Former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen (Ret) Norton Schwartz was on a book tour recently, having recently completed his “Journey: Memoirs of an Air Force Chief of Staff.” In an interview supporting the tour and a local book signing, the writing journalist focused on two things.
First, the state of the military as it relates to Iraq, Afghanistan, and future conflict: Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has demonstrated an obsession with ChristianFighterPilot.com — at least, insomuch as he wants to lodge complaints about this site mere minutes after content is published.
Presumably, the time he spends monitoring this site is part of the reason Mikey Weinstein has paid himself nearly $1.95 million to date from the donations his charity receives. It turns out, though, that he’s not the only one he drags into rapid-response.
It seems Mikey Weinstein has had his lawyer, Randy Mathis, on speed-dial. On 30 August 2011, an article was posted here entitled “Military Atheists Miss the Mark with Chaplain “Humor”“. The article discussed the “first act” of then-US Army Sergeant Justin Griffith, who had just become “military director” for American Atheists.
For his opening volley, Griffith had chosen to denigrate US military chaplains and their service — and sacrifice — to their country. The article rebutted his claims — noting, for example, that multiple chaplains had received the Medal of Honor.
Mikey didn’t like it.
The Air Force soon received a letter from Randy Mathis. Not Read more
A wide variety of sites, most connected in some fashion specifically to Jewish news, have highlighted the fact President Obama has nominated a Jewish General, General David Goldfein, to be the Chief of Staff of the US Air Force:
Gen. David Goldfein will become the second Jew to command the U.S. Air Force…
Goldfein, who has been the vice chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force since August, will be the first Jewish combat pilot to hold the top position, and will be the second Read more
After Michael “Mikey” Weinstein wrote a letter calling the Marine Corps University’s National Day of Prayer event unconstitutional, the American Center for Law and Justice quietly sent a letter to BGen Helen Pratt defending her handling of the event.
The ACLJ letter (PDF) was “quiet” because, while it was sent at the end of April, the ACLJ didn’t publicize it until just prior to the prayer event.
When Weinstein saw it, he was apparently red-faced.
After a well-worded rebuttal of Weinstein’s errant legal analysis, the last few pages of the ACLJ letter “introduce” BGen Pratt to Mikey Weinstein — using his own ‘colorful’ words. And this was apparently a subject of great embarrassment for Weinstein, whose MRFF quickly fired off another letter defending Weinstein, a letter that could best be summarized as a two-year old saying “nuh-uh.”
As an example, given the singular opportunity to rebut Read more
On July 23rd, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s MRFF published a blog claiming Cannon Air Force Base was “hammer[ing] helpless subordinates” with the Christian Gospel. At issue was a chapel-sponsored concert/event called the “Gospel Explosion” with Wess Morgan. Weinstein specifically named two SNCOs in his vituperative attack, saying [Weinstein emphasis original]
USAF Master Sergeant Keith L. Lucas e-mailed a flyer to his subordinates promoting an on-base, sectarian religious proselytizing event called “Gospel Explosion” and explicitly “requested” (in other words, ORDERED in military chain-of command parlance) that they “please post everywhere and spread the word…thanks!!”
Master Sergeant Marvin Jimerson Jr. even instruct[ed] all 27th SOW First Sergeants on base to “Please disseminate within your units.”
This “scandal” is notable for a few reasons.
First, Weinstein includes a paranthetical ‘shout out’ to the wing commander, named as Col Benjamin Maitre (and to whom former Captain Weinstein refers as “sport”). This likely means Read more
As previously noted, the Air Force has published a revision to its AFI 1-1, “Air Force Standards,” which alters the wording and tone on how the service views religious liberty and expression. The new AFI can be found here (PDF).
The greatest sources of consternation were paragraphs 2.11 and 2.12, and that’s where the Air Force made its revisions. In one notable change, the topics of 2.11 and 2.12 have been reversed: The Air Force now talks about religious freedom and expression before it talks about restrictions and the Establishment clause. While that may seem insignificant to some, it is noteworthy for the tone of the regulation.
The most significant change to the AFI — in direct response to laws passed by Congress — also marks its most dramatic explicit statement. The new regulation now says [emphasis added]:
Every Airman also has the right to individual expressions of sincerely held beliefs, to include conscience, moral principles or religious beliefs, unless those expressions would have an adverse impact on military readiness, unit cohesion, good order, discipline, health and safety, or mission accomplishment.
Every Airman has the right to express their religious beliefs. Further, Read more
The Air Force announced it has updated AFI 1-1 — because of issues regarding religious liberty [emphasis added]:
Air Force officials approved Air Force Instruction 1-1, Air Force Standards, Nov. 7, to clarify guidance on Airmen’s religious rights and commanders’ authority and responsibility to protect those rights.
The announcement contained a summary of the changes. The changes [emphasis added]
clarify guidance for how commanders should handle religious accommodation requests or when Airmen’s rights to free exercise are questioned. Chaplain corps officials also clarified policy language to assist commanders in balancing the constitutional protections for their own free exercise of religion or other personal beliefs with the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion.
Importantly, General Welsh is quoted as specifically Read more
The US Army War College published a monograph on the core topic of the US military’s “evolving culture of hostility toward religious presence and expression.” The authors were Don Snider, a Senior Fellow in the Center for the Army Profession and Ethic (CAPE) at West Point and an Adjunct Research Professor in the Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College, and retired US Army Col Alex Shine of the War College.
The paper, entitled “A Soldier’s Morality, Religion, and Our Professional Ethic: Does the Army’s Culture Facilitate Integration, Character Development, and Trust in the Profession?“, is clearly meant to be academic, but at 30 pages makes for a fairly easy – and worthwhile – read.
The authors focus on the influence of changing social values on ethics within the US military, as demonstrated in the increasing secularism in American society that is essentially hostile to religion: Read more