US military troops in Djibouti were recently able to revive a past practice of celebrating weekly Catholic mass with the local Catholic diocese, a tradition that had stopped following violent attacks in the area in 2014:
the Djiboutian-American partnership has proven too strong to be broken. Last month, Read more
Vice President Mike Pence, speaking at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast this week, had an interesting take on military religious freedom. As he paused to recognized veterans and service members present at the breakfast, he said
Would all those who are present here today who have worn the uniform of the United States of America, would those men and women please stand up and allow us to thank you for your service and putting teeth on your faith in defending our freedom? Thank you for your service.
It’s a fascinating way to think about it.
Pence also emphasized the President’s priority on Read more
An unnamed Air Force chaplain sent a formally formatted complaint to Michael “Mikey” Weinstein in early May, claiming the National Guard Bureau had established “Protestant Christianity” as the “official religion” of the Guard’s Strong Bonds program.
As if to reinforce the fact the letter was written specifically for public consumption, just a few hours after receiving it Weinstein sent off his “demand” letter to General Joseph Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau. Weinstein made no new allegations but asserted those of the chaplain, who had complained about a line from a National Guard MOI on Strong Bonds. Regarding Strong Bonds events, the official Memorandum of Instruction said
One voluntary worship service will be conducted at all overnight training sessions, serving to the extent possible, the largest religious demographic represented in accordance with the Constitutional mandate to provide for the “free exercise of religion”. (See “DODI 1300.17”; “AFI 52-101”).
Military regulations can sometimes be ambiguous, vague, and even self-contradictory, so it is understandable that even well-meaning or intelligent members of the military might misunderstand them.
But even graciously speaking, that’s not what happened Read more
Chris Rodda, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s research assistant, recently took to the internet to make the calm, reasoned statement that Chaplain (Capt) Sonny Hernandez hates women.
She began by claiming ChristianFighterPilot.com has posted a “steady stream of misogynistic” articles for years — which should have made it easy to provide a clear example. Rodda attempted to do so, saying that an article on this site
expressed [the] opinion that female chaplains are not acceptable…
and then quoting this article, which says Read more
When the newest Justice of the Supreme Court Neil Gorsuch took his oath today, he promised to be a “faithful servant to the Constitution.” That wasn’t his only biblical reference:
I will never forget to whom much is given to much will be expected, and I promise you that I will do all my powers permit to be a faithful servant of the Constitution and laws of this great nation.
That’s a reference to Luke 12:48, for those who assumed it was from Benjamin Franklin or just a historical quote.
Many have faith that Justice Gorsuch — who also spoke directly to military religious freedom during his confirmation, in a little-noted exchange — will be an advocate for religious liberty in the face of what one of his fellow justices has called hostility toward traditional moral beliefs.
Dr. James Dobson praised the seating of Justice Gorsuch — and intimated that President Trump may soon have another vacancy to fill: Read more
A group called Arts in the Armed Forces (which was founded by
Kylo Ren Adam Driver) recently brought a production of “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train” to Yokota Air Base:
The play is a drama on moral responsibility and the modern prison system. It takes place in a New York State prison on Rikers Island, where a young man finds himself in prisoned facing murder charges and is befriended by a surprisingly kind ex-serial killer on death row.
Sounds interesting enough.
But in the modern era characterized by divisive ideology, any media production citing Jesus and morality will almost certainly go only one of two directions: It will preach for — or it will preach against.
The ‘A’ Train preaches against. Really against.
Its near-constant stream of expletives would Read more
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito recently spoke at a Catholic legal group sponsored by Advocati Christi, noting the hostility of some Americans to religious liberty and the need to “evangelize…religious freedom”:
Alito used his own words from his dissent in the Supreme Court’s landmark same-sex marriage case, telling the gathering he had predicted opposition to the decision would be used to “vilify those who disagree, and treat them as bigots.”
“We are seeing this is coming to pass,” he said, then mentioned Bob Dylan’s famous song lyric, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”
“A wind is picking up that is hostile to those with traditional moral beliefs,” Alito said.
Incidentally, Justice Alito is a former US Army Captain.
The culture has long been in Read more
Tom Carpenter of the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy was called out several months ago for his hypocrisy: Carpenter had joined Michael “Mikey” Weinstein in criticizing Air Force Chaplain Dondi Costin for attending an event in uniform, while Tom Carpenter had shared a stage with a uniformed chaplain under similar circumstances just a couple of months prior.
Hypocrisy, though, is often understood to be ‘holding others to a standard to which one does not hold himself.’
A more accurate word for what Tom Carpenter and his FOMC have displayed would be “bigotry” — or “intolerant devotion to one’s own opinions and prejudices,” in one definition.
You see, it wasn’t merely that Carpenter hosted one uniformed chaplain while criticizing another. His actual issue was the religious ideologies of the chaplains and the events they attended. Carpenter and the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy support tolerance for everyone — except those who do not hold the same religious beliefs they do.
And they recently made it quite clear.
Last weekend a pastor asked Read more