The newest American Religious Freedom Ambassador is Kansas Governor Sam Brownback:
The chamber voted 50–49—calling on Vice President Mike Pence to break a tie vote for the second time that day—to install Brownback in the vacant State Department position, which monitors persecution and discrimination on a global scale through the Office of International Religious Freedom (IRF).
The at-large ambassadorship was created in 1998, though Read more
In a surprisingly underreported story, an Air Force nurse at Whiteman AFB, MO, made the news when someone posted a copy of a sign posted at the women’s health clinic indicating her refusal to prescribe contraceptives:
For religious reasons and the health of women, I do not prescribe Read more
Cries by the homosexual movement that their behavior is normal, mainstreamed, and commonly accepted are constantly undermined by the unsettling and undue attention paid to homosexuality — like the press coverage of the “marriage” that occurred between two male US Army Soldiers at West Point earlier this month. As reported by the Associated Press:
Two Army captains who met at West Point returned there to be married, in what is believed to be the first same-sex marriage of active-duty personnel at the storied New York military academy.
One of the two, Capt Vincent Franchino, is cited in a New York Times version of the article indicating his belief that violating military policies by lying is “better” than Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s “charity,” the MRFF, recently published a bit of fan-mail from a person excoriating President Trump’s Tuesday proclamation of Religious Freedom Day.
And even Weinstein’s own research assistant, Chris Rodda, probably grimaced.
The letter, written by a “30-year Active Duty Air Force Officer”, lambasts Trump’s proclamation, claiming it is a “dog whistle of Fundamentalist Christian Dominionism.” As proof [formatting original]:
To understand his real declaratory intent, we need only look at his last paragraph in which he says, “I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen…”
…[Trump] ENLARGES the views of those that see 2018 as ‘The Year of Our Lord,’ i.e., Christians only.
Longevity in the military is clearly no guarantor of intellectual acuity.
As anyone with an elementary education and an internet connection could tell you, the Read more
The Freedom From Religion Foundation and American Atheists sent a letter (PDF) yesterday to Secretary of Defense James Mattis calling on him to act to end “coerced religious observances” within the military. Alison Gill and Rebecca Markert write that
The complainants allege, among other things, that facility organizers regularly include scheduled prayer in graduation ceremonies, cadets who opt not to attend worship services on Sundays are instead given menial tasks to perform, and instructors regularly lead recruits in prayers prior to administering tests.
The letter provides no examples. It appears to Read more
Each year since 1993 the President has declared January 16th to be “Religious Freedom Day,” in order to remember the passage of Thomas Jefferson’s 1786 Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. President Trump has not yet released his proclamation.
Update: From President Trump’s proclamation [emphasis added]:
Our Constitution and laws guarantee Americans the right not just to believe as they see fit, but to freely exercise their religion. Unfortunately, not all have recognized the importance of religious freedom, whether by threatening tax consequences for particular forms of religious speech, or forcing people to comply with laws that violate their core religious beliefs without sufficient justification. These incursions, little by little, can destroy the fundamental freedom underlying our democracy…No American — whether a nun, nurse, baker, or business owner — should be forced to choose between the tenets of faith or adherence to the law.
Jefferson’s statute continues to be a strong expression for the value of religious liberty even today. Though the statute has been discussed in many places and in great depth, there are two important points to take from the statute. First, Read more
The Walk of Heroes Veterans War Memorial in Rockdale County, Georgia, was vandalized in December. A plaque, two statues, and the globe they held, all made from bronze, were ripped from the site. Three people have been arrested.
At this point, there’s no immediate indication the vandalism was connected to the nationwide purge of “racially offensive” monuments. One source estimated the cost of repairs at more than $200,000.
Another question, however, is whether the monument, repaired or not, will survive the newfound fury of atheists.
Atheist Jason Torpy and others like him have been on a crusade Read more
Kori Schake is a fellow at Stanford University and co-edited a book with now-Secretary of Defense James Mattis. (She also called then-candidate Donald Trump a “unique risk to US national security“.) In an article about the politicization of the deaths of US troops, she notes the US military is increasingly seen as a means to a sociopolitical end:
Research…points to a growing belief the military is fair game to mine for partisan talking points because of its place as America’s most trusted institution.
That’s something the homosexual movement discovered a few years ago, as they claimed an American service member who was willing to serve and potentially sacrifice his life for his country should, in return, have his preferred sexual lifestyle permitted, validated, and even honored. The homosexual Read more