President Obama issued the annual proclamation marking the National Day of Prayer, which will be 6 May this year.
We are blessed to live in a Nation that counts freedom of conscience and free exercise of religion among its most fundamental principles, thereby ensuring that all people of goodwill may hold and practice their beliefs according to the dictates of their consciences. Prayer has been a sustaining way for many Americans of diverse faiths to express their most cherished beliefs, and thus we have long deemed it fitting and proper to publicly recognize the importance of prayer on this day across the Nation…
Let us pray for the safety and success of those who have left home to serve in our Armed Forces, putting their lives at risk in order to make the world a safer place. As we remember them, let us not forget their families and the substantial sacrifices that they make every day.
It is interesting to note what is missing from the proclamation. Read more
Michael Weinstein is truly the gift that keeps on giving. His latest attempt at infamy is to say that a red cross appearing on a military hospital’s emblem
violate[s] the constitutional requirement for separation of church and state and should be removed.
Apparently Weinstein has missed the long, international history of the cross in military medical use, as well as the US military’s equivalent treatment of Islam and Judaism that would allegedly “violate…separation of church and state,” pictured below.
Weinstein also objects to the emblem’s motto “pro deo et humanitate” or “for God and humanity,” despite the military’s description of the phrase as pre-dating Christianity.
The emblem in question is that of Evans Army Community Hospital at Fort Carson, near Colorado Springs.
The decision in Salazar v Buono directly relates to faith in the military profession, as its very basic premise has far reaching implications:
Is a cross on government land an unConstitutional endorsement of the Christian faith?
A variety of organizations reported on the Supreme Court ruling Wednesday essentially allowing the World War I memorial Mojave cross to remain standing. The ruling reversed the appeals court decision initially declaring the cross on federal land unConstitutional, and then declaring the US Congress transfer of land to the VFW invalid due to its attempt to “avoid” the injunction.
The Supreme Court issued six separate opinions, with no single majority opinion. The decision itself (pdf) is largely procedural, though the net effect Read more
It is now common knowledge that Franklin Graham’s invitation to speak at the prayer day hosted by the Pentagon Chaplaincy was “rescinded.”
Army spokesman Col. Tom Collins confirmed today, that at the Army’s request, the Pentagon Chaplain’s Office had contacted Graham to withdraw the invitation extended to him to be the main speaker at the Pentagon’s observance of the National Day of Prayer.
As a result, the National Day of Prayer Task Force is also not participating in the Pentagon event. Graham responded:
I regret that the Army felt it was necessary to rescind their invitation to the National Day of Prayer Task Force to participate in the Pentagon’s special prayer service. I want to express my strong support for the United States military and all our troops. I will continue to pray that God will give them guidance, wisdom and protection as they serve this great country.
(Some have claimed the NDoP itself is unConstitutional, consistent with Read more
The past week or so has seen the renewal in notice of a 2008 paper written by Army Maj Brian L. Stuckert. (The paper was criticized in December 2009 by the WorldNetDaily, and defended by MediaMatters in the same period.) Entitled “Strategic Implications of American Millennialism,” (pdf) the Major’s paper is largely critical of some aspects of Christian belief.
First, points of clarification: The paper was written as an academic product while Stuckert was a student at the School of Advanced Military Studies, which is an official professional military education course. Such military courses often permit a wide variety of topics for their students’ papers. The topic of religion is not off limits in this environment. In addition, Read more
The last Military Religion Question of the Day asked if a military Chaplain’s article about God’s provision was correctly characterized by a critic:
The…Chaplain writes about why women were created (as an afterthought to keep men from being lonely), marriage as a Christian institution, and segues to a blatant Jesus salvation pitch.
The critic did not directly accuse the Chaplain of wrongdoing. Instead, he appears to be holding the Chaplain’s beliefs up for ridicule. Is the mockery justified?
The critic’s interpretation of the Chaplain’s description of “why women were created” Read more
On the same day someone complained in a Facebook post that a military Chaplain was “blatantly proselytizing” (in fact, just 6 minutes after the post), another Facebook post made a similar complaint about a different Chaplain:
Fans, check out this, written by a government-[employed] Chaplain in an official government publication:
Writing for the Chaplain’s Corner at Marine Corps Base Quantico, The Marine Corps Recruiting Command Chaplain writes about why women were created (as an afterthought to keep men from being lonely), marriage as a Christian institution, and segues to a blatant Jesus salvation pitch.
The article referenced is that by Chaplain Read more
The presence of a link on a Fire Department Chaplain’s web page caused a local citizen, Ken Fagan, to complain that a “taxpayer supported website should not have links to religious groups.” The website is the page of Pastor Jack Martin, and is part of the Spring Hill Fire Department’s official site.
While Fagan is entitled to his opinion, it is unsupported by fact. The complaint reportedly caused the temporary removal of the link. It was said to be restored, though the site in its current form appears to be virtually devoid of external links. The site also now has numerous statements about how it is intended to be for “all citizens” and not in support of any particular faith tradition. Even the Chaplain’s biography, which naturally describes his theological background, is qualified with a statement saying it is not intended to promote a specific faith.
The concept of religious freedom, as protected by the US Constitution, was never intended to proscribe all persons in public service from ever mentioning religion or Read more