A Naval flight training class graduation included a ceremony at their base chapel in which the chaplains performed a “blessing of the wings:”
This is a completely voluntary program, but one that is rather popular among many of the new aviators. While it is billed as a non-denominational ceremony, it is clearly a Christian program that culminates in the Catholic priest sprinkling holy water on the wings that these service members are about to pin on later that day.
Normally, this might bring conspiracy-theory advocates out of the woodwork, claiming this was further evidence of a secret coup by Christians to take over the world. Or something. Turns out, though, this story is actually about the participation by the US Navy’s newest Jewish Naval Aviators, in a Read more
In a move that will likely cause Michael Weinstein, Richard Baker, Leah Burton and other conspiracy theorists to have heart palpitations, author Mark Andrews has released an eBook entitled Sword of the Covenant.
The premise: The US “lacks the political will” to help prevent the annihilation of Israel by Iran, so two top Pentagon officials try to convince USAF fighter pilots in Turkey and US Navy fighter pilots on a gulf-based aircraft carrier — all evangelical Christians — to launch Read more
Quick to level hate-filled vitriol against his critics and those with whom he disagrees, opponent of religious freedom in the military Michael Weinstein finally caught a unique target in his most recent diatribe: himself. Weinstein recently opined:
When you tell somebody in the US military that they lack intelligence, character, integrity, trustworthiness, honor, honorability, and courage because of their chosen religious faith or lack thereof…there’s no difference between that and telling someone that they’re innately stupid because of the color of their skin, or because they have a vagina, because they’re a female.
He may have forgotten that Michael Weinstein has implied “fundamentalist Christians” in the US military lack integrity, character, etc., etc., not because of any behavior on their part, but simply “because of their chosen religious faith.”
In fact, he’s said “fundamentalist Christians” — based on his analysis of Read more
Craig Baxam reportedly converted to Islam just prior to leaving the US Army in July. By December, he had been arrested in Kenya:
Baxam…told investigators he wanted to live in an area governed by the strict edicts of Islamic Sharia law, such as those imposed by Al Shabaab, and defend them to the death if necessary.
He is apparently claiming the “bumbling” defense, sort of:
[He] told FBI agents that he had no contacts with al-Shabab and only a haphazard plan to connect with the group
This is only the latest development undermining Michael Weinstein’s conspiracy theories.
At this point, at least, it seems Baxam was content to wage his holy war Read more
If one wasn’t aware of her history, it might have been surprising to see a recent pair of articles highlight the intellectually inconsistency of the MRFF’s Chris Rodda.
Rodda recently went on record defending the construction of the US Air Force Academy chapel facility called the “Falcon Circle” from those who claimed it was an inappropriate use of government money for three cadets (a separate issue discussed elsewhere). She said:
Designating the stone circle as a chapel facility simply accommodates a religious group with a worship area that meets their needs, something taken for granted by other religious groups at the Academy. Whether the users of that worship space number in the hundreds or in single digits is completely irrelevant when it comes to providing a place for them to worship according to their beliefs.
Comically, four days later an article appeared in the Tennessean quoting the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s 2009 criticism of the construction of a different chapel at Fort Campbell.
The [MRFF] felt it looked too much like a megachurch Read more
Just days after Michael Weinstein claimed the US Air Force Academy was inappropriately asking USAFA cadets to donate toys to needy children, a news article was published indicating what Weinstein describes as a “cancer” is, indeed, widespread:
The cadets are even making donations to a local food bank.
Air Force Academy chaplains and the Cadet Interfaith Council [presented] a $1,200 check along with 125 cans of food to the Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado at the food bank’s site in Colorado Springs, Colo.
By its nature the Cadet Interfaith Council obviously had a connection to the chaplains, but the food drive was a cadet-initiated, cadet-run event: Read more
Despite Michael Weinstein’s continuous ridicule of the US Air Force Academy, Jason Torpy and his Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers paint quite a different picture — and Torpy looks like a calm foil to Weinstein’s blustering grandstanding:
Continuing what is now nearly a year of collaboration, the Air Force Academy has made significant changes to training as a result of reviews by the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers… Read more
The last “scandal” at the US Air Force Academy, regarding Operation Christmas Child, was reportedly initiated by a USAFA cadet forwarding an email to Michael Weinstein. Prior to that, the scandal-circuit had been pretty quiet — but not for lack of trying on Weinstein’s part. When there isn’t something to complain about, Weinstein has gone looking.
The law firm of Jones Day — which has assisted Weinstein in other cases — has been looking for information on “The Airman’s Bible and the Airman’s New Testament.” The Airman’s Bible was previously discussed; the “Airman’s New Testament” is similar. It seems the target is some indication, somewhere, that the Air Force was directly or indirectly involved in the production of the Air Force-themed Bibles.
The acknowledgements in the Bible do mention military members, and the Bible carries Air Force symbols, so the target is probably something, somewhere, that will incriminate someone…about something. Naturally, this hunt for an as-yet unknown smoking gun about an unknown problem will prove the obvious fact Christianity is preferred in the US military. Somehow.
In another case, Pam Zubeck of the CSIndy recently publicized a portion of a Weinstein fishing expedition: Weinstein is asking for names and processes surrounding the “Falcon Clips” published last year. Previously, the ominous observation was made that Weinstein seemed to be headhunting for people corresponding with this site.
That has now been confirmed by Read more