navy now joins the Air Force in having been attacked for its lodging facility Bibles — and, for the moment, withstood the attack.  Also at the Christian Post, OneNewsNow, the Washington Times, Religion News Service, the New American, and USA Today.


As first reported by the American Family Association, the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a complaint with the US Navy because there were Gideon Bibles in the nightstands at Navy lodging facilities.

So the Navy decided to remove them.

“The current direction is to remove all religious material from Navy Lodge guest rooms,” read an email to a Navy chaplain from The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM).

Jason Torpy of the MAAF tried a few years ago to Continue reading

US Soldier Forced Out over Religion, Sues US Army

US Army Master Sergeant Nathan Sommers made waves last year when he said he faced retribution from the Army for political bumper stickers, reading conservative political books, and serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at his promotion party after the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Those controversies apparently boiled over into what the Army called a substandard performance evaluation (which MSgt Sommers contested). The poor evaluation triggered a review of his continued enlistment, and he was recommended for discharge — even as his other appeals were still being processed. Since he was eligible to retire, he was essentially forced to do so.

The day after he retired, he filed a lawsuit claiming he was forced out of the military due to his religious beliefs.

Master Sergeant Nathan Sommers, a 25-year veteran of the military and a decorated soloist in the U.S. Army Band Chorus, claims he was forcibly retired from the Army due to his religious and conservative political beliefs.

MSgt Sommers may have one of the stronger cases Continue reading

US Navy Gets First Female Chief of Chaplains

With the retirement of Rear Adm Mark Tidd, Rear Adm Margaret Kibben, formerly the US Navy’s Deputy Chief of Chaplains and Chief of Chaplains for the Marine Corps, was promoted to Rear Admiral (Upper Half) and assumed the position of Chief of Chaplains for the US Navy.

Both her promotion and assumption of duties marked a historic event for the Navy and its Chaplain Corps as Kibben became the first female chief of Navy chaplains and the first female Navy chaplain to hold the rank of rear admiral upper half.

As the new Chief Chaplain, RAdm Kibben, who is endorsed by the PC(USA), “pledged” to have her chaplains support service members and their families

so that they “grow spiritually, are certain of their moral and ethical foundations, and are free and able to exercise and enjoy a community of faith.”

Navy NCO Promotes “Gay pride” over “Twisted” Religious Dogma


US Navy Photo by MC3 Erik Foster

Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Tom Guest (an E-8, or senior enlisted Sailor, for those unfamiliar with Navy rank) spoke at a homosexual/transgender “pride” event on the underway USS Bataan on June 25th. His topic was “What Exactly Do We Mean by GAY PRIDE?

He provided a variety of potential answers, including

GAY PRIDE is about owning who we are, whether we are butch dykes, fem queens, or the always coveted “Straight Acting” gay.

Chief Guest also noted that the ship’s leadership had been supportive Continue reading

Klingenschmitt Wins Colorado GOP Primary

Gordon Klingenschmitt, the former Navy chaplain discharged over a controversy about “praying in Jesus’ Name,” has won the GOP primary for the US House of Representatives for the 15th District in Colorado.

Klingenschmitt expressed confidence in a November victory, as the district is heavily Republican — and also boasts a significant military population.

Klingenschmitt was also sued, unsuccessfully, by Michael “Mikey” Weinstein and his wife, Bonnie, over “imprecatory prayers.” Klingenschmitt sued the Weinsteins in return, claiming abuse of process and defamation. His suit survived dismissal last January, with the defamation claim being allowed to proceed.

US Navy Issues Ramadan Guidance in Bahrain

The US Navy is being accused of forcing civilians, Sailors, and their families to comply with Islam during the month of Ramadan. Pamela Geller, a well-known critic of “Islamization” and Islamic extremism, said

Our troops must adhere to the sharia during the Islamic month of Ramadan in Bahrain and other Muslim countries. Subjected to dawah (proselytizing) by a base Islamic cultural adviser at the Naval Support Activity, soldiers are forced to sit through lessons on Islam. No eating, drinking, alcohol, or smoking during the month of Ramadan…

US military are encouraged “to experience Iftar in a Ramadan tent.”

Why anyone who is not a Muslim must stop eating (except in secret) during Ramadan is another example of how Islamic supremacism. Unlike Jewish law which pertains only to Jews, and Canon law which pertains only to Christians, the Sharia asserts its totalitarian authority over non-Muslims.

While her characterization isn’t entirely accurate, it is Continue reading

Group Tries to Stoke Controversy over Atheist Chaplain

Update: Jason Torpy revived the issue enough to generate a Navy Times article, though it contained no new information.  In fact, a Navy official reiterated a point made below — even humanists can’t really put bounds on a definition of “humanism:”

“Humanism’s not a defined term across the country,” the official said. “There’s a group of Jewish Humanists. The Humanist Society was once the Humanist Society of Friends, a Quaker organization.”

The official, referring to Heap, continued: “I don’t know that he represents a religious organization by any accepted definition.”


Tom Carpenter, a former Marine pilot and one of the founders of the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy — the homosexual advocacy group that lobbied for the repeal of DADT — has attacked the Navy chaplaincy for not approving the chaplaincy application of Jason Heap, a self-described non-theistic humanist. Tragically, if not predictably, Carpenter seems to base his attack on “evidence” that does not exist [emphasis added]:

…The Navy Chief of Chaplains rejected the application of Jason Heap, a highly qualified chaplain candidate who would have been the first Humanist military chaplain. All the evidence leads invariably to the conclusion this decision was based upon a Constitutionally prohibited “religious test.”

What public evidence is there the Navy rejected the application based on a “religious test?” None whatsoever.

Carpenter implies — repeatedly — the Navy Continue reading

Baptists Focus on Military Chaplaincy

The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Spring 2014 “Southwestern News” contained a few fascinating articles on the military chaplaincy. The cover, almost ironically, is a uniformed Navy officer holding a cross-emblazoned Bible with the graphic “in Jesus’ Name” in the center.

The subject of the cover is Commander Carey Cash who, as a Navy Lieutenant, wrote A Table in the Presence and would later serve as the chaplain for the Presidential retreat at Camp David. (His service at Camp David was criticized by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s group that attacks members of the Christian faith in the military, with Weinstein saying the President should “publicly punish” Chaplain Cash.)

Noting his service in Kuwait just prior to the Iraq war, Cash was able to capitalize on the “ministry of presence” unique to the military chaplaincy:

During those 40 days and nights, Cash conducted classes and counseled
daily with Marines as they wrestled with the claims of Christ on their lives. Just before crossing into combat, they baptized Continue reading