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
This week US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly enjoined the US military from implementing a ban on enlisting transgenders. Interestingly, the ruling claimed the US military opposed its own policy [emphasis added]:
The Court finds that a number of factors — including the sheer breadth of the exclusion ordered by the directives, the unusual circumstances surrounding the President’s announcement of them, the fact that the reasons given for them do not appear to be supported by any facts, and the recent rejection of those reasons by the military itself — strongly suggest that Plaintiffs’ Fifth Amendment claim is meritorious.
The ruling is interesting for a couple of reasons — reasons which indicate it will either easily be overturned or will otherwise portend a new relationship among the judiciary, the US Constitution, and the US military.
The plaintiffs — described as “current Read more
Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, asked last week if the US military was creating its own problems by sending “mixed signals on morality”. Speaking on the recent firing of an Army General who had sent “flirty” messages to another man’s wife, Perkins said:
It is wrong because its immoral. It violates the moral law of the Creator.
But this is what happens when society thinks it can give a green light to some forms of immoral behavior while red lighting others. You end up with moral confusion…
When we deny 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
President Trump, as the first sitting President to speak at the Values Voter Summit:
We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values.
We know that it’s the family and the church, not government officials, that know best how to create strong and loving communities.
And above all else, we know this: In America, we don’t worship government — we worship God. Inspired by that conviction, we are returning moral clarity to our view of the world and the many grave challenges we face.
America is a nation of believers, and together Read more
Susan Shaw, described as the “Professor of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Oregon State University,” has joined Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s “advisory board.”
For the most part, Weinstein’s board members have been irrelevant, except likely as sources of income for the “charity.” (To wit, Weinstein’s research assistant Chris Rodda didn’t even know who her own board members were at one point.)
Shaw, though, is particularly notable for proudly expressing bigoted views that rival Weinstein himself.
For example, earlier this year Shaw employed gross generalization, non sequiturs, prejudice and general antipathy when she attacked both Donald Trump and Christians with such statements as
Trumpian evangelicals make no attempts to mask their quest for power…Both Rep. Michele Bachmann and Rev. Franklin Graham, for example, have attributed Trump’s win to God’s intervention…[T]his [is a] modern iteration of a deuteronomic theology — God rewards the good and punishes the bad…
Shaw’s prejudice is revealed in her active omission of Read more
Last week, US Marine Gen Joseph Dunford was confirmed for his second term as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
By voice vote on Wednesday, the Senate backed the highly respected, combat-hardened commander who’s received high marks from Republicans and Democrats.
Notably, in testimony for his re-confirmation, Gen Dunford appeared to come out against his Commander-in-Chief’s plan for banning transgenders from serving in the US military: Read more
In a widely reported incident, US Air Force Academy Superintendent LtGen Jay “Tonto”* Silveria took to the staff tower at the cadet dining hall (Mitchell Hall) to tell USAFA cadets that racial slurs had been written on message boards at the nearby Academy Preparatory School, essentially a junior college for those who will eventually join the Air Force Academy.
In a five minute speech in which he notes hundreds of staff and faculty are lining the walls, LtGen Silveria eventually boiled it down to a simple statement:
If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out.
Then he walked away.
That’s a call with which anyone can agree. Treating a Read more