Happy New Year from ChristianFighterPilot.com.
Each year is a unique challenge to a military Christian. Deployment schedules vary, family situations change, new faith challenges arise, and the rules on religious practice and expression in the military change. ChristianFighterPilot.com has attempted to remain a viable and valuable resource for information as varied as “how to become a fighter pilot” and “military Christians and ‘church/state separation.'” Many people have contacted CFP; some were like-minded active duty military, some were ROTC cadets wanting to know how to secure a pilot’s slot, and some were high school students wanting to understand the relationship between Christ and the military profession. Chaplains, Army soldiers in Iraq, and even atheists and opponents to religion in the military have corresponded with and commented on the site. Though small, the presence and ministry of ChristianFighterPilot.com is being felt.
As always, ChristianFighterPilot.com seeks to improve and expand. If you would like to contribute content or commentary, or if you have suggestions for the site or ministry, please feel free to contact CFP, either through the form or email. If you know of others who may be interested in the newsletter, site, or topics, please let them know about the website or forward the newsletter to them.
Each new year brings the traditional resolutions and, regrettably, a new wave of controversies. Weinstein’s lawsuit Read more
An interesting article on CNN.com that comments on US soldiers and their faiths during December–when three faiths have significant religious events: U.S. troops turn to faith amid realities of war.
As noted in a prior post, Michael Weinstein and his Military Religious Freedom Foundation intend to expand their recent lawsuit against the military, intending to impact religion in the military as a whole. The MRFF’s lawsuit against the Air Force Academy was thrown out in 2006. Like the Academy suit, the recent lawsuit is based on an individual event, but Weinstein intends to similarly use it to (in his words) Read more
Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation is again focused on Campus Crusade for Christ. CCC is the parent organization of Christian Embassy, which was the impetus for an Inspector General investigation earlier this year that found officers unlawfully supported the organization.
Weinstein’s latest accusations–which he contends will be integrated into his ongoing lawsuit against an Army Major and the Secretary of Defense–revolve around the concept of “government-paid missionaries,” a term sometimes used in reference to Campus Crusade military members. Read more
(Updated 31 Dec 07)
As government officers and followers of Christ, military Christians have a uniquely personal interaction with the sometimes controversial relationship between church and state. Even something as simple as saying “Merry Christmas” (see earlier post) can require consideration unthinkable in the civilian world. For each situation, Christians should stand by their beliefs; however, they need not do so polemically. For an interesting case study, consider some of the recent controversies (and responses) over Christmas displays:
Towns across the country have chosen to place nativity scenes, Christmas trees, and Menorahs on government property. When lawsuits and other attempts to remove them have failed, opposing groups have “joined” what they could not “beat”–they’ve put up their own displays. Read more
As reported in the local paper, Clemson University (a state run school) is in “correspondence” with the ACLU over head football Coach Tommy Bowden’s annual “Church Day,” in which the team visits a church every year. The ACLU contends that Bowden was violating the separation of church and state by his actions, stating he had
abused his authority as Clemson University’s head football coach by imposing his strong personal religious beliefs upon student-athletes under his charge.
The University investigated and determined that the function would be allowed to continue, as it is on a voluntary basis.
Why should a military Christian care? The ACLU Read more
Michael Yon regularly writes personal experience articles for FoxNews, and did so recently when he saw an Iraqi Catholic service–attended by Iraqi Muslims and American soldiers–in which the Americans were thanked for their sacrifices.
Notably, Yon reports that local Muslim Iraqis specifically asked the American military to come and provide protection for the local Christian population. Read his full article on Dispatches From Iraq: Come Home.
It is regrettable that some will undoubtedly seize upon this positive story (and the presence of American soldiers in a Christian service in Iraq) as evidence for the rest of the world of our “crusade” in the Middle East.
According to reports, Malaysia has issued guidelines for Muslims to observe Islamic rituals while on the International Space Station. This was brought about by the October 10 launch of a Muslim into space.
The situation is interesting to Christians in the US due to the American take on the same subject. In 1969, Madalyn Murray O’Hair of the American Atheists sued NASA (O’Hair v. Paine) after the Apollo 8 crew read the first few verses of Genesis over the air during a broacast (mentioned on the Atheist website here). O’Hair apparently believed that NASA ordered the astronauts to read the Bible in order to show the “godless Communists” that the “Christian US” was better than they, though this ignores the fact that all three Abrahamic religions acknowledge Genesis.
Though the case was dismissed, the “irritant” of the suit caused NASA to advise Buzz Aldrin of the Apollo 11 crew not to mention his observance of communion while in space (IHT). In a manner of speaking, then, O’Hair achieved her objective.
First reported on the Religion Clause.