Tag Archives: Religion

POD Headlines Military Concert

POD — a heavy/new metal band — recently headlined Hansen Fest 2014, a concert festival at Camp Hansen in Okinawa, Japan.

The goal of MCCS Okinawa entertainment is to find the right bands and the right genre of music based on the preference of the service members on that particular camp, according to Hatfield.

“A lot of Marines on this camp like Rock n’ Roll, so that’s what we brought here,” said Hatfield.

The crowd swelled in numbers as rock band P.O.D. took to the main stage…

The band performed for two hours. Throughout Continue reading

New Air Force Lead Lawyer on Religion, Homosexuality

Homosexual activists recently emphasized the fact the US Senate just confirmed a “gay attorney” as the new General Counsel of the US Air Force. Mr. Gordon Tanner has taken on the civilian role akin to the uniformed JAG of the Air Force.  Tanner also retired as a Reserve JAG; interestingly, he may have worked on courts-martial or discharges enforcing the ban on homosexuals even as he continued to serve.  Still, those activists missed the more newsworthy expression of Tanner’s view on religious expression and homosexuality in the military:

May a member of the armed forces who has a sincerely held belief in opposition to same-sex marriage be subject to adverse personnel action or similar other adverse action, if he or she shares those personal views on the subject in a personal capacity?

Tanner: No. A member of the armed forces Continue reading

Critics Target US Military Chapel Services. Again.

A video (which you can watch here) of US Marines worshiping God to Days of Elijah — complete with “oorah!” added to the lyrics — went “viral” a week or so ago, spreading across the internet in a bold display of faith and freedom.

And a few atheists really didn’t like that.

It seems Rock Beyond Belief — a one-hit wonder that staged an underwhelming stage show at Fort Bragg — has degraded into a repository of atheists bellyaching about Christians exercising their religious freedom while serving in the US military. Having learned about the video, their Facebook page launched an “investigation” – because some Marines in the video “don’t appear happy to be there, as if they were forced:”  Continue reading

Air Force Oath: “So Help Me God” Optional Again

Update: The Air Force declined to release the legal opinion behind the decision to alter the AFI last year requiring “so help me God” to remain in the oath.  The reason: attorney-client privilege.

After seeking guidance from the Department of Defense, the Air Force immediately implemented a policy change making the oath “so help me God” optional during the oaths of office and enlistment.

The Air Force will be updating the instructions for both enlisted and commissioned Airmen to reflect these changes in the coming weeks, but the policy change is effective now. Airmen who choose to omit the words ‘So help me God’ from enlistment and officer appointment oaths may do so.

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said the Air Force takes religious freedom seriously:

“We take any instance in which airmen report concerns regarding religious freedom seriously,” Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said. “We are making the appropriate Continue reading

Evangelical Leaders: Defend Religious Freedom for All

At the American Enterprise Institute’s Evangelical Leadership Summit in Washington, DC, a panel of evangelical leaders advocated for Christians to defend the religious liberty of all, because religious freedom benefits everyone. Panel member Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission said

the burden to fight for religious liberties is not just about Judeo-Christian beliefs, but that Evangelicals are called to fight for freedoms for all religious motivations. He also stated that evangelicals should bring back the use of the term “separation of church and state,” but Continue reading

Baylor Editorial Advocates for Transgender Military Service

The student paper of Baylor University, which identifies itself as a Christian university, recently posted an editorial advocating that the US military accept “transgender” individuals into the service. Noting first that Baylor prohibits students from participating in groups that advocate sexuality “contrary to biblical teaching,” the editors of the Baylor Lariat then proceed to advocate for transgenders:

While the Lariat editorial board does not condone this lifestyle, we support any American’s right to serve in the military as long as they are qualified…

The editorial follows a spate of other public advocates of transexuality, including an editorial at the LA Times in July.  The Baylor Lariat may Continue reading

Congress to Hear Testimony on Military Religious Freedom

A group of military religious freedom supporters — and at least one critic — will appear before the House Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee this week to testify on the state of religious liberty in the US military.

Advocates for military religious freedom invited to the hearing include

  • Michael Berry, Liberty Institute attorney who acted on behalf of cadets at the US Air Force Academy this year
  • Retired Chaplain (Col) Ron Crews, an outspoken advocate for military religious freedom
  • Travis Weber, Director of the Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty, US Naval Academy graduate and former Naval aviator.

Their organizations are also part of the Restore Military Religious Freedom coalition.

On the critics side, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein Continue reading

Chick-fil-A Founder Truett Cathy Dies

Truett Cathy, founder of the privately-held chicken sandwich chain Chick-fil-A, died last week at the age of 93. Cathy led a truly “faith-based” company, even eschewing opening on Sunday to provide his employees time with their families and a day of rest.

His business earned more in six days than other companies did in seven.

Like R.G. LeTourneau, Cathy demonstrated that one can live his life consistent with his faith and still be a successful professional. The Cathys never compromised their values, despite pressure to do so, and yet continued to treat everyone they served and employed with respect.

An uncompromising life for Christ can be a successful life even in this world.

National Anthem Anniversary Recalls Faith in God

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner, which was adopted as the US National Anthem in 1931.  Francis Scott Key penned the lyrics in September 1814.

Most are at least familiar with the first stanza; few realize there are actually more words to the song. Tellingly, the song closes with a stanza recalling the Nation’s reliance upon God:

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov’d homes and the war’s desolation;
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

With reference to the Smithsonian.

Jewish Chaplain Integrates Faith, Military Profession

Chaplain (Capt) Michael Bram made the news as the first Jewish chaplain to serve at Elmendorf since the 1970s:

According to Bram, there are only six Jewish chaplains on active duty in the U.S. Air Force. The first Jewish chaplain at JBER in the last 25 years, Bram said he is used to the curiosity that can surround a man in a uniform and a yarmulke.

“The question I am asked, more than any other question, is, ‘How does it stay on your head?’”

Chaplain Bram has a fascinating story, told at Continue reading

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

Air Force Oath: Atheists Protest Right Thing the Wrong Way

The American Humanist Association — the same group vying for an atheist chaplain — has threatened to sue the Air Force because the military enlistment oath ends in “So help me God,” and an Airman at Creech AFB lined out part of the oath on his enlistment form:

According to the AHA, the unnamed airman was told Aug. 25 that the Air Force would not accept his contract because he had crossed out the phrase “so help me God.”…

That is unconstitutional and unacceptable, the AHA said.

“The government cannot compel a nonbeliever to take an oath that affirms the existence of a supreme being,” Miller said. “Numerous cases affirm that atheists have the right to omit theistic language from enlistment or reenlistment contracts.”

They’re correct. The problem with the AHA’s position is they demonstrated an amazing lack of comprehension of the law — and basic public relations skills.

After three pages of pontificating in their demand letter, the AHA Continue reading

President Proclaims Days of Prayer and Remembrance

President Obama proclaimed 5-7 September “as National Days of Prayer and Remembrance”:

Each year as our Nation mourns, our faith restores us and summons within us the sense of common purpose we rediscovered after the attacks. Prayer and humble reflection carry us forward on the path we travel together…These lasting virtues sustain us not just for one day, but every day.

On this solemn anniversary, let us reaffirm the fundamental American values of freedom and tolerance — values that stand in stark contrast to the nihilism of those who attacked us. Let Continue reading

Vietnam POW Lee Ellis Returns to Hanoi Hilton

The Stars and Stripes chronicles the return of retired US Air Force Col Lee Ellis to the Hanoi Hilton — the infamous POW prison that housed him for more than two of the six years of his capture.

Other memories came floating back — leg irons and handcuffs, rubber sandals to make it difficult to escape, a steady diet of pumpkin soup alternating with months of cabbage soup, and a first meal as a prisoner of fish heads and rice, which apparently was standard fare for new captives. Before missions, pilots used to joke with each other to be careful or they’d be eating fish heads that night.

“I wondered if the guards knew the joke,” he said.

Ellis previously spoke at the US Air Force Academy and wrote a book, Leading with Honor, that was included on the US Air Force Chief of Staff’s reading list in 2013.

His story is touching and telling.