As reported at the Stars and Stripes, the Air Force has defended Chaplain (Capt) Sonny Hernandez’s recent publication of his views on Christianity and military religious freedom [emphasis added]:
Air Force Reserve spokesman Lt. Col. Chad Gibson said Hernandez is expressing his own views, not those of the Air Force, and his freedom to express his own faith is an essential protection in the military. The Air Force is not conducting an investigation, he said.
“I think we should reflect on why the Air Force is here,” Gibson said. “We are sworn to protect freedom of faith and religion unless it infringes on other people’s rights.”
That’s an admirably bold and direct statement from Read more
Chaplain Hernandez’s previously discussed column on military Christians and religious freedom continues to receive critiques — more accurately, criticism — from a wide variety of sources.
One of the more interesting responses came from Don Byrd of the Baptist Joint Committee, a left leaning advocacy group that tends to take a more atheistic view of religious liberty than most Baptists.
In a blog entitled “Air Force Chaplain is Wrong to Oppose Religious Liberty Rights for All,” Byrd began with a principled observation ignored by most [emphasis added]:
Capt. Hernandez is of course free to believe according to his conscience and faith…The controversial issue of salvation for non-Christians is a question of Christian theology, not public policy…
Personal theological beliefs do not disqualify an individual from public service.
Byrd then added a significant “however” [emphasis added]: Read more
Last week US Air Force Chaplain (Capt) Sonny Hernandez published a column at Barbwire.com entitled “Christian Service Members: Avoid Supporting or Accommodating Evil!” The article has been widely criticized — from the much-expected Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, to Chelsea Clinton, to multiple other sites — by those who have taken issue with Hernandez’s views on Christianity and military religious freedom.
Some of the criticisms are laced with the vitriol of those who despise Christianity in any form but milquetoast — so it wouldn’t matter what Hernandez said. Some of the criticisms are more academic. But almost all call for Hernandez’s head — or at least a pro forma “investigation” followed by a foregone dismissal. While Hernandez may have said — and did say — things that seemed illogical, theologically questionable, or wrong, nothing he said was illegal or otherwise a violation of any rule, regulation, or law. Those who are attacking his ability to serve in the US military — that so-called bastion of tolerance and diversity — have no leg upon which Read more
US Senators have again taken President Trump’s nominees to task for their (Christian) religious beliefs:
Amy Coney Barrett, a law professor at Notre Dame, was grilled by Democrats over how her Catholic beliefs might influence her decisions from the bench.
“When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for, for years in this country,” Sen. Feinstein said.
The Senators’ unjustified criticisms of Barrett’s religion has been noted even by the left-leaning Baptist Joint Committee, which published a reminder Read more
Retired Admiral James Stavridis — now dean of the Fletcher School of Law — took to the Boston Globe yesterday in an opinion piece excoriating President Trump for his handling of the Charlottesville, Va, riots. In so doing, however, the normally well-spoken retired flag officer demonstrated an outstanding (or selective) ignorance of the purpose of the US military: Adm Stavridis claimed the US military exists to “defend our values” [emphasis added]:
Our military exists to protect our nation and our allies from those forces who threaten our values: democracy, liberty, freedom of speech and religion, racial and gender equality…
The current [chiefs of staff] have all squarely and unequivocally shown us they know why we have a military — to defend our values, not tear them down…[They] publish[ed] clear, decisive statements disavowing racism and reaffirming the fundamental values they are sworn to defend.
These statements are unequivocally incorrect. As Read more
In an interesting deviation from its prior statements on accommodating religion, the US Military Academy at West Point has apparently required two observant Sikh cadets to wear their ceremonial uniform cover — known as the “tar bucket” — “over or in place of” their turban. The cadets, Gurijuwan Singh Chahal and Arjan Singh Ghotra, maintain this “would desecrate their religious values” and have filed a lawsuit in response:
“Forcing New Cadet Chahal and New Cadet Ghotra to choose between their country and their God in this manner violates the Army’s own regulations, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, and the First and Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution,” the complaint states.
(Arjan Singh Ghotra previously enlisted Read more
Many of Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s acolytes share his disdain for Christianity, attacking its presence wherever they see it because they want it removed from public view. After all, there is no greater “national security threat,” as Mikey Weinstein would say, than Christians in the military. One supporter even went so far as to go after an event for military children.
Self-styled MRFF activist “Kimmie Hart” decided to “report” to Mikey Weinstein that her local chapel at White Sands Missile Range (a US Army facility) had hosted Vacation Bible School. As Read more
Various reports indicate anonymous US troops have filed a lawsuit against their Commander-in-Chief over President Trump’s yet-to-be-implemented ban on transgenders in the US military:
“The directive to reinstate a ban on open service by transgender people violates both the Equal Protection component of the Fifth Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution,” states the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Washington by five anonymous “Jane Does.”
That’s awkward wording, to say the directive to reinstate the ban is illegal, rather than saying the ban itself is illegal. But it is informative: Why didn’t these troops sue President Obama last year? It was precisely the same policy — just a different President. Why is it suddenly now an issue?
The logic in the brief, and those supporting it, is astoundingly asinine: Read more