Tag Archives: military religious freedom foundation

Mikey Weinstein, Fearing Lawsuit Failure, Stages Book Stunt

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein announced that his MRFF — which is currently suing to have a Bible removed from a POW/MIA display at the Manchester VA — had staged a stunt in which a “client” placed a stack of texts on the POW/MIA table of varying faith traditions.

The VA said it would not “tolerate” organizations messing with the displays and would remove the other books, which mirrored their other forceful statement protecting the display.

Importantly, having other faith texts placed on the display is not the “relief sought” in the current lawsuit. The suit seeks only the removal of the Bible.

James L. Chamberlain, the token plaintiff and Read more

US Army Grants Waivers to 14 Sikh High Schoolers

Matthew Cox at Military.com reports the US Army has granted 60 religious accommodations to Sikhs entering the service, most recently to 14 high schoolers who will soon enlist:

Army Lt. Col. Kamal Kalsi, who is the president of the non-profit advocacy group that promotes Sikhism and military service, was surprised to learn there are 13 other high school students who will be allowed to enlist in the Army and openly serve as Sikhs.

This is a new milestone, he said.

“It shows progress,” Kalsi told Military.com, adding that he has been involved in this effort since he was granted the first such accommodation in 2009. “I was the first to get the accommodation for turban and beard way back in the day.”

Kalsi, who is also president and Read more

VA Statement on Mikey Weinstein’s MRFF

VA spokesman Curtis Cashour’s statement was quoted in the last article, but it turns out it had been slightly edited. This was the full sentence that spoke to the VA’s feelings on the lawsuit — and Mikey Weinstein [emphasis added]:

“This lawsuit – backed by a group known for questionable practices and unsuccessful lawsuits – is nothing more than an attempt to force VA into censoring a show of respect for America’s POW/MIA community.”

or, as paraphrased at Read more

Manchester VA Sued over Bible on POW/MIA Table

As previously noted, both the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation claimed they contacted the VA Medical Center in Manchester, New Hampshire, to demand a Bible be removed from the POW/MIA display in the foyer. The Bible was removed “out of an abundance of caution,” but the backlash — and a subsequent legal review — led the VA to apologize and return the Bible, which was donated by World War II POW and Army Air Corps TSgt Herman “Herk” Streitburger [emphasis added]:

“Manchester VAMC officials temporarily removed the Bible from the display out of an abundance of caution,” VA spokeswoman Kristin Pressly said in a statement provided to USA TODAY. “Following that removal, Manchester VAMC received an outpouring of complaints from Veterans and other stakeholders – many of whom dropped off Bibles at the facility – in protest of this action.”

Pressly said that after consulting with lawyers, the facility determined the Bible will stay and “remain indefinitely as part of the missing man display, a secular tribute to America’s POW/MIA community.”

We apologize to the Veterans, families and other stakeholders who were offended by our incorrect removal of this Bible,” she said.

Note that this apology came from Kristin Pressly, speaking for the VA, not the Manchester medical facility.

Now, James Chamberlain, described as a “devout Christian” and “Air Force veteran,” has filed a lawsuit (PDF) to force the Manchester VA to remove  Read more

Col Linell Letendre to be Next USAFA Dean

The US Air Force Academy announced that Col Linell Letendre was the sole “finalist” to become the next Dean of Faculty at USAFA:

“This is wonderful news for our cadets, our faculty, and our Academy,” said Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria. “Linell’s leadership and commitment to world-class education and leader development will be invaluable to the USAFA team. She has a tremendous perspective that will integrate and elevate our institution and our Air Force leaders of tomorrow.”

The elevation of Col Letendre, a USAF JAG, to Permanent Professor and Department Head was highlighted here four years ago, largely because of her public record on issues of religious liberty within the Air Force. She was, for example, one of a few Air Force lawyers who advised the Air Force on Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s complaints against ChristianFighterPilot.com.  She has reportedly towed the Read more

Army General Takes Swipe at Mikey Weinstein at Prayer Breakfast

Fort Knox held its National Prayer Breakfast last month. The closing speaker was US Army MajGen John Evans Jr, commander of US Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox. He noted the value of the liberty being exercised at Fort Knox that day — despite critics who might seek to restrict that liberty:

“We gather here today, each one of us to worship in our own way,” Evans said. “There are some who would probably not agree with those in a secular society having a prayer breakfast, but we have the right to do that, just as others have the right not to…”

“I am reminded Read more

A Bible on the POW/MIA Remembrance Table

To think Michael “Mikey” Weinstein thinks he is the one who gets to dictate whether or not a Bible is appropriate for a POW/MIA table.

It seems these Fort Carson Gold Star Spouses — they’ve had a spouse killed in the military — weren’t flustered by Weinstein’s blustering from behind his keyboard.

Photo by Scott Prater

The ACLJ’s Skip Ash recently took on the issue of POW/MIA Bibles, noting Read more

Air Force Colonel David Murphy on Chick-fil-A and USAFA

Responding to the effort by Michael “Mikey” Weinstein to ban Chick-fil-A’s Rodney Bullard from speaking at the US Air Force Academy’s 2019 NCLS, retired Air Force Colonel David Murphy penned an interesting piece at the Defense Post.

Citing a public complaint by USAFA professor Craig Foster (of DFBL, the behavioral sciences department) over alleged Chick-fil-A views on marriage, Murphy said [emphasis added]

Despite Foster’s shockingly shallow argument, I’d like to focus on the one good thing he did cover…Dr. Foster said: “Lt. General Silveria sent a clear message when he told cadets, “If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then you need to get out.”

Let’s focus on the general’s quote, and not Foster’s Read more

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