Tag Archives: Public Expression

Grant for Military Non-theist Leadership

While those who encourage the “mixing” of faith and the military profession are sometimes criticized, it appears there are specific efforts to promote the “mixing” of non-faith and the military.  In an interesting twist on encouraging leadership development, the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers is offering a $500 “educational grant for military and nontheist leadership and activism.”  The award is “particularly” aimed at military cadets.  Read more

Military Religion Question of the Day: Email

This week’s question is a summary of a frequent critique that takes many forms.  In varying degrees, the US military has been accused of illegal activity for allowing personnel to use their official government email system for the distribution of email with religious content.

To narrow the controversy, one specific example occurred at Creech Air Force Base, as noted by Jason Leopold, a journalist with a colored history who often advocates for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.  In the incident, Read more

Critics Silent during Medal of Honor Ceremony

President Barack Obama presented the parents of Sergeant First Class Jared Monti with his posthumous Medal of Honor last Thursday.  The official ceremony was attended by government officials, civilians, and military members, including the surviving members of the patrol that engaged in the firefight that took Monti’s life.

The sacrifice that SFC Monti made reflected the greatness of character that embodies the American spirit.  Unfortunately, much of the coverage of Monti’s award focused on the fact that no living military member has received the Medal of Honor during the long-running wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

On the other hand, it was interesting to note where very little attention was given, despite the display of allegedly controversial conduct that occurred–not once, but twice–during the ceremony.  The President, members of Congress, military Generals and leaders, all on national television, were led by a uniformed officer in an overtly religious act.

They prayed.

It was tradition.  It was fitting.  It was right.

If you believe some people, though, it was also illegal.  Read more

Mother of Fallen Soldier at White House Iftar

President Barack Obama hosted an iftar at the White House Tuesday night, celebrating the end of Ramadan.  Among the guests were Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Navy Chaplain (Lt. Cmdr.) Abuhena Saifulislam, the second Islamic Chaplain in the US Navy, and Elsheba Khan, whose 20-year-old son, Army Spc. Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, was killed in Iraq on 6 August 2007.

Chaplain Saif, a Bangladeshi immigrant, was one of two Chaplains Read more

Bibles in the Night Stand

In the vein of the American Atheist’s complaint against NASA, a variety of similarly-minded groups continue to bring accusations of wrongdoing against government-associated religious organizations.  For example, the ACLU has criticized the Gideons providing religious materials while in some association with a government entity (including the Gideons’ interaction with the US military).

Controversies notwithstanding, the ubiquitous nature of the Gideons ministry almost inevitably leads to the never-gets-old joke:

How do they get those Bibles in all those locked hotel rooms?

Well, in 1996 evidence arose that the Gideons were successful in getting a Bible into one of the most inaccessible nightstands in the world; in fact, it’s not even in the world. Read more

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