A fairly benign article on the chapel community at the small Schriever AFB, CO, listed some of the events held throughout the year. The chaplains went out of their way to say the events they host are not coercively religious:
“Our events are not religion-based,” Werner said. “During retreats, we hold educational classes teaching how to deal with life issues. You’re not going to be proselytized.”
Chaplain (Capt) Portmann Werner probably could have used a little more nuance in that statement, since some of the events the article referenced included Ash Wednesday and Christmas Eve services, which clearly are “religion-based.” Even marriage workshops hosted by the chapel generally allow for some element of religion, even if they’re not a full-blown religious guideline for marriage.
On one level, it’s Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s MRFF recently had a case of the vapors when they read the Southern Baptist Convention’s chaplaincy website, which includes the 1941 quote from Alfred Carpenter that
Every chaplain is a missionary in uniform, and an evangelist at large…
Weinstein’s group let loose the vitriol:
MRFF’s Constitutional [sic] civil-rights [sic] battle for separation of church and state in the U.S [sic] military faces vicious opposition from fundamentalist evangelical Christian dominionists hell-bent on ensuring military chaplains function as “government paid missionaries”…
As previously discussed, every Christian Read more
On October 6th, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein demanded the US Air Force “visibly punish” LtCol Michael Kersten for saying Jesus Christ affected his decisions during an official interview.
On October 13th, Col John Walker, the Air Base Wing Commander at Incirlik and LtCol Kersten’s boss, responded with the following, as publicized by Weinstein: Read more
In an awkward attack letter worthy of the logically-challenged Chris Rodda, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein recently demanded the “public” punishment of a US Air Force commander for the high crime of saying he was a Christian.
Weeks ago, LtCol Michael Kersten was highlighted in an Incirlik Air Base news article following him taking command of the 39th Medical Support Squadron in July. In that Q & A style piece, Kersten responded by mentioning Christ [emphasis added]: Read more
Last month, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein claimed he had made an “important achievement” in “rebuilding the shattered wall separating church and state!” because, according to him, the Commanding Officer of the Air Force Recruiting Service promised to remove a chaplain recruiting video Weinstein found “inappropriate.” According to Weinstein, MajGen Garrett Harencak
responded within a few hours that all Chaplain [sic] videos are being removed pursuant to an overhaul of ‘AirForce.com’ and that he would see to it that the removal of this particular video is accelerated.
A month later, not only is the video still up at AirForce.com — but, in unusually blunt words, the Air Force is actually defending it [emphasis added]:
Air Force Headquarters at the Pentagon told Military.com it does not see a problem with [the video]…
“Chaplains being available to airmen for spiritual support, and sharing these experiences in their official capacity, does not violate the establishment clause or Air Force regulations.”
There are three important issues here: Read more
Update: Franklin Graham came out in General Olson’s defense, while Weinstein doubled down, saying
Olson was “not simply a harmless howdy-doody/’Stepford Wife/Ned Flanders type of character delivering homilies and platitudes to his assembled flock of like-minded fools.” He was, instead, part of a “Christian triumphalist” plan to subdue America, Weinstein wrote.
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein published a press release last week calling for the court-martial of Major General Craig Olson, who was the representative for the US military at the National Day of Prayer on May 7th.
You can watch the video of General Olson’s 20 minute talk at the National Day of Prayer courtesy of the MRFF, which recorded the broadcast and uploaded it here. In it, General Olson says:
I’ve been with fellow redeemed Christians who happen to be educators, who happen to be businessmen, who happen to be medical professionals, who happen to be public officers. I’m just a Christian who happens to be in the Air Force. So we all have things we do but we’re believers, when we love Christ and we love this nation. That’s the point of America. We get to be out and about in America as believers in the various places God appoints us.
Gen Olson spoke repeatedly of having experiences that reminded him of his reliance upon God. He spoke of the need for prayer for our military.
This is what Weinstein said in response: Read more
As previously noted, the House Armed Services subcommittee on personnel invited five civilian witnesses to provide testimony on the state of religious freedom in the US military last Wednesday.
- Michael Berry, Liberty Institute attorney who acted on behalf of cadets at the US Air Force Academy this year
- Retired Chaplain (Col) Ron Crews, an outspoken advocate for military religious freedom
- Travis Weber, Director of the Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty, US Naval Academy graduate and former Naval aviator.
- Rabbi Bruce Kahn, a retired Navy Captain and Chaplain, a founding member of the Equal Rights Center, and an advocate for homosexual “rights.”
- Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, founder and sole employee of his Military Religious Freedom Foundation, engaged in a self-described “war” against Christians in the US military.
Contrary to some predictions, it wasn’t really a contentious meeting. What the hearing did reveal was the committee members were Read more
The US Army War College published a monograph on the core topic of the US military’s “evolving culture of hostility toward religious presence and expression.” The authors were Don Snider, a Senior Fellow in the Center for the Army Profession and Ethic (CAPE) at West Point and an Adjunct Research Professor in the Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College, and retired US Army Col Alex Shine of the War College.
The paper, entitled “A Soldier’s Morality, Religion, and Our Professional Ethic: Does the Army’s Culture Facilitate Integration, Character Development, and Trust in the Profession?“, is clearly meant to be academic, but at 30 pages makes for a fairly easy – and worthwhile – read.
The authors focus on the influence of changing social values on ethics within the US military, as demonstrated in the increasing secularism in American society that is essentially hostile to religion: Read more