Twenty four members of Congress wrote a letter (PDF) to Secretary of the Army John McHugh questioning the circumstances surrounding the Letter of Concern given to Chaplain (Capt) Joe Lawhorn.
While the Army has maintained that Chaplain Lawhorn wasn’t “punished” (and therefore there is apparently nothing to discuss), the Congressmen communicated their concerns that even the “administrative action” was chilling to rights protected under the law and Constitution:
We believe this administrative action sets a dangerous precedent for Army suicide prevention initiatives, the role of Army chaplains, and most importantly, the ability for service members to exercise and express religious beliefs, as protected under the First Amendment and reinforced by current law and DoD regulations.
The letter also raises concerns that the action Read more
Nearly 6 years after then-US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan killed 14 and wounded more than 30 in the massacre at Fort Hood, those victims are finally to receive the medal awarded for being “wounded in action” against the enemy:
Secretary of the Army John McHugh announced today that he has approved awarding the Purple Heart and its civilian counterpart, the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom, to victims of a 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas…
Hasan, motivated by his Islamic faith and reportedly Read more
US military leaders publicized their “holiday messages” in a series of videos just before Christmas. Outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and his wife made a point of saying “Merry Christmas,” as well as including a still photo from a homosexual proposal during a homecoming ceremony.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Marty Dempsey and his family sang “Jingle Bells” and wished everyone a “Merry Christmas.”
Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and her Read more
In an interesting twist, the ACLU recently praised a decision by the US Army that “protect[ed] First Amendment rights” of Soldiers — but it was precisely the opposite position of Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, who claims his MRFF is the “sole group” providing soldiers that very protection. The ACLU said [emphasis added]:
[There have been] reports that Army diversity trainings have labeled various religious and socially conservative organizations as “extremist” or “hate groups.”
In response to some of that criticism, Army Secretary John McHugh recently suspended these trainings. The ACLU commended that move in a letter to the Army last week that dispels the perception left by some that the trainings were uniquely anti-Christian. The ACLU also urged the Army to better protect the First Amendment rights of military personnel going forward and offered suggestions on how to do so.
The Restore Military Religious Freedom coalition similarly applauded the decision by the Army to end and standardize those briefings. (To be fully accurate, the Read more
Multiple reports now cover the manual for Department of Defense Equal Opportunity officers governing training at Patrick Air Force Base — and the implications it has racist content.
“Whites are the empowered group,” states the manual. “White males represent the haves as compared to the have-nots.”
FoxNews obtained the manual from an officer disturbed by its content, as it guides all EO throughout the military: Read more
The Liberty Institute, the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, and the Family Research Council — all members of the Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition — successfully waged a campaign to have the US Army order an end to briefings which labeled mainstream Christian groups “extremist.”
As reported by Todd Starnes at FoxNews:
“On several occasions over the past few months, media accounts have highlighted instances of Army instructors supplementing programs of instruction and including information or material that is inaccurate, objectionable and otherwise inconsistent with current Army policy,” Army Sec. John McHugh wrote to military leaders in a memorandum I obtained.
McHugh “directed that Army leaders cease all briefings, command presentations or training on the subject of extremist organizations or activities until that program of instruction and training has been created and disseminated,” Army spokesman Col. David Patterson, Jr., tells me.
Multiple briefings were presented as evidence of a widespread Read more
Update: The Army defended its actions, with FoxNews saying it was a “cautionary move to preserve “military order and discipline,”” not censorship.
In a surprisingly underreported story, the US Army reportedly censored — and then admitted the wrong of censoring — US military Catholic chaplains during their performance of their Catholic Mass. Catholic priests were apparently given letters to read to their parishes explaining the Catholic opposition to the Department of Health and Human Services mandate requiring insurance coverage for things that violate Catholic beliefs.
On Thursday, January 26, Archbishop Broglio emailed a pastoral letter to Catholic military chaplains with instructions that it be read from the pulpit at Sunday Masses the following weekend in all military chapels. The letter calls on Catholics to resist the policy initiative, recently affirmed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, for federally mandated health insurance covering sterilization, abortifacients and contraception, because it represents a violation of the freedom of religion recognized by the U.S. Constitution.
The US Army’s Chaplaincy office responded: Read more
On 12 July 2011, Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry received the Medal of Honor in a ceremony at the White House. SFC Petry was honored for his selfless actions when he picked up and threw an enemy grenade that had fallen among his team. The grenade discharged and catastrophically amputated his hand.
SFC Petry has remained humble throughout, thanking his family and asking for prayers for the sacrifice of military families in support of the US’s mission: Read more