Writing in the Stars and Stripes, First Liberty attorney Mike Berry rebutted recent calls to restrict religious freedom in the US military.
Referring to last month’s appeal by the Freedom from Religion Foundation and American Atheists for Secretary of Defense James Mattis to end military prayers, Berry pointed out the errors of the groups’ demands and then said [emphasis added]
Were the DOD to give in to the groups’ demands, the harm our military would suffer would be catastrophic. Religious freedom in the military is not a luxury; it is every bit a necessity as bullets, beans and bandages. Religious freedom is a force multiplier that enables all troops — regardless of their faith, or no faith — to prepare themselves for what may be required of them in military service.
The taking of a life — or indeed, the ultimate sacrifice of one’s own life — while Read more
The Freedom From Religion Foundation and American Atheists sent a letter (PDF) yesterday to Secretary of Defense James Mattis calling on him to act to end “coerced religious observances” within the military. Alison Gill and Rebecca Markert write that
The complainants allege, among other things, that facility organizers regularly include scheduled prayer in graduation ceremonies, cadets who opt not to attend worship services on Sundays are instead given menial tasks to perform, and instructors regularly lead recruits in prayers prior to administering tests.
The letter provides no examples. It appears to Read more
Kori Schake is a fellow at Stanford University and co-edited a book with now-Secretary of Defense James Mattis. (She also called then-candidate Donald Trump a “unique risk to US national security“.) In an article about the politicization of the deaths of US troops, she notes the US military is increasingly seen as a means to a sociopolitical end:
Research…points to a growing belief the military is fair game to mine for partisan talking points because of its place as America’s most trusted institution.
That’s something the homosexual movement discovered a few years ago, as they claimed an American service member who was willing to serve and potentially sacrifice his life for his country should, in return, have his preferred sexual lifestyle permitted, validated, and even honored. The homosexual Read more
In a recent interview with an obscure website, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein spontaneously began a religious assessment of Air Force leadership. He first noted that Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen David Goldfein is “ethnically Jewish.” It appears that being Jewish let Gen Goldfein off the hook, though, because Weinstein then laid into The JAG of the Air Force, LtGen Chris Burne, and his (alleged) religion:
But the Judge Advocate General of the Air Force is a three-star General named Christopher Burne who is either an Evangelical Fundamentalist Christian himself or a sympathizer. He’s the worst…TJAG that we’ve ever had, and he has a tremendous amount of sway over what happens there.
Weinstein had plenty of time to say something about the merits (or lack thereof) of these men, but chose instead to make their religion his qualification — and the target of his derision.
And Mikey Weinstein has the gall to accuse other people of being bigots.
To his credit, Read more
Secretary of Defense and former US Marine Corps General James Mattis has been characterized recently as taking efforts to resist or otherwise slow-roll President Trump and his agenda. In one case, he was caught on camera telling US troops they were a model of unity for the country:
“You’re a great example for our country right now that’s got some problems – you know it and I know it…It’s got problems that we don’t have in the military, and you just hold the line my fine young soldiers, sailors, airmen [and] Marines. Just hold the line until our country gets back to understanding and respecting each other and showing it.”
The media portrayed that as a rebuke of President Trump. More recently, multiple media outlets and organizations have said Secretary Mattis “froze” President Trump’s planned ban on transgenders, an apparent rebuke of his boss. But that isn’t what happened at all.
President Trump ordered Read more
Ashley Broadway-Mack of the LGBT-activist AMPA has been at the forefront of claiming US military leadership has “opposed” President Trump’s ban on transgenders in the military. In a recent press release, she repeated the most common refrains — which are the AMPA’s conveniently twisted interpretations of what was actually said:
Military commanders have already gone on the record as being opposed to this move.
That statement is outright false. She does not cite a single “military commander” who is “on the record” opposing the President, and not one has. To do so would have been national news, as a uniformed military officer opposing his Commander-in-Chief is a significant — and potentially criminal — offense. It hasn’t happened, yet Broadway portrays it as foregone. Further: Read more
From the Office of the Secretary of Defense:
[Secretary of Defense James Mattis] will provide detailed guidance to the Department in the near future for how this policy change will be implemented.
LGBT activists had celebrated announcements from the Pentagon that no changes were yet to be made, as if the US military was somehow not going to follow the Commander in Chief’s guidance. The President Read more
President Trump recently nominated retired Rear Admiral Anthony Kurta to become the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. RAdm Kurta’s name is familiar because he’s been filling in as the Under Secretary for some time, as President Trump’s administration has been slow to fill appointee positions.
And in that nomination, LGBT activists see a ray of hope.
The office of Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness is responsible for recruiting, retention, health affairs, “quality of life”, among other colloquialisms for “people”. By virtue of a memorandum issued by then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter under President Obama, the USDPR is the office tasked with creating, managing, and overseeing the policies with regard to transgender issues. That’s the office currently run by Kurta, and for which he is nominated to be Deputy.
Far from being behind the scenes, Anthony Kurta has been front and center on sexual issues as Read more