Category Archives: Government and Religion

Letter Inspires Responses: God’s Role in Combat

A letter to the editor at the Stars and Stripes complained of offense when the paper quoted a soldier apparently expressing a belief in God (discussed here). The “non-believer’s” letter spawned a spate of responses.

Three responses directly addressed the original letter writer’s question.  The first attempted to explain the sovereignty of God by pitting free will versus God’s will, a complicated subject at best for the opinion section of a newspaper.  A second letter also taught a theological lesson, as well as bluntly communicating a Christian message.

The third addressed a more basic concept in the original letter, noting that God has allowed many to die–and live–when man cannot comprehend why.  The first sergeant makes an astute observation about the self-contradiction of the initial complaint:  Read more

Academy Hosts ‘Religious Warrior Weekend’

The US Military Academy at West Point recently hosted civilian college students and fellow military academy cadets at its annual religious Warrior Weekend at the cadet chapel.  Designed to give the civilians a sense of their religious military heritage, it also gave the military cadets the opportunity to “immerse” themselves in their culture.

The event, described below, is an admirable effort by cadets and officers to do two important things: convey to civilians that their faith is not inconsistent with military service; and remind military cadets of the depth of Read more

A Day which Will Live in Infamy

December 7, 2009, marks 68 years since the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor that propelled the United States into what was already the second World War.  While Remembrance Day is an annual event (see the Presidential declaration), memories of Pearl Harbor have been more vivid since what some have implied was the 21st Century Pearl Harbor: the terrorist attack on the US on 11 September 2001.

Many recognize the opening line and a choice phrase or two, but Read more

NASA Broadcasts MercyMe, Newsboys

Ever since Madalyn Murray O’Hair of the American Atheists sued NASA in 1969, the relationship between the space agency and all things religious has been interesting.  Even forty years later, as noted here, American Atheists complained about NASA allowing Astronaut Patrick Forrester to carry a piece of Nate Saint’s airplane with him into space.

Still, NASA hasn’t shied away from all things religious.  A previous article noted that God of Wonders has been one of the more popular “wake-up songs” broadcast to the shuttle crew in space.  (Each crewman’s family can pick a song as the wake-up call for the start of each day.)  The most recent trip (STS-129) just ended, with space shuttle Atlantis returning to Earth just after Thanksgiving.  During the mission, the shuttle heard MercyMe’s I Can Only Imagine, the Newsboys’ In Wonder, and Bob Carlisle’s Butterfly Kisses, among several other songs for the crew.  Read more

Sikhs Celebrate at White House

The White House blog details the Sikh celebration of the “540th anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji” that took place on November 13th.  President Obama did not attend (he was on the first leg of his Asia trip), and it does not appear he made a statement on the celebration.

The White House notes that this is the first Sikh celebration to occur in the White House.  It is not, however, the first time this event has been recognized Read more

Military Supports All Faiths, and Those with None

Despite the occasional accusation to the contrary, the US military is not a bastion of conspiratorial theocrats.  As is routinely shown even on this site, the Chaplains of the US military go beyond the call in their efforts to support all military members, no matter what religion (if any), and often no matter what nationality.

At Keesler Air Force Base, Chaplain (Capt.) Charles Mallory recently had an opportunity to organize a new group to discuss issues of belief.  The Chaplain was approached by an enlisted Airman about starting a discussion group that would ultimately be called “The Query of Orthodoxy,” designed to give  Read more

Muslims, as All Americans, Should Continue to Serve

Groups and individuals (and there are several) who have recently proposed banning Muslims from serving in the US military as a result of the Fort Hood massacre are demonstrating naivete and an incorrect understanding of both the military and the US Constitution.

No American citizen should be prohibited from any government role, including military service, purely because of his religious beliefs.

Besides being ludicrous on its face, the enforcement of such a religious ban Read more

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