For the second time, the US Navy has denied the application of Dr. Jason Heap to become a “humanist chaplain” in the sea service. A Navy board had supported his appointment; when word of that decision leaked, members of both the House and Senate wrote the Navy in protest. Those congressmen have now revealed that the Navy has rejected Heap’s application, again.
Heap’s application as been widely opposed by religious liberty groups, largely because humanism isn’t a religion — and the chaplaincy is religious.
On that point, Hemant Mehta, the poorly Read more
UPDATE: Fort Jackson says “there are no plans to rescind the invitation,” as reported by MRFF-friendly Nina Burleigh at Newsweek. Fort Jackson said [emphasis added]:
The Prayer Breakfast is open to all community members, is entirely voluntary, and is cost free to the Army and attendees. Mr. Copeland’s participation in the prayer breakfast is not an endorsement by Fort Jackson of him or of any comments that he may present. Fort Jackson respects and protects all individual’s rights under the First Amendment to the Constitution, including ensuring access to religious services and events for those who wish to participate and protecting the rights of those who do not.
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has sent an email to Fort Jackson, SC, demanding the Army post disinvite Kenneth Copeland from their upcoming National Prayer Breakfast. Addressing MajGen John Johnson, Fort Jackson’s Commanding General, Weinstein wrote that Fort Jackson’s upcoming speaker:
is the universally despicable, discredited, fundamentalist Christian extremist/supremacist Kenneth Copeland. Do you know ANYthing of moment about this feckless, religious bully/provocateur, General Johnson?
Weinstein went on to call Copeland “disgusting,” “a miserable, fundamentalist Christian wretch,” a “divisive and corrosive individual/religious predator and bully” and “hideously reprehensible fundamentalist Christian charlatan cum exclusivist bigot.”
Clearly, Mikey Weinstein has a thing for Kenneth Copeland.
But other than his dripping vitriol and thesaurus-like list of adjectives of disdain for the prosperity gospel minister, Weinstein never Read more
In what has become his trademark fashion, President Donald Trump issued a major policy statement 140 characters at a time yesterday, effectively re-enacting the DoD’s prohibition on transgenders serving in the US military.
The critics immediately pounced.
As accurately noted, the tweet does not explain how this new policy will be implemented — specifically, what it means to transgenders who have been allowed to served openly since President Obama made a similar unilateral decision last year. That said, it seems reasonably obvious that the ban on enlistment will continue.
This is, of course, exactly what the policy was just one year ago under President Obama — as well as Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, etc, etc. President Trump has done nothing more than restore a longstanding policy.
The rebuttals were predictable, and weak: Read more
Transgender activists were caught off guard on Tuesday when the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the “delay” in transgenders being allowed to enter the US military wasn’t due to feelings, religion, or bigotry — but science and medicine.
Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee for his reappointment as Vice Chairman, US Air Force Gen Paul Selva said [emphasis added]
Our decision to delay the accessions of transgender individuals into the services was largely based on a disagreement on the science of how mental health care and hormone therapy for transgender individuals would help solve the medical issues that are associated with gender dysphoria.
Read that carefully. Gen Selva said the current treatment for the medical condition currently called “gender dysphoria” not only isn’t settled, there’s disagreement that it even works.
(That comes as no surprise to transgender activists, Read more
In an interesting piece at Military.com, US Navy PO2 Guldeep “Geena” Kaur Sidhu describes what it’s like to be a Sikh woman serving in the US military, noting:
In today’s politically charged and increasingly globalized world, it’s more important than ever to be open to the beliefs and cultures of those around you.
Kaur notes there is virtue in promoting and highlighting religious liberty and the values of religious belief:
I believe that it will lead us to greater unity. By better understanding the identities of our brothers and sisters in arms, we can become closer as a unified force. I hope that the changes brought about by this new directive will serve to educate my fellow service members on the Sikh religion, and how closely it aligns with the American values we’re fighting for day in and day out.
As has been noted in the past, there has been Read more
Last Friday the US military decided to delay enlisting those who identify as transgender, with Secretary of Defense James Mattis saying the policy proposal initiated under the previous Obama Administration would be reviewed with “one standard” in mind [emphasis added]:
Mattis said he believes the department must measure “each policy decision against one standard” — whether it affects the ability of the military to defend the nation.
This is unnerving to LGBT activists who have made a concerted effort to claim allowing people who identify as “transgender” to serve would ultimately have no effect on the military. Thus, if anyone is able to demonstrate a negative affect on the ability of the military to defend the nation — say, the monetary cost, distraction to the primary mission, disruption to unit morale, loss of moral integrity, logistical questions and complaints, just to name a few — the LGBT’s progressive social agenda emplaced under President Obama could come to a screeching halt.
(Notably, there is an important precedent for this concern: The repeal of DADT Read more
Members of Congress took a knee in prayer prior to their traditional annual baseball game yesterday:
Look familiar? Try this: Read more
Ed Brayton, a long-time secularist blogger and ally of Michael “Mikey” Weinstein and Chris Rodda, recently wrote a post entitled “Klingenschmitt’s Cluelessness on Religious Tests for Office.”
One of Brayton’s pastimes is keeping up with former Navy Chaplain and former Colorado state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt, himself a prolific public speaker and writer.
Brayton quoted Klingenschmitt from a LifeSite news article in which Klingenschmitt was commenting on the decision by Tennessee state legislator Mark Green to withdraw from nomination as Secretary of the Army. Klingenschmitt said
The bully left is now openly creating an unconstitutional religious litmus test for public office. If you believe the Bible, or quote the Bible in public, they claim you are unfit for office and apply their political labels until you quit.
Brayton mocked Klingenschmitt’s statement as “absurd,” and then followed it with his own absurdity: Read more