The Associated Press has an interesting article on the (routine) decision by the United States to vote against a UN resolution calling on nations to ban pro-Nazi language and organizations. (Efforts have been made to remind people this isn’t new under President Trump; the US has voted against this annual resolution for years.)
In what seems like a rare moment of clarity, the government is defending exactly what Americans claim they value: free speech, even if it is offensive speech. The government is not acting to silence Read more
Activists for military homosexual groups have filed amicus briefs opposing the Masterpiece Cakeshop in its appeal to the US Supreme Court. The bakery was accused of violating state law when it declined to create a cake for a same-sex “wedding” (see records of the case).
Apparently fearing a victory for Masterpiece Cakeshop would inhibit homosexuals’ rights within the military, Ashley Broadway — a self-described homosexual “devout Christian” — of the American Military Partner Association said (with authority):
A business that is open to the public should be open to public — period. LGBT service members and their families sacrifice so much around the world for our country, and the last thing they deserve is to be denied service here at home simply because of who they are.
That’s great. It also has nothing to do with Read more
The following excerpt is from Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Memorandum for All Executive Departments and Agencies regarding “Federal Law Protections for Religious Liberty”. Emphasis added. The document is available as a PDF here (.gov).
Religious liberty is a foundational principle of enduring importance in America, enshrined in our Constitution and other sources of federal law…Religious liberty is not merely a right to personal religious beliefs or even to worship in a sacred place. It also encompasses religious observance and practice. Except in the narrowest circumstances, no one should be forced to choose between living out his or her faith and complying with the law.
Therefore, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, religious observance and practice should be reasonably accommodated in all government activity, including employment, contracting, and programming. The following twenty principles should guide administrative agencies and executive departments in carrying out this task.
- The freedom of religion is a fundamental right of paramount importance, expressly protected by federal law.
- The free exercise of religion include the right to act or abstain from action in accordance with one’s religious beliefs.
- The freedom of religion extends to persons and organizations.
- Americans do not give up their freedom of religion by participating in the marketplace, partaking of the public square, or interacting with government.
- Government may not restrict Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein and those who work with his “charity,” the contradictorily named Military Religious Freedom Foundation, seem to have a innate problem with telling the truth. (Weinstein lackey Chris Rodda is the most famous, as she’s frequently made easily disprovable false statements in an apparent effort to defend the MRFF’s reputation.)
The most recent example of this lack of integrity came from Donald Rehkopf, the most recent legal face of Weinstein’s MRFF. (Despite being a lawyer — and the only paid member of the MRFF — Weinstein defers to others rather than act for his own organization.)
In a supreme twist of hypocrisy, Rehkopf was trying to accuse someone of lying — while not being so forthright himself.
Apparently set back on their heels by Tommy Vallejos’ defense of Sonny Hernandez, Donald Rehkopf declined to make a calm, reasoned, and rational rebuttal. Rather, the MRFF advocate submitted a response claiming Vallejos was lying. Said Rehkopf:
It is ironic to have to remind the Rev. Tommy Vallejos of one of the Ten Commandments — not to lie.
Yet, in his Opinion letter, “Don’t persecute chaplain for practicing his faith”…he makes at least two false statements.
Rehkopf then makes his first accusation: Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s “charitable” Military Religious Freedom Foundation received an interesting endorsement from a serving Air Force Master Sergeant. The comment occurred in response to the recent Stars and Stripes coverage of Chaplain Sonny Hernandez:
Justin Blackwell These are the cases MRFF needs to focus on, not the usual clownshow of little crap that makes them look like zealots.
That glowing “endorsement” apparently came from US Air Force Master Sergeant Justin Blackwell. It would seem he supports Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s efforts, even if Read more
Tony Carr, a retired US Air Force C-17 squadron commander and blogger at John Q. Public, already took Chaplain (Capt) Sonny Hernandez to task for his article on Christians and the military (previously discussed). Carr updated himself with a post entitled simply “Idiot Under Investigation.”
Carr doesn’t often mince words, but the vitriol he has for Hernandez seems particularly strong — and almost Mikey Weinstein-esque:
[Hernandez’s] major beef? That certain “disloyal” military members would dare to put their oath to support and defend the US Constitution above their loyalty to the teachings of Christ.
This is among the most tortured and ridiculous notions in the annals of idiocy, placing Sonny in multiple pantheons of shame. It’s as though he set out Read more
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