A video (which you can watch here) of US Marines worshiping God to Days of Elijah — complete with “oorah!” added to the lyrics — went “viral” a week or so ago, spreading across the internet in a bold display of faith and freedom.
And a few atheists really didn’t like that.
It seems Rock Beyond Belief — a one-hit wonder that staged an underwhelming stage show at Fort Bragg — has degraded into a repository of atheists bellyaching about Christians exercising their religious freedom while serving in the US military. Having learned about the video, their Facebook page launched an “investigation” — because some Marines in the video “don’t appear happy to be there, as if they were forced:” Read more
Update: Patrick Vaughn, general counsel for the American Family Association, wrote an article saying “The U.S. Constitution makes it clear: American atheists are not and should not be barred from serving their country through military service.”
Facing scrutiny for its letter-of-the-law requirement that Airmen enlist with “So help me God,” the Air Force has asked the DoD General Counsel to provide an official legal opinion:
The Air Force said Tuesday it was awaiting a legal opinion from the Defense Department’s top lawyer on whether an enlisted airman who’s an atheist can opt out of the phrase “so help me God” in his re-enlistment oath…
“The opinion that we’re seeking will help inform future decisions and the latitude that can be taken with the oath,” Air Force spokeswoman Rose Richeson said Tuesday. “But the Air Force has to comply with law.”
From an objective position, Read more
In an interesting twist to an old tale, Allen West — a retired Army LtCol and former Florida Representative — compared the “covert action of atheist groups” in the United States to the militant attacks by the terrorist group ISIS in Syria and Iraq:
What is the difference between the violent actions of ISIS and the covert actions of these atheist groups? Let’s be honest, the desired end state and result is the same — the death of Christianity.
Citing Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s attacks on religious liberty (specifically, his support for the Navy lodges banning Gideon Bibles), West said Read more
Update: J.B. Wells wonders aloud if the DoD intentionally produced the policy to change the religious freedom focus to turbans and beards while keeping “liberal constituencies” like Michael Weinstein “at bay.”
There have been a wide variety of responses to the US military’s update to DODI 1300.17 (accommodating religious freedom), with language that seems to imply a more open attitude toward outward display and expression of religious belief.
The Christian Post, like many sites, focused on the apparent ability to wear religious accoutrements:
The Pentagon reportedly decided to change its policy on religious wear after Major Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, a Sikh, spoke at a Congressional briefing about the challenges American Sikhs face in the military earlier in January. Kalsi told members of Congress that he believes he can effectively serve his country while still maintaining his religious appearance, including an uncut beard and a turban.
While that may or may not have been a factor, the DoDI clearly includes language from both the 2013 and 2014 National Defense Authorization Acts — that is, requirements levied by Congress, not just reconsideration based on serving Soldiers.
The US Navy appeared to try to quell Read more
Allen West, former Congressman and retired US Army LtCol, wrote that the military “buckle[d]” to Michael “Mikey” Weinstein when it removed the Nativities from the Guantanamo chow halls. West would have responded in a way many in the military probably would have [emphasis added]:
The US military in which I served would have told someone like Weinstein to simply go “pound sand…”
I want to make sure you know exactly how dangerous this Mr. Weinstein truly is. He has referred to individuals who profess their faith as committing acts of sedition. He has taken it upon himself to attack any religious symbols or references in the US military — and recently had the words “under God” removed from the US Air Force Academy honor oath – from where he graduated, by the way.
Weinstein didn’t have the phrase “so help me God” (not “under God”) removed, but that conversation is misunderstood by almost everyone who talks about it, including Weinstein’s own supporters.
LtCol West becomes one of the few to see Read more
When former US Congressman and retired Army Col Allen West recently appeared on Michael Savage’s radio show Savage Nation on the recent issues in the military, he mentioned Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s name.
Savage cut him off: Read more
A US Army platoon leader has a fascinating article in Army Magazine: former US Army Captain Kevin Bell wrote How Our Training Fails Us When it Counts, recounting a story from 2008 in which he led a platoon in Afghanistan. He uses his personal experiences to describe how the US Army woefully fails in its efforts to prepare its soldiers for ethical challenges in combat.
No infantryman who sits through the required PowerPoint classes on the Geneva Conventions and treatment of enemy prisoners of war (EPW) leaves the classroom with a new perspective on the ethics of war…As it stands, though, classroom and field training on detainee operations do almost nothing to help soldiers untangle the twisted moral landscape of anger, intelligence gathering and justice in wartime.
Without directly addressing it, he highlights the weakness of the situation-based ethics currently taught in much of the military academia: Read more