The presence of a link on a Fire Department Chaplain’s web page caused a local citizen, Ken Fagan, to complain that a “taxpayer supported website should not have links to religious groups.” The website is the page of Pastor Jack Martin, and is part of the Spring Hill Fire Department’s official site.
While Fagan is entitled to his opinion, it is unsupported by fact. The complaint reportedly caused the temporary removal of the link. It was said to be restored, though the site in its current form appears to be virtually devoid of external links. The site also now has numerous statements about how it is intended to be for “all citizens” and not in support of any particular faith tradition. Even the Chaplain’s biography, which naturally describes his theological background, is qualified with a statement saying it is not intended to promote a specific faith.
The concept of religious freedom, as protected by the US Constitution, was never intended to proscribe all persons in public service from ever mentioning religion or Read more
Retired Brig. Gen. Charles Duke Jr, an Apollo astronaut and the 10th man to walk on the moon, was invited to speak at the US Air Force Academy prayer luncheon on February 9th. He spoke on “America’s Godly Heritage,” and noted that he and his wife redirected their energy “toward God.” He is now president of the Duke Ministry for Christ.
In his remarks, General Duke also highlighted the nation’s religious heritage:
“From the beginning, we were a Godly nation. We were conceived as a religious nation with freedom of religion but not free from God,” he said.
He cited the Mayflower Compact written in the 1600s Read more
Katie Drummond writes an article for AOL News that is essentially a fluff piece on the advocacy of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, as virtually every example in the article is an MRFF talking point.
The most recent “issue” is the participation of military base Chaplains with Focus on the Family, which has reportedly simulcast various resources, including its landmark Truth Project, to military bases. (Drummond calls FotF’s relationship with the military “lucrative,” without explaining the basis for her belief of financial involvement.) When explaining his opinion that these “voluntary” religious events aren’t really voluntary, Michael Weinstein Read more
An official Army.mil article introduces Army Spc Mikail Lawal, a Muslim soldier (pictured below, reading the Koran) who is living out his faith and considering a career as a Chaplain.
DoD Photo (Sgt Ben Hutto)
His current job is essentially a customer service representative at a FOB in Iraq, making sure passengers get on the correct helicopter. He goes out of his way to be respectful and helpful, a spirit attributed to his “deep faith in Islam.”
In explaining why he wanted to become a Chaplain, Read more
In an interesting turn of events, Lt Dan Choi, a widely-known homosexual US Army National Guard soldier facing discharge, and former Capt Jim Pietrangelo, who was reportedly discharged in 2004 for being homosexual, handcuffed themselves to the White House perimeter fence on Thursday. Both were in uniform, Read more
Chuck Holton at “Boots on the Ground” happened upon a first-person video capturing the aftermath of an IED attack on US forces in Afghanistan. The candid video shows both the resilience of the military vehicles in which US forces were riding (they were damaged but not destroyed) as well as the resilience of American forces themselves.
Near the end of the 8 minute video, the troops hold a worship service, led by a guitar-playing Chaplain. The makeshift chapel resounds with the voices of those who truly know that God is a God of wonders.
A US Army National Guard Chaplain is under investigation for violating “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” by allegedly “telling” a superior Chaplain that he was gay.
Aris Fokas is a United Church of Christ minister who joined the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in 2003 at the age of 39. Fokas has reportedly denied the disclosure, though he reportedly
declined to say anything about his sexual orientation other than to acknowledge he is single and has never been married.
He noted, too, that the United Church of Christ ordains openly gay and lesbian ministers, a denomination-wide policy since 1980.
In an apparent attempt to defend himself, Fokas says Read more
The US Air Force’s Air University has published Attitudes Aren’t Free: Thinking Deeply about Diversity in the US Armed Forces. It contains a variety of opposing ideas on religion in the US military, homosexuality, race and gender, and social policy.
While the nearly 600 page work will take time to review, it will be interesting to see how (or even if) it is received. It has the potential to be an interesting point of discussion, or perhaps little more than a minor publishing opportunity for some of its authors.
The tome contains articles from Barry Lynn, Gordon Klingenschmitt, Chris Rodda, Jay Sekulow, and Elaine Donnelly, among others. It can be viewed or downloaded as a PDF here. The primary website is DoDPolicy.org.