When the US Air Force Academy “Falcon Circle” chapel facility went through its various controversies over the past year, one group was oddly silent: atheists. There were no loud cries from atheists over the US military’s waste of money to create yet another religious facility, nor were there any over the fact military atheists can’t even use the facility.
Like many US military bases, USAFA restricts the use of chapel facilities to religious gatherings:
All services held at the Cadet Chapel must be religious in nature and be conducted by a clergyperson or led by a lay-leader approved by the Cadet Wing Chaplain or designee.
Thus, unless an atheist group can sincerely say it is “religious in nature,” it can’t use the Falcon Circle as a barbecue pit this summer, while every religious Read more
Students participating in the Army Junior ROTC high school program will now have more options when it comes to religious clothing in uniform. In October, Demin Zawity, a freshman at Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, TN, was told she could not wear her Islamic headscarf while in the Army JROTC uniform. While that policy was consistent with the US Army policy, there was some consternation even by Army officials, some of whom called JROTC a “citizenship” program, not a military program.
Now CAIR, the group that originally accused the Army of discrimination, has said the DoD told them
the Department of Defense will now allow Muslim Read more
The Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has said US Army JROTC uniform policies are discriminatory after Demin Zawity, a freshman at Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, TN, was told she could not wear her Islamic headscarf while in the Army uniform.
There’s no reason for them to have a policy that excludes people such as Zawity, said Gadeir Abbas, a CAIR staff attorney. It paves the way to encourage all faiths to participate, he added.
While noble-sounding, Abbas’ statement was ignorant. JROTC programs are designed to be nearly identical to their ROTC and operational military equivalents — including following generally the same uniform rules. In this case, the JROTC rule accurately reflects US military policy (to which there have been some notable exceptions).
Abbas also made a misleading and potentially incendiary statement: Read more
As noted at Fox News, Christians in Memphis reportedly fear they will be the victims of discrimination if an anti-discrimination ordinance is passed. A local church which made news when it banned a softball team with a homosexual coach is apparently concerned it would be cut off from interaction with government entities, or be subject to sanction, should it continue to support its religious beliefs that oppose homosexual conduct.
Most interesting, however, is the response by the homosexual advocacy group that sponsored the bill to the church’s concern:
[Jonathan] Cole [of the Tennessee Equality Project] stressed that his group is willing to make some concessions and perhaps offer churches an exemption from the proposed law.
“We’re willing to start somewhere by giving them an exemption,” he said. “At least for the time being.”
“For the time being?”