Tag Archives: vandenberg

Marilyn Monroe and the General

[Marilyn] Monroe was famous for her quips and sexual innuendos. When asked what three men she’d like to be trapped on a deserted island with, she responded Joe DiMaggio, Albert Einstein and Hoyt Vandenberg – her husband, the scientist and the Air Force general respectively.

Now that’s not something you hear everyday, and from an article written by a wing commander, no less.  General Vandenberg was a US Military Academy graduate and the second Chief of Staff of the Air Force.  Vandenberg Hall (or “Vandy”), one of the residence halls/dormitories at the US Air Force Academy, is named after him, as is Vandenberg AFB in California.  It seems Marilyn Monroe had a thing for him.

Air Force Yet to Replace Pulled Nuke Training

The Air Force Times notes the US Air Force has yet to replace the introductory ethics course taught to ICBM officers that was pulled late last summer.  The Air Force withdrew the course “for review” after the MRFF complained about content mentioning Christian beliefs.  The Air Force had previously stated it could reinstate the course, replace it, or simply delete it.

On a related point, there has been no public release to Senator Cornyn’s request for the Air Force to explain its actions, either.

As noted previously, the MRFF’s Chris Rodda took issue with the Senator’s words defending the Constitution.

X-37B Still in Space

The Associated Press did a check-up on the experimental X-37B and decided it was still in space, nine months after it launched on its vaguely described (nine-month planned) sortie.

The X-37B orbital test vehicle was due to land in California this week, but the Air Force said Tuesday that the mission will be extended. A landing date has not been set.

The current flight (orbit?) is the second public mission of the vehicle system.  While some sites have noted the “experimental” mission may be in preparation for future missions, there’s nothing to say it isn’t doing now precisely what they want it to…

MRFF Belittles Senator Cornyn’s Defense of Constitution

As predicted, it wasn’t long before Chris Rodda came out in defense of Michael Weinstein’s “big victory” for his self-founded Military Religious Freedom Foundation that Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) recently seemed to undermine.  From the Huffington Post:

This summer, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) scored a big victory…

Senator John Cornyn…doesn’t like the Air Force’s decision…

Rodda’s article is essentially a rehash of the prior writeups, with the addition of Cornyn’s letter.  One ”new” piece of information is Rodda’s claim that Continue reading

Senator Tells Air Force to Explain Response to MRFF Complaint

A few other media sources are catching up to Senator John Cornyn’s (R-TX) letter to the Secretary of the Air Force released on Monday.

Suspending a course like this because of references to religious texts misinterprets the First Amendment. [The Constitution] does not, as some have argued, protect them from exposure to religious references.

(Some continue to use the word “misrepresents,” though the published letter says “misinterprets.”)

Michael Weinstein’s MRFF — which claims a Constitutional Continue reading

Senator Scolds Air Force for Pulling Nuke Course

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) has expressed “concern” over the Air Force’s response to complaints over religious content in an ICBM training course.

Suspending a course like this because of references to religious texts misinterprets the First Amendment.  Although our Founding Fathers rightly included language in the Constitution that precludes the Federal government from establishing an official religion, this language does not, as some have argued, protect them from exposure to religious references… Continue reading

Catholics and Air Force Nuclear Weapons

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, wrote a letter to General Edward Rice, the Commander of Air Education and Training Command.  AETC oversees the training program at Vandenberg Air Force Base, which recently dropped a course because, depending on who you ask, it used Bible verses.  Calling the Air Force’s decision to pull the class “wrongheaded,” he says

[T]here is absolutely nothing in the Constitution of the United States that disqualifies a presentation of St. Augustine’s “just war theory,” and related biblical references. In fact, the First Amendment protects freedom of speech, as well as religious liberty…Moreover, biblical passages are often cited when referencing the work of Rev. Martin Luther King. Should we similarly censor them?

I have read the materials used in the class, and can assure you that no one — save an anti-religious zealot — would find fault with them. I therefore urge you to stand fast against these bullies and do what is academically right and constitutionally protected: reinstate the class.

He also notes that Michael Weinstein is a Continue reading

Liberty Counsel Defends Air Force Nuke Training

In what may be one of the more unbiased presentations of the “media controversy” thus far, the Christian Post presents a somewhat fuller picture of the nuclear missile officer course that floated to the surface a few days ago.  They are the first large media organization to highlight the fact the brief wasn’t exclusively Christian:

The section also cited biblical figures including Abraham, Samson and David as religious figures that fought wars in a righteous manner. Additionally, a picture of a menorah was featured on a slide highlighting the Maccabees’ revolt against their oppressors.

In fact, they are also the first to consciously highlight that the brief wasn’t even exclusively religiousContinue reading

Air Force Pulls Nuke Training over Religion Complaint

A variety of news sources are now reporting the US Air Force ended a training class after an internet article belittled its religious content.  Contrary to some assertions, this is actually not a big deal.

This much has been accurately reported:  The Air Force training slides had Bible verses, and the course was led by a Chaplain.  There was a public article.  The Air Force pulled the course to “review it.”

Beyond that, much of the other reporting has been misrepresented or inaccurate.

The Washington Post said

The Air Force has suspended a training course for nuclear missile launch officers that used Bible passages and religious imagery to teach them about the ethics of war.

Unfortunately, that’s essentially a misrepresentation, likely because the conclusion was drawn solely from a copy of the slides used in the brief — sans notes or context.  The course did not use Biblical citations to teach ethics.  The ~40-slide PowerPoint presentation was an ethical discussion on the conduct of war, with emphasis on the application of nuclear weapons.  (The title of the first seven slides is “Ethics;” the second section is “Nuclear Ethics and Nuclear Warfare.”)

The course’s focus was to address common Continue reading