Category Archives: Government and Religion

Shahzad Admits Terrorism, Calls Himself Muslim Soldier

Faisal Shahzad, the man accused of leaving a failed car bomb in New York Times Square, admitted his role in the plot — and did so defiantly.  He said it was an act of vengeance for the actions of Americans:

[Faisal] Shahzad told US District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum he was “a Muslim soldier” avenging the deaths of Muslims killed by Americans overseas, and that he didn’t care that his bomb could have killed children.

Interestingly, Shahzad did not say it was America’s Christianity, or the religiosity of its military, that brought about about his act of violence, as some might have claimed.  It was he who viewed it as a religious conflict, even if his adversaries did not.

Gazette Chronicles Weinstein Method

The Colorado Springs Gazette, which is local to the US Air Force Academy, had a short article on Michael Weinstein that seems to show Weinstein warming to the USAF Academy view on religion.  What was interesting was the Gazette‘s summation of Weinstein’s method:

The broad outlines of Weinstein’s approach: Condemn in the strongest language possible. Publicly embarrass. Sue if necessary. Each new step raises the pressure on his publicity-averse targets.

Criticize.  Humiliate.  Intimidate and threaten.  This has long been Weinstein’s approach; it enables him to circumvent the policy-making processes, as well as the policies themselves, by coercing a public official to accept his demands.  His intimidation and threats Read more

General Amos Chosen for Views on DADT?

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

MAAF Supports Religious Restrictions for DADT Repeal

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

Weinstein Threatens Another Suit Over Military Symbols

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

Christian Fighter Pilot to Lead US Marine Corps

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

Military Paper: Religious Free Zone vs Religious Education

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

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