Last Wednesday the US Senate passed a resolution stating what should have been obvious — there is no “religious test” for public office in the United States.
In response to Democrat Senators questioning nominees on their Catholic beliefs in association with the Knights of Columbus, the Senate passed a resolution stating it was
the sense of the Senate that disqualifying a nominee to Federal office on the basis of membership in the Knights of Columbus violates the Constitution of the United States
The resolution noted then-Senator and presidential candidate John F. Kennedy had similarly faced anti-Catholic bigotry: Read more
An interesting article covering the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense data on religion revealed some interesting statistics about faith groups and their military [emphasis added]:
Among the 99% of UK regulars who declared their faith, over 69% are of Christian denomination…
Around 28% reported having no religion, a figure that has seen a sharp increase in recent years…
Whilst 69% of the Army, Navy and RAF regulars are Christian, the faith accounts for just over half of the general public (50.7%).
The gap was even greater between the Future Reserves 2020 – a programme to strengthen the role of the reserves – and the general population, with more than 73% of reservists subscribed to Christianity…
(There’s just something about the word “whilst.”)
Granted, these numbers Read more
by Sonny Hernandez
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:28-29).
Service members that are contemplating suicide need help. Last year, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs released some alarming insights from their National Suicide Data Report for all 50 states and the District of Columbia:
- Suicide rates increased for both Veterans and non-Veterans, underscoring the fact that suicide is a national public health concern that affects people everywhere.
- The average number of Veterans who died by suicide each day remained unchanged at 20.
- The suicide rate increased faster among Veterans who had not recently used Veterans Health Administration health care than among those who had.
There are Read more
A few sailors aboard the USS John C. Stennis, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, were recently highlighted for their unique exercise of religious freedom. From the official news release:
Heathenry, a religion with roots in Norse culture and mythology, is being practiced by a small, committed group of Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).
Aviation Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Joshua Wood, from Eagle River, Alaska, is John C. Stennis’ Heathen lay leader.
The story is “interesting” enough that the normally sleepy Navy news report has been widely repeated across the media, though it seems to have Read more
Peter Vlaming, a French teacher at West Point High School in Virginia, was recently fired for refusing to use male pronouns when addressing a female student:
While Vlaming conceded to referring to the student by [her] male name, he refrained from addressing [her] by any identifying pronoun, the Times-Dispatch said.
This sounds much like the situation with Shawnee State University and Dr. Nicholas Meriwether, who was fired not for what he said, but for what he refused to say. In both cases, the reports indicate Read more
As has now been widely reported, Brian Buescher has been nominated to the US District Court. In the course of confirmation, nominees provide written responses to written questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Two Democrat Senators, Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI), appear to raise concerns about Buescher’s religious beliefs:
Hirono asked whether his membership in the Knights of Columbus would prevent him from hearing cases “fairly and impartially” and, if confirmed, whether he would end his membership in the Roman Catholic charitable organization.
“The Knights of Columbus has taken a number of extreme positions,” Hirono said in the questionnaire. “For example, it was reportedly one of the top contributors to California’s Proposition 8 campaign to ban same-sex marriage.”
Yes, that’s a US Senator un-ironically declaring Read more
In February the US Supreme Court will hear the case of the Bladensburg Peace Cross, a near-century old war memorial in Maryland that anti-religious groups claim is an illegal endorsement of religion.
The Cross was ruled “unconstitutional” by the Fourth Circuit, and that is how the case approaches the Supreme Court.
Many have spoken out in defense of the memorial, which might explain why one group that filed a brief in support of the cross went unnoticed.
A group of retired flag officers are asking the Court (PDF) to “correct the court of appeals’ stilted view of the First Amendment” and defend the cross. Those officers include:
This year issues of military religious freedom have boiled to the surface in two primary ways: free exercise and public expression.
For example, in its “top ten” list for 2018, The Baptist Joint Committee, a left-leaning group on religious liberty issues, highlighted the Masterpiece Cakeshop at #8 and the Bladensburg Peace Cross at #7. Similarly, Howard Friedman at the Religion Clause put Masterpiece Cakeshop at #1. The resolution of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, which is arguably still ongoing, is directly related to the military: The case will ultimately Read more