By now you’ve probably seen the reports saying Michael “Mikey” Weinstein filed a complaint (PDF, through his lawyer) about a Bible at a POW/MIA display at Okinawa, Japan. What these reports don’t seem to convey is this is just Mikey being Mikey. Every couple of months he makes these kinds of complaints; they hit a high point every now and then, fade into the background later, and maybe catch peoples’ attention again.
The POW/MIA display is a piggy bank for Weinstein. If his coffers get low, he can pull one of these from his files and try to get attention.
To prove the point, consider that the subject of this latest complaint at US Naval Hospital Okinawa is a POW/MIA table that is on permanent display. It’s been there for years. Nothing Read more
An interesting article at The Asahi Shimbun describes the story of a church’s cross that managed to survive — though significantly damaged — the US invasion of Okinawa during World War II:
In the closing days of World War II, a vast area of the Shuri district was reduced to ashes. But the cross of the Shuri church, which belongs to the United Church of Christ in Japan, barely withstood the destruction.
When the community built a new church tower in 2008, the congregation voted to rebuild a replica of the damaged cross, rather than a new Read more
In early July Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s MRFF lodged a complaint with US Marine Corps’ Camp Hansen (one of seven Marine Corps camps on Okinawa), alleging that the presence of a Bible on a POW/MIA remembrance table constituted a “blatant violation of the Constitution.” This complaint followed the MRFF-inspired removal of Bibles from similar displays at four VA facilities and Wright-Patterson AFB (a removal which prompted Chaplain Sonny Hernandez to “replace” it by distributing Bibles to local Airmen).
The Marines, however, were not so forthcoming.
In an undated letter (PDF) just released by the MRFF, Camp Commander Brian Howlett told the MRFF the display would stay just like it is, thank you very much: Read more
Last week the North Carolina legislature passed a fairly common sense bill (PDF) that, among other things, required municipalities and schools to designate bathrooms by gender — that is, a person’s biological gender, not the gender they may say they are. The State also specifically limited protected class status to biological gender.
As with other efforts in this vein, a smattering of companies have implied they may take their business elsewhere in response to this “bathroom bill” that would segregate boys from girls during their private endeavors. (The San Francisco mayor said the same, though why he in particular is notable is unclear.)
This law also generated an open letter on Facebook by US Navy LT(JG) Megan Joan Willingham, who describes herself as a Sailor stationed in Okinawa, Japan: Read more
Paul Saneaki Nakamura is a retired Anglican Bishop. He’s also a veteran of Japan’s Imperial Navy, in which he trained to be a kamikaze in the closing days of World War II. Nakamura recently spoke to US Marines on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, about his experiences — both physical and spiritual:
The 87-year-old retired Anglican bishop grew up on Okinawa as militarism swept across Japan. Like many others, he became an ultra-nationalist who firmly believed in selfless devotion to his country. He worshipped the emperor as god; offering his life to the emperor was the ultimate virtue….
He survived Read more
POD — a heavy/new metal band — recently headlined Hansen Fest 2014, a concert festival at Camp Hansen in Okinawa, Japan.
The goal of MCCS Okinawa entertainment is to find the right bands and the right genre of music based on the preference of the service members on that particular camp, according to Hatfield.
“A lot of Marines on this camp like Rock n’ Roll, so that’s what we brought here,” said Hatfield.
The crowd swelled in numbers as rock band P.O.D. took to the main stage…
The band performed for two hours. Throughout Read more
Some outside the military fail to comprehend the US military’s ability to govern the “private lives” of those in its service. What happens outside the gate, or out of uniform, is beyond the military’s purview, they think.
While this misunderstanding of military control has become increasingly evident in recent months regarding sexual conduct, it has been raised about other issues as well.
Ramstein Air Base in Germany recently restricted all personnel to base or their homes in response to increases in perceived threats. Many civilians Read more