Tag Archives: Religion

Chaplain Becomes CGO of the Year, Mikey Weinstein Target

US Air Force Chaplain (Capt) Sonny Hernandez was recently selected as the AFLCMC IMA CGO of the year.

Two days after the announcement, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein slammed the chaplain as “homophobic [and] anti-Semitic.”

Why Weinstein was monitoring the AFLCMC CGO ranking is a mystery. It’s possible he knew of Chaplain Hernandez from the chaplain’s time at USAFA, which was his last assignment until November of last year. Weinstein also has family in the Wright-Patterson area, which is where the 445th Airlift Wing is based and where the announcement would have been made.

Finally, Weinstein came to his conclusions about Chaplain Hernandez from viewing the publicly available sermons he gave to his home church. (As an IMA Reservist, the Chaplain’s primary job is civilian.)

Weinstein slams the chaplain for “putrid, bigoted Continue reading

Military Equal Opportunity Says Bible, Constitution Cause Sexism

In a now widely reported incident, a Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute online training course was pulled last month after a reporter made an inquiry about a slide that said the Bible, the US Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence “allow sexism to continue”:

The military’s Equal Opportunity channels have had a number of high-profile missteps, with most being dismissed as “isolated” incidents of Continue reading

President, US Marines Celebrate National Day of Prayer

US Marines at Cherry Point hosted a National Day of Prayer breakfast (a slight combination of the National Day of Prayer and the National Prayer breakfast, it would seem) last week. The Marines’ commander, Col Chris Pappas, “spoke of the importance of faith” to a crowd of some 200 attendees:  Continue reading

Aleph Institute Offers Free Shavuot Supplies

Via Jews in Green, the Aleph Institute, a non-profit ministry to Jewish prisoners and military personnel, is advertising its ability to provide military members with Shavuot supplies for the observance on May 24th. The resources include military-themed versions of the holiday supplies.

Shavuot is a celebration marking God’s giving of the Torah to the Jewish people.

For more information, see the contact information for Aleph at Jews in Green.

Offutt Air Force Base Hosts Humanist Group

In February Offutt Air Force Base approved “Offutt Humanists” to operate as a private organization:

I’ve been attending the base chaplain’s Bible study for over a year,” says Offutt Humanist founder, Tom Gray, “and he agreed with me that the needs of the non-religious would be better met outside of a religious context.”

“I appreciated his support as I went through the process to create Offutt Humanists,” Gray added.

Some atheists have claimed for years that they are “denied” access to military base or post facilities. As has Continue reading

Russell Moore on Proactive American Christianity

In an American system of government, religious liberty is everyone’s problem because the state is accountable to the people, who are, ultimately, the governing authorities. A Christian, then, who doesn’t care about working for religious liberty is a Christian who is not only wishing to be persecuted, and to consign others to persecution, but is also a Christian who wishes to be, by his silence, a persecutor of others. This is contrary to the way of Christ (1 Pet. 2:12-17).

Read more.

Mikey Weinstein’s Lawyer Botches Complaint

A week ago, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein complained to US Navy CAPT Douglas Pfeifle that he was “essentially spiritually raping” his recruits after civilian chapel volunteers were summarily banned from the base earlier this month. CAPT Pfeifle replied to Weinstein the next day, saying he’d get back to him. A week later, with no response, Weinstein attempted to up the ante by having an actual lawyer write a letter to CAPT Pfeifle, claiming there was a “constitutional question” with the Recruit Training Command’s action [emphasis added]:

There is a constitutional question whether denying similarly situated individuals under your command substantially similar rights to exercise religious freedoms violates the right to equal protection under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

You don’t even have to crack out your high school American government books to see the error from Weinstein’s presumably high-brow lawyer. The Fifth Amendment contains important protections of citizens’ rights, but it has nothing to do with “equal protection.” That’s the Fourteenth Amendment.

The writer is Mr. Robert Eye of Kauffman-Eye, who Continue reading

DoD Teaches “May I Kiss You?”

The Air Force has become the most recent branch of the Department of Defense to hire the services of Mike Domitrz, whose “Date Safe Project” company is based on his “May I Kiss You?” book and speaking.

Each “May I Kiss You?” session covers three major areas: asking before a person engages in intimacy with their partner, how to intervene if they see alcohol used to facilitate sexual assault, and how to support a survivor should they confide in the audience member that they have been affected by a sexual assault…

He gives the “Can I Kiss You?” talk at an average of 50 military bases a year, including recent sessions at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Fort Bragg, Fort Meade, Fort Belvoir, and the Navy Fleet Forces stationed in Bahrain. An upcoming event is scheduled at the Atlantic Fleet Forces in Naples, Italy

He was recently at Pensacola NAS.

Most will miss the irony that Continue reading

Senate Confirms Army Chief of Chaplains

In March the Senate confirmed Chaplain (COL) Paul Hurley for the position of Army Chief of Chaplains.

Hurley was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1995. He will replace Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Donald Rutherford, who plans to retire.

Chaplain Hurley will skip BG and be promoted to Major General.  He recently spoke at the Fort Hood prayer breakfast, in which he quoted General George C. Marshall:

Hurley continued with a quote from former General of the Army George C. Marshall, commenting on the importance of the spirit.

“The Soldier’s heart, the Soldier’s spirit, the Soldier’s soul, are everything. Unless the Soldier’s soul sustains him, he cannot be relied on and will fail himself and his commander and his country in the end,” quoted Hurley.

Also at BostonCatholic.org.

Lord Knows: Mikey Weinstein Threatens Suit over God-talk

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein is the sole paid employee of a self-founded “charity” that claims to protect religious freedom in the US military. In fact, though, Weinstein pays himself more than a quarter million dollars per year while doing nothing more than attacking anything remotely approaching an expression of or an association with Christianity.

One of his most recent targets was sentries at Robins AFB who dared to say “have a blessed day” to those entering the base.

Because we can’t have people wishing others well, apparently. (Weinstein laughably asserted this was an attempt by the gate guards to convert people to Christianity.)

Then, Weinstein targeted a Wing Commander who Continue reading

Report: Military Atheists Outnumber Southern Baptists

Christianity Today recently cited December 2014 DoD statistics to state that atheists outnumber Southern Baptists in the US military:

According the latest Department of Defense statistics on religion, there were 12,360 Southern Baptists among the US military’s 1.3 million members on active duty as of December 2014. There were also 12,764 atheists—an advantage of 404 over Southern Baptists.

By contrast, Southern Baptists outnumbered atheists by about 10,000 in 2009, with 16,975 Southern Baptists and only 6,702 atheists on active duty.

In contrast with prior stories on “religious hostility” in the military, using historical data columnist Bob Smietana also said there was no evidence of a “mass exodus” of Christians from the military:   Continue reading

Navy Cancels Some Boot Camp Chapel Services

In early April, the Navy commander of Recruit Training Command at Great Lakes — the basic training site for all incoming Sailors — told civilian volunteers they were no longer permitted to conduct religious services for recruits.

On the orders of Capt. Doug Pfeifle, the commanding officer of RTC, civilian volunteers for seven minority religious communities have been asked to stop conducting services.

An RTC official who spoke on background said the volunteers were asked to leave in accordance with Navy guidance, which stipulates that a uniformed chaplain or a religiously accredited military member should conduct the service before the service pursues other avenues.

Viewed optimistically, it appears to be a sincere action poorly executed or communicated. It seems the volunteer system had “gotten away from” the RTC leadership, and they found themselves unable to justify the program under Navy guidelines. It seems the RTC program was suffering from some logistical issues, including a formal way to control who could and could not conduct recruit services.

To be clear, the US military is not Continue reading

Chaplain Serves at the Bottom of the World

An interesting article highlights Air Force Chaplain (Maj) Pete Drury as he served at McMurdo, Antarctica. Chaplain Drury had an interesting statement on his ability to serve all of the 850 residents of the remote outpost:

“One of the cool things that an ANG chaplain can provide is that we understand and can accommodate the secular person and the person who has a non-religious spirituality,” Drury said, with a characteristically broad smile. “Because a non-religious person still has spiritual needs. We have a unique capacity to provide that.”

Other stories have covered the chaplains who have deployed there previously.  It was also interesting to note the “deliveries” the Air Force made to the South Pole.

As an interesting side note, Chaplain Drury hails from the 180th FW, the same wing as Col Florencio Marquinez.

Read more.

David French: Huckabee’s Advice to Military Christians Misguided

At the National Review, David French has a well thought out piece that gently but firmly admonishes potential Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee for his assertion that Christians should stay out of the military while President Obama is in office:

The best way to guarantee increasing Christian isolation and diminished religious liberty is to flee the field, to leave the military to its more secular members. If Christianity becomes an aberration, rather than a mainstream part of military life, commanders will have little practical incentive to accommodate religious expression — particularly in the face of opposition…

Leaving the defense of the nation and its liberties to secular citizens would constitute a profound moral failing, an abdication of faithful Americans’ duties as citizens.

While the article is too short to explore every nuance, its general tone is similar to that taken in Christian Fighter Pilot is not an Oxymoron regarding Christian service in a profession potentially hostile to the Christian faith. In short, Jesus Christ commanded us to be salt and light. We can’t influence the world if we aren’t even in it.

French’s article is worth a full read.

Religious Hostility toward Christians Hurting US Military

It started with a statement by Michael Berry, a former Marine JAG and now counsel with the Liberty Institute, cited in the Washington Times regarding the prosecution of US Navy Chaplain Wes Modder:

Michael Berry…said recent high-profile cases of military chaplains facing punishment for private counseling sessions that reflected the teachings of their religion could cause devout Americans who are qualified for military service to think twice about joining the military.

That statement has now been paraphrased across the internet to say “Christians are leaving the military” or there is “an exodus of Christians from the military.” The Washington Times article itself says US military “morale [and] retention [have been] devastated.”

To be accurate, that isn’t exactly what Berry said. Further, while the current perception of the US military’s attitude toward religious freedom has certainly impacted both recruitment and retention, support for that conclusion is entirely anecdotal. As has been said here before, the plural of anecdote is not “data.”

Still, Berry’s original statement is not unreasonable. His assessment even found its way into an interview with potential Presidential Continue reading