Tag Archives: military religious freedom foundation

US Air Force Grants Exemption for Norse Heathen Beard

The Air Force Times reports on Air Force SSgt Garrett Sopchak, who just became the first US Air Force Airman to be allowed to wear a beard — because he adheres to Norse Heathen religious beliefs.

The Army granted a similar waiver last year, and beard exemptions have been granted for a growing number of Sikhs and Muslims — though not atheists.

Sopchak, a 28-year-old aerospace ground equipment craftsman at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, on July 8 become the first airman to get approval to wear a beard in accordance with his Heathen faith.

Sopchak said in a Tuesday interview that in the old sagas, a beard was Read more

Navy Chaplain: “I’m in it because people need to find Jesus”

US Navy Chaplain (LT) Trevor Carpenter is pastoring and discipling Marines in Hawaii, and he’s apparently making a big impact doing it:

“I currently have around 70 Marines and their spouses digging into Scripture each week through the H.E.A.R. journaling method,” said Carpenter, who’s stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

Carpenter said he picked up the journaling concept in a study Bible and carried it with him to Hawaii. He now has a study for a half-dozen married couples, single Marines, and Read more

Mikey Weinstein Targets US Military over Bible-Themed Dog Tags

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein and his research assistant, Chris Rodda, recently criticized the presence of military symbols on products sold by Shields of Strength, an online jewelry/accessory store that sells various religious and patriotic-themed items, including some with Bible verses. (While Weinstein has claimed he never acts without a complaint from a member of the military, this complaint appears to have been generated by a FoxNews article and nothing more.)  The duo took specific aim at the SoS line of dog tags, which combine Bible verses with the emblems of the US Armed Forces. From Chris Rodda [emphasis added]:

The problem? The use of official Armed Forces emblems and logos on blatantly religious items like these dog tags is not only an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion, but also violates the Department of Defense’s regulation on what items can and cannot be licensed to contain the official DoD emblems and logos.

The first accusation is laughable. No one thinks the government is establishing or endorsing a religion because a private company produces dog tags with Bible verses on them. The reference to Read more

VA Gives Lessons on Defying Mikey Weinstein. Again.

As has been noted here several times before, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has made a routine event of having acolytes scour the country for POW/MIA displays, including those in VA medical facilities. Weinstein then complains loudly about the inevitable Bible on those displays in the hopes the organization would remove it. The world is made up of many people, including some who aim for peace at any price — and others who actually agree with Weinstein. As a result, Weinstein had some successes in having facilities ban the Bible, which Weinstein has loudly celebrated.  While those “victories” undoubtedly inflated his ego, Weinstein has been unusually quiet about those facilities that ignored him and left the Bible there — even if he apparently abandoned Read more

Rescue Squadron Remembers Fallen with a Cross

The 66th Rescue Squadron maintains a memorial in the Nevada desert to two HH-60G Pavehawk helicopters, Jolly 38 and Jolly 39, which collided in 1998 and killed all 12 men onboard.

Lt. Col. Joshua Shonkwiler, 66th Rescue Squadron commander, regards a memorial built for fallen members of the 66th RQS August 29, 2018 on the Nevada Test and Training Range. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Bailee A. Darbasie)

Don’t tell Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, or he’ll demand they tear that cross out of the desert.

Then again, there are Read more

Air Force Investigating Airman’s Rant Against Homosexuals, Other Religions

The Air Force Times reports an unidentified Airman is under investigation after posting multiple YouTube videos of himself railing against homosexuals and other religions — while in uniform:

[The] airman…denounc[ed] gay people as “sodomites,” “pedophiles,” “roaches” and “vermin scum,” among other slurs.

[He] posted videos on YouTube under the name “Baptist Dave 1611” before taking down his account over the weekend, also voiced support for Grayson Fritts…and his views supporting the execution of gay people…

The videos are no longer available, so the accusations are absent any verifiable context. Assuming the Air Force Times portrayal is correct, the Airman will almost certainly soon be — and certainly should soon be — a civilian.  At least as is reported, his conduct seems unrecoverable.

Not everything the Air Force Times quoted was impermissible on Read more

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