A few years ago, it seemed issues of religion in the military – scandals, some might say – dominated the news cycle for weeks out of the year. Every December the “top ten” religion media stories of the year included several regarding the US military. More recently, however, such “scandals” have fallen out of the news. To be sure, issues of religion in the military still pop up every now and then, but now those stories tend to involve actual issues of religion in the military, not manufactured outrage. Media stories are now far more likely to be about the changes that allow a Sikh to wear a turban or beard than about some random member of the military saying “have a blessed day” or having a Bible on their desk.
Part of the reason for this change has been the rise of religious liberty organizations who have defended the religious rights of US troops. The Becket Fund, First Liberty Institute, the ACLJ and others like them have become prominent and public defenders of religious freedom in the US military. While they were available to troops as a resource for many years, these organizations have gradually become more proactive, to the point that recent changes in US law and military policy have been proposed – and successfully passed – because of these groups. These laws and policies have dampened some of the prior years’ flail because they unified and standardized the military’s response to faith and free exercise. Rather than a cycle of military bases having repeats of the same kerfuffle, overarching policies govern the reaction of the entire DoD. (Sometimes.)
The end result is Read more
Speaking at the Liberty University commencement, 11 May 2019:
The truth is, when you leave Liberty Mountain, you’re going to find an America filled with promise…
We live in a time when the freedom of religion is under assault. Yesterday, I was informed by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom that today Christians suffer more persecution around the world than any other religion…
The freedom of religion is enshrined in our First Amendment and in the hearts of every American. And these attacks on Christian education are un-American. I’m proud to report our administration has already taken decisive action to protect religious liberty, and we’ll continue to do just that. And I promise you: We will always stand up for the right of Americans to live, to learn, and to worship God according to the dictates of their conscience.
The American people cherish our tradition of religious education, and as President Trump said at this very podium two years ago, on our watch, “No one is ever going to stop you from practicing your faith or from preaching what is in your heart.” That’s a promise… Read more
Liberty University, one of the largest private schools in the country and the “world’s premier Christian university”, was named “best for vets” in Military.com’s 2019 rankings for online and nontraditional schools: Read more
The Forum on the Military Chaplaincy presents itself as a “tolerant” and progressive organization for the military chaplaincy. On their website, they say their goal is to
provide an inclusive, socially and spiritually responsive program…to extend a welcome and affirming presence to the troops and military families…
The Forum was founded to use the chaplaincy to help repeal the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which helps explain their appeal to be “inclusive.” However, the “inclusiveness” of these progressive “Christians” apparently does not extend to orthodox Jewish beliefs.
Last Saturday, Tom Carpenter — the homosexual Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has reportedly threatened to sue the Christian Examiner for posting a commentary entitled “How the Grinch stole Christmas – at Dover Air Force Base.”
The commentary is actually a very well-written and astute piece by Dr. Gregory Tomlin, an Assistant Professor of Church History and a faculty instructional mentor for Liberty University Divinity School, who clearly explains both the constitutional and military regulation issues surrounding Weinstein’s complaint about the now-infamous Operation Christmas Child email sent by a Dover AFB secretary.
Tomlin accurately notes that Read more
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr made a lot of news over the weekend after his Friday speech advocating that his students carry concealed weapons.
“I’ve always thought if more good people had concealed carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in,” Falwell said.
He told the Associated Press on Saturday he was specifically referring to Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the couple who shot and killed 14 people during a holiday party in a Southern California office building on Wednesday.
Much less attention was given to Dyess Air Force Base, near Abilene, Texas. According to a statement from the base, for the first time in decades, US troops will be able to keep their concealed weapons when they enter the base [emphasis added]: Read more
The homosexual advocacy group American Military Partner Association tried mightily to cause an outcry after Liberty University refused to give a military spouse discount to a homosexual “wife” of a female service member. On spouseBuzz, a subsidiary of Military.com, a homosexual woman described as “Army spouse Janay” was denied the discount and said
Liberty’s response has actually hurt my feelings a little bit. We are all equal no matter what and after speaking with a representative from Liberty I don’t feel as if we are all equal. I kind of feel like an outsider…
The AMPA amped up the rhetoric, with Ashley Broadway-Mack saying Read more
Chaplain (Col) Dondi Costin was promoted two steps to Major General and installed as the Air Force Chief of Chaplains in a ceremony on August 28th.
In a statement quoted in the Air Force Times, Chaplain Costin responded to the stories of his “memorable” invocations, which may give some insight into his opinion on “ceremonial prayer”:
Costin told Air Force Times that he spends a lot of time understanding each ceremony’s purpose and those being honored.
“Invocations aren’t just ceremonial placeholders lingering from a bygone era,” he said. “Rather, Read more