The Los Angeles Times is fast becoming a frequent commenter on all things military and religion, with the US Air Force Academy high on that list. In an unusual twist from the norm, its articles are biased toward the positive.
(For example, it published the original story about the baptism of US Marines to which Michael Weinstein objected, and most recently gave favorable coverage to the Camp Pendleton cross, now a controversy in its own right.)
In its most recent article on the topic, it notes the “Air Force Academy adapts to pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans:”
“We’re here to accommodate all religions, period,” [USAFA Chaplain (Maj) Darren] Duncan says. The building of the Cadet Chapel Falcon Circle on the hilltop, he says, is no different from the past conversion of chapel rooms into worship spaces that serve this year’s 11 Muslim, 16 Buddhist and 10 Hindu cadets. There are also 43 self-identified atheist cadets whose beliefs, or lack of them, Duncan says are also to be respected.
Never one to let good will go unspoilt, the article quotes Michael Weinstein as saying he Read more
FoxNews repeats the Politico report noting the US Army pulled a cross off the front of a US military chapel at Camp Marmal, Afghanistan, which was dedicated just a few months ago.
Before and after courtesy photo originally published at Politico.com.
At first, this situation seems similar to the US Army’s removal of crosses from the chapel in Kosovo a few years ago.
However, the current issue is actually somewhat more complex.
First, US military policies are not necessarily Read more
Atheists in the US Army continue to criticize the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program and its Global Assessment Tool. One portion of it is intended to help Soldiers assess their spiritual fitness — to which some atheists have objected, both in letter and principle. Much like their opposition to anything “bigger” or “higher” than themselves, the atheists’ objection to the principle of spiritual fitness has caused them to see offense even in non-“religious” questions, like whether or not their lives have purpose.
Capt. Ryan Jean wanted to perform well on the Army’s psychological evaluation for soldiers. But he also wanted to answer the questions honestly. So when he was asked whether he believed his life had a lasting purpose, Jean, an atheist, saw no choice but to say no.
Apparently military atheists claim no lasting purpose in their lives. Honestly.
Unfortunately, the article conflates two separate questions with which Read more
In a rare break from his focus on Christianity, Military Religious Freedom Foundation “president” Michael Weinstein has called for US Air Force Academy Chaplain (Col) Robert Bruno to be court-martialed for his attempts to convert cadets…to Buddhism:
US Air Force Chaplain Colonel Bruno…should face immediate criminal charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for these disgusting, prima facie examples of dereliction of duty by flagrant violations of the solemn oaths they took…
Actually, strike that, Weinstein didn’t display that intellectual integrity. Instead, he continued his focus on Christianity:
[Chaplain Bruno is a] heinous Poster Child of unconstitutional, fundamentalist Christian supremacy Read more
The universal Chaplain’s Badge suggested by former Navy Chaplain Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff may not be far fetched.
The Washington Post noted Chaplain (Major General) Cecil Richardson, the Air Force Chief of Chaplains, is on board with Resnicoff’s idea:
Top brass at the Pentagon have endorsed Resnicoff’s idea of a universal-yet-denominational insignia, if not his actual sketches.
“I like the idea of developing a new chaplain insignia Read more
Though it seems they’re most often the object of Michael Weinstein’s criticism, cadets who organize into faith groups recently made the news for the positive event of coming together to support a local food bank.
Council members and chaplains spent two hours at Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado packing and palletizing boxes for distribution to families in need of assistance.
Chaplain (Capt) Shawn Menchion received permission from Read more
Two USAFA Chaplains and two cadets recently attended the 116th Jewish War Veterans Convention to brief the US Air Force Academy’s religious respect program and give “insight into the life of a Jewish cadet.”
Jewish Chaplain (Maj.) Joshua Narrowe and Protestant Chaplain (Capt.) Shawn Menchion represented the Academy’s Chaplain Corps at the convention. Cadet 2nd Class Jolie Grossman from Cadet Squadron 23 and Cadet 3rd Class David Harris from CS 11 also attended to provide their perspective as cadets.
Within the article Chaplain Narrowe made an observation many seem to forget: The Academy is a college, and it draws 18-year-olds from all corners of the American society. USAFA then has to train them — and they get a whole six weeks before they enter the cadet wing.
The Academy itself has a wide variety of Read more
While many understand that Christian US military chapel services occur in locations throughout the world, some may not realize that a variety of minority faiths are represented as well.
This announcement from Balad highlights the Buddhist services beginning this month. In other locations, “earth based,” Hindu, and even atheist services are held to support the needs of local servicemembers.
The US military is made up of those of many faiths, and those faiths are practiced even within the military around the world.
Via the Buddhist Military Sangha and ArmyChaplaincy.com.