Robert Wilkie, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, recently published a column hailing a victory for religious freedom that has mostly gone unnoticed — but it is not insignificant.
On January 16th — Religious Freedom Day — the media widely covered President Trump’s proposed changes to federal regulations that would protect prayer and religious exercise in schools. Less widely discussed was the change to the discriminatory treatment of religious organizations within the Federal services.
Under President Obama, faith-based organizations that Read more
The US Navy is set to name its newest submarines for two of the most famous vessels from the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941:
Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly [said]:
“I am honored and humbled to name the next two Virginia-class nuclear fast-attack submarines to be built as the USS Oklahoma (SSN-802) and the USS Arizona (SSN-803). It is my fondest wish that the citizens of the great states of Arizona and Oklahoma will understand and celebrate our Navy’s desire to memorialize the 1,177 heroes who perished in USS Arizona (BB-39) and the 429 more in USS Oklahoma (BB-37) in Pearl Harbor, on Dec. 7, 1941.”
Naming vessels for such Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has kept a running tally since his group was founded of how many “clients” he has. The goal was obvious: He had to make it seem it wasn’t just one man’s vendetta against Christianity.
Last month, Weinstein hailed the “milestone” that he now “represents” 65,000 people.
On any level, the claim is farcical.
As has been noted here for years, Weinstein’s organization doesn’t even define what a “client” is. Only one time in recorded history — way back in 2009 — has Weinstein publicly described a client, and that was when Matthew LoFiego of the Military Officers Association of America had to “press” him on the topic (because Weinstein wasn’t forthcoming):
Callers are only asked to provide their service and rank, but from this data, MRFF claims to support 13,000 clients. I pressed Mikey to define what he considered a client, which he stated represented anyone in current service to the military that has lodged a complaint or asked for advice.
That definition doesn’t match Weinstein’s own current claims. Weinstein now says Read more
An Ohio magistrate has recommended that Dr. Nicholas Meriwether’s lawsuit against Shawnee State University (previously discussed) be dismissed. Meriwether had sued when it punished him after he refused to address a biologically male student with a female title — though he did agree to use only a last name.
“Speech by a government employee is protected under the First Amendment only if the speech was made ‘as a citizen’ while addressing ‘a matter of public concern,’” Litkovitz’s recommendation filing reads. “A government employee’s speech is made ‘as a citizen’ and is protected under the First Amendment only when the speech is not ‘pursuant to [the employee’s] duties.’”
That’s an awkward justification, because Meriwether was not punished for making what he claimed was protected speech. Instead, he was being required by the government to have certain content in his speech — content that conveyed a particular ideological view.
The ADF lawyers helping Meriwether said they’ll object on that basis: Read more
Vice President of the United States Mike Pence spoke at the American Legion National Convention in Indianapolis yesterday, and he had a message about a lawsuit against the Manchester VA for its display of a Bible on a POW/MIA table (previously discussed here):
You might’ve heard even today that there’s a lawsuit to remove a Bible that was carried in World War II from a Missing Man Table at a VA hospital in New Hampshire. There’s a lawsuit underway. It’s really no surprise because, under the last administration, VA hospitals were removing Bibles and even banning Christmas carols in an effort to be politically correct. But let me be clear: Under this administration, VA hospitals will not be religion-free zones.
We will always respect the freedom of religion of every veteran of every faith. And my message to the New Hampshire VA hospital is: The Bible stays.
A standing ovation followed.
Pence is Read more
As noted at the Religion Clause, John Kluge has sued Brownsburg Community school district after he lost his job because he refused to call students by their “preferred names.” The school had allowed him to use last names for some time, but apparently decided that wasn’t good enough.
This is similar to the case of Peter Vlaming, a high school teacher fired for refusing to use opposite-gender pronouns (though he did use preferred names), and Dr. Nicholas Meriwether who Read more
There’s been much ado about the fact the State Department declined to authorize US embassies to fly “gay pride” rainbow flags from the main embassy flagpoles. (The wailing and gnashing of teeth failed to acknowledge the “ban” only applied to flagpoles, and such flags or other similar decorations were allowed to be flown elsewhere. In fact, one report seemed to think the continued displays were “defiance”, when Vice President Pence explicitly stated no other restrictions were placed on the display of “pride”.) President Obama had begun declaring June “gay pride month,” a “celebration” that has largely fallen silent under President Trump.
US Rep Ilhan Oman even claimed the denial was “bigotry and discrimination” by the Trump administration — strong words, given the traditional treatment of homosexuals by her Islamic faith.
And while the US State Department would not allow “gay pride” to join the US flag around the world, a US Air Force AWACS crew decided they’d advertise on the flight line of in a deployed location:
“On our deployment Read more
In the ongoing public relations campaign claiming transgenders prima facie “strengthen our military” (while Christians are “a severe failure of leadership“) no one is talking about Alexandra Marberry, a ‘conservative Christian‘ and recent US Naval Academy graduate supposedly destined for pilot training when his assignment was held up for over his decision to be a woman.
Marberry has just been booted from the Navy for sexual misconduct:
In June , a commanding officer called her into a meeting and told her she had to be off the ship in an hour, she said.
Marberry was forced to resign…after another officer accused her of groping. She denies the accusation.
“I had been falsely accused of groping a transphobic officer who I had originally believed was an ally,” she wrote.
So, he did something with someone he thought was an “ally,” and when that Read more