A member of the US military wrote an article published online noting he was an Army Captain and Christian — and yet he opposed the existence of the Bladensburg Peace Cross:
My name is CPT Justin M. Lienhard…I am absolutely opposed to any public funds being used to support any religious institutions or beliefs. The Bladensburg cross at the heart of the ongoing Supreme Court battle is an example of exactly that, and it doesn’t represent my service, nor the service of the many people I worked alongside…
I am an avowed Christian. I know that Jesus is my lord savior.
Lienhard’s article is not compelling — and it’s also not entirely forthright.
First, he gives a passionate critique of several strawmen. The Bladensburg Peace Cross has nothing to do with “public funds [supporting] religious institutions or beliefs” — despite his categorical claim it was “exactly that.” He writes about not “march[ing] as a Christian army,” which has nothing to do with the Peace Cross — or just about anything else. Further, contrary to his passionate claim, the Bladensburg Peace Cross wasn’t erected to represent his service, nor honor all veterans. It was erected with the use of private funds to honor the families of 49 local citizens who were killed in World War I. That he would somehow personalize their memorial changes its meaning not one whit.
It is interesting that a US Army Captain would Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has complained that the US Air Force Academy has invited Rodney Bullard to be one of its speakers at its annual National Character and Leadership Symposium. Bullard graduated from USAFA in 1996 and served as a JAG — not unlike Weinstein himself.
The NCLS is scheduled to occur next week.
The reason Weinstein objects is Bullard is Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility for Chick-fil-A.
Weinstein wrote an email to LtGen Jay Silveria, the USAFA Superintendent, demanding Bullard’s invitation be rescinded because it was Read more
Tulsi Gabbard is a Democrat representing Hawaii’s 2nd District in the US House of Representatives. She is also a Major in the Army National Guard and a recently declared presidential candidate.
She is also a Hindu.
In response to criticisms regarding her religion and her political aspirations, Gabbard wrote a strongly worded rebuttal published at Religion News Service saying “religious bigotry is un-American” [emphasis added]:
While the headlines covering my announcement could have celebrated this historic first [a Hindu presidential candidate], and maybe even informed Americans about the world’s third largest religion, some have instead fomented suspicion, fear and religious bigotry about not only me but also my supporters…
Some media outlets have chosen to craft a false narrative of intrigue by profiling and targeting all of my donors who have names of Hindu origin and accusing them of being “Hindu nationalists.”
Today it’s the profiling and targeting of Hindu Americans and ascribing to them motives without any basis. Tomorrow will it be Muslim or Jewish Americans? Japanese, Hispanic or African Americans?
While Gabbard is right to protest Read more
Vice President Mike Pence has been raked over the coals in recent weeks and months. He and his family have been the target of criticism, vitriol, and hate.
Some of it has come from random internet blogs or “celebrities” who might otherwise be ignored, except their acrimony was then repeated by the media as “news” — in some cases, it was seemingly promoted by the media.
Pence was attacked not because of a policy decision, a political position, or any action that was illegal or unethical.
Mike Pence has been attacked simply because he’s a Christian.
Notably, at no point did those same media organizations remotely defend Pence’s human rights, and rights under the US Constitution, that protect his ability to believe and do the things so vilely attacked.
By all accounts, Mike Pence is a good and honorable man — though that’s Read more
The Supreme Court ruled (5-4) yesterday that injunctions preventing the Department of Defense from implementing a change to President Obama’s transgender policy were stayed while the case worked its way through the courts. This allows the DoD Policy proposed by then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis to take effect.
Previously, lower courts had ruled in both directions on the policy.
While the policy is about medical and mental conditions, critics of the ruling blamed it on religion — that is, Christianity.
Tris Mamone, a member of the awkwardly named LGBTQ Humanist Alliance, is quoted saying [emphasis added]
Today’s ruling is another example of bigotry and Christian nationalism overriding legal protections for all Americans.
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein similarly called it a product of the [emphasis added] Read more
Last Wednesday the US Senate passed a resolution stating what should have been obvious — there is no “religious test” for public office in the United States.
In response to Democrat Senators questioning nominees on their Catholic beliefs in association with the Knights of Columbus, the Senate passed a resolution stating it was
the sense of the Senate that disqualifying a nominee to Federal office on the basis of membership in the Knights of Columbus violates the Constitution of the United States
The resolution noted then-Senator and presidential candidate John F. Kennedy had similarly faced anti-Catholic bigotry: Read more
An interesting article covering the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense data on religion revealed some interesting statistics about faith groups and their military [emphasis added]:
Among the 99% of UK regulars who declared their faith, over 69% are of Christian denomination…
Around 28% reported having no religion, a figure that has seen a sharp increase in recent years…
Whilst 69% of the Army, Navy and RAF regulars are Christian, the faith accounts for just over half of the general public (50.7%).
The gap was even greater between the Future Reserves 2020 – a programme to strengthen the role of the reserves – and the general population, with more than 73% of reservists subscribed to Christianity…
(There’s just something about the word “whilst.”)
Granted, these numbers Read more
A few sailors aboard the USS John C. Stennis, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, were recently highlighted for their unique exercise of religious freedom. From the official news release:
Heathenry, a religion with roots in Norse culture and mythology, is being practiced by a small, committed group of Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).
Aviation Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Joshua Wood, from Eagle River, Alaska, is John C. Stennis’ Heathen lay leader.
The story is “interesting” enough that the normally sleepy Navy news report has been widely repeated across the media, though it seems to have Read more