Category Archives: Government and Religion

USAFA Pagan Circle has Christian History

A blog by a USAFA cadet reaffirms prior comments that the new pagan circle at the US Air Force Academy is in an area frequented for other purposes, and even has a unique spiritual history.

The area is collectively referred to as the “LZ,” and the clearing has been used–for years–as a station on the hill for which to conduct “training” for fourth class cadets.  The author of Wonderings and Wanderings has a post on the 14th of January that says his squadron used the LZ for training–3 days before the “cross incident” occurred (which, incidentally, was also a long weekend).  At the time, no one knew Read more

Group Calls for Air Force Academy Congressional Investigation

A group recently called for Congress to “probe” the US Air Force Academy after allegations of religious “insensitivity”—but not likely the insensitivity of which most immediately think.  After years of criticism that USAFA has favored Christianity, and in the wake of news that a cross had been found at the newly created pagan circle at the Academy, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is calling for a probe to investigate “insensitivity to Christians” at the US Air Force Academy.

Catholic League President Bill Donohue decried the military’s characterization of the cross incident at the pagan circle–in which two railroad ties were picked up and laid against a rock–which Academy Superintendent LtGen Michael Gould seemed Read more

US Air Force Supports Super Bowl XLIV

As the excitement builds in the minutes before the Super Bowl kickoff, four Air National Guard F-15 Eagle fighter jets will scream over Miami’s Sun Life Stadium in a dramatic show of military support for the big game.

The US Air Force supported Super Bowl XLIV in several ways:  Not only the flyby by ANG F-15s as the National Anthem completed, but also airborne fighters in protective patrols in the skies overhead.  Other military support included the Armed Forces Color Guard that presented the Colors prior to the game.

Besides the obvious need for security, the military support–particularly the flyby–is both an inspirational patriotic event and a recruiting tool.  The military participation certainly isn’t an endorsement of either the Super Bowl, its sponsors, or either Read more

Cross Found at USAFA Pagan Circle

This incident has been so mis-reported that it was initially just ignored; however, when General Gould published a statement agreeing that this incident has been “sensationalized,” he gave credence to the view that this situation is being grossly mischaracterized, and that people are inappropriately using it for their personal advancement.  An analysis thus follows…

Despite the positive hullabaloo over the US Air Force Academy pagan circle, Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation has now denounced the placement of a cross at the site, an act that occurred before the recent positive press reports.  Though the incident took place several weeks ago, the MRFF appeared to time the press release to counter the recent spate of “good news” about religious tolerance at USAFA.

For the record, it should go without saying that Read more

US Marines Bring Memorial Cross Home

As US forces continue to draw down their equipment and leave Iraq, there are some unique items that troops are having to deal with.

As bases were built and initial combat conducted, a variety of memorials began to surface as units looked for ways to remember the fallen.  Some bases have T-barriers painted with murals, and others have entire walls covered with the names of those who paid the ultimate price at their nation’s call.

PFC Oscar Martinez is one such Marine.  He was killed in a rocket attack on Camp Al Taqaddum in Iraq in 2004.  His unit made a 3 foot tall aluminum cross and placed it on the base in his memory–nearly six years ago.

USMC Photo (Cpl Bobbie Curtis)

USMC Photo (Cpl Bobbie Curtis)

Now that bases are closing and being turned over to the Iraqis, Read more

Soldiers Learn Biblical History in Iraq

Many US military members have taken advantage of their unique access to Biblical history while they have been deployed to Iraq.  A recent US Army article reports on the visit by some US Soldiers to a traditional resting place of Abraham.  As with some other visits, a proactive Chaplain helped the Soldiers understand the history of the location.

[Chaplain] Capt. Michael T. Lanigan…has studied the Bible and the history of the site.

“Abraham’s oasis was one of the few stopping points that … according to the oral tradition of the Bedouins, was where Abraham and his family stopped before going on to Canaan, which is Jerusalem, the promised land, where God had called him,” said Lanigan…

The Soldiers recognize Read more

MRFF Activist to Speak at US Air Force Academy

The Colorado Springs Gazette reports that Michael Weinstein has been invited to the US Air Force Academy’s 2010 National Character and Leadership Symposium occurring on February 18th and 19th.  According to the article, he was invited by USAFA Superintendent LtGen Mike Gould:

[Gould] said he believes Weinstein and his organization have received a “bad rap” from some outside observers.

“He’s not anti-religious, anti-Christian or anti-anything,” Gould said. “He’s pro-respect. From my perspective, I’d like to give him the opportunity to make those points.”

Gould’s characterization of Weinstein (which is the second time he has complimented him) is perplexing.  Gould himself has been the target of Jeff Sharlet, a proxy for the MRFF who has worked with MRFF researcher Chris Rodda.  While Gould may feel he can take the wind from Weinstein’s sails by making him an ally, he may do so at the cost of his own credibility.

When asked to characterize his speech, a “pro-respect” speaker would have described his upcoming presentation as

“Your personal rights do not supersede the Constitutional rights of others.”

That’s a message that is fitting for such an audience.  Instead, in the same Gazette article, the not “anti-Christian or anti-anything” Weinstein characterized his message this way:  Read more

US Air Force Academy Adds Pagan Chapel

The US Air Force Academy cadet chapel is expanding to the outdoors.  Along with its Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and Buddhist chapel areas, the cadet chapel will now officially include a “pagan circle” located on a hill just above the chapel grounds.

The Academy pagan group is led by USAF TSgt Brandon Longcrier, an NCO who works in the astronautics lab within the academic faculty.  Longcrier was effusive in his praise of the Academy and the Chaplains in their support for his efforts, which included pagan rituals for Basic Cadet trainees over the summer.

“There really haven’t been any obstacles for the new circle,” he said. “The chaplain’s office has been 100-percent supportive.”

According to Longcrier, the pagans meet during each Monday night (chapel-sponsored SPIRE meets that night).

It would appear that those who claim the US military is officially “Christian” are losing any vestiges of evidence to support their claim.

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