UPDATE: The Jewish Welfare Board’s Jewish Chaplains Council — which works with the military to provide support to Jewish service members — published a notice saying they would wait for the outcome of the investigation but that “Jewish services continue at Fort Campbell.”
Fort Campbell’s public affairs announced the Army post would be welcoming a new Distinctive Religious Group Leader (DRGL) for the Jewish community in May.
The volunteer position, referred to as a Distinctive Religious Group Leader, provides Friday night Shabbat services and holy day observances on post. They are certified by recognized religious organizations, and meet the religious needs of soldiers and their family members that military chaplains cannot meet, Jenkins said.
“Pending certification, Fort Campbell continues to provide a DRGL to its Jewish community,” Jenkins said.
Just a few days ago Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s complaint against Fort Campbell went public, in which his group essentially accused the Fort Campbell chaplains of anti-Semitism in the “firing” of Read more
A stinging rebuke of the American government’s take on religious liberty was recently launched not from self-righteous, supremacist Christians, but from two Rabbis of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights group. Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein targeted the recently released, 300-page report (PDF) by the US Commission on Civil Rights, saying [emphasis added]:
[The report says], in part, is that Americans need to be protected from Bible-thumpers, and anyone else whose beliefs run afoul of the administration’s PC police. Religious folk need not apply.
The pair took aim at the report’s citation of President John Adams having said Read more
A group of military religious freedom supporters — and at least one critic — will appear before the House Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee this week to testify on the state of religious liberty in the US military.
Advocates for military religious freedom invited to the hearing include
- 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.
Their organizations are also part of the Restore Military Religious Freedom coalition.
On the critics side, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein Read more
In a terribly awkward PR maneuver, religious liberty critic Michael Weinstein — rebuffed by the US Air Force Chief of Staff — has now retreated to attacking the Air Force Academy directly over its link to a website that explains a Jewish holiday:
“MRFF is now making a specific demand to [Lt. Gen.] Mike Gould, the superintendent, to take down the link,” Weinstein says…
But Weinstein already complained to Gen Gould’s boss — and his boss cc’d Gen Gould on the reply to Weinstein. And guess what? Nothing has changed. So why does Weinstein think this latest screed changes anything?
Regardless, Weinstein raised the stakes to show he meant business:
Weinstein says if his demands are not met by 5:30 p.m. Thursday, his organization will take action.
The CSIndy reporter almost seemed to be stifling a laugh Read more
Michael Weinstein, who runs his self-styled Military Religious Freedom Foundation “charity,” recently endorsed a “horrendously homophobic” website — at least, according to his own standards.
Last week, Weinstein complained that the US Air Force Academy had linked to a website called JewFAQ. The page it linked to was benign, and did exactly what the USAFA page intended, explaining the religious holiday in question. On other pages, however, the website had the gall to describe teachings from the Talmud. Though this might have shocked Weinstein — a self-described “Jewish agnostic” — most normal readers were not likely surprised to read Jewish beliefs on a Jewish website.
Weinstein and his acolytes took particular umbrage with one reference, however. Quoth Weinstein: Read more
Chaplain (LtCmdr) Neal Kreisler traveled with some unique kit to support the spiritual fitness of the troops he served, but not all the pieces made the transit. So he got a little help. Kreisler
brought a kosher Sukkah, or a small dwelling used outside the home during the holiday, that those practicing Judaism believe represents the Clouds of Glory by which the Israelites were protected after their exodus from Egypt…
While in transit, a piece of the Sukkah was lost and Rabbi Read more
In reference to Capt Ryan Jean’s efforts to become an atheist lay/faith leader, Brad Hirschfield, a Rabbi and writer at the Washington Post‘s On Faith, explains “Why the military needs atheist chaplains:”
The U.S. military needs atheist chaplains. Why? Because members of the military have requested them, and the core value of the chaplaincy is to serve the needs of those serving our nation.
If it was that easy, every military base would have a Hooters Read more
As noted previously, US military Chaplains have been working with the militaries of African nations on a variety of issues, including highlighting religious freedom and establishing Chaplaincies within their own militaries. In Uganda once again:
US Navy Chaplain (Capt) Jon Cutler, a rabbi with CJTF-Horn of Africa, recently spent time with the Ugandan military on the topic of the Chaplaincy.
“Taking care of the spiritual, social and psychological aspects of a troop before, during and after they return from combat situations is Read more