Tag Archives: Military

AF Academy Invites “Former Terrorists” to Speak

As part of the academic environment at the Academy, policies on forums and speakers often result in “unusual choices” for speakers, some of whom are not even favorably disposed to the military.  According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, the AF Academy has invited three former Islamic terrorists who have converted to Christianity to speak as a portion of an annual political forum.  One of the speakers has “criticized Palestinian sympathizers,” and has been accused by Eileen Fleming, a freelance blogger and Palestinian advocate, of fabricating his terrorist past.

Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation was quick to criticize the decision to invite Christian speakers.  Said David Antoon, MRFF board member:

What’s troublesome to me is this is pure ideology and it has nothing to do with academics…This is the Air Force Academy. It used to be an academic institution of excellence. It has become a political Bible college with the evangelicals holding so much influence with what’s going on there.

The criticisms come even though the MRFF didn’t know the men, hadn’t researched their background, and did not address the other people, topics, or ideologies of the forum.  Apparently, the only issue with which the MRFF was concerned was the men’s Christianity.

Update: In response to concerns that the three men were Christians, another Gazette article notes that the Academy said the three would constrain their comments to, shockingly, the topic of the forum (terrorism).

Muslim Soldier Loses “Free Exercise” Appeal

The Religion Clause notes a recent military appeals court decision (US v Webster) that found a Muslim soldier who “missed movement” (was absent from his unit’s deployment) was rightfully convicted.

The soldier had pled guilty, then sought to reverse that plea.  The soldier’s initial contention was that he could not deploy to Iraq because his internet research of Muslims had led him to believe that it was wrong to kill fellow Muslims.

This advice was not only inconsistent with what the Muslim Chaplain said, but it was also irrelevant:  his commander gave him the opportunity to deploy in a non-combatant role.  He filed conscientious objector status on the same day he missed movement; the court noted that CO status applied to those who objected to war, not to those who objected to one aspect of a certain war.  The court also affirmed that his commander attempted to accomodate the soldier’s religious beliefs.

Book Review: Under Orders

William McCoy
edein, 2007.
Topic: Spirituality

Under Orders is subtitled “A Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel,” has a rare endorsement from active duty General Petraeus, and is written by an experienced chaplain. It has exemplary reviews on various websites. It seems like an excellent reference for a military Christian.

It’s not.

The book’s intended audience are those who are non-religious, non-church-going, depressed, or traumatized. Nothing is said to those who already have a spiritual faith.

Chaplain McCoy, who is sponsored by the Lutheran denomination, doesn’t speak confidently about his own faith. In fact, he has little positive to say about the Christian faith at all. He belittles fellow Read more

Iraq in the News

Actually, its not…

As of this posting, a review of both the CNN and Fox websites reveals only a single article related to Iraq (and it was in the health section, on PTSD).  While the bloodshed is by no means over, the significant drop in violence (a good thing) appears to have resulted in a dearth of news reporting.

Gone are the days of up-to-the-minute casualty counts and roadside bomb tallies.  Apparently “good” news doesn’t generate sufficient ratings.

To our men and women “over there:” Keep up the good work.  Some of us are still paying attention.

Religious Freedom Day, 2008

Religious Freedom Day takes place annually on January 16th by Presidential proclamation (2008).  The day commemorates the Virginia Legislature’s passing of Thomas Jefferson’s “Statute for Religious Freedom,” which occurred on January 16th, 1786.  Notably, this was before the Constitution (signed in 1787), of which Jefferson had no part, and the Bill of Rights (passed in 1789), of which Jefferson was one of the leading proponents.

Many on both sides of the issue consider the statute to be pivotal to the modern struggle of religious freedom and church/state separation.  It is interesting that the day gets very little mainstream media attention, particularly given the “culture wars” and church/state issues that have seemed so dramatic over the past few years.

The purpose and background of RFD can be seen on the privately-funded site ReligiousFreedomDay.com.

Navy Commander “heeds God’s call”

An interesting article chronicles Navy Commander Rich McDaniel and his family while he is deployed.  Some interesting quotes:

On their family’s role in the Navy:

Together and yet so often apart, the McDaniels believe their family unit has been called to a peculiar mission in life — as missionaries to the Navy community, serving God and country in peacetime and war.

On finding a church as a military member–and balancing the God and family priorities:

In some churches…the focus tends to be on “How can you serve others and how can you serve in the church?” While he endorses that…it can be heartbreaking to know he has only a few days with his wife after one to three months at sea and she feels duty-bound to stay in the nursery during Sunday morning worship because it’s her usual ministry at the church…People don’t understand why it’s so important for her to be [with] her husband [when he] happens to be home with little to no notice.

The New Year & Challenges Ahead

Happy New Year from ChristianFighterPilot.com. 

Each year is a unique challenge to a military Christian.  Deployment schedules vary, family situations change, new faith challenges arise, and the rules on religious practice and expression in the military change.  ChristianFighterPilot.com has attempted to remain a viable and valuable resource for information as varied as “how to become a fighter pilot” and “military Christians and ‘church/state separation.'”  Many people have contacted CFP; some were like-minded active duty military, some were ROTC cadets wanting to know how to secure a pilot’s slot, and some were high school students wanting to understand the relationship between Christ and the military profession.  Chaplains, Army soldiers in Iraq, and even atheists and opponents to religion in the military have corresponded with and commented on the site.  Though small, the presence and ministry of ChristianFighterPilot.com is being felt.

As always, ChristianFighterPilot.com seeks to improve and expand.  If you would like to contribute content or commentary, or if you have suggestions for the site or ministry, please feel free to contact CFP, either through the form or email.  If you know of others who may be interested in the newsletter, site, or topics, please let them know about the website or forward the newsletter to them.

Each new year brings the traditional resolutions and, regrettably, a new wave of controversies.  Weinstein’s lawsuit Read more

Revisited: Military Christian Priorities

ChristianFighterPilot.com has published an ongoing series of articles on the priorities of military Christians.  As stated in the first article, the most-often cited Christian priorities are God, family, and career.  The God priority was addressed in the October article.

Since the November article on the importance of family, there have been two interesting and related news events.  In one case, the Air Force Leadership published the recent Airman’s Roll Call and highlighted the importance of family:

It’s [our families’] support that helps us perform our vital Air Force mission, and for this very reason, we must make the most of the time we have with them.

Historically, the Air Force has been the most “family friendly” of the services.  It has repeatedly shown that it recognizes the importance of the Air Force member’s family to the accomplishment of the mission.  As noted in the article on the family priority, there is a spiritual reason for holding the family so dear.  As the Air Force notes, however, valuing our families is also a virtual military necessity.

The second item of interest was the announcement of this year’s Heisman winner.  Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was effusive in his thanks to God for his success, and the article notes that

Football rates a mere fourth on his list of priorities behind God, family and academics.

The young college sophomore displayed an unusual degree of maturity and understanding of life’s bigger purposes.  Much as Indianapolis Colts’ head coach Tony Dungy related in his book, Tebow realized that football wasn’t everything, and that his life needed to reflect what was truly important:

[Football is] a game that I love and you’ve got to remember that He gave me the ability and the opportunity to play and it can be gone at any moment…[In] football, in school, in living, I want people to…say, “Hey, there’s something different about this guy, and that’s because he has a relationship with Jesus Christ.”

The pastor at his Florida church noted Tebow’s “postgame interviews and the ongoing Christian witness that’s quickly becoming his trademark.”

There is a special place in the imagination of the American public for football players–especially quarterbacks.  The same is true for members of the military–especially fighter pilots.  Just as their positions give football players unique platforms for Christ, so, too, do those of military Christians.  Military Christians could probably learn a lesson from the life choices and boldness of the young college sophomore.

1 515 516 517 518 519 534