Chaplain Hernandez’s previously discussed column on military Christians and religious freedom continues to receive critiques — more accurately, criticism — from a wide variety of sources.
One of the more interesting responses came from Don Byrd of the Baptist Joint Committee, a left leaning advocacy group that tends to take a more atheistic view of religious liberty than most Baptists.
In a blog entitled “Air Force Chaplain is Wrong to Oppose Religious Liberty Rights for All,” Byrd began with a principled observation ignored by most [emphasis added]:
Capt. Hernandez is of course free to believe according to his conscience and faith…The controversial issue of salvation for non-Christians is a question of Christian theology, not public policy…
Personal theological beliefs do not disqualify an individual from public service.
Byrd then added a significant “however” [emphasis added]: Read more
The US military apparently conducted a leaflet drop in Afghanistan recently that offended just about everyone:
The leaflets dropped Monday night, which encouraged Afghans to cooperate with security forces, included an image of a dog carrying the Taliban flag, said Shah Wali Shahid, the deputy governor of Parwan province.
The problem, such that it is, is the Islamic verses of the Quran are venerated in Islam — and there are Islamic verses on the Taliban flag. Dogs are viewed as filthy.
So, despite the evil the Taliban represents, seeing a Taliban flag in the mouth of a dog is worse.
The Taliban subsequently Read more
Bangladesh native and legal US resident Nelash Das is the latest to be accused of plotting an attack on the US military in support of ISIS:
Federal authorities accuse Das of supporting terrorist activity by planning to kill a member of the U.S. military who was also a special agent with the FBI, the government said…
The two men got as far as the fake address of the targeted soldier’s home before federal agents moved on him and arrested him.
Das makes 15 civilians — along with multiple US troops Read more
Mikey Weinstein May Demand Colored Crosses on Air Force Uniforms
It would seem Michael “Mikey” Weinstein wants to the US military to segregate US troops by their religion.
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has yet again become the target of a complaint by Weinstein. (The frequency isn’t due to Wright-Patt’s behavior, but the presence of Mikey Weinstein’s friends and family.) This time, Wright-Patt did precisely what Mikey Weinstein wanted — and he still demanded “punishment” for people’s “dangerous violations of Air Force regulations.”
The offense? The Wing Chaplain’s office sent out an email to the Wing.
The core of the email was simple, as forwarded to Weinstein by a sympathizer: Read more
In its ongoing efforts to garner sympathy and support, the LGBT movement continues to put a “face” on its agenda, using US troops. Most recently, the Washington Post (repeated at the Stars and Stripes) reported on US Naval Academy Midshipman Regan Kibby, a female who entered the Academy after a lifetime of “not [feeling] like a girl” and decided to become a male — even though such gender confusion/dysphoria was an explicitly disqualifying condition when she entered the military.
For Kibby to be told she could serve openly — and then to have that decision reversed — is certainly frustrating (though she was the one to join the military in violation of the original policies to begin with).
More interesting, though, is the total absence of Washington Post, Stars and Stripes, or military Read more
John Booker, the 22-year old Kansas man who tried to detonate what he thought was a car bomb outside Fort Riley in 2015, was recently sentenced to 30 years in prison.
When he pleaded guilty in February, he acknowledged that he wanted to kill Americans and participate in jihad to support the Islamic State group.
Booker intended to detonate the bomb, which he believed contained 1,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate, and die in the process, prosecutors said.
Booker had previously Read more
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