An anonymous US Air Force officer recently published an article on the Family Research Council’s blog entitled “Unmasking the DOD’s Endorsement of the Humanism Religion.”
When you hear the word “religion,” does Humanism immediately come to mind? Probably not. However, pragmatically and legally, Humanism is just as much of a religion as Christianity and Islam. This article articulates the claim that the DOD has endorsed the religion of Humanism by promoting the LGBT movement.
It’s a bold statement — and one that might make sense. In its basic form, humanism simply replaces the deity of religious mantra with humanity; that is, rather than believing God is the ultimate source of truth, humanists believe the source of truth is man. Thus, it is from man humanists derive their moral authority.
From this the author derives the position that the LGBT movement relies Read more
People for the American Way, a politically left-wing/liberal organization, recently criticized a Family Research Council email that cited attacks on military religious freedom. PFAW’s complaint was that the stories FRC’s President Tony Perkins cited were, in their words, “easily debunked.”
As evidence, they linked to other online articles that did not debunk FRC’s stories.
For example, PFAW linked to an Americans United article that claimed Army Chaplain (Capt) Joe Lawhorn was not, in fact, sanctioned for discussion of his faith. But he indisputably was given paperwork for mentioning his faith, and the AU article doesn’t actually “debunk” the claim — it only criticizes the claim, without detracting from those facts.
PFAW similarly linked to another left-wing site that criticized Navy Chaplain Wes Modder, who was nearly run out of the Navy. The linked article cited the Navy commander’s initial accusations as fact — and neither that site nor PFAW bothered to mention that the Navy ultimately denied the attempt to kick Chaplain Modder out. In oversimplified terms, the complaint was invalidated. The linked article also quoted Read more
The Family Research Council released an updated version of its “Clear and Present Danger” (PDF) (previously discussed in January). There are a variety of new issues added, including the removal of the POW table at Patrick AFB over the presence of a Bible, the Navy Gideon Bible kerfuffle, Col Marquinez’s banned article, Chaplain Joe Lawhorn’s punishment, Mikey Weinstein’s “Blessed Day,” Chaplain Wes Modder, Maj Gen Craig Olson, and court-martialed US Marine Monifa Sterling.
One of the more interesting ones was actually an “old” case recently added [emphasis added]:
Soon after the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy was repealed, an Army chaplain of Lieutenant Colonel rank received an e-mail copy of a published article presenting some thoughtful points about the whole DADT debate, from a senior chaplain who was a Colonel. The Lieutenant Colonel chaplain thought it was a good article and sent it to his subordinate chaplains.
It was intercepted by his chaplain Colonel supervisor who indicated she was very angry Read more
As previously noted, retired SMSgt Phillip Monk recently appeared at a religious freedom forum for GOP presidential candidate and US Senator Ted Cruz (video here). SMSgt Monk spoke briefly about his experience of discrimination in the military as a result of the conflict between homosexuality and religious faith.
SMSgt Monk’s story was criticized on a Facebook page called “Team Perry,” which cited an official military investigation to claim his allegations were “nonsense.” The raison d’être of the “Team Perry” page is to defend former Lackland AFB squadron commander LtCol Craig Perry: Perry was fired under controversial circumstances last year, and the posts on the page claim to reveal details proving the Air Force treated him unjustly (despite military investigations and reports to the contrary). It took a surprising degree of intellectual inconsistency (or simple hypocrisy), then, for Team Perry to cite an Air Force investigation to criticize Monk while simultaneously claiming similar investigations were unjust when they dealt with Perry.
That Monk’s story would be criticized on the Team Perry page may seem odd until you realize Perry and Monk were stationed at Lackland AFB together. Further, it turns out LtCol Craig Perry was fast friends with then-fellow squadron commander then-Maj Elisa “Liz” Valenzuela, SMSgt Monk’s commander and the target of his complaints.
There’s nothing wrong with them being friends. But clearly Team Perry is judging SMSgt Monk not just on public reports or even insider information, but also from the viewpoint of a close family friend of his ‘antagonist.’
As if to prove the point, now-LtCol Valenzuela is Read more
A religious freedom rally hosted by GOP Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz last week in Iowa was focused largely on businesses who were sued or driven out of business by homosexual activists intent on forcing others to support their lifestyle choices.
However, there were two notable inclusions whose antagonist was actually the US government:
Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, who was fired for his views in what Dr. Al Mohler said was evidence of “erotic liberty” superseding religious liberty; and Read more
As part of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Congress required the DoD Inspector General to report to Congress on the US military’s promulgation of religious liberty protections. This was presumably due to perceptions the military was being unresponsive to the wording in laws passed by Congress.
As a result of that requirement, the DoD IG released an initial report (3MB PDF) last week more notable for what it did not say than what it did. Despite specific congressional attention on “individual expressions of belief,” the IG report almost completely ignored that topic — though it admitted why [emphasis added]:
Virtually all…events in a service member’s career involve subjective, discretionary decisionmaking on the part of leaders and commanders. Identifying examples of discrimination based on conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs was unrealistic because those reasons would almost never be cited as the basis for the decision…Further, denials of promotion, schooling, training, and assignment are a subset of adverse personnel actions.
To summarize: Read more
The Liberty Institute recently published a 2014 edition of a 400-page report entitled “Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America” (PDF). Sections I, II, and III are “attacks” in the public arena, schoolhouse, and against churches and other religious ministries, respectively.
For the first time, the report now includes a dedicated Section IV: “Attacks in the Military.”
Similar in theme to the “Clear and Present Danger” published by the Family Research Council, the Liberty Institute report includes a list of 46 incidents representative of the hostility toward religion within the US military [emphasis added]:
Hostility once unthinkable, such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs telling grieving families as they arrive at their loved one’s funeral site that they may not have a religious funeral service, is becoming increasingly routine. Another line of hostility is a new wave of lawsuits attempting to eliminate all symbolism that touches on the numinous from our nation’s veterans memorials…
Religious freedom in the military is protected by the U.S. Constitution, Department Read more
Update: Todd Starnes at FoxNews covers ‘the rest of the story‘ (via the PatriotPost) left unsaid — or unknown — by Mikey Weinstein. He notes, for example, both the staff tower announcement at Mitch’s and the wing-wide email, which the Academy defended — though it didn’t defend those same actions by Christians against Weinstein’s attacks in 2011. Also, [formatting original]
The Cadets who contacted me about the atheist event indicated that they were not objecting to the promotion of that event, but to the hypocrisy of that promotion, versus a fellow Cadet being asked to remove a Bible verse from his door. Obviously, only the Christian expression of faith is the target of AFA discrimination, and it is Johnson’s “religious impartiality” which should be in contention.
Jason Torpy and the MAAF — Weinstein’s erstwhile ally — took issue with his characterizations of their activities (though they supported removing the Bible verse).
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s MRFF has said he filed a “complaint” about atheists at the US Air Force Academy — and this is proof that he’s an equal opportunity critic:
Weinstein said an atheist cadet announced at the academy’s chow hall on Wednesday, while everyone was at attention, that Wednesday and Thursday would be “Ask an Atheist” days.” Weinstein said a group of the cadets set up a display on the third floor of Fairchild Hall, which includes classrooms, lab and research facilities and faculty offices.
“Replace ‘Ask an Atheist’ with ‘Ask a Christian,’ ‘Ask a Jew,” or “Ask a Muslim,'” said Weinstein, and the problem is obvious. “This is unlawful.”
The first question: Is Weinstein’s accusation accurate?
Simply, no. Weinstein appears to take issue with both the announcement and the actual “event.” The former is an announcement, nothing more. The US Air Force Academy is Read more