Military members are free to participate in the religious acts that they choose. At times, the military even encourages its servicemembers to learn more about religion. Such experiences may include observing or even participating in religious events.
In India recently, US soldiers engaged in a joint exercise took the opportunity to participate in yoga. Far from the more fitness-oriented experience in America, yoga is commonly associated with eastern religions practiced in India (where it is believed to have originated).
The benefits of cultural tolerance and understanding is Read more
Afghans recently protested an alleged incident in which ‘foreign soldiers’ burned a Quran during a raid. NATO and US force representatives denied that any such incident occurred, instead calling it a Taliban rumor.
Perhaps more interesting were the actions the protestors took. While a few Americans claim that US actions are convincing the Muslim world that Americans are on a Christian ‘crusade,’ the protestors repeated the more common accusation: Read more
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
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
The White House announced that President Obama observed the
auspicious holiday of Diwali, or festival of lights, in the East Room of the White House.
making him the first US President to do so. Diwali is reportedly
a major pan-Indian festival celebrated around the day of the new moon in October-November.
Obama lit and bowed to a ceremonial Diwali lamp.
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
President Obama recently marked both Eid-ul-Fitr, the Islamic celebration of the end of Ramadan, and Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
From his message on the Eid: Read more
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.
It was tradition. It was fitting. It was right.
If you believe some people, though, it was also illegal. Read more