Category Archives: Government and Religion

Gen Gould Recalls First Year, Quiet Solutions

An article summarizing USAFA Superintendent LtGen Gould’s first year at the helm contained an interesting anecdote about a cadet “proselytized” by a Chaplain last summer:  

Diversity and a culture of respect go hand-in-hand, General Gould said, adding that he is pleased with the culture of respect that has developed at the Academy in recent years. He recalled the story of a basic cadet from the Class of 2013 who complained of having been proselytized when the cadet went to see a chaplain.  Read more

Army Considers Anonymous DADT Forum

According to the Associated Press, the Army is considering standing up a forum that would allow

soldiers to anonymously express their opinions about the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gay troops.

It is unclear how this would be different from the one already established by the DoD, unless its objective truly was to gather opinions on the policy, rather than the implementation of its repeal.  The latter is the stated objective of the DoD page.

Religion and the Military in Pictures

The first set of pictures documenting religion and its place in the US military is now up on the Resources page.  Chaplains are shown “in action,” alongside the servicemembers with whom they serve everyday.

Many seem to be surprised by the presence of men and women of faith in the US military, and the fact that they can (and do) express that faith.  These pictures and those to come — all of which are publicly available — will show that faith has a fitting and integral role in many lives in the military.

Franklin Graham Prays at Pentagon

As promised, Franklin Graham prayed outside of the Pentagon yesterday before joining other National Day of Prayer events in the Capitol area.

At least one organization that opposed Graham’s invitation applauded the “religious freedom” that allowed Graham to pray on the sidewalk:

Rev. Franklin Graham may not have had all the bunting and military brass of an official Pentagon event backing him, but he managed to pray today anyway, and in what I consider a more suitable venue: impromptu on the sidewalk. There, any American of any faith can pray, without needing an invitation, without appearing to speak for the government, and without compromising their prophetic voice. Religious freedom is alive and well in America.

They are not the only ones to presume that Graham’s presence would be “speaking for the government,” and they are also not the only ones to forget the “religious freedom” of the men and women in the military Read more

MRFF Tangles with the Rules. Again.

Michael Weinstein’s MRFF has again demonstrated its tendency to hold others to a standard to which it does not hold itself.  It previously exhibited such behavior with its loose honoring of copyright, and also when it distributed letter from a member of the military, and of the MRFF, that was derogatory to military leadership.

This time, the MRFF (specifically, Bekki Miller) posted an email on their website written by Dustin Chalker (the plaintiff in the abandoned MRFF lawsuit).  His email was in response Read more

DoD Announces DADT Inbox

The Department of Defense has launched a site at which military members and their families are free to anonymously submit comments about the impact of a repeal of DADT.

Notably, though, the site requires a CAC, or Common Access Card, which family members do not have, and which leaves a traceable signature at authentication.

The site is reportedly at http://www.defense.gov/dadt, though it appears to have been inaccessible since its announcement.  [Update: The website appears to be inaccessible from civilian servers.]  Stars and Stripes reports that

DOD spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said the department is seeking feedback on how a repeal would affect things such as retention, readiness and unit cohesion.

“It’s not whether or not we should repeal,” she said…

The DOD is still working on a method that would allow gay servicemembers to communicate their thoughts, ideas and experiences in a confidential manner, she said.

Franklin Graham to Pray at Pentagon

Despite being “disinvited” from the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer events, Franklin Graham has said he will still go to the Pentagon to pray.

If President Obama fails to intervene to allow controversial evangelist Franklin Graham to lead a National Day of Prayer event Thursday inside the Pentagon, “it will be a slap in the face of all Christians,” Graham said Tuesday.

And invited or not, he’ll stand in front of the Pentagon and pray, Graham said in an interview… 

Graham says after he prays at the Pentagon, he’ll join the [NDoP] group on Capitol Hill.

Thirty-six members of Congress have reportedly taken the military to task over the treatment of Graham.

Groups: Servicemembers “Silenced” over DADT

A report from CNS News says that military Chaplains and servicemembers are being “muzzled” with respect to their views on DADT:

Arthur Schultz [sic, Schulcz], a former Army chaplain who now is legal counsel to the National Conference of Evangelical Chaplain Endorsers, told reporters that servicemen overseas have been told not to speak in support of DADT.

“One of the chaplains…spoke to me, who recently came back from overseas from a major command, and he said that the word is out to chaplains: don’t speak about this and particularly, don’t raise issues about why you can’t support it,” [Schulcz] told reporters. “And so that’s the unofficial, ‘official’ language to say, ‘Keep your mouth shut, or else.'”

Tony Perkins, the disinvited former Marine and president of the Family Research Council, supported that assessment and said “many” on active duty also oppose Read more

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