According to a Kansas paper, Army Specialist Jeremy Hall (who is currently suing the Defense Department for “religious proselytizing”), was rebuffed in a visit to the IG to complain about “violations of his religious freedoms.” Weinstein said this “undermines” the DoJ’s move to dismiss, which cited Hall’s failure to use the in-place grievance systems.
According to the article, the visit occurred “earlier this month.” That would make it appear to be a response to the DoJ motion, which was filed last month, and possibly an attempt to generate content for Hall’s response to the motion, which is due next month. In addition, Weinstein (a former JAG) appears not to see a conflict of interest with the Army conducting an internal investigation about charges which are currently involved in, or related to, an ongoing federal lawsuit in which it is essentially a defendant.
According to the article, Weinstein also plans to bring up the fact that someone posted a mock Soldier’s creed (that ridiculed soldiers with medical duty waivers) in Hall’s platoon area. The article lists a previously unknown medical restriction for Hall. How Weinstein plans to integrate the faux creed about physical fitness into a lawsuit about religion is unclear. The sarcastic modification of military mantras is a fairly common brand of critical cynicism in the military, and is limited neither to the Army’s creed nor physical conditions.
CNN’s AC360 blog updates yesterday’s story with information on the government’s move to dismiss the suit. In a commentary that unapologetically sides with Specialist Hall, CNN’s Randi Kaye notes that Hall, an atheist,
…isn’t seeking money, just religious freedom…
Kaye then expresses shock that the defendant would have the gall to ask for the suit to be dismissed:
[T]he U.S. Government, the very government Hall agreed to serve and risk his life for, wants his lawsuit tossed out.
The only response included in the commentary is Hall’s admission that much of the premise of the government’s motion to dismiss is correct: he did not use any of the in-place military processes to address his griveances, because “nothing ever gets done.”
It is a fairly common (though sometimes socially unacceptable) practice for internet users who post on forums to add to their own post in order to make its posting date more recent. This has the effect of “bumping” it to the forefront, where people actually see it, even though there is nothing new to the topic.
CNN has apparently taken on the practice, as they have chosen to headline an essential repeat of their April 28th story on Jeremy Hall’s MRFF lawsuit.
One possible reason for the repeat may be in the source. Read more
Some who have visited ChristianFighterPilot.com have made accusations of exclusivism, favoritism, and even violation of the Constitution for mixing “church and state.” At the extreme, conspiracy theorists have accused ChristianFighterPilot.com of being bent on world domination. After all, only Christians would have the gall to so publicly mix their military service and religious faith, right?
Actually, Christians aren’t the only ones integrating their faith and their service, and others, too, have “exclusive” websites featuring their faiths. Read more
As previously noted, US Army soldier Jeremy Hall, represented by the MRFF, has sued the Army. The Associated Press picked up on the story, and it is now on CNN and Fox.
According to a press release, Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation has sued the military on behalf of an Army soldier. According to the announcement, an officer harassed Army Specialist Jeremy Hall when he attempted to convene a meeting of atheists. (The text of the suit is not yet available.)
Updated 20 September: The text of the lawsuit is available here. See the new post for latest commentary.
The lawsuit apparently names the Defense Secretary Robert Gates as defendant because the incident is evidence of “a pattern of military practices that discriminate against non-Christians in the military,” which he allegedly permitted in his role as Defense Secretary.
Much like his Academy lawsuit, it appears that Weinstein is attempting to aggrandize a discrete event into a larger opportunity. A niche news article on the suit (which has yet to be seen in the mainstream media) indicated that the assertions meandered from the soldier to other unrelated issues, like alleged military support of civilian Christian organizations as well as the recent Pentagon IG report (previous commentary). Weinstein himself has implied that this goes ‘beyond’ the two men, and said that Read more
An interesting article by Dr. Tony Beam quotes Chuck Colson’s description of “neo-atheists,” who are no longer content not to believe in God–instead, they want to eliminate the practices of those who do.
Chuck Colson also wrote an article for Christianity Today in which he notes that the most popular “religious” books right now are those that belittle Christianity. The article also notes that many of the bestsellers reference the growing threat of Christian dominionism, which is also the same threat that Weinstein cites when he “wars” against Christians in the military.
Finally, in an interview at the Southern Baptist Convention, Colson restated his assertion that Christians need to “engage the culture” and “answer the attacks” against the faith.