Tag Archives: Religion

The Holy Helicopters of Afghanistan

A US Air Force article highlights the religious ministry support team at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, where chaplains rotate to geographically separated units to provide continuous religious support:

Thousands of feet above Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, two Airmen, riding in a helicopter, wearing more than 75 pounds of gear, hover around the city before landing. These Airmen are not pararescuemen or tactical air control party—they’re a chaplain and chaplain assistant.

After landing, they travel to the nearby chapel, where Read more

Thwarted Fort Riley Attacker Gets 30 Years

John Booker, the 22-year old Kansas man who tried to detonate what he thought was a car bomb outside Fort Riley in 2015, was recently sentenced to 30 years in prison.

When he pleaded guilty in February, he acknowledged that he wanted to kill Americans and participate in jihad to support the Islamic State group.

Booker intended to detonate the bomb, which he believed contained 1,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate, and die in the process, prosecutors said.

Booker had previously Read more

President Trump Issues Ban on Transgender Military Service

In what has become his trademark fashion, President Donald Trump issued a major policy statement 140 characters at a time yesterday, effectively re-enacting the DoD’s prohibition on transgenders serving in the US military.

The critics immediately pounced.

As accurately noted, the tweet does not explain how this new policy will be implemented — specifically, what it means to transgenders who have been allowed to served openly since President Obama made a similar unilateral decision last year. That said, it seems reasonably obvious that the ban on enlistment will continue.

This is, of course, exactly what the policy was just one year ago under President Obama — as well as Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, etc, etc. President Trump has done nothing more than restore a longstanding policy.

The rebuttals were predictable, and weak:  Read more

Military LGBT Activists See Ray of Hope in Anthony Kurta

President Trump recently nominated retired Rear Admiral Anthony Kurta to become the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. RAdm Kurta’s name is familiar because he’s been filling in as the Under Secretary for some time, as President Trump’s administration has been slow to fill appointee positions.

And in that nomination, LGBT activists see a ray of hope.

The office of Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness is responsible for recruiting, retention, health affairs, “quality of life”, among other colloquialisms for “people”. By virtue of a memorandum issued by then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter under President Obama, the USDPR is the office tasked with creating, managing, and overseeing the policies with regard to transgender issues.  That’s the office currently run by Kurta, and for which he is nominated to be Deputy.

Far from being behind the scenes, Anthony Kurta has been front and center on sexual issues as Read more

Congress Kills Proposed Pentagon Study of Islamic Extremism

In a fascinating story that was apparently overwhelmed by other news events, US Rep Trent Franks (R-Az) had proposed an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that would have required the US military to perform a “strategic assessment” on “violent or unorthodox Islamic religious doctrine.”

The amendement was recently defeated 208-217.

Fellow Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) had an unusual take on the proposal:

“If…we’re going to study one religion and only one, we’re going to look at their leaders and put them on a list — only them — and you are going to talk about what’s orthodox practice and what’s unorthodox, then you are putting extra scrutiny on that religion,” said Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who is Muslim…

Further:

“Nobody is saying you can’t study terrorism,” Ellison said during floor debate. “You can study what motivates people to commit acts of terrorism. And we should. But we don’t — not equally. The fact is that this amendment singled out and stigmatizes one religious group.”

Having an arm of the US government perform a study and assessment on religion is Read more

WWII US Military Chapel Still Stands in Australia

The Stars and Stripes has an interesting write up on Saint Christopher’s Chapel, an open-air church built by the US Army during World War II:

The nondenominational Saint Christophers Chapel, built in 1943 by the Army’s 542nd Engineer Battalion, is the only structure remaining from when Rockhampton served as a springboard and training location for Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s World War II island-hopping campaign. The city hosted the 1st Cavalry Division and the 24th, 32nd and 41st infantry divisions on a half-dozen camps between 1942-44.

Somewhat interesting that journalist Marcus Fichtl makes a Read more

US Troops Walk Out on Chaplain’s Sermon

The following account is provided anonymously, and certain details have been intentionally obscured to protect the identities of those involved.

I walked out of a church service last Sunday.

It wasn’t because I had a crying child or a vibrating cellphone. It was because when the singing stopped, the pastor who stood up in front of the congregation to deliver the sermon represented religious beliefs I disagreed with.

Now why, you might ask, was I even at a church whose pastor didn’t hold the same beliefs as me?

Easy: I’m in the US military.

Unfortunately, we don’t always have the luxury of “choosing” our church. Other times, we might choose the chapel on the post, yet watch as the pastor — the chaplain — changes from one year (or even one Sunday) to the next. And every service member will go through the process of moving, which means a new “job,” a new home, and a new church — every couple of years.

The way some people seem to tell the story, the military is being run (or overrun) Read more

US General: Transgender Delay is Due to Medical Issues, Science

Transgender activists were caught off guard on Tuesday when the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the “delay” in transgenders being allowed to enter the US military wasn’t due to feelings, religion, or bigotry — but science and medicine.

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee for his reappointment as Vice Chairman, US Air Force Gen Paul Selva said [emphasis added]

Our decision to delay the accessions of transgender individuals into the services was largely based on a disagreement on the science of how mental health care and hormone therapy for transgender individuals would help solve the medical issues that are associated with gender dysphoria.

Read that carefully. Gen Selva said the current treatment for the medical condition currently called “gender dysphoria” not only isn’t settled, there’s disagreement that it even works.

(That comes as no surprise to transgender activists, Read more

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