In early May an aggrieved civilian working at Tobyhanna Army Depot in Pennsylvania contacted Michael “Mikey” Weinstein with a religious complaint so horrible, so egregious, so dangerous that it is amazing it had not already caused massive loss of life.
Someone was wearing a hat.
Quoth Weinstein [emphasis added]:
Dear Col. Peterson,
Sir, one of your armed, DOD, Army, civilian gate guards at the Tobyhanna Army Depot Main or “Scranton” gate is wearing a baseball hat with the biblical citation from the New Testament Book of John “3:16” on it…
MRFF demands that you immediately order that offending gate guard to expeditiously remove that Christian-proselytizing baseball hat and appropriately, aggressively and visibly punish that individual as well as all others in his chain of command who are either directly or indirectly responsible…
It just takes a hat to convert people? Missionaries have been doing it wrong all these years.
Turns out Weinstein was pretty far off the mark. First, it seems Read more
US Army SSgt Christal Crawford is deployed to Jordan, and it is there she chose to re-dedicate her life to her country — and to her God.
With tears in her eyes, [she] walked down the steps leading to the Jordan River at the baptism site of Jesus to change into her robe…
“I never imagined when I was younger that I would get to experience being baptized in Read more
In an act that almost amounted to a display of principle, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s MRFF finally spoke out against US Air Force MSgts Laura and Mark Magee — both Muslim service members. The Magees were the focus of a “Through Airmen’s Eyes” article put out by the Air Force early last week which highlighted their faith. The article was entitled “Nevada ANG chaplain [sic]: ‘I want people to know Islam is not evil’“. (The title should have said “…chaplain’s assistant,” not “chaplain”.)
Weinstein’s group put out a statement saying [emphasis added]:
MRFF objects to it just as strongly as it has to the many articles published by the Air Force highlighting the faith of Christian airmen [sic]…
The MRFF complaint gives only a single example that it says violates Air Force regulations, citing the article which quoted MSgt Mark Magee saying: Read more
Ed Brayton, a long-time secularist blogger and ally of Michael “Mikey” Weinstein and Chris Rodda, recently wrote a post entitled “Klingenschmitt’s Cluelessness on Religious Tests for Office.”
One of Brayton’s pastimes is keeping up with former Navy Chaplain and former Colorado state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt, himself a prolific public speaker and writer.
Brayton quoted Klingenschmitt from a LifeSite news article in which Klingenschmitt was commenting on the decision by Tennessee state legislator Mark Green to withdraw from nomination as Secretary of the Army. Klingenschmitt said
The bully left is now openly creating an unconstitutional religious litmus test for public office. If you believe the Bible, or quote the Bible in public, they claim you are unfit for office and apply their political labels until you quit.
Brayton mocked Klingenschmitt’s statement as “absurd,” and then followed it with his own absurdity: Read more
US Army SFC Timothy Seppala is a Religious Affairs Specialist, otherwise known as a chaplain’s assistant. He recently wrote a few articles about the chaplaincy and one on “Reconciling your Morality: Finding the Common Ground.”
The article begins with a fairly reassuring statement that morality is “highly objective”, but it soon becomes clear SFC Seppala meant the other word [emphasis added]:
The truth is that morality can come from almost anywhere and is something that is unique to each individual.
As you can imagine, having so many sources of morality leads to many different views on what is right and wrong.
In other words, Seppala mean to say morality is subjective, not objective. That doesn’t bode well for the rest of the article on morality.
Seppala goes on to note that social issues divide society — and the US military reflects the society from which it is drawn, even on issues of morality [emphasis added]: Read more
US Army Alaska chaplain recently participated in a “Holistic Healthcare Conference” that included discussions on PTSD and moral injury.
In a panel discussion, Chaplain (Maj) James Hall made a fascinating statement:
When asked about where service members could seek out help, Hall replied, “it usually takes a moral authority to help someone with a moral injury.”
At first it almost sounds arrogant — but, in fact, it’s true. Consider Read more
David Plummer, a chaplain-endorser with the liberal leaning Coalition of Spirit-Filled Churches, responded to the DoD’s decision to publish a new “Faith and Belief” list by making an aside that the
military chaplaincy is NOT about being a “government-paid pastor or missionary in uniform.”
Plummer is making a reference to a phrase made famous by Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s MRFF, which copied (and slightly edited) a video from a 2004 chapel assembly at Dallas Theological Seminary by US Army Chaplain (Maj) Douglas Duerksen*. Chaplain Duerksen described the military society as “amoral” and “unchurched” — making it a “magnificent mission field.” He followed Read more
In 2012, then-US Army Major Ray Bradley complained that he was a humanist but was unable to put “humanist” in his military records as his “religion” in his military records (and reflected on his dog tags).
In 2014, the US Army added “humanist” to the list of faith codes.
In a new memo dated 27 March 2017 (PDF), the DoD Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs published a change that established standardized DoD-wide faith codes across the force — including “Humanist.”
For his part, Bradley had originally envisioned the recognition as the first step to achieving “lay leader” status as a humanist (with humanist “chaplain” to follow). That’s the same conclusion for which Jason Torpy pined when his MAAF reported on this new memo.
Kimberly Winston of the Religion News Service — sitting Read more