Tag Archives: Religion

Holy Cross Abandons the Crusader

The College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts has decided to abandon their historic mascot, The Crusader.

The Jesuit school said they had decided to retire its beloved Knight for the sake of “inter-religious understanding and dialogue.”

“For some, knight imagery alone could convey nobility, chivalry and bravery. However, the visual depiction of a knight, in conjunction with the moniker Crusader, inevitably ties us directly to the reality of the religious wars and the violence of the Crusades. This imagery stands in contrast to our stated values,” College president Philip Boroughs said in a statement.

Apparently the College is going to retain the name Crusaders, but Read more

Chaplain Costin Speaks on Value of Sermon on the Mount

Chaplain (MajGen) Dondi Costin, US Air Force Chief of Chaplains, spoke at a spiritual resiliency luncheon at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, in March — and he highlighted the practical value of the Sermon on the Mount:

To bring awareness on the importance of spiritual wellness, Maj. Gen. Dondi Costin, the Chief of Chaplains Headquarters U.S. Air Force…spoke of how the Sermon on the Mount, generally considered as the foundation for ethical conduct, relates to every day life.

“The thing about this entire speech, which Read more

US Navy Again Rejects Humanist Chaplain Jason Heap

For the second time, the US Navy has denied the application of Dr. Jason Heap to become a “humanist chaplain” in the sea service. A Navy board had supported his appointment; when word of that decision leaked, members of both the House and Senate wrote the Navy in protest. Those congressmen have now revealed that the Navy has rejected Heap’s application, again.

Heap’s application as been widely opposed by religious liberty groups, largely because humanism isn’t a religion — and the chaplaincy is religious.

On that point, Hemant Mehta, the poorly Read more

Mikey Weinstein Opposes Mike Pompeo Because of His Christian Faith

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, ever the publicity seeker, recently put out a statement opposing the appointment of Mike Pompeo to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.

The reason Weinstein doesn’t think Pompeo should be allowed to serve as SecState? Pompeo is a Christian — but not the right kind of Christian, according to Mikey, who said [emphasis added]:

I am disgusted…by [Trump] for picking Mike Pompeo, an unabashedly fundamentalist evangelical to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State…

Pompeo is explicitly Islamophobic. He sees the war on terrorism as akin to a holy war and remarked that terrorists will “continue to press against us until we make sure that we pray and stand and fight and make sure that we know that Jesus Christ is our savior [sic] is truly the only solution for our world.” Pompeo appears a proponent of the biblical apocalyptic “rapture,” and MRFF’s fear is that his appointment is yet a closer step towards allowing dominionist fundamentalist elements the opportunity to invoke biblical ideology as a means to initiate a “holy war” with the middle east.

Note that Weinstein provides no context or support for labeling Read more

US Senator Wicker: Atheism Incompatible with Military Chaplaincy

Responding to the leaked news that the Navy is considering a “humanist” chaplain, Republican Senator Roger Wicker wrote a column published at FoxNews that said an atheist should not be put in the “undeniably religious position” of a military chaplain:

I oppose the appointment of a “secular-humanist” chaplain, and I have formally requested that the secretary of the Navy and the chief of naval operations reject this application. I am not alone in my request. Twenty-two of my colleagues in the Senate have joined me in this effort.

Senator Wicker notes with some irony that Read more

Board Recommends Navy Appoint Humanist Chaplain

Though not officially announced, a few websites and organizations have revealed that the Navy Chaplain Appointment and Retention Eligibility (CARE) Advisory Group has recommended that Jason Heap, an atheist, be appointed a US Navy chaplain. (The official silence may be because CARE’s decision was leaked in violation of Navy policy, which dictates the sessions be “closed” with members forbidden from “discussing deliberations or recommendations”.)

Heap had previously sued the Navy over its denial of his application to become a chaplain.  The lawsuit was largely dismissed, though some claims proceeded.  One site claimed the suit was subsequently “settled” under unpublicized terms.

Navy regulations say the CARE group is primarily composed of senior chaplains and other senior leaders. CARE ensures the “full spectrum” of professional qualifications is considered when someone applies to be a chaplain. The objective, in context, is to prevent people from becoming chaplains just because they meet the bare minimum requirements.

CARE’s role is to validate Read more

Chris Rodda Has Dramatic Grammar Fail in Attack on President Trump

Chris Rodda, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s research assistant at the MRFF, fancies herself a distinguished, if somewhat self-styled, author. On Friday, though, her failures in basic grammar and research made her boss look like an idiot.

Late on Friday Chris Rodda published a blog entitled “Trump Cites “Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day” Law to Order Flags Flown at Half-Staff for Billy Graham.”

It doesn’t sound particularly egregious, but it does sound stupid. Presidents don’t even write those things, so some staff weenie really messed up and made President Trump look bad, didn’t they?

Except they didn’t.

President Trump’s message was actually published more than a week prior, and it made no reference to any law. Rodda hand-waved the apparent contradiction of her argument with a mysterious [emphasis added]

Trump also issued an extra special version of this order to the military.

As is standard Chris Rodda practice, she Read more

Air Force Chaplains: “You’re not going to be proselytized”

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

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