Though not officially announced, a few websites and organizations have revealed that the Navy Chaplain Appointment and Retention Eligibility (CARE) Advisory Group has recommended that Jason Heap, an atheist, be appointed a US Navy chaplain. (The official silence may be because CARE’s decision was leaked in violation of Navy policy, which dictates the sessions be “closed” with members forbidden from “discussing deliberations or recommendations”.)
Heap had previously sued the Navy over its denial of his application to become a chaplain. The lawsuit was largely dismissed, though some claims proceeded. One site claimed the suit was subsequently “settled” under unpublicized terms.
Navy regulations say the CARE group is primarily composed of senior chaplains and other senior leaders. CARE ensures the “full spectrum” of professional qualifications is considered when someone applies to be a chaplain. The objective, in context, is to prevent people from becoming chaplains just because they meet the bare minimum requirements.
CARE’s role is to validate Read more
A fairly benign article on the chapel community at the small Schriever AFB, CO, listed some of the events held throughout the year. The chaplains went out of their way to say the events they host are not coercively religious:
“Our events are not religion-based,” Werner said. “During retreats, we hold educational classes teaching how to deal with life issues. You’re not going to be proselytized.”
Chaplain (Capt) Portmann Werner probably could have used a little more nuance in that statement, since some of the events the article referenced included Ash Wednesday and Christmas Eve services, which clearly are “religion-based.” Even marriage workshops hosted by the chapel generally allow for some element of religion, even if they’re not a full-blown religious guideline for marriage.
On one level, it’s Read more
At The Ada News, a local paper from just outside Oklahoma City, Richard Putnam wrote a short piece on “Christians and Violence” entitled “The Veterans’ Chaplain.”
Putnam, who apparently supports the concept of a military and non-pacifistic defense, also says:
How…do we square the business of defending ourselves and our loved ones with Jesus’ explicit command to not engage in violence? The answer is, of course, that we cannot. We cannot obey Jesus’ command to remain nonviolent and engage in battle to protect our families.
The short column is best summed up here [emphasis added]: Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein tried to stop Kenneth Copeland from speaking at Fort Jackson’s Prayer Breakfast in February, apparently believing he needed to protect US troops from Copeland’s religious beliefs regarding faith, healing, and PTSD. While Weinstein’s pleas were loud and desperate, the event went on regardless.
Not much later, David Barton — seemingly Chris Rodda’s sworn enemy — spoke at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, but the MRFF was apparently unaware. Since no one complained, Weinstein and Rodda were unable to protect the troops from Barton’s — presumably offensive — Christian beliefs and presentation on the history of prayer in America.
At about the same time, another prayer luncheon occurred at Fort Hunter Liggett, where a keynote speaker held politically sensitive views and religious beliefs opposed by a substantial percentage of American citizens — and, yet again, Mikey Weinstein was silent.
This time, the speaker Read more
After all the stories about “firsts” with regard to female and African-American chaplains, the Georgia Army National Guard had its own first, with a chaplain who was a first in his faith:
[Paul] McCabe became the first Episcopal Chaplain the history of the Georgia Army National Guard.
On one hand, this seems Read more
The South Dakota National Guard published a press release celebrating a “historic ceremony” in which Chaplain (Capt) Kelley Thury became the SDNG’s first female chaplain:
Thury is now the chaplain for the largest battalion in the SDARNG, the 153rd Engineer Battalion.
“Having the first female chaplain is really awesome, especially in the Engineer Corps where having females in the Engineer Corps hasn’t been a long-standing policy in the U.S. military,” said Lt. Col. Trent Bruce, former 153rd commander. “Integrating females into the Engineer Corps in itself is historic, but as a chaplain as well, is amazing.”
Several units have now made “headlines” with female chaplains. But what’s more interesting about Chaplain Thury is her attitude toward her fellow chaplains.
It seems Thury is connected to the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy, the homosexual Read more
Army Specialist Samuel Keenan of the Massachusetts National Guard recently wrote an article out of Hanscom AFB entitled “Getting in the foxhole: how chaplains serve nonreligious service members” — apparently a subtle play on the “no atheists in a foxhole” phrase.
In short, the article uses the example of Guard Air Force Chaplain (Capt) Derek White to show that chaplains serve everyone, even those without a religious faith:
“It doesn’t matter if they’re religious or if they have no religious preference,” said White. “The fact that I am the person that they feel they can share their life with… that’s a really great feeling…”
“Regardless of religious preference, or non-preference, everybody hits a wall with human limits,” said White. “Chaplains provide hope that the wall is not an obstacle that cannot be overcome.”
That’s a valid discussion — even if the “non-religious” issue feels somewhat forced to the exclusion of everything else. Based on the article, it seems Keenan, more than Chaplain White, focused on the non-religious aspect. There’s no clear reason why.
Unfortunately, Keenan relied on an “interesting” source for part of his article: Read more
After Michael “Mikey” Weinstein recently decried the National Prayer Breakfasts at both Fort Jackson and Whiteman AFB, one might have thought US troops were stumbling over each other to beg for his help in the face of religious oppression and pancakes.
In actuality, National Prayer Breakfasts are happening at military facilities around the country — entirely without incident. Even the ones Weinstein complained about so boisterously occurred without so much as a ripple.
Why the disconnect? Aside from the obvious answer that Weinstein doesn’t always tell the truth, the simple fact is US service members aren’t coming to Weinstein in droves to complain about these events — or anything else, for that matter — despite Weinstein’s claims to the contrary.
Rather, Mikey Weinstein finds out about an event — even if just from a simple internet news alert — socializes it among his followers to create “complainants”, and then tries to ride the complaints about the event for publicity (and his personal benefit, of course).
In other words, the “complaints” are essentially manufactured. But for Mikey Read more