Before the Mountain West Conference championship game this past weekend, US Air Force Academy cadet football players defied the invective and threats of Michael “Mikey” Weinstein — and prayed in the end zone. As captured on video by NBC San Diego:
Mikey Weinstein’s criticism has been called petty even by his supporters, yet he is claiming these cadets taking a knee in the end zone prior to the game violates Air Force instructions, the US Constitution, and the law: Read more
Update: As of November 2015, the full Ninth Circuit refused to re-hear the FFRF appeal, effectively ending the case.
The Montana ski resort statue known as “Big Mountain Jesus” has survived the most recent challenge to have it torn down (from the appeal argued in July). The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a small atheist group that scours the country for signs of religion over which to be offended, sued because the statue is technically on federal land, though the land is perpetually leased to a ski resort. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty defended the statue.
The statue was built in the style of European shrines by the Knights of Columbus to honor the 10th Mountain Division. The Division’s soldiers fondly recalled the many shrines they saw during their combat in World War II. In that regard, it was not raised as a religious shrine itself, as the FFRF claims, but as a memorial that invokes those shrines as an homage to the 10th Mountain Division.
The Appeals Court panel found, in a 2-1 ruling, the statue was essentially secular in purpose — including as justification its “irreverent” use: Read more
In 2014 the Freedom From Religion Foundation appealed the dismissal of their lawsuit intended to remove a statue of Jesus from public land (which is leased as a ski resort). The affectionately named “Big Mountain Jesus” statue was erected as a memorial to the 10th Mountain Division, who recalled seeing many similar shrines during their campaign in Italy during World War II.
A 3-member panel of the 9th Circuit Read more
The city of King, NC, paid Americans United for the Separation of Church and State $500,000 and agreed to remove the iconic image of a soldier kneeling at a cross-shaped headstone, ending a lawsuit filed in 2012.
The city council voted 3-2 to settle.
“I feel this city has been sabotaged and bullied Read more
Each year since 1993 the President has declared January 16th to be “Religious Freedom Day,” in order to remember the passage of Thomas Jefferson’s 1786 Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. President Obama has not yet issued his proclamation this year [Edit: now available] but will likely do so today.
Jefferson’s statute continues to be a strong expression for the value of religious liberty even today. Though the statute has been discussed in many places and in great depth, there are two important points to take from the statute. First, Read more
At the American Enterprise Institute’s Evangelical Leadership Summit in Washington, DC, a panel of evangelical leaders advocated for Christians to defend the religious liberty of all, because religious freedom benefits everyone. Panel member Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission said
the burden to fight for religious liberties is not just about Judeo-Christian beliefs, but that Evangelicals are called to fight for freedoms for all religious motivations. He also stated that evangelicals should bring back the use of the term “separation of church and state,” but Read more
Update: Tony Perkins addresses the issue at One News Now. Also at the Christian Post.
Todd Starnes at FoxNews reports on the decision by a local National Guard armory not to be recognized at a local Vacation Bible School — because, they said, it would violate the military policies on religion. (The Washington Times and others subsequently picked up the story.)
Bible Baptist Church in Carthage…decided to honor the military during their annual Vacation Bible School. The theme was “God’s Rescue Squad.” And each day of the week, the church invited local “rescue squads” to visit with the boys and girls.
The paramedics came on Monday and on Read more
Last year Michael “Mikey” Weinstein threatened to sue the US Army because it exposed a group of Soldiers to a chaplain’s prayer, which the chaplain closed with
through Your holy name…
In response, Weinstein demanded the chaplain be disciplined and the Soldiers be given an apology. Weinstein threatened an “aggressive” Federal lawsuit (as opposed to a benign lawsuit, apparently) if the Army refused his demands.
To be clear, Weinstein was willing to sue because a chaplain said “through Your holy name” during a prayer to a group of Soldiers in an auditorium.
Based on events just this week, will Weinstein threaten to sue again?
On Monday, US Army Chief of Chaplains (MajGen) Donald Rutherford prayed in uniform and on national television — and, shockingly, closed with…”in Your holy name.” Just Read more