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
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has had a tough year. Since January his “charity” has made little headway in his attacks on Christians in the military. Weinstein has apparently struggled to find stories or those willing to complain — with the result that both he and his verbose research assistant Chris Rodda have been uncharacteristically quiet.
The religious environment in the military is so “bad,” in fact, that Weinstein is now relegated to “representing” people in government who are “uncomfortable”:
According to Weinstein, [intelligence] agency employees don’t want to go public with their complaints because of fear of retribution or being labeled as “leakers.”… But certain things are making them especially uncomfortable, such as officials signing off with the phrase “have a blessed day.”
That’s Jenna McLaughlin’s take at Foreign Policy last week, where she Read more
US Senators have again taken President Trump’s nominees to task for their (Christian) religious beliefs:
Amy Coney Barrett, a law professor at Notre Dame, was grilled by Democrats over how her Catholic beliefs might influence her decisions from the bench.
“When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for, for years in this country,” Sen. Feinstein said.
The Senators’ unjustified criticisms of Barrett’s religion has been noted even by the left-leaning Baptist Joint Committee, which published a reminder 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
Retired Admiral James Stavridis — now dean of the Fletcher School of Law — took to the Boston Globe yesterday in an opinion piece excoriating President Trump for his handling of the Charlottesville, Va, riots. In so doing, however, the normally well-spoken retired flag officer demonstrated an outstanding (or selective) ignorance of the purpose of the US military: Adm Stavridis claimed the US military exists to “defend our values” [emphasis added]:
Our military exists to protect our nation and our allies from those forces who threaten our values: democracy, liberty, freedom of speech and religion, racial and gender equality…
The current [chiefs of staff] have all squarely and unequivocally shown us they know why we have a military — to defend our values, not tear them down…[They] publish[ed] clear, decisive statements disavowing racism and reaffirming the fundamental values they are sworn to defend.
These statements are unequivocally incorrect. As Read more