People for the American Way, a politically left-wing/liberal organization, recently criticized a Family Research Council email that cited attacks on military religious freedom. PFAW’s complaint was that the stories FRC’s President Tony Perkins cited were, in their words, “easily debunked.”
As evidence, they linked to other online articles that did not debunk FRC’s stories.
For example, PFAW linked to an Americans United article that claimed Army Chaplain (Capt) Joe Lawhorn was not, in fact, sanctioned for discussion of his faith. But he indisputably was given paperwork for mentioning his faith, and the AU article doesn’t actually “debunk” the claim — it only criticizes the claim, without detracting from those facts.
PFAW similarly linked to another left-wing site that criticized Navy Chaplain Wes Modder, who was nearly run out of the Navy. The linked article cited the Navy commander’s initial accusations as fact — and neither that site nor PFAW bothered to mention that the Navy ultimately denied the attempt to kick Chaplain Modder out. In oversimplified terms, the complaint was invalidated. The linked article also quoted 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
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
The Washington Post reported that Kendall Oliver, a US Army Reservist, was turned away from a barber because the barber wouldn’t cut women’s hair:
Oliver is transgender. And with that, the Army reservist in the Los Angeles area became the latest citizen at the center of a recurring American debate: Where does freedom of religion end and discrimination begin?
That sentence just about summarizes the twisted world this has become.
Oliver is a woman who has decided she identifies “mostly as a man.” According to the article, she uses the pronoun “they” rather than he/she.
“They” is plural, for those who are losing track.
Oliver watched the barber turn another woman Read more
US Army Capt Simratpal Singh sued the US Army last week in an attempt to gain permission to wear a turban and long hair, in keeping with his Sikh faith.
Capt Singh had previously shaved and adhered to standards — he is a West Point and Ranger School graduate with 10 years of service — but given recent changes in military policy that placed a priority on religious accommodation, and his own reevaluation of his dedication to his faith, he sought and obtained a temporary waiver.
According to the lawsuit (PDF), the Army was about to Read more
In a somewhat meandering article entitled “Watchdog: Conservative President May Mean More God-Friendly Military,” Bryant Jordan of Military.com quoted Michael “Mikey” Weinstein as concerned that a Republican victory in November could lead to a US government “more friendly to Christianity:”
Weinstein said the contest to succeed President Barack Obama is giving fuel to his critics. “With Obama being gone, [some commanders] expect an administration to be more friendly to Christianity…”
To paraphrase Seinfeld… as if there’s something wrong with that? Why would a religious freedom advocate take issue with, in his intimation, progress in religious freedom?
It turns out Weinstein thinks subversion is already underway: Read more
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State recently joined in on the debate over US Air Force Academy football prayers by calling it an “incident” and a “problem.”
It seems even the AU’s Rob Boston didn’t think this was the issue Michael “Mikey” Weinstein was making it out to be:
I’ll admit that when I first read about this, I didn’t think it was a big deal. These are college students, I reasoned, not high schoolers. They could decline to take part if they don’t want to pray, right?
Boston then reconsiders, saying that because the games have mandatory attendance (in a long-running thorn in every cadet’s side, the cost of each ticket is deducted from their pay) and there is a military chain of command, it must be a “problem.” He cites Weinstein’s single email from a self-described USAFA football player:
He writes that there’s great pressure to participate in the joint prayer.
“If you don’t go along with it you are not going to be viewed as a good follower or teammate,” the anonymous player writes… “There are enough of us who feel pressured to conform and this is wrong…I mean virtually the whole team kneeling down and praying on the field in front of the crowds.”
There’s an important omission, however: The cadet never says he prayed Read more
In Knoxville, Iowa, a silhouette of a soldier kneeling at a cross-shaped headstone (previously discussed) was replaced with a bronze battlefield cross after Americans United for the Separation of Church and State complained.
Sponsored by the local AMVETS Post 63, the monument was erected by Don Zoutte, who intended it to recall the iconic picture of the headstones of Normandy — not to establish a state religion:
Zoutte says he hopes the new memorial will put to bed all of the controversy that has surrounded the community over the current memorial that’s there. “It was never, ever, ever meant Read more