In an unusual case that will probably generate support and criticism from all sides, former Air Force Chaplain (Capt) Jeffrey Montanari has alleged that after he converted from Christianity to Judaism (as a chaplain) he faced discrimination and mistreatment, and that he was ultimately denied a position as a Jewish chaplain as a result.
Chaplain Montanari is now represented by First Liberty in a scenario likely making critics of “fundamentalist Christianity” heads explode. As reported in the Air Force Times [emphasis added]:
Montanari…became an officer and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserve in 2010, endorsed by the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel…
In 2012, he transferred to a position in the California Air National Guard…
[His experiences with the local Jewish community], coupled with his discovery of his own Jewish lineage, led Montanari to begin seriously considering a conversion to Orthodox Judaism.
But that decision allegedly came at a high cost.
Superiors allegedly demeaned his character, refused to grant him a religious accommodation, segregated him from the rest of the chaplain staff, and excluded him from chaplain meetings, according to a statement from his lawyers. They effectively drove him out of the Air Force because of his change in religious affiliation, his lawyers argue.
At this point, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein would Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein recently publicized a letter (PDF) he wrote to Jeff Bezos, CEO of online shopping giant Amazon, to protest the removal of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) from the company’s charity program AmazonSmile. Weinstein titled his letter a “principled DEFENSE of RIVAL organization” (emphasis original) and said:
Frankly, we disagree with ADF’s positions on almost everything in law and policy. For years we’ve crossed swords and fought for our respective opposing views. But it is one thing to fight for ideals, and it’s another to marginalize and suppress others — even those you vehemently disagree with. And that is what’s happening when ADF is branded a “hate” group and thrown out of the Amazon Smile program.
It sounds noble, but it is very unusual for Weinstein — and wholly inconsistent Read more
In an article entitled “I hope God understands why,” the US Navy tells the story of US Navy Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Mamadou Mbengue, a native of Senegal — and a Muslim:
Mbengue found himself in Recruit Training Command spending each morning and evening donning and doffing a uniform and learning to conform to a military lifestyle, while still upholding the values and principles of his faith.
“I hope God understands why,” said Mbengue. “I took every Read more
U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain (Maj.) Daniel Cho, 78th Training Division, leads participants of Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX) 78-18-03 in prayer before Read more
Official releases documented the trip of US Air Force Chief of Chaplains (MajGen) Dondi Costin to South Korea last month:
Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Dondi Costin, the U.S. Air Force Chief of Chaplains, and more than a dozen Air Force chaplains and chaplain assistants from U.S. Pacific Air Forces spent time with U.S. Airmen and their South Korean counterparts in a weeklong long visit to Daegu Korea.
The chaplains and their assistants worked Read more
A US Army article out of Texas highlights US Army Reserve Captain Troy Catterton — Deputy of Current Ops for the 4th Sustainment Brigade, and a Christian:
Today Catterton was at the 40th Annual Cowboy Breakfast in San Antonio, Texas, volunteering with Christian radio stations KLove and Air1…
As a U.S. Army Reserve Soldier, Catterton knows the importance of Read more
A US Air Force Airman took a unique opportunity — offered by the Air Force — to become a chaplain.
In 2014, the Air Force began offering a limited “career intermission program,” with the intent of allowing Airmen to leave the service for one to three years and a guarantee of a return to their previous position. Part of the logic behind the program was that by giving Airmen a “break” — and potentially letting them see the other side of the fence — they’d be more willing to stay committed to the service for the long haul.
Then-TSgt Travis Barrino saw a different opportunity:
Barrino…always felt a calling to be a pastor. As Read more
US Navy Chaplain (CAPT) Thomas Walcott recently became the Chaplain of the Coast Guard, replacing US Navy Chaplain (CAPT) Gregory Todd.
Chaplain Todd has apparently been nominated to the rank of Rear Admiral, to become Read more