Michael “Mikey” Weinstein put out a press release yesterday claiming his MRFF – and it alone – was responsible for ensuring the religious liberty of two US troops of the Muslim faith. Ramadan begins next week, and according to the information released by Weinstein, but for him, those two troops were not going to receive accommodations for their faith during that time.
If, by chance, Mikey Weinstein did ensure the accommodation of religious troops, it would be laudable – and potentially the first time Weinstein has done something that resembled the name in his “religious freedom” foundation.
According to email traffic selectively released by Weinstein, the two troops had requested accommodations during the month of Ramadan, and they were denied: Read more
US troops celebrated the resurrection of the Jesus Christ around the world, including in the Middle East:
U.S. Army Soldiers deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield greet the Easter morning sunrise on a hilltop in Jordan less than 60 miles from where many Christians recognize as the resurrection site for Jesus of Nazareth, April 4, 2021. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Suzanne Ringle, Task Force Spartan Public Affairs)
A few years ago, Chris Rodda claimed Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, self-described defender of religious freedom in the US military, returned to rare form yesterday and excoriated the US military because it published a story about a US Soldier — and she’s a Christian.
In what is likely an intentional Public Affairs and recruiting effort, the military has long had a practice of publishing personal interest stories on its troops. While there are many “average Americans” profiled, there are also many stories about US troops with relatively unique and significant experiences. There are many stories about growing up in impoverished or oppressive countries, living in fear or struggle before coming to America, and wanting to “give back” to the country they feel has given them so much.
About a week ago, the US Army published such a story about US Army SPC Zahraa ‘Katya’ Frelund, who, as an Iraqi teenager in 2009, ran away from what she knew and into the arms of US troops on a US Army base in Baghdad. The Army Captain she met there told her Read more
Former Chief of Navy Chaplains (RAdm) Margaret Kibben was appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to be the House Chaplain in January. Last week, her opening “prayer” criticized the House members for failing to “unite” around the $1.9T COVID “relief” bill.
“Almighty God, as these lawmakers take their sides on this factional bill before them, we pray your mercy,” she said. “Forgive them, all of them. For when called upon to respond to a once-in-a-century pandemic that has rocked our country, upended its economy and widened the chasm of partisan opinion, they have missed the opportunity to step above the fray and unite to attend to this national crisis…
In failing to address the acrimony and divisions which have prevailed in this room, the servants you have called to lead this country have contributed to the spread of an even more insidious contagion of bitterness and spite.”
The liberally-minded Kibben, who declined to support her own chaplain’s support for religious liberty in the Navy, seemed to prefer movement over principle. Clearly, she didn’t intend Read more
Noted last year when she began training, 1Lt Saleha Jabeen has now graduated the chaplain’s course and has become the first female Muslim chaplain in the entire US military:
The graduation ceremony for BCC Class 21A was a historic event as the Air Force aims to foster a more diverse and inclusive service…
“I did not have to compromise on any of my religious beliefs or convictions,” Jabeen said. “I am surrounded with people who respect me and are willing to receive what I bring to the table as a woman, a faith leader, and an immigrant.”
Jabeen’s entrance into the military as a chaplain is Read more
President Joe Biden’s reversal of the military ban on transgenders hadn’t even been announced for minutes before it claimed its first controversy.
US Army Chaplain (MAJ) Andrew Calvert posted a comment on the Army Times Facebook page discussing Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s support for repeal. As quoted by the Army Times in a follow-up story, Chaplain Calvert said
“How is rejecting reality (biology) not evidence that a person is mentally unfit (ill), and thus making that person unqualified to serve,” Andrew Calvert posted on the Army Times Facebook page Monday. “There is little difference in this than over those who believe and argue for a ‘flat earth,’ despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary…
“The motivation is different,” Calvert continued, “but the argument is the same. This person is a MedBoard for Mental Wellness waiting to happen. What a waste of military resources and funding!”
First of all, it used to be a standard talking point in training Read more
With the airwaves and mainstream media clogged with politics and other drama, issues of religious freedom in the US military largely fell to the wayside these past few months. The reason is that most (not all, but certainly most) military religious freedom issues begin as attacks from outside the military. With an inattentive public, those who would attack the religious liberty of US troops for their personal benefit haven’t been able to gain public traction – or have simply chosen not to, given the low monetary return they would see for their efforts.
Thus, organizations like Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation have been either silent or largely ignored these past few months. (Mikey Weinstein’s Facebook page has been entertaining, as he’s been paying to promote otherwise ignored posts only to have the comments filled with “Who is this guy?” and “Why is this #$%$ on my feed!?!”)
With a new administration, there will certainly be changes that Read more
What began as a powerful and effective ministry to US troops in southern California (highlighted here last year) has now begun to spread. Soul Survivor Outdoor, which seeks to minister to US troops by providing “soul care,” has expanded to Texas, where it recently served the troops at Fort Hood following a redeployment. As reported in an official Army release:
Chaplain Karen Moore, battalion chaplain for 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment…organized for members of her battalion to participate and interact with SSO. She also helped assist sister battalion, 1st battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, become involved with the program as well.
In the end, 55 US troops participated in Read more