Tag Archives: chris rodda

Chris Rodda: US Troops Can Proselytize with this One Neat Trick

Chris Rodda has long been a “creative” writer, despite her sometimes claim to be an apparent amateur historian. While she has been quick to call out the errors of others with whom she disagrees, she ignores the errors of those who are on her side. She has also published a bevy of, to put it nicely, misleading writings. For someone so quick to call others “liars,” she has a very unique view of the truth.

With that in mind, Rodda published a blog yesterday with an attention-grabbing title:

National Defense Authorization Act to Include Military Training on How to Force Religion on Others.

Like much of what she writes, though, her title wasn’t true. (Most obviously, the NDAA hasn’t left either side of Congress yet, much less gone through conference committee or to the President. In other words, the NDAA doesn’t “include” anything yet.)

The short version of a long, meandering blog (Rodda has never been one for being succinct), is that Rodda is upset about Senate bill 4049, which was introduced in the Senate only a couple of weeks ago. Within it, the Senate requires the US military to conduct training on “Religious Accommodation” that must include:

  • Federal statutes, DoD Instructions, Service regulations regarding religious liberty and accommodation for members of the Armed Forces
  • The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993
  • Section 533 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013
  • Section 528 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016

Of that content, Rodda takes issue only with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The RFRA is fairly short, and it says the government cannot “substantially burden” exercise of religion, with some Read more

US Military Ignores Faith, Celebrates Pride in Homosexual Behavior

Last month, despite the lack of any pronouncement from their Commander-in-Chief, a few US military facilities continued the Obama-era tradition of celebrating the sexual behaviors of a few of their service members.

At Yokosuka, the US Navy held a socially-distanced Pride cake cutting, attended by about 10 people, including the facility’s commander, Navy Capt Rich Garrett.

Naval Warfare Center Dahlgren celebrated Yeoman 2nd Class Joshua Kelley in an in-depth personal profile, noting he

volunteers…in the Hampton Roads LGBTQ+ community by performing as the drag queen, Harpy Daniels.

That’s…disturbing.

March Air Reserve Base noted the “evangelistic” message of Marvin Tucker, who Read more

Senator Cruz Defends Religious Freedom, Chris Rodda Embarrasses Herself

On Tuesday, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx) sent a letter (press release, PDF) to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper highlighting the US Army’s kowtowing to Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s demands to restrict religious liberty in the Armed Forces. Some of the language may seem very similar to what was written on this site the same day [emphasis added]:

The [MRFF] has been waging a campaign against the chaplaincy, and frankly, against religious freedom in the military generally. In response, the Army has censored chaplains’ religious speech based on the flawed and arbitrary notion that military chaplains may not carry out their official duties outside of a religious ceremony that occurs within the four walls of a chapel.

As with other members of Congress in the recent past, Cruz reminded Read more

The US Army Restricts Chaplains to the Chapel’s Four Walls

As the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic increasingly restricted personal interaction, US military chaplains did what many of their civilian counterparts were doing and increased their “virtual” presence through online chapel services and videos. Chaplains who could no longer interact with their troops on the PT field, in the barracks, or in the halls — like Chaplain (Maj) Brian Minietta — found other ways to do so, including using their units’ Facebook pages.

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein did not like this, claiming that the presence of chaplains’ video messages on unit Facebook pages constituted command endorsement of the message and coercion of subordinates to those beliefs. According to Weinstein acolyte Lawrence Wilkerson, whose primary claim to fame is being the former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, these military chaplains were actually violating the US Constitution.

While laughable on its face, it would seem the US Army Chaplain Corps ultimately agreed. It provided guidance (PDF) to its chaplains on May 26th in which it instructed chaplains to keep “specific religious” messages off unit Facebook pages:

General encouragement can be placed on a unit webpage, but specific religious support content should be on a dedicated UMT, RSO, or Chapel webpage.

In fact, as the MRFF gleefully noted, the Chaplain guidance went Read more

Congressmen Call on SecDef Esper to Defend Military Religious Freedom

Congress accuses Mikey Weinstein of “preying” on military chaplains.

Today, US Rep Doug Collins (R-GA) and 19 House colleagues wrote a letter (PDF) to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper demanding that the US military

follow federal law in protecting [chaplains’] religious liberties and ensure that the ongoing pandemic is not exploited by nefarious organizations bent on removing faith from the U.S. military.

(Collins is also an Air Force Reserve Chaplain.)

The letter specifically calls out Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s MRFF and its recent attacks on Chaplain Kim in Korea, the removal of chaplain videos from Facebook, and the demand that LtCol David McGraw be punished for singing and preaching from his home’s balcony in Stuttgart, Germany: Read more

Mikey Weinstein Demands Court Martial over John Piper Coronavirus Book

A chaplain in Korea and an Army officer in Germany are the latest to bear the wrath of Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s vendetta against Christians in the US military.

In South Korea, Chaplain (Colonel) Moon Kim is the Garrison Chaplain for Camp Humphreys. According to Weinstein, Chaplain Kim sent his subordinate chaplains a digital copy of John Piper’s “Coronavirus and Christ,” which, according to Weinstein, is “gross malfeasance” worthy of punishment:

MRFF demands that Army Chaplain (Colonel) Kim be officially, swiftly, aggressively, and visibly investigated and disciplined in punishment for his deplorable actions described above.

Weinstein has explicitly demanded Chaplain Kim be court-martialed, though for what “crime” he does not say.

Weinstein told CP outright that he is calling for Kim to be subject to general court-martial

Most of Weinstein missive, which drips with disdain for the Christian faith, takes issue with Christian theology he doesn’t like — though at times he (or his researcher, Chris Rodda) didn’t seem to know what Read more

The Army, Facebook, and Mikey Weinstein

During the unique trials of the pandemic, US military chaplains are coming under fire for trying to provide support for their troops.

A few years ago, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein regularly made a ruckus over something frequently called “Chaplain’s Corner”. The pieces were generally short articles written by military chaplains and published in a military base’s local paper. Weinstein and his research assistant, Chris Rodda, were apparently unable to prove military Christians were actually doing anything wrong, so they took to finding articles with Christians saying something they didn’t like. Just about every week, it seemed, the MRFF would hit the press with another “the world is ending” claim about a Christian chaplain trying to subvert democracy by publishing an article in a small-circulation base paper. (Notably, they ignored those by other faiths.)

There were plenty of targets, of course, because these columns existed at pretty much every military base. (Routine public productions like that are good fodder for performance reviews.) In other words, Weinstein was able to keep himself in the press just by making a new complaint about old news every week. In many, if not most, cases, military bases responded by pulling the columns to mitigate the supposed offense. With the “victories” and coverage, Weinstein had found a new cash cow.

That is, until religious liberty advocates stepped in to defend the rights of US troops against the attacks by Weinstein and Rodda.

One of the most significant Read more

Military Religious Freedom in a Stay At Home World

A few years ago, it seemed issues of religion in the military – scandals, some might say – dominated the news cycle for weeks out of the year. Every December the “top ten” religion media stories of the year included several regarding the US military. More recently, however, such “scandals” have fallen out of the news. To be sure, issues of religion in the military still pop up every now and then, but now those stories tend to involve actual issues of religion in the military, not manufactured outrage. Media stories are now far more likely to be about the changes that allow a Sikh to wear a turban or beard than about some random member of the military saying “have a blessed day” or having a Bible on their desk.

Part of the reason for this change has been the rise of religious liberty organizations who have defended the religious rights of US troops. The Becket Fund, First Liberty Institute, the ACLJ and others like them have become prominent and public defenders of religious freedom in the US military. While they were available to troops as a resource for many years, these organizations have gradually become more proactive, to the point that recent changes in US law and military policy have been proposed – and successfully passed – because of these groups. These laws and policies have dampened some of the prior years’ flail because they unified and standardized the military’s response to faith and free exercise. Rather than a cycle of military bases having repeats of the same kerfuffle, overarching policies govern the reaction of the entire DoD. (Sometimes.)

The end result is Read more

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