Happy New Year from ChristianFighterPilot.com.
Each year is a unique challenge to a military Christian. Deployment schedules vary, family situations change, new faith challenges arise, and the rules on religious practice and expression in the military change. ChristianFighterPilot.com has attempted to remain a viable and valuable resource for information as varied as “how to become a fighter pilot” and “military Christians and ‘church/state separation.'” Many people have contacted CFP; some were like-minded active duty military, some were ROTC cadets wanting to know how to secure a pilot’s slot, and some were high school students wanting to understand the relationship between Christ and the military profession. Chaplains, Army soldiers in Iraq, and even atheists and opponents to religion in the military have corresponded with and commented on the site. Though small, the presence and ministry of ChristianFighterPilot.com is being felt.
As always, ChristianFighterPilot.com seeks to improve and expand. If you would like to contribute content or commentary, or if you have suggestions for the site or ministry, please feel free to contact CFP, either through the form or email. If you know of others who may be interested in the newsletter, site, or topics, please let them know about the website or forward the newsletter to them.
Each new year brings the traditional resolutions and, regrettably, a new wave of controversies. Weinstein’s lawsuit Read more
Merry Christmas…can we say that?
Both religious and secular news sources have repeatedly reported on the perceived “war on Christmas,” in which organizations (primarily retailers) have chosen to say (or not say) Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, or some other variation on the theme. For retailers, it is a business decision, whether good or bad, in which they attempt to appease one group of consumers or another. What they do probably has an impact on their sales figures, but influences little else.
Another question revolves around what is permissible for government officials. Lawsuits and controversy have erupted over Christmas (or “holiday”) displays (like in Wisconsin). Even President Bush has been taken to task for the White House Christmas Cards that don’t mention Christmas, but do contain Old Testament Bible verses that reference the Messianic prophecy. Military Christians, then, have a confusing cornucopia of examples to look at when trying to decide what is appropriate during the Christmas season.
Is there a right answer? What can military Christians do or say? Read more
An interesting split-decision [pdf] found that an anonymous plaintiff, represented by the ACLU, lacked standing to sue a school board for their opening invocations.
While the ADF called this a “blow” to the ACLU’s practice of suing with “offended observers,” it is worth noting that the court did not rule on the merits of the case.
[The “offended observer” refers loosely to accusations of “planting” people in public meetings who are suddenly offended. Those who accused groups of using that tactic claimed they were unable to find a “real” offended person and thus had to create their own. This supposedly led to lawsuits where plaintiffs were virtually unknown to the community that was in support of the challenged activity.]
A concurring opinion noted: Read more
A Jewish Chaplain is being charged with desertion after moving to Canada after his resignation was denied.The Chaplain has enlisted the services of Mr. Michael Weinstein, who says he will sue the Army for “violating [the Chaplain’s] civil rights.”
The article has two interesting quotes. One includes a “disparaging term” for non-Jews, though no one in the article takes issue with the prejudicial term. The second is as follows:
The whole reason I volunteered to become a chaplain is because I was eager to help Jewish kids who chose the military and needed spiritual guidance while being far away from home serving in the Army.
Oddly, when Christians say the same thing, Weinstein accuses them of staging an “evangelical coup” in the military.