Category Archives: Government and Religion

Enabling the Warfighter in the Name of Islam

Though it is surprising to see the military suggest a connection between religion and the warfighter, it did precisely that when it highlighted US Islamic government civilians who are supporting the military’s efforts at war.

Azza Meshal. Dr. Rony Shahidain. Muhammad Mizan. Three American-Muslim engineers supporting U.S. Army to equip the Soldier with the capabilities he needs to defeat this country’s enemies abroad.

Meshal, who wears the hijab, also noted the response of her government coworkers when she continued to wear the Islamic garb immediately following the terrorist Read more

Beyond Hearts and Minds: US Military and Islam in Afghanistan

The US military notes its continuing efforts to use money and cultural support for Afghans to normalize their lives and their country.  As noted previously, the US military has direct access to government funds to “meet emergency needs of civilians in support of humanitarian operations.”

The article notes that one intentional recipient of such US government funds has been mosques, both in Afghanistan and Iraq.  As noted by a unit Chaplain, Chaplain (Capt) Abraham Sarmiento:

The next project brought buckets of paint, brushes and rolls of carpet in an effort to refurbish two mosques that were still in disrepair from the Soviet occupation.  Read more

US Senator on DADT and the Silent Opposition

The Baptist Press notes a concern that the controversy over the repeal of the policy commonly known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” may be completely avoided until after the November elections, in order to avoid potential backlash on members of Congress from conservative districts.

In a move that would potentially stoke that controversy, one Senator is preparing to offer amendments to the Defense Authorization Act that will address not only the DADT provision, but also that on abortion:

Sen. James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he’s prepared to offer amendments striking the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and pro-abortion language from the bill.

The Senator also supported the growing current of comments indicating members of the military oppose the change but feel unable to express that concern (while those who support it are doing that very thing):

Inhofe said he recently returned from a trip to Iraq in which military personnel expressed to him concern that their voice isn’t being heard. He said personnel told him, “We want to be heard and now we find out that … they’ve already decided how it’s gonna turn out.”

Christians Fear Discrimination over Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

As noted at Fox News, Christians in Memphis reportedly fear they will be the victims of discrimination if an anti-discrimination ordinance is passed.  A local church which made news when it banned a softball team with a homosexual coach is apparently concerned it would be cut off from interaction with government entities, or be subject to sanction, should it continue to support its religious beliefs that oppose homosexual conduct.

Most interesting, however, is the response by the homosexual advocacy group that sponsored the bill to the church’s concern:

[Jonathan] Cole [of the Tennessee Equality Project] stressed that his group is willing to make some concessions and perhaps offer churches an exemption from the proposed law.

“We’re willing to start somewhere by giving them an exemption,” he said. “At least for the time being.”

For the time being?”

Military Christians Wonder About Voting with Their Feet

A few months ago Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen told reporters

if there is either policy direction that someone in uniform disagrees with…and you feel so strongly about it — you know, the answer is not advocacy; it is in fact to vote with your feet.

The New York Times is reporting that those who oppose service by open homosexuals are beginning to wonder just how they can do that.  Unlike General Mixon, the impetus of Mullen’s commentary, most servicemembers cannot simply resign.  Many, even Read more

Military Paper: Religious Coercion vs Religious Expression

On the continuing theme of military papers discussing religion in the military comes Lt Col Jimmy M. Browning’s “Religious Expression or Religious Coercion: Commanders Caught in the Crossfire.”  LtCol Browning, a Colonel-select, was an Air War College student when he published the paper in February of this year.  He is also a USAF Chaplain.

The paper brings an interesting perspective to the “conflict” between those who believe in a right to religious expression and those who believe religious expression is de facto coercion in a military environment:

[The] Military Religion [sic] Freedom Foundation (MRFF) is one group that describes itself as a watchdog against religious coercion…These groups are especially leery of evangelical Read more

Charges Against Protesting Homosexual Soldier Dropped

The Associated Press reported that charges against US Army Lt Dan Choi and former Captain James Pietrangelo had been dropped.  The charges were failure to obey police after they chained themselves, in Army uniforms, to the perimeter fence at the White House.

Prosecutor Christine Chang declined to comment on why the government dropped the case.  Choi said he believes Obama administration officials didn’t want to draw attention to the policy.

While Pietrangelo would have to be recalled to active duty to face charges from the military, there are no public indications that Choi, who remains in the Army, will be charged for his political protest while wearing a uniform.

Choi had previously indicated his plans to subpoena the President.

Army Looks at Alternative, Spiritual Medicines

According to a recent official news release, the US Army is researching “alternative treatments to medication” in its efforts to compose a “comprehensive pain-management strategy” including acupuncture, meditation, yoga, and biofeedback.

The first three of those have some form of spiritual or ethereal undertones, almost exclusively from eastern religious traditions.  The proposals, as discussed by Army surgeon general Lt. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker, are an attempt to reduce the reliance on medication for every complaint.

Of course, religious faith does play a role in many aspects of life, including both physical and emotional healing.  Campus Crusade’s military ministry (see Links) has invested considerable energy in creating faith-based resources for returning servicemembers struggling with PTSD.

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