In a fascinating story that was apparently overwhelmed by other news events, US Rep Trent Franks (R-Az) had proposed an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that would have required the US military to perform a “strategic assessment” on “violent or unorthodox Islamic religious doctrine.”
The amendement was recently defeated 208-217.
Fellow Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) had an unusual take on the proposal:
“If…we’re going to study one religion and only one, we’re going to look at their leaders and put them on a list — only them — and you are going to talk about what’s orthodox practice and what’s unorthodox, then you are putting extra scrutiny on that religion,” said Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who is Muslim…
“Nobody is saying you can’t study terrorism,” Ellison said during floor debate. “You can study what motivates people to commit acts of terrorism. And we should. But we don’t — not equally. The fact is that this amendment singled out and stigmatizes one religious group.”
Having an arm of the US government perform a study and assessment on religion is Read more
Political controversies have largely led the news recently, which slightly obscured the Town Hall event held by US military commander-in-chief President Barack Obama on 28 September.
Some of the news from that event focused on Gold Star mother Tina Houchins asking President Obama why he refused to say “Islamic terrorist” — as well as his response that the issue had been “sort of manufactured.” However, Houchins wasn’t the first one to bring up the “Islamic” term. In fact, an Air National Guard chaplain Read more
In a column at the Washington Post, former US Army General and CIA Director David Petraeus rails against “inflammatory political discourse…against Muslims and Islam:”
Those who flirt with hate speech against Muslims should realize they are playing directly into the hands of al-Qaida and the Islamic State.
The terrorists’ explicit hope has been to try to provoke a clash of civilizations — telling Muslims that the United States is at war with them and their religion. When Western politicians propose blanket discrimination against Islam, they bolster the terrorists’ propaganda.
Petraeus doesn’t say what Americans should do about this objection to Read more
Before the Mountain West Conference championship game this past weekend, US Air Force Academy cadet football players defied the invective and threats of Michael “Mikey” Weinstein — and prayed in the end zone. As captured on video by NBC San Diego:
Mikey Weinstein’s criticism has been called petty even by his supporters, yet he is claiming these cadets taking a knee in the end zone prior to the game violates Air Force instructions, the US Constitution, and the law: Read more
Update: The US Army has responded by explicitly stating that Chaplain McDougall’s infraction was an “oversight” that was easily corrected. This appears to be (yet another) a direct rebuttal to Mikey Weinstein’s call for court-martial. Via TheBlaze:
Amy spokesman LTC Ben Garrett sent TheBlaze the following response on Monday afternoon:
“U.S. Army Chaplain Capt. John McDougall has been made aware of military regulations that prohibit him from wearing a military uniform while promoting his book. His publishing company promptly removed the video from their website last week when the U.S. Army brought the oversight to their attention. A simple ‘on the spot correction’ and an explanation of the regulations was all that was need[ed] to resolve the issue and keep it from happening in the future. We are pleased with their compliance and understanding of Army regulations and requirements.”
Original story follows:
The US Army says Chaplain John McDougall violated regulations when he appeared in a video, in uniform, promoting his recently published book, Jesus was an Airborne Ranger. From the appropriately named Army spokeswoman, Tatjana Christian:
McDougall’s appearance in uniform endorsing a commercial or political venture violates military rules, said Tatjana Christian, an Army spokeswoman.
After they were contacted about the video by USA TODAY, the Army reached out to McDougall’s commanders to inform them about the rule, Christian said.
His comments were not part of his official duty, she said.
“Chaplains are authorized Read more
Recent news reports indicate two US citizens were recently killed while fighting on the side of the terror group known as ISIS, which has declared an “Islamic state” in northern Iraq and eastern Syria. (Reports indicate that makes at least three Americans killed fighting on the side of the Islamic extremists so far, and others want to.)
A second American citizen who died fighting for terror group ISIS in Syria has been identified as Abdirahmaan Muhumed of Minneapolis, reports have said.
Fox News reported that the 29-year-old Somali-American died in the same battle as Douglas McArthur McCain, the first American to be identified as having died on the Islamic militant side.
It turns out former US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the man sentenced to death for killing more than a dozen of his fellow soldiers in the 2009 massacre, wants to become a citizen of this new Islamic state (more proof, some say, the attack was an act of terrorism, not “workplace violence“).
In an interesting bit of timing, Army Sgt Hasan Akbar — sentenced Read more
As he has occasionally done before, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has complained about the upcoming National Day of Prayer to be held at the Capitol, equating the National Day of Prayer Task Force, which is helping to organize the event, with al Qaeda. Weinstein “respectfully demands” not only that any DoD participation be prohibited, but that the DoD
aggressively investigate and appropriately punish any of the individuals and/or organizations that would have allowed for uniformed personnel to participate in this sectarian spectacle
The Defense Department appears non-plussed:
Army officials on Friday said there were no plans to back out of the event. The Army still intends to send Read more
Update: Former Marine pilot Tom Carpenter of the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy — a liberal activist group — largely repeated the list below a few weeks later, though he did so without attribution.
Jason Torpy, the one-man band that is the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, recently posted a point-by-point refutation of recent accusations of the US military being hostile to Christianity.
Much of his disagreement was nuance or the way in which something was phrased, which isn’t worth discussing here. The interesting ones, though, were the cases in which he agreed with the US military’s “anti-Christian” actions:
January 2010 — Department of Defense orders removal of tiny Bible references on military scopes and gunsights.
Torpy: True and appropriate.
This issue has been discussed before. While there is no religious requirement the references remain, the fact they were targeted because of their (obscure) religious reference — only after Michael Weinstein complained, notably — is troubling. That he would seek this Read more