Last week an enlisted Airman at Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota, sent an email soliciting volunteers for a Salvation Army food distribution that is scheduled to happen today and tomorrow. Apparently, one of the recipients forwarded the email to Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, who says he promptly complained to the base. Grand Forks passed Weinstein to their higher headquarters Public Affairs, to whom Weinstein says he sent this professional email thoroughly explaining his concern:
Volunteering for the Salvation Army “during duty hours”?
A local Grand Forks site quoted Weinstein saying Read more
SSgt Abdul Rahman Gaitan has become the first US Air Force Airman to obtain a religious exemption to grow a beard in uniform:
The biggest challenge yet, was getting approval for his shaving waiver from Air Force Headquarters. This required endorsement by the unit commander, base chaplain, installation commander up to the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel Division. This process took Gaitan almost four years to accomplish.
Interestingly, the article explains Gaitan was actually Catholic, but he apparently became disenchanted with the lack of authenticity in the liturgical faith — and he was drawn to the seeming sincerity of Islam he saw in locals while stationed in Turkey.
With the beard openly displaying his religion, Gaitan says Read more
The Naming Ceremony — long a fighter pilot tradition — has apparently wound its way into the earliest stages of a pilot’s career. A Naming Ceremony for student pilots at Laughlin AFB, Texas, ultimately contributed to a squadron commander, group commander, and wing commander getting fired:
In a rare action, the Air Force said Wednesday it had relieved three commanders at Laughlin AFB in Del Rio.
The move came in the wake of incidents in the past year that included a female pilot being given a vulgar name during a drinking ritual and another Read more
Yesterday the Duffel Blog — a military-themed site in the flavor of the satirical Onion — announced that the US Air Force had removed baptism as a requirement for graduation from basic training:
The Air Force announced today that it would no longer require recruits to become baptized Christians in order to graduate basic training following yet another bout of criticism over bias from Air Force leaders who identify as evangelicals…
“The Air Force Academy…has outsourced all science and engineering classes to Focus on the Family,” said MRFF President Mikey Weinstein…“We’ve got a generation of aviators and potential astronauts who think that gravity is the devil trying to suck them down into hell and that Elijah’s magic chariot dust is what propels them into the air.”
Now, it’s clear to everyone else that the Duffel Blog is mocking Mikey’s continuous — and vastly overblown — accusations that the Air Force is secretly turning into an evangelical church. But it is unlikely Weinstein Read more
Gina Harkins at Military.com says the Air Force is “looking into” a complaint about the content of a Catholic chaplain’s sermon last month [emphasis added]:
Capt. Antonio Rigonan, an Air Force chaplain at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas, said during an Aug. 19 service that many priests who’ve abused children were “homosexuals” and “effeminate,” according to a military officer’s spouse who attended that morning.
In context, “looking into” appears to mean nothing more than “find out about,” since the Air Force had no idea there was a complaint until the press asked: Read more
Moody AFB published an interesting article about A1C Kornkawee Rue Art, who started out life as a Thai Buddhist monk until an encounter with an old friend inspired him to join the US Air Force. Ironically, the meeting occurred when he was on a missionary trip — to the US:
In Thailand, a monk is one who studies Buddhism, practices in its ways, follows the rules of and lives at the temple. They practice and teach meditation, along with being spiritual consultants and lead ceremonies. A common pilgrimage monks undergo is missionary work, traveling across the world to bolster their faith in other countries.
In an interesting admission, Rue Art noted Read more
US Air Force MSgt Maria Breceda is a member of the 161st Air Refueling Wing, which flies the venerable KC-135. Her son was recently deployed to Afghanistan as an airborne infantryman with the 25th Infantry Division. An Air Force article documents how her prayerful concern affected her son’s deployment:
“Even though we have a family legacy of serving in the military, I said a prayer every day to keep a watchful eye over my son Michael and the members of his unit.”
Over the next few weeks she learned just how her prayers had been answered: Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s recent attack on BGen John Teichert over the exercise of his Christian faith have blanketed the media over the past few days. It is has been universally bad for Weinstein — and an apparent unanticipated blessing for the ministry of PLUS.
Even average readers see the amount of mental gymnastics Weinstein has taken to make himself “offended,” as well as his misrepresentation of unattributed commentary as carrying the force of rank and command. (One site even noted PLUS is essentially anonymous, and that Mikey Weinstein basically “doxxed” BGen Teichert, then turned around and accused him of illegal conduct based on connections Weinstein made.) As a result, many people are seeing through to the hate-based motivation driving Weinstein’s complaint.
Multiple sites have covered the complaint, supporting BGen Teichert, and — though you should never read the comments — it has been fascinating to see how many self-avowed Mikey Weinstein acolytes are saying he went too far.
The only people who seem to be defending Weinstein are those already associated with the MRFF, including, oddly, chaplain-endorser David Plummer, who joined in on Todd Starnes Facebook page to seemingly support the attack on military religious freedom.
“Friendly” atheist Hemant Mehta also repeated Mikey Read more