In a fascinating story that was apparently overwhelmed by other news events, US Rep Trent Franks (R-Az) had proposed an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that would have required the US military to perform a “strategic assessment” on “violent or unorthodox Islamic religious doctrine.”
The amendement was recently defeated 208-217.
Fellow Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) had an unusual take on the proposal:
“If…we’re going to study one religion and only one, we’re going to look at their leaders and put them on a list — only them — and you are going to talk about what’s orthodox practice and what’s unorthodox, then you are putting extra scrutiny on that religion,” said Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who is Muslim…
“Nobody is saying you can’t study terrorism,” Ellison said during floor debate. “You can study what motivates people to commit acts of terrorism. And we should. But we don’t — not equally. The fact is that this amendment singled out and stigmatizes one religious group.”
Having an arm of the US government perform a study and assessment on religion is Read more
The following account is provided anonymously, and certain details have been intentionally obscured to protect the identities of those involved.
I walked out of a church service last Sunday.
It wasn’t because I had a crying child or a vibrating cellphone. It was because when the singing stopped, the pastor who stood up in front of the congregation to deliver the sermon represented religious beliefs I disagreed with.
Now why, you might ask, was I even at a church whose pastor didn’t hold the same beliefs as me?
Easy: I’m in the US military.
Unfortunately, we don’t always have the luxury of “choosing” our church. Other times, we might choose the chapel on the post, yet watch as the pastor — the chaplain — changes from one year (or even one Sunday) to the next. And every service member will go through the process of moving, which means a new “job,” a new home, and a new church — every couple of years.
The way some people seem to tell the story, the military is being run (or overrun) Read more
A US Soldier was arrested over the weekend after a yearlong operation in which he was alleged to have tried to materially support the Islamic State.
Among the charges was that Kang copied military secret documents in 2015 and wanted to provide them to [ISIS], according to the affidavit. It also Kang says admitted that he voluntarily pledged loyalty to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
SFC Ikaika Kang was highlighted to the FBI by the US military: Read more
In an interesting piece at Military.com, US Navy PO2 Guldeep “Geena” Kaur Sidhu describes what it’s like to be a Sikh woman serving in the US military, noting:
In today’s politically charged and increasingly globalized world, it’s more important than ever to be open to the beliefs and cultures of those around you.
Kaur notes there is virtue in promoting and highlighting religious liberty and the values of religious belief:
I believe that it will lead us to greater unity. By better understanding the identities of our brothers and sisters in arms, we can become closer as a unified force. I hope that the changes brought about by this new directive will serve to educate my fellow service members on the Sikh religion, and how closely it aligns with the American values we’re fighting for day in and day out.
As has been noted in the past, there has been Read more
In an official article, the US Navy announced that Navy LT Jennifer Johnson was awarded status as one of the “best LGBT lawyers under 40” by the National LGBT Bar Association:
The association established the award to recognize legal professionals under the age of 40 who distinguished themselves in their field and advocated LGBT equality.
A previous release from the Navy (and the award website) indicates Navy LT Paul Wagoner was similarly recognized. Fortunately, there does not appear to be an organization that only recognizes lawyers who have heterosexual sex, nor does the Navy appear to highlight such JAGs.
Johnson’s public recognition by the US military is supremely ironic, given Read more
Hemant Mehta recently stumbled all over himself trying to say that the Southern Poverty Law Center’s designation of “hate groups” is fine when it comes to Christians, but not when it comes to atheists (something he first tried to do last November).
Just a few days ago Mehta defended the SPLC when Guidestar, a charity review site, began including the SPLC’s ‘opinion’ on charities it claims are “hate groups”. Within the conversation, Mehta appropriated the SPLC’s “hate group” designation for some Christian groups. When those groups complained they were being targeted for their beliefs, Mehta said “that’s a lie” and celebrated the idea they would lose charitable donations for the designation. (Guidestar subsequently dropped the categorization under pressure.)
Then, the news broke that Maajid Nawaz is suing the SPLC. He’s a former Read more
by Sonny Hernandez
Via the MRFF
On Monday, April, 27, 2017, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), which is actually a “freedom from religion” foundation that harasses Christians, issued a communiqué titled, “MRFF files official Department of Defense Inspector General (DoD/IG) complaint against USAF Chaplain (Capt.) Sonny Hernandez.” In this complaint, the MRFF’s attorney sent a letter to the Deputy Inspector General for Administrative Investigations that alleged:
USAF Chaplain (Capt.) Sonny L. Hernandez’s blog post on “Christian Fighter Pilot”…can reasonably be considered as violating Numerous Punitive Articles [sic] defined in The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) [sic].
To explain what caused this accusation ad-nauseam, Christianfightpilot.com (CFP) posted a Read more
US Army BGen Miguel Castellanos, the CJTF-HOA deputy commanding general, recently hosted an Islamic iftar to celebrate the breaking of the fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The event began with US Navy Chaplain (Cmdr) Abuhena Saifulislam leading some foreign troops in Islamic prayers. (Saifulislam had recently performed the same ritual for the State Department in Djibouti.)
BGen Castellanos made an interesting statement Read more