Critics have come out in force against US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) after he said he would not support President Trump’s nominee for the deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Russell Vought. Sanders’ reason? Vought has Christian beliefs, which he expressed in a column defending Wheaton College in 2016 in which he said that “Muslims stand condemned”:
Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.
In his questioning during the confirmation hearing for Vought’s nomination to the OMB, Sanders asked:
Do you believe people in the Muslim religion stand condemned? Is that your view?
…I don’t know how many Muslims there are in America. Maybe a couple million. Are you suggesting that these people stand condemned? What about Jews? Do they stand condemned too?
In your judgment, do you think that people who are not Christians are going to be condemned?
I would simply say, Mr. Chairman that this nominee is really not someone who this country is supposed to be about.
Atheists, liberals, and Christians alike have condemned Read more
Homosexual activists and their supporters continued an (ongoing) campaign to try to make it look as though Tennessee Senator Mark Green, President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of the Army, was not only a ‘hater,’ but also facing increasing opposition in an apparently doomed nomination.
Neither is true, and these activists have done little more than reveal their own privilege and bigotry in the process.
Ashley Broadway-Mack’s American Military Partner Association — which Read more
In an apparent effort to prove just how tolerant they are, homosexual activists have redoubled their efforts to “#stopMarkGreen,” the Tennessee legislator nominated by President Trump to be the next Secretary of the Army.
The reason for their objection? Mark Green is a Christian.
In one invective-filled write-up (republished at Stars and Stripes), Read more
It’s Christmas in February…
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has joined forces with the ACLU to accuse the US Marine Corps of being anti-Semitic.
Because the Marines said it was “premature” to answer a demand to put up a Menorah next winter:
On Jan. 17, the [MRFF] petitioned Marine Brig. Gen. William Jurney — commander of the boot camp and the Western Recruiting Region — to let troops of other faiths put up religious displays near the creche…
On Feb. 10, Jurney’s staff judge advocate general, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Munoz, told the foundation in a letter that such concerns were “premature” because there’s no longer a creche on the depot grounds and “the (next) holiday season is months away.”
Weinstein’s MRFF claims this response is “religious bigotry.”
That’s just asinine.
How many different Read more
It’s been in the paperwork for months, but the “exciting” political environment has overshadowed the potential religious liberty fight brewing in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. The House version of the NDAA contains a simple, if seemingly obtuse, statement known as the Russell Amendment (via Rep. Steve Russell, R-OK, who offered the amendment):
Any branch or agency of the Federal Government shall, with respect to any religious corporation, religious association, religious educational institution, or religious society that is a recipient of or offeror for a Federal Government contract, subcontract, grant, purchase order, or cooperative agreement, provide protections and exemptions consistent with sections 702(a) and 703(e)(2) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e-1(a) and 42 U.S.C. 2000e-2(e)(2)) and section 103(D) of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 USC 12113(D)).
The short version of the story is that in 2014 President Obama issued an Executive Order that required anyone wanting to do business with the Federal government to affirmatively state they hire without regard to “sexual orientation or gender identity.” That could very well affect a large number of contractors who do hire with regard to such issues — because they hire based on the requirements of their religious faith.
The Russell Amendment basically Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein used to say he would give his last drop of blood — and encourage his kids to give their last drop of blood — to defend the right of people to have their religious beliefs, even if he disagreed with them. While most of Weinstein’s talking points haven’t changed over the past ten years, this one has: He dropped this oft-repeated phrase long ago — likely because he knows it isn’t true.
Still, he leaned in that principled direction recently when on a “religious liberty panel” — a panel with such “diverse” religious liberty experts as the ACLU, AU, and Pedro Irgonegaray, one of Weinstein’s MRFF “voices.” In that panel, Weinstein said:
I don’t care what their [religious] views are. What I care (about) is when they try to use the power of the U.S. military to propagate it.
That’s a demonstrably false statement. Just take one quick example: When Read more
When the Ten Commandments monument was removed from the Oklahoma State Capitol a few weeks ago, Franklin Graham lamented the attacks on any public reference to God or Jesus Christ:
We have been appalled at news reports of ISIS and the Islamic State tearing down all symbols of Christianity in the Middle East; but think about it–we’re doing it to ourselves here in the U.S. Atheists, activists, and anti-God groups like the ACLU, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and the Military Freedom of Religion Foundation are on a quest to erase or tear down anything associated with the Name of Jesus Christ.
Graham was referring to Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s awkwardly-named Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which was in the news recently demanding Read more
Update: The creator of the monument explained the reason for his design here:
Al Larsen intended the small Latin cross in each silhouette to mark a grave — like the rows of white crosses at the Normandy American Cemetery in France, where more than 9,000 American World War II troops are buried.
“This is what it means to me,” Larsen said in an interview Wednesday. “It don’t mean no church thing.”
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State claims otherwise.
Todd Starnes at FoxNews highlights an effort by the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State to have a war memorial removed from a park in Knoxville, Iowa:
“It was clear to us it was a memorial to fallen veterans,” Mayor Brian Hatch told me. But it wasn’t clear to everyone.
About a month ago a citizen filed an anonymous complaint — arguing that the memorial was promoting Christianity and therefore violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Mayor Hatch told me the city council ignored the complaint.
“We didn’t take any action because it (the memorial) did not have any religious ties to us at all,” he said. “I only see it as a memorial to the veterans and it shocked me that someone could see it otherwise.”
The offended party apparently called the AU, and the fight was on.
Americans United has since published a snarky reply, noting Read more