Tag Archives: Religion

President Jimmy Carter “Leaves the Church”

Much has been made of former US President Jimmy Carter’s recent missive in the UK Observer entitled “The words of God do not justify cruelty to women.”  In it he says

[M]y decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult.

It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention’s leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses…ordained that women must be “subservient” to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors, or chaplains in the military service. Read more

US Army Promotes Religion in Afghanistan

Despite controversies over religion in the military and the sensitivities of troops talking about religion with locals, the US Army has actually assigned a young Captain to do that very thing.

According to a Wall Street Journal article, US Army Capt James Hill’s job is to

turn Islam into a weapon against the Taliban.

Though the Wall Street Journal emphasizes the Captain’s religion (the article is entitled “The Baptist and the Mullah Launch a Faith-Based Attack on the Taliban”), Read more

Update 2: “God and Country Festival” Flyby

As previously noted, the Air Force declined to support the Nampa, Idaho, “God and Country Festival” with a flyby, despite a 40+ year history of supporting the event.  The festival organizers now have a petition online.  The organizers make a point of saying

We want to make it clear that although it is unashamedly a Christian event, a major part of the Festival is honoring our troops who protect our freedom to assemble.

The decision has stayed in the news, and was even covered by Bill O’Reilly Read more

Update: No Flyby for Christian Patriotic Event

FoxNews has now picked up the story, previously noted, of the Air Force’s decision not to provide a fly-by of the “God and Country Festival” in Nampa, Idaho.  A “defense department official” repeated that the reason for the refusal was that it would have provided a “selective benefit.” Of note:

The Air Force was in charge of the decision-making process, meaning neither the secretary of defense nor President Obama weighed in directly, the official said.

Capt. Tom Wenz from Air Force public affairs told FOX News that past participation was due to the fact that the event was described only as a “patriotic tribute,” and the Air Force wasn’t aware until now of the apparent focus on Christianity, despite the festival’s name.

al Jazeera Revisits US Military and Christianity

Near the end of June, al Jazeera aired a program called “Fault Lines” that again brought up the issue of religion in the US military (see prior discussion).  The episode was hosted by Josh Rushing, a former US Marine turned al Jazeera reporter.

The “Fault Lines” program can be viewed as Part I and Part II. The program begins with a pan out from a US church with Rushing saying

Many on the Christian right describe the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, well, in similar terms as the Taliban and al Qaeda: as spiritual wars of the highest magnitude.

The prejudicial statement, which describes a minority view as if it was a commonly accepted American perspective, Read more

Book Review: Never Surrender

LtGen Jerry Boykin
Faith Words, 2008.
Topic: Military/Christian Experience

Never Surrender is the memoir of Lt Gen (Ret) William G. “Jerry” Boykin, a name familiar to many even outside of military circles. It documents his military career and much of his personal life, in his “journey to the crossroads of faith and freedom.”

In a career that spanned more than three decades, General Boykin was predominantly a member of Special Operations units, including being one of the initial cadre (and ultimately a commander) of the Army’s elite Delta Force. He was involved in virtually every combat action since the early 1980s, from the aborted rescue attempt of the Americans held hostage in Iran to the hunting of war criminals in the Balkans.

According to the book, Read more

Liberty Counsel Files Complaint with Navy

According to their press release, the Liberty Counsel has asked the US Navy to reverse a decision in which “religious speech” had to be removed from a “Navy for Moms” website.  In addition, according to the Liberty Counsel,

Navy for Moms community guidelines were also recently revised to prohibit the posting of religious discussions except for prayers offered for sailors.

These kinds of restrictions on private speakers using a government-sponsored forum are not required in order to avoid a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Read more

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