Though it doesn’t seem to have broken into the mainstream press, a US Air Force instructor pilot at Columbus AFB, Mississippi, has been fighting for months to have the military honor his religious objection to wearing a mask. Two of the pilot’s superiors approved the request, despite some misgivings. However, a third superior overturned that approval. As discussed in July:
The unnamed airman, identified as Capt. John Doe by the nonprofit First Amendment litigation firm Liberty Counsel, argues his “Christian beliefs do not permit him to wear a mask,” said the firm, which specializes in religious freedom cases. He was suspended from duty on May 17 and from flying on June 8…
As hills to die on go, this wouldn’t be an ideal choice… but he does have a point.
In the Air Force policy requiring masks published last February, the very first exception was for religious beliefs:
Effective immediately all individuals on Department property…will wear masks… The DAF-wide exceptions are as follows:
(1) when necessary to reasonably accommodate a religious belief…
Capt “Doe” notes that two chaplains verified Read more
Early in June, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s so-called “religious freedom” group ensured the sanctity of religious liberty in the US military by forcing the leaders of Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to pull down a banner advertising Vacation Bible School at the chapel:
An advocacy group that says it fights “church/state violations and noxious abuse” in the military said Friday it forced the removal of a banner advertising a Vacation Bible School program from the main gate at the Fort Sill Army Base in Oklahoma.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation…said the banner’s slogan, “Jesus [Power] Pulls Us Through,” was objectionable when displayed at the base entrance.
Here’s the thing: VBS has been extremely popular at military bases throughout Read more
The Army has decided not to punish US Army Chaplain (Maj) Andrew Calvert with a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand, creating the path for his record to be cleared.
In January, Calvert commented on an Army Times Facebook post that discussed Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s support for allowing transgenders to serve in the US military. Calvert’s comments – which questioned the mental fitness of transgenders for military service and noted the similarity with believing the earth to be flat in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary – drew criticisms and a formal investigation.
The Army’s 15-6 investigation declared that Chaplain Calvert had committed unlawful discrimination and improper political activity – points that didn’t seem to be supported by the facts. Further, since Chaplain Calvert was clearly expressing his personal and religious views – and not any official view of the Army – it was the Army, not Calvert, that was treading close to violating the law and military policies. As First Liberty Institute stated in an appeal letter published in May: Read more
US Air Force LtCol Matthew Lohmeier became an almost overnight celebrity after he was fired from his command in the Space Force following a podcast interview in which he decried a rising Marxist/Critical Race Theory movement within the US military. (His profile has risen so fast that you can be sure Michael “Mikey” Weinstein is trying to figure out a way to hitch his cause to Lohmeier’s publicity.)
The former F-15 fighter pilot and T-38 flight instructor self-published a book titled “Irresistible Revolution: Marxism’s Goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military” and was on a Read more
US Army Chaplain (Maj) Andrew Calvert made a Facebook comment in January that attracted the attention of critics – and eventually his chain of command. It has now been revealed that Chaplain Calvert received a “General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand” (also called a “GOMOR”) from III Corps commander LtGen Robert “Pat” White. This reprimand from a General Officer (rather than a lower level supervisor or commander) is a potentially career-ending punishment, and it accuses Calvert of “violating military equal opportunity policy and violating Department of Defense policy on political activities.”
With the help of First Liberty, Chaplain Calvert is appealing that punishment.
Chaplain Calvert was the subject of a 15-6 Investigation, so Read more
[Update: The WHS has pulled the article down.]
In a raging letter to senior DoD officials yesterday, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein launched a withering attack on an Easter message written by US Navy Chaplain (LT) Aristotle Rivera, claiming his mainstream Christian message is “anti-Semitic.”
Chaplain Rivera — a West Point grad who spent six years in the Army before another six years in the Air Force and is now in the Navy — wrote an article for the Washington Headquarters Services of the DoD, which is essentially the part of the DoD that encompasses the DC area. The article asked, “What did the people talk about at the first Easter?” The short article describes events about two months after Jesus died: Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, self-described defender of religious freedom in the US military, returned to rare form yesterday and excoriated the US military because it published a story about a US Soldier — and she’s a Christian.
In what is likely an intentional Public Affairs and recruiting effort, the military has long had a practice of publishing personal interest stories on its troops. While there are many “average Americans” profiled, there are also many stories about US troops with relatively unique and significant experiences. There are many stories about growing up in impoverished or oppressive countries, living in fear or struggle before coming to America, and wanting to “give back” to the country they feel has given them so much.
About a week ago, the US Army published such a story about US Army SPC Zahraa ‘Katya’ Frelund, who, as an Iraqi teenager in 2009, ran away from what she knew and into the arms of US troops on a US Army base in Baghdad. The Army Captain she met there told her Read more
Noted last year when she began training, 1Lt Saleha Jabeen has now graduated the chaplain’s course and has become the first female Muslim chaplain in the entire US military:
The graduation ceremony for BCC Class 21A was a historic event as the Air Force aims to foster a more diverse and inclusive service…
“I did not have to compromise on any of my religious beliefs or convictions,” Jabeen said. “I am surrounded with people who respect me and are willing to receive what I bring to the table as a woman, a faith leader, and an immigrant.”
Jabeen’s entrance into the military as a chaplain is Read more