The US military has just updated its regulations with the intent of improving the protection of military religious freedom.
Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 1300.17 was previously known as “Accommodation of Religious Practices Within the Military Services,” but is now re-titled simply “Religious Liberty in the Military Services” (PDF). The new DoDI title sets the tone for a policy that presupposes religious liberty, rather than treats it as an outlier that may sometimes be “accommodated.”
That change in tone mimics the tone change in religious liberty policies in the Air Force – which may not be a coincidence. The new DoDI was approved by Undersecretary of Defense Matthew Donovan – a former Air Force fighter pilot who has been both an Undersecretary of the Air Force and even the Acting Secretary of the Air Force in the past few years, during which the tenor (if not always the actions) of Air Force policy leaned toward religious freedom.
It seems President Trump’s selection of Undersecretary Donovan may have set the stage for improving religious liberty in the US military.
As to the DoDI itself, it notably Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s “charity,” the MRFF, recently published a bit of fan-mail from a person excoriating President Trump’s Tuesday proclamation of Religious Freedom Day.
And even Weinstein’s own research assistant, Chris Rodda, probably grimaced.
The letter, written by a “30-year Active Duty Air Force Officer”, lambasts Trump’s proclamation, claiming it is a “dog whistle of Fundamentalist Christian Dominionism.” As proof [formatting original]:
To understand his real declaratory intent, we need only look at his last paragraph in which he says, “I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen…”
…[Trump] ENLARGES the views of those that see 2018 as ‘The Year of Our Lord,’ i.e., Christians only.
Longevity in the military is clearly no guarantor of intellectual acuity.
As anyone with an elementary education and an internet connection could tell you, the Read more
US Army MajGen Julie Bentz is the vice director of the Joint Improvised Threat Defeat Organization. She was also recently the keynote speaker of the 56th annual Kansas Prayer Breakfast held on March 15th.
That’s why Michael “Mikey” Weinstein wants her fired.
Advocates for religious freedom [sic] say a two-star general violated the U.S. Constitution and endangered troops when she told those gathered at a prayer breakfast about her “greatest privilege.”…
Weinstein is calling for an investigation and said Bentz should be removed from her position.
How did Gen Bentz violate the Constitution? Weinstein quotes thusly [emphasis his]: Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein recently demanded the US Air Force “aggressively punish” LtGen Steven Kwast, Commander and President of the Air Force’s Air University, claiming he violated Air Force regulations by “discuss[ing]” his faith.
While typical and not unlike his rebuffed accusations against LtCol Michael Kersten, this Weinstein complaint is unique in its near-honesty.
First, Weinstein readily admitted he filed the complaint only because LtGen Kwast “openly discussed his (Christian) faith” (parentheses original) and, shockingly, quoted the Bible:
Lt. Gen. Steven L. Kwast openly discussed his (Christian) faith by, among other faith-based statements, quoting New Testament scripture from Matthew 25:21…
It would be more accurate to say LtGen Kwast mentioned his faith, but it’s Read more
On 8 November, the Air Force Times published its letters to the editor online. Among them was one from retired US Navy Commander Wayne Johnson, who took Michael “Mikey” Weinstein to task for his attacks against US Air Force LtCol Michael Kersten.
Johnson had some advice for the Air Force. Rather than telling Weinstein to pound sand, Johnson suggested something simpler:
Nuts! [emphasis added]
‘NUTS’ TO DEMAND
In a recent interview with base public affairs for a Meet Your Leadership series at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Kersten, 39th Medical Support Squadron commander, mentioned his Christian faith and quoted the Bible.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation and its president, Mikey Weinstein, is demanding the Air Force rebuke what Kersten said as well as punish him. If the Air Force has real integrity, it should respond to this demand with the words of Army Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe, commander Read more
On October 6th, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein demanded the US Air Force “visibly punish” LtCol Michael Kersten for saying Jesus Christ affected his decisions during an official interview.
On October 13th, Col John Walker, the Air Base Wing Commander at Incirlik and LtCol Kersten’s boss, responded with the following, as publicized by Weinstein: Read more
In an awkward attack letter worthy of the logically-challenged Chris Rodda, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein recently demanded the “public” punishment of a US Air Force commander for the high crime of saying he was a Christian.
Weeks ago, LtCol Michael Kersten was highlighted in an Incirlik Air Base news article following him taking command of the 39th Medical Support Squadron in July. In that Q & A style piece, Kersten responded by mentioning Christ [emphasis added]: Read more