Category Archives: Government and Religion

Airman Uses Career Break to Become a Chaplain

A US Air Force Airman took a unique opportunity — offered by the Air Force — to become a chaplain.

In 2014, the Air Force began offering a limited “career intermission program,” with the intent of allowing Airmen to leave the service for one to three years and a guarantee of a return to their previous position. Part of the logic behind the program was that by giving Airmen a “break” — and potentially letting them see the other side of the fence — they’d be more willing to stay committed to the service for the long haul.

Then-TSgt Travis Barrino saw a different opportunity:

Barrino…always felt a calling to be a pastor. As Read more

A Chance for Mikey Weinstein to Attack Muslims as He Has Christians

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein currently has an opportunity to display something he rarely has to date: principle.

May 15th will be the first day of Ramadan. In honor of that Islamic holy event, a unit of the US military will wish its neighbors Ramadan blessings:

The Star Tribune reports that when [Minnesota Army National Guard] leaders hold their annual training camp next month, they will be displaying a lawn sign with the words “To Our Muslim Neighbors: Blessed Ramadan.”

Every December, Mikey Weinstein argues the presence of displays acknowledging Christmas is illegal, a loathsome constitutional violation, and generally a crime against humanity. On occasion he has said or implied he would cease his hate-filled ravings if said signage was accompanied by a host of other other/non-sectarian symbology or moved to the grounds of the base chapel.

Here’s his chance. Now he can say the same thing with Islam as the target instead of Christianity.

In an effort to show Read more

Transgender Controversy Gnaws at Military Morale, Readiness

While the issue of transgenders in the US military has been at a low simmer for more than a year, it continues to be a source of consternation and angst within the military itself, just as any unresolved policy matter would be. While it seems transgenders would ultimately contribute little in the form of military readiness (some public reports indicate actual transgenders in the military number in the high-two digits), the manner in which to address this demographic continues to substantially draw on senior leader time and every troops’ moral conscience.

In an apparent effort to establish their argument as one beyond Donald Trump, the LGBT community Read more

Fort Campbell Hires New Jewish Leader Amid Controversy

UPDATE: The Jewish Welfare Board’s Jewish Chaplains Council — which works with the military to provide support to Jewish service members — published a notice saying they would wait for the outcome of the investigation but that “Jewish services continue at Fort Campbell.”


Fort Campbell’s public affairs announced the Army post would be welcoming a new Distinctive Religious Group Leader (DRGL) for the Jewish community in May.

The volunteer position, referred to as a Distinctive Religious Group Leader, provides Friday night Shabbat services and holy day observances on post. They are certified by recognized religious organizations, and meet the religious needs of soldiers and their family members that military chaplains cannot meet, Jenkins said.

“Pending certification, Fort Campbell continues to provide a DRGL to its Jewish community,” Jenkins said.

Just a few days ago Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s complaint against Fort Campbell went public, in which his group essentially accused the Fort Campbell chaplains of anti-Semitism in the “firing” of Read more

Fort Campbell Reviews Allegations between Chaplains, Jewish Lay Leader

Various news sites are reporting that Fort Campbell is looking into a complaint by a volunteer Jewish lay leader over being “fired” by the Fort’s chaplains. The Army Times provocatively implied the chaplains were accused of “dismantling on-post programs for Jewish soldiers“:

Jeanette Mize, her husband, Curt, and son, Lawrence, served as lay leaders for Jewish worship on the installation for nearly two decades. On Feb. 28, the three were allegedly fired without cause under the direction of the division chaplain, Col. John Murphy, and his deputy chaplain, Lt. Col. Sean Wead.

Some of the article contain a bit of sensationalism in what may be an effort to “explain” their roles. After all, you can’t fire or “terminate” a volunteer.

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein vaunted his Read more

Army Grants Religious Accommodation for Pagan Beard

Update: Now widely covered at various sites, those they don’t name US Army Soldier Austin Harasti.


The Army Times reports that a Soldier at the 14th Military Police Brigade at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, has been granted a religious accommodation to wear a beard — because he is a “Norse pagan.” From Col Curtis Shroeder’s memo to the 795th Military Police Battalion Soldier [emphasis added]:

“In observance of your Heathen; Norse Pagan faith, you may wear a beard, in accordance with Army uniform and grooming standards for soldiers with approved religious accommodations.”

Interestingly, there is no tenet of “Norse pagan faith” that requires a beard, as a heathen-advocacy site pointed out. As quoted in the article:

According to the Open Halls Project, an advocacy group for heathens serving in the military, the beard is a beloved tradition, but not a requirement.

“There is no religious requirement for beards in Heathenry,” according to a 2017 post about beards. “…We, as Heathens, have no such religious requirement with regards to hair.”

In essence, this is the same as a Christian seeking a waiver for a beard because Jesus had one.  That said, Army policy is to, by default, grant the accommodation so long as Read more

Column: Does the Air Force Encourage Division?

In a column published by the Air Force Times, US Air Force SSgt Preston Haskell called the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen David Goldfein, “wrong.”

Kind of a bold move, but he has an interesting point of view, including this tidbit on whether the Air Force values diversity over unity:

A truly pervasive cultural phenomenon is plaguing our military, and that is one of political correctness. For example, one of my most cherished feelings I have about our military is how integrated and multifaceted we all are. I absolutely love that I work with people from almost every background, race and religion our nation has to offer. So why would the Air Force encourage division?

You are allowed to be proud, and even proclaim that pride, in being black, Latino, homosexual, atheist or transgender, yet I cannot Read more

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