William Christopher, who played Catholic Priest and US Army Chaplain (Capt) Francis Mulcahy on “M.A.S.H.,” the Korean War military/medical black comedy TV show in the 1970s and early 1980s, died on New Years Eve. He was 84. While the show’s irreverence, humor, and social commentary made it a bit of a cultural icon well into the 1980s, it is less well known today. Still, “Father Mulcahy” has managed to live on in the American lexicon.
Regrettably, one place Christopher’s character has lived on is 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
The US Air Force Academy is hosting its annual National Character and Leadership Symposium this week with the theme “Character overcoming Conflict: Individual Stories, Global Impact.” One of the invited speakers is Mike Farrell, most famous for his role as BJ Hunnicutt in MASH. He’s also been an advocate for other causes, including opposition to the death penalty and a board member of the Cult Awareness Network. What Farrell is less known for is his advocacy for Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s MRFF, as a member of his “advisory board.”
It is unclear if the MRFF will be part of Farrell’s address at the NCLS, though it is fair to say Farrell has been discreet about his involvement with Weinstein’s outfit.
USAFA’s NCLS is an academic forum that has hosted a wide variety of speakers over the years — including Weinstein himself. This year is no different, and Farrell is hardly Read more
In what appears to be a trend, a few atheist members of the US military seem to have taken on a “militant” practice of their faith — by aggressively going after their fellow religious troops.
In May 2012, Army Sgt Justin Griffith led his “internet atheists” against a prayer event hosted by the families of his fellow Fort Bragg Soldiers — while those families’ Soldiers were deployed to Afghanistan.
In March 2013, an Air Force Chief Master Sergeant proudly announced that he’d purged his squadron of posters for “Christian” events — even official events sponsored by MWR.
In August 2013, Captain Sara Sharick — an Army recruiter — indicated she might use her Army position to try to steer a potential recruit away from his school of choice, Christian-founded Liberty University, because it was home to “the crazies.”
Later in August, Daniel Smith — a civilian commissary store director — claimed the presence of Gideon Bibles in Air Force Inns was unconstitutional. He lodged complaints with the intent of removing those Bibles, so traveling active duty Airmen wouldn’t have access to them.
Now, another incident from earlier this year has recently come to light.
It seems another Army atheist took issue with his fellow Soldiers and their families Read more
Mike Farrell, better known as BJ Hunnicutt of M*A*S*H fame, apparently thinks his “service” with Father Mulcahy qualifies him to speak with authority on the US military chaplaincy. He authored a lengthy piece on the Huffington Post written in the style of Chris Rodda; that is, heavy on vague accusations and light on facts:
Today, a huge percentage of our military chaplains, according to thousands of aggrieved American servicemen and women, present themselves as fevered salesmen for a fundamentalist version of Christianity rather than as simple, caring souls with a willingness to listen and no attached quid pro quo. These religious hucksters see themselves as “government-paid missionaries” and the youth under their domain “as ripe as black bananas.”
Farrell fails to quantify or provide support for his “huge percentage,” and provides no source other than the vague anecdotes of Michael Weinstein’s MRFF “clients.” (Farrell, conveniently enough, is a member of Weinstein’s advisory board.) Farrell is also apparently blind to his own prejudice, calling people who hold beliefs with which he disagrees “hucksters.”
He authoritatively continues: Read more
William Christopher, the actor who played Father Mulcahy on the 1970s/80s TV show MASH, visited with wounded Soldiers at the Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, along with a couple of actual Army Chaplains:
Lt. Col. Ron Leininger and retired Lt. Col. Micheas Langston. Both expressed admiration for their television counterpart.
“Father Mulcahy represented some of the very best qualities of the Vietnam-era and present-day Army chaplains’ values,” Read more