Tag Archives: lackland afb

Reports: US Military Christians Targeted for Beliefs

FoxNews had a somewhat inflammatory title to its article, “Air Force cracking down on Christians,” in which columnist Todd Starnes noted the story of SMSgt Philip Monk, currently being investigated after filing a complaint of religious discrimination.

Lost in some of the controversy, though, was this near the end of the article [emphasis added]:

[Monk’s] not the only Christian at Lackland Air Force Base facing persecution for opposing gay marriage, according to Monk’s pastor.

Steve Branson is the pastor of Village Parkway Baptist Church, about five miles from the Air Force base. He tells me that as many as a half dozen of his church members are currently facing persecution…for their religious beliefs.

“Sgt. Monk is just the tip of the iceberg,” Read more

Air Force Investigates Claim of Religious Discrimination

The Stars and Stripes reports the Air Force has launched an investigation at Lackland Air Force Base to determine if Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk was a victim of religious discrimination. Monk had claimed he was essentially “fired” by his commander for his religious views.

Training wing spokeswoman Colleen McGee said…the Air Force has launched an investigation into Monk’s claims, to determine if any command violations may have occurred.

Notably, the Liberty Institute — a part of Read more

Air Force SNCO Claims Firing over Religion

Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk of the 37th Training Wing at Lackland AFB, TX, says he was “relieved of his position” because he did not agree with his homosexual commander about “gay marriage.”

The Air Force disagrees, and says it was just his time to move on.

As depicted, there may be validity to both sides as to whether or not he was “fired,” but that discussion detracts from the actual issue.

Monk, an evangelical Christian, said the issue came up when he was advising his company commander about a situation involving a staff sergeant who had expressed opposition to homosexuality on religious grounds — an opinion shared with trainees that might be a violation of an Air Force policy barring the use of a position of authority to promote personal religious beliefs.

Monk had said the situation called for Read more

Federal Lawsuit Threatened over Fighter Pilot Songs, Traditions

Most recent articles on the high visibility sexual scandals in the Air Force have focused on charges of sexual assault, largely with reference to the Lackland basic training incidents.  Despite a fairly thorough article at the New York Times (which included that topic), almost no one has been talking about Air Force Technical Sergeant Jennifer Smith — who is threatening to sue the US Air Force over the sexually-charged atmosphere in the fighter pilot world.  (The Air Force Times picked up on the story just days ago.)

This is particularly notable in light of the recent “health and welfare inspection” ordered by Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen Mark Welsh, since the inspection seems to precisely target some of TSgt’s Smith’s allegations (yet the media continues to connect it to other accusations).   Notably, there are reports Shaw AFB — where TSgt Smith reportedly lodged the complaint — did a “health and welfare” inspection weeks before Gen Welsh ordered it Air Force wide.  The organization representing TSgt Smith, “Protecting our Defenders,” certainly made the connection.

As noted in the New York Times more than a month ago, TSgt Smith has filed an “administrative complaint” (PDF, with attachments) that reads much like a primer on the vices of the fighter pilot world.  She seeks  Read more

Wiccan Service Packed at Air Force Basic Training

 Cauldrons, spell books, brooms, and swords in a military witchcraft ceremony.
Photo credit: Katrina Gutierrez

A local paper — in an article briefly titled “No Hocus Pocus” — noted that “hundreds” of basic trainees have attended Wiccan services at Lackland AFB, Texas:

[There is] a curious multiplication of Wiccans at Lackland. Hundreds of basic military trainees have chosen to study witchcraft at the base.
 
“When we come over here on a Sunday, often times, there are 300 to 400 (trainees),” Tony Gatlin said.
 
Gatlin is the coven’s high priest. His wife Read more

Pagans Get “Warm Welcome” at Lackland AFB, USAFA

A “pagan newswire collective” article on the religious environment in the US Air Force painted a picture of a tolerant, accepting, and respectful military treatment of even the most minority religions.

Really.

The pagan report is only the most recent outside observer to highlight the positive religious environment in the US Air Force.  Starting at Lackland Air Force Base:

“Our airmen…should know that the Air Force has gone to great lengths to ensure their spirit was nurtured while in basic training,” says Rev. Tamie Rieth…, the Wicca Distinctive Faith Group Leader (DFGL) at Lackland for just over 6 years.  Rev. Rieth is one of 5 instructors who lead the weekly Wiccan services for BMT trainees.

The article says 150 to 300 trainees attend the Sunday Read more

Group Complains of Religious Training at Lackland AFB

A group of trainees at the US Air Force basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, was photographed in a religious training event that has raised the ire of a religious watchdog.

On the first Sunday in August a representative of Harun Yahya was allowed, following an invitation from the Muslim chaplain at Lackland, Captain Sharior Rahman, to present two classes: a morning one on “The Collapse of Darwinism and the Fact of Creation” and an evening one covering “Miracles in the Qur’an.”

Dr. Timothy Furnish of Family Security Matters has made it his purpose in life to track the “mahdi movement” (loosely paraphrased, the messianic side of Islam), of which Harun Yahya is a part.  Furnish obtained photographs of basic trainees sitting through a class on these Islamic studies:  Read more

Islamic Chaplain Serves DoD’s Largest Muslim Community

The Air Force Times profiles Chaplain (Capt) Sharior Rahman, who is one of two Islamic Chaplains in the US Air Force.  (The other is Chaplain (Capt) Walid Habash; it is unclear what became of Chaplain (Capt) Abdulah Hamza Al-Mubarak, who was the Air Force’s first Islamic Chaplain and served at the Air Force Academy until a few years ago.)

Rahman serves at Lackland AFB — gateway for all enlisted recruits — and Read more

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