Army Specialist Samuel Keenan of the Massachusetts National Guard recently wrote an article out of Hanscom AFB entitled “Getting in the foxhole: how chaplains serve nonreligious service members” — apparently a subtle play on the “no atheists in a foxhole” phrase.
In short, the article uses the example of Guard Air Force Chaplain (Capt) Derek White to show that chaplains serve everyone, even those without a religious faith:
“It doesn’t matter if they’re religious or if they have no religious preference,” said White. “The fact that I am the person that they feel they can share their life with… that’s a really great feeling…”
“Regardless of religious preference, or non-preference, everybody hits a wall with human limits,” said White. “Chaplains provide hope that the wall is not an obstacle that cannot be overcome.”
That’s a valid discussion — even if the “non-religious” issue feels somewhat forced to the exclusion of everything else. Based on the article, it seems Keenan, more than Chaplain White, focused on the non-religious aspect. There’s no clear reason why.
Unfortunately, Keenan relied on an “interesting” source for part of his article: Read more
In 2012, then-US Army Major Ray Bradley complained that he was a humanist but was unable to put “humanist” in his military records as his “religion” in his military records (and reflected on his dog tags).
In 2014, the US Army added “humanist” to the list of faith codes.
In a new memo dated 27 March 2017 (PDF), the DoD Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs published a change that established standardized DoD-wide faith codes across the force — including “Humanist.”
For his part, Bradley had originally envisioned the recognition as the first step to achieving “lay leader” status as a humanist (with humanist “chaplain” to follow). That’s the same conclusion for which Jason Torpy pined when his MAAF reported on this new memo.
Kimberly Winston of the Religion News Service — sitting Read more
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has demanded that New Hampshire’s Pease Air National Guard (Facebook) base stop including prayer in association with official events:
A concerned guardsman informed FFRF that ceremonies at the Pease Air National Guard Base regularly have chaplains delivering invocations. These include readings from the bible and references to a Christian god. Attendance at these ceremonies is mandatory for all guardsmen.
The FFRF’s legal analysis was short and to the point: Read more
by Sonny Hernandez
The Forum on the Military Chaplaincy (FOMC) is infamously gaining exposure among Bible-believing Christians, as I have repeatedly exposed their infernal agenda.
The FOMC is a homosexual affirming, counterfeit Christian forum that desperately wants attention on their anti-Christian crusade. On February 10, 2017, the FOMC posted a response on their Facebook page to my article on the NCMAF with the question:
What is your reaction to this latest attack by Chaplain Hernandez?
The responses to my article from the FOMC were not confounding, since I did not receive a coherent or rational response to my theological argument. The responses were Read more
Retired US Army LtCol Tom Gray, now a contractor at the global nuclear US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, recently issued a press release (PDF) celebrating his “vigilance” over the “separation of church and state.” Gray announced he’d had Dr. Philip Kayser of the Dominion Covenant Church in nearby Omaha disinvited from speaking at the Offutt Chapel. According to Gray, Kayser had planned on giving “a class on leadership from a Christian perspective.” Gray objected:
Dr. Kayser’s beliefs…can be found online. I brought my concerns to Captain Yi, the USSTRATCOM chaplain, and the invitation was revoked.
The STRATCOM decision to disinvited the local pastor is problematic — and disturbing.
First, it’s worth noting even Gray — despite Read more
A recent commentary noted the apparent rise of atheism within the US military and highlighted the atheist “church” that occurs at Air Force Basic Training at Lackland AFB — where, at the time, atheists were claiming nearly 1,000 weekly attendees.
The group has been putting up weekly photos of a few of their attendees (though none of the events themselves):
(Here’s something interesting: When a group of Army trainees took a similar-themed photo after their Christian service, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein called them a “national security threat” and used the image as a fundraising prop in his fight against Christians. Think Weinstein will consider these atheists a national security threat, too?)
According to the Read more
From Jason Torpy, perpetually-offended former Army atheist and current voice for the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, in response to the publicity surrounding recent articles on God and Country:
Jason Torpy exactly. a troll best ignored. if the topic can’t be found somewhere legitimate, then there’s no reason to talk about it.
Jason Torpy best not to repost this troll’s poison
It would seem Jason Read more
As part of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Congress required the DoD Inspector General to report to Congress on the US military’s promulgation of religious liberty protections. This was presumably due to perceptions the military was being unresponsive to the wording in laws passed by Congress.
As a result of that requirement, the DoD IG released an initial report (3MB PDF) last week more notable for what it did not say than what it did. Despite specific congressional attention on “individual expressions of belief,” the IG report almost completely ignored that topic — though it admitted why [emphasis added]:
Virtually all…events in a service member’s career involve subjective, discretionary decisionmaking on the part of leaders and commanders. Identifying examples of discrimination based on conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs was unrealistic because those reasons would almost never be cited as the basis for the decision…Further, denials of promotion, schooling, training, and assignment are a subset of adverse personnel actions.
To summarize: Read more