Category Archives: Government and Religion

Mother of Fallen Soldier at White House Iftar

President Barack Obama hosted an iftar at the White House Tuesday night, celebrating the end of Ramadan.  Among the guests were Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Navy Chaplain (Lt. Cmdr.) Abuhena Saifulislam, the second Islamic Chaplain in the US Navy, and Elsheba Khan, whose 20-year-old son, Army Spc. Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, was killed in Iraq on 6 August 2007.

Chaplain Saif, a Bangladeshi immigrant, was one of two Chaplains Read more

Commander Relies on Daily Prayer

President Obama recently noted the importance of prayer in his life, saying that he “prays all the time now.”  He made the statement in an interview for Nightline.

President Obama says he starts his day with a devotional that the director of his Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships initiative, Pentecostal pastor Joshua DuBois, sends to his BlackBerry each day.

The Commander in Chief also said “I’ve got a lot of stuff on my plate and I need guidance all the time.”  Like his military subordinates, Obama enjoys the liberties of free exercise guaranteed by the Constitution, as well as the freedom to let his exercise be known.

To date, there have been no significant complaints that Obama’s statements about religion or prayer have unduly influenced or discriminated against his subordinates.  (By contrast, some military officers were the subjects of complaints a few years ago for merely mentioning the biographical fact that they were Christians.)

Memorial Day 2009: Obama Calls for Day of Prayer

President Barack Obama signed a proclamation (pdf) for Memorial Day calling on Americans to remember the sacrifices of their servicmen and women, and to unite in prayer.  US law calls on the President to declare each Memorial Day as a “day of prayer for permanent peace” and designate a time for the country to unite in prayer.  A separate law designates 1500 local time as the “National Moment of Remembrance.”

From the proclamation Read more

“God of Wonders” in Orbit and Afghanistan

Traditionally, Space Shuttle crews in orbit receive a musical “wake up call” at the end of their “sleep cycle” (“night” occurs every 90 minutes or so).  From the NASA website:

Wakeup calls are a long-standing tradition of the NASA program. Each day during the mission, flight controllers in the Mission Control Center will greet the crew with an appropriate musical interlude.  

Apparently, the music is chosen based on requests by the crew or their families.  This morning, the Atlantis crew awoke to “God of Wonders,” as performed by members of Third Day and Caedmon’s Call on the City on a Hill album, for astronaut Michael Good.  This morning’s transmission can be heard on NASA’s site.  After the song was played, Astronaut Mike Good said he looked forward to a productive day that would “bring glory to the Lord of all creation.”  From the transmission Read more

National Day of Prayer, 7 May 09

Updated: Obama’s proclamation can be read here.  Text below the fold. 

This year’s National Day of Prayer is Thursday, 7 May 2009.  As discussed every year at about this time, the President proclaims a National Day of Prayer on the first Thursday in May in accordance with Public Law 100-307 (history).

Much ado was made of President Obama’s failure thus far to make the proclamation, in addition to questions that circulated over whether he would continue the tradition of hosting an observance at the White House.  (Former proclamations by President Bush, which normally preceded the day by several weeks, have been removed from the White House website.) It has now been reported that Obama will make the proclamation, as required by law, but not host a White House observance of the day.

Last year Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation threatened to add military associations with the National Day of Prayer task force (a private group) to his DoD lawsuit, though he never followed through on his threat. Read more

Book Review: Stories from a Soldier’s Heart

Alice Gray and Chuck Holton
Multnomah Publishers, Sisters, Oregon, 2003.
Topic: Inspirational

Excellent collection of military stories, most in the first person, with a Christian perspective.

Recommended for those who enjoy inspirational military vignettes. Not specifically geared for fighter pilots.

This book is available from Amazon.


President’s Veterans’ Day Message, 2008

Veterans’ Day (in America, Armistice Day to the rest of the world) is designated as a time to honor those who have served and currently serve in the Armed Forces.  America’s military men and women sacrifice their families, liberties, and even their lives in defense of the liberties of others–even those with whom they may disagree.

From President Bush’s annual proclamation:

Our country is forever indebted to our veterans for their quiet courage and exemplary service. We also remember and honor those who laid down their lives in freedom’s defense. These brave men and women made the ultimate sacrifice for our benefit. On Veterans Day, we remember these heroes for their valor, their loyalty, and their dedication. Their selfless sacrifices continue to inspire us today as we work to advance peace and extend freedom around the world.

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