Michael Weinstein and his Military Religious Freedom Foundation have been repeatedly called out over the past few weeks for displaying an odious double standard: Weinstein has demanded various military Christians be court-martialed, accusing them of using their positions of power to proselytize and coercing subordinates based on their religion. He has failed to make any similar call against accused Fort Hood gunman Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, even though Hasan has been accused of doing exactly the same things.
However, Michael Weinstein has finally asked, “Should Hasan be court-martialed?” Oddly, he never answers his own question.
To his credit, Weinstein does make a (qualified) statement that Hasan should have been court-martialed. That would be the most serious, if parsed, statement Weinstein has made against a person not of the Christian faith in the military. However, Read more
A recent set of articles bemoaned the lack of a “separation of church and sports” in the United States, an idea espoused by those who are tired of players “mixing” their faith and their athletics (see Tim Tebow, Fisher Deberry, Tony Dungy, Chad Hennings, etc.)
Time magazine recently covered the subject from a different perspective. In “God and Football” they cover the various roles of Chaplains in the NFL. Some of the comments are oddly similar to those faced by Chaplains and religious adherents in the military. Read more
A recent Military Religion Question of the Day involved a sermon delivered in Afghanistan by Chaplain (LtCol) Gary Hensley. The question and subsequent answer have already been discussed. The discussion noted that groups used Hensley’s sermon as proof of religious impropriety in the military, though their accusations were demonstrably false.
The relationship of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation to this incident, however, requires further illumination. Read more
Last week, a question was posed about whether a Chaplain’s sermon in Afghanistan was a violation of military rules. The background, and links to the video, can be seen here.
So, did the Chaplain, as the accusers imply, violate military regulations due to the content of his sermon?
The shortest, most accurate answer: Read more
As the national intrigue continues into the events leading up to the massacre at Fort Hood, one question generating interest even at the Congressional level is why no one ever said anything about Hasan’s ‘militant’ behavior or statements. Reports indicate that fellow medical students did complain, but no official reports were lodged because no one wanted to be viewed as prejudiced against a Muslim.
Michael Weinstein, of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, “doesn’t believe” those medical students, for a very specific reason: Read more
In May 2009, al Jazeera broadcast a show that included film from a military chapel in Afghanistan. In the sermon, US Army Chaplain (LtCol) Gary Hensley told his congregation they had a responsibility to be a ‘witness for Jesus.’ He said:
The special forces guys—they hunt men basically. We do the same things as Christians, we hunt people for Jesus. We do, we hunt them down.… Get the hound of heaven after them, so we get them into the kingdom. That’s what we do, that’s our business.
As a result, some organizations have accused the Chaplain of violating Read more
The moving and often emotional memorial service marking the loss of life at Fort Hood was infused with military ceremony and tradition. Military officers explained that memorials were a part of the process in war; the units gathered to memorialize their fallen, send them home, and then gather their gear to continue the mission.
Flags flew at half-staff, the National Anthem played, speakers lauded the fallen, and the sounding of taps echoed the solemnity of the occasion. Each fallen soldier was represented by a “battlefield cross:” a helmet atop an inverted rifle with bayonet and boots. A uniformed soldier sang Amazing Grace.
Another part of the tradition is prayers offered for the fallen, their friends, and their families. Chaplain (Col) Michael Lembke, Army III Corps Chaplain, wore his religious stole across the shoulders of his military uniform that bore the Christian cross and prayed to “Lord God Almighty,” asking God to “draw us to You” and to “restore to us a spirit of joy and hope.”
The fitting memorial was laden with traditions that critics–including Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation–have repeatedly and vociferously opposed.
Yet today, they remained silent.
The thought that a moving ceremony such as this might be curtailed due to Weinstein’s complaints is an anathema to the American spirit. Yet that is the Read more
Michael Weinstein has written an article that on one hand calls the actions of Maj Nidal Malik Hasan “inexcusable,” but on the other says his alleged harassment may have precipitated his massacre at Fort Hood:
The alleged mistreatment Hasan received in the American military almost certainly played a key role in his disaffection.
He fails to note, however, that the same sources that cite the harassment note that Hasan dismissed it:
They’re ignorant. I’m more American than they are. I help my country more than they do. And I don’t care what they say.
“He felt sorry for them…He didn’t feel grudges. He felt sympathy.”
Weinstein also explicitly states that Christians are the source of all religious Read more