Catholic priest Father Ray Leonard has filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Defense and the Navy for prohibiting him from ministering to the military community at the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia. Leonard is a civilian contractor who had been hired to begin his service on 1 October 2013.
The priest was one of thousands of civilian military employees and contractors furloughed because of the failure of Congress to reach a deal on funding the federal government. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has since recalled some Defense Department workers, but civilian military chaplains were excluded.
The lawsuit seeks a judgment that would Read more
Senator Carl Levin (D-Ma) and US Rep Adam Smith (D-Wa) have written a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel telling him to “issue further guidance” to state National Guard units who have been declining to process benefit applications for homosexuals.
As has been noted elsewhere, until such units are federalized, they operate under the power of the states — their commander in chief is Read more
Given the scandal over sexual assault in the US military right now, it may surprise some to learn that the DoD is defending its continued sale of pornography on military facilities.
Last month, Morality in Media wrote a letter to the Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel appealing to him to enforce the 1996 Military Honor and Decency Act, which prohibits the sale of sexually explicit material at DoD facilities.
As reported by MiM, the Assistant Secretary of Defense replied, saying the DoD had “previously reviewed” the magazines — and he then Read more
In the face of the “sexual assault” scandal in the US military, Department of Defense leaders fanned out across graduation ceremonies to call on new and graduating officers to live out moral courage. From Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, speaking to the graduating class of 2013 at West Point [ellipses original]:
When you are faced with difficult decisions, you will always know that the right thing to do…is the right thing to do. Do it. Listen to yourself and be guided by what you believe is right.
Standing against the crowd and choosing the harder right instead of the easier wrong, as the Cadet Prayer prescribes, can be very lonely and frightening at times. And it requires immense moral courage.
It is an interesting position to assert that every officer knows the right thing to do — meaning many in the current controversies have been knowingly choosing to do the “wrong thing.” Of course, the “moral courage” to which Secretary Hagel refers presupposes a knowledge of right and wrong; normally, that is defined outside of “listening to yourself,” unless one includes a moral and religious upbringing in one’s character.
Secretary Hagel is Read more
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has announced the entire Department of Defense will mimic the “health and welfare” inspection conducted by the Air Force late last year to round up “offensive” materials.
The workplace searches will be conducted by “component heads” before July 1, and Hagel expects each service to submit a report summarizing the findings. The Air Force leadership will submit a report based on inspections it ordered in late 2012 and will not be expected to conduct a new round of searches.
The article also notes Secretary Hagel intends to hold leaders responsible for the “cultural change” necessary for an environment of “dignity and respect.”
The “culture” has recently come under scrutiny, as Commandant of Read more
Jay Sekulow of The American Center for Law and Justice recently sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel calling on them to “repudiate” any relationship the US military had with Michael Weinstein. Sekulow, who once debated Weinstein at the US Air Force Academy, previously called Weinstein a bigot. In a new article, he’s called Weinstein a “nut” and legal hack who’s all bluster and no substance [emphasis added]:
“The rhetoric and language [Weinstein] uses is hateful; it is violent. He threatens physical violence on people. He’ll beat them up and he’ll fight to the death,” he tells American Family News. “[Weinstein] is a nut – and I don’t use that word lightly…”
“Look at [Weinstein’s] casework – oh wait, it’s very tough to find. You know why? He never won a case in court,” notes Read more
According to Sally Quinn, Defense officials had not only met with Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, but published an entire Air Force manual on religious protocol at his request. Now, either Mikey is lying or the Pentagon is backpedaling, because [the DoD] released another statement claiming to have made “reasonable accommodations” for religious practice and that “service members can share their faith (evangelize), but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others of any faith or no faith to one’s beliefs (proselytization).”
Of course, no one should be coerced, but it all hinges on how the DOD defines “unwanted” and “intrusive.” Judging by Weinstein, who views us as “fundamentalist Christian monsters of human degradation,” any mention of religious testimony would be intolerable. Meanwhile, where were those “religious accommodations” when the Air Force disinvited me from a prayer breakfast at Andrews Air Force Base? Or when officers stripped “God” from the Rapid Capabilities motto and purged Bibles from Air Force Inn checklists? Where was the Air Force’s encouragement to “confidently practice your own beliefs” when cadets were ordered to stop promoting charities for needy kids or when it suspended a 20-year-old class on “Just War Theory” because it included a few Bible verses?
Links added to Tony Perkins’ commentary.
ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow — who debated Michael Weinstein at USAFA in 2007 — said Weinstein is a “bigot” in the vein of the Westboro Baptist Church.
[T]he Air Force has been meeting with a bigot every bit as obscene, Read more
After much controversy, the “Distinguished Warfare Medal,” which was purportedly designed to recognize those who contribute to the battlefront without being there, has been eliminated by the Secretary of Defense:
Just two months after its creation, Hagel said the Pentagon will replace the DWM with a device that can be attached to other previously existing medals.
The pejoratively-nicknamed “drone medal” was the subject of Read more