A few hours after ChristianFighterPilot.com noted the publication of AFI 1-1 (an event that occurred the week prior), Michael Weinstein published his own review of the AFI on his “progressive” Alternet-hosted blog. This wouldn’t be the first time Weinstein and his crew demonstrated a propensity to glean from this site — though once before they at least took the time to backdate their own publication so it looked like they’d found it on their own.
Weinstein’s new missive is little more than a continuation of his prior screed, decrying the service of General Schwartz and, as predicted, taking the first step in trying to ingratiate himself to the new Air Force Chief of Staff: Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion air force, chief of staff, christian, coup, evangelical, fundamentalist, holocaust, mark welsh, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, norton schwartz, Religion, religious freedom, taliban
As has become a local tradition, military Buddhists at Fort Lewis recently came together to celebrate Vesak, which coincides with Buddha’s birthday. They were led by US Army Chaplain (Capt) Somya Malasri.
[Chaplain Malasri] said that Buddhist should try to reach harmony with society by abstaining from killing or harming, abstaining from stealing, abstaining from sexual misconduct, abstaining from telling lies and abstaining from toxins such as alcohol or drugs.
“Buddha will show us the path, but we have to walk it ourself,” Malasri said.
While it is somewhat easier for these troops because their local chaplain Read more…
Categories: Chaplain army, Buddhism, chapel, Chaplain, christian, Jewish, Military, Religion, religious freedom, somya malasri, statue, taliban, vesak
A US Army article previously described an effort to help the Afghans by “turning swords into plowshares,” a potentially inadvertent reference to Isaiah 2:4. While the text of the Bible is not as well-known as it may have once been, it is interesting to see where the American culture makes (even unknowing) Biblical references.
The US Air Force leadership did it recently, too, in their annual Memorial Day message. Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen Norton Schwartz wrote: Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion Afghanistan, air force, al qaeda, army, Bible, christian, isa, michael donley, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, norton schwartz, swords into plowshares, taliban
It’s long been known that Michael Weinstein is starved for attention in a way unique for a man his age. His zealotry for his cause is so consuming, in fact, there are times even his wife has said he has gone “overboard” — because he wants attention.
“When he goes a little overboard, we talk about it,” [Bonnie Weinstein] said. “But people don’t realize that going overboard is what’s getting the attention.”
In theory, Weinstein’s claims of ubiquitous persecution would result in droves of US military members beating down his door for help. In fact, the opposite is true — in 2007 Weinstein even had to advertise to find someone to complain:
Without such a pawn, Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion Afghanistan, bonnie weinstein, chapel, Chaplain, chris rodda, christian, Constitution, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, Religion, religious freedom, taliban
The Aleph Institute sponsored its 5th Annual Military Sabbath Retreat and Training Course in Miami, Florida in February.
Billed as an opportunity “to decompress and be strengthened,” in the words of Rabbi Sanford Dresin, the retreat has become a central event for the Aleph Institute, a Chabad-Lubavitch organization that provides for the physical and spiritual needs of Jewish soldiers and prisoners at home and abroad.
Guests included House Speaker John Boehner, recently retired US Army Chief of Chaplains (MajGen) Douglas Carver, and MajGen Jeffrey Jacobs, the PsyOps center Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion baptism, chabad lubavitch, Chaplain, douglas carver, fort bragg, israel, jeffrey jacobs, Jewish, john boehner, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, Religion, religious freedom, sabbath, sanford dresnin, shalom lipskar, taliban, talmud, the aleph institute
While some will doubt the degree to which Christianity and the Bible permeate American culture, it is often interesting to see people cite quotations from the Bible, often unknowingly. (It’s often more entertaining to see them claim something is in the Bible that isn’t, though.)
A recent article from Army.mil talked of an Army unit helping give Afghans a way to live their lives without having to fight for the Taliban to support themselves. The Army is trying Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion aaron barrier, Afghanistan, al qaeda, army, Bible, christian, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, swords into plowshares, taliban
It was noted here once before that US military fighter pilots sanitize their uniforms prior to combat missions, so if they are captured they have little on their person to provide information to the enemy. However, intel officers occasionally encouraged pilots to carry family photos, thinking the “personalizing” aspect of the photo might positively influence their captors’ perspectives. Similarly, some encouraged carrying a religious item like a cross that would be found on them if they were captured.
Why carry an obviously Christian item on a combat sortie into a predominantly Islamic country?
Simple: Adversaries, primarily of the Islamic faith, respected Christians as “people of the book.” Many have misunderstood Muslims’ use of the term “infidels,” which refers to those “without faith.” In short, hostile Islamic adversaries viewed a Christian in the US military far more positively than an atheist in uniform.
The US Marines recently capitalized on that knowledge, using the faith of an American soldier as a positive message of religious respect to counter the Taliban propaganda of American “infidels” — militant atheists trying to get rid of religion in Afghanistan: Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion abuhena saifulislam, Afghanistan, atheism, Chaplain, christian, Church and State, cross, Fighter Pilot, infidel, Islam, john toolan, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, pat carroll, Religion, religious freedom, taliban
By now most of the world is probably aware of the accusation that four US Marines urinated on corpses in what is apparently Afghanistan. One of the group videotaped the event for posterity.
The event brought out a slew of condemnations from all sides:
- Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta: “This conduct is entirely inappropriate for members of the United States military and does not reflect the standards of values our armed forces are sworn to uphold.”
- Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos: “wholly inconsistent with the high standards of conduct and warrior ethos.”
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “It is absolutely inconsistent Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion Afghanistan, atheism, carsten jacobson, christian, clinton, dadt, james amos, leon panetta, marines, mikey weinstein, Military, morality, qari yousuf ahmadi, Religion, religious freedom, taliban, urinate, video
A recent article at the New York Times highlighted an effort by the US military to engage in an information campaign with those who might be, or might be recruiting, “militant adversaries in cyberspace.”
The “war” they’re fighting?
In recent months, Mr. [Ardashir] Safavi and his teammates spotted posts that included doctored photographs of Osama bin Laden purporting to prove that Al Qaeda’s leader had not died in an American commando raid. They turned up blogs stating that the Pentagon was accelerating war plans for invading many Muslim nations, and others amplifying Taliban accusations that American troops rape with impunity across Afghanistan.
These targeted sites mentioned in the article appear to be primarily foreign language and are apparently foreign run: Read more…
Categories: Fighter Pilot Afghanistan, air force, arabic, ardashir safavi, chris rodda, dari, Islam, mikey weinstein, Military, MRFF, new media and the air force, osama bin laden, Pentagon, persian, russian, taliban, urdu
A military news release notes the celebration of the Jewish High Holy days by US servicemembers at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. As previously noted, four Jewish Chaplains have fanned out across Afghanistan to ensure the right to free exercise of military servicemembers even while they are deployed to a combat area in response to their country’s call.
The ongoing celebrations recognize the period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and Jewish servicemembers can even celebrate by erecting traditional (if somewhat modernized) Jewish Sukkahs. Given the locale, the religious exercise of Read more…
The US military’s support of the Afghan’s practice of Islam has been reported, though not necessarily widely so.
The Washington Post recently noted the Afghan military is working to be viewed as “true Muslims,” or more Islamic than the Taliban.
The [Afghan] campaign represents a bold effort to counter Taliban propaganda and establish the Islamic credentials of the armed forces.
Fighting the battle over religion — often the key to public support in this conservative Islamic nation — is perhaps the Taliban’s strongest suit. If Afghans doubt the spiritual bona fides of their army, the institution stands little chance of gaining popular support.
The Post article notes US officials have been “eager” to bolster the credentials of the Afghan military, and supporting this effort is one way they can do that: Read more…
A few articles have surfaced on the potential some schools may “let” ROTC return now that DADT has been repealed.
At the Washington Post, Colman McCarthy had an interesting take on the mission of the military when he recalled his interview with Notre Dame on ROTC:
I asked if he actually believed there could be a Christian method of slaughtering people in combat, or a Christian way of firebombing cities, or a way to kill civilians in the name of Jesus. Did he think that if enough Notre Dame graduates became soldiers that the military would eventually embrace Christ’s teaching of loving one’s enemies?
But don’t take that to mean he doesn’t “support the troops:” Read more…
In an interesting perspective, Eugene Volokh writes an article on the “conflict” between the Koran-burning church in Florida and Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). To the point, he quotes Hooper saying:
Can you imagine what this will do to our image around the world…And the additional danger it will add whenever there is an American presence in Iraq or Afghanistan?
After going through several explanatory examples and analogies, Volokh draws an interesting conclusion:
In those situations, the mainstream group representative seems to be consciously using the threat of [others'] extremist violence to achieve his own ideological goals. And he also seems to be trying to blame the people who are exercising their rights for the violence that would supposedly ensue. This sort of political tactic does not reflect well on the mainstream group.
Separate from Koran burning and CAIR, Volokh’s perspective has an interesting application to religious freedom in the military. After all, Read more…
The US State Department issued a statement on the “Persecution of Religious Minorities in Iran,” specifically addressing mistreatment of those of the Baha’i faith.
Freedom of religion is the birthright of people of all faiths and beliefs in all places. The United States is committed to defending religious freedom around the world, and we have not forgotten the Baha’i community in Iran. We will continue to speak out against injustice and call on the Iranian government to respect the fundamental rights of all its citizens in accordance with its international obligations.
In an interesting contrast, a group of religious leaders in Afghanistan recently called for the implementation of Sharia law. Read more…
The Time Magazine picture of the disfigured Afghan girl — reportedly the result of an attack by her husband — has justifiably raised the issue of the rights and status of women in Afghanistan. The logic seems reasonable; if Aisha had not been a woman, it is unlikely she would have been subject to such abuse. The “women’s rights” cause also fits with the common theme of some Western supporters — including some in America — of the Afghan war effort.
In an interesting contrast, the airwaves have been awash with condemnation of the attack that left 10 Christian aid workers dead in Afghanistan last week. Karl Eikenberry, US ambassador to Afghanistan, said this is a video statement: Read more…
Categories: Government and Religion Afghanistan, aisha, clinton, conversion, evangelism, Islam, karl eikenberry, Military, proselytize, Religion, religious freedom, taliban, time magazine, women's rights