Tag Archives: first liberty institute

Case of Fired Christian Col Bohannon Shows Limits of Military Diversity, Tolerance

UPDATE: A group of Republican Senators has sent a letter (PDF) to Secretary Wilson asking her to ‘restore justice’ for Col Bohannon — and, given his mistreatment due to his faith, has asked her to “clarify the [Air Force’s] position on religious liberty.”  The signatories are Senators Ted Cruz, Roy Blunt, James Inhofe, John Kennedy, James Lankford, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, and Roger Wicker.


Henry Ford is said to have offered all of his customers a car in any color they wanted — so long as it was black.

As described by the First Liberty Institute, it seems the US Air Force supports all of its Airmen’s rights to exercise any religious belief they want — so long as it supports homosexuality.

As noted last month, Col Leland Bohannon was fired from his command and had his potential for promotion ended when he declined to personally sign an optional letter praising a same-sex marriage.

Mike Berry, a First Liberty lawyer representing Col Bohannon, said this runs against the very diversity the military claims it values:

This sends a clear message—if you do not have the politically correct viewpoint, you are not welcome in the military. The military is no longer a place of diversity and inclusion if you are a person who holds to a traditional belief on marriage.

Many people would assume Read more

Air Force Fires Col Leland Bohannon for Not Affirming Homosexual Marriage

The US Air Force has fired a high ranking commander and denied him a promotion to General because he declined to personally affirm a homosexual relationship.

Col Leland B.H. Bohannon is still currently listed as the commander of the Air Force Inspection Agency, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico [Update: No longer. Now the AFIA commander is listed as Col Mark Pye, backdated to July 2017]. As detailed in a report filed by his lawyers, last May one of Col Bohannon’s subordinates retired. One of the customary presentations at a retirement is a spouse appreciation certificate, given to the spouse of the retiring member. In this case, Col Bohannon’s subordinate was a homosexual.

Col Bohannon felt that he could not sign the certificate because it would affirm a relationship that was contrary to his religious beliefs. Instead, Col Bohannon Read more

Democrat Senators Again Grill Trump Nominees on Religious Beliefs

US Senators have again taken President Trump’s nominees to task for their (Christian) religious beliefs:

Amy Coney Barrett, a law professor at Notre Dame, was grilled by Democrats over how her Catholic beliefs might influence her decisions from the bench.

“When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for, for years in this country,” Sen. Feinstein said.

The Senators’ unjustified criticisms of Barrett’s religion has been noted even by the left-leaning Baptist Joint Committee, which published a reminder Read more

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Monifa Sterling Appeal

Disgraced former Marine LCpl Monifa Sterling’s appeal to the US Supreme Court has been denied.

After being court-martialed on an array of specifications, Sterling had teamed with the First Liberty Institute to appeal a charge related to her posting of Bible verses at her desk. The US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces had denied her appeal — with a dissent.  Her appeal to the Supreme Court was the final step.

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein was giddy, awkwardly managing to claim this constituted a win for “religious freedom.”

Even more awkwardly, Weinstein was taken to task by his own supporters for announcing that the denial of cert by the Supreme Court had been “unanimous.” The truth is that no one knows how the individual justices decided on that request for cert. Weinstein was Read more

Air Force Colonel Michael Madrid Punished for Religious Expression

First Liberty Institute has sent a letter to the Air Force demanding the reversal of punitive actions taken against Col Michael Madrid for expressing his religious beliefs about sexuality.

In 2014, one of then-LtCol Madrid’s subordinates — who was in the middle of being court-martialed — accused Col Madrid of

“engaging in demeaning and derogatory behavior toward [the subordinate] based on [the subordinate’s] sexual orientation” thus “creat[ing] a hostile work environment.”

Besides the troubled circumstances of Read more

Air National Guard Ignores FFRF Atheist Complaint

Not long after receiving a letter (PDF) from the First Liberty Institute, the New Hampshire Air National Guard at the Pease ANG Base has said they have chosen to ignore the previously reported complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation:

“We don’t plan on responding to the FFRF,” [Greg Heilshorn, spokesman for the New Hampshire National Guard] said. “We haven’t had any formal complaints from our airmen internally regarding any concerns with prayers being said at various ceremonies. We will continue as we’ve done before. It’s our tradition. We believe our chaplains…[are a] vital part of our organization.”

Well done. The US military is not obligated to respond to the FFRF — or any other third party complaint — at all. By declining to do so, they avoid the perception they are legitimizing the FFRF or its generalized accusations about religious expression in the US military.  Meanwhile, if there are any actual complainants who have an actionable grievance, they still have access to every grievance system within the military.

Part of the issue with Read more

First Liberty: “Unbelievable Opportunities” for Religious Freedom

First Liberty Institute, one of the leading religious liberty legal groups in the country, recently said in an interview that they’re very hopeful about the opportunities for freedom under the Trump administration. Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of the First Liberty Institute, said

that President Donald Trump “made a lot of promises as a candidate about religious freedom. He’s very committed to making sure that things changed. And so now it’s just going to be a matter of whether those promises are followed through.

“So far, he’s been fulfilling his promises. Read more

Mikey Weinstein Loses Yet Again

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has an abysmal record as a lawyer, having participated in at least six lawsuits in the past few years and having won exactly zero.  (An MRFF FOIA lawsuit against the US Air Force Academy is scheduled for a settlement conference this month.)

In 2016, Weinstein’s impotence grew so much he lost in yet another area, his near-annual competition for the Christmas Grinch. Over the past couple of years Mikey Weinstein has been Read more

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