Tag Archives: Public Expression

US Army Captain Judd Lienhard Opposes Bladensburg Cross

A member of the US military wrote an article published online noting he was an Army Captain and Christian — and yet he opposed the existence of the Bladensburg Peace Cross:

My name is CPT Justin M. Lienhard…I am absolutely opposed to any public funds being used to support any religious institutions or beliefs. The Bladensburg cross at the heart of the ongoing Supreme Court battle is an example of exactly that, and it doesn’t represent my service, nor the service of the many people I worked alongside…

I am an avowed Christian. I know that Jesus is my lord savior.

Lienhard’s article is not compelling — and it’s also not entirely forthright.

First, he gives a passionate critique of several strawmen. The Bladensburg Peace Cross has nothing to do with “public funds [supporting] religious institutions or beliefs” — despite his categorical claim it was “exactly that.” He writes about not “march[ing] as a Christian army,” which has nothing to do with the Peace Cross — or just about anything else. Further, contrary to his passionate claim, the Bladensburg Peace Cross wasn’t erected to represent his service, nor honor all veterans. It was erected with the use of private funds to honor the families of 49 local citizens who were killed in World War I. That he would somehow personalize their memorial changes its meaning not one whit.

It is interesting that a US Army Captain would Read more

Religious Liberty Advocate US Representative Walter Jones Dies

US Representative Walter Jones (R-NC) died last week, and he was buried in Farmville, NC. He was widely remembered for the length of his service, his kindness, and also his support of the US military.

It is this latter point that makes his name familiar here. Rep Jones was a staunch advocate for the military — including military religious freedom, which put him in the crosshairs of Michael “Mikey” Weinstein more than once.

In 2009, he introduced a bill to ensure US military chaplains could Read more

Cory Booker Questions Nominees Religious Beliefs. Again.

During a judicial confirmation hearing, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) asked nominee Neomi Rao what her religious beliefs were regarding sexuality [emphasis added]:

Booker asked Rao…whether she personally thinks gay relationships are “immoral.”

Rao…pushed back, saying she didn’t think that line of questioning was relevant.

But Booker responded: “I think that [it is] relevant, your opinion if you think that African-American relationships are immoral, do you think gay relationships are immoral? Do you personally believe that gay relationships are immoral?”

After reluctantly responding that Read more

Army Major, Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard Discovers Religious Freedom

Tulsi Gabbard is a Democrat representing Hawaii’s 2nd District in the US House of Representatives. She is also a Major in the Army National Guard and a recently declared presidential candidate.

She is also a Hindu.

In response to criticisms regarding her religion and her political aspirations, Gabbard wrote a strongly worded rebuttal published at Religion News Service saying “religious bigotry is un-American” [emphasis added]:

While the headlines covering my announcement could have celebrated this historic first [a Hindu presidential candidate], and maybe even informed Americans about the world’s third largest religion, some have instead fomented suspicion, fear and religious bigotry about not only me but also my supporters…

Some media outlets have chosen to craft a false narrative of intrigue by profiling and targeting all of my donors who have names of Hindu origin and accusing them of being “Hindu nationalists.”

Today it’s the profiling and targeting of Hindu Americans and ascribing to them motives without any basis. Tomorrow will it be Muslim or Jewish Americans? Japanese, Hispanic or African Americans?

While Gabbard is right to protest Read more

In Defense of Mike Pence

Vice President Mike Pence has been raked over the coals in recent weeks and months. He and his family have been the target of criticism, vitriol, and hate.

Some of it has come from random internet blogs or “celebrities” who might otherwise be ignored, except their acrimony was then repeated by the media as “news” — in some cases, it was seemingly promoted by the media.

Pence was attacked not because of a policy decision, a political position, or any action that was illegal or unethical.

Mike Pence has been attacked simply because he’s a Christian.

Notably, at no point did those same media organizations remotely defend Pence’s human rights, and rights under the US Constitution, that protect his ability to believe and do the things so vilely attacked.

By all accounts, Mike Pence is a good and honorable man — though that’s Read more

US Senate Adopts Rule Upholding Constitution’s No Religious Test

Last Wednesday the US Senate passed a resolution stating what should have been obvious — there is no “religious test” for public office in the United States.

In response to Democrat Senators questioning nominees on their Catholic beliefs in association with the Knights of Columbus, the Senate passed a resolution stating it was

the sense of the Senate that disqualifying a nominee to Federal office on the basis of membership in the Knights of Columbus violates the Constitution of the United States

The resolution noted then-Senator and presidential candidate John F. Kennedy had similarly faced anti-Catholic bigotry: Read more

Christians Outpace Population within the UK Military

An interesting article covering the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense data on religion revealed some interesting statistics about faith groups and their military [emphasis added]:

Among the 99% of UK regulars who declared their faith, over 69% are of Christian denomination

Around 28% reported having no religion, a figure that has seen a sharp increase in recent years…

Whilst 69% of the Army, Navy and RAF regulars are Christian, the faith accounts for just over half of the general public (50.7%).

The gap was even greater between the Future Reserves 2020 – a programme to strengthen the role of the reserves – and the general population, with more than 73% of reservists subscribed to Christianity

(There’s just something about the word “whilst.”)

Granted, these numbers Read more

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