Task & Purpose reports on a “leaked” US Naval Academy email that announced the advent of Satanic services to be held on the Academy grounds. (The story was subsequently picked up by the Military Times and FoxNews.) It turns out the email was “premature” and inaccurate:
a group of midshipmen “with beliefs aligned with those practiced by The Satanic Temple”…had requested a space for a “study group” to discuss their satanic beliefs — and not, as the email in question indicated, for holding satanic religious services.
The problem, of course, is The Satanic Temple isn’t a religious group. It’s an anti-religious group. From their own webpage [emphasis added]:
DO YOU WORSHIP SATAN?
No, nor do we believe in the existence of Satan or the supernatural. The Satanic Temple believes Read more
Public releases have reported that President Trump will be the graduation speaker at the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, while the US Air Force Academy will host Secretary of Defense James Mattis for the Class of 2018.
West Point’s speaker has not yet been announced [UPDATE: CJCS Gen Joseph Dunford has been announced for West Point as of 12 May). The Read more
The US Naval Academy has an interesting arrangement in which a civilian pastor is officially part of the chapel staff to minister to faculty and midshipmen. That position is now filled by Bart Physioc:
Physioc fills a unique position in a congregation that encompasses active duty and retired military, civilians and staff. Because Navy chaplains have responsibilities that limit their ability to pastor the whole church, Physioc helps cover visitations and ministers to and disciples the members.
He isn’t new to the military, however. It turns out Pastor Physioc is actually retired US Army Chaplain (Col) Physioc, with 25 years of service that ended just in 2014.
Chaplain Physioc wasn’t Read more
In its ongoing efforts to garner sympathy and support, the LGBT movement continues to put a “face” on its agenda, using US troops. Most recently, the Washington Post (repeated at the Stars and Stripes) reported on US Naval Academy Midshipman Regan Kibby, a female who entered the Academy after a lifetime of “not [feeling] like a girl” and decided to become a male — even though such gender confusion/dysphoria was an explicitly disqualifying condition when she entered the military.
For Kibby to be told she could serve openly — and then to have that decision reversed — is certainly frustrating (though she was the one to join the military in violation of the original policies to begin with).
More interesting, though, is the total absence of Washington Post, Stars and Stripes, or military Read more
Bruce Fleming, a civilian English professor at the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, has filed a lawsuit claiming he was denied a pay raise due to an unjust reprimand he received in 2014:
Attorneys for Bruce Fleming said Thursday that the professor was denied merit pay and $7,000 in summer funding based on a 2014 reprimand. It stemmed from a 2013 classroom discussion, when Fleming prompted his students to consider the academy’s sexual assault program and the potentially one-sided burdens it put on men, at a time when the academy was part of the national debate over how to stop sexual assault in the military.
Fleming asserts his words were protected under the Constitution. For its part, Annapolis Read more
Tim Prudente of the Capital Gazette wrote a short piece on the traditional hat toss that accompanies the graduation of each of the US service academies:
In the seats, children fidgeted because where else can an 8-year-old boy score $20 and a military hat, maybe as many as he can carry…?
Many midshipmen tucked $20 and 15 cents for the Class of 2015.
This and other traditions have been noted here before, including the veritable plethora of traditions from a single photo during an Air Force Academy graduation in 2010.
Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James will provide the commencement at the US Air Force Academy on May 28th.
The President (Pres Obama at Coast Guard on May 20), Vice President (VP Biden at Annapolis on May 22), and senior Read more
A US Naval Academy midshipman (cadet) recently took to the internet to complain about Annapolis’ tradition of noon mealtime prayers. (This daily tradition has been under routine attack almost annually, often from the ACLU.) With emphasis added:
Every day the entire brigade of midshipmen congregates in our massive dining hall for lunch, and every day one of the chaplains gets up in front of everyone and says a prayer before the meal. Most of the time it’s a Christian chaplain from some denomination or another, but usually once a week there’s a Jewish chaplain.
I guess there’s really nothing wrong with it, since I don’t have to pray if I don’t want to, but it is incredibly annoying when you just want to eat your lunch and get on with the day. It doesn’t help that some of the chaplains (especially the Jewish ones, for whatever reason) are incredibly long-winded.
Something occurred to me the other day during prayer. As usual, I wasn’t bowing my head, but was instead looking around at the rest of the midshipmen, the majority of whom are religious. It occurred to me that there’s just something incredibly servile about seeing 4000-odd otherwise intelligent people all bowing their heads in unison. To me, the act of bowing your head is saying in body language that you’re not good enough on your own and you can’t do anything without the help of whatever higher power you happen to believe in. I’m generally not an angry atheist; I like to live and let live, but every time I see that, I become an incredibly angry atheist for a brief moment.
Every cadet is allowed to grouse, of course. It’s practically required to survive four years at any of the US military’s service academies.
The disturbing thing Read more