Hill Air Force Base in Utah held its National Day of Prayer on May 6th with the theme of
Lord, pour out your love, life and liberty, from 2 Corinthians 3:17.
The group heard “interfaith prayers” from a Catholic priest, a Protestant chaplain, a Jewish Airman, a local Mormon, and…a heathen. SrA Mark Udy is a beard-wearing “priest” serving the “heathen, Asatru, and Norse pagan community” at Hill AFB.
Interestingly, Udy spent most of his allotted time explaining to the group who and what he was, which is probably understandable given that it’s unlikely there were many people in the audience from his “faith groups” or those who recognized them. He did, however, cite a few recognizable names: Odin and Thor.
In a pluralistic government institution, it’s bound to happen. In some ways, what Read more
US Army Chaplain (Maj) Andrew Calvert made a Facebook comment in January that attracted the attention of critics – and eventually his chain of command. It has now been revealed that Chaplain Calvert received a “General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand” (also called a “GOMOR”) from III Corps commander LtGen Robert “Pat” White. This reprimand from a General Officer (rather than a lower level supervisor or commander) is a potentially career-ending punishment, and it accuses Calvert of “violating military equal opportunity policy and violating Department of Defense policy on political activities.”
With the help of First Liberty, Chaplain Calvert is appealing that punishment.
Chaplain Calvert was the subject of a 15-6 Investigation, so Read more
[Update: The WHS has pulled the article down.]
In a raging letter to senior DoD officials yesterday, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein launched a withering attack on an Easter message written by US Navy Chaplain (LT) Aristotle Rivera, claiming his mainstream Christian message is “anti-Semitic.”
Chaplain Rivera — a West Point grad who spent six years in the Army before another six years in the Air Force and is now in the Navy — wrote an article for the Washington Headquarters Services of the DoD, which is essentially the part of the DoD that encompasses the DC area. The article asked, “What did the people talk about at the first Easter?” The short article describes events about two months after Jesus died: Read more
US troops celebrated the resurrection of the Jesus Christ around the world, including in the Middle East:
U.S. Army Soldiers deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield greet the Easter morning sunrise on a hilltop in Jordan less than 60 miles from where many Christians recognize as the resurrection site for Jesus of Nazareth, April 4, 2021. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Suzanne Ringle, Task Force Spartan Public Affairs)
A few years ago, Chris Rodda claimed Read more
President Joe Biden’s reversal of the military ban on transgenders hadn’t even been announced for minutes before it claimed its first controversy.
US Army Chaplain (MAJ) Andrew Calvert posted a comment on the Army Times Facebook page discussing Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s support for repeal. As quoted by the Army Times in a follow-up story, Chaplain Calvert said
“How is rejecting reality (biology) not evidence that a person is mentally unfit (ill), and thus making that person unqualified to serve,” Andrew Calvert posted on the Army Times Facebook page Monday. “There is little difference in this than over those who believe and argue for a ‘flat earth,’ despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary…
“The motivation is different,” Calvert continued, “but the argument is the same. This person is a MedBoard for Mental Wellness waiting to happen. What a waste of military resources and funding!”
First of all, it used to be a standard talking point in training Read more
Yesterday, Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett chaired the first meeting of the Defense Board on Diversity and Inclusion – a recent creation of Secretary of Defense Mark Esper explicitly in response to the death of George Floyd. In that meeting, Secretary Barrett used some direct – if somewhat unspecific – language [emphasis added]:
Diversity is more than tolerance. Genuine diversity generates acceptance. This Board’s mandate is to move forward with alacrity and positively transform the Defense Department for today’s service members and for generations to come.
Alacrity notwithstanding, her statement begs the question: What does she mean by “acceptance” that is more than tolerance?
For context, consider that Read more
Though it occurred somewhat under the radar these past two weeks, new US military policies clashed with religious freedom, resulting in outside groups coming to the aid of US troops and their liberties.
Late in June, the US Navy Fleet Forces Command, which administratively oversees Naval forces based within the continental United States, issued “additional Force Health Protection guidance” regarding COVID-19 mitigation procedures. In theory, Fleet Forces Command had already declared “HPCON C minus” in late March, and the late June message was a “reiteration” or reminder of that status. However, the latest release was notable (making the local news in many places) and very specifically clarified the somewhat vague HPCON C- with detailed mandatory procedures and prohibitions – including a specific statement on religious services – even those off military installations.
As printed in the Navy message (PDF):
5.A.7.B.4. (U) SERVICE MEMBERS ARE PROHIBITED FROM VISITING, PATRONIZING, OR ENGAGING IN THE FOLLOWING OFF-INSTALLATION SPECIFIC FACILITIES, SERVICES, OR ACTIVITIES…
5.A.7.B.4.F. (U) DINE-IN RESTAURANTS (TAKE-OUT AUTHORIZED), BARS, NIGHT CLUBS, CASINOS, CONFERENCES, SPORTING EVENTS, CONCERTS, PUBLIC CELEBRATIONS, PARADES, PUBLIC BEACHES, AMUSEMENT PARKS OR OTHER EVENTS DESIGNED TO PROMOTE LARGE GATHERINGS, TO INCLUDE INDOOR RELIGIOUS SERVICES.
While seemingly Read more
Chris Rodda has long been a “creative” writer, despite her sometimes claim to be an apparent amateur historian. While she has been quick to call out the errors of others with whom she disagrees, she ignores the errors of those who are on her side. She has also published a bevy of, to put it nicely, misleading writings. For someone so quick to call others “liars,” she has a very unique view of the truth.
With that in mind, Rodda published a blog yesterday with an attention-grabbing title:
National Defense Authorization Act to Include Military Training on How to Force Religion on Others.
Like much of what she writes, though, her title wasn’t true. (Most obviously, the NDAA hasn’t left either side of Congress yet, much less gone through conference committee or to the President. In other words, the NDAA doesn’t “include” anything yet.)
The short version of a long, meandering blog (Rodda has never been one for being succinct), is that Rodda is upset about Senate bill 4049, which was introduced in the Senate only a couple of weeks ago. Within it, the Senate requires the US military to conduct training on “Religious Accommodation” that must include:
- Federal statutes, DoD Instructions, Service regulations regarding religious liberty and accommodation for members of the Armed Forces
- The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993
- Section 533 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013
- Section 528 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016
Of that content, Rodda takes issue only with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The RFRA is fairly short, and it says the government cannot “substantially burden” exercise of religion, with some Read more