Writing in the Stars and Stripes, First Liberty attorney Mike Berry rebutted recent calls to restrict religious freedom in the US military.
Referring to last month’s appeal by the Freedom from Religion Foundation and American Atheists for Secretary of Defense James Mattis to end military prayers, Berry pointed out the errors of the groups’ demands and then said [emphasis added]
Were the DOD to give in to the groups’ demands, the harm our military would suffer would be catastrophic. Religious freedom in the military is not a luxury; it is every bit a necessity as bullets, beans and bandages. Religious freedom is a force multiplier that enables all troops — regardless of their faith, or no faith — to prepare themselves for what may be required of them in military service.
The taking of a life — or indeed, the ultimate sacrifice of one’s own life — while Read more
The Freedom From Religion Foundation and American Atheists sent a letter (PDF) yesterday to Secretary of Defense James Mattis calling on him to act to end “coerced religious observances” within the military. Alison Gill and Rebecca Markert write that
The complainants allege, among other things, that facility organizers regularly include scheduled prayer in graduation ceremonies, cadets who opt not to attend worship services on Sundays are instead given menial tasks to perform, and instructors regularly lead recruits in prayers prior to administering tests.
The letter provides no examples. It appears to Read more
A county-run animal shelter’s annual “Blessing of the Animals” is the subject of a federal lawsuit filed by American Atheists in New Jersey. As noted at the Religion Clause:
The complaint in American Atheists, Inc. v. Bergen County, objects to the use of public resources and employee time to promote and host a ritual that is performed by Franciscan clergy annually in honor of St. Francis of Assissi.
A member of the American Atheists — who knew about the blessing ceremony in advance — happened to show up in person (to adopt a pet, of course) just as the ceremony was occurring. Just in time to very conveniently be offended.
While a county pet shelter may not seem relevant to the US military, the contrived Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has demonstrated an obsession with ChristianFighterPilot.com — at least, insomuch as he wants to lodge complaints about this site mere minutes after content is published.
Presumably, the time he spends monitoring this site is part of the reason Mikey Weinstein has paid himself nearly $1.95 million to date from the donations his charity receives. It turns out, though, that he’s not the only one he drags into rapid-response.
It seems Mikey Weinstein has had his lawyer, Randy Mathis, on speed-dial. On 30 August 2011, an article was posted here entitled “Military Atheists Miss the Mark with Chaplain “Humor”“. The article discussed the “first act” of then-US Army Sergeant Justin Griffith, who had just become “military director” for American Atheists.
For his opening volley, Griffith had chosen to denigrate US military chaplains and their service — and sacrifice — to their country. The article rebutted his claims — noting, for example, that multiple chaplains had received the Medal of Honor.
Mikey didn’t like it.
The Air Force soon received a letter from Randy Mathis. Not Read more
A war memorial dedicated to two Boone County Soldiers killed 25 years ago in Operation Desert Storm irked the American Atheists and the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State because it originally had an ichthus at the base.
The monument was in a park with similar monuments dedicated to county residents who had died in previous wars.
The County eventually covered the ichthus with a plaque. The families of the two men ultimately agreed to leave the symbol covered, but even that wasn’t good enough for the atheist opposition. After Read more
Update: The Boone County Commission voted to move and replace the memorial.
Can you see what atheists find offensive about this war memorial to fallen troops?
Behind the dedication plaque at the bottom of the stone is an ichthus.
And that’s why these atheists say it has to go.
The grounds of the Boone County Courthouse in Missouri are host to memorials to local citizens killed in action while fighting for their country. After a threat from atheists, one of those memorials may have to move. The memorial was raised in 1992 for two locals killed in Operation Desert Storm: Steven Farnen and Patrick Connor. It recently came under attack by atheists, and the County Commission is considering a proposal to move it to a cemetery — away from the courthouse grounds, and away from the memorials for all the other fallen citizens:
The focus of the proposal, and the yearlong controversy surrounding the memorial, was an ichthus, or “Jesus fish,” the commission decided to cover last June rather than face possible legal action from a Washington, D.C.-based organization.
Neither of the families wants the memorial moved, and both even agreed Read more
A California Federal court has said that the proposed design of the Lake Elsinore Veteran’s memorial — which contains the iconic graphic of a Soldier kneeling at a cross-shaped headstone — “likely violates the Establishment Clause” of the US Constitution.
Even as a discussion is ongoing about the use of a Star of David in a Holocaust memorial in Ohio, the court found that Read more
The group American Atheists recently installed a granite monument in front of the Bradford County courthouse in Starke, Florida. The group placed the monument there as the result of a compromise, after a local Christian group refused to remove their Ten Commandments monument — and then both groups filed First Amendment lawsuits.
David Silverman, the American Atheists president, called his own monument a “counterpoint” and an “attack.”
“We’re not going to let them do it without Read more