Two recent articles, among others, demonstrate the strength of the relationship between the US military and the local church — especially churches that go out of their way to serve the military community.
The relationship between the military and Manna Church in Fayetteville — outside Fort Bragg — was documented at Religion News Service:
This dynamic megachurch is similar to many others across the country, except for this: 70 percent of church members are military families based at Fort Bragg, the nation’s largest military installation. And despite a rapid turnover of members, due to deployments, retirements and transfers to other bases, the evangelical church has not only held steady, but grown.
Manna Church actually spreads Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein tried to stop Kenneth Copeland from speaking at Fort Jackson’s Prayer Breakfast in February, apparently believing he needed to protect US troops from Copeland’s religious beliefs regarding faith, healing, and PTSD. While Weinstein’s pleas were loud and desperate, the event went on regardless.
Not much later, David Barton — seemingly Chris Rodda’s sworn enemy — spoke at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, but the MRFF was apparently unaware. Since no one complained, Weinstein and Rodda were unable to protect the troops from Barton’s — presumably offensive — Christian beliefs and presentation on the history of prayer in America.
At about the same time, another prayer luncheon occurred at Fort Hunter Liggett, where a keynote speaker held politically sensitive views and religious beliefs opposed by a substantial percentage of American citizens — and, yet again, Mikey Weinstein was silent.
This time, the speaker Read more
After Michael “Mikey” Weinstein recently decried the National Prayer Breakfasts at both Fort Jackson and Whiteman AFB, one might have thought US troops were stumbling over each other to beg for his help in the face of religious oppression and pancakes.
In actuality, National Prayer Breakfasts are happening at military facilities around the country — entirely without incident. Even the ones Weinstein complained about so boisterously occurred without so much as a ripple.
Why the disconnect? Aside from the obvious answer that Weinstein doesn’t always tell the truth, the simple fact is US service members aren’t coming to Weinstein in droves to complain about these events — or anything else, for that matter — despite Weinstein’s claims to the contrary.
Rather, Mikey Weinstein finds out about an event — even if just from a simple internet news alert — socializes it among his followers to create “complainants”, and then tries to ride the complaints about the event for publicity (and his personal benefit, of course).
In other words, the “complaints” are essentially manufactured. But for Mikey Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, perennial critic of religious freedom in the US military, celebrated the close of 2017 by happily saying, essentially, he’d ‘transitioned’ into a well-paid blogger. Apparently stung by the revelation he was soliciting funds for lawsuits that weren’t actually happening, Weinstein now says his primary mission is to communicate, not litigate [emphasis added]:
MRFF’s mission to ensure military religious freedom scored big wins this year with battles achieving massive publicity…
We [need your money to] fuel MRFF’s campaign to illuminate federally funded fundamentalism. We must open the public’s eyes. The spread of knowledge is our arsenal’s most potent weapon.
In other words, whereas Mikey Weinstein once bragged of how much he accomplished, he now brags of how much he talks. Apropos.
More tellingly, Weinstein included a list of 14 “achievements” for 2017 that read like a list of non-events — and other people’s events.
Within that list of 14, Read more
The Virginian-Pilot reports the US Air Force has taken down posters hung at Langley Air Force Base because they contained “gendered language.” The Air Force had previously defended the posters against accusations by Michael “Mikey” Weinstein that they violated regulations on religion. With that avenue closed, the National Organization for Women rolled in and declared the posters “sexist” because they referred to “men” and “gentlemen”. The Air Force now says [emphasis added]
With additional time to review all seven posters outside the narrower, primarily religious context of the original complaint about two of them, we concluded the gendered language used in the display interfered with intended messages about personal integrity.
We’ve chosen to update the display with something that reflects the diverse and inclusive force we are today.
How the Air Force believes “gendered language” “interfere[s]” with “personal integrity” might make a fascinating discussion.
For his part, Mikey Weinstein — ignored by the Air Force, again — appeared Read more
The US Air Force’s Air Combat Command summarily rebuffed Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s complaint that it had “compromis[ed] the integrity of its solemn oath” and violated the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution.
Because of a poster.
As reported by the Air Force Times:
A pair of posters that focus on the importance of faith, which have been on display at Air Combat Command headquarters at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, for years, will not be altered — despite recent complaints about them — according to command officials.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation had contacted the base about removing the posters after complaints from the Langley community.
Weinstein apparently waited for a slow news day to reveal his loss to the Air Force, given that he was initially contacted by the “client” nearly two weeks ago and he normally revels in the Air Force’s immediate reaction.
The Air Force seemed unmoved [emphasis added]: Read more
A local paper covers the new “professional adversaries” for Langley Air Force based F-22 Raptors.
[Lt. Col. Derek] Wyler and several other pilots at Langley Air Force Base fly the T-38 Talon. First used in the 1960s as a trainer, the Talon has been given new life at Langley and two other Air Force bases. It plays the role of enemy aircraft in training exercises with the F-22 Raptor, now the top-line fighter in the fleet.
While there are some challenging characteristics of the T-38s which make them desirable adversaries, it probably comes down to money: it’s just cheaper.
The Air Force Times says Langley AFB’s F-22 fleet has returned to flight after a short grounding following an oxygen-related incident last week.
The rest of the USAF F-22 fleet was not affected.