Tag Archives: Public Expression

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

National Day of Prayer, 7 May 09

Updated: Obama’s proclamation can be read here.  Text below the fold. 

This year’s National Day of Prayer is Thursday, 7 May 2009.  As discussed every year at about this time, the President proclaims a National Day of Prayer on the first Thursday in May in accordance with Public Law 100-307 (history).

Much ado was made of President Obama’s failure thus far to make the proclamation, in addition to questions that circulated over whether he would continue the tradition of hosting an observance at the White House.  (Former proclamations by President Bush, which normally preceded the day by several weeks, have been removed from the White House website.) It has now been reported that Obama will make the proclamation, as required by law, but not host a White House observance of the day.

Last year Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation threatened to add military associations with the National Day of Prayer task force (a private group) to his DoD lawsuit, though he never followed through on his threat. Read more

Book Review: For God and Country

Cross Training Publishing, 2000.
Topic: Autobiography / Christian Living

Fisher DeBerry was the US Air Force Academy’s head football coach for 23 years.  He turned the USAFA football team into a national powerhouse, and he riled some people for his outspoken Christianity while working with young military cadets.

DeBerry’s book is part autobiography, part witness.  It describes his upbringing and career as head coach, and also his philosophy as a Christian in public life.  He describes his life as “the Three F’s: Faith, Family, and Football”–in that order.  He describes many of the conscious choices he made to encourage faith and family priorities in those he worked with and coached.  He speaks of the value of children, parenting, and the importance of school teachers–something few people may know DeBerry did before coaching college football.

His chapter on “Faith” is a wonderful read in which he says “we have our missions fields right here,” and encourages Christians to “spread the word daily by how we live and conduct ourselves:”

You don’t have to beat your chest and proclaim “I’m a Christian” to everyone you meet. But you have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Being a Christian has everything to do with how you approach life and the way you treat people.

Your Christianity isn’t just about what you say, it is shown by the consistency of how you live your life.

Unfortunately, the book isn’t produced with the highest quality editing, and those who have no interest in the US Air Force Academy or its football program may find some of the book uninteresting.

This book was written before the lawsuit and controversies over religion at the Air Force Academy, which cited and frequently criticized DeBerry’s outspoken Christianity as football coach.

Recommended.  It has wonderful pearls of wisdom and guidance, though some of its subjects are slightly niche.  It does have some Christian living advice that would be pertinent to the military Christian.  It’s a quick read and worth it, though those bored by football or USAFA may have to skim some parts.

This book is available from Amazon.

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New Chief’s Religion his First Issue

Blogs and news articles have highlighted the fact that General Norton Schwartz (official bio), the current selection to replace outgoing Air Force Chief of Staff General Michael Moseley, is Jewish.  They emphasize that he is inheriting a service with “issues” involving evangelical Christians.  The Forward notes that Michael Weinstein, who has sued the Defense Department for alleged Christian bias, has already asked to meet the General, even though he has yet to be confirmed by the Senate.

Regrettably, the unnecessary focus on religion distracts from what many in the Air Force find more interesting: the fact that the new Chief of Staff will be the first non-fighter/bomber pilot to lead the Air Force in its history.  (An official list of all Chiefs of Staff can be viewed here.)

Weinstein Blasts Commandant’s Assignment

In a typically scathing commentary, Mr. Michael Weinstein lambasted the move of General Caslen, currently Commandant at West Point, to lead an infantry division out of Hawaii.  Caslen was one of several flag officers who appeared on a Christian Embassy video investigated by the Inspector General last year (previous post).

Expanding his hyperbolic and alliterative repertoire, Weinstein called this a “tragic trifecta of travesty” and likened the General to Iraqi militia leader Muqtada al-Sadr.  He also criticized Caslen’s association with OCF, which he said was a

virulently fundamentalist Christian organization devoted to gaining unconstitutional control of the U.S. armed forces…

As with everything else, Weinstein has promised to add this to his ongoing lawsuit (in fact, he said it would go to the “head of the list”).

Dungy’s Colts Receive AF Award

 

The Indianapolis Colts and their Coach Tony Dungy–who made waves this year as the first African American and outspoken Christian to win the Super Bowl–have received the American Spirit Award.  According to the Air Force press release

The American Spirit Award is the Air Force’s highest form of recognition given to civilian organizations for longstanding commitment and support to Air Force recruiting efforts.

Dungy’s book, Quiet Strength (review), was also a bestseller this year. (Photo Credit: USAF)

Native Christians in Iraq

Michael Yon regularly writes personal experience articles for FoxNews, and did so recently when he saw an Iraqi Catholic service–attended by Iraqi Muslims and American soldiers–in which the Americans were thanked for their sacrifices.

Notably, Yon reports that local Muslim Iraqis specifically asked the American military to come and provide protection for the local Christian population.  Read his full article on Dispatches From Iraq: Come Home.

It is regrettable that some will undoubtedly seize upon this positive story (and the presence of American soldiers in a Christian service in Iraq) as evidence for the rest of the world of our “crusade” in the Middle East.

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