US Air Force TSgt Layne Wilson, a Mormon member of the Utah Air National Guard, sued the US Air Force after he was disciplined for expressing opposition to same-sex marriage two years ago. The lawsuit was dismissed earlier this month at the DC District Court.
The ruling (PDF) is an interesting read that at times seems obvious, at others contradictory, and in the end rather confusing. This much appears to be undisputed:
On December 2, 2012, Plaintiff Layne Wilson…sent an email, using his military email account, to an official at the United States Military Academy at West Point objecting to a same-sex wedding held at the military academy’s chapel…
As a result: Read more
US Naval Academy football coach Ken Niumatalolo appears in the documentary “Meet the Mormons,” a feature film production by the Church of Latter Day Saints that attempts to show that Mormons are “average” and successful in society.
In an article carried at the Baltimore Sun, Niumatalolo is highlighted for his decision to end mandatory team meetings on Sunday, freeing his staff to spend the day with their families and at church. As celebrated NFL coach Tony Dungy and others have explained before, long workdays on Sunday are an expected part of the football culture, and Niumatalolo worked his fair share as an assistant coach: Read more
The US Air Force Academy recently met with all of its SPIRE volunteers — faith representatives who help USAFA with its spiritual support through the Special Program in Religious Education program [emphasis added]:
About 60 volunteers from Buddhist, Earth-Centered, Greek Orthodox, Jewish, Latter Day Saints, Catholic and Protestant groups gathered to review leadership guidelines and sign a SPIRE Memorandum of Agreement before working with cadets.
“The volunteers are like tentacles of the chapel,” said Chaplain Read more
Chaplain (Capt) Jonathan Harrop, endorsed by the LDS, recently helped 14 members of the Arizona National Guard chaplain staff visit a Mormon Temple — relatively rarely seen, since they are not often open to the public:
While LDS church buildings are always open Read more
Multiple groups have filed Supreme Court briefs in support of the Defense of Marriage Act:
The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty filed a brief co-signed by 21 endorsers representing more than 2,500 US military chaplains. The CARL brief accurately notes US troops in general — not just chaplains — will be affected by the “burden on religious liberty” should the military recognize homosexual “marriage.” CARL had a fairly blunt summary:
the military has no tolerance for racists, so service members who are openly racist are not service members for long. And if the traditional religious views on marriage and family become the constitutional equivalent of racism, Read more
A Utah paper highlighted the service of local Mormons with the Utah National Guard, which includes arrangements allowing teenagers to enlist, go to boot camp — and then take a two year break for their mission:
“A lot of people told me I couldn’t be both a Marine and a missionary,” [LCpl Brady] Knowles said before he left for the LDS Church’s Indianapolis Mission last year. “But when I talked to the Marine recruiters and told them I was going to serve a mission, they told me it could be worked out. And it was.”
Upon graduating from high school, Knowles enlisted Read more
While Canada’s acceptance of homosexuality was occasionally held up as a contrast to their southern cousins in the United States, it seems Canada hasn’t worked out all the moral issues associated with “sexual freedom,” either.
In late November British Columbia’s superior trial court upheld Canada’s law banning polygamy and polyamory.
Interestingly, the court found that such prohibitions did violate the religious liberty of some groups — including some Mormons, Muslims, and Wiccans — but the law Read more
David Severson will soon be a Catholic chaplain with the Montana Army National Guard, and he brings an interesting history with him. He was a 19-year-old artillery man with the US Army when he deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm.
He’s since attended seminary and obtained a degree uniquely suited to his desired end goal as a chaplain:
a master’s degree in divinity with particular study of post-traumatic stress disorder…
Severson was recently ordained Read more