US troops celebrated the resurrection of the Jesus Christ around the world, including in the Middle East:
U.S. Army Soldiers deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield greet the Easter morning sunrise on a hilltop in Jordan less than 60 miles from where many Christians recognize as the resurrection site for Jesus of Nazareth, April 4, 2021. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Suzanne Ringle, Task Force Spartan Public Affairs)
A few years ago, it seemed issues of religion in the military – scandals, some might say – dominated the news cycle for weeks out of the year. Every December the “top ten” religion media stories of the year included several regarding the US military. More recently, however, such “scandals” have fallen out of the news. To be sure, issues of religion in the military still pop up every now and then, but now those stories tend to involve actual issues of religion in the military, not manufactured outrage. Media stories are now far more likely to be about the changes that allow a Sikh to wear a turban or beard than about some random member of the military saying “have a blessed day” or having a Bible on their desk.
Part of the reason for this change has been the rise of religious liberty organizations who have defended the religious rights of US troops. The Becket Fund, First Liberty Institute, the ACLJ and others like them have become prominent and public defenders of religious freedom in the US military. While they were available to troops as a resource for many years, these organizations have gradually become more proactive, to the point that recent changes in US law and military policy have been proposed – and successfully passed – because of these groups. These laws and policies have dampened some of the prior years’ flail because they unified and standardized the military’s response to faith and free exercise. Rather than a cycle of military bases having repeats of the same kerfuffle, overarching policies govern the reaction of the entire DoD. (Sometimes.)
US Air Force Academy Computer Science professorBarry Fagin is continuing his role as an inside source for Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s vendetta against religious freedom at USAFA. Last Wednesday he attended an Easter-themed presentation (only because he wanted to report on it) sponsored by Christian Faculty Fellowship on the topic of the Shroud of Turin. As dutifully repeated by the MRFF mouthpiece, Pam Zubeck [emphasis added]:
Barry Fagin…argues the school’s seeming endorsement of the talk…is embarrassing in light of scientific evidence that the shroud is merely a 14th century forgery…
Military Religious Freedom Foundation founder Mikey Weinstein says that 23 people — cadets, faculty and staff — complained to him about the lecture…Weinstein says he was told by the complainants that they were disappointed…
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein recently attacked a chaplain at TARDEC (a US Army facility in Michigan) for doing exactly what Mikey Weinstein demanded.
In his press release — the only public source of this information — Weinstein said a command chaplain sent an email to everyone at TARDEC:
The email from the TARDEC Command Chaplain’s Office promoted an event entitled ‘The Passion and the Glory’…
This email was sent to all TARDEC personnel (around 8,000) with no opt-out or reply options for recipients.
It was, by Weinstein’s own admission, an email of upcoming religious services (the week preceding Easter) — an informative email wholly in keeping with the purpose of US military communications. In addition, it was handled in a way Mikey Weinstein once claimed was appropriate.
Remember, just a few years ago Weinstein was on record attacking military commanders who allowed announcements of religious issues to go out through “command” channels. Weinstein claimed Read more
“We are fighting for the right of all citizens to enjoy safety and peace, and to work and live with the dignity that all children of God are entitled to know. As long as we have faith in each other and trust in God, we will succeed.”
How many people thought after the US invaded Iraq in 2003 that we’d still be celebrating Easter in Baghdad in 2016?
In Iraq, chaplains and their support teams used air and ground support to provide Easter services for troops throughout the country, including the location formerly known as Fire Base Bell — the small outpost attacked a little more than a week prior.
The Easter sunrise service was just one of five religious services held at Union III and one of many services across the CJFLCC-OIR area of operations in celebration of the holiday.
A few official news sources have begun to document this year’s other celebrations of Easter by US military forces around the world.