The Satanic Temple — the technically non-religious group whose goal is to tamp down religious expression through ridicule — is now the object of ridicule itself, as it sued Netflix and Warner Bros for using an apparent copy of its Baphomet statue:
The organization filed a complaint Thursday saying its copyrighted statue design, known as Baphomet with Children, appeared without its permission in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, a new streaming series released on Netflix last month.
Notably, the organization explicitly stated what the purpose of the statue is: Read more
SSgt Abdul Rahman Gaitan has become the first US Air Force Airman to obtain a religious exemption to grow a beard in uniform:
The biggest challenge yet, was getting approval for his shaving waiver from Air Force Headquarters. This required endorsement by the unit commander, base chaplain, installation commander up to the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel Division. This process took Gaitan almost four years to accomplish.
Interestingly, the article explains Gaitan was actually Catholic, but he apparently became disenchanted with the lack of authenticity in the liturgical faith — and he was drawn to the seeming sincerity of Islam he saw in locals while stationed in Turkey.
With the beard openly displaying his religion, Gaitan says Read more
Retired US Air Force General Roger Brady made some waves in 2005 when he led an investigation of the US Air Force Academy’s religious climate. Much to some activists’ dismay, the report said there were some issues and perceptions, but there was not a systemic or institutional religious problem at USAFA. (Gen Brady also famously criticized Airmen who contacted their congressmen — an explicitly protected form of communication within the military.)
General Brady was interviewed recently by Christianity Today on faith and the military in a Veterans’ Day article that led off noting the recent “controversy” surrounding Air Force BGen John Teichert — as initiated by “former Air Force Captain and activist attorney Mikey Weinstein“.
The interview was highlighted by the Baptist Joint Committee — a liberal leaning group — as having “both some troubling and some heartening perspectives and insights.” That seems accurate, as Gen Brady says thing both sides of the religious liberty debate will support and oppose. In fact, in just two sentences he managed to hit both sides of the fence [emphasis added]: Read more
The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal regarding the Bladensburg Peace Cross, which was declared unconstitutional by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals despite widespread support.
Though Justice Kavanaugh has yet to make his mark on the bench, even critics of religious liberty seem pessimistic, thinking religious liberty will prevail of their offense.
The case could be historic, given the amount of hostility toward religious displays in public and how many anti-cross cases there have been: Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein and his erstwhile research assistant Chris Rodda tend to get hot under the collar when someone (accurately) accuses their organization of bias and bigotry, but its hard to defend against that characterization when your own people are providing the evidence. Former Assembly of God “pastor” Joan Slish has been a frequent source of insider information, and now “disabled American veteran (Vietnam)” John Compere is the most recent to demonstrate his own organization’s bias.
In his most recent “article” for the MRFF (the point of which is irrelevant), Compere — who relies on quotations like some do thesis statements — closes with a quotation from Ronald Reagan that tells you everything you need to know about Mikey Weinstein and his MRFF:
“We were founded as a nation of openness to people of all beliefs. And so we must remain. Our very unity has been strengthened by our pluralism. We establish no religion is this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are and must remain separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not.”
Reagan gave that speech at least twice, with minor variations, to the Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast on 23 August 1984 and to the Congregation of Temple Hillel and Jewish Community Leaders on 26 October 1984.
Those are, indeed, Ronald Reagan’s words, given during campaign speeches in 1984 — but they are ripped from context. Despite Compere’s claim to their message, the speech is utterly anti-MRFF. Compere appears to quote the latter version of the speech, in which President Read more
Writing at Lifezette.com, former US Air Force A-10 pilot and Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl Champion Chad Hennings highlighted the value of religious freedom and the ongoing attacks on it in America. One case he noted was that of high school coach Joe Kennedy (whom he’s defended before), who was fired for praying on the field after school football games.
Another was that of the Bladensburg cross, a World War I memorial which an appeals court has said is unconstitutional: Read more
Most know by now, but for those who don’t, US Air Force BGen John Teichert has been cleared following Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s 22-page complaint about his religious beliefs.
It turns out the Inspector General didn’t even investigate. It did the required first step — analyze the complaint — and determined Weinstein’s complaint was so frivolous it didn’t even warrant an investigation.
Mikey Weinstein’s reaction was typical: Read more
Update: From First Liberty’s Mike Berry:
At the end of the day, if anyone has been the victim of discrimination here, it’s been Chaplain Squires and Staff Sergeant Griffin. I’m thankful that a two-star general stepped in and corrected things, but it should never have come to that in the first place.
Fox News’ Todd Starnes reports on the First Liberty press release that the Army has rejected the recommendation to punish Chaplain (Maj) Scott Squires for how he handled a Strong Bonds marriage retreat when a homosexual couple said they wanted to come.
From First Liberty Institute: Read more