When you are faced with difficult decisions, you will always know that the right thing to do…is the right thing to do. Do it. Listen to yourself and be guided by what you believe is right.
Standing against the crowd and choosing the harder right instead of the easier wrong, as the Cadet Prayer prescribes, can be very lonely and frightening at times. And it requires immense moral courage.
It is an interesting position to assert that every officer knows the right thing to do — meaning many in the current controversies have been knowingly choosing to do the “wrong thing.” Of course, the “moral courage” to which Secretary Hagel refers presupposes a knowledge of right and wrong; normally, that is defined outside of “listening to yourself,” unless one includes a moral and religious upbringing in one’s character.
In case you were wondering why the Washington Post blog on Michael Weinstein’s visit to the Pentagon made him out to be so “heroic” — and never once raised a critical eye to his cause – it’s because the author, Sally Quinn, supports his cause.
In her recent commentary on the National Day of Prayer, Quinn calls the National Day of Prayer “unconstitutional”, and she spends most of her column lightly mocking Greg Laurie’s call for a national religious revival. Tellingly, she never pauses to acknowledge Laurie’s liberty to make such statements.
Today is the National Day of Prayer. President Obama issued his proclamation, saying in part
All of us have the freedom to pray and exercise our faiths openly. Our laws protect these God-given liberties, and rightly so. Today and every day, prayers will be offered in houses of worship, at community gatherings, in our homes, and in neighborhoods all across our country. Let us give thanks for the freedom to practice our faith as we see fit, whether individually or in fellowship.
Chief Master Sgt. (ret.) Walter Richardson, one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, addressed the Eglin Air Force Prayer Breakfast in February, which the article summarized as calling faith an “ROE for success.” Chief Richardson described his reliance on faith from basic training to his deployments around the world.
“We have a manual that describes the way to be successful, the Holy Bible,” said the Tuskegee Airman…”
Holding on to two verses, one about keeping God first in all things and the other advising to trust God in all ways over your own intelligence, are the backdrop to the challenges Richardson faced as part the first group of racially integrated military members…
Gruenther was a pilot with the 555th Fighter Squadron in Aviano Air Base, Italy, when the Air Force lost contact with him during a training mission over the Adriatic Sea, Jan. 28. Three days later, Gruenther’s body was recovered.
As Welsh told the story of Gruenther, eyes welled with tears in the audience.
“About 1,000 folks showed up to the memorial of Gruenther,” Welsh said. “As the missing man formation passed the memorial, Gruenther’s family got to wave on, saying a final goodbye to their son, husband and wingman. I like to think that Gruenther kept pulling up on the formation and touched the face of God.”
Gruenther’s wife went on to give birth to a baby girl the very next day.
In October of last year, an atheist Army Soldier, SSgt Victoria Gettman, lodged complaints after a mandatory suicide prevention briefing ended with a military chaplain taking the stage and offering a candlelit prayer.
The incident seems fairly benign, and merited little attention at the time. Now, though, it seems Michael Weinstein is weighing in with (yet another empty) promise to file a lawsuit:
Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, doesn’t consider Gettman’s case closed, and he and his litigation team intend to pursue an “aggressive” federal lawsuit if the Army fails to rectify Gettman’s complaints.
We’ve reached a point where people are afraid to actually talk about what they want to say, because somebody might be offended. We’ve got to get over this sensitivity; it keeps people from saying what they really believe. It muffles people, it puts a muzzle on them; and, at the same time, keeps people from discussing important issues while the fabric of their society is being changed…
Dr. Benjamin Carson, Sr., the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast:
Why is it so important that we educate our people? Because we don’t want to go down the pathway as so many pinnacle nations that have preceded us. I think particularly about ancient Rome. Very powerful. Nobody could even challenge them militarily, but what happened to them? They destroyed themselves from within. Moral decay, fiscal irresponsibility. They destroyed themselves. If you don’t think that can happen to America, you get out your books and you start reading, but you know, we can fix it.
“These chaplains were united in their belief that with God all things are possible,” and they served as an enduring witness to “the power of God to transcend chaos and calamity and produce in us the strength to do all things.”
The four chaplains were Protestants George Fox and Clark Poling; Catholic priest John Washington; and a Jewish rabbi, Alexander Goode. The chaplains famously gave up their own life vests and sank with the ship, arm in arm without regard to any person’s particular religious faith.
The body of Capt Lucas Gruenther, the F-16 pilot lost on Monday off the coast of Italy, was recovered Thursday. Though he had been missing, hopes had been raised after the recovery of a drogue chute and helmet among aircraft debris – seeming to indicate a successful ejection into the chilly waters.
Aviano Air Base has begun using its own F-16s to support the search for Capt. Lucas Gruenther, who went missing during a four-ship training sortie Monday night. Debris has been found believed to be from his aircraft.
It seems he is soon to become a new father:
Gruenther and his wife, Cassy, are expecting their first child in two to three weeks, the Bee reported.
Since former cadet (and current MRFF “client”) Blake Page made his awkward public departure from West Point over “criminal” Christianity, there has been a simmering of the issue of prayer at the US Military Academy. For the most part, the only loud voices were critics who want to see West Point end public prayers.
The Alliance Defending Freedom just recently weighed in, encouraging West Point to stand firm in the face of criticism and honor both its legacy and religious freedom. The ADF’s David Hacker said
“The First Amendment allows public officials to acknowledge our nation’s religious heritage,” he notes. “Anti-religious groups with misguided ideas about the First Amendment should not be allowed to destroy a time-honored, perfectly constitutional American custom.”