Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson has announced that Col Leland Bohannon was wrongly punished last October after he expressed religious objections to affirming homosexuality. Explaining the results of the Air Force Review Board, which had received Col Bohannon’s appeal, Secretary Wilson said (PDF) [emphasis added]
The Director concluded that Colonel Bohannon had the right to exercise his sincerely held religious beliefs and did not unlawfully discriminate when he declined to sign the certificate of appreciation for the same sex spouse of an Airman in his command.
The Air Force has a duty to treat people fairly and without discrimination… and met that duty by having a more senior officer sign the certificate.
That’s a clear win for religious liberty. The Air Force has proactively Read more
John Compere is a bit of an oddity at Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s MRFF. Like many in Weinstein’s circle, he flaunts his credentials, choosing to anoint himself with this byline:
Brigadier General John Compere, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, US Army (Retired), former Chief Judge, US Army Court of Military Review, disabled American veteran (Vietnam), MRFF Advisory Board Member & Texas rancher
(Run by a man whose ego knows no bounds, humility seems to run deep at Mikey Weinstein’s MRFF. In another example, Weinstein disciple Greg Petrequin frequently, and humbly, introduces himself as a “retired senior military officer.”)
Compere — who is otherwise unknown to anyone — never really gives anyone a reason to understand why they should listen to him, and his writings certainly don’t help. While Compere beats out compatriot Chris Rodda’s writings by actually having a point, he appears to borrow from both Rodda and Weinstein as he lets obtuse wording, word count, and pithy quotations pass for supporting a thesis.
And, of course, Compere believes he cannot be wrong.
Thus, when the ACLJ’s Skip Ash wrote a lengthy and thorough rebuttal to a Compere piece in 2016, Compere responded by saying the very fact anyone would dare to critique his position confirmed the piece’s “accuracy”: Read more
The College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts has decided to abandon their historic mascot, The Crusader.
The Jesuit school said they had decided to retire its beloved Knight for the sake of “inter-religious understanding and dialogue.”
“For some, knight imagery alone could convey nobility, chivalry and bravery. However, the visual depiction of a knight, in conjunction with the moniker Crusader, inevitably ties us directly to the reality of the religious wars and the violence of the Crusades. This imagery stands in contrast to our stated values,” College president Philip Boroughs said in a statement.
Apparently the College is going to retain the name Crusaders, but Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, ever the publicity seeker, recently put out a statement opposing the appointment of Mike Pompeo to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.
The reason Weinstein doesn’t think Pompeo should be allowed to serve as SecState? Pompeo is a Christian — but not the right kind of Christian, according to Mikey, who said [emphasis added]:
I am disgusted…by [Trump] for picking Mike Pompeo, an unabashedly fundamentalist evangelical to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State…
Pompeo is explicitly Islamophobic. He sees the war on terrorism as akin to a holy war and remarked that terrorists will “continue to press against us until we make sure that we pray and stand and fight and make sure that we know that Jesus Christ is our savior [sic] is truly the only solution for our world.” Pompeo appears a proponent of the biblical apocalyptic “rapture,” and MRFF’s fear is that his appointment is yet a closer step towards allowing dominionist fundamentalist elements the opportunity to invoke biblical ideology as a means to initiate a “holy war” with the middle east.
Note that Weinstein provides no context or support for labeling Read more
Chris Rodda, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s research assistant at the MRFF, fancies herself a distinguished, if somewhat self-styled, author. On Friday, though, her failures in basic grammar and research made her boss look like an idiot.
Late on Friday Chris Rodda published a blog entitled “Trump Cites “Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day” Law to Order Flags Flown at Half-Staff for Billy Graham.”
It doesn’t sound particularly egregious, but it does sound stupid. Presidents don’t even write those things, so some staff weenie really messed up and made President Trump look bad, didn’t they?
Except they didn’t.
President Trump’s message was actually published more than a week prior, and it made no reference to any law. Rodda hand-waved the apparent contradiction of her argument with a mysterious [emphasis added]
Trump also issued an extra special version of this order to the military.
As is standard Chris Rodda practice, she Read more
A fairly benign article on the chapel community at the small Schriever AFB, CO, listed some of the events held throughout the year. The chaplains went out of their way to say the events they host are not coercively religious:
“Our events are not religion-based,” Werner said. “During retreats, we hold educational classes teaching how to deal with life issues. You’re not going to be proselytized.”
Chaplain (Capt) Portmann Werner probably could have used a little more nuance in that statement, since some of the events the article referenced included Ash Wednesday and Christmas Eve services, which clearly are “religion-based.” Even marriage workshops hosted by the chapel generally allow for some element of religion, even if they’re not a full-blown religious guideline for marriage.
On one level, it’s Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein tried to stop Kenneth Copeland from speaking at Fort Jackson’s Prayer Breakfast in February, apparently believing he needed to protect US troops from Copeland’s religious beliefs regarding faith, healing, and PTSD. While Weinstein’s pleas were loud and desperate, the event went on regardless.
Not much later, David Barton — seemingly Chris Rodda’s sworn enemy — spoke at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, but the MRFF was apparently unaware. Since no one complained, Weinstein and Rodda were unable to protect the troops from Barton’s — presumably offensive — Christian beliefs and presentation on the history of prayer in America.
At about the same time, another prayer luncheon occurred at Fort Hunter Liggett, where a keynote speaker held politically sensitive views and religious beliefs opposed by a substantial percentage of American citizens — and, yet again, Mikey Weinstein was silent.
This time, the speaker Read more
After Michael “Mikey” Weinstein recently decried the National Prayer Breakfasts at both Fort Jackson and Whiteman AFB, one might have thought US troops were stumbling over each other to beg for his help in the face of religious oppression and pancakes.
In actuality, National Prayer Breakfasts are happening at military facilities around the country — entirely without incident. Even the ones Weinstein complained about so boisterously occurred without so much as a ripple.
Why the disconnect? Aside from the obvious answer that Weinstein doesn’t always tell the truth, the simple fact is US service members aren’t coming to Weinstein in droves to complain about these events — or anything else, for that matter — despite Weinstein’s claims to the contrary.
Rather, Mikey Weinstein finds out about an event — even if just from a simple internet news alert — socializes it among his followers to create “complainants”, and then tries to ride the complaints about the event for publicity (and his personal benefit, of course).
In other words, the “complaints” are essentially manufactured. But for Mikey Read more