Category Archives: Government and Religion

Afghan Opposition not Religiously Based

As reported in the Boston Globe, recent US intelligence reports now say that most of those fighting against NATO in Afghanistan are not fighting for religious or ideological goals.  Instead, their objectives are more familiar: power, money, and even a local form of nationalism.

Ninety percent is a tribal, localized insurgency…Ten percent are hardcore ideologues fighting for the Taliban.

Some of the fighters even oppose the Taliban.   Read more

Former President Misses Role of CinC

In a speech to a crowd of 9,000 at a Phil Waldrep ministry event, former President George W. Bush said that he missed being the Commander-in-Chief most of all:

I miss being commander and chief of our military the most. You know you live in an amazing country when we have servicemen that continually volunteer to serve their country in the face of danger. I believe we have an obligation to give our troops all the support they need to accomplish their missions.

He spoke for an hour on faith, patriotism, and his time in office.  In giving his reasons for choosing a portrait of Abraham Lincoln for the Oval Office, Bush said  Read more

Weinstein Sues Chaplain over Prayers

According to a court filing, Michael Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and his wife Bonnie are suing Jim Ammerman and Gordon James Klingenschmitt.  Ammerman is the head of the Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches, which is also named in the suit.  The CFGC was one of Klingenschmitt’s endorsing agencies.  Klingenschmitt is a former US Navy Chaplain who was court-martialed and discharged after he disobeyed orders not to appear in uniform at a protest event.

Weinstein filed the suit due to the allegedly threatening remarks from the defendants.  The accusations against Ammerman in the lawsuit are somewhat vague:

[Ammerman] made speeches and statements attacking Mikey and his family and containing virulent anti-Semitic comments.  He described Mikey as a madman…and said other hurtful and despicable things.

Weinstein seems to say that Ammerman’s comments were offensive, but does not say that they were threatening.  In response to Ammerman’s speeches, Weinstein said he was “undeterred.”  His main concern was that Klingenschmitt was “Ammerman’s…henchman.”

Klingenschmitt publicized an “imprecatory prayer” quoting the Psalms asking God to, among other things, make Weinstein’s “days be few:” Read more

Critics Silent during Medal of Honor Ceremony

President Barack Obama presented the parents of Sergeant First Class Jared Monti with his posthumous Medal of Honor last Thursday.  The official ceremony was attended by government officials, civilians, and military members, including the surviving members of the patrol that engaged in the firefight that took Monti’s life.

The sacrifice that SFC Monti made reflected the greatness of character that embodies the American spirit.  Unfortunately, much of the coverage of Monti’s award focused on the fact that no living military member has received the Medal of Honor during the long-running wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

On the other hand, it was interesting to note where very little attention was given, despite the display of allegedly controversial conduct that occurred–not once, but twice–during the ceremony.  The President, members of Congress, military Generals and leaders, all on national television, were led by a uniformed officer in an overtly religious act.

They prayed.

It was tradition.  It was fitting.  It was right.

If you believe some people, though, it was also illegal.  Read more

Mojave Cross Controversy at the Supreme Court

In 1934, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) erected a cross on a non-descript area of the desert in California as a war memorial.  In 2001, the ACLU filed suit to have it removed. A district court ruled that the primary purpose of the cross was to advance religion; therefore the presence of the cross on government land was unConstitutional.  Currently, the now-steel cross is covered by a wooden box to obscure its shape.

The case will be heard by the Supreme Court on October 7th.

While the ACLU repeatedly claims it is not trying to remove crosses Read more

Atheists Object to Commander’s Blessing

Organizations who oppose religion in public life (including the military) generally dismiss as ‘ludicrous’ the assertions that their goal is to scrub all vestiges of religious expression from government institutions, like the military.

American Atheists recently undermined that defense when they decried President Obama’s use of “God bless you” in his address to school children yesterday.  The logic was particularly disturbing because it is the same as some activists who oppose religious associations in the military– Read more

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