As more organizations and commenters discuss the supposed recommendation by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to nominate General James Amos as the next Commandant of the Marine Corps, there is speculation that his views on “Don’t ask, don’t tell” played a role. The current Commandant, General James Conway, was the most forcefully outspoken against the repeal of DADT among the Service Chiefs.
The speculation appears to attempt to explain why Amos, an aviator who would head the Marines during what is largely a ground war, was chosen over the “leading contender,” Read more
Many voices supporting the “repeal” of the policy and laws collectively referred to as “don’t ask, don’t tell” have dismissed claims from religious groups and military Chaplains about impingement on religious liberty. The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, which supports the repeal, disagrees. They not only believe the repeal will result in the restriction of religious freedom, they welcome it: Read more
Previous articles have noted Michael Weinstein’s biased complaint about a red cross on the emblem of a military hospital in Fort Carson.
As reported by the Colorado Springs Gazette, Weinstein apparently had a personal audience with Fort Carson post commander MajGen David Perkins recently. Weinstein indicated the General basically told him to pound sand, though the military only confirmed Read more
A variety of news sources are reporting that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will submit the name of current Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps General James Amos as the next Commandant of the Marine Corps. Interestingly, Amos’ appointment would break Marine Corps tradition because he is a fighter pilot (much like the appointment of General Norton Schwartz — a cargo pilot — broke the Air Force tradition of fighter and bomber pilots).
General James Amos is also a Christian.
In 2009, Gen Amos was one of several speakers at the Capitol Hill celebration of the National Day of Prayer. In his remarks he was unequivocal about his faith and the power of prayer in his military life: Read more
Previous discussions have highlighted research papers from Professional Military Education (PME) courses that have addressed topics of religion in the military. Again, as noted at the time, these papers are the result of an academic course of study and do not reflect official positions or policies. The fact that religion in the military is coming up so frequently as a topic, however, does say something about the current culture.
Yet another example of this trend is the paper “Constructing Religious Empathy in the US Military” (pdf) by USAF Major Jess Drab; the paper was written for the US Air Force’s Air Command and Staff College in 2008.
In the paper, Drab argues that while some believe religion in the military should Read more
Afghan nationals recently enjoyed their exercise of free speech when they burned the Pope in effigy. Apparently, the Pope (whose effigy had green shirt and tie with jean shorts, and who had to be identified to the press) is somehow responsible for the actions of the two aid groups recently accused of proselytizing.
As asinine as their accusations are, they are certainly free to make them, with at least some thanks to US and NATO forces that have helped secure their country. (Arguably, the Taliban may have also permitted, or even required, such an anti-US rally.) The disturbing part is the Afghan’s total lack of comprehension of religious freedom:
“We are demonstrating to express our disgust towards the activities of Christians trying to covert Afghans,” student Abdul Karim told AFP.
“We want the government of Afghanistan to find those people, try them and punish them. We want both the converted and those who have converted them to be brought to justice and punished,” he said. (emphasis added)
And yes, American military forces are supporting a foreign government under which Mr. Karim’s demands are actually actionable.
A moving memorial was held for US Army Major Ronald “Wayne” Culver, killed by an IED in Iraq on May 24th. The Chaplain, a friend of the Major, spoke of his faith and his salvation:
The service continued with the chaplain speaking of the major’s faith and how he knew he would see his friend in heaven. He choked up at the podium and the squadron command sergeant major walked across the stage to support him. The room was deathly silent, save for the sound of more than 500 battle-tested Soldiers sniffling.
Prayer and the playing of Amazing Grace on bagpipes, another military memorial tradition with spiritual undertones, was Read more
Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has a long commentary on the proposed “repeal” of the policy best known as “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” His position is fairly clear:
Make no mistake: The repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy will present a clear and present threat to the religious liberty of those who wear the American uniform, and especially to those who serve as chaplains.
Unless something alters the political context, the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is about to become history, and the U.S. military is about to be changed forever. The summer of 2010 may well turn out to be a watershed season in this nation’s life and history. Is anyone paying attention?
Chuck Colson, a noted Christian leader and author, has also made a similar argument. See the prior commentaries from Archbishop Timothy Broglio and Richard Land.