Writing at FrontPageMag, Paul Sperry reports the US military has agreed to review a course at the Air Force Special Operations School taught by Patrick Dunleavy, following a complaint from CAIR about Dunleavy’s outside associations. (Michael “Mikey” Weinstein had tried to hitch his wagon to CAIR’s complaint.)
Sperry’s piece cites no sources but does quote Dunleavy’s reaction, leading to the conclusion Dunleavy is the source of the information.
The portrayal of the Air Force’s action is a bit odd. For one thing, the article makes the (accurate) point that Dunleavy’s course was already reviewed, when the DoD did a (controversial) broad sweep of its programs for material that might be offensive to Muslims some time ago.
Further, the article says the Air Force went out of its way to assign a Muslim chaplain to Read more
On 31 March 2017, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein sent a message (PDF) to LtGen Marshall Webb, Commander of Headquarters Air Force Special Operations Command, complaining about Mr. Patrick Dunleavy, an instructor at the Air Force Special Ops School. Weinstein claimed Dunleavy was “a known promoter of anti-Muslim propaganda”:
Mr. Dunleavy is a senior fellow with Steven Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), an anti-Muslim propaganda organization, and has also made intolerant bigoted statements against Islam and Muslims…Mr. Dunleavy also wrote a book in which he argues that the role of a prison chaplain is used by Muslims as a cover to “serve terrorism.”
Mr. Dunleavy has been closely associated with other anti-Muslim hate groups such as the Clarion Project and the Center for Security Policy. He has interviewed with Ryan Mauro of the Clarion Project and makes regular appearances on Secure Freedom Radio, a radio show hosted by Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy, another recognized anti-Muslim hate propaganda tool.
Chris Rodda, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s research assistant, recently took to the internet to make the calm, reasoned statement that Chaplain (Capt) Sonny Hernandez hates women.
She began by claiming ChristianFighterPilot.com has posted a “steady stream of misogynistic” articles for years — which should have made it easy to provide a clear example. Rodda attempted to do so, saying that an article on this site
expressed [the] opinion that female chaplains are not acceptable…
In a fairly bluntly worded official Air Force article, SSgt Shelton Sherrill provided a decent explanation for the sometimes misunderstood role of a military chaplain:
According to the first amendment of the Constitution of the United States, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. For military members, chaplains are one of main advocates to help them protect this right.
Chaplains…provide religious accommodations to ensure everyone is free to exercise their beliefs, provide ethical advice to leadership, unit visitations and confidential counseling.
Edit: Actually, commanders are the ones who provide religious accommodations, not chaplains, as chaplains have no authority to authorize anything. (Chaplains famously have “rank without command.”) However, Read more
As previously noted, Dr. Alex McFarland recently participated in a four-person debate with Michael “Mikey” Weinstein. Within the debate, it was refreshing to hear Dr. McFarland articulate a defense of the virtue of religious freedom, including military religious freedom.
Mikey Weinstein didn’t say anything he hasn’t already said a dozen times over the past decade — except to directly contradict Dr. McFarland’s assertion that a Christian who witnesses to another doesn’t do so because they consider them less of a person or otherwise devalue Read more
Many have grown accustomed to Congress taking the military to task for what it considers breaches of the religious freedom of US troops. Sometimes those congressional reprimands seem to have “fixed” issues. Other times they haven’t — and Congress has decided to pass a law to fix it instead.
It was an interesting turn, then, to see Congress go out of its way not to chide once more, but to laud the Air Force for defending religious liberty:
Congressman Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) led a bicameral letter of support to Pease Air National Guard Base (ANGB) in response to a complaint that the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) lodged against the base…
“We are fighting for the right of all citizens to enjoy safety and peace, and to work and live with the dignity that all children of God are entitled to know. As long as we have faith in each other and trust in God, we will succeed.”
Nathan Newman, an Air Force Reserve Officer and George C. Marshall Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, responded to an article in the Colorado Springs Gazette by Tom Roeder discussing the (previously discussed) 4-year closure of the US Air Force Academy Chapel.
Religion is a big deal at the academy and other military bases but not for the reasons one might suspect. The services are barred from evangelism, and promotion of faith is restricted, but the academy like the rest of the military must care for the religious needs of troops under federal law.