Despite recent scandals regarding the DoD’s alleged classification of Christians as “extremists” — including an Army-wide standdown in Equal Opportunity training over the controversies — the DoD says it will continue to use the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “reference” in its Equal Opportunity training.
A DoD spokesman answered that while the agency will remove “hate groups” information provided by the SPLC from the training materials used at its Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), the DoD will continue to use the SPLC’s data in its “non-federal reference material” for DEOMI.
The SPLC — whose work has been specifically cited in recent Army briefings — is one of several “non-Federal” sources the DoD plans to continue using:
“Some of the non-Federal entities used to inform DEOMI’s training,” said Christensen, “include: Anti-Defamation League; Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism; Know Gangs, Political Research Associates, Read more
On September 1st the annual Combined Federal Campaign will begin. Most troops will know this because a unit rep will come and ask them if they want to donate. Contributions can be made automatically from a servicemember’s paycheck.
As has been noted before, the CFC hosts a wide variety of “charities,” including groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation and Focus on the Family. This year, Michael Weinstein likely hopes to make up his year’s losses, as his MRFF appears Read more
Michael Weinstein has threatened to file a lawsuit if Congress passes the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act with the religious liberty amendment intact.
Weinstein said that he would immediately sue if the amendment passes, calling it “completely unconstitutional.”
No one need worry. It seems every time you turn around Weinstein is threatening to sue someone. (For a short list, web search “Mikey Weinstein tell it to the judge.”) Weinstein followed through on his threats against the US military only four times (and lost every time). He then promised to appeal (“Technicality!” he cried)… and he then did nothing. He appears to know that saying “I’ll sue” will get him quoted in the press, which is all he really wants.
As an aside, it is somewhat entertaining to see how the Religion News Service described Weinstein: Read more
In a ranging interview just before his retirement, outgoing Marine Commandant General James Conway said as many as 95% of US Marines would be uncomfortable serving with open homosexuals.
By and large, they say that they are concerned that it will cause potential problems with regard to their order and discipline — that it will impact their sense of unit cohesion, Conway said.
An offiical DoD news release says the Department of Defense will follow the injunction against enforcing the policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell,” while the DoJ Read more
Focus on the Family has a series of articles on “The Chain of Command in Marriage,” a brief look at the challenges to marriage in the military. Interestingly, it quotes Judy McChrystal, wife of former Chaplain (Col) Scott McChrystal, who is brother to General Stanley McChrystal.
The article is a fairly comprehensive overview of the challenges to maintaining (and rebuilding) a healthy marriage within the military environment. The author is Jocelyn Green, author of Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives, one of many marriage and military resources available from Officers’ Christian Fellowship.
Katie Drummond writes an article for AOL News that is essentially a fluff piece on the advocacy of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, as virtually every example in the article is an MRFF talking point.
The most recent “issue” is the participation of military base Chaplains with Focus on the Family, which has reportedly simulcast various resources, including its landmark Truth Project, to military bases. (Drummond calls FotF’s relationship with the military “lucrative,” without explaining the basis for her belief of financial involvement.) When explaining his opinion that these “voluntary” religious events aren’t really voluntary, Michael Weinstein Read more
Many outlets carried news of Focus on the Family Founder James Dobson’s resignation as chairman of the organization. Interestingly, this caught the attention of some military/religion activist groups. They have frequently belittled Focus and accused it of complicity in its dealings with the US Air Force Academy just a few miles away in Colorado Springs, accusing it of attempting to “Christianize” the military.
The new outrage is over Dobson’s replacement: Patrick P. Caruana. Caruana is a 1963 Air Force Academy graduate and retired as an Air Force Lieutenant General in 1997. To some, it is the perfect proof of conspiracy.
UPDATED 14 November 2008
When they say ‘there are no atheists in foxholes’ it’s slanderous…
As noted at the Stars and Stripes, the Secular Coalition for America held a news conference demanding new regulations to “protect young military members from…rampant religious discrimination in the services.”
In their press release, the Secular Coalition notes that one atheist military officer was “thwarted” in his attempt to lodge a complaint against a General officer who “opined that there were ‘no atheists in foxholes.'” The officer “contends this statement qualifies as unlawful discrimination under current Army regulations.”
As with some other complaints of religious issues in the military, the Coalition maintains that the perpetrators are Read more