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
A few days ago, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s MRFF research assistant, Chris Rodda, mocked the purchase of an $88,000 Steinway piano for a Fort Riley chapel in a little-noticed piece at the Huffington Post:
Apparently, military cutbacks don’t apply to church music…
I can’t say that I was surprised to hear about this example of outrageously extravagant spending on a military chapel…
She implied, somewhat obtusely, that the Army wouldn’t need such a piano if there was really religious hostility toward Christians in the US military, as some have asserted. Notwithstanding her presumption that only Christians would use a musical instrument, it is worth a reminder that she represents an organization that claims to be defending “religious freedom” in the US military. She later said
While the military is cutting back on necessary services it is sparing no expense on chapels and religious programs.
As a supposed advocate for religious liberty, she considers this a bad thing?
In point of fact, Rodda, Weinstein, and Read more
An Air Force Airman claims he received verbal reprimands after he was dissatisfied with the Air Force’s response and complained to Michael “Mikey” Weinstein in 2010:
I met with the Cadet Wing Chaplain here at the time and the incident was forwarded up the chain-of-command. After over two weeks of nothing being said to anyone…I decided to bring this to MRFF’s attention. Mikey and MRFF were all over it and came down hard on USAFA.
I received verbal reprimands from Read more
Dover Air Force Base, most famously known for its service as the military’s “port mortuary,” dedicated a new chapel facility at the end of February:
A meditation pavilion is among its amenities, said Chaplain Lt. Col. Dennis Saucier. Those families can also make use of the new chapel, which has 20 pews stocked with hymnals and the Holy Bible, an altar, a wood-paneled reredos and tall, stained glass windows featuring four white doves in flight.
The chapel center also has an “all faiths” room, a neutral Read more
A quick article local to Fort Campbell notes the vast religious support structure provided to Army Soldiers at the sprawling base, as well as the troops’ demand for it:
There are over 50 chaplains and 50 chaplain assistants at Fort Campbell…There are seven chapels on post…
In addition to Catholic services, there are Protestant services for those who are Baptist, Presbyterian, United Methodist, Episcopal, Church of Christ, Assembly of God and other Protestant traditions, as well as Read more
An article at the Unitarian Universalist website notes an increase in Unitarian military chaplains and chaplain applicants after decades of under-representation. The article reports the denomination now has 10 chaplains, with 7 more applying. While a significant increase from the “one or two” chaplains before (including Army Chaplain Rebekah Montgomery), it still isn’t a high number. The reason for the low interest?
It’s no secret that for many years after the Vietnam War many UUs harbored some hostility toward the war and the politicians who promoted it. In some cases veterans themselves were treated distantly in our congregations, even shunned.
One UU chaplain said they are needed to balance out “evangelicals”: Read more
An official DoD article covering the theme “Why We Serve” highlights SPC Adama Blackthorn, who has the nickname “Evil.” It highlights his unusual life story, from a practically homeless bouncer to making candles as a hobby with his family:
His all-natural candles also play a role in his faith — the Earth-based Pagan religion.
“I’ve been a practicing Pagan for almost two decades, and it’s very fulfilling,” said Blackthorn…
“I grew up Southern Baptist and my family is all Christian. They Read more