An unnamed Air Force chaplain sent a formally formatted complaint to Michael “Mikey” Weinstein in early May, claiming the National Guard Bureau had established “Protestant Christianity” as the “official religion” of the Guard’s Strong Bonds program.
As if to reinforce the fact the letter was written specifically for public consumption, just a few hours after receiving it Weinstein sent off his “demand” letter to General Joseph Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau. Weinstein made no new allegations but asserted those of the chaplain, who had complained about a line from a National Guard MOI on Strong Bonds. Regarding Strong Bonds events, the official Memorandum of Instruction said
One voluntary worship service will be conducted at all overnight training sessions, serving to the extent possible, the largest religious demographic represented in accordance with the Constitutional mandate to provide for the “free exercise of religion”. (See “DODI 1300.17”; “AFI 52-101”).
Military regulations can sometimes be ambiguous, vague, and even self-contradictory, so it is understandable that even well-meaning or intelligent members of the military might misunderstand them.
But even graciously speaking, that’s not what happened Read more
When President Trump signed his executive order on religious liberty at the beginning of the month, most of the criticism (as the President seems to attract much of it) was focused on the IRS and enforcement of the Johnson Amendment.
A few sites, however, took issue with his reference to religious liberty in the US military. During his Rose Garden announcement on the National Day of Prayer, President Trump said (video):
Just one example, people were forbidden from giving or receiving religious items at a military hospital where our brave service members were being treated and where they wanted those religious items.
Though he made no direct statement, that clearly seems to be a reference to the December 2011 controversy in which Walter Reed updated its visitor policy to say Read more
US Army SSgt Christal Crawford is deployed to Jordan, and it is there she chose to re-dedicate her life to her country — and to her God.
With tears in her eyes, [she] walked down the steps leading to the Jordan River at the baptism site of Jesus to change into her robe…
“I never imagined when I was younger that I would get to experience being baptized in Read more
In an act that almost amounted to a display of principle, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s MRFF finally spoke out against US Air Force MSgts Laura and Mark Magee — both Muslim service members. The Magees were the focus of a “Through Airmen’s Eyes” article put out by the Air Force early last week which highlighted their faith. The article was entitled “Nevada ANG chaplain [sic]: ‘I want people to know Islam is not evil’“. (The title should have said “…chaplain’s assistant,” not “chaplain”.)
Weinstein’s group put out a statement saying [emphasis added]:
MRFF objects to it just as strongly as it has to the many articles published by the Air Force highlighting the faith of Christian airmen [sic]…
The MRFF complaint gives only a single example that it says violates Air Force regulations, citing the article which quoted MSgt Mark Magee saying: Read more
Ed Brayton, a long-time secularist blogger and ally of Michael “Mikey” Weinstein and Chris Rodda, recently wrote a post entitled “Klingenschmitt’s Cluelessness on Religious Tests for Office.”
One of Brayton’s pastimes is keeping up with former Navy Chaplain and former Colorado state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt, himself a prolific public speaker and writer.
Brayton quoted Klingenschmitt from a LifeSite news article in which Klingenschmitt was commenting on the decision by Tennessee state legislator Mark Green to withdraw from nomination as Secretary of the Army. Klingenschmitt said
The bully left is now openly creating an unconstitutional religious litmus test for public office. If you believe the Bible, or quote the Bible in public, they claim you are unfit for office and apply their political labels until you quit.
Brayton mocked Klingenschmitt’s statement as “absurd,” and then followed it with his own absurdity: Read more
Paula Neira — who served in the US Navy as Paul Neira — has helped stand up Johns Hopkins’ Center for Transgender Health this Spring.
Most articles on the new Center have said little of substance, but one report quoted Neira making a potentially unintentional but fascinating admission:
Under [his] leadership, the Center for Transgender Health will serve transgender patients, teach health professionals and research health concerns facing the transgender community.
And this last point has some urgency. Neira notes that there is still a lot unknown for transgender patients related to gender-affirming care as well as to general health. “You know — what is the health effect of testosterone dosage? What is the most effective dose? There’s all kinds of pieces of information that we want to know…”
Neira, and by extension Johns Hopkins, is essentially admitting society is Read more
Tennessee state senator Mark Green has withdrawn his name from consideration for the position of Secretary of the Army.
“To meet these challenges, there should be no distractions. And unfortunately due to false and misleading attacks against me, this nomination has become a distraction,” [Mark Green] said in his statement.
“Tragically, my life of public service and my Christian beliefs have been mischaracterized and attacked by a few on the other side of the aisle for political gain,” he continued. “While these false attacks have no bearing on the needs of the Army or my qualifications to serve, I believe it is critical to give the President the ability to move forward with his vision to restore our military to its rightful place in the world.”
- Those who hold certain religious beliefs: 0.
- Those who like to participate in specific sexual behaviors: 1.
What a backwards Read more
In the proclamation for the National Day of Prayer:
We are also reminded and reaffirm that all human beings have the right, not only to pray and worship according to their consciences, but to practice their faith in their homes, schools, charities, and businesses in private and in the public square free from government coercion, discrimination, or persecution. Religion is not merely an intellectual exercise, but also a practical one that demands action in the world. Even the many prisoners around the world who are persecuted for their faith can pray privately in their cells. But our Constitution demands more: the freedom to practice one’s faith publicly.
The religious liberty guaranteed by the Constitution is not a favor from the government, but a natural right bestowed by God…
That seems almost a direct affront to those who have claimed religious liberty in America was only freedom of “worship” — privately, within the four walls of your church, synagogue, etc.
At the signing of an Executive Order protecting religious freedom: Read more