A variety of news sources noted that the decision to furlough government civilians in the Department of Defense has meant some chaplains couldn’t go to work either — and thus US military chapel services will not be held:
With the government shutdown, [“General Schedule”] and contract priests who are furloughed are not allowed to work, not even to volunteer, according to John Schlageter, general counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services. “During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base, and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so,” he said.
This is generally true for all people in equivalent government positions, not just chaplains. Interestingly, a Catholic spokesman noted that there are actually more civilian/contract Catholic chaplains in the US military than active duty ones: Read more
For years Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has had the friendly ear of the media. His comments have often gone unchallenged and his credibility — including his motivations and background — have been ignored. The recent dust-up over his meeting at the Pentagon has undone that, thanks in part to Weinstein’s consistent “over the top” behavior. The Get Religion blog, which frequently covers issues of the media and religion, notes that Weinstein is
a player in this story….and some greater journalistic scrutiny of [his] rhetoric…is in order.
That scrutiny seems to be happening. Last week the focus was on military policies; this week, Michael Weinstein himself has been hammered from all corners for his history of vitriol and hate — and virtually every article uses his own words to drive home the point, with little need to elaborate. The question remaining is, again, why he merited a meeting with senior military leaders.
The Colorado Springs Gazette — hometown paper to the US Air Force Academy — reprinted an editorial from the Washington Examiner questioning the “strange alliance” the Air Force has with Weinstein: Read more