Groups and individuals (and there are several) who have recently proposed banning Muslims from serving in the US military as a result of the Fort Hood massacre are demonstrating naivete and an incorrect understanding of both the military and the US Constitution.
No American citizen should be prohibited from any government role, including military service, purely because of his religious beliefs.
Besides being ludicrous on its face, the enforcement of such a religious ban Read more
As previously discussed, a civilian author recently criticized a military Chaplain for “expressing contempt” for the Constitution when he made “derogatory remarks about Islam:”
When a uniformed officer of the US military makes derogatory remarks about Islam, he’s violating [his] oath and expressing contempt of the First Amendment.
The comment was made by Jeff Sharlet, posting under the moniker Ishmael, on the Daily Kos website. Sharlet is also the author of The Family, a book that purports to be an expose on a secretive and conspiratorial religious organization (the “Christian Mafia”) attempting to influence the US government.
The comment was in defense of Chris Rodda, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation researcher, when she criticized Camp David Chaplain (LtCdr) Carey Cash for his religious views. Sharlet’s use of the word “derogatory” notwithstanding, is he right? Can a religious leader of one faith in the military say nothing negative about another–even if such statements are consistent with the tenets of their faith?
The core question: Can a Chaplain (or any other military officer) espouse specific, even exclusive, religious ideology?
The shortest, most accurate answer: Read more
Tim Tebow has been a frequent subject of this site. He is an outspoken Christian in a public position who has utilized his platform to further the cause of Christ.
He has been used as an example for those who feel they need to get out of the military and become preachers or missionaries in order to serve Christ. Tebow, like R.G. LeTourneau, accurately points out that men and women should serve God where He has placed them, and they should use the talents that He has given them.
His life ministry–that is, his conscious desire to be known as someone who is genuine and cares–has been used as an example of the power of living evangelism, or Truth with Feet.
Now, Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, highlights a “new agenda” Read more
Previously, a question was posed about the propriety of a photo that showed Maj. Gen. Vincent Brooks and a flag with a Christian cross. The photo and initial post can be seen here. The accusation said that a regulation had been violated because it was
a photo of an Army officer giving a briefing while standing in front of a Christian flag.
So, did the General, as the accusers assert, violate military regulations?
The shortest, most accurate answer: Read more
On July 4th, the AU’s Barry Lynn will be one of several speakers near the White House and the Veterans’ Administration. The gathering is to “celebrate” the “victory” of getting the VA to add the pentacle to its list of approved symbols, demand that the VA add more pagan symbols, and advocate for a pagan military chaplain.The call for a pagan chaplain is problematic, since the military requires that chaplains be ordained in their faith. Since paganism is, by definition, an unorganized belief system, it is difficult for them to create an organization that is consistent with their dogma (or lack thereof). Even the “world’s largest public school of Wicca and the Magical Arts” (Our Lady of Enchantment) makes a point of saying that their program is designed for those “interested in creating their own spiritual tradition.” They say they can meet the requirements of legal recognition of ministerial rights without “making a commitment to any particular Wiccan or Magickal tradition.” Thus, they are “priests” of only their own belief system.
Of the four scheduled speakers that are listed as “reverends,” only Barry Lynn is legitimately ordained in his own faith. Neither Fox nor Ellison list the source of their “reverend” title. Akin is ordained through the Universal Life Church–which will “legally ordain” anyone with a valid email address.
An interesting article appeared in the Stars and Stripes regarding the pagan group and its association with the chapel program at Misawa Air Base in Japan. The sidebar has an interesting discussion by the wing chaplain at Kadena, who says in part that chaplains are not required to “extract all language that might have symbolic meaning,” such as the “heavenly Father” that the Wiccans said made them feel awkward.