Monday, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the creation of a Religious Liberty Task Force that will attempt to proactively protect the religious liberty of American citizens. During the announcement, AG Sessions said [emphasis added]:
A dangerous movement, undetected by many, is now challenging and eroding our great tradition of religious freedom. There can be no doubt. This is no little matter. It must be confronted and defeated..
We have gotten to the point where courts have held that morality cannot be a basis for law; where ministers are fearful to affirm, as they understand it, holy writ from the pulpit; and where one group can actively target religious groups by labeling them a “hate group” on the basis of their sincerely held religious beliefs…
The Task Force will help the Department fully implement our religious liberty guidance by ensuring that all Justice Department components are upholding that guidance in the cases they bring and defend, the arguments they make in court, the policies and regulations they adopt, and how we conduct our operations.
It’s an outstanding thing to hear our government say — to Read more
Update: “Shame” from the Washington Times. Also at the Baptist Joint Committee., with more vitriol from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
I lived on what I referred to as faith. There were four. One was faith in myself. Two was faith in those around me. Three was faith in my country. And four was faith in my God.
– US Air Force Capt (Ret) William Robinson, the longest-held enlisted Prisoner of War in American history
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein is again gloating about his success in persuading a military base to remove a Bible from a POW/MIA remembrance table.
But it isn’t the giant scandal it may seem.
For Weinstein, POW displays are the gift that keeps on giving. There are Read more
Chris Rodda — Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s sometime research assistant — wrote a column yesterday at the Washington Examiner saying “Bibles don’t belong on POW remembrance tables.” (Two years ago Rodda said the same thing, though it was only self-published on the Huffington Post. The Examiner opportunity was apparently created by Mike Berry’s article on the same website.)
It’s possible an editor chose her title (and also word-limited the normally very verbose Rodda), but it’s worth noting Rodda never gets around to saying why Bibles ‘don’t belong on POW tables.’
First, she says that, historically, early POW/MIA remembrance tables didn’t have Bibles. She revisits her previous strawman by saying the American Legion doesn’t include Bibles in its remembrance ceremony, as if that is remotely relevant. Her point was long ago rebutted: The issue isn’t what the Legion — or any other group — chooses to do; it’s what they prohibit others from doing.
No one is traipsing around the country demanding Bibles be included on POW/MIA tables — at the American Legion or anywhere else. What some Americans are doing is Read more
Update: In response to this denial, Mikey Weinstein is now demanding the POW/MIA table be piled with books of various other spiritualities. This is standard Weinstein fare (he’s used it before) for trying to try to milk the “controversy” timeline and make the situation as annoying as possible in hopes he’ll be placated. Meanwhile, who, precisely, is being “honored” by this?
As reported at the San Diego Tribune, the US Navy has rebuffed Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s attempt to have a POW/MIA display “investigated” because it contained a Bible:
In a letter dated April 17 and mailed to New York attorney Donald G. Rehkopf Jr., San Diego-based Rear Adm. Paul D. Pearigen said that “neither further review nor an investigation of this matter is necessary.”
Initially, it appeared the Navy had asked “how high?” when Weinstein Read more
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
US Navy Chief of Chaplains Chaplain (RAdm) Margaret Kibben was one of a host of national and religious leaders who helped christen Washington DC’s newest museum: The Museum of the Bible.
“Hallow this moment, open this door to reveal how active and alive your word has been through the centuries,” Adm. Margaret Kibben, chief of the U.S. Navy chaplains, prayed Read more
For the past few years each class at the US Air Force Academy has chosen an “exemplar,” a program USAFA describes as an opportunity for the class to
honor and identify with a past military giant, alive or dead.
This year, the USAFA Class of 2020 chose Bob Hoover.
Among other stories,
1st Lt. Robert Hoover, a former Army Air Corps, Air Force and civilian test pilot…of Nashville, Tennessee, was taken captive by the Germans after being shot-down by the Luftwaffe over France during World War II. He spent 16 months in Stalag Luft I, a German POW camp, before sneaking into a German FW-190 aircraft and flying to Holland. It was his fourth attempt to escape the prison.
Though officially Read more
Last Friday, September 15th, was National POW/MIA Recognition Day. It is intended to honor the memory of those imprisoned as POWs and those who have not returned. It is one of the few days that Congress officially mandates the flying of the POW/MIA flag.
It should be a somber occasion of remembrance — but for Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, it’s a target for his vitriol if those ceremonies dare to associate a Bible with the event.
Weinstein recently shared Representative Steve Knight’s Facebook post about Palmdale, CA, hosting a POW/MIA ceremony attended by a high school JROTC color guard. Weinstein was apparently too lazy to even add his own vitriol to that which he copied and pasted from an obscure Facebook page apparently run by an atheist-MRFF supporter:
Do you see the egregious and disrespectful violation of our military code of conduct present at this divisive and Un-American service too?…
The #FilthyBook (Bible) on the table, the table that is meant for ALL our missing and fallen solders.
Did you notice the unsanctioned inclusion? Or are you just so used to seeing it slipped in there against protocol that you thought it was part of the display?…
Mikey Weinstein has been after the Bible for Read more