Few people might realize that while the Military Religious Freedom Foundation claims some 16,000 undefined “clients,” fewer than a half dozen people actually speak for the MRFF (and even fewer speak with any regularity). It is interesting, then, to observe Michael Weinstein’s inability to control his own message.
This site has already pointed out the self-contradiction of Chris Rodda, the MRFF research assistant who said a Chaplain’s sermon was “of course…permissible,” but it was also “part of the…problem.” (Her statement was also in direct contradiction with Weinstein’s own words.) In addition, the MRFF still uses the Read more
Michael Weinstein is truly the gift that keeps on giving. His latest attempt at infamy is to say that a red cross appearing on a military hospital’s emblem
violate[s] the constitutional requirement for separation of church and state and should be removed.
Apparently Weinstein has missed the long, international history of the cross in military medical use, as well as the US military’s equivalent treatment of Islam and Judaism that would allegedly “violate…separation of church and state,” pictured below.
Weinstein also objects to the emblem’s motto “pro deo et humanitate” or “for God and humanity,” despite the military’s description of the phrase as pre-dating Christianity.
The emblem in question is that of Evans Army Community Hospital at Fort Carson, near Colorado Springs.
Last year, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State complained to the military that former Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt was representing himself as a current Chaplain. In the end, Klingenschmitt responded by adding a disclaimer to his publications saying he was a former Chaplain. Rob Boston, one of the lead voices of the AU, subsequently said Read more
It is now common knowledge that Franklin Graham’s invitation to speak at the prayer day hosted by the Pentagon Chaplaincy was “rescinded.”
Army spokesman Col. Tom Collins confirmed today, that at the Army’s request, the Pentagon Chaplain’s Office had contacted Graham to withdraw the invitation extended to him to be the main speaker at the Pentagon’s observance of the National Day of Prayer.
As a result, the National Day of Prayer Task Force is also not participating in the Pentagon event. Graham responded:
I regret that the Army felt it was necessary to rescind their invitation to the National Day of Prayer Task Force to participate in the Pentagon’s special prayer service. I want to express my strong support for the United States military and all our troops. I will continue to pray that God will give them guidance, wisdom and protection as they serve this great country.
(Some have claimed the NDoP itself is unConstitutional, consistent with Read more
A FoxNews article highlights the criticism of the US military for an invitation to Franklin Graham for a May 6 day of prayer.
A military spokesman had an interesting statement:
“We are an all-inclusive military. We hold observances throughout the year. This one happens to be a Christian-themed event,” [Army Col. Tom] Collins said.
This is a somewhat unique statement, because many people seem to be assuming a military chapel event has to be “inclusive.” However, the Colonel Read more
Since the demise of its last lawsuit seeking an end to public religious expression in the military, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation has been searching for a cause. (Michael Weinstein promised to file an appeal, though it appears he has not done so.) After the Trijicon scandal was quickly defused, Weinstein made a furtive effort to revive it a few months later–with little public reaction. He also tried to attach his organization to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” media frenzy without much success. Weinstein is struggling for relevancy even among his own supporters; a recent fundraiser garnered few contributors.
In his latest bid for publicity, Weinstein demanded Read more
The last Military Religion Question of the Day asked if a military Chaplain’s article about God’s provision was correctly characterized by a critic:
The…Chaplain writes about why women were created (as an afterthought to keep men from being lonely), marriage as a Christian institution, and segues to a blatant Jesus salvation pitch.
The critic did not directly accuse the Chaplain of wrongdoing. Instead, he appears to be holding the Chaplain’s beliefs up for ridicule. Is the mockery justified?
The critic’s interpretation of the Chaplain’s description of “why women were created” Read more
US Army Chaplain (Capt) Geoffrey Whitaker, the garrison Chaplain at COB Marez, Iraq, took a unique path to the Chaplaincy. He was originally a Navy SEAL; in 2003, he fell during a helicopter speed rope and crushed his skull. Doctors gave him a 10% chance of survival, with far less a chance he’d ever recover.
He rejoined his SEALs within 12 months.
He said he owes his recovery to the thousands of people praying for him around the world. Read more