At an “undisclosed location,” US Air Force Chief of Chaplains (MGen) Dondi Costin led an interfaith Thanksgiving service noting, as he often does, the religious freedom that protects the rights of US troops to exercise their faiths [emphasis added]:
“The very first amendment [in the Bill of Rights] is that every American has the right to freely exercise their faith,” said Maj. Gen. Dondi Costin, Air Force Chief of Chaplains. “From the [beginning] our founding fathers understood that part of being American is allowing everybody to live in the way that their God would have them to live.”
Sounds like something that needs to be relearned in Read more
“Spiritually strong Airmen…tend to be strong assets to their units and commanders.”
An article out of Robins AFB, Georgia, highlighted an Air Force campaign called Faith Works, which focuses on “Freedom, faith, and ministry.” Amazingly enough, it promotes the virtue of religion — based on science [emphasis added]:
The campaign, Faith Works, is based on a body of research demonstrating the positive effects religion and spirituality can have on improving health in every domain…Faith Works offers a new perspective on an old technique, focusing on the tangible, earth-bound benefits associated with developing and practicing a strong faith, religion or spirituality…
Dr. Tyler VanderWeele…and Dr. Harold Koenig…have identified physical evidence linking the practice of faith and religion to individual resiliency.
[Their] research shows that Americans who attend religious services at least once a week have a 20 percent to 30 percent reduced mortality rate over a 15-year period. In terms of mental health, regular church-goers also demonstrate more optimism and lower rates of depression.
It is a fascinating — and bold — initiative that was led Read more
A few years ago, Chris Rodda, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s research assistant, made the somewhat comical claim that the outcome of an investigation was irrelevant; rather, the fact an investigation occurred was all that mattered [capitalization original]:
The OUTCOME of the investigation…is irrelevant. It’s the fact that…he CALLED FOR the investigation…
It’s a moronic assertion on its face, but its something upon which the MRFF has relied. If an investigation happened, then they act as though their claims were vindicated — outcome notwithstanding.
Mikey Weinstein, though, very recently took it one step further and is now citing as “evidence” an accusation being reported — not even an investigation, not a resolution, just him reporting something.
Referring to ChristianFighterPilot.com, Weinstein said this site [emphasis added] Read more
Tom Carpenter of the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy was called out several months ago for his hypocrisy: Carpenter had joined Michael “Mikey” Weinstein in criticizing Air Force Chaplain Dondi Costin for attending an event in uniform, while Tom Carpenter had shared a stage with a uniformed chaplain under similar circumstances just a couple of months prior.
Hypocrisy, though, is often understood to be ‘holding others to a standard to which one does not hold himself.’
A more accurate word for what Tom Carpenter and his FOMC have displayed would be “bigotry” — or “intolerant devotion to one’s own opinions and prejudices,” in one definition.
You see, it wasn’t merely that Carpenter hosted one uniformed chaplain while criticizing another. His actual issue was the religious ideologies of the chaplains and the events they attended. Carpenter and the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy support tolerance for everyone — except those who do not hold the same religious beliefs they do.
And they recently made it quite clear.
Last weekend a pastor asked Read more
Retired US Air Force Chaplain Norris Burkes first came to the attention of this site in 2009, when the syndicated chaplain wrote a column about the burning of Afghan-language Bibles by American troops in Afghanistan (a controversy discussed here). In essence, Burkes approved, and noted:
The possession of such religious material violates something the military calls General Order No. 1.
Though he was dismissive of most input, he did finally concede that he was wrong — General Order Number One says no such thing.
Despite the admission, Burkes declined to change the article, and it can still be found on his website, with the unchanged statement that even Burkes admitted was wrong.
Chaplain Burkes recently popped up again, and for some reason he Read more
The Air Force Chief of Chaplains, Chaplain (MajGen) Dondi Costin, recently visited Osan Air Base, Korea, and spoke on resilience — via the pillar of spiritual fitness:
“Spiritual fitness is you deciding and determining what your purpose and your meaning is in life; what values you have and then living by those values,” said Costin. “All resilience is, is you having the attitudes and behaviors and beliefs and the community around you to make sure you can take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’.”
Though he has been criticized by some activists, Chaplain Read more
The US Department of Defense Inspector General recently revealed it had ordered the Air Force to investigate the content of a chaplain’s prayer.
The context was the now well-known complaint by Michael “Mikey” Weinstein against US Air Force Chief of Chaplains (MajGen) Dondi Costin. In response to Weinstein’s complaint, the DoD IG said [emphasis added]:
We asked the Air Force IG to examine both the act of giving the benediction and its content. After conducting interviews and gathering additional facts, the Air Force IG found that Maj Gen Costin’s benediction was a generic, non-sectarian prayer seeking God’s blessing on the event’s honoree…
This is a shocking revelation, particularly in light of who did it. What business does the DoD Inspector General have analyzing the content of a chaplain’s prayer? Under what authority Read more
Apparently believing US Air Force Chief of Chaplains Gen Dondi Costin’s head needs to go on a pole, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has continued to demand the US military punish the men and women who appeared in uniform at a chaplains’ event in July.
Weinstein recently received a statement (PDF) from the DoD Inspector General in response to his initial complaint [emphasis added]:
The Air Force IG found no prima facie evidence that Maj Gen Costin endorsed CARL [the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty] by appearing in uniform and performing the benediction, thereby implying Air Force sponsorship of CARL or sanction of a particular cause, or discrediting the Armed Forces…
We [the DoD IG] also concluded Maj Gen Costin’s attendance and benediction did not violate Department of Defense or Air Force standards on endorsement of or participation with a non-federal entity, uniform wear, public speaking, or free exercise of religion.
That covered all the bases, DoD and Air Force, uniform wear to religion — even the US Constitution. Pretty thorough, right?
Since Chaplain Costin wasn’t punished, it still wasn’t good enough for Weinstein, of course, whose Read more