As reported at the Stars and Stripes, the Air Force has defended Chaplain (Capt) Sonny Hernandez’s recent publication of his views on Christianity and military religious freedom [emphasis added]:
Air Force Reserve spokesman Lt. Col. Chad Gibson said Hernandez is expressing his own views, not those of the Air Force, and his freedom to express his own faith is an essential protection in the military. The Air Force is not conducting an investigation, he said.
“I think we should reflect on why the Air Force is here,” Gibson said. “We are sworn to protect freedom of faith and religion unless it infringes on other people’s rights.”
That’s an admirably bold and direct statement from Read more
Chaplain Hernandez’s previously discussed column on military Christians and religious freedom continues to receive critiques — more accurately, criticism — from a wide variety of sources.
One of the more interesting responses came from Don Byrd of the Baptist Joint Committee, a left leaning advocacy group that tends to take a more atheistic view of religious liberty than most Baptists.
In a blog entitled “Air Force Chaplain is Wrong to Oppose Religious Liberty Rights for All,” Byrd began with a principled observation ignored by most [emphasis added]:
Capt. Hernandez is of course free to believe according to his conscience and faith…The controversial issue of salvation for non-Christians is a question of Christian theology, not public policy…
Personal theological beliefs do not disqualify an individual from public service.
Byrd then added a significant “however” [emphasis added]: Read more
Last week US Air Force Chaplain (Capt) Sonny Hernandez published a column at Barbwire.com entitled “Christian Service Members: Avoid Supporting or Accommodating Evil!” The article has been widely criticized — from the much-expected Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, to Chelsea Clinton, to multiple other sites — by those who have taken issue with Hernandez’s views on Christianity and military religious freedom.
Some of the criticisms are laced with the vitriol of those who despise Christianity in any form but milquetoast — so it wouldn’t matter what Hernandez said. Some of the criticisms are more academic. But almost all call for Hernandez’s head — or at least a pro forma “investigation” followed by a foregone dismissal. While Hernandez may have said — and did say — things that seemed illogical, theologically questionable, or wrong, nothing he said was illegal or otherwise a violation of any rule, regulation, or law. Those who are attacking his ability to serve in the US military — that so-called bastion of tolerance and diversity — have no leg upon which Read more
Revealing a fascinating bit of history, the Soldier’s Chapel on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, recently celebrated the birthday of Queen Liliuokalani, the last Hawaiian monarch to rule before it was annexed by the United States in the closing years of the 19th century.
What was the Queen’s connection to the chapel? Read more
Last Friday President Trump issued a formal directive for the Department of Defense to reverse the decision by former President Obama to allow transgenders to serve in the US military. Noting that transgenders had been banned from serving up until just last summer, the reasoning was fairly benign:
The previous Administration failed to identify a sufficient basis to conclude that terminating the Departments’ longstanding policy and practice would not hinder military effectiveness and lethality, disrupt unit cohesion, or tax military resources, and there remain meaningful concerns that further study is needed to ensure that continued implementation of last year’s policy change would not have those negative effects.
The outcry from sexual activists was swift, with Ashley Broadway-Mack — the activist “devout Christian” homosexual milspouse — calling on “Congress or the courts” or just about anybody to “take action to reverse Trump’s policy.”
Of course, it isn’t “Trump’s policy”, as the President’s memorandum notes, and gender-based activists are flailing for a course of action because they likely realize there isn’t really anything they can do. President Obama 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
Many of Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s acolytes share his disdain for Christianity, attacking its presence wherever they see it because they want it removed from public view. After all, there is no greater “national security threat,” as Mikey Weinstein would say, than Christians in the military. One supporter even went so far as to go after an event for military children.
Self-styled MRFF activist “Kimmie Hart” decided to “report” to Mikey Weinstein that her local chapel at White Sands Missile Range (a US Army facility) had hosted Vacation Bible School. As Read more
In response to the recent demand letter to the Air Force by Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s MRFF (a letter probably written by Chris Rodda), Skip Ash and Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice wrote their own letter (PDF)to Wright-Patt encouraging the Air Force to do the right thing — and continue ignoring Mikey Weinstein. Weinstein had written to demand “punishment” over a base chapel’s wing-wide email announcement of an upcoming leadership conference.
The letter was a well-written takedown the attack by “outlandish atheist” Mikey Weinstein — not Read more